Thursday, June 28, 2007

Amnesty bill meets a fitting death

Chalk one up for the will of the American people.

The "immigration reform" bill pushed by a motley crew that included President Bush, Sen. John McCain and Sen. Ted Kennedy died on the Senate floor Thursday. Good riddance.

The people have spoken. Their elected representatives listened for once. The American people said "No" to amnesty for illegal aliens. No to open borders. No to jeopardizing our national sovereignty.

Senate Bill 1639 fell 14 votes short of the 60 needed for cloture, a fancy word for limiting debate, which would have cleared the way for final passage.

The pro-amnesty lobby needed 60 votes to push the amnesty bill through, but could muster only 46 votes, with 53 Senators (mostly Republicans) voting to kill the legislation.

The amnesty bill is dead until after the 2008 presidential elections thanks to hundreds of thousands of phone calls, letters and e-mails sent to Congress by the American people. The pundits predicted a tight vote, but in the end, the Senators heard the voice of the people loud and clear.

Sen. Jim DeMint, a Republican from South Carolina, described the fight over the immigration bill as "a war between the American people and their government," adding that the vote on cloture was "about whether or not we're going to listen to the American people."

All of the Democratic presidential candidates in the Senate — including Democratic front-runners Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama — voted to end debate and advance the bill.

On the Republican side, only Sen. John McCain of Arizona voted to keep the measure alive, effectively killing his chances for the GOP presidential nomination. Sen. Sam Brownback, a Republican from Kansas, originally supported the amnesty bill, but switched his vote at the last minute.

Of the 46 votes in favor of amnesty, 33 were cast by Democrats, with 12 Republicans and independent Joe Lieberman of Connecticut joining the pro-amnesty insurgency.

With mostly Democrats supporting amnesty for illegal aliens, be careful who you vote for in 2008 or you might be welcoming 12 million new U.S. citizens overnight. It's still possible the amnesty bill can be resurrected in the Senate. In fact, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., promised: "It will come back — it's only a question of when."

That's why it's important to send a simple message to your senators: "If you vote for amnesty, you'll never get my vote again." That's the message Pennsylvania residents need to send to Arlen Specter and Bob Casey, both of whom supported the amnesty bill despite overwhelming opposition from Pennsylvania residents. Just who are Specter and Casey representing?

Below is a roll call of how 99 Senators voted Thursday. Find out how your senators voted and remind them that their jobs are on the line if they defy the will of the American people again.

(A "NAY" vote was a vote to kill the Senate amnesty bill.)

YEAs — 46 ("YEAS" voted to keep the amnesty bill alive)

Akaka (D-HI) Bennett (R-UT) Biden (D-DE) Boxer (D-CA) Cantwell (D-WA) Cardin (D-MD) Carper (D-DE) Casey (D-PA) Clinton (D-NY) Conrad (D-ND) Craig (R-ID) Dodd (D-CT) Durbin (D-IL) Feingold (D-WI) Feinstein (D-CA) Graham (R-SC) Gregg (R-NH) Hagel (R-NE) Inouye (D-HI) Kennedy (D-MA) Kerry (D-MA) Klobuchar (D-MN) Kohl (D-WI) Kyl (R-AZ) Lautenberg (D-NJ) Leahy (D-VT) Levin (D-MI) Lieberman (ID-CT) Lincoln (D-AR) Lott (R-MS) Lugar (R-IN) Martinez (R-FL) McCain (R-AZ) Menendez (D-NJ) Mikulski (D-MD) Murray (D-WA) Nelson (D-FL) Obama (D-IL) Reed (D-RI) Reid (D-NV) Salazar (D-CO) Schumer (D-NY) Snowe (R-ME) Specter (R-PA) Whitehouse (D-RI) Wyden (D-OR)

NAYs — 53 ("NAYs" voted to kill the Senate amnesty bill)

Alexander (R-TN) Allard (R-CO) Barrasso (R-WY) Baucus (D-MT) Bayh (D-IN) Bingaman (D-NM) Bond (R-MO) Brown (D-OH) Brownback (R-KS) Bunning (R-KY) Burr (R-NC) Byrd (D-WV) Chambliss (R-GA) Coburn (R-OK) Cochran (R-MS) Coleman (R-MN) Collins (R-ME) Corker (R-TN) Cornyn (R-TX) Crapo (R-ID) DeMint (R-SC) Dole (R-NC) Domenici (R-NM) Dorgan (D-ND) Ensign (R-NV) Enzi (R-WY) Grassley (R-IA) Harkin (D-IA) Hatch (R-UT) Hutchison (R-TX) Inhofe (R-OK) Isakson (R-GA) Landrieu (D-LA) McCaskill (D-MO) McConnell (R-KY) Murkowski (R-AK) Nelson (D-NE) Pryor (D-AR) Roberts (R-KS) Rockefeller (D-WV) Sanders (I-VT) Sessions (R-AL) Shelby (R-AL) Smith (R-OR) Stabenow (D-MI) Stevens (R-AK) Sununu (R-NH) Tester (D-MT) Thune (R-SD) Vitter (R-LA) Voinovich (R-OH) Warner (R-VA) Webb (D-VA)

Not Voting - 1 Johnson (D-SD)

Harry Reid, pandering to the Democrats' liberal base, criticized the growing anti-amnesty movement, saying calls and letters have been "filled with prejudice and hatred and venom." It's called Democracy, senator. The right of the people to petition their government. Your side didn't win. Don't insult the American people any more than you have by just being in the Senate.

Another liberal stalwart, Sen. Diane Feinstein of California, said the American people are too stupid to understand that opening the nation's borders to anyone who wants to come in is a good thing. Amnesty opponents "don't understand the bill," Feinstein lamented.

Feinstein urged her colleagues to vote for cloture because "if we miss this opportunity, there is not likely to be another opportunity in the next few years to fix this."

Fix this? The same way Congress "fixed" the immigration problem in 1986 with another "comprehensive immigration reform bill" that failed to prevent millions of illegal aliens from entering the United States?

There is a fix, but it must follow a certain order: 1) Secure the U.S.-Mexico border. 2) Punish employers who hire illegal workers. 3) Document the illegal aliens already here. 4) Deport the criminals. 5) Make the 12 million illegals already here get in line with all those waiting legally to become U.S. citizens.

That's comprehensive immigration reform.

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