WASHINGTON - The fate of a major immigration bill faces rocky times in the U.S. Senate but the White House is confident it will survive, The Washington Times said Tuesday.
Debate on the bill was ended by a bipartisan vote three weeks ago but has been brought back for debate with about 24 amendments agreed upon by majority Democrats and also Republicans at the insistence of U.S. President George Bush.
Monday, White House Deputy Chief of Staff Joel Kaplan told reporters Bush feels there will be sufficient supporting Senate votes to keep debate on the bill and its amendments.
In order to continue debate without a filibuster, 60 senators must vote in favor of debate. The Times said it learned about 32 senators were prepared to block the bill.
If the bill survives debate Tuesday, it would likely be brought up again on Thursday, facing the same 60-vote obstacle.
Two Republican senators, Kit Bond of Missouri and Jeff Bingaman of New Mexico, said their support Tuesday didn't guarantee they will vote for the amended bill in the end.
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