Thursday, June 07, 2007

Trouble in amnesty land? The bill loses a key test vote

The pundits are already wondering if the Senate's amnesty bill on illegal immigration is DOA. It may pull through, but the odds are diminished,partly because in spite of their bravado, at some some of the senators are feeling the heat from both sides.

The first sign of blood in the water was a failed atempt by Senate majority Leader Harry Reid to shut down debate and hurry up and push this mess through. It failed, 33-63, largely because Republicans, even the amnesty friendly ones largely saw it as a chance to stifle further study and to prevent Republican amendments from being offered.

Both Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton offered amendments designed to circumvent one of the few decent parts of the bill, the emphasis on a `points' system of needed skills, English proficiency and other criteria and the de-emphasis on family ties as a criteria...and both lost,which angered some Democrats no end.

Finally, Kent Dorgan (D-SD) scored a surprise upset by getting his amendment passed 49-48 to limit the silly `guest worker' provisions from a permanent program to a mere five years.

This was considered a key part of the bi-partisan brokering and deal making that went on to cobble this 380 page abortion of a bill together, and it remains to be seen whether something is going to be worked out.

Democrats urged President Bush, presumably drooling at the prospect of signing an amnesty bill into law to get busy and lean on those members of his party that still remain holdouts.

Harry Reid,predictably put the blame for any failure on the President, saying the legislation's demise would produce headlines that ``the president fails again.''

"It's his bill, it's not our bill,'' Reid told reporters after the vote in Washington. ``It can't pass unless we get significant Republican support."

Lindsay Graham (r-SC) one of the senators knee deep in the backroom deal surrounding this legislation put his foot in his mouth again with pungent remarks about standing up to `the loud people' ( those Americans having the unmitigated gall to exercise their First Amendment rights,presumably)and compared them to a bunch of spoiled children who `weren't going to get their way this time.'

That didn't exactly play well back home, and I wouldn't be surprised to see Graham in another line of work after the next election.

As for the bill, Reid, Kennedy, McCain and the rest are presumably doing whatever they can to beat down resistance...will they succeed? We'll see..

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