6:13pm Eastern update: Scroll for latest liveblogging on Senate floor action (and inaction):
I liveblogged the vote on the Coburn amendment earlier this morning. The roll call deserves its own separate post. I’ve underlined the Republicans who voted against the Coburn amendment to fully enforce existing immigration laws. Everything you need to know about your US Senators’ commitment to the rule of law is right here. Note that GOP presidential candidate Sen. John McCain didn’t bother to cast a vote:
These are the existing laws that the opponents of the Coburn amendment do not want fully enforced:
EXISTING LAW.–The following provisions of existing law shall be fully implemented, as previously directed by the Congress, prior to the certification set forth in paragraph (1):
(A) The Department has achieved and maintained operational control over the entire international land and maritime borders of the United States as required under the Secure Fence Act of 2006 (Public Law 109-367)
(B) The total miles of fence required under such Act have been constructed.
(C) All databases maintained by the Department which contain information on aliens shall be fully integrated as required by section 202 of the Enhanced Border Security and Visa Entry Reform Act of 2002 (8 U.S.C. 1722).
(D) The Department shall have implemented a system to record the departure of every alien departing the United States and of matching records of departure with the records of arrivals in the United States through the US-VISIT program as required by section 110 of the Illegal Immigration Reform and Immigrant Responsibility Act of 1996 (8 U.S.C. 1221 note).
(E) The provision of law that prevents States and localities from adopting “sanctuary” policies or that prevents State and local employees from communicating with the Department are fully enforced as required by section 642 of the Illegal Immigration Reform and Immigrant Responsibility Act of 1996 (8 U.S.C. 1373).
(F) The Department employs fully operational equipment at each port of entry and uses such equipment in a manner that allows unique biometric identifiers to be compared and visas, travel documents, passports, and other documents authenticated in accordance with section 303 of the Enhanced Border Security and Visa Entry Reform Act of 2002 (8 U.S.C. 1732).
(G) An alien with a border crossing card is prevented from entering the United States until the biometric identifier on the border crossing card is matched against the alien as required by section 101(a)(6) of the Immigration and Nationality Act (8 U.S.C. 1101(a)(6)).
(H) Any alien who is likely to become a public charge is denied entry into the United States pursuant to section 212(a)(4) of the Immigration and Nationality Act (8 U.S.C. 1182(a)(4)).
Telling, very telling.
This is telling, too (via Fran Coombs at the WashTimes):
Often lost in the big picture coverage of major legislative issues like the now-troubled Bush-Kennedy immigration bill are the little moments that say everything about how Washington works. They’re the little moments that your legislators don’t want you to know about and figure will never make it back home through the media.
But Stephen Dinan, our excellent national political reporter who has led the way for months on coverage of immigration legislation, captured this priceless moment in his story this morning as the supporters of the bill struggled to keep it together.
The late-night vote was on an amendment that would require illegal aliens who get legal status to have a minimum level of health insurance. Sen. Edward M. Kennedy, the Massachusetts Democrat who is the chamber’s most liberal member, was — not surprisingly — opposed.
Writes Mr. Dinan: “Republican Sens. Lindsey Graham of South Carolina and John McCain of Arizona both went to check with Mr. Kennedy before casting their votes to match his. Soon after, (Arizona Republican Sen. Jon) Kyl also switched his vote to match Mr. Kennedy’s.”
The amendment was defeated.
Readers are e-mailing that they are having trouble getting through to their representatives. Just a reminder that the amnesty hotline set up by open-borders activists is still working.
Just ignore the propaganda and you should be connected quickly to your senators:
Continuing liveblogging of the floor debate…
1:50pm Eastern. Debate was continuing on amendments. Sen. Sessions got up to speak in general opposition to the bill and to criticize the backdoor “grand bargain” negotiations, and was interrupted by Sen. Specter. Specter was prompted by Sen. Reid (whispering audibly in his ear) to ask him to stop talking and sign a unanimous consent agreement. Sessions refuses, asking to finish his remarks. Specter is stalling him with process questions.
Specter asks Graham if he would consider a substitute and negotiations. Sessions rejects in favor of starting over with an open process.
2:05pm Eastern. Reid takes the floor. Amendments scheduled. Votes expected at 3pm.
Webb on the floor to discuss SA 1313. He supported the Dorgan temp. worker program sunset. Webb amendment would narrow the number of amnestied illegal aliens based on “roots in the country.”
2:19pm Eastern. Reid back on the floor: “We’ve been told the Republicans want more amendment.” GOP won’t agree to unanimous consent agreement. Reid calls on Bush to get involved. Again: “This is the president’s bill.”
Reid: “Let the record reflect that this bill isn’t going anyplace and it’s not our fault.”
Sessions asking for 45 minutes’ debate per pending amendment. Reid objecting.
Interrupting liveblogging to bring you the advice of Seth Leibsohn: “Don’t just do something, stand there.”
2:35pm Eastern. This is the scene of the Senate floor right now. Reid, Kennedy, Specter, other “grand bargainers”–sellouts–are having a pow-wow to figure out how to proceed…
MSNBC guesstimating a vote time between 4pm and 8pm Eastern.
3:00pm Eastern. Reid: “This is the president’s bill…I want to help the president. I think I’ve done everything I can. Asking for consent to vote on some amendments and call on some amendments to be set aside.”
Asks for debate until 4:15pm.
DeMint objects to cherry-picking of amendments and choreographed cloture vote and amendment dance. I suggest we submit the amendments we want…Reid interrupts to call up the following amendments…
DeMint objects: I think it’s important to know before cloture vote which amendments will come up…
Reid: “We think this was a good place to start. Sorry it wasn’t a good place to start…there’s good faith on both sides of this aisle to move this legislation…The American public needs cooperation of Republicans and Democrats…”
Uh, no thanks.
6:00pm Eastern. For the last few hours, there was a lull on the floor. Sen. Harkin rose to talk about stem cell research. Kennedy railed a bit just now on the need to pass shamnesty. For the future! The American people demand it! He displayed a chart of border-crossing deaths (where’s the senator who will display the chart of deaths caused by illegal aliens?) Blawhblawhblawh. Sen. Judd Gregg pays homage to Kennedy, recaps enforcement measures that have been passed, and calls the current guest worker proposal “fundamentally undermined.” Gregg opposed the Dorgan sunset amendment.
6:22pm Eastern. Reid is going to send some amendments to the desk. “No tricks.”
SA 1492 and Dodd amendment SA 1493 to SA 1199.