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Senate Republicans succeeded in blocking the DREAM Act from moving to a vote as part of the popular Defense Authorization Bill today. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) needed 60 votes to clear today’s procedural hurdle.
From Daily Kos’ Joan McCarter:
Why does John McCain hate our troops and immigrant children? He succeeded in his filibuster of the defense authorization… This first cloture vote (as David calls it, the vote “to decide whether or not to end debate on the question of whether or not to begin debate on the the defense bill”) failed….Blanche Lincoln voted with Republicans, as did her Arkansas colleague Mark Pryor. The final vote was 56-43, with Reid also voting no so that he can bring the bill back up. Lisa Murkowski did not vote…. Passing DREAM and DADT would be far too popular for the Democrats leading into November, and there’s no way Republicans–including Collins and Snowe–are going to let that happen. So this fight is being pushed off to the lame duck session.
UPDATE – 3:05 p.m.: Senate Republicans, led by John McCain (R-Ariz.), have blocked the Senate from considering the defense authorization bill Tuesday afternoon. By blocking the bill from moving to the Senate floor, Republicans accomplish the objective of stalling the repeal of the military’s “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” policy and blocking the Senate from considering the DREAM Act, which would give young, undocumented immigrants a pathway to citizenship if they enlist in the military or enroll in college.
Today was a roller coaster of emotions for the dozens of young people who descended on DC to push the DREAM Act forward, as well as the hundreds of thousands who would be affected by DREAM across the country. Speaking on the Senate floor after the vote, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) stated that the Senate will indeed vote on the DREAM Act — that it’s not a matter of “if,” but “when.”
Earlier today Senator Durbin had a clear message for these leaders: “Don’t you give up… keep fighting.” Watch it:
Via NBC Chicago, Senator Dick Durbin expressed his deep disappointment at the Senate’s failure to move forward:
“Where is the justice in this decision? At least have the courage to let us bring this matter to the floor and stand up and vote ‘No.’ But to hide behind this procedural ruse — this unanimous consent request — is totally unfair,” he said from the floor of the Senate.
Sen. Durbin concluded his remarks after today’s vote by proclaiming that the DREAM Act is his “highest priority.”
Here is a statement from Frank Sharry, Executive Director of America’s Voice:
“The best and the brightest of our nation’s immigrant community – who want to go to college and serve in our military – just had the door slammed in their face by the GOP. The fight will continue, but today marks a new low for a party that claims to be the party of opportunity and freedom. Evidently, talented young immigrants are not included in their country club view of who deserves opportunity and freedom.”