Thursday, June 28, 2007

Reid Hoisted on His Own Petard

It looks like the Senate will fail to invoke cloture on the immigration bill today, and Roll Call explains that it's because of the curious rules that govern a 'clay pigeon:'

Until late in the day Wednesday, supporters of the bill had, as expected, blocked a series of amendments. But during the chamber’s vote on a real ID proposal backed by Montana’s Democratic Sens. Max Baucus and Jon Tester, conservatives realized it had strong enough support among Democrats that if they voted for the measure, it could hang the bill.

Because of the restrictive rules of the clay pigeon tactic, if an amendment within the pigeon is not defeated, Reid must get unanimous consent to move to a new amendment — a request to which conservatives objected.

Additionally, the delicate nature of the agreement to move the bill, including the Baucus-Tester amendment, throws the likelihood that Reid can invoke cloture on the bill today into serious doubt, since it appears enough Republicans oppose the amendment to block cloture.

However, while under the clay pigeon Reid could in theory simply remove the language, that could severely shake lawmakers’ faith in the process and likely doom the cloture vote as well...

The article notes that Republican leader McConnell was absent for most of the day.

How interesting that it might turn out that Reid's use of the 'clay pigeon' to revive the bill might turn out to be the reason for its undoing.

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