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Biden Says Will Wait for Senate on Same-Sex Immigration

Feb. 7 (Bloomberg) -- Vice President Joe Biden said the White House will “wait and see” what the Senate comes up with before determining whether to insist that equal treatment for same-sex couples be included in a rewrite of immigration laws.

“We’re going to wait and see what the Senate bill and the bipartisan group presents, and we’ll make our judgments,” Biden said in an interview today as he was leaving the Capitol in Washington. “We made it clear what we think should be done, and we’ll see.”

Obama supports equal treatment of same-sex couples when one partner is from outside the U.S. That provision isn’t in the Senate framework for an immigration overhaul. Some Republicans have said they would oppose such a policy.

Senators Marco Rubio of Florida and John McCain of Arizona have warned that an insistence by Democrats on including the same-sex provision in the Senate measure could scuttle efforts to turn a bipartisan proposal into legislation.

“If that issue becomes a central issue in the debate, it’s just going to make it harder to get done,” Rubio, who is giving the Republican response to Obama’s State of the Union address on Feb. 12, said at a Feb. 5 event in Washington sponsored by BuzzFeed Inc. “There’s going to be a lot of strong feelings about it on both sides.”

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid said Feb. 3 on ABC’s “This Week” that “gay folks in this country who have children or they come from some other place, they should be protected just like any other child.”

The Nevada Democrat said Republicans shouldn’t use the same-sex issue as “an excuse” to oppose a rewrite of U.S. immigration laws.

“The American people are past excuses,” he said. “They want this legislation passed.”

To contact the reporter on this story: Kathleen Hunter in Washington at khunter9@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Jodi Schneider at jschneider50@bloomberg.net

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