The Daily Rundown, 6/18/13, 9:16 AM ET

Sen. Menendez on Syria: ‘We need to tip the scales’

Sen. Bob Menendez, D-N.J., joins Daily Rundown guest host Peter Alexander to talk about how President Barack Obama should handle the strategy in Syria, discusses his concerns surrounding NSA leaks, and explains his position on immigration reform saying...

Menendez: Immigration bill will pass by July 4th

Updated
By Karly Schledwitz

The Senate is scheduled to vote Tuesday afternoon on amendments to a bipartisan immigration bill, but many have been wary of how quickly the Senate will be able to vote on a comprehensive reform package. Democratic Sen. Bob Menendez of New Jersey says he’s confident a vote will happen by Independence Day.

“I really do believe we will pass comprehensive immigration reform. I think we will do it by the Fourth of July recess,” Menendez said on Tuesday’s The Daily Rundown.

“I can see a pathway forward,” said Menendez, who is the chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee.

Republican Sen. Marco Rubio of Florida, a leader of the bipartisan Gang of Eight, has said that he believes the current legislation needs stricter border security measures. But Menendez believes that the current bill already has tough border security measures.

“I believe we have the toughest boarder security provisions in this legislation, $6.5 billion, largely devised by senators from the border states who experience this challenge every day,” said Menendez.

Menendez said that he believes the United States must act quickly in Syria as rebels have been more clearly defined.

“From every account, we have a good idea of a universe of opposition forces who would be aligned with us. Then it seems to me that it is time to move vigorously forward. We obviously need to tip the scales in order to achieve a political solution.  And we can’t do it under the present circumstances,” he said.

“I don’t think it’s too late to affect an outcome,” added Menendez.

The Democratic senator also argued that Edward Snowden’s actions in leaking classified NSA information on surveillance activities may be dangerous for our national security.

“If this individual keeps leaking vital national security information from the United States, he puts our people abroad at risk and he puts people at home here at risk,” said Menendez.

“The terrorists only have to get lucky once; we have to get it right 100% of the time. Those are tough odds. So we need to be able to have every asset in order to defend the American people but with the appropriate checks and balances to ensure that privacy is not invaded,” he added.

Menendez: Immigration bill will pass by July 4th

Updated