Sen. Tom Cotton (R-Ark.), a key sponsor of the border security bill, said the House passed a “clean” bill last week.
He said he expects the Senate to move forward with its own version of the bill, which would be bipartisan and could pass with support from the White House and Democrats.
“We’ll work together on that, but the House bill, as I said, we will not pass,” Cotton said.
“I think that the Senate has a plan and we’re going to move it forward.
We have a clean bill, and we will get it out to the American people as soon as we can.”
Sen. Lamar Alex Alexander (R) said he wants to work with Democrats to move the Senate’s border security legislation to the floor.
But he said he is concerned about the bill’s provisions that could slow deportations of undocumented immigrants.
“I want to get it to the House floor and see what they have in mind and how they can change that,” he said.
Cotton’s comments come as he faces pressure from President Donald Trump to support the House border security proposal.
Trump has vowed to veto any border security measure that includes the border wall.
Cody Bass, an immigration attorney at the Center for Immigration Studies, said Cotton’s remarks were “a clear signal” that he supports the border-security bill but does not want to “undermine it” by backing out.
“What he’s saying is that he is supporting it because of the bipartisan bill that passed in the House, and he’s willing to work to pass it,” Bass said.
He added that the GOP will need to be “more open” to working with Democrats.
House Republicans plan to move on to another immigration bill when they reconvene next week.