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June 29, 2007

Heh: McCain's Absence Sunk Immigration Bill

It was McCain's missing 50th vote to table one of the clay pigeon amendments on Wednesday that resulted in the amendment not being turned back -- and the activation of procedural rules that, in a clay pigeon scheme, no additional amendments (some of which Senators said were critical for securing their "Yea" vote on cloture) could be considered without unamimous consent.

Which, of course, our heroes of the day like DeMint, Sessions, Cornyn, Vitter, et al. were rather unwilling to grant.

That's the thing about trying to railroad people -- if it doesn't work, they're sort of inclined to railroad you right back.

Had McCain been there, he would have been the 50th vote, the amendment would been killed, and the clay-pigeon process could have continued. With that, perhaps, the bill might have been able to scrape together the 60 votes needed for cloture. Without the 50th vote, Reid released the senators [who had been arm-twisted into voting to table the amendment, but only if their votes could be part of a victorious effort], and Baucus’s amendment survived, 52-45.

As it was, no further amendments could be considered before cloture, as unanimous consent was required to move to another one. Opponents were quick to object.

“Reid’s staff knew at that point, they were toast,” said a GOP Senate aide. “I don’t think Reid knew it. He asked what they could do at that point [on the floor], and somebody on our side yelled, ‘You can’t do anything! See you at cloture!’”

How A Victory Turned Into A Rout: Probably obvious to most of you, but when Senators realized they wouldn't win on cloture, many abandoned ship. Because they didn't want their last vote on the matter to be a vote for amnesty without security.

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posted by Ace at 10:43 AM

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