Drudge is reporting that the immigration bill is dead:
A fragile compromise that would legalize millions of unlawful immigrants risks coming unraveled after the Senate voted early Thursday to place a five-year limit on a program meant to provide U.S. employers with 200,000 temporary foreign workers annually.As is Cap'n Ed, for other reasons:
The 49-48 vote came two weeks after the Senate, also by a one-vote margin, rejected the same amendment by Sen. Byron Dorgan. The North Dakota Democrat says immigrants take many jobs Americans could fill.
The reversal dismayed backers of the immigration bill, which is supported by President Bush but loathed by many conservatives. Business interests and their congressional allies were already angry that the temporary worker program had been cut in half from its original 400,000-person-a-year target.
The Senate's immigration-reform coalition took a big hit a few moments ago. The upper chamber refused cloture on the comprehensive reform bill, meaning that unlimited debate will continue for the foreseeable future. The motion asked to limit the debate to 30 more hours, which would have produced a vote early next week at the latest.
This puts Harry Reid in a tough spot. He originally said that he would take immigration off the calendar if it could not be resolved by Monday. He now has to ask for another cloture vote, which would have to take place tomorrow at the earliest -- and given that only 33 people voted to end debate, he has an almost insurmountable obstacle to success.
I think the immigration bill just died. More in a moment.