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The Senate full floor debate on the immigration bill began this morning. But this is just the speechmaking phase and no votes on amendments will begin until next week. Majority Leader Reid said that the bill will come up for a vote before the Senate departs for the 4th of July recess. That would be on June 28th.
by Chris Musillo
The next steps on Comprehensive Immigration Reform are taking shape. Whether it can be accomplished by the end of the summer is still an open question. If CIR fails it will be because it is enormously difficult to get 435 House Representatives and 100 Senators to agree anything.
Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D- NV) says that a full Senate vote on CIR (S. 744) is expected to come before the July 4th Congressional recess.
Senator Harry Reid
immigration debate on the Senate floor starts tomorrow. My goal is
finish the process by July 4. youtube.com/watch?v=apMtiW...
02:14 PM - 06 Jun
S. 744 will need 60 votes to survive a filibuster. The odds are better than even that S. 744's proponents can get the 60 votes. S. 744 stalwart Sen. Rubio seems to be wavering but this may be politics on his part. While sixty votes would be a victory, sixty-five or seventy would be better. It would signal broad bipartisan support for S. 744 specifically and CIR generally.
Once S. 744 is passed all eyes will be on the House. The House had its own Gang of Eight crafting its own CIR bill. This Gang of Eight has been downsized to a Magnificent Seven, with Rep. Raul Labrador (R-ID) leaving the posse. While Rep. Labrador's abdication was not welcome news, the fact that the rest of the Republicans have decided to stay on the job implies that there is still a desire to get a House bill completed this summer.
Before we can get to the House though it will remain to be seen just how many votes S. 744 can obtain in the Senate. We should know the answer to this -- and to be better able to handicap the viability of CIR -- by the July 4 Congressional recess.
Read the Musillo Unkenholt Healthcare and Immigration Law Blog at www.musillo.com or www.ilw.com. You can also visit us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.
Just in case anyone thought that the Republican-controlled House of Representatives might be open to good faith negotiations on immigration reform, once its demands for border security are met (i.e., alligators in the moat), the GOP members showed their true colors on Thursday.
With only six Republicans opposing (and with the support of three cowardly Democrats) the House passed an amendment to a Department of Homeland Security spending bill which would cut off funding for the two initiatives announced by the administration last year concerning deferred deportation for DREAMERS and termination of deportation proceedings for "low-priority" immigrants. See, Huffington Post, Steve King Amendment Passes House to Deport More Dreamers, June 6; and Politico, House sends message to Obama on deportations, June 6.
By passing this amendment, which was sponsored by Representative Steve King (R-Iowa), who has stated that diversity is bad for America (see Huffington Post, August 2, 2012), House Republicans have firmly placed themselves on the side of bigotry (once again).
How can they be expected to negotiate or accept any kind of immigration reform? Even though this amendment has no chance of becoming law in the face of opposition by the Democratic-controlled Senate and White House, it still sends a message to CIR supporters and to the nation.
The message is that all of the conferences and statements about reform, not to mention the now apparently defunct bipartisan House reform group, are nothing more than smokescreens for die hard House GOP opposition to any type of reform.
As far as the House GOP is concerned, the Republican party is the party of deportation, pure and simple. How will immigration supporters respond to this attempt to reinstate the failed policy of "self-deportation?" And when will America's Deporter in Chief call a halt to the record number of removals which are still taking place?
This is pretty stunning. The House actually voted to approve Steve King's amendment to the DHS appropriations bill which would strip all funds for the President's Deferred Actions for Childhood Arrivals program. That's the DREAM Act initiative that started last year. There's no way the Senate will go along and the President would, of course, veto the bill, but it shows that the House is not going to be an easy sell on an immigration bill.
The vote was 224 to 201. Three Southern Democrats supported it and six Republicans. Interestingly, none of the Republicans on the House Gang of Eight Seven voted against the measure.
I'm sure some will say they supported King on constitutional grounds. But let's start hearing from people on the House side endorsing the real DREAM Act as well as comprehensive immigration reform along the lines of what the Senate is doing and maybe we can believe that the GOP is not as anti-immigrant as today's vote certainly appears.
Incidentally, this happened the same day John Boehner wrote an opinion piece in Spanish for La Opinion trying to convince Latino voters that the GOP really cares about them. The optics of today's vote couldn't be worse for the House Speaker. How the hell did he let this vote happen? If he plans on taking a hands off approach on the immigration bill, we're all in trouble. Since he's in a mood to speak Spanish, time to show some coj@$&es.
Don't count on the support of Jeffrey Chiesa, the NJ Attorney General just appointed by Chris Christie to fill the late Senator Frank Lautenberg's seat.
Politico is reporting that he's already stated he supports the right wing view that a legalization program will need to happen after a border crackdown.