WASHINGTON, June 7 ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â‚¬?The sweeping immigration overhaul endorsed by President Bush crumbled in the Senate on Thursday night, leaving the future of one of the administrationÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢s chief domestic priorities in serious doubt.
After a day of tension and fruitless maneuvering, senators rejected a Democratic call to move toward a final vote on the compromise legislation after Republicans complained that they had not been given enough opportunity to reshape the sprawling bill. Supporters of cutting off debate got only 45 of the 60 votes they needed; 50 senators opposed the cutoff.
And it seems like Bush doesn’t care that much…
The collapse of the measure came as Mr. Bush was in Europe for an international economic summit, and it was not immediately clear how hard he would fight to resurrect the bill upon his return next week.
Scott Stanzel, a White House spokesman, said the White House still held hope that a bill could be passed.
ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã…â€œWe are encouraged that the leadership of both parties in the United States Senate indicated that they would bring this legislation back up for consideration,ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã‚? Mr. Stanzel said. ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã…â€œAnd we will continue to work with members of the United States Senate to make sure this process moves forward.ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã‚?
But is McCain in as much trouble as people are saying? Public opinion polls suggest maybe not…
Public opinion suggests an electorate open to, but by no means wildly enthusiastic about, comprehensive change that provides the 12 million illegal immigrants a path to citizenship, but only if there is an effective border security plan in place.
Republicans are clearly divided, but perhaps not as the heated rhetoric of the campaign trail suggests. The most recent Washington Post-ABC News poll found that, on the question of a path to citizenship for illegal immigrants, the public narrowly approves: 52 percent to 44 percent. Democrats back such a plan 57 percent to 38 percent and independents 51 to 45 percent. Republicans are opposed, 53 to 43 percent — significant but not overwhelming.
It’ll be interesting to see what the fallout is from this.
(Picture created with the Tombstone Generator.)