Senate Votes To Begin Debate On Immigration Bill

The Senate voted to begin debate on the so-called “Gang of 8″ bill.

A bipartisan bill to overhaul the nation’s immigration system easily cleared its first procedural hurdle Tuesday afternoon, belying the difficult fight that remains in Congress for the legislation.

The Senate voted 82 to 15 to limit debate on the bill, allowing senators to begin voting on amendments to legislation crafted by the bipartisan Gang of Eight and passed by the Senate Judiciary Committee. All 15 ‘no’ votes came from Republicans.The initial nod of approval, however, does not mean GOP lawmakers who voted yes on the procedural matter will vote for final passage.

Over the coming weeks, Republicans and Democrats will propose their own changes to the bill. Many Republicans, including the bill’s co-author, Florida Sen. Marco Rubio, have said they will reject final passage unless the chamber agrees to amendments that strengthen border security.

What’s next for the bill is weeks of debate and amendments in the Senate. The House continues work on its own immigration bill.