Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid said he wanted to close debate on the bill by this week's end despite Republicans' objections, which could doom the fragile compromise legislation that backers say would help fix a broken immigration system through which millions of illegal immigrants have slipped into the United States.Again, this NEEDS to be debated. If it is a good bill, it can wait a week or two before it is voted on and the ammendment process is finished. Debate the bill on its merits, and stop trying to ram it through as speedily as possible.
Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell of Kentucky said his fellow Republicans had a number of amendments they wanted considered before voting on the bill.
But Reid, a Nevada Democrat, said Republicans were stalling.
"What we have heard today are buzzwords for 'this bill is going nowhere,'" Reid said in a Senate floor exchange with McConnell.
Reid said he planned to set a Senate vote for Thursday on his motion to limit debate, and it was unclear with Republican objections that it would garner the 60 votes needed in the 100-member chamber to advance the bill toward passage.
Sen. Jon Kyl, an Arizona Republican who helped broker the bill, said cutting off debate "would be a big mistake" that could "risk the bill not passing at all."
It appears that Kyl is getting softer in support of the bill. He will not support the addition of just about any of the Democratic-sponsored resolutions, but he wishes them debated and voted on. This is a shrewd move and I hope that any Kyl critics out there will give him credit for it. If they aren't defeated by senate vote, they could easily be added in the conference committee. And should any of the bad amendments pass, the deal is off, by Kyl's earlier admissions. That should prove to be a headache for Reid, as he must now pressure Democrats to make sure the Democratic amendments are defeated.
Personally, in the end, I don't think he can do it, which is why he had hoped to limit debate.