Senate Cuts Off Debate on Amnesty Bill, Moves to Final Vote at 4 p.m.
On Thursday, the Senate voted 68-32 to cut off debate on the Gang of 8 amnesty bill. The procedural vote sets up a vote for final passage, which requires just a simple majority. The final vote on "cloture" was less than supporters had predicted.
"Gang" negotiators, especially Sen. Lindsey Graham, had long predicted they would receive more than 70 votes in the Senate. They believed this threshold would exert pressure on the House to pass comprehensive immigration reform. Not only did they come up short, but all members of Senate GOP leadership voted against the amnesty legislation. It was not a roll call to force GOP action in the House.
The Senate will vote soon for final passage of the amnesty legislation, most likely later Thursday afternoon. Although that vote just requires a simple majority, the failure of the "Gang" to attract their 70 vote goal underscores the challenge of passing immigration reform through the House.