Postponed: Senate approves measure tabling DREAM Act, 59-40

That doesn’t mean it’s dead, just … resting until the tax cuts deal is done. That will free fencesitting Republicans from their pledge not to vote yes on any bill before taxes are dealt with, which Reid hopes will put him over the top when the House version of DREAM is taken up instead later this month:

Senate Democrats conceded Thursday they don’t have the votes to pass the DREAM Act, a bill that would have offered a path to citizenship for some illegal immigrants who entered the United States as children…

While supporters say the measure that passed the House on Wednesday could still come up, each passing day reduces the likelihood for introducing and debating the act as legislative leaders battle over priorities in the waning days of the session.

Says the boss emeritus, this means “another week of open-borders agitation, radical ethnic triablism, and new Democrat euphemisms for illegal aliens.” One thing I don’t understand: If the GOP is unified (or almost unified) in opposing the bill, why didn’t they all vote no on this latest measure, which would have forced Reid to proceed so that they could kill it? Five Republicans voted yes: Corker, Crapo, Murkowski, Risch and Vitter. (Four Democrats — Feingold, Menendez(!), Merkley, and Pryor — voted no.) Murkowski is iffy on DREAM and allegedly is leaning towards yes this time, but the other four GOPers have all voted no on previous iterations of the bill. Are they … switching now? Sure doesn’t sound like it in Vitter’s case, at least. If so, after today’s 59-40 vote, Reid’s a lot closer to passage than I thought he’d be.

Maybe Crapo, Risch et al. voted to table on the theory that this would actually kill the bill off since it’s an open question (especially after today’s tax deal drama) whether there’ll be any time to get back to DREAM before the lame duck ends. By the same token, Menendez might have voted against tabling because he recognized this was his last, albeit poor, shot to pass the thing. While we wait for some clarity, enjoy this clip of Beck going berserk over Pelosi’s floor speech on DREAM last night. Exit question: Is Newt Gingrich actually pro-DREAM? That primary campaign of his sure will be interesting. Click the image to watch.

Update: The takeaway here via Kaus: Reid would only seek to delay the vote if he really, truly wanted to pass DREAM. This isn’t the usual “bring it to the floor and let it get shot down” symbolic gesture aimed at Latino voters. He means business.