WASHINGTON (CBS) - Both Republicans and Democrats say they want to see legislation addressing immigration reform. And to prove it, there are at least three separate versions of an immigration bill being drafted in the Senate, the House and the White House. But the White House version of the bill sparked quite a bit of anger among those in Congress when it was leaked to the press this weekend.
The White House is responding after a draft of its version of an immigration reform bill was leaked to the press this weekend. The White House says it's simply a backup plan. White House Chief-of-Staff Denis McDonough says, "We will be prepared with our own plan if these ongoing talks between Republicans and Democrats up on Capitol Hill break down."
White House sources tell CBS News this wasn't a planned leak. But some Republicans are skeptical. Sen. John McCain says, "Leaks don't happen in Washington by accident. This raises the question that many of us-- continue to wonder about. Do the-- does the president really want a result, or does he want another cudgel to beat up Republicans so that he can get political advantage in the next election?"
Democrats insist the president wants to work with Congress. Sen. Chuck Schumer says, "I met with the president Wednesday, and he agreed to give us the space we need to come up with a bipartisan proposal."
Still, many Republicans on Capitol Hill tell us they were shocked to see this leaked White House draft and even more shocked that the president's plan did not require tougher border security. Sen. Rand Paul says, "This is the president torpedoing his own plan and shows me that he's really not serious."
Florida Sen. Marco Rubio said if the president's plan is sent to Capitol Hill as is, it would be dead on arrival. His Democratic colleagues had to smooth things over. Schumer says, "We've talked to Senator Rubio, and he's fully on board with our process. And I am very hopeful that in March we will have a bipartisan bill."
And March is when President Obama says he wants to see a bill from Congress that's ready for a vote.
The White House draft would create a new visa for illegal immigrants living in the United States and allow them to become legal permanent residents within eight years.