A project of the Center for Community Change

CIR Update: Round-up of yesterday’s amendments part 1

With cloture filed, it appears that a cloture vote is likely to happen tomorrow night.  However, the Senate may continue to debate “germane” amendments, that are deemed to be so by the parliamentarian.  How many germane amendments will be voted on after the cloture vote takes place remains uncertain.  With Sen. Thomas’ funeral scheduled for Sunday, it’s likely the Senate will attempt to avoid working through the weekend.
There are a number of votes pending this evening, but there were several votes earlier today that are listed below.  On the one hand, the Senate defeated a number of terrible amendments and passed the Lieberman amendment re: asylum and detention standards.
However, the Cornyn amendment that guts confidentiality protections in the Z-visa application did pass.  That amendment would require disclosure of information on Z-visa applications for investigations of criminal or civil violations and authorize disclosure of information after denials of visas.  This amendment chips away at the workability of the Z-Visa program, heightening the risk any applicant would take simply by filling out an application.Perhaps the most disappointing defeat for our side was the Menendez amendment to change the cut-off date for the family backlogs.  The news wasn’t all bad.  Though the amendment failed on a procedural vote, the majority of Senators did vote for the motion to waive Senate rules, which suggests the amendment would have passed if not for the 60-vote threshold required to waive “pay-as-you-go” requirements.
 
Amendment Update
 
So far today, the following amendments have been voted upon:
– SA 1197 (DeMint), which would have required immigrants to have health insurance to qualify for Z-Visas failed by a vote of 43 yeas and 55 nays.  See the vote at:
http://www.senate.gov/legislative/LIS/roll_call_lists/roll_call_vote_cfm.cfm?congress=110&session=1&vote=00188
– SA 1267 (Bingaman), which would have allowed Y-Visa holders to renew visas without leaving the US failed by a vote of 41 to 57.  See the vote tally at:
http://www.senate.gov/legislative/LIS/roll_call_lists/roll_call_vote_cfm.cfm?congress=110&session=1&vote=00189
– SA 1184 (Cornyn), which would have blown up a number of issues in Title II, failed by a vote of 46 to 51.  In its place the Senate passed a side-by-side amendment introduced by Kennedy (SA 1333) by a vote of 66 yeas to 32 nays.  To view the vote on the Cornyn amendment go to:
http://www.senate.gov/legislative/LIS/roll_call_lists/roll_call_vote_cfm.cfm?congress=110&session=1&vote=00187
– SA 1191 (Lieberman), which will improve treatment of asylum seekers and establishes a requirement for detention standards passed by unanimous consent.
– SA 1250 (Cornyn), which guts confidentiality in the Z-Visa application process passed on a vote of 57 to 39.
http://www.senate.gov/legislative/LIS/roll_call_lists/roll_call_vote_cfm.cfm?congress=110&session=1&vote=00190
– SA 1331 (Reid), which restates current law on application of the EITC to undocumented immigrants passed; the intent of this amendment is to give Democrats cover so they don’t feel they need to vote for the two Sessions EITC amendments.
http://www.senate.gov/legislative/LIS/roll_call_lists/roll_call_vote_cfm.cfm?congress=110&session=1&vote=00191
– SA 1234 (Sessions) to render legalized immigrants ineligible for the EITC passed by a vote of 56 to 42.  This one hurts, but wasn’t one we were expecting to win.
http://www.senate.gov/legislative/LIS/roll_call_lists/roll_call_vote_cfm.cfm?congress=110&session=1&vote=00192
– SA 1194 (Menendez) to change the cut-off date on family backlogs failed on a budget point of order raised by Republicans under the Senate’s new “pay-as-you-go” rules.  (I knew that could come back to haunt us some day.)  60 votes were needed to waive the point of order.
http://www.senate.gov/legislative/LIS/roll_call_lists/roll_call_vote_cfm.cfm?congress=110&session=1&vote=00193
 
Several more amendments are up for vote later this evening.  To see the results of votes not listed here, go to: http://www.senate.gov/legislative/LIS/roll_call_lists/vote_menu_110_1.htm
 
Upcoming Amendments
 
It’s not clear yet which amendments will be taken to the floor tomorrow.  Several more amendments, including ones addressing legalization and worker issues, were filed today.  In the mean time, here is a heads up on some upcoming amendments of note:
– SA 1236 (Baucus-Tester) would strike any reference to the REAL ID Act from the senate immigration bill.  Please support this amendment.
– Sen. Brown will be introducing a pro-worker amendment that CCC, FIRM, the Leadership Conference on Civil Rights and other groups have supported.  It esssentially requires Y-Visa employers to post job openings on a database to ensure American workers had an opportunity to learn about the job openings.  It is intended to discourage hiring practices that can sometimes be “kept in the family” so to speak.
– SA 1178 (Kerry) would require a minimum set of standards of treatment of immigrants caught up in ICE raids.  Right now, Kerry is looking for a Republican co-lead that can help get this amendment into the bill.  We’re looking to reach out to Hagel, Coleman, Grassley, Voinovich and others and we need some help.

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