Republican representative Kevin McCarthy said on Sunday that he believes there is enough support in the GOP controlled House to pass comprehensive immigration reform.
"I wouldn't underestimate the House's ability to pass the immigration bill," McCarthy said on CNN's ‘State of the Union.’
"I think we have plenty of ideas on that, and I think there's an opportunity that we can move the ball as well."
McCarthy is currently the third-highest ranked Republican in the House.
While on ‘State of the Union,’ McCarthy didn’t clarify whether or not GOP support would extend to legislation that would help undocumented citizens become legal. This facet is a core provision on the Democratic side, but has been rejected by many Republicans.
The Huffington Post points out that McCarthy’s comments on Sunday are significant, especially in his position as the House Majority Whip which makes him responsible for rounding up enough votes in his Conference to pass bills.
Currently it has been agreed that Senate will move first on immigration reform, and if a bill can pass there, it will head to the House.
When asked on Sunday's show if House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) is prepared to bring a Senate-passed immigration bill to the House floor, even if it meant passing it without a majority of Republicans, McCarthy suggested that the House and Senate may end up in a conference committee hashing out two different immigration bills.
"The speaker has talked about [how] it's better if the House does their work. We should be sending bills to the Senate. It's better if the House works the way it's designed, where the House passes a bill ... and the Senate passes a bill and then it goes to conference," McCarthy said.
"He'll pass bills that Republicans are moving forward."
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