Immigration Debate is Back!!!

So you thought the Bill was dead, not so fast. Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) is expected to file for cloture on a motion to proceed on the newly reintroduced Secure Borders, Economic Opportunity, and Immigration Reform Act (S. 1639*) on Wednesday, a move that could pave the way for a final round of debate and votes on the Senate immigration reform proposal.

Faced with two major pieces of legislation to complete before the July Fourth recess – immigration and energy – Senator Reid has threatened to keep his colleagues at work on immigration reform through this weekend. The Senate could begin debate as early as Thursday and may vote Friday on cloture, a procedural motion that must pass with 60 votes before the Senate can move forward with the amendment process. If the motion passes, the Senate could then devote the weekend to votes on amendments, to be followed next week by a vote on final passage.

As part of a deal reached by the bill’s “grand bargainers,” amendments to S. 1639 will be limited to a negotiated package of 20-24 amendments. The final list of amendments agreed upon by Senate leaders is not yet available, but reports suggest that each party will be limited to 10-12 amendments, a small fraction of the hundreds of amendments that were filed during the debate on S. 1348. More information about these amendments will be posted on InfoNet as soon as it becomes available.

* Introduced on June 18 by Senator Edward Kennedy (D-MA), S. 1639 contains the provisions originally included in the “grand bargain” substitute amendment (SA 1150) to S. 1348, as amended during the two weeks of Senate floor debate.