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June 07, 2007

Reid Again Says Cloture Tonight Or Bill Is Withdrawn; Yet Bill's Republican Negoiator (Ahem) Jon Kyl Says "We Need More Time;" Plus-- Blame Game For Bill's Defeat Begins!

The Democrats cry for GOP help:

[The amnesty bill] won a brief reprieve when Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., said he would give it more time before yanking the bill and moving on to other matters.

His decision set the stage for yet another procedural vote later Thursday that will measure lawmakers' appetite for a so-called "grand bargain" between liberals and conservatives on immigration.

If that fails, Reid threatened, "The bill's over with."

In the meantime, though, Reid said the president must lean on Republicans to back a deal that Bush spearheaded and most Democrats are eager to support.

"We are trying to get the bill passed. All we ask is that the White House weigh in and try to get some Republicans to vote with us," Reid said.


Republicans were seeking assurances they would get chances to add several conservative-backed changes that would toughen the measure.

Democrats are "simply not going to get anywhere trying to stuff the minority," said Sen. Mitch McConnell of Kentucky, the GOP leader.

Republicans who cut the immigration deal and are working to fight off challenges to it from within their own ranks, nonetheless voted in solidarity with the rest of their party.

"Clearly, we need more time," said Sen. Jon Kyl, R-Ariz., a framer of the agreement.

But even some Republicans said they were getting impatient with members of their own party who were balking at finishing the bill.

"I'm telling them, too, I've about had it. Enough is enough here now. We're going to get some more amendments," said Sen. Trent Lott, R- Miss. "We're going to do this damn thing."

Heh. Trent Lott. I find it somewhat comforting that this useless waste of space is on the other side. He also had this to say:

Senate Minority Whip Trent Lott (R-Miss.) said he has told the most virulent Republican opponents that he will not tolerate a raft of amendment votes designed simply to filibuster the measure, and he castigated his own party's senators for their vote switches.

"We're going to do this damned thing, and if we don't, I think we should dissolve the Congress and just go home," Lott fumed.

I hope he didn't mess up his pretty hairdome.

The Blame Game starts -- hopeful sign?

Reid appealed to Bush to twist the arms of 47 Republicans who voted against limiting debate, saying the legislation's demise would produce headlines that ``the president fails again.''

``It's his bill, it's not our bill,'' Reid told reporters after the vote in Washington. ``It can't pass unless we get significant Republican support.''


Illinois Senator Dick Durbin, the Senate's No. 2 Democrat, accused Republican opponents of offering amendments simply ``to embarrass those who support'' the legislation.

``If Senator McConnell wants to pass President Bush's immigration bill -- crafted by his Cabinet officers'' then the Republican leader ``needs to help us,'' Durbin said.


Senator Lindsey Graham, a South Carolina Republican, said Obama's amendment [to go back to a family reunification system permitting "chain migrations" not based on ecominic needs of American employers] would split the delicate bipartisan alliance that supports the immigration measure.

``So when you're out on the campaign trail, my friend, tell them about why can't we come together. This is why,'' Graham said.

McConnell's spokesman, Don Stewart, said Republicans weren't to blame. ``Democratic presidential candidates offered poison pills and voted for poison pills,'' Stewart said, referring to proposals by Obama and New York Senator Hillary Clinton that failed to be adopted.

More at Hot Air, including a very public resignation by a McCain party chairman, citing McCain's inability to "read the pulse of the American public."

digg this
posted by Ace at 04:46 PM

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