Obama calls Scott Brown to start immigration reform push


Sen. Scott Brown, R-Massachusetts, got a phone call from the president on Tuesday.

Sen. Scott Brown, R-Massachusetts, got a phone call from the  president on Tuesday.

Washington (CNN) – President Obama called Sen. Scott Brown, R-Massachusetts, on Tuesday afternoon to try to get him on board with Democrats hoping to pass immigration reform, Brown’s spokeswoman Gail Gitcho told CNN.

Gitcho said Brown told the president he would review the proposal, but made no commitment. White House spokesman Bill Burton confirmed the President called the Senator to discuss the legislation on Tuesday during his return flight from California aboard Air Force One.

Currently, Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-South Carolina, is the only GOP Senator on board with moving on immigration reform, but he has told Democrats they will lose his support unless they find another Republican.

Graham and Sen. Chuck Schumer, D-New York, told the president during a meeting last month that they wanted him to start calling other Republican targets to bring them on board. Brown is one of those potential targets, according to a Democratic source familiar with that conversation.

Gitcho said the president gave no timeline to Brown on when Democrats want to move forward on immigration, but other Democratic sources told CNN if they don’t get other GOP commitments in the next month or so, they will likely push to move a bill without Republican support.

Multiple Democratic sources said the chances of passing immigration reform in that scenario this year are very slim, but they want to make clear to key constituencies they are at least trying.


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