The Senate passed preliminary but key votes Tuesday in its march to approval of sweeping, bipartisan immigration reform, but final passage remained uncertain as Republicans pushed for tighter border-security provisions and tougher rules for those seeking legal status.
The two procedural votes effectively put the bill formally before the Senate and open for amendments. Both drew more than 80 votes, reflecting a bipartisan desire to have the debate that now is expected to last three weeks.
However, Sen. Mitch McConnell of Kentucky was among the Republicans who pointed out that the 60-vote majority his party is demanding for final passage is hardly assured.
“This bill has serious flaws,” he said.
Yes, we have a few on our side who seem willing to fight lately but they always seem to be in the minority of the minority party in the Senate. I’m all for vigorous debate and I don’t even mind some compromise every now and then if I know I’ve got real fighters representing my interests. Let’s just say that the McConnell version of the Senate Republicans haven’t done anything in…well…ever to make me feel that way.