Thank you for your thousands of calls today and over the past week to urge the Senate not to move forward with the Defense Authorization if it included an amnesty amendment.
Not even an hour ago, the Senate defeated the motion to proceed to consideration of the defense bill that would have contained the DREAM Act by a vote of 56 to 43 (click here to see how your Senator voted), 4 votes shy of the needed 60 to begin debate.
Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) will now have to make some adjustments, such as abandoning his plan to attach the DREAM Act, before he can motion to consider this bill again.
Again, thank YOU for all of your phone calls
and messages that you sent to your Senators this week!
Republicans Block Senate Action on Defense Bill for Now
CQ, John M. Donnelly September 21, 2010 @ 3:20 PM
Senate Republicans united Tuesday to block consideration of the fiscal 2011 defense authorization bill for now, after Majority Leader Harry Reid rejected their offer to limit initial debate to strictly defense-related amendments.
Just before the Senate voted on a motion to invoke cloture on a motion to proceed to the bill (S 3454), Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., offered a unanimous consent agreement that called for limiting initial consideration to 20 defense-related amendments.
Reid, D-Nev., objected, saying that departed from longstanding Senate practice of permitting non-germane amendments to bills. He and some other Democrats were eager to offer an amendment, known as the DREAM Act, that would allow a path to citizenship for the children of illegal immigrants who attend college or join the military.
The cloture attempt failed, 56-43, four short of the 60 votes required to limit debate. (One of the “no” votes was cast at the last minute by Reid, to preserve his right to seek reconsideration of the vote later.)
Arkansas Democrats Blanche Lincoln and Mark Pryor also split with their party to oppose cloture.
Maine Republican Susan Collins, a swing vote, sealed the fate of the cloture attempt when she announced she would join her GOP colleagues in voting no.
The immigration DREAM Act proposal (HR 1751, S 729), was rejected as a stand-alone Senate bill three years ago. This year, its chances of passage are clouded by election-year politics, and members of both parties are troubled by the measure’s potential addition to the defense bill.
“The DREAM Act obviously has very little relevance” to the defense authorization bill, Collins said Tuesday. “I have supported the DREAM Act in the past. It would be better if it were considered in the context of overall immigration.”
Reid now needs a unanimous consent agreement to call up the bill, or must win over some Republicans to proceed to the $725.7 billion measure, which would authorize spending on national security programs in the Defense and Energy departments.