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July 01, 2007

Calls To Alaska Senators Tipped Immigration Vote

Take a bow.

The phone calls early Thursday didn’t help bill supporters. And when the vote appeared to be going south, those who had yet to fully commit — and even a few who had — jumped off the ship and helped bring the bill down.

A Senate GOP aide said the tipping point on the floor came when Alaska Republicans Lisa Murkowski and Ted Stevens walked down the aisle and cast “no” votes together.

Shortly after that, Kansas Republican Sam Brownback, who had cast an early “yea,” switched his vote. “I just concluded as I was on the floor that the country is just not ready,” said Brownback.

At one time, Brownback, a 2008 presidential hopeful, was among the leading proponents of what supporters call comprehensive immigration reform. On Thursday, he said he still remains committed.

But not right now. “We need to let it rest,” said Brownback, who wouldn’t speculate about when the time would be right. “I think this has been a very passionate debate and I think this just needs to rest for a while.”

Even Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., who stood behind Bush two weeks ago when he came to the Senate and helped revive the foundering bill, voted “no.”

“I just think the opposition to it was very strong,” said John McCain, R-Ariz., whose once front-running GOP presidential campaign has been cast into doubt, in part because of his support for legislation that would legalize the more than 12 million illegal immigrants. “A lot of the Republican base was passionate about the issue, and they made their influence felt.”

Once we've all caught our breath from freaking-out mode, maybe we can freak-out the same way over earmarks? It seems to work. If the intensity is there.

Republican Registration Up After Immigration Fiasco: Up by a very slight 1% to 32%, but that's a 10-month high.

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posted by Ace at 05:48 PM

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