Comprehensive immigration reform legislation passed a significant hurdle Tuesday when the Senate voted overwhelmingly to begin consideration of the lightning-rod bill.
More than 25 Republicans, including Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell (Ky.), voted to take up the measure in the 84-15 vote, revealing a deep well of potential support.
The vote tally was a promising sign of bipartisanship and the legislation appeared to have strong momentum after Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) predicted Tuesday that immigration reform would become law by yearâ€™s end.
Democratic and Republican leaders on Tuesday began jockeying for leverage on amendments to rework the fragile compromise hammered out by the Senateâ€™s Gang of Eight. The legislation spans more than 1,000 pages.
While many Republicans are open to passing a bill out of the Senate, their support ultimately depends on their colleagues accepting amendments to strengthen border security and restrict federal benefits for immigrants with provisional legal status.
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