Wednesday, June 27, 2007

Johnny, Saxby, y Inmigración

My understanding is that passage of the Senate’s version of immigration “reform,” S. 1619, will be a three-stage process. The first, yesterday’s cloture vote, passed by a margin of 64-35. That vote limited debate to the amendments already submitted (a.k.a. the “clay pigeon”), closing the bill to additional amendments. The second part will be another cloture vote tomorrow that would send the bill to the Senate floor for an up-or-down vote. The third part would be the up-or-down vote on the bill itself. Part two is the most important; if the bill gets the 60 votes needed for cloture, it is all but certain to pass the Senate by a simple majority vote. Of course, then the Senate version must be reconciled with whatever bill emerges from the House of Representatives

Today, the “clay pigeon” has been broken into its constituent amendments for the consideration of each in turn. Both of Georgia’s senators has an amendment to be taken up, Johnny Isakson’s about Home Depot day labor shelter preemption (S.A.1282) and Saxby Chambliss’ about Social Security Trust Fund “totalization” (S.A. 1318 – not that the Trust Fund actually exists in any meaningful sense).

Back in May, both Isakson and Chambliss addressed the Georgia Republican Party convention at the Gwinnett Center, and heard loud and clear that the party faithful were none too happy with the Senate bill as it then stood. A couple of weeks later they moved back toward the GOP base somewhat by modifying their support for immigration “reform” and sending a joint letter to President Bush urging a supplemental spending bill to fund beefed-up border security as a part of any consideration of the immigration issue. Both voted against yesterday’s cloture.

And on another subject, the FairTax town hall meeting scheduled for Monday, 09 July, at the Classic Center has been canceled.

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