The Senate has now begun voting on what Harry Reid threatened would be the final cloture vote for the immigration reform bill. So far, while the counting still has taken place, I have counted 32 votes against cloture. Opponents of the bill only need nine more to defeat the bill altogether, and they have a few Democrats among them.
NOTE: They have added four more, all Democrats. This seems to be the end of the compromise.
7:40 - Michelle Malkin is also live-blogging this, and I've heard four more against. All they need is one more, and I think they'llhave it shortly.
7:43 - As I count it, Rockefeller's No pushed it over the edge, but Landrieu and McCaskill presented some insurance. If no one changes their vote -- and they still can -- the bill is toast.
7:44 - Jon Kyl voted against cloture. So did Bingaman.
7:46 - Trent Lott voted against cloture -- after that scolding he delivered and that Hugh Hewitt captured so well? You think he heard from a few constituents on that one?
7:57 - Down in flames. The bill's sponsors could only get 45 votes for cloture, and 50 against.
7:59 - Harry Reid's blaming the collapse on Republican objections on votes for amendments. "Small groups shouldn't dictate what goes on around here." The bill is now off the floor, but Reid wants to bring it back later in the "next several weeks". Ten Democrats voted against cloture, but it's still the fault of the GOP.
8:03 - More Reid, as he moans about a high-school senior who claimed she couldn't go to college because her parents were illegal. Huh? She could have gone -- but she couldn't get tax subsidies. In other words, she couldn't qualify for her tuition to be paid by you and me. I'm in favor of normalization after the borders are secured, but we don't need to add more entitlements on top of what we already have.
Maybe now, Congress will do something serious. Secure the border, in part by building the fence Congress authorized and funded last year. Fix the visa program so that people can be properly tracked, as Congress demanded be done by 2005. Bolster the Border Patrol so that they can get the job done. When Congress has done that and rebuilt some of the credibility that they have tossed away over the last 21 years, then let's talk about normalization in a rational manner, and without adding entitlement programs like the DREAM Act.
8:20 - Last update, I think. Harry Reid talked about how he gave the bill lots and lots of time, but the Republicans wanted too many amendments and too much time from the busy legislative schedule.
Hmm. Funny about that. Isn't this the same Democratic leadership that took 108 days just to pass a spending bill for our troops in Iraq? How many weeks is that? I'll help -- over 15 weeks. That's 7 times longer than Reid wanted to give a historic overhaul of our immigration system.