The Senate Judiciary Committee’s passage of a sweeping immigration bill was expected. But the explosion of chants of “Yes we can! Yes we can!” and “Leahy! Leahy!” came as a surprise.
The “Gang of Eight” bill passed by a wide 13-5 margin early Tuesday evening. Amid the cheering, Democratic committee chairman Sen. Patrick Leahy of Vermont could be seen motioning spectators to come up and participate in the celebration.
The “Yes we can” chant was made popular by then-Democratic presidential candidate Sen. Barack Obama in his 2008 presidential run.
Although the legislation seemed to cruise through the committee vote, its future is still in question. The bill faces tough votes in both full Senate and the House of Representatives.