Thursday, June 01, 2006

Next step: Conference Committee

The Senate bill passed last week needs to be reconciled with the House version (HR 4437) before they can send it to the White House for the President's signature making it into law. The Rights Working Group reports that the timing for the next steps for immigration reform on Capitol Hill ia unclear.

Here's a message from Keri Sherlock:

"The House has not selected conferees. The Senate conferees have not yet been officially selected, however many members of the Senate Judiciary Committee and the bill sponsors were designated as conferees when the Republicans and Democrats struck a deal to move the Hagel-Martinez compromise forward. The following Senators will be conferees:

Senator Arlen Specter (R-PA)
Senator Ted Kennedy (D-MA)
Senator Orrin Hatch (R-UT)
Senator Patrick Leahy (D-VT)
Senator Charles Grassley (R-IA)
Senator Joseph Biden (D-DE)
Senator Jon Kyl (R-AZ)
Senator Herb Kohl (D-WI)
Senator Mike DeWine (R-OH)
Senator Dianne Feinstein (D-CA)
Senator Jeff Sessions (R-AL)
Senator Russ Feingold (D-WI)
Senator Lindsey Graham (R-SC)
Senator Charles Schumer (D-NY)
Senator John Cornyn (R-TX)
Senator Richard Durbin (D-IL)
Senator Mel Martinez (R-FL)
Senator Chuck Hagel (R-NE)

We really don’t know how quickly the conference process would move. Many D.C. advocates are unwilling to predict. If the White House reaches a deal with the House Republicans, then it could possibly move quickly (over the next 2 months.) The House Republicans issued a press release saying they want to move forward with border security legislation before November. My best guess would be that the conference will go forward through the summer and there could be a vote in Sept/October but we should be prepared for the process to move faster."