Wednesday, September 22, 2010

One more vote was needed for the DREAM Act

The Dream Act Is Dead, at Least for Now

...Tuesday's vote was the latest setback for the Dream Act, which enjoys bipartisan support but has never made it through both chambers of Congress. The last time the bill was on the Senate floor, in 2007, 12 Republicans crossed the aisle to support the measure, and eight conservative Democrats broke rank to oppose it.

This time around, Democrats needed only one Republican vote to marshall the 60 votes necessary to take up the defense bill without threat of filibuster. Their hopes were pinned on Sen. Susan Collins of Maine, who voted for the defense bill in the Armed Services Committee and was the only Republican who supported repealing "don't ask, don't tell." But Senator Collins ultimately voted with her party, saying she was concerned that Democratic leaders would limit Republican amendments. In the end, three Democrats—Sens. Blanche Lincoln, Mark Pryor, and Harry Reid, the majority leader—also voted against the bill. (Mr. Reid's vote was a procedural move that will allow him to bring up the bill for another vote.)

The bill's failure came as a disappointment to Senator Reid, a Nevada Democrat who is locked in a tough re-election battle and needs the support of Hispanic voters. Sen. Reid promised Nevada voters that he would make immigration reform a priority this year and had presented the Dream Act as a down payment on a broader overhaul. After Tuesday's vote, he promised that the Senate will "vote on the Dream Act. It's only a matter of when."

thanks to M.Z. for sending this along

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