After a long battle, the Senate was finally able to pass the bipartisan “Gang of Eight” immigration reform bill yesterday. While the bill received the support of more than two-thirds of the chamber, by a 68-32 margin, Pennsylvania’s two Senators split on the vote.
Senator Bob Casey, along with all 53 other Democratic Senators, voted for the bill. Senator Pat Toomey, however, was one of the 32 Republican Senators to oppose the bill (14 GOP Senators supported the bill).
“Today, after many weeks of debate, the Senate passed the bipartisan Border Security, Economic Opportunity, and Immigration Modernization Act (S. 744). While this is not a perfect bill, I am pleased that members on both sides of the aisle have come together to fix our broken immigration system,” Casey said in a statement released after the vote.
“This bill will strengthen our borders, set forth a fair path to earned citizenship, reduce the deficit by $700 billion, and strengthen our economy.”
Senator Toomey had indicated beforehand that he was leaning against the bill. A statement issued after his vote against the Hoeven-Corker Amendment, which was designed to improve the border security provisions in order to appeal to more Republicans, illustrates some of his objections to the legislation.
“I voted against the Hoeven-Corker amendment to the immigration bill because it does not solve the fundamental problem of our current immigration policy and the underlying bill, namely, inadequate legal immigration and guest worker provisions for low-skilled workers,” Toomey said. “This badly flawed, back-room process has led to a flawed bill.”
The bill now heads to the GOP-led House of Representatives, which has pledged to further revise the legislation and where it’s fate – indeed whether it will receive a vote at all – seems far less certain.