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June 07, 2007

NYT: If Harry Reid Doesn't Get His Precious Cloture By 5pm Tonight, He'll Shelve The Bill
Plus: Round-Up of News and Opinon, And -- Support Your Local Pro-Sovereignty Senator!

His last bluff got called. Will this one?

The Senate refused at midday to shut off debate on the immigration overhaul bill and move toward a vote, leaving the fate of the legislation uncertain and setting up another, all-important procedural vote this evening.

The move to end debate was rejected by 63 to 33, so the bill’s backers fell 27 votes short of the 60 needed to invoke what is known as cloture and set up a yes-or-no vote on the legislation itself.

The result was a setback not only for the bill’s supporters but also for President Bush, who has made a comprehensive immigration bill one of his top legislative priorities.

Nevertheless, Senator Harry Reid of Nevada, the Democratic majority leader, scheduled another, make-or-break cloture vote for this evening. If that vote also falls short, Mr. Reid is expected to shelve the bill, meaning that changes in immigration law might not be considered again for many months.

Senator Edward M. Kennedy, Democrat of Massachusetts and an architect of the bill, vowed to work “all day long” to muster support for this evening’s vote. The day-long debate offered the bill’s opponents a chance to be heard yet again and leave their mark on the bill with amendments.

The midday move to end debate failed chiefly because a significant number of conservative Republicans wanted more time to offer amendments to make the measure more to their liking.

The 33 “yes” votes were all cast by Democrats, except for the one cast by Senator Joseph I. Lieberman of Connecticut, who won re-election last fall as an independent. Even Republicans who support the overall bill voted against ending debate.

Liebs, what up with that?

Robert Bluey writes that there is, despite Bush's and McCain's insistence, another option between instant amnesty and "doing nothing:" actually enforcing the laws we have on the books now.

The fact that so many Democrats voted for the poison-pill guest-worker-sunset amendment may indicate that they are responding to the unpopularity of the bill moreso than Republicans, and are seeking a cutesy way to make the bill unpalatable to Republicans so that it will be the GOP blamed (credited) for filibustering it.

Certainly Lindsey Graham seems to think the Dorgan Amendment may be a deal-breaker, as demonstrated by his somewhat embarrassing display in this video. And Obama's cool cat "What's the worse that can happen?" response may indicate that, as his previous statements suggested, he may like this bill, but he doesn't like-like this bill, and he's not going to let it get in the way of his presidential bid.

With a strong majority of blacks against it (as well as just about everyone else, except non-American immigrants themselves), who can blame him? Democrats themselves oppose this bill by a majority similar to that found among Republicans. Here former Democratic Congressman Brad Carson makes the Democratic case against a permanent inflow of unskilled foreign laborers. Which, being something of a sovereignist and someone who believes that the American government should put the welfare of actual Americans above all others a racist, also strikes me as a decent Republican case against the bill.

Saxby Chambliss seems to be having second thoughts about the bill. First he was booed and hissed at a public appearance, then he discovers he's vulnerable to a challenge on immigration, possibly from a Democrat flanking him on the right, and now he says he believes in the basic principles of this bill, but not actually the bill itself, necessarily.

Contact him and let him know which way he should vote -- and if he votes the right way, all will be forgiven. Shouldn't let him think he's doomed at this point no matter what he does.

And here's that contact list for senators again. If you're writing them, don't forget to also write the heroes on this, like Enzi, Crapo (I think) and especially Jeff Sessions. They can use a bit of moral support in the face of Linsey Graham's freak-outs and name-calling. And let them know their stalwartness is appreciated -- cash-money appreciated!

Many links here cribbed from Kaus, who really was on this killer-amendment business before most others, and entitles his latest dispatch "Faster, Dorgan! Kill! Kill!" That's worth a click just for the title!*

* Exuberant punctuation in honor of Kaus! All those exclamation points just sort of rubbed off on me!


Bonus: Live feed from the Senate. It won't be interesting around five-ish.

Who To Contact: Some Senators are skittish, or noncommital, or just plain indecisive. Good! We can work with that!

Well-placed sources tell me that activists are focusing their attention on the following list of senators: Sam Brownback (R.-Kan.), Richard Burr (R.-N.C.), Saxby Chambliss (R.-Ga.), Larry Craig (R.-Idaho), Pete Domenici (R.-N.M.), Byron Dorgan (D.-N.D.), John Ensign (R.-Nev.), Mike Enzi (R.-Wyo.), Judd Gregg (R.-N.H.), Johnny Isakson (R.-Ga.), Jon Kyl (R.-Ariz.), Mary Landrieu (D.-La.), Trent Lott (R.-Miss.), Mitch McConnell (R.-Ky.), Claire McCaskill (D.-Mo.), Ben Nelson (D.-Neb.), Mark Pryor (D.-Ark.), Debbie Stabenow (D.-Mich.), John Sununu (R.-N.H.), Jon Tester (D.-Mont.), George Voinovich (R.-Ohio), Jim Webb (D.-Va.), and John Warner (R.-Va.).

Jon Kyl is not yet lost -- especially with his "grand compromise" being undone by Byron Dorgan.

All Most can be forgiven, if these dopes just listen to their constituents for once.


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posted by Ace at 02:16 PM

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