I’m shocked. Reid has been threatening for days to end debate on the bill in order to limit the number of potential killer amendments the GOP might foist on it. The worry was that he’d force a cloture vote and would have the 60 votes needed to beat a filibuster. As it turns out, there were in fact 60 votes — the other way. What happened? I’m guessing some of the bill’s supporters are nervous about bringing it up for a final vote before the killer Dorgan amendment has itself been killed, so they want to continue the debate for the time being. (Specter hinted as much earlier today.)
Reid promised earlier this week to shelve the bill entirely if the cloture motion failed, as it now has. He’s already reneged on that and scheduled a re-vote this afternoon at 5 p.m. But why? According to MM, all 48 Republicans (plus 15 Democrats) voted against the measure. Even if Reid flips his 15, he still can’t beat the GOP filibuster. So he’s lining himself up for a second humiliation, unless I’m missing something. Which, in this case, I very well may be.
Stand by for the roll. Exit question: If he crashes and burns again tonight, does Reid have no choice but to euthanize this sucker?
Update: Here’s the roll. No votes include 48 Republicans, a smattering of Blue Dogs, and Harry Reid himself (who had to vote no to preserve his right to call for a reconsideration later).
Update: Politico notes that Reid himself voted for the killer Dorgan amendment last night. Is Reid trying to get the bill passed with a sunset provision on the anti-labor guest worker program, or is he trying to get the bill killed so that he can revisit this subject in a few years when he’s got a bigger majority in the Senate? If the latter, why not just shelve the thing now? (Possible answer: Because then blame for the bill’s failure falls squarely in the Democrats’ lap. Forcing the Republicans’ to filibuster it makes it more of a shared failure.)
Update: The Times expects euthanasia if the 5 p.m. cloture vote fails. I guess this is Reid playing chicken with Mitch McConnell, Jon Kyl, and the other Republicans who support the bill: either they switch their vote tonight or they get jack. Are the amnesty shills at Time too late?