A repeal of legislation that will protect millions of illegal immigrants from deportation and fund Homeland Security is unlikely to get passed in the Senate, according to Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Kentucky).
The House approved the legislation, but there are not enough Republicans in the Senate to gain approval. A total of 60 Senate votes are needed to get the House bill to Obama, and McConnell only has 54 possible Republican votes, reports The Hill. Six Democrats would have to sign on, and McConnell only sees that happening as a miracle.
“You look at the hand you’re dealt. There are not 60 Republicans so you have to convince six Democrats to move with them,” said an unnamed border-state Republican congressman. “Pigs will fly out of my rear end before that happens.”
It is uncertain whether all 54 Republican Senators would support the House bill, making the chances of it passing even slimmer.
The bill would undo Obama’s 2012 order on immigration that gives legal status to some people who entered the U.S. illegally as children under the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program.
It would also fund the Homeland Security Department, that will otherwise shutdown after Feb. 27, when its existing funding runs out.
The unnamed border-state Republican congressman said that is something both the House and Senate want to avoid.
“The expectation by the rank-and-file in the House is it’s not going to come back even remotely similar to what we sent over there. And there is a real reticence by members of our conference to allow the funding to lapse,” the congressman said.
McConnell is going to try and pass the bill, even if the odds do not look good, reports The Washington Times.
“We’re going try to pass it. If we’re unable to do that, we’ll see what happens,” McConnell said.
Sen. John Thune (R-South Dakota) reportedly rolled his eyes when asked if he thinks the House bill will move past the Senate.
“Good question,” Thune said. “Obviously we want to give our members an opportunity to vote to express their opposition to the president’s action but we also realize at the end of the day in the Senate it’s going to take 60 votes.”
Sen. John Cornyn (R-Texas) said that while legislation may not be passed to repeal Obama’s immigration action, Homeland Security will not face a shutdown.
“No more drama associated with shutting down, for example, the Department of Homeland Security. That’s off the table,” Cornyn said. “Under no circumstances will we see any shutdowns."