WASHINGTON (AP) — House Democratic leader Nancy Pelosi says immigration reform is the right thing for congressional Republicans "if they ever want to win a presidential race."
The wide-ranging immigration bill approved by the Democratic-controlled Senate last week faces tough opposition in the Republican-controlled House. In the Senate, 14 Republicans joined all Democratic senators and independents in the 68-32 vote.
In an interview that aired Sunday on NBC's "Meet the Press," Pelosi linked GOP support for the immigration overhaul with future success of Republicans in political races, particularly for the White House.
"We wouldn't even be where we are right now had it not been that 70 percent of Hispanics voted for President Obama, voted Democratic in the last election," she said. "That caused an epiphany in the Senate, that's for sure. So, all of a sudden now, we have already passed comprehensive immigration reform in the Senate. That's a big victory."
Pelosi said she believes that members of Congress will do what's right for the country when it comes to approving immigration reform. "And it's certainly right for the Republicans if they ever want to win a presidential race," she said.
Pelosi said senators know it's important to have Hispanics and other immigrant populations support them and that she hopes senators will be able to persuade their House colleagues to vote for the immigration bill.
"But I think there are enough, there are enough," she said.