WASHINGTON — Enthusiasm in the Senate for the debate over immigration gave way to reality Wednesday as party leaders quarreled to a stalemate over how to consider dozens of proposed amendments.
Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid’s move to schedule votes on the first five amendments was rejected by Republicans who opposed the Nevada Democrat’s plan to require 60 votes for passage.
“There is no reason, particularly in this first week, at the beginning of the process, to be blocking our amendments with a 60-vote margin,” said Sen. Charles E. Grassley of Iowa, who is leading the debate for Republicans. “It really looks like the fix is in, and the bill is rigged to pass basically as it is.”
Senators from both parties have suggested changes that could boost the chance of adding GOP votes needed to pass the legislation, or could erode the fragile bipartisan balance that now exists on the bill.
Many of the Republican amendments take aim at the cornerstone of the compromise: a 13-year pathway to citizenship for the estimated 11 million people living in the United States who entered illegally or have stayed on expired visas.
Read More at The LA Times . By Lisa Mascaro.