Senate Live - May 25, 2006
Link to Today's Debate
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
Text of Amendments 4183 through 4186
Summary of May 24 Action on The Immigration Bill
S.Amdt.4085 - McConnell: to require photo ID for purposes of voting
was NOT TABLED
on a 48 - 49 vote, and
RULED NOT GERMANE by the chair
- Cloture on S.2611 was PASSED on a 73 - 25 vote
- The vote to waive the budget point of order
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,
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,
PASSED on a 56 - 42 vote.
S.Amdt.4025 - Landrieu: Intercountry Adoption Reform Act of 2006,
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,
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
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),
PASSED on a voice vote.
S.Amdt.4144 - Boxer: requirements for employers to recruit workers for the position for which the H-2C nonimmigrant is
sought: an employer is going to make every effort to offer a job to an American worker before he or she hires a guest worker
by simply doing two things: posting the available job, posting that information on the premises; and, second,
notifying the department of employment in the State in which the business is located so they can advertise the slot,
PASSED on a voice vote, after amendment
S.Amdt.4084 - Chambliss: Earned status adjustment for agricultural workers, "blue card" program for up to 1.5 million
immigrants in 5 years, to modify the eligibility requirements for blue card status and to increase the
fines to be paid by aliens granted such status or legal permanent resident status,
TABLED on a 62 - 35 vote.
S.Amdt.4095 - Dorgan: To sunset the H-2C visa program after the date that is 5 years after the date of enactment of this Act,
REJECTED on a 48 - 49 vote
- Cloture motion filed on the nomination of Dirk Kempthorne to be Secretary of the Interior
- Passed S.1773 - PUEBLO DE SAN ILDEFONSO CLAIMS SETTLEMENT ACT OF 2005
- Passed H.Con.Res. 357 - NATIONAL CYSTIC FIBROSIS AWARENESS MONTH
Links to May 24 Debate
Congressional Record: May 24 Debate - Part I
Congressional Record: May 24 Debate - Part II
Congressional Record: May 24 Debate - Part III (Talent)
Congressional Record: May 24 Debate - Part IV (Carper)
Schedule for May 25 Action
- 9:15 AM Senate resumes business
- S.Amdt.4097 - Cornyn: Information provided by applicants to be considered for a visa may be shared between government offices for purpose of criminal investigation, must be kept in confidence (by the government), subject to the penalty of a fine: 60 minutes, equally divided
- S.Amdt.4131 - Bingaman: immigrant visas issued on or after October 1, 2004, to spouses and children of employment-based immigrants shall not be counted against the 290,000 employment-based numerical limitation, but has a ceiling of 650,000 per year: 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: gives the right of judicial review of deportation orders, striking language that the courts cannot grant a stay of deportation pending appeal, unless the applicant shows error of deportation order by clear and convincing evidence 1 hour, equally divided
- S.Amdt.4136 - Ensign: to clarify the meaning of the condition "all taxes have been paid": 30 minutes, equally divided
- Stacked votes on pending amendments
- Possibility of offering, debating and voting on a managers' amendment
- Vote on S.2611
- Cloture vote for Brett Kavanaugh
UPDATE @ 09:50 - Wrap up for a complex bill. Senator Specter announces that he cannot get consent to stack all the votes, so a vote will occur on Cornyn, and he will attempt to get unanimous consent to stack the balance of the votes.
UPDATE @ 10:50 - A quick detour into judicial nominations, courtesy of confirmthem.com and Bloomberg News, and then the results of the recently concluded vote on the Cornyn amendment.
The failure of some GOP Senators to insist that nominees at least get cloture votes is now threatening to diminish the quality of future nominees, and is making it impossible for voters to hold those Senators accountable.
The DEM strategy of abusing cloture in the context of judicial nomination has apparently been successful.
S.Amdt.4097 - Cornyn: Information provided by applicants to be considered for a visa
may be shared between government offices for purpose of criminal investigation, must be kept in confidence (by the
government), subject to the penalty of a fine,
REJECTED on a 49 - 49 vote. Need a majority to pass.
GOP nay votes: Chafee, DeWine, Graham, Hagel, Lugar, McCain,and Specter.
Expect a roll call vote following debate on the Bingaman amendment as well.
UPDATE @ 11:10 - Senator McCain, Mr. open borders, is giving a lecture on how Bingaman wants the US to be like France, with riots and car burnings. And anybody else who wants to impose a numerical limit that restricts ability for a person to bring their families in to become part of our society, too.
UPDATE @ 12:30 - Senator Specter notes that the Judiciary Committee has been meeting, and is engaged in a heated debate about what to do regarding the telephone companies and their role in the alleged NSA data-mining project.
Voting on the Bingaman amendment is concluded.
S.Amdt.4131 - Bingaman: immigrant visas issued on or after October 1, 2004, to spouses and children of employment-based
immigrants shall not be counted against the 290,000 employment-based numerical limitation, but has a ceiling of 650,000 per year:
PASSED on a 51 - 47 vote.
GOP nay votes: Bennett, Brownback, Chafee, Coleman, Collins, DeWine, Frist, Graham, Gregg, Hagel, Hatch, Lugar, Martinez, McCain, McConnell, Murkowski, Smith, Snowe, Specter, Stevens and Warner.
DEM aye votes: Baucus, Bayh, Biden, Bingaman, Boxer, Byrd, Carper, Conrad, Dodd, Dorgan, Feinstein, Johnson, Lincoln, Mikulski, Nelson (FL), Nelson (NE), Pryor, and Reed
The order of debate was changed to have Feingold's amendment come before Sessions. At some point during the proceedings, Senator Byrd will be given time to speak on the occasion of what I think would have been his 69th wedding anniversary.
UPDATE @ 12:50 - Senator Specter indicates that votes from here on out will be stacked, and further, that he supports the Feingold amendment. I predict the Feingold and Ensign amendments will pass, and the Sessions amendment will be rejected. I also predict the bill will pass, on a 68-30 margin.
UPDATE @ 13:50 - McCain coins a new term for social welfare. "Tax credit." Of course he is against the Sessions amendment. Invokes "ride in the back of the bus" parallel, and says that these amendments send a very bad message. These are workers doing the jobs that most Americans won't - the same reason our forebears came to America, says McCain.
UPDATE @ 14:27 - Debate is concluded on the Sessions amendment, and moves on to the Ensign amendment. The object is to not give the EITC for years in which they were undocumented. Low-income workers who file belated tax returns would otherwise be entitled to a refund on the order of $4,500 per year. Senator Kennedy's counterargument is that some people have overpaid income tax, and are entitled to a refund. "Overpaid" is a notion that compares taxes withheld with taxes due, where taxes due INCLUDES the EITC calculation.
It appears the stacked votes will begin at about 3:00 PM.
UPDATE @ 15:15 - Senator Graham asserted that not giving EITC is equivalent to punishment, worse punishment than the IRS inflicts on drug dealers, rapists and murderers. He sees the Ensign amendment as inflicting revenge. He admitted he has done plenty of bad things, LOL. Yeah, Lindsey, you sure have.
Senator Reid spoke on the bill in general, "Immigration, Part II," and praised the Senate for working well on the bill. He mentioned Senator Sessions, and said he admires the way that Senator Sessions conducted his argument, and that he appreciates Senator Sessions' adversarial style. And now he get to the nub, the conference, where Senator Frist earlier conceded a number of conferees that suited the Democrats.
Senator Specter asks for agreement that includes an immediate vote on the managers' amendment after the stacked votes. The managers' amendment runs 150 pages. Senator Ensign suggested that the UC request not include an immediate vote on this amendment, since it was just now delivered, and the Senators have not had a chance to review it. Senator Specter removed voting on the manager's amendment from the UC request.
UPDATE @ 15:45 - Senator Specter wandering off on the notion that Republican control of Congress is on the line, and therefore this bill should pass, and there should be a successful conference with the House so President Bush can sign a comprehensive immigration bill into law. Senator Dodd notes that part of the managers' amendment includes an obligation to consult with local authorities "on the border" before beginning construction of any wall or fence.
Senator Frist couches the bill as one that makes America better and safer, that balances the needs of a growing economy with our heritage as a land of immigrants. Sugar-coating each amendment and the general thrust of the bill, in my opinion. Thick, syrupy pap. I do agree that the mechanics of bringing amendments, debating and voting, was handled quite well.
Senator Frist thanks President Bush for requesting a comprehensive bill that was both tough, and compassionate. Senator Frist announces that he will be voting in favor of S.2611.
Senator Durbin is up. His "DREAM Act" is included. No amendment took it out. LOL, Senator Durbin called Kennedy a "war horse." Praise for Senators McCain, Specter, Leahy - and for the four Republicans who joined the Democrats to vote the McCain/Kennedy bill out of Judiciary Committee.
I'm curious about the managers' amendment, but speculate that it contains no points of contention, rather, I speculate, it is a collection of amendments previously offered that are more quickly handled in the parliamentary process by collecting them, instead of voice voting each one in turn.
UPDATE @ 15:50 - A series of three stacked votes.
Feingold, then Sessions, then Ensign.
UPDATE @ 16:19 - One for one on my pass/reject predictions.
S.Amdt.4083 - Feingold: giving the right of judicial review of deportation orders, striking language
that the courts cannot grant a stay of deportation pending appeal, unless the applicant shows error of deportation order
by clear and convincing evidence,
PASSED on a 52 - 45 vote.
GOP Aye votes: Chafee, Coleman, Collins, DeWine, Hagel, Martinez, McCain, Snowe, Specter, Sununu and Voinovich
DEM Nay votes: Byrd, Nelson (NE) and Pryor
UPDATE @ 16:40 - Two for two on my pass/reject predictions.
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,
REJECTED on a 37 - 60 vote.
GOP Nay votes: Alexander, Chafee, Coleman, Crapo, Collins, DeWine, Domenici, Graham, Hagel, Lugar, Martinez, McCain, Santorum, Smith Specter, Snowe, Brownback, Stevens, Voinovich and Warner
DEM Aye votes: Byrd, Nelson (NE) and Stabenow
Separate subject, Judge Ikuta was voted out of the Judiciary Committee and will be on the Senate's Executive Calendar. Along with Myers, Boyle, Kavanaugh and Milan Smith.
UPDATE @ 17:03 - Three for three on my pass/reject predictions. I'll backfill crossover votes later. Those posted here are, for now, just from listening to C-SPAN2.
S.Amdt.4136 - Ensign: to clarify the meaning of the condition "all taxes have been paid," by denying EITC
for past years that people worked in the country, illegally,
PASSED on a 50 - 47 vote.
GOP Nay votes: Brownback, DeWine, Domenici, Graham, Lugar, McCain, Chafee, Martinez, Warner, Specter and Voinovich
DEM Aye votes: Stabenow, Byrd, Baucus, Carper, Nelson (FL), Nelson (NE)
Quorum call while Specter and Kennedy figure out how to handle the managers' amendment.
UPDATE @ 17:16 - Senator Specter notes that the managers package is ready for a vote, he says that it (the package) makes making sausage look good. Senator Kyl asks to speak for one minute on the managers amendment. He says it has been in busy negotiations, right up until now. Federal, state and local entities in the US would be required to consult with Mexican government before building a wall. I predict this amendment, S.Amdt.4188, will pass. Off to find the language that Senator Kyl referred to.
(b) CONSULTATION REQUIREMENT.--Consultations between United States and Mexican authorities at the federal, state, and local levels concerning the construction of additional fencing and related border security structures along the United States-Mexico border shall be undertaken prior to commencing any new construction, in order to solicit the views of affected communities, lessen tensions and foster greater understanding and stronger cooperation on this and other important issues of mutual concern.UPDATE @ 17:40 - Bonus prediction (the managers' amendment), now four for four. Senator Frist voted against the managers' amendment, for what it's worth.
S.Amdt.4188 - Specter: Managers' amendment, a collection of amendments, including Dodd's S.Amdt.4089 that requires
local, state and federal governments to consult with Mexican counterpart authorities before commencing new construction,
PASSED on a 56 - 41 vote.
GOP Aye votes: Bennett, Bond, Brownback, Chafee, Coleman, Collins, Craig, Graham, Hagel, Lugar, Feingold, Collins, McCain, Specter, Stevens, Warner, Martinez, Murkowski, Snowe and Voinovich
DEM Nay votes: Byrd, Conrad, Dorgan, Lincoln, Nelson (NE) and Pryor
Now on to the whole enchilada. I mean, spring roll. Then to take the cloture vote on Kavanaugh. Senator Frist has a fair number of additional items that he wants to conclude before the close of business tomorrow: Vote the Kavanaugh, Hayden (CIA), Portman (OMB), and Schwab (USTR) nominations, and vote on an appropriations bill.
Senator Landrieu asked consent to change her vote on Roll Call vote No. 131, which was on S.Amdt.4064 - Inhofe: English to be the official language, and Inhofe's sense that there is NO reason for EO 13166 to continue in force. She voted for the amendment and today changed her vote to being against it.
UPDATE @ 17:59 - Predicted 'em all today! Unusual, because my prediction average is just a little better than .500, but I think by now the patterns are fairly clear, among the Senators that is, on the subject of immigration reform. So the Senate's immigration abomination has passed, and is on its way to conference. My vote prediction on the bill was 68-30. Where to from here? Who knows.
S.2611 - Comprehensive Immigration Reform Act of 2006
PASSED on a 62 - 36 vote.
GOP Aye votes: Bennett, Brownback, Chafee, Coleman, Collins, Craig, DeWine, Domenici, Frist, Graham, Gregg, Hagel, Lugar, Martinez, McCain, McConnell, Murkowski, Smith, Snowe, Specter, Stevens, Voinovich and Warner
DEM Nay votes: Byrd, Dorgan, Nelson (NE), and Stabenow
See the comments following the May 15 Senate Live post for a description of the conference process. Some of the Senate conferees are known: 7 from the GOP, Specter, Hatch, Grassley, Kyl, DeWine, Sessions, and Graham; and 5 from the Democrats, Leahy, Kennedy, Biden, Kohl and Feinstein. Senator Frist and Senator Reid will each choose 7 more, for a total of 26 Senators in the conference committee. This from May 11 ...
unanimous consent agreement--S. 2611
Mr. FRIST. Mr. President, I ask unanimous consent that unless cloture is invoked on the pending substitute to S. 1955, on Monday, May 15, at a time to be determined by the majority leader after consultation with the Democratic leader, the Senate proceed to the consideration of S. 2611, the immigration bill. I further ask that when the Senate agrees to a request for a conference or the Senate requests a conference on this bill and the Chair is authorized to appoint conferees on the part of the Senate, the ratio of conferees be 14 to 12; provided further that from that ratio, the first 7 Republican Senators from the Judiciary Committee and the first 5 Democratic Senators from the Judiciary Committee be conferees; finally, I ask unanimous consent that the majority leader select the final 7 from the majority side and the Democratic leader select the final 7 for the minority side.
Senator Reid wanted to send the 18 members of the Judiciary Committee, according to the May 2, 2006 Congressional Record, and likely earlier as well.
UPDATE @ 18:33 - The cloture vote for limiting debate on Kavanaugh is concluded.
Cloture on the nomination of Brett Kavanaugh
PASSED on a 67 - 30 vote.
DEMs for cloture: Biden, Byrd, Carper, Kohl, Landrieu, Lieberman, Lincoln, Nelson (FL), Nelson (NE), Obama, and Pryor
Senator Specter asks if it is appropriate to begin the debate on the confirmation of Kavanaugh, and must learn that it is appropriate, because he starts to discuss why he supports the nomination. His argument that the President chooses and the Senate votes rings hollow to me, because the Senate has decided to ignore good nominees: Haynes, Boyle and Myers, to name names. Hypocritical, methinks, to say Kavanaugh deserves a vote because all nominees do.
UPDATE @ 19:25 - Leahy blathered for some time against Kavanaugh. Senator Cornyn rises to rebut.
UPDATE @ 19:55 - A bit of housekeeping completed above, naming Senators' positions on various votes. Meanwhile, the Senate drones on about Kavanaugh, and Senator Craig brings up that the Senate will be voting on three nominations tomorrow, Kavanaugh and a cloture vote on the nomination of Kempthorne. I don't know who the third is, but hope to catch "the program" when the Senate closes shop for the night.
UPDATE @ 20:45 - Senator Hatch also drones on, and lets out that the 3rd nomination to be handled tomorrow is that of General Hayden. Senator Roberts delivers a testimonial for General Hayden. Senator Frist just outlined the planned schedule for tomorrow morning, as follows:
- 08:45 convene the Senate
- Vote on the Kavanaugh nomination
- Vote on the Hayden nomination
- Permit Senator Nelson to speak
- Cloture vote on the nomination of Dirk Kempthorne
- Permit Senator Landrieu to speak for 10 minutes
- Vote on the Kempthorne nomination (assuming cloture was invoked)
- Get out of town for the Memorial Day recess
Senator Wyden speaking on Hayden. He is laying groundwork to justify voting against the confirmation of Hayden, which is basically the NSA Terrorist Surveillance Program.
UPDATE @ 21:30 - Frist closes shop. Nothing striking below (except the measure to cause coins to be struck in recognition of the San Francisco mint) ...
- Pass S.2856 Financial Services Regulatory Relief Act of 2006
- Pass S.Res.469 A resolution condemning the April 25, 2006, beating and intimidation of Cuban dissident Martha Beatriz Roque
- Pass S.Res.236 A resolution recognizing the need to pursue research into the causes, a treatment, and an eventual cure for idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis, supporting the goals and ideals of National Idiopathic Pulmonary Fibrosis Awareness Week
- Pass H.R.1953 To require the Secretary of the Treasury to mint coins in commemoration of the Old Mint at San Francisco
- Pass S.633 A bill to require the Secretary of the Treasury to mint coins in commemoration of veterans who became disabled for life while serving in the Armed Forces of the United States
- H.R.4061 To amend title 38, United States Code, to improve the management of information technology within the Department of Veterans Affairs
- S.1235 Senate concur with House amendments -- To amend title 38, United States Code, to improve and extend housing, insurance, outreach, and benefits programs provided under the laws administered by the Secretary of Veterans Affairs, to improve and extend employment programs for veterans under laws administered by the Secretary of Labor
- First reading of S.3064
UPDATE @ 21:50 - Schumer's speech was objection to Kavanaugh, Levin's is support for Hayden. Levin's support is based on his impression that Hayden said the evidence does not confirm or deny a link between bin Laden and Saddam Hussein, but Feith tended to draw such a link, and thereby add some weight to the war against Saddam Hussein's regime.
Levin is harsh against the administration, but not against Hayden.
UPDATE @ 22:07 - Senate is adjourned