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June 28, 2007

CQ Today: Bill In Trouble

There are so many shifting parts in this it's hard to tell which way it's going. But down seems to be the general direction.

The future looked grim for an immigration overhaul legislation late Wednesday, with several key senators weighing objections that could kill the issue for the 110th Congress.


Though 64 senators agreed June 26 to proceed to the bill, more than a dozen said they did so only to allow debate on 27 amendments that they hoped would modify core provisions they found objectionable.


The list of potential “no” votes on cloture now includes New Mexico Republican Pete V. Domenici and New Jersey Democrat Robert Menendez — both of whom voted in favor of proceeding to the bill two days ago. Menendez failed in an effort to modify the bill Wednesday.

Perhaps the most telling vote will come from Nebraska Democrat Ben Nelson, who has made a practice of supporting cloture motions whether he intends to vote for the legislation or not. Nelson said Wednesday he would likely break that tradition and vote against ending debate on the immigration bill.


Domenici said he was “leaning” against cloture... “I’m against the bill,” said Domenici. “The more we’ve had amendments offered and had to clarify, the more I have concerns about whether it can be enforced. My concern about whether it becomes law is growing.”


Stabenow said she would “probably” vote against cloture Thursday.


The list of Republicans who say they are contemplating switching their votes includes Norm Coleman of Minnesota, John Ensign of Nevada, Gordon H. Smith of Oregon and Christopher S. Bond of Missouri.

Ensign said he was hearing that Democrats were redrafting his amendment — as part of the larger “clay pigeon” amendment package the text was no longer his to control — in a way that would make it non-germane after cloture. His amendment would deny Social Security benefits earned by illegal immigrants prior to becoming legalized.

“I may vote against cloture anyway, but I will definitely vote against cloture if I don’t get a vote on my amendment,” Ensign said.

Ensign sounds more of a "no" than I'd thought.

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posted by Ace at 09:31 AM

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