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June 25, 2007

Clarification: Bond May Or May Not Be Voting For The Real Cloture

Apparently there are two cloture votes. One, a cloture vote to proceed with debate (that doesn't make sense to me, but it seems to be the case) and another to actually end debate and proceed to a vote on the merits.

Actually I think that first vote isn't a cloture vote at all; it's a vote to bring back the issue to the senate, but it can also be blocked via filibuster. But it seems to be getting confounded by some (including me, and, it seems, some senators) with the cloture vote.

Some people -- like Bond -- claim they'll be voting in favor of bringing the bill back to the floor (the first vote), only so they can introduce their enforcement-oriented amendment considered, and then, if that gets shot down (which it will be), will then vote against true cloture. Supposedly. Hopefully.

Sen. Bond’s office tells me that he is going to vote for cloture on the motion to proceed. He will then offer an amendment that has made the approved list to strip out the path of citizenship in the bill (meaning no green cards). This will inevitably fail. In which case, Bond will vote against cloture the second time and against final passage. This dynamic means opponents of the bill might pick up a vote or two on the second cloture vote, but Bond will still have done his bit to advance the underlying bill through his first cloture vote. He should just vote “no” tomorrow.

That's from Geraghty.

This is a dangerous bit of kabuki, because Bond knows with 100% certainty the Amnestia Coalition will not permit their precious compromise to be undone with amendments that even come close to fixing all the problems with this. So why take a chance on voting yes on that first vote at all?

However, if Burr and Bond and other Senators mean they will vote to bring the issue back to the floor, but will vote against cloture (the truly important vote), then they ought to say so and clear this up. In which case I owe them an apology.

This is probably what Burr's office meant by tomorrow's vote not being the "real vote."

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posted by Ace at 08:52 PM

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