Monday, June 04, 2007

McConnell is a key to stopping immigration bill

The fate of the Senate immigration bill may come down to whether Senate Republican leader Mitch McConnell sides with President Bush and Democratic leaders or with the rank-and-file members of his own party.

McConnell can choose to accept Democrats' demands to finish the bill this week without major changes, or he can represent American voters by rallying with Republicans who say the bill is bad and getting worse, and want more time to fight it. Debate on the bill resumed Monday.

Republicans use words like 'confusion' to describe their party's approach on the issue, and say that has hurt their efforts to change or defeat the bill. Democrats, they says, have been far better organized.

Sen. John Cornyn of Texas, has about two dozen amendments he would like to offer. He says, 'I, for one, am going to object strongly to jamming this bill through by the end of the week.' He and other Republicans say there is no way a bill can be completed this week and they will demand more time. That will force Reid to make a procedural move to end debate, which will require 60 votes.

But without McConnell, Republicans say, they may not be able to block the bill.

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