DREAM Act turning into nightmare for Reid

posted at 11:36 am on December 6, 2010 by Ed Morrissey

Normally when a political leader announces a big effort to push a bill through Congress, the requisite support has already been found or is close enough to it for a public-relations push.  To fail after such an announcement makes the political leader look impotent, an outcome that when repeated enough usually results in a leadership change.  Perhaps Harry Reid should start looking over his shoulder, because the push for the DREAM Act looks ready to go down to a massive and embarrassing defeat:

The DREAM Act — a priority of Democrats in both Congress and the White House — faces a difficult future in the lame duck.

Even as Democrats in both chambers prepare to consider the measure this week, Republicans and centrist Democrats are already lining up to shoot it down.

Instead of going with earlier and less expansive versions of the bill, Reid has floated five different versions in the lame duck, all of which involve granting amnesty and legal residency status.  That is a no-go area even for sympathetic Republicans like Orrin Hatch and Kay Bailey Hutchison, who will both face challenges in the next election cycle from Tea Party activists anyway.  They’re certainly not going to back these versions of the bill in a lame-duck session while Reid ignores the upcoming tax hikes and keeps punting on the FY2011 budget, not even Hatch, who co-sponsored an original version of the bill nine years ago.

But recalcitrant Republicans are hardly his biggest problem:

A number of centrist Democrats are also promising to fight the proposal. Sen. Jon Tester (D-Mont.) voted against the measure three years ago and “is inclined to oppose the bill again,” spokesman John LaBombard wrote Friday in an e-mail.

Sen. Ben Nelson (D-Neb.), who voted in favor of the measure in 2007, says he won’t do the same this time around. His opposition, according to spokesman Jake Thompson, is twofold. First, the Senate should be focusing on jobs and the economy before it does anything else, Thompson said. And second, the provisions of the DREAM Act should be included as part of comprehensive immigration reform — an effort, he said, that shouldn’t proceed “until the borders have been secured.”

The bill does provide centrist Democrats an opportunity to oppose their leadership on immigration, which might be useful in 2012.  Perhaps that might serve a long-term purpose for Reid, but there are two problems with that strategy as well.  First, a failure after raising expectations will anger and alienate progressive Latinos who have demanded an amnesty-lite program, at least, from this administration.  After two years of total Democratic control in Washington, they will not be terribly happy to have the only fruits of their efforts in creating it be a talking point for Tester, Nelson, and Mark Pryor in their re-election bids.   Also, the sight of Democrats pressing forward on everything but jobs, taxes, and the budget will confirm and solidify the electorate’s judgment in the midterms and present a strong argument in 2012′s Senate races to oppose continued Democratic control of the upper chamber.

If anything, the lame-duck session has produced even stronger evidence that Congressional Democrats really need to rethink their leadership choices.  Neither Reid nor Nancy Pelosi have bothered to address the real concerns of the American electorate, not for the two years prior to the midterms nor in the five weeks afterward.  The DREAM Act farce is a wake-up call to voters.


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Because this is the message the voters sent during the election– we need Amnesty! (oh, and some jobs would be nice, too)

Nethicus on December 6, 2010 at 11:40 AM

Sen. Ben Nelson (D-Neb.), who voted in favor of the measure in 2007, says he won’t do the same this time around

When does good old Ben switch to Republican to save his behind?

You know it’s coming.

Knucklehead on December 6, 2010 at 11:43 AM

Either that, or it’s a negotiating tactic to stall the debate over maintaining the current tax rates, delaying enough that tax increase automatically go into effect because Reid stalled long enough for time to run out.

Skandia Recluse on December 6, 2010 at 11:43 AM

For the first time in my adult life I am embbarassed for my state. This a$$hole should have been gone.

VegasRick on December 6, 2010 at 11:43 AM

Reid knew this would never pass. But he promised to bring it up in the lame duck as a bribe to get Hispanics out to vote on Nov 2. Whether or not it passes, he’s keeping his promise.

angryed on December 6, 2010 at 11:43 AM

If anything, the lame-duck session has produced even stronger evidence that Congressional Democrats really need to rethink their leadership choices. Neither Reid nor Nancy Pelosi have bothered to address the real concerns of the American electorate, not for the two years prior to the midterms nor in the five weeks afterward.

Repealing the 17th Amendment to the US Constitution will effectively END party loyalty in the Senate. Properly amending the Constitution to place term Limits for members of Congress will effectively END power hungry dinosaurs from inflicting insane and inane laws upon the American electorate.

It is a never ending battle keeping those statists in check.

itzWicks on December 6, 2010 at 11:44 AM

Neither Reid nor Nancy Pelosi have bothered to address the real concerns of the American electorate, not for the two years prior to the midterms nor in the five weeks afterward.

Real concerns of the American electorate were never their concern to begin with.

The predetermined agenda items of their screeching interest groups, public sector unions and wingnut base were their concerns. And still are.

Good Lt on December 6, 2010 at 11:44 AM

It is almost as though Reid is trying to punish America for making him run so hard for re-election. How do unemployed construction workers in Nevada feel about the DREAM act, Harry?

VastRightWingConspirator on December 6, 2010 at 11:45 AM

Elections have become nothing more than a weather vane for the party that lost. The Dems want to kiss Latino butt to win the next one. This is all about the Latino vote to gain power and nothing to do with representing legal American citizens.

deewhybee on December 6, 2010 at 11:47 AM

If anything, the lame-duck session has produced even stronger evidence that Congressional Democrats really need to rethink their leadership choices.

I think that ship has sailed. A few more weeks and the duck is dead. Never to be revived. And they know it. We just need to beat them back until then.

rrpjr on December 6, 2010 at 11:48 AM

This was for “show” to keep the base thinking the Dem leadership cares about the issue. Fake. Move on.

SurferDoc on December 6, 2010 at 11:49 AM

Hmmm, still advertising the Dream Act with Webb’s smiling mug. Better wake up, Jim, and abandon ship. On the other hand, it’s nice having Harry around as a constant reminder of what “in-your-face” politics is like for the next two years until the ‘pubs’ take over after the 2012 debacle. Harry will bring himself in to super minority status.

Bob in VA on December 6, 2010 at 11:51 AM

Remember “Good Morning Vietnam,” when GEN Taylor told LT Hauk “You don’t know whether you’re shot, f*cked, powder-burned or snakebit?”. Every time I see a post on the Dems lame duck agenda in Congress, I think of that line. These dummies just keep tap-dancing on land mines.

CantCureStupid on December 6, 2010 at 11:59 AM

Heh, the ad directly under the article reads “Its time to pass the DREAM Act” and pictures my own Senator Voinovich.

KeepOhioRed on December 6, 2010 at 12:04 PM

The House adjourns on the 17th, and there’s no way Pelosi can keep the lame ducks there after that. This funny bit from the WSJ blog gives one reason:

While U.S. Capitol staff prepare office space for the 94 incoming House freshman, their defeated or retiring predecessors have been banished to the basement.

Outgoing members had to vacate their offices by noon today [12/1/10]. Their new homes for the rest of the lame-duck session: two chairs and cubicles in the basement of the Rayburn House Office Building.

“It’s a bit humbling,” said Tim Schlittner, spokesman for the defeated Rep. Phil Hare (D., Ill.). “I feel like Milton from ‘Office Space.’”

Mr. Schlittner was referring to the character from the 1999 comedy about cubicle culture who is banished to the basement. He said his boss has yet to visit his new digs.

Washington Wire snatched a quick peek at the suite, sandwiched between the cafeteria and the vending room, which is closed to the public. The space, last used for new member orientation, now boasts dozens of gray-walled cubicles. Members get a computer, a phone, office supplies and space for one staff member. So far, there have been no complaints, said Kyle Anderson, spokesman for Democrats on the House Administration Committee.

Rep. Paul Kanjorski, a 13-term Pennsylvania Democrat who lost to Hazleton Mayor Lou Barletta, has one secretary working the phones. His office did not respond to an immediate request for comment. No one answered calls to defeated Florida Rep. Alan Grayson, the outspoken Democrat. His voicemail box was full, a message said.

Members have space for two additional staffers in the Longworth House Office Building. The rest of Mr. Hare’s staff is working on cell phones out of their apartments.

“There’s some camaraderie,” Mr. Schlittner said. “A lot of us suffered the same fate.”

Schadenfreude.

Wethal on December 6, 2010 at 12:04 PM

I still can’t believe voters let this little weasel serve another term.

scalleywag on December 6, 2010 at 12:06 PM

Their sun is setting. It is amazing to watch as the Dems push every crazy idea now, that they could not pass before. They might try to set up a meme about the GOP, but how foolish do they look pulling this chicken crap. And Reid just looks more like the fool that he is.

EliTheBean on December 6, 2010 at 12:07 PM

Where’s narutoboy to call everyone a racist.

The Mega Independent on December 6, 2010 at 12:07 PM

Latinos figure out that the jobs being stolen by illegals and future ignorant citizens, are theirs … LOL.

Talk about dunces.

tarpon on December 6, 2010 at 12:11 PM

Hey remember the Secure Fence Act of 2006 and the promises the border will be secured, the fence built and proved secure before AMNESTY?

What a LIE that was.

tarpon on December 6, 2010 at 12:13 PM

The Tea party and anti-illegal immigration forces have won tthe battle over the immigration debate. Now we need the GOP establishment to follow through and grow a spine.

unseen on December 6, 2010 at 12:13 PM

Where’s narutoboy to call everyone a racist.

The Mega Independent on December 6, 2010 at 12:07 PM

I think he got ban-hammered…..er…for calling everybody racists…or something.

Oldnuke on December 6, 2010 at 12:15 PM

Rush is talking about current unemployment numbers being the new normal… Obama’s Hope & Change comes home to roost.
-

RalphyBoy on December 6, 2010 at 12:15 PM

Oh… I almost forgot… And the Dems are worried about the Dream of bringing more people into the citizenry… to become unemployed Dems….. Feed back of the worst kind.
-

RalphyBoy on December 6, 2010 at 12:18 PM

Either that, or it’s a negotiating tactic to stall the debate over maintaining the current tax rates, delaying enough that tax increase automatically go into effect because Reid stalled long enough for time to run out.

Skandia Recluse on December 6, 2010 at 11:43 AM

Could be this and Hopey Dopey ghas veto power over whatever bill the new congress sends! We coyuld be screwed!

If they co-sponsored or signed on before now primary them they need to be gone.

The new Dream Act also known as “Sign Here to Lose Your Job”
Bill!
Then Party like its’ 2012!

dhunter on December 6, 2010 at 12:20 PM

No one answered calls to defeated Florida Rep. Alan Grayson, the outspoken Democrat. His voicemail box was full, a message said.

Schadenfreude.
Wethal on December 6, 2010 at 12:04 PM

Could one say that voicemail boxes can “die quickly” too?

Rovin on December 6, 2010 at 12:21 PM

Reid and Pelosi had better start polishing their resumes.

GarandFan on December 6, 2010 at 12:26 PM

But Obama’s already had his lip busted trying to woo latino support. He can’t keep this up forever–Somethings got to give!

MayBee on December 6, 2010 at 12:31 PM

Harry Reid… The gift that keeps on giving…

Thanks Nevada!

/s

Khun Joe on December 6, 2010 at 12:34 PM

When does good old Ben switch to Republican to save his behind?

You know it’s coming.

Knucklehead on December 6, 2010 at 11:43 AM

That worked out so well for Specter, he should go for it. I’m sure the Republicans in Nebraska are just waiting for it…

Kafir on December 6, 2010 at 12:42 PM

What is amazingly perplexing to me is why don’t the African Americans wake up and understand that their needs are going to be secondary to the Dems kissing the illegal aliens’ asses to get future votes? They are literally relegating this existing voting block of 40 years to a “back seat” to their coveted new voting block.

karenhasfreedom on December 6, 2010 at 12:49 PM

I have always thought that some of our Politicians don’t want anybody else to acquire wealth — therefor set taxes to discourage or prevent wealth — that way they and their heirs can rule over us easier .. I.M.O.

wheels on December 6, 2010 at 12:57 PM

No means No! The imputes behind the crushing defeat the Democrats suffered at the polls.

Speakup on December 6, 2010 at 12:59 PM

It is a complete abdication of duty for the government of this country to allow our very borders to remain unsecured.

Every legal American citizen should be outraged by this.

WisCon on December 6, 2010 at 1:00 PM

While U.S. Capitol staff prepare office space for the 94 incoming House freshman, their defeated or retiring predecessors have been banished to the basement.

Boo f**ggin’ hoo.

GrannyDee on December 6, 2010 at 1:03 PM

The Tea party and anti-illegal immigration forces have won tthe battle over the immigration debate. Now we need the GOP establishment to follow through and grow a spine.

unseen on December 6, 2010 at 12:13 PM

I actually liked the general concept of Bush’s plan in 2006. You want to limit illegal immigration while not pissing off Hispanic voters, who are going to make up a massive percentage of the electorate within the next 10-20 years. The guest worker program accomplished that nicely. Most employers who hire illegal immigrants do so purely to skirt wage & hour laws, workplace safety laws, and tax obligations. Make the illegal immigrants “legal” and you take away that powerful incentive…

Outlander on December 6, 2010 at 1:05 PM

Heh, the ad directly under the article reads “Its time to pass the DREAM Act” and pictures my own Senator Voinovich.

Mine shows my Florida Senator LeMieux. Apparently, they are trying to delude us into believing our senators are for it.

VBMax on December 6, 2010 at 1:12 PM

Where’s narutoboy to call everyone a racist.
The Mega Independent on December 6, 2010 at 12:07 PM

Banned!!!

Akzed on December 6, 2010 at 1:16 PM

Harry Reid – a real life Senator Pat Geary.

Django on December 6, 2010 at 1:17 PM

I wonder when the progressives are really going to start screaming about how much of their agenda was sacrificed on the alter of health care reform. If Reid and Pelosi had not been so hell-bent on cramming that bill down the people’s throats, or even gone for a smaller version of it that would have been more popular, they might not have lost that 60th vote and they would have had the votes for the DREAM Act, some form of cap-and-trade, net neutrality, and a bunch of other stuff. Instead they got nothing, and they won’t even have health care once the new Congress and the courts get through with it.

rockmom on December 6, 2010 at 1:24 PM

What a weird Mormon this guy is. I haven’t even seen Jack Mormon’s this strange.

Hummer53 on December 6, 2010 at 1:28 PM

The bill does provide centrist Democrats an opportunity to oppose their leadership on immigration, which might be useful in 2012.

This is not about immigration. This is about illegal immigration. I know the MFM is pushing that conservatives are anti-immigration. It’s what they do; I’m not sure why EM is now saying that. We are against illegal immigration — you know, breaking the law.

rmgraha on December 6, 2010 at 1:38 PM

When does good old Ben switch to Republican to save his behind?

You know it’s coming.

Knucklehead on December 6, 2010 at 11:43 AM

It won’t do him any good. We have long memories here, he foisted 0bamacare on us, and left our state in an unfavorable light. We don’t much care for the spotlight being on us the way Judas turned it on. Plus, he would just be a RINO.

.
.
.
.
Please send Jon Bruning $$$$$$$$$$

OmahaConservative on December 6, 2010 at 1:39 PM

Why don’t we start demanding amnesty and open borders for illegals in Mexico? Every time they pipe up with their idiocy, say, “not until my illegal amigos in Mexico get amnesty too!”

scotash on December 6, 2010 at 1:47 PM

This is not about immigration. This is about illegal immigration.

rmgraha on December 6, 2010 at 1:38 PM

Agreed. Dems have done a great job of using false language that helps form the debate – like your example and labeling anyone who makes more than $250k a millionaire. And the MSM laps it up.

LASue on December 6, 2010 at 2:05 PM

I want someone to tell me if nanci pelolsi has vacated her office yet? She no longer gets the leader of the house office – Boehner gets that one. Any pictures of her standing in the basement on the phone? There must be some out there.

Bambi on December 6, 2010 at 3:14 PM

Where’s narutoboy to call everyone a racist.

Deported, I hope!

College Prof on December 6, 2010 at 3:48 PM

I want someone to tell me if nanci pelolsi has vacated her office yet? She no longer gets the leader of the house office – Boehner gets that one. Any pictures of her standing in the basement on the phone? There must be some out there.

There was an article about that right after the election. She still gets a decent office, but her perks and staff space are cut considerably. Remember, she got re-elected (barf), but will no longer be Speaker (thank God).

College Prof on December 6, 2010 at 3:50 PM

What is amazingly perplexing to me is why don’t the African Americans wake up and understand that their needs are going to be secondary to the Dems kissing the illegal aliens’ asses to get future votes?

karenhasfreedom

Stockholm Syndrome

I actually liked the general concept of Bush’s plan in 2006. You want to limit illegal immigration while not pissing off Hispanic voters, who are going to make up a massive percentage of the electorate within the next 10-20 years. The guest worker program accomplished that nicely.

Outlander

Yeah, sure it does. Because of Reagan’s amnesty plan, Hispanics vote overwhelmingly for Republicans today, don’t they?

xblade on December 6, 2010 at 3:51 PM

Yeah, sure it does. Because of Reagan’s amnesty plan, Hispanics vote overwhelmingly for Republicans today, don’t they?

Hey it worked with the Civil Rights Act – that’s why blacks vote so strongly for Republicans, right?

Over50 on December 6, 2010 at 5:57 PM

13 days of mischief to watch out for in the house.19 or 21 days in the senate.Maybe this bunch will yammer or just go home. Tax bill done with unemployment rider then hang it up.

Col.John Wm. Reed on December 6, 2010 at 8:06 PM

Sorry, but HOW could you jackasses in Nevada re-elect this asshat!?!

I’ve never been to Vegas, but now I’ll never go because you friggin people continually inflict this moron on the country. You don’t deserve my time or money.

Sponge on December 7, 2010 at 10:40 AM