Wednesday, May 24, 2006

Senate Live - May 24, 2006

S.2611 - The Immigration Bill : May 24, 2006
S.2611 in PDF form - 1.5 Mb (for page number references)

List of Proposed Amendments

Text of Amendments 3960 through 3993
Text of Amendments 3994 through 4036
Text of Amendments 4037 through 4065
Corrected Text of Amendment 4052
Text of Amendments 4066 through 4082
Text of Amendments 4083 through 4084
Text of Amendments 4085 through 4107
Text of Amendments 4108 through 4182


Summary of May 23 Action on The Immigration Bill

  • S.Amdt.4087 - Feinstein: to establish an orange card program that would put all illegal immigrants in country since January 1, 2006 on a path to permanent residency and citizenship, and would remove the 3-tier system of Hagel/Martinez, was REJECTED on a 37 - 61 vote
  • S.Amdt.4117 - Leahy: Waiver of immigration rules for applicants whose indirect support for armed rebels has put them in technical violation of American antiterrorism laws, was TABLED on a 79 - 19 vote.
    GOP Nay votes: Chafee, Coleman, Sununu
  • S.Amdt.4177 - Grassley: Title III provisions, mandatory electronic employment eligibility verification system, was PASSED on a 58 - 40 vote.
    GOP Aye votes: Chafee, Collins, DeWine, Graham, Grassley, Gregg, Hagel, Lugar, McCain, Snowe, Specter, Stevens and Warner
    DEM Nay votes: Dorgan and Nelson (NE)
  • S.Amdt.4106 - Kennedy: Adjustments to worker safety and to collective bargaining relating to unfair labor practices, was TABLED on a 56 - 41 vote
  • S.Amdt.4142 - Durbin: humanitarian waiver, if deportation would cause extreme hardship on a member of immediate family, only for violations that are created by this bill, was TABLED on a 63 - 34 vote
    GOP Nay vote: Specter

Links to May 23 Debate

Congressional Record: May 23 Debate - Part I
Congressional Record: May 23 Debate - Part II
Congressional Record: May 23 Debate - Part III (Sessions - again)

Schedule for May 24 Action

  • 08:30 - Senate opens on S.2611
  • S.Amdt.4085 - McConnell: need photo ID in order to vote - debate until 9:30 equally divided
  • 09:30 - Vote on S.Amdt.4085
  • 10:00 - Cloture vote on S.2611

Other pending action - order approximate

The UC agreement provides that Democrats will offer amendments alternating with each of the following GOP amendments. Further, that at any time in the course of the proceedings, the parties have agreed to consider a managers' amendment (likely as a hedge by party leadership, in case any "poison pill" amendment passes) ...

  • S.Amdt.4127 - Byrd/Gregg: to fund border security activities
  • S.Amdt.4114 - Gregg: allocate 18,333 diversity, and 36,667 advanced degree visas per year
  • S.Amdt.4101 - Hutchison: SAFE visa to each alien who is a national of a NAFTA or CAFTA-DR country, 200,000 per fiscal year, or more if the president certifies that additional foreign workers are needed in that fiscal year
  • S.Amdt.4036 - Lieberman: a person seeking asylum from persecution (under convention on Torture) shall not be prosecuted for immigration violation until their asylum situation has been adjudicated and denied
  • S.Amdt.4124 - Burns: to exclude illegal aliens from Congressional apportionment calculations (census results are used to determine the number of representatives per state)
  • S.Amdt.4084 - Chambliss: Earned status adjustment for agricultural workers, "blue card" program for up to 1.5 million immigrants in 5 years
  • S.Amdt.4097 - Cornyn: Information provided by applicants to be considered for a visa must be kept in confidence (by the government), subject to the penalty of a fine
  • S.Amdt.4108 - Sessions: remove earned income tax credit (EITC) eligibility from aliens receiving adjustment of status under 408(h) of this Act who was illegally present in the United States prior to January 7, 2004, section 601 of this Act, or section 613(c) of this Act
  • S.Amdt.4134 - Kyl: establishing effective dates for implementing employment and immigration eligibility "electronic check" facilities

Press Reports

New York Times:
Senate Backs Job Verification for Immigrants

(Grassley Amdt.4177)

White House officials declined to comment, but participants in negotiations on the amendment said officials were concerned with a provision that would require the federal government to reimburse workers who were fired because of a mistake involving the system. ...

Under the employment verification provision, job applicants deemed illegal would have 10 days to challenge that determination with the Department of Homeland Security. If homeland security officials failed to confirm that determination within 30 days, the applicant would be considered legal to work.


deseretnews:
Fox targets 'walls'


The Hill:
Nominee is help up by Graham

Graham yesterday denied placing a secret hold on Haynes, but he declined to say whether he supports Haynes's nomination. Senate sources say, however, that Graham is the reason Haynes has remained bottled up in the Judiciary Committee.


howappealing:
Commission on Judicial Conduct Admonishes Justice Hecht

A Texas Supreme Court justice misused his office to promote the nomination of White House Counsel Harriet Miers to the U.S. Supreme Court, the Texas Commission on Judicial Conduct has ruled.

Public Admonition: Honorable Nathan L. Hecht

On or about October 1, 2005, Texas Supreme Court Justice Hecht spoke with a White House advisor about the possible nomination of his close friend, Harriet Miers, and agreed to:

  • provide factual information to Dr. James Dobson and others about Miers' experience and background, including information about her religious views and her views on abortion
  • make daily reports to White House staff regarding his media activities
  • permit the White House to refer media inquiries directly to him

During the week following the October 3rd announcement, he participated in approximately 120 media interviews concerning Miers' nomination.


Wow. What a shame. I was fooled into thinking that Hecht's testimonial for Miers was unsolicited. He may have done so, unsolicited, but there is no way to unring the bell. Once a person is solicited and agrees, there is no way to tell if they would have volunteered a testimonial on their own volition. And I questioned the ethics of the WH asking other judges to vouch for Miers, on October 15. Pretty sad all around, since I like what I have read of Hecht's jurisprudence.

---===---

October 20, 2006 - No Reprimand in Judge's Support of Miers

A three-judge panel dismissed the reprimand of a Texas Supreme Court justice who publicly endorsed his friend Harriet Miers after her short-lived U.S. Supreme Court nomination.


UPDATE @ 08:25 - The Congressional Record isn't up yet, so the links to the text of amendments and amendment lists from yesterday, as well as links to yesterday's debate, will be filled in later.

I notice that FoxNews is focused on the use of electronic systems to verify eligibility for employment, but overlooks the objectionable part of Grassley's amendment that provides a right to sue the Federal government if a job is denied due to a false report of ineligibility, where Cornyn suggests an administrative remedy (something short of going to court) would be simpler and less of a burden on the court system.

UPDATE @ 08:40 - McConnell advances S.2803 - Mine safety for immediate consideration and passage on a voice vote. Short speech from Senator Kennedy, supporting the passage, and congratulations to Senators Enzi and McConnell.

Back to immigration, McConnell segues into discussion of S.Amdt.4085, which aims to protect the franchise of voting to citizens. Even if this doesn't pass in this context, it ought to be brought up and passed, period.

UPDATE @ 09:00 - Amendment text and May 23 debate links are working, brief descriptions of amendments have been provided in the summary list. Caveat - I am prone to accidentally misrepresent the gist of amendments. Please excuse as I am doing this in a hurry and without rigorous care.

UPDATE @ 10:00 - Voting is concluded on Dodd's Motion to Table the McConnell amendment. This leaves the matter unsettled, meaning the amendment hasn't been adopted, and is still potentially the business of the Senate. It's a "sense of the Senate" sort of thing, hanging out there "untabled" but not passed. I assume that neither Senator Frist nor Senator Specter will call the amendment up for a vote, and will instead use this morning's event as fodder for political rhetoric.

S.Amdt.4085 - McConnell: need photo ID in order to vote was NOT TABLED on a 48 - 49 vote.

The Senate is now voting on a Cloture Motion on S.2611, after which it will stand in recess until noon.

UPDATE @ 10:29 - Cloture vote is concluded, and passes by a wide margin. I had predicted a 72-26 vote.

Cloture on S.2611 was PASSED on a 73 - 25 vote.

Senator Frist goes on to talk about welcoming Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert, and the strong relationship between the United States and Israel. The Senate now stands in recess until noon.

UPDATE @ 12:12 - The McConnell amendment was disposed of. Senator Kennedy made a parliamentary inquiry, asserting that the amendment was not germane. The chair (Murkowski) upheld the point of order, and the McConnell amendment relating to requiring photo identification for the purpose of voting was stricken.

S.Amdt.4085 - McConnell: need photo ID in order to vote, was RULED NOT GERMANE by the chair.

Senator Byrd is up. He talks about mine safety, and the passage of S.2803 - Mine safety earlier today.

Then he offers S.Amdt.4127 - Bryd/Gregg that funds border security with an additional $500 fee paid by the applicant.

UPDATE @ 12:40 - Would make available funds to detect and detain those who are not admissible under the law, some funds coming from a $500 fee to apply for immigration visa. Senator Specter has coaxed Senator Byrd into a one hour time agreement, and indicates (off microphone) that there will be a series of stacked votes.

After the debate on Byrd/Gregg, look for debate on S.Amdt.4114 - Gregg: to allocate 18,333 diversity, and 36,667 advanced degree visas per year.

UPDATE @ 13:00 - Senator Specter objects to the Byrd/Gregg amendment, as it increases the fees payable to the illegal immigrants, and will keep them from coming forward. Specter indicates that the fines and fees were carefully calibrated by the Judiciary Committee, as it crafted the bill. He will therefore oppose the amendment.

After Gregg's 4114, the Senate will move on to a Landrieu amendment. Senator Sessions laid out the order of progression, and this is big news, the schedule includes Senator Sessions raising a budget point of order. The reason that is "big," is that assuming there is a budget issue (I think the CBO report makes it so), waiver of the budget point of order requires 60 votes. I figure this will pass, as did cloture, but it poses enough of an issue that Senator Specter has allocated 90 minutes of debate -- 30 for Sessions, 30 for Kennedy, and 30 for himself -- on the subject of budget waiver.

Here is a summary of the order, likely to take the rest of the day:

  • S.Amdt.4114 - Gregg: diversity and advanced degree visa allocation: 60 minutes of debate
  • S.Amdt.4025 - Landrieu: Intercountry Adoption Reform Act of 2006: 20 minutes of debate
  • S.Amdt.4101 - Hutchison: SAFE visa: 30 minutes for debate
  • Senator Sessions budget point of order: 120 minutes of debate
  • Vote on the budget point of order
  • Vote on 4127 the Byrd/Gregg amendment
  • Vote on 4114 the Gregg amendment
  • Vote on 4025 the Landrieu amendment
  • Vote on 4101 the Hutchison amendment
UPDATE @ 14:05 - Debate on the Gregg amendment is concluded. Senator Specter notes that he and Kennedy both support Landrieu's amendment, and it would pass on a voice vote, but for previously expressed objection.

UPDATE @ 14:15 - Senator Kennedy indicates a willingness to voice vote Landrieu's amendment, unless a Senator comes to the floor and voices objection. Senator Specter proposes that the decision between roll call and voice voting occur at the sequence in votes above, which is agreeable to all. The Senate moves on to the Hutchison amendment. Specter also indicated that the time agreement on Sessions budget point of order is for two hours -- summary adjusted accordingly.

UPDATE @ 15:00 - Senators Hutchison, Bond and Sessions described the SAFE visa program as a true temporary worker program, where a subscriber to "it" is not able to concurrently be on a path to permanent residency or citizenship. The worker is not eligible for government-sponsored social services. SAFE = "Secure Authorized Foreign Employee." Senator Hutchison is also expressing a sentiment that indicates she will vote in favor of S.2611 at the end of all the debates.

Senator Allard rises to make the budget point of order. He requests a point of order that the bill is in violation of section 407(b) of H.Con.Res.95 ...

SEC. 407. LIMITATION ON LONG-TERM SPENDING PROPOSALS.

(a) CONGRESSIONAL BUDGET OFFICE ANALYSIS OF PROPOSALS- The Director of the Congressional Budget Office shall, to the extent practicable, prepare for each bill or joint resolution reported from committee (except measures within the jurisdiction of the Committee on Appropriations), or amendments thereto or conference reports thereon, an estimate of whether the measure would cause, relative to current law, a net increase in direct spending in excess of $5 billion in any of the four 10-year periods beginning in fiscal year 2016 through fiscal year 2055.

(b) POINT OF ORDER- In the Senate, it shall not be in order to consider any bill, joint resolution, amendment, motion, or conference report that would cause a net increase in direct spending in excess of $5 billion in any of the four 10-year periods beginning in 2016 through 2055.

(c) WAIVER- This section may be waived or suspended only by the affirmative vote of three-fifths of the Members, duly chosen and sworn.

Link to May 16, 2006 CBO Report on S.2611

That's a 200 kB PDF file, not too big. A selected quote:

CBO and the Joint Committee on Taxation (JCT) estimate that enacting this legislation would increase direct spending by $13 billion over the 2007-2011 period and by $54 billion over the 2007-2016 period. Pursuant to section 407 of H. Con. Res. 95 (the Concurrent Resolution on the Budget, Fiscal Year 2006), CBO estimates that enacting S. 2611 would cause an increase in direct spending greater than $5 billion in each of the 10-year periods between 2016 and 2055. JCT and CBO estimate that the bill would increase total federal revenues by about $66 billion over the 2007-2016 period. Assuming appropriation of the amounts authorized in the bill, discretionary spending would increase by $25 billion over the 2007-2011 period.

Senator Sessions draws much of his material from the writings of ...

Link to Heritage Foundation Studies
Highly Recommended

UPDATE @ 15:40 - Senator Allard expresses gratitude to Senator Sessions for doing yeoman's work in sounding the alarm. He also indicates that the CBO figures are probably low, and that the Heritage Foundation figures are likewise a bit low, but has an effect of 30 billion dollars in incremental spending, each year. That is, 30 billion in year one, 60 in year two, 90 in year three, and so forth. Obviously, that levels off somewhere, but it's quite a bit more than the CBO's 66 billion dollars in the first ten years.

Senator Sessions' amendment (4108) to eliminate EITC eligibility would reduce the outlay, and he said yesterday that the EITC payout represents 29 of the 66 billion in the CBO figures.

"This bill is a fiscal catastrophe," says Sessions, quoting Robert Rector of the Heritage Foundation.

I predict that this budget point of order will be waived, but not by as wide a margin as the cloture motion passed, earlier this morning. I'll hazard a more precise prediction of 64 - 34, the budget provision will be waived.

UPDATE @ 15:50 - Senator Coburn up to spread good cheer. He thinks the system is unsustainable. Doom and gloom Republican. Kick him out. He says we have an unfunded liability that exceeds the net worth of the country. I like the "million dollars a day, every day, since Christ was born, 600 years from now you would be one trillion dollars in the hole" calculation. At any rate, Senator Coburn notes, correctly, that Congress thinks in election cycles, not in generation cycles. And I submit that 80% of voters think in monthly cycles.

Lowered standard of living, less opportunity for the natives. Hey - that is the intended result. He best be careful about saying so out loud. The best way to accomplish this result is over a period of generations, because adults object to their PERSONAL standard of living being reduced.

UPDATE @ 16:10 - Senator Graham "I want to share this with my President and my Democratic colleagues," referring to the good economy. He strongly supports the immigration program, which is no surprise, as he is mini-McCain. His logical rationale is that the immigrants are good workers, hard workers, and this country has [insert amount of] room for such workers. His analysis bypasses the "average income" or "standard of living" issue, alluded to above. Sure, there is room for more workers. Heck, China has more workers - good ones too, I'm sure of that.

Going on the "net benefit" justification also misses the point of "what is the benefit to the natives?"

Respect for American Fallen Heroes Act

Senator Frist interrupts to bring H.R.5037 - The Respect for American Fallen Heroes Act, which prohibits protesting at 122 National Cemeteries, and within 500 feet of the cemetery within 1 hour either side of a funeral. He speaks briefly to assert that the bill is crafted to pass 1st amendment attacks, and he quotes from the Bible, "Blessed are those who mourn, for they will be comforted."

The bill was read, and passed on a voice vote.

Back to Immigration

A fair number of Senators speaking in favor of the budget point of order, who will vote against the motion to waive it. Coburn, Vitter, DeMint, Allard, Sessions, Nelson ... but it won't be enough to stop the juggernaut.

UPDATE @ 16:30 - Senator McCain, the next President of the United States, rises to deliver his gratitude and thanks to Senators Kennedy, Salazar and others. As a budget hawk, Senator McCain has to justify voting to waive the budget point of order, and does so by disputing the calculations in the CBO report; and by (justifiably) factoring in amendments passed. But putting aside the money, says he, the intent of this body is to pass an comprehensive immigration reform bill, and Sessions, et al are not so interested in the budget as they are in derailing the bill because they are against the bill. McCain cites Senator Sessions press release regarding the budget point of order as support for the point - "derail the bill." Well, hell yes, they are against the bill, and have given a number of reasons why they are.

McCain emphasizes "humane and dignified," and invokes the will expressed by President Bush to have Congress send an immigration reform bill that is comprehensive.

White House - Comprehensive Immigration Reform

  1. The United States Must Secure Its Borders
    • we have ended catch and release for illegal immigrants from some countries (which ones?)
  2. To Secure Our Border, We Must Create A Temporary Worker Program
    • match willing foreign workers with willing American employers for jobs Americans are not doing, must return to their home country at the conclusion of their stay
  3. We Need To Hold Employers To Account For The Workers They Hire
    • Tamper-Resistant Identification Card (to leave employers with no excuse for violating the law)
  4. We Must Deal With The Millions Of Illegal Immigrants Already Here
    • Those who meet our conditions [has worked here for many years, and has a home, a family, and an otherwise clean record] should be able to apply for citizenship but approval will not be automatic, and they will have to wait in line behind those who followed the law.
  5. We Must Honor The Great American Tradition Of The Melting Pot

Senator McCain hopes this is the last poison pill that defenders of this bill need to fight off.

UPDATE @ 16:40 - Senator Specter calls the budget point of order an arcane technicality, and says "this artifice, should not be used to defeat this bill." He's concerned that the bill may be lost on the budget point of order. Such theatre!

UPDATE @ 16:54 - Looks like the Senate will be ready to vote on the point of order by 5 o'clock. Senator Sessions comes on to say that he is in favor of increasing immigration, but not by a factor of three. He notes that in the eleventh year, immigrants become citizens and obtain many new rights, such as bringing in parents.

Senator Sessions says the Senate shouldn't hurry on this, but I recall immigration being the subject of debate before Easter, oh, maybe 6 weeks ago. Senator Specter indicates a surprise at the budget point of order being raised at this late stage in the proceedings. He'd expected, after two weeks to finish up tonight or tomorrow. His argument is bogus, because at the beginning there was hope of passing substantial amendments. Now, seeing the near final product, is not an inappropriate time to raise the point.

Specter's argument is that the financial calculations are intangible, compared with the weighty measures subsumed in a comprehensive immigration package. He asserts that the economic engine of the country will yield benefits by increases in immigration numbers.

Voting on the budget point of order begins at 16:53. My prediction (above) was waiver passes, 64-34.

UPDATE @ 17:20 - The point of order passed by a wider margin (67-31) than I predicted, but still not as wide as cloture, so I count my prediction as partly right. Not bad for going only on intuition. I predict all the other "stacked amendments" will pass.

Senator Kennedy says we're immigrating the poorest of the poor, who will be working for minimum wage. Well, hey, give him points for honesty. Tried to conclude by a voice vote, but it was too close to call. I'm out of here for awhile. Keep the lights on for me.

UPDATE @ 17:20 - Back in time to hear the last few words of debate preceding the vote on Hutchison's amendment. I'll fill in vote results and tallies as they become available at the Senate's roll call vote page.

The list of "no" votes on Byrd looks like the major "big immigration" proponents. The list of GOP "no" votes on Hutchison is likewise unsurprising, and ought to be spun as voting against President Bush's expressed desire for a guest worker program.

The vote to waive the budget point of order was PASSED on a 67 - 31 vote.
GOP votes to waive: Alexander, Bennett, Bond, Chafee, Cochran, Coleman, Collins, Craig, DeWine, Domenici, Frist, Graham, Hagel, Hutchison, Lugar, Martinez, McCain, McConnell, Murkowski, Smith, Snowe, Specter, Stevens, Voinovich and Warner
DEM votes to uphold: Byrd, Dorgan, and Nelson (NE)

S.Amdt.4127 - Byrd: to fund border security with an additional $500 fee paid by the applicant, was PASSED on a 73 - 25 vote.

S.Amdt.4114 - Gregg: allocate 18,333 diversity, and 36,667 advanced degree visas per year, to reform the diversity visa program and create a program that awards visas to aliens with an advanced degree in science mathematics, technology, or engineering, was PASSED on a 56 - 42 vote.

S.Amdt.4025 - Landrieu: Intercountry Adoption Reform Act of 2006, was PASSED on a voice vote.

S.Amdt.4101 - Hutchison: SAFE visa to each alien who is a national of a NAFTA or CAFTA-DR country, 200,000 per fiscal year, or more if the president certifies that additional foreign workers are needed in that fiscal year, in job areas in the United States that have been certified by the Secretary of Labor as having a shortage of workers, was REJECTED on a 31 - 67 vote.
GOP nay votes: Brownback, Bunning, Burr, Chafee, Chambliss, Collins, Craig, DeWine, Domenici, Graham, Hagel, Isakson, Lugar, Martinez, McCain, Murkowski, Shelby, Smith, Snowe, Specter, Stevens, Talent, Voinovich and Warner

So much for my prediction skills. Hutchison's amendment went down in flames. Still on that 3 out of 4 jag.


Senator Specter lists the following amendments to be in order (some back and forth, due to difficulty in obtaining agreement on Sessions 4108), with a series of stacked votes to occur tonight, following the debate:

  • S.Amdt.4144 - Boxer: 24 minutes, equally divided
  • S.Amdt.4124 - Burns: to study the impact but not make the change of excluding illegal aliens from Congressional apportionment calculations (census results are used to determine the number of representatives per state)
  • S.Amdt.4084 - Chambliss: Earned status adjustment for agricultural workers, "blue card" program for up to 1.5 million immigrants in 5 years
  • S.Amdt.4095 - Dorgan: to sunset guest worker provisions in 5 years: 40 minutes, equally divided
S.Amdt.4097 - Cornyn was first proposed to be the last of four tonight, and Specter moved S.Amdt.4095 - Dorgan into it's place, pending resolution of handling S.Amdt.4108 - Sessions. Therefore, the schedule for tomorrow is apt to include the following amendments:

  • S.Amdt.4097 - Cornyn: Information provided by applicants to be considered for a visa must be kept in confidence (by the government), subject to the penalty of a fine
  • S.Amdt.4131 - Bingaman: 40 minutes, equally divided
  • S.Amdt.4108 - Sessions: remove earned income tax credit (EITC) eligibility from aliens receiving adjustment of status under 408(h) of this Act who was illegally present in the United States prior to January 7, 2004, section 601 of this Act, or section 613(c) of this Act: 1 hour, equally divided - objected by DEMs
  • S.Amdt.4083 - Feingold: 1 hour, equally divided

Specter and Kennedy hold the option to offer a manager's amendment, then the bill would be read a third time, and the Senate would proceed to vote on the bill as amended.


S.Amdt.4124 - Burns: to study the impact but not make the change of excluding illegal aliens from Congressional apportionment calculations (census results are used to determine the number of representatives per state), was PASSED on a voice vote.

UPDATE @ 20:00 - McCain up registering opposition to Dorgan's proposal to sunset the guest worker provision. He indicates that the 1986 provisions for enforcement failed because technology didn't permit it. But today, with biometrics and other big brother stuff, we can control the movement and employment of workers.

The language on the Senate floor is so twisted, where senators talk of "temporary workers" but the worker is on a path to permanent residency. It's dialog intended to confuse the listener in order to reach an objective. I disagree that creation of an enforcement infrastructure is wasted based on sunsetting or revision of the rules.

Now Kennedy comes out saying that a goal of the program is to develop Mexico. If the globalist agenda isn't clear from this sort of talk (and it isn't, to most listeners), then the people of this country deserve exactly the control that is to be asserted for "their" benefit.

UPDATE @ 20:20 - LOL. Dorgan comes up with the solution. Relabel the people from illegal" to "legal." I add, also make the program comprehensive.

Senator Graham reneged on his yielding of time to the Dorgan amendment. And goes on to say that his state needs workers, then goes on to say he needs temporary workers that assimilate into the economy. Huh? Temporary, yet assimilated and permanent? "We need people to keep this economy humming."

Dorgan gets back in about jobs leaving, but hey, Senator Dorgan, companies leave for a variety of reasons, not all of them being related to labor supply and/or immigration policy. See e.g., all the other regulation.

Senator Boxer is back up, with a modification to her S.Amdt.4144 that is designed to simplify the employer's chore relating to making it known that a job is available.

S.Amdt.4144 - Boxer: as amended, was PASSED on a voice vote.

S.Amdt.4084 - Chambliss: Earned status adjustment for agricultural workers, "blue card" program for up to 1.5 million immigrants in 5 years, was TABLED on a 62 - 35 vote.

Senator Specter lays out tomorrow's program as follows:

  • 9:15 AM Senate resumes business
  • S.Amdt.4097 - Cornyn: Information provided by applicants to be considered for a visa must be kept in confidence (by the government), subject to the penalty of a fine: 60 minutes, equally divided
  • S.Amdt.4131 - Bingaman: 40 minutes, equally divided
  • S.Amdt.4108 - Sessions: remove earned income tax credit (EITC) eligibility from aliens receiving adjustment of status under 408(h) of this Act who was illegally present in the United States prior to January 7, 2004, section 601 of this Act, or section 613(c) of this Act: 1 hour, equally divided
  • S.Amdt.4083 - Feingold: 1 hour, equally divided
  • S.Amdt.4136 - Ensign: (I wonder if this is to be 4036, Lieberman)

It is noted that Senator Warner passed his 10,000th vote - big cheer. Praise for Senator Warner all around, only 25 other Senators have made this benchmark. Warner thanks the Lord for strength and wisdom, and luck; and thanks the people of Virginia.

S.Amdt.4095 - Dorgan: to sunset guest worker provisions in 5 years, was REJECTED on a 48 - 49 vote.

UPDATE @ 21:25 - One of the last votes on Dorgan is by Collins. I bet Lieberman is in tow. Frist's vote followed Collins' vote (in time), then Lincoln, Pryor.

UPDATE @ 21:35 - Senator Talent rises in opposition to the bill. Too much immigration, too fast, will depress wages and dispirit the natives. This is a good speech. He supports border security, but not the wide-open immigration provisions that appear in this bill.

The pressure on the border is increasing because we are discussing amnesty, and the bill opens jobs for low tier work. Our first responsibility is to our own people, including those who do not go to college. Damn - this is one of the best speeches to date, if not THE BEST, and I say that from the perspective of having listened to all of Sessions' speeches.

Budget commitment of this magnitude, in favor of foreign workers that this country may not even need. He notes the inability of the bureaucracy to deal with the number of applications. Some immigrants are in queues as long as 22 years (Philipinos).

Senator Carper speaking now, also a fairly tough stance.

UPDATE @ 22:00 - Carper is looking for an increase in minimum wage, but he also sees loose immigration policy as producing a pitfall of wage depressant. Interesting how right meets left, for different reasons. He's concerned that the Congress will pass a "bad" bill [loose immigration policy] to President Bush, but worse still, may do nothing. He notices President Bush for showing leadership on immigration.

First nylon plant ever is in Seaford, Delaware, still has 1,000 employees in a town of 5 or 10 thousand. He notes that one native of Seaford, Cory Palmer, gave his life in Iraq. Another casualty, Sean Varney, had been a member of Senator Carper's staff. Varney was shot by a sniper, in the neck, just missed his adams apple, and survived.

Marine Rick James of Seaford, lost his life. Senator Carper was at the funeral. The town of Seaford lost three this month. He notes the losses as causes of sorrow - and of pride - as the town of Seaford wells up.

Me too.

UPDATE @ 22:30 - Frist closed the Senate. He filed a cloture motion on the nomination of Kempthorn. S.1773 was passed, H.Con.Res.357 was passed. Senator Frist noted that he anticipated the passage of S.2611 early tomorrow afternoon, followed by a cloture vote on Kavanaugh (I think Kavanaugh will not be confirmed before Memorial day), and then indefinite timing to voting advice and consent on Hayden (CIA), Portman (OMB) and Schwab (USTR).

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