John Hawkins has the inside story of the arm twisting that's going on in the Senate over the amnesty bill. It has become abundantly clear that the Senate and the President only care about what the business wing of the base wants and to heck with the rest of the base. Business wants a porous border so they have access to cheap labor and that's what they'll get.
Yesterday, a GOP aide, who is one of my sources in the Senate, gave me the rundown on what's happening with the Senate immigration bill (this is the same person who I talked to last week about the bill).
First off, it does look like the Senate immigration bill is coming back. The conventional wisdom seems to be that it's going to be brought up right before the July 4th break, so that the Senate Republican leadership can try to use that as leverage to get votes (in other words, "vote for the bill or we'll have to waste your vacation time until you do").
This is despite the fact that the conservative leaders of the anti-amnesty movement are refusing to cooperate, and won't give Mitch McConnell a list of amendments that they want considered. My source tells me that the reason for this is that the game has now been rigged. McConnell is essentially promising to bring the amendments up in exchange for cloture votes, but he's publicly saying that they will strip any problematic amendments out in committee.
In other words, if the bill gets through the Senate and the House, the Democrats and the open borders Republicans will work together when the bills have to be reconciled in committee to strip out any amendments that the "grand bargainers" don't like. Therefore, at this point, it doesn't matter what amendments pass, because any tough enforcement provisions that slip through will be rendered toothless when the bills are reconciled.
My source also noted that the cloture vote to end debate will be the "real" vote on the bill because if debate is closed off, the bill is sure to pass. Then, what will happen is that the votes for the bill will be counted, and a few Senators who are afraid that their election prospects will be jeopardized by a "yes" vote, will be allowed to vote against the bill. This enables those Senators to tell their constituents that they voted against the bill, but it will still allow them to collect campaign contributions from lobbyists who have a better understanding of how things work, and know that the bill couldn't have been passed without their support. Put another way, they get to reap the rewards of supporting amnesty while telling the voters in their home states that they opposed the bill.
Make sure you read the rest because it shows just how stupid the Republicans are.
Michelle Malkin has some numbers to call to voice your displeasure. People from the state of Mississippi should call Trent Lott's office and tell him that they will be participating in the campaign of his primary challenger if he votes for cloture. They need to tell him that he should be more afraid of them than Bush. And those that live in Kentucky should be saying the same thing to Mitch McConnell. He is trying to force this bill on the American people even though we don't want it. He should understand that he will have to face the wrath of the base if he continues ignoring our wishes.