From Talking Points Memo:
By a vote of 55 to 41, a cloture vote on the DREAM Act failed in the Senate this morning. That brings an end to the push for the legislation — which would provide a pathway to legal status for illegal immigrants who serve in the military or earn college degrees — until the 112th Congress, which will convene Jan. 5.
That Congress will have more Republicans than this one did, which doesn’t bode well for the prospects of the DREAM Act passing in 2011. As expected, Republicans lined up to stop the cloture vote on DREAM, fearful of being singed by a conservative base that has zero tolerance for immigration reform beyond the type favored in the Grand Canyon State.
Ironically — or perhaps predictably in the current Senate environment — DREAM was a bipartisan bill when it was introduced in the Senate in 2007 by Sens. Dick Durbin (D-IL), Chuck Hagel (R-NE) and Richard Lugar (R-IN). Now, defeat of the bill has fallen along largely partisan lines as expected.
But there were a few who jumped ship — Republican Sens. Dick Lugar (IN), Lisa Murkowski (AK), and Bob Bennett (UT) voted yes on cloture. Democratic Sens. Mark Pryor (AR), Jon Tester (MT), Ben Nelson (NE), Kay Hagan (NC), and Max Baucus (MT) all voted no. Jim Bunning (R-KY), Judd Gregg (R-NH), Orrin Hatch (R-UT), and Joe Manchin (D-WV) were absent.
Read it all.
So why was newly elected West Virginia Senator Joe Manchin absent? I hope this isn’t a sign of a supposedly conservative Democrat squishing out already!