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Pelosi: It 'would be wonderful' if immigration reform could pass without GOP votes

'Would that meet the Byrd rule and those other kinds of things? And if it would, that would be wonderful because then we would not need the 60 votes," Pelosi says.

Updated: February 18, 2021 - 2:16pm

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House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said Thursday it would be "wonderful" if immigration reform can pass without GOP votes in the House and Senate.

The Biden administration announced an immigration reform proposal that would offer a path to citizenship for illegal immigrants living in the U.S.

Pelosi was asked whether Democrats think immigration reform could pass through budget reconciliation.

"Today, they will introduce legislation. As I mentioned to you earlier, what we did – what we informed members of, this is the design. It is frozen and it complies with the reconciliation. I don't see anything of that size," Pelosi said during a news conference.

"There are people who are advocating for that and the question is, would that meet the Byrd rule and those other kinds of things? And if it would, that would be wonderful because then we would not need the 60 votes. I salute the president for putting forth the legislation that he did," she added.

The budget reconciliation process is applicable to legislation that impacts the federal budget. Democrats are using reconciliation to pass President Biden's $1.9 trillion stimulus plan.

Pelosi also addressed lawmakers who want to take a step-by-step approach to comprehensive immigration reform rather than passing a large bill.

"There are others who wanted to do piecemeal and that may be a good approach too. That is up to the Congress to decide," Pelosi said.

The California Democrat also was asked whether she thinks teachers should be vaccinated before schools can re-open. In response, Pelosi said it depends on the COVID-19 situation in each community in which the school is located.