December 13, 2010 § Leave a comment
Last Wednesday the House attached the DREAM Act (H.R. 6497) to another moving House bill, H.R. 5281 and passed it on a vote of 216 to 198. On the Senate side, initially the Senate was scheduled to take a procedural vote Thursday morning on its version of DREAM (S. 3992). But since the House passed its bill, Senate Democrats decided to focus on the House bill and to withdraw theirs–which they did last Thursday on a vote of 59-40. This was a significant strategic move by the Senate in order to increase the chances of DREAM being passed. The Senate delayed its initially scheduled cloture vote on S. 3992 then later withdrew the bill on the “table” vote to clear way for the House bill to move forward in the Senate. The House version is better strategically because: (1) A simpler path to victory. The Senate can pass the House-passed bill and immediately send it to President Obama for his signature. By contrast, if the Senate passes its own version, there would be a lengthy process of reconciling the two bills and another vote by at least one, if not both, chambers; (2) Waiting for the House version will give more time for the Senate to consider the DREAM Act and get the 60 votes it will need; and (3) Waiting for the House version will give the Senate time to address tax cuts and other big non-immigration issues that many Republicans want completed first. Clearing those issues will make it easier for Republicans to support DREAM. Now the need is ever more pressing for continued advocacy to urge all our Senators to vote “yes” on DREAM when the Senate brings it up for vote in the anticipated next several days.