Immigration Bill May Not Get Through the Senate

There’s another cloture vote tomorrow and now there are enough Senators who have changed their minds or are on the fence on the bill that cloture may not pass.

The fate of U.S. immigration legislation was cast into doubt when at least six senators who helped revive the proposed overhaul said they either oppose or are leaning against a move to permit a vote on final passage.

The measure is in more jeopardy “than I thought a few hours ago,” said Senator Christopher Dodd, a Connecticut Democrat.

The supporters’ strategy of disposing of amendments that threatened the legislation’s bipartisan support hit a procedural snag late in the day, adding to the uncertainty. The Senate refused to set aside an amendment by Montana Democrats Max Baucus and Jon Tester that would dilute requirements employers verify the identity of new workers.

Under Senate rules, Majority Leader Harry Reid, a Nevada Democrat, now can’t move to consider other provisions without getting the consent of all 100 senators.

“I think this hurts” the measure, said Texas Republican John Cornyn, an opponent.

Earlier today, Senate sponsors had succeeded in killing a series of proposed changes that would undermine the measure’s support. Nonetheless, senators who voted yesterday to resume consideration of the bill were withdrawing support.

That’s probably because so many proposed changes failed. If it does turn out that tomorrow’s cloture vote fails, then Senators Jim DeMint, James Inhofe of SecureBordersNow and Byron Dorgan need to propose their own bill, one that calls for securing the border first.

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