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Thursday, June 28, 2007

Illegal Immigration MerryGoRound

Quite a bit in the news today and none of it is looking good for the Immigration Bill and the vote for cloture today.

The Washington Times:

The Senate immigration bill lost supporters yesterday and hangs on by a thread heading into this morning's showdown vote, after lawmakers voted down amendments making illegal aliens show roots to get legal status and cutting off their path to citizenship.

This morning's vote is on a parliamentary question about limiting debate, but it boils down to a vote to block the bill.

Just two days ago, 64 senators voted to revive the bill, with many saying they wanted to give the Senate a chance to improve the bill through amendments. But after a messy day in the chamber yesterday, with dozens of objections, arguments on the floor and five amendments defeated, at least a half-dozen senators said publicly or privately that their patience has run out.

"The way this has been handled, I'm not going to take a leap of faith," said Sen. Richard M. Burr, North Carolina Republican, who voted to advance the bill on Tuesday but said the way Democratic leaders ran the floor yesterday left no room to "take a bad bill and make it better."

Sen. Ben Nelson, Nebraska Democrat, said he has voted to keep the bill moving a half-dozen times already on "cloture" votes, but yesterday's debate showed him the bill is probably unsalvageable.

"I've given them six or seven cloture votes," he said. "I think this clay pigeon is becoming a dead duck."


Leaning Against

Republicans Richard Burr of North Carolina and Christopher Bond of Missouri and Democrat Ben Nelson of Nebraska said they oppose permitting a vote on final passage. Virginia Democrat Jim Webb and Republicans John Ensign of Nevada and Pete Domenici of New Mexico said they were leaning that way.

It takes 60 votes, or three-fifths of the Senate, to shut off debate. Yesterday, the Senate voted 64-35 to permit debate to resume.

Five other senators who voted to resume the debate said they are undecided on the next procedural test. They are Republicans Ted Stevens and Lisa Murkowski of Alaska and Judd Gregg of New Hampshire and Democrats Jeff Bingaman of New Mexico and Mark Pryor of Arkansas.

The legislation would create a path to citizenship for 12 million illegal immigrants, tighten the U.S. border with Mexico and create a guest-worker program to help employers fill low- paying jobs. The Senate had planned to complete action on the bill by the end of the week.


WASHINGTON, June 27 — In narrowly winning her seat last year, Senator Claire McCaskill of Missouri ran hard against what she saw as a flawed approach in Congress to dealing with illegal immigration. Ms. McCaskill, a Democratic newcomer, says she is not about to change her view now.

“I hope this never wears off, but I like to keep my word,” said Ms. McCaskill, part of a triad of moderate Democratic freshmen balking at the proposed immigration overhaul and complicating efforts by President Bush and Senate leaders to pass it this week.

Her compatriots in opposition are Senators Jim Webb of Virginia and Jon Tester of Montana. All three represent Republican-leaning states and are breaking with their leadership and most of their Democratic colleagues on the legislation, whose fate in the Senate could be determined on Thursday after a day of votes on amendments left the outcome up in the air on Wednesday.

The Republican Party has been deeply split by its differences over immigration. But Democrats have their own fault lines, and the opposition from Ms. McCaskill, Mr. Tester, Mr. Webb and eight or so other Democrats could be critical in determining the outcome.

Unlike some veteran liberal Democrats who say the measure would be too harsh on illegal immigrants or would cost some American workers their jobs, the three freshmen are lined up against it for much the same reason as its Republican opponents: that it would not do enough to stop the flow of illegal immigrants across the border.

“I do hear from my constituents, and I have to tell you it is overwhelmingly do not touch it,” said Mr. Tester, who said opposition to the bill came from Montana residents of all political stripes, from liberals to conservatives to libertarians. “This is a clearer signal than we get on the war in Iraq.”


The legislation faces a make-or-break vote this morning when senators will decide whether to cut off debate and move to a final vote tomorrow. If it does not get the 60 votes necessary, Majority Leader Harry M. Reid (D-Nev.) has said he will pull the bill, all but dashing hopes for any meaningful legislation this year.

Yeah Yeah Yeah, he said THAT before, his threats are nothing but empty promises, which is all we have come to expect from Baghdad Reid anyway.

Fox News:

If supporters don't get the 60 votes they need to end debate, then the bill is dead since the Senate schedule does not allow any more time to revive the legislation.

In an unusual admission, two leadership aides — one Democrat, one Republican — told FOX News that they have no idea how the vote will go. Vote-counting is something that is normally down to a science in the Senate chamber. The vote to end debate, called "cloture," is expected at 10:30 a.m. ET.

The mood in the Senate took a perceptible shift Wednesday as lawmakers decided not to "table," or send into permanent limbo, one of the 27 amendments approved for debate. That amendment was designed to weaken worker verification standards that are key to the measure's approach to reducing the ability of illegals to obtain work with fraudulent documents.


Under a complicated and rarely-used procedure, the immigration bill could only move forward if amendments offered to it were defeated through tabling. But after the tabling vote was defeated, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid could be heard on microphones saying that he and those who support the bill were now "stuck."

Backers of the bill allowed votes on amendments they felt confident they could defeat, thereby keeping intact a carefully balanced, bipartisan compromise that has as its core policy goals tightening border security, creating a guest worker program and establishing legal protections for an estimated 12 million illegal immigrants here now.

But the Senate refused to defeat an amendment offered by Sens. Charles Grassley, R-Iowa, Barack Obama, D-Ill., and Max Baucus, D-Mont. It was designed to lift some of the bill's requirements on employers to verify records that illegals present to obtain work. Grassley's said the amendment was designed to reduce what he called excessive compliance costs on businesses. Immigration groups also supported the change for reporting rules they described as too cumbersome.

The Senate will conduct no more votes on nearly 20 more amendments to the Senate bill until it conducts the next procedural vote early Thursday. The vote, on whether to shut down debate and move to final passage, now appears likely to lose the extra bit of Republican support it had picked up during Tuesday's vote to continue working on the comprehensive package.

Politico's, The Crypt:

Sen. Jim DeMint (R-S.C.), a leading critic of the bill who, along with a cadre of other Republicans senators, spent the day objecting to procedural motions, said the turn of events was a positive one.

“They tried to railroad this through today, but we derailed them,” DeMint said in a statement. “Americans need to call their senators and tell them to reject this bill, reject this process, so we can secure the border first. We have another chance to defeat this mess of a bill, and Americans know that a vote for cloture tomorrow will be a vote for amnesty.”

Bluey Blog shows us that Reid has been trding Pork for votes, go check it out, once again they are trying to buy and bribe their way into shoving this travesty down our throats.

There are all sorts of goodies in Sen. Harry Reid’s clay pigeon amendment, but two pork projects — one in Utah and the other in Alaska — stand out. Why? Three of the senators who would benefit from the earmarks voted in favor of cloture yesterday.

Go check out who got what and how those politicians are willing to sell America out for political gain.

Right Wing News has a source close to the process and says:

To begin with, my source said he is guardedly optimistic that the bill will fail the 2nd cloture vote tomorrow. That is because he thinks that some of the senators who voted for cloture on Tuesday were doing so because they were being "senatorial" by allowing a debate. But, that only goes so far, and everyone realizes at this point that the Thursday vote is the final vote on amnesty as far as the base is concerned. In other words, a "yes" on cloture is a "yes" to amnesty.

At that point, I asked about the "fool the yahoos" maneuver. Will there be senators voting "yes" on cloture and then voting against the final bill and hoping that they can avoid being tagged as supporting amnesty? He said that because of all the attention this issue has gotten, the base isn't going to be fooled and that anyone who does that will just have to hope that his election isn't close enough that thousands conservatives sitting at home can swing it the other way.

Additionally, I asked my source about Lindsey Graham suddenly talking tough about not voting for the bill unless a touchback provision is added. What is his motivation for that? He told me that he thinks Lindsey Graham is just running scared at this point. He's up for re-election in 2008, his poll numbers are plunging, and talk radio and the conservative blogs are mercilessly beating him up every day. So, he's looking for some kind of fig leaf to use as protection. He added that unfortunately for Graham, the touchback provision probably wouldn't cut it. For the most part, the base isn't impressed with it, and most of the people who support that provision are already inclined to support amnesty anyway.

Another thing I inquired about was the glut of attack ads aimed at Republican senators that have been produced by conservative bloggers over the last couple of days. Is that getting any attention? He said it is hard to tell how much sway those are having with senators, but he could at least confirm that he has heard staffers talking about them. So, they are definitely aware that conservative bloggers are out for blood on this issue.

Yes, we are out for blood and Graham is smart to realize that if he votes for this idiocy, he will NOT get re-elected, it is that simple.

The fact is, this is a bad bill. Just because there are a few good parts to it, does not mean it should pass.

In the previous post "Amnesty Fence-Sitter Blackberry Addresses (Staff Included)", we gave you direct access email address and everyone should consider emailing, RIGHT NOW and let the fencesitters know, they will not be re-elected if they continue down the path of Amnesty, by whatever name they wish to call it.

Come on...lets get to work folks, we are almost there, but it is not over until this bill hits the trashcan again.

You can find all Wake up America's most recent related articles on Illegal immigration here on one page.

I will also be updating with a new post as soon as the cloture vote happens this morning.