... Even without the vote of John Cornyn who wants to add an amendment insisting on a complicated assurance of "border security."
Democrats have signaled in recent days that they’ll be satisfied if they don’t get a supermajority of more than 70 votes, a goal of Sen. Charles Schumer (N.Y.), who believes it would give House Republicans political cover to support comprehensive immigration reform.
Reid has told Schumer not to worry about the political calculus in the House.
“I have talked to my four Democrats [on] the Gang of Eight and I have told them, ‘Concentrate on the Senate. Don’t at this stage worry about what’s going to happen in the House,’ ” Reid told reporters Tuesday.
It will now be more difficult to reach the 70-vote mark, even though Graham predicted in an NBC interview Sunday that the Senate legislation will pass with “plus 70 votes.”
Democrats can count on about 10 Republicans to vote for the bill, but that gets them to 64 votes for final passage. ...The Hill
The CBO's report on what the bill would do to bring down the deficit has certainly helped the bill's passage.
The Congressional Budget Office (CBO) estimated on Tuesday that passage of the Senate’s comprehensive immigration bill, known as S.744, would decrease federal budget deficits by $197 billion over a ten year period between 2014 to 2023. It also estimates that 8 million undocumented immigrants would be legalized.
Between 2024 and 2033, the CBO estimates that the federal budget deficits would be cut by $700 billion.
The CBO’s estimate blasts the conservative argument that immigration reform is costly out of the water. The report contradicts the $6 trillion cost estimate used by conservative groups like the Heritage Foundation, who as far back as 2007 have been successful in helping to derail immigration reform efforts. ...Think Progress
Senate Republicans are left with no way to fight the analysis from the CBO. So they're opting for yet another long, lonely trip down De Nile.
That’s a pretty unambiguously good score from Congress’s budget keepers. It’s a better score, frankly, than many pro-reform offices on the Hill were expecting. On Tuesday morning they were fretting about the CBO score and prepping responses to possible bad news. By Tuesday evening they were breaking out the champagne and clicking send on celebratory press releases.
Does it assure the bill’s smooth passage? Of course not. But it helps the bill on the margin. And it avoids the possible catastrophe of a bad score. “This gives Republicans who wanted to support it anyway one more reason to support it,” says an aide to the Republican Senate leadership. “It could’ve been a big setback, now it’s a mild positive.”
The score is good enough that opponents of the bill are simply warning their colleagues against believing it. “The bill’s drafters relied on the same scoring gimmicks used by the Obamacare drafters to conceal its true cost from taxpayers and to manipulate the CBO score,” wrote Sen. Jeff Sessions in a statement. ...Ezra Klein, WaPo