Posted: 9:29 p.m. Monday, June 24, 2013
By Jim Galloway
So you know about this – from the Associated Press:
WASHINGTON — Historic immigration legislation cleared a key Senate hurdle with votes to spare on Monday, pointing the way to near-certain passage within days for $38 billion worth of new security measures along the border with Mexico and an unprecedented chance at citizenship for millions living in the country illegally.
The vote was 67-27, seven more than the 60 needed, with 15 Republicans agreeing to advance legislation at the top of President Barack Obama's second-term domestic agenda.
Neither of Georgia’s senators voted – they were delayed by a round of storms pummeling Washington D.C. But both said they would have opposed it.
From U.S. Sen. Johnny Isakson:
“I regret that I missed today’s vote because my first flight was canceled and my next flight was delayed by bad weather. Had I been here for the vote, I would have voted no on this motion to end debate on this amendment.
“While I appreciate and applaud the vast improvements in the border security provisions, I feel there were still too many waivers and other loopholes that could have allowed green cards to be issued before our nation’s borders were truly secured.”
And from U.S. Sen. Saxby Chambliss:
“I regret my flight delay tonight prevented me from voting against ending debate on the 1,200 page Leahy substitute amendment. We all know our immigration system is broken and we need to fix it.
“However, we should be having a full and open debate on solutions, not rushing to finish the bill before Sen. Reid’s artificial deadline. I have serious concerns with several provisions in the bill including border security, interior enforcement, and the program designed to address our agricultural labor workforce, and until those concerns are addressed I cannot support limiting debate.”
The fact that they’re sticking together makes it unlikely that either will vote for the general bill. U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio’s endorsement wasn’t quite enough.
Farming interests in the state had urged a vote of approval.