Democrats Prevent Votes To Allude Amnesty

7 04 2006

Working late into the night, Thursday, Senators could not get the illegal alien amnesty bill passed. So it has been shelved until after the recess and an earful from constituents.

Via NY Times:

The late-night battle burst into the open many hours after Senate leaders had resolved their substantive differences over the thorny question of legalization. Conservatives, who condemned the compromise as little more than amnesty for lawbreakers, sought to offer amendments to the bill. But Democrats refused to allow votes on the amendments, saying they were intended to delay the process and gut the legislation.

Both sides said that without a quick resolution of the differences they would not have a vote on the final legislation before Congress leaves for its spring recess after today., This raised the possibility that the compromise might unravel as it is exposed to intense political scrutiny during the two-week Congressional break.

I think so! It’s already begun.

Conservatives, who condemned the compromise as little more than amnesty for lawbreakers, sought to offer amendments to the bill. But Democrats refused to allow votes on the amendments, saying they were intended to delay the process and gut the legislation.

Senator Bill Frist posts today:

This morning Democrat obstruction dealt a serious blow to America’s border security and to America’s national security.

Several weeks ago, I introduced an “enforcement first” border security bill – the Secure America’s Borders Act – that would have greatly increased the number of border security agents, that would have built physical barriers in high traffic areas and utilized remote sensors and UAVs elsewhere, that would have provided for real workplace enforcement.

But I knew that 44 Democrat Senators would use every means at their disposal to obstruct an “enforcement first” approach. And I recognized that we must deal with the 11-12 million illegal immigrants currently living in America today.

So I helped broker an agreement that would have coupled the strong border security and interior enforcement provisions of my Secure America’s Borders Act with a temporary worker plan that gave those immigrants who’ve been here for longer than five years the opportunity to gain legal status – but only by beginning at the end of the line, behind those millions around the world who want to come to America honestly and legally. And only if they kept a job, learned English and American history, passed a national security and criminal background check, and paid a fine and back taxes. Those who had been here less than five years would have been required to leave the country, with only some allowed back in.

Yet Democrats led by Harry Reid and provoked by the far left of their party decided to cripple this compromise legislation by refusing to allow us to vote on several crucial amendments – amendments that would have greatly strengthened the border security and enforcement provisions of the compromise bill. Over 300 amendments had been filed and the Democrats refused to let the Senate vote on virtually any of them.

So while it appeared that we might be caving, Sen. Frist still feels pretty strongly about getting some additional amendments in this bill but couldn’t garner enough support.

There seemed to be just enough Republicans willing to vote for a compromise (amnesty), but after they were riddled in the blogosphere and radio shows yesterday, they decided not to follow the Pied Piper into the sunset. And once the bill wasn’t going to pass, most of the Republicans voted to block it.

After the recess, April 10’s rallies, and a good scolding, the Senate will have an even tougher road to an amnesty bill.

John Hawkins says it right, “Cross your fingers, folks, because the GOP in the Senate may have just stepped back from the brink of electoral suicide in November.”

Michelle Malkin reminds us that, “On Monday, April 10, the anti-borders crowd is coming out of the shadows again to pressure spine-challenged Beltway pols to pass the sellout plan.”

American Family Association has an online poll to oppose the amnesty plan.

Also see: La Shawn Barber, Instapundit, Wizbang, Stop The ACLU, Sister Toldjah

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