Even Liberals Know Harry Reid & Dems Blocked Immigrant Bill
President Bush blasted Democratic Minority Leader Harry Reid for ruining a compromise on immigration legislation and playing politics with immigration in his weekly radio address today.
Harry Reid, of course, later blamed Bush and Republicans for failure to pass the immigration reform bill this week:
“In a week when President Bush was unable to convince House Republicans to pass his budget, was unable to convince Senate Republicans to pass immigration reform, and was caught misleading the American people about national security matters yet again, it’s no surprise that he would take a page from the Karl Rove playbook and blame Democrats to distract from his own troubles. The fact is, President Bush and Senator Frist are flat out wrong about what happened to the immigration bill. Democrats are committed to comprehensive, bipartisan immigration reform. That’s why we voted twice last week in favor of it. It was President Bush and Republicans in Congress who lacked the backbone to stand up to the extreme right-wing of their party, filibustered reform twice in two days, and put partisan politics ahead of border security and immigration reform.”
Here are the votes taken on Immigration Reform from yesterday after agreements and promises were made the day before in the US Senate:
Friday, April 7, 2006, Vote on 00090 S.2454 A bill to amend the Immigration and Nationality Act to provide for comprehensive reform and for other purposes.
Not Voting 2
34/54 – Republicans in favor of border security alone.
2/43 – Democrats in favor of border security alone.
Friday, April 7, 2006, Vote on 00089 S.2454 A bill to amend the Immigration and Nationality Act to provide for comprehensive reform and for other purposes.
Not Voting 2
Again Polipundit breaks down this vote:
37/43 – Democrats in favor of the alleged “compromise” including that weak guest worker mandate.
0/54 – Republicans in favor.
Even the AP reportedyesterday that it was the democrats who are playing politics with the immigration reform:
The Democratic leader has prevented votes on all but a few non-controversial amendments since debate began on the bill more than a week ago…
…In private as well as public, Reid and Sen. Charles Schumer (news, bio, voting record) of New York, who heads the party’s campaign effort, said they did not want to expose rank-and-file Democrats to votes that would force them to choose between border security and immigrant rights, only to wind up with legislation that would be eviscerated in future negotiations with the House.
Outside the Senate, several Democratic strategists concluded that the best politics was to allow the bill to die, leaving Republicans with a failed initiative in the Senate at a time when the GOP in the House had passed a measure making illegal immigrants subject to felony charges.
Senator Frist had this to say about the Democratic tactics to block immigration legislation:
Yet Democrats led by Harry Reid and provoked by the far left of their party decided to cripple this compromise legislation by refusing to allow us to vote on several crucial amendments – amendments that would have greatly strengthened the border security and enforcement provisions of the compromise bill. Over 300 amendments had been filed and the Democrats refused to let the Senate vote on virtually any of them. Here are a few of those amendments on which the Democrats blocked a vote:
* An amendment by Senators Kyl and Cornyn, which would have prevented illegal immigrants who had been convicted of felonies such as burglary; involuntary manslaughter; and assault and battery from getting green cards
* An amendment by Senator Isakson, which would have prevented the creation of any new temporary worker program until the Secretary of the Department of Homeland Security certified that our border is secure
* An amendment by Senator Dorgan, which would have made the temporary worker program truly temporary by refusing to provide green cards to future temporary workers
* An amendment by Senator Ensign, which would have allowed the National Guard to help secure the border
And, get this… Even the liberal Nation puts blame on Reid and the Democrats for not getting the legislation passed:
The perhaps fatal collapse Friday of a Senate compromise on sweeping and liberalized immigration reform was, in itself, not totally unpredictable.
What might astound some, however, is what appears to be the ignominious role in the snafu played by none other than the Democratic Minority Leader Harry Reid.
Even though a bi-partisan, majority coalition of 63 Senators had rather miraculously agreed on a compromise measure which would have been a significant step forward in much-needed reform, a final vote was scuttled at the last moment — most likely killing off reform for the foreseeable future.
The non-partisan but Democrat-friendly National Immigration Forum was bitterly blunt in spelling out the reasons why:
There’s plenty of blame to go around. The White House could have played a stronger role, and the Majority Leader could have been more insistent on reigning in the hawks in his party seemingly intent on delaying or derailing the process. But in the end, we cannot escape the conclusion that the Democratic Senate leadership was more interested in keeping the immigration issue alive in the run up to mid-terms than in enacting immigration reform legislation.
Emphasis, The Nation.
But, now the Democrats can blame the mean Republicans, like Hillary did in the name of Jesus, for an immigration plan that passed in the House of representatives that would make it a felony to help illegal immigrants in the country.