He’s got the votes for cloture, according to Republican sources.
Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid will approve a new deal on immigration on Thursday and move to bring the once-dead legislation back to the Senate floor next week, Democratic sources told FOX News…
Based on the latest updates on the policy and amendments, Reid will approve the compromise and move late Thursday to put the bill back on the calendar for Senate consideration in the middle of next week…
The principal change to the bipartisan immigration compromise that Reid shelved last week is the addition of $4.4 billion in added border security spending. That money will be added to the base bill to return to the floor. Any other changes to the immigration bill will have to be made through the amendment process…
With the GOP votes in hand and a finite list of amendments to be offered by 11 Democratic and 11 Republican senators, Democratic sources said Reid is now determined to see whether the legislation can survive the amendment process intact. If it does, the Senate could vote on final passage of the bill by next Friday, Democratic sources said.
GOP sources tell FOX News that the new bill has enough support from Republicans for Reid to prevail on a procedural vote to get the bill to final passage.
So obnoxious is this bill that they’ve actually engineered two separate layers of excuses to get fence-sitters to vote for it. The first is the $4.4 billion band-aid, which Kaus accurately described the other day as “a transparent ploy to give these [fence-sitting] senators pro-enforcement cover so they can vote for the bill.” They won’t agree to results-based triggers because they already know the enforcement measures won’t get results; that’s how “pro-enforcement” they are. But they will happily agree to outlays so that next year, when the papers inevitably report that illegal immigration is down only negligibly, they can look surprised and act indignant. The second excuse is the procedural sleight of hand here, as John Hawkins explained this morning:
[T]he cloture vote to end debate will be the “real” vote on the bill because if debate is closed off, the bill is sure to pass. Then, what will happen is that the votes for the bill will be counted, and a few Senators who are afraid that their election prospects will be jeopardized by a “yes” vote, will be allowed to vote against the bill. This enables those Senators to tell their constituents that they voted against the bill, but it will still allow them to collect campaign contributions from lobbyists who have a better understanding of how things work, and know that the bill couldn’t have been passed without their support. Put another way, they get to reap the rewards of supporting amnesty while telling the voters in their home states that they opposed the bill.
You need 60 votes for cloture (i.e., to end debate) but a simple majority to pass it. So the fence-sitters will vote yes on the first and no on the second, knowing that even without them the amnesty wing will still have 51 votes to push it through. Egregiously, transparently shabby, and as insulting in its own way as Linda Chavez or Michael Chertoff impugning people’s motives. Like the boss said, they really do think we’re stupid.
Update: Noam Askew names the 10 senators most likely to switch their cloture votes from no to yes once the bill is reintroduced. That would make it 55-40. The amnesty wing would need five more besides.