You can watch a live feed of the Senate voting on cloture for the immigration bill here. ... Update: Here is AP's latest. ... It looks as if there will be another vote later today. ... [Via RealClearPolitics] 8:54 A.M.
Wednesday, June 6, 2007
Dorgan ex machina? The Senate seems to have just approved a Dorgan amendment to "sunset" the guest worker program in the immigration bill after five years. Wasn't this same amendment considered a "deal breaker" when it was rejected a couple of weeks ago? ... I think it was. ... [Thanks to alert reader N.A.] ... Update: That could explain Drudge's headline. Or not! ... Update 2: AP indeed fingers the Dorgan amendment as causing trouble:
Sen. Arlen Specter ...said he or his allies would slightly reword Dorgan's amendment and hope for a change of heart by one or more senators who "don't want to kill the bill."
See also this fresher AP dispatch. ...Did WaPo's cheerleaderish Jonathan Weisman go home early? His posted story still says "Immigrant Measure Survives Challenges." By the time he wakes up, that will probably be accurate again. ... Vote switches: It looks like Bunning, DeMint, Dole, Enzi and Menendez switched to vote for the amendment while Coburn, Grassley and Whitehouse switched against it. Brownback went from not voting to nay, while Dodd went from yea to not voting. ... P.S.: You'd think Sen. Coburn would be a potential insurance vote for the amendment. Doesn't he want to kill the bill? Same goes for Sen. Cornyn, who voted against Dorgan both times. ... Alternative outcome: Senate Republicans (e.g. Kyl, McConnell) are so in the tank on this bill they'll decide sunsetting the guest-worker program isn't a deal-breaker after all. ... 10:04 P.M.
P.O.S. Update: As expected and feared, the Senate bill "edges back from brink." Sen. Hutchison prepares epic sellout. But Sen. Chambliss says he's only "committed to the concept," not to the bill. ... Much chuckling and repulsive Senate bonhomie. ... See also LAT and Novak. ... P.S.: Note that Novak says:
[T]he decision to combine border security with naturalization of illegal immigrants has always been the President's way of holding a national priority (security) hostage to a policy (legalization) that he views as desirable.
Doing nothing is an option. A popular option! According to a Rasmussen poll taken Monday and Tuesday, when people are asked to choose between "no bill" and the Senate immigration bill, they prefer "no bill" by a 49-32 margin. ... Support for the bill has fallen further over the past week--it's now opposed by a 2-1 margin, with 53% against it and only 26% supporting it. Maybe it's time for the MSM to stop pretending that it's only the "Republican base" that doesn't like this bill. ...
P.S.: Yesterday, Senate Majority Leader Reid charged, "People are looking for excuses on the Republican side to kill this bill." I'm not sure that's true--and Reid's threat to pull the bill looks to be a negotiating ploy. But if it were true, it would be understandable! Welfare reform faced similar legislative obstacles in 1996. The difference is that voters supported welfare reform by a 2-1 margin. Only a conspiracy of elites could prevent it. This is the inverse situation: only a conspiracy of elites can foist Sen. Kyl's "grand bargain" off on the public. That may be harder to do these days (with, you know, the Web 'n all). ...
Update--It's not just the GOP "base": Gallup finds that Democrats oppose the bill by almost the same margin as Republicans. Independents are the most opposed. ... Gallup adds that most voters still aren't paying enough attention to have a strong opinion. But "there is a core group of about one-third of Americans who are opposed to the bill, counterbalanced by only about one-tenth who support it." As Mystery Pollster notes, there's little reason to assume thatif more voters paid attention to the bill it would pick up support. ... To any pol, this is a picture of bill the public doesn't like. ... 10:17 A.M. link