By Dylan Matthews, Published: May 24, 2013 at 2:00 pm
Supporters of immigration reform pray before the start of the reform bill’s markup before the Senate Judiciary Committee on May 9. (Win McNamee Getty Images)
Earlier this week, the Senate immigration bill passed the Judiciary Committee easily, by a 13-5 vote, with three Republican supporters. And odds are looking good on the Senate floor. If Democrats stay unified in favor of the bill (a big if), and if those three Republicans and the two members of the Gang of Eight who are not on the committee back it on the floor, that’s 60 votes in favor, enough to break a filibuster. Supporters arehoping to have more like 70 yes votes, a surprising possibility.
But even if the bill passes the Senate, it has a long way to go before it might hit President Obama’s desk. The reform bill the Senate took up in 2006 passed with 62 votes, only to go nowhere in the House. So, how is the Gang of Eight deal going to pass? And what could sink it? Here are two plausible routes to success and three ways the bill could fall short.