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Immigration bill is down but not yet out
Posted by: Billy Hollis on Thursday, June 07, 2007

The second of two votes on limiting debate on the bill failed tonight, just as the first one did earlier today. A play-by-play is available at Captain's Quarters.

This was an attempt by the bill's backers to prevent a potential swarm of amendments from being debated. Since a couple of amendments had already passed or come close, it was pretty clear that more would pass if debate were carried on indefinitely. That would endanger the "grand bargain" so beloved by Kennedy, McCain, and Bush, because it would give senators both left and right tangible reasons and convenient excuses to vote against the bill.

So Reid pulled it for now. He says he still looks forward to passing it, but his rhetoric earlier today about how it's "Bush's bill" is a pretty strong signal that he thinks it's dead and he doesn't want to take any of the blame.

Polls seem to moving against the bill, as public opinion solidifies around a preference of doing nothing rather than passing a hasty bill with reams of potential unforseen consequences. And the polls indicate that the group that strongly opposes the bill is much larger than the group that strongly favors it. This apparently began to sink in with a few senators in the last few days.

It's possible that this is a feint by the backers while they reposition and hope for some cool-down in public opposition. Let's hope not. Even if one assumes (as I most certainly do not) that we need comprehensive immigration reform before focusing on enforcement of existing law, it's still a dumb idea to fling something together and try to rush it past the public, without even the writers of the bill having time to consider the likely consequences.
 
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They panicked with the initial backlash and opened the bill to additional discussion. Next time they’ll try to railroad it through quick like they originally planned and will ignore the initial rumblings of the public. Probably before a long weekend.
 
Written By: jpm100
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