A top Senate Republican sounded the alarm ahead of a major test vote on Monday that could clear the way for imminent passage of a sweeping immigration overhaul, saying the chamber is about to vote on a bill “no one has read.”
Sen. Jeff Sessions, R-Ala., who for months has been fighting against the bill, accused the Senate of rushing to vote on the legislation amid a late push to modify it. At issue is a border security amendment being touted by supporters as a bipartisan compromise that could attract a large majority.
But Sessions accused Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid of cramming the amendment into the rest of the “1,200-page” bill with the goal of advancing the legislation late Monday afternoon.
“The Majority Leader’s motion will stifle amendments and accelerate the vote on final passage before anyone has vetted the modified legislation,” Sessions said in a statement.
Tensions were high ahead of the vote. Reid needs to gather at least 60 votes to advance toward final passage, possibly before the holiday recess. Some conservative Republicans acknowledged the bill is likely to pass the Senate, but warned that the House is another matter.
“It’s dead on arrival in the House,” Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky., said on Sunday.
But the sponsors behind the border security amendment — Sens. Bob Corker, R-Tenn., and John Hoeven, R-N.D. — staunchly defended their effort ahead of Monday’s vote.
“I’ve seen reports of a ‘1,200 page bill’ no one has read or had time to read,” Corker said in a statement, presumably in response to Sessions. “To be clear, the tough border and interior enforcement provisions that Sen. Hoeven and I offered on Friday make up 119 pages added to the 1,100 pages that have been public since May.”