Bush, who received a hero's welcome in Albania, is hoping he has enough political clout on Capitol Hill to shepherd through the immigration bill.
WASHINGTON (CNN) - President Bush says he’s confident he can still get a win on comprehensive immigration reform, he told reporters in Bulgaria Monday.
“I believe we can get it done. I will see you at the bill signing,” he said.
The President is flying back to Washington after a week-long trip in Europe. While he was away, his immigration bill went down to defeat in the Senate, with only a few Republicans voting in favor of it. With that in mind, Bush is scheduled to go to Capitol Hill on Tuesday to meet with Republican senators regarding the legislation.
The President is not waiting to return to the U.S. to begin his lobbying effort.
“Earlier in this trip I called three members of the Senate from the Republican Party, and I asked them, ‘What can we do to get this bill back up?’” he said. “’What do we need to do to work with senators like Ted Kennedy, who is strongly committed to a comprehensive bill?’ And tomorrow I will be going to the Senate to talk about a way forward on this piece of legislation. It is important that we address this issue now.”
But does the President still have the political clout? CNN combined the most recent presidential approval ratings into a “poll of polls,” and only 32 percent of those questioned approve of the way the president is handling his job.
The Senate bill in question beefs up border security and provides for an eventual pathway to citizenship for illegal immigrants.
- CNN Deputy Political Director Paul Steinhauser