WASHINGTON (CNN) - President Bush faces a tall order when he joins Republican senators Tuesday at their weekly policy luncheon at the Capitol in an effort to revive the immigration bill, one of his legislative priorities.
Unless Bush can convince 15 more Republicans to support the measure, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nevada, indicated he won't bring the bill to the floor for a vote.
"I think the president is wrong to push this piece of legislation so hard after we've demonstrated the flaws that are in it. He needs to back off," Sen. Jeff Sessions, R-Alabama, told CNN's "American Morning" on Tuesday.
"He needs to back off. He needs to help us write a better bill and not push a bill that so many of us can't support."
Sessions disagreed with Sen. Jon Kyl, R-Arizona, who also was on the program, that this is the last chance to pass legislation addressing the nation's some 12 million illegal immigrants, about half of whom crossed into Arizona from Mexico.
"We have one good opportunity to pass immigration reform, and its within the next few weeks in the U.S. Congress. I think all of the experts agree that thereafter we get into the presidential/political season. Next year it's not going to be possible," Kyl said.
"I think the president understands that this is really our last best hope to get legislation through, that we just cannot sit by and do nothing," Kyl said.
White House spokesman Tony Snow said on "American Morning" he expects Republicans to band together to add amendments to the bill, and it could be voted on by the end of Tuesday - after senators take up the energy bill.