Wednesday, April 05, 2006

Thursday 4/6 is the big day!

Apparently efforts to find a "third way" compromise bill (Martinez' "magic formula") failed last night.

Yesterday Senator Reid of Nevada filed for 'cloture' on the Judiciary Committee bill. That means that he wants to see where the bill is at right now and sort of hold a referendum on it.

So on Thursday 4/6, if there are 60 votes in favor of the Judiciary Committee bill, the Senate will move quickly to vote on it on the floor. If there aren't 60 votes (which many DC advocates predict), everything falls apart and they go back to committee to try to work out some sort of compromise.

Bill Frist's enforcement bill, that has already been introduced, is out there hanging because no one thinks there are 60 votes to get 'cloture'. But Frist is threatening to add the provisions as a rider to a "must-pass" appropriations bill in the fall (the same way that the REAL ID Act passed).

Also tomorrow, there could be discussion about the more than 120 amendments filed to either ameliorate or toughen the Senate legislation. To get an amendment added, they need consent from both parties. There are some really scary amendments and Republicans are complaining that Democrats are holding up this process.

Among these amendments is the Lieberman-Brownback bill pertaining to asylum seekers (see earlier post). A vote on whether to add this bill will happen tomorrow (Thursday), so advocates are asking folks to call their Senators to support it. There is a chance it could be voted on and passed separately from any bill (which would be the best case scenario).

The Senate is going on vacation from this Saturday April 8 and won't be back until Monday April 24 (when the united family visits come to DC. See

[A big thanks to Keri Sherlock of the Rights Working Group in helping us sort through these complicated procedures!]