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Senate Democrats Give DREAM Act New Life

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Move gives DREAM Act supporters a better chance to win in the Senate next week

Washington – In a bold move, this morning Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid made it possible for the DREAM Act to have a real chance to garner the sixty votes needed for passage. Faced with lock-step Republican opposition to bringing up any measures until tax cuts and government funding are dealt with, today’s scheduled cloture vote on the motion to proceed would have almost certainly failed in the Senate.  This would have prevented the DREAM Act from passing into law this year.  But after a historic, bipartisan House vote last night, Reid and other Senate Democratic leaders made the key decision to table the Senate version of DREAM – a move which gives DREAM supporters more time to round up votes and strips away the stated Republican process objections.  The Senate could bring up the House-approved DREAM Act next week.

According to Frank Sharry, Executive Director of America’s Voice, “Majority Leader Reid and Senator Durbin have given the DREAM Act a real chance to get across the finish line this year.  This move gives supporters time to build on the momentum generated by last night’s victory in the House.  What’s needed now is for Republicans to stop the excuses, come to the table and work with Democrats to craft a bill that can win sixty votes.  We need a bipartisan breakthrough, and we need it soon.”

The DREAM Act has traditionally been a bipartisan measure that has attracted significant Republican support.  In 2007 eleven Republican Senators voted for the DREAM Act, and seven of them are still in office: Lugar, Bennett, Brownback, Hutchison, Snowe, Collins, and Hatch.  In 2003, Republican Senators Kyl, Grassley, and Cornyn voted for the measure in the Senate Judiciary Committee.  Last night, eight Republican representatives voted for the bill.  What’s needed in the Senate is for Republicans to shift from posturing on process to negotiating a bill that can pass next week. 

America’s Voice — Harnessing the power of American voices and American values to win common sense immigration reform.