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Obama says 'we have the votes' to pass immigration reform in House

Rep. Bob Goodlatte, R-Va., said the House Judiciary Committee, which he chairs, is taking "a step-by-step approach" to reforming the country's immigration policies. (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster)

President Obama believes that proponents of his preferred immigration legislation "have the votes" to pass the bill through the Republican-controlled House.

Obama made the claim to reporters while discussing his hope that business leaders can help convince lawmakers to support the bill.

"There’s no reason why we can’t get this done before the end of the year," Obama said of passing a comprehensive immigration bill. "[I]t’s my estimation that we actually have votes to get comprehensive immigration reform done in the House right now."

House Speaker John Boehner has not announced a date for a vote on the Senate-passed immigration bill, though the House Judiciary Committee is working on a number of immigration-related bills.

"Our job is to try to figure out all the problems with our current, very flawed immigration policy, and take a step-by-step approach to fixing that," committee chairman Bob Goodlatte, R-Va., told the Washington Examiner during a recent interview.

"It's far more important that we get this right than that we meet any deadline," Goodlatte added when asked if he expected the House to conclude its immigration work by the end of 2013. "We would like to see them done sooner rather than later, but we don't have any set timetable at this point."