WASHINGTON – On Thursday, members of the bipartisan “Gang of Eight,” who penned a bill for major immigration reform, promised that their bill would not have the same face as the bipartisan gun-control bill that failed the day before.
“The eight of us didn’t just get together on a whim — we’ve been working for three months struggling through these issues,” Democratic Sen. Chuck Schumer said at a press conference where he was joined by the seven other members of the gang: Republican Sens. John McCain, Lindsey Graham, Marco Rubio and Jeff Flake; and Democratic Sens. Dick Durbin, Bob Menendez and Michael Bennett. The Manchin-Toomey amendment on background checks that was defeated Wednesday, in contrast, was drawn up over a matter of days.
“I think I can speak for both caucuses,” Schumer continued. “I think the majority of people in both caucuses really want to get this done. People for differing reasons, coming from different regions of different ideologies, want to get this done. Are there people, sort of, tend to be at the extremes of both caucuses that don’t? But I believe that this is ours to lose.”
“I think we have a great product here. And it’ll need improvement, but it’s really strong, and I think we have great unity among ourselves that will keep this going through,” he went on.