The roll (red underline indicates the ship-jumpers):
Final vote: Shamnesty prevails, 64-35. Recess ’til 2:15pm. Will the “clay pigeon fly?” Stay tuned.
The 17 ship-jumpers who went from anti-shamnesty to pro-shamnesty:
Dems Bingaman, Boxer, Webb
Repubs Bennett, Bond, Burr, Coleman, Collins, Domenici, Ensign, Gregg, Lott, McConnell, Murkowski, Snowe, Stevens, Warner
One switcher from pro-amnesty to anti-amnesty: Stabenow (D)
One fence-sitter to pro-amnesty: Brownback (R)
Three fence-sitters to anti-amnesty: Barrasso (newly sworn in), Coburn, Enzi
12:33pm. Counting 33 Nays so far.
12:15pm. Card-check cloture vote fails. Now, it’s showtime for S. 1639, shamnesty. The clerk will call the roll…
Notable votes read so far…still tallying —
YEA: Brownback, Kyl, Gregg, Snowe, Hagel, Webb, Ensign
NAY: Tester, McCaskill, Stabenow
As I noted this morning, it’s not looking good, but it is not over.
12:07pm. The card-check cloture vote is still going on. On the House side, Rep. Pete Hoekstra released this statement:”A growing majority of House Republicans are uncomfortable with the product and process of the Senate immigration bill,” Hoekstra said. “A public hearing has never been held on it, and it was crafted in secret by only 12 senators and two cabinet officials.” The text of the Hoekstra resolution is as follows: “Resolved the House GOP Conference disapproves of the Senate immigration bill.” The Republican Conference temporarily suspended debate during a meeting this morning due to time constraints, but he expects the Conference to address it at a meeting scheduled for this afternoon. “We believe that a workable and effective immigration bill is an important objective, but the underlying Senate bill is bad public policy,” Hoekstra said. “We need to focus on border security and a legal identification process before anything else. The bill is the wrong answer and the wrong way to solve the problem of illegal immigration.”
11:49am. Time for the H.R. 800 card-check cloture vote.
11:40am. Reid is bashing “Big Business” over the card-check bill–the same Big Business that is behind the shamnesty Reid and the Grand Schemers want to ram down our throats. Now, he’s extolling the shamnesty process. Talks about his Sunday visit with the president. “This is not a Democratic bill. They understand that. We had a Democratic bill last year. It died. This was a bill negotiated in good faith with total support of the president.” Points out lopsided Dem vs. GOP support for shamnesty. “We need 25 Republicans to support us in this matter.”
11:35am. Breaking from Senate floor coverage for a second during resumed quorum call: I’ve just received the latest salvo from GOP senators who asked Harry Reid for a fair amendment process (background here). Here’s the letter (click for full size), which notes that while the Senate GOP agrees with the “clay pigeon” strategy, the ball is in Reid’s court to set up a process that doesn’t cherry-pick amendments and block others:
11:30am. Quorum call. Classical music time! That was quick. Blech – here’s Mitch McConnell. He’s addressing the card-check bill and urging opposition.
11:22am. Mike Enzi points out that both bills being debated right now (the union card-check bill and the shamnesty bill) have not gone through the proper process and have not gone through committee. I believe he just said he could spend 30 hours debating the card-check bill. Hoo-boy.
11:11am. Ken Salazar parrots the “it’s not perfect” talking point about shamnesty. Lists the fantasy enforcement provisions. Parrots the “jobs Americans don’t want” line and crusades for the “undocumented workforce.” I hope Byron Dorgan is going to speak soon. Oh, no. Groan. It’s Kennedy again. Will he sing his Spanish anthem on the floor? Not yet. He’s reading profiles of union members harassed by Eeevil Management.
11:05am. Hearing that Norm Coleman’s press guy told Laura Ingraham that Coleman will side with shamnesty and vote yes on today’s cloture motion. Will he play the “voted against it before I voted for it” card later this week?
Norm Coleman (R., Minn.)
Ph. 202-224-5641 Fax 202-224-1152
11:00am. Teddy Kennedy is yelling, claiming that “security is out the window” unless shamnesty passes. Sherrod Brown interrupts to talk about the union bill. Jim Geraghty thinks Judd Gregg is irked.
10:54am. John Cornyn is up. (Rough transcipt) — I’ve argued that the current bill sets up the DHS for failure because it requires them to grant approval of Z visa applications for full travel/work authorization within 24 hours even if background check not complete. Cornyn attacks White House for calling that “mythology.” Cornyn quotes the bill. White House is not telling the truth. “My concern is the gulf between the promise being made to the American people and the likelihood that the prommise will be carried out.” Why…has nothing been done about 600,000-plus absconders already? Can they build exit system? Can they process 12 million applicants? Can they detain those caught on the border?
10:48am update. Sen. Sessions is on the floor now talking about shamnesty. He notes the small amount of time that has been allocated to address the bill (he’s got 4-5 minutes). “Yes, we need to reform immigration…but the bill we are going to vote on will not do that.” Gives a reminder of 1986 amnesty disaster and the recent CBO report analyzing legislation on the table, which contains “loophole after loophole.” Notes the doubling of legal immigration on top of the anticipated increase in illegal immigration the bill would usher in. Touches on impact on skilled workers, drop in income. “The American people do not like this bill. Our phones are ringing off the hook.” Urges vote against cloture. Runs out of time.
10:36am. Agh. Joe Biden is on the Senate floor blabbing. Where is my mute button?
10:00am Eastern. Senate debate has begun. There will be some action on union-related bills. Procedural votes on those and the shamnesty are scheduled for 11:50am.
Bad news of the morning: All signs point to a win for shamnesty today. Not so bad news: Senior Hill sources say our side will pick up more votes than the last cloture go-around–continuing the trend of eroding support for Bush-Kennedy as time passes and more light is shed on the Grand Scheme. The insiders say your phone calls and activism have made a difference, and that they will be needed even more between this morning, when the cloture vote on the motion proceed happens, and Thursday, when the cloture vote on the overall bill takes place.
As I reported last night, you can hate Harry Reid all you want, but ultimately, the hands of the White House and the GOP Grand Schemers are responsible for agreeing to this god-awful approach to ramming a bad bill through the floor, short-circuiting the committee process, and larding up the package with fantasy amendments to buy off the wafflers.
Republican leaders will have to answer for this.
Stay tuned for Senate floor liveblogging.
Meanwhile, our latest Hot Air ad takes aim at Ted Kennedy’s wooing of waffling Republicans. We put names, faces, and phone numbers in the ad to the Ted Kennedy shamnesty anthem. Cover your ears if you must, but don’t close your eyes!
Contact info for NR’s “seven who could stop amnesty” (thanks to reader Lynne):
Kit Bond (R., Mo.) Ph. 202-224-5721 Fax 202-224-8149
Sam Brownback (R., Kan.) Ph. 202-224-6521 Fax 202-228-1265
Richard Burr (R., N.C.) Ph. 202-224-3154 Fax 202-228-2981
Thad Cochran (R., Miss.) PH. 202-224-5054 Fax 202-224-9450
Norm Coleman (R., Minn.) Ph. 202-224-5641 Fax 202-224-1152
John Ensign (R., Nev.) Ph. 202-224-6244 Fax 202-228-2193
Jim Webb (D., Va.) Ph. 202-224-4024 Fax 202-228-6363
Rob Bluey sums up the 10 top defects of the shamnesty bill.
If you still believe the “touchback” provisions mean anything, get a reality check. Like Allah says: Craptastic.
Update: He “misspoke.” No, actually, he inadvertently told the truth.