Comment: DREAM Deferred 56 To 43 - The Defense Authorization Bill failed its first cloture vote by 56 for to 43 against (with 60 votes needed for victory, and Republican Senator Murkowski of Alaska absent). The Democratic Judases were Senators Pryor and Lincoln of Arkansas (Senator Reid voted against, only to preserve his procedural right to recall the legislation to the floor in this Congress). Clearly, Senator Reid and President Obama were not sufficiently convincing (so far) in their efforts with the two Democratic Senators from Arkansas. On the other hand, many other fence-sitting Democratic Senators took a firm stance today, which is a good sign. It is likely that Senator Reid will bring this bill back for another cloture vote soon. The reason is as follows. The three Democratic constituencies that have been railroaded throughout the 111th Congress by the Democratic leadership have been the LGBT community (who have not gotten a repeal of DADT), the immigrant community (who have gotten nothing but increased deportations) and the Unions (who have not gotten card check). Since Unions have also strongly been in favor of immigration legislation (needed to bolster their membership), it is not surprising that, faced with the specter of imminent defeat about 6 weeks from today, the Democratic leadership attempted to win on both issues – DADT and DREAM - today.
It is highly unlikely that any one of these three core Democratic constituencies will be mollified by this token effort by the Democratic leadership. At a minimum, another cloture vote is necessary with Senators Pryor and Lincoln voting YES along with all of their Democratic colleagues. Furthermore, President Obama and Majority Leader Reid need to make such deals as are necessary to break the filibuster. After nearly two years of total and complete inaction on the issues that matter to LGBT, immigrants and unions, the fact that we are now at the absolute 11th hour is completely the decision of the Democratic leadership for which they can and will be held accountable in November. It is not possible for Democrats about to lose their seats to a huge Republican wave to argue with a straight face to their core constituents that they should continue to vote a Democratic ticket no matter how many times they are thrown under the bus. In particular, we expect the LGBT community to hold the Democratic leadership accountable and make Democrats pay at the ballot booth (the immigrant community will join in on making Democrats pay the price for failure).
We once again repeat – it is unfair to blame the Republicans for doing what all opposition parties always do, which is to oppose the majority party. The current Democratic leadership repeatedly took cold, calculated, cynical, decisions throughout 2009 and 2010 to throw key Democratic concerns out the window in favor of their favored bills (the health bill and the climate bill). In particular, President Obama broke his solemn campaign promise to do something on immigration in his first year in office. To add insult to injury, Mr. Obama’s underlings at DHS are on a huge deportation spree, breaking more than a thousand immigrant families each day (which they proudly boast about). With near-super-majorities, the current Democratic leadership has no excuses and no one else to blame.
We congratulate our readers for their valiant phone call efforts to convince Senators about the importance of including DREAM. Thanks to you (and to the great efforts by DailyKos/SEIU), for the first time in the history of Congressional phone campaigns on immigration bills, the pro-side defeated the anti-side in the number of phone calls made on Monday and Tuesday. We may have to repeat the performance as soon as Mr. Reid schedules the next cloture vote, stay tuned.
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Headline: Senator Pryor (D-Arkansas) also defected on DREAM
Headline: Lincoln (D-Arkansas) defected on DREAM
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Headline: Senator Reid votes NO, so he can bring DREAM back to the floor as early as today
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Headline: If party line votes continue we are looking at 59-40 on DREAM (Murkowski is not present)
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