Friday, June 29, 2007

Immigration Bill Dead - A "Stake Through The Heart"

Bush Suffers Major Policy Defeat

How humiliating is it to be President Bush?

Very. Very, very.

And so it's over. The Senate votes are in and the Bush-pushed Immigration bill, that would have given unofficial amnesty to more than 12 million illegal immigrants, plus his plans to resurrect it by a positive vote on further debate in the Senate, have all been defeated.

The early talk is there is no hope of it being resurrected any time soon, and the 'amnesty' plan is unlikely to see the light of day on Capitol Hill again until well after the next president sets up shop in the West Wing.

From Raw Story :
The bill had represented one of President George W. Bush's last, best hopes for a signature second-term domestic achievement, and its failure will come as another painful blow to a White House besieged with political woes.
Bush is not just a lame duck president now, he is Peking - roasted and toasted.

From the Associated Press :
The Senate drove a stake Thursday through President Bush's plan to legalize millions of unlawful immigrants...

After the stinging political setback, Bush sounded resigned to defeat.

"Legal immigration is one of the top concerns of the American people, and Congress' failure to act on it is a disappointment," he said after an appearance in Newport, R.I. "A lot of us worked hard to see if we couldn't find common ground. It didn't work."

The bill's Senate supporters fell 14 votes short of the 60 needed to limit debate and clear the way for final passage of the legislation, which critics assailed as offering amnesty to illegal immigrants. The vote was 46 to 53 in favor of limiting the debate.

Some senators in both parties said the issue is so volatile that Congress is unlikely to revisit it this fall or next year, when the presidential election will increasingly dominate American politics.

Bush appeared glum as he spoke. His negotiators had expressed optimism the vote would go their way - or, at least be closer.

"Congress really needs to prove to the American people that it can come together on hard issues," Bush said. He turned attention to other his other goals in Congress this year, including energy, health care and balanced-budget initiatives.

Last year a similar immigration effort collapsed in Congress, and the House has not bothered with an immigration bill this year, awaiting Senate action.

It was a victory for Republican conservatives who strongly criticized the bill's provisions that would have established pathways to lawful status for many of the estimated 12 million illegal immigrants. They were aided by talk radio and TV hosts who repeatedly attacked the bill and urged listeners to flood Congress with calls, faxes and e-mails.

Bush, making a last-ditch bid to salvage the bill, called senators early Thursday morning to urge their support. Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff and Commerce Secretary Carlos Gutierrez approached senators as they entered and left the chamber shortly before the vote.

But conservatives from Bush's own party led the opposition. They repeatedly said the government must secure the borders before allowing millions of illegal aliens a path to legal status.

Update : American democracy in action. So many Americans called their senators on Capitol Hill in opposition to further debate on the immigration bill, that the volume of calls crashed the entire phone system, according to a Senator speaking on the floor. Wow. Here's how USA Today reported the news :
We're having trouble confirming this report because we keep getting a busy signal when we call the switchboard and other offices at the Capitol.

Michelle Malkin, Queen Of The Conservatives, Declares Victory

Amnesty : The Plan To Destroy The USA