The vote was 45-50 against cloture, still 15 votes short of the 60 required:
A broad immigration bill to legalize millions of people in the U.S. unlawfully failed a crucial test vote Thursday, a stunning setback that could spell its defeat for the year.
The vote was 45-50 against limiting debate on the bill, 15 short of the 60 that the bill’s supporters needed to prevail. Most Republicans voted to block Democrats’ efforts to bring the bill to a final vote.
The legislation, which had been endorsed by President Bush, would tighten borders, institute a new system to prevent employers from hiring undocumented workers in addition to giving up to 12 million illegal immigrants a pathway to legal status.
Conceived by an improbable coalition that nicknamed the deal a “grand bargain,” the measure exposed deep rifts within both parties and is loathed by most GOP conservatives.
Senate Majority Harry Reid, D-Nev., who had made no secret of his distaste for parts of the bill, said earlier he would move on to other matters if the immigration measure’s supporters didn’t get 60 votes Thursday night.
Will Harry follow through and shelve this behemoth or will he allow more amendments to be debated?
Michelle Malkin has been working tirelessly live blogging all the important debates on the floor of the Senate. Here’s her most recent post.