Immigration: What Cloture Does – In This Case Chad Pergram, It Does Not End a Filibuster

Tonight at 5:30 pm ET, through a vote to approve cloture, Harry Reid is attempting to end discussion on the Immigration/Amnesty bill within 30 hours of cloture approval. Senator Bob Corker’s amendment to “surge” large numbers of border agents to the border is being taken as “unprecedented,” proof of the seriousness of border protection. What we we were not told has gotten little media attention. What we were not told is that Janet Napolitano can waive all requirements for the fence and/or any other security technology, if she wants to do so, with no explanation necessary – no accountability necessary. Fox News’ Chad Pergram has posted a “guide” to the “cloture” vote. He says unlimited debate is the “norm” in Washington D.C. and tonight’s vote is an effort to stop a “filibuster,” and the idea that Senators have not had time to read the bill is “a bit of a spin.”

Chad Pergram

Chad Pergram

“Invoking cloture” in the Senate is a method for curbing debate. Unlimited debate is the Senate’s norm. So in order to halt a filibuster, the Senate must invoke cloture and terminate the debate later in the week. But it needs a supermajority of 60 votes to do so. Source: Chad Pergram, Fox News

To be clear, that comment is BS if interpreted to read that a filibuster is underway by opponents of this particular immigration bill. On Friday, Senator Corker’s amendment was released. Depending on the source, the amendment was 119 pages or 200 pages. The weekend loomed. Today’s it’s Monday and a vote will be held.

As Bill Kristol pointed out, the CBO scored the bill before the amendment. The amendment changes everything and it is unlikely the new CBO scoring will be available before tonight’s vote, and if it is available, there is doubt there will be time to scrutinize the scoring. as explained by

According to Kristol, the Corker Amendment is “complicated” and it’s not just 119 pages or 200 pages, it is “interlaced” through the bill – COMPLICATED, as you would expect the legislation to be, when adding thousands of border patrol agents and 700 miles of fence.

…it’s interlaced throughout the bill, it’s extremely complicated. For instance, you said it tightens all border security and the fence. The Department of Homeland Security can waive almost all of that, it turns out. It’s her discretion [Janet Napolitano], if she thinks it’s not necessary for security…Republicans can say, can we at least let people out there read the bill for a week?

The CBO, the Congressional Budget Office, scored the original bill. Now they’ve added a lot of border security that will reduce the number of illegals coming in. That will change the scoring in different ways. Are they going to have that Monday night? No…I think Republican Senators should not vote for cloture Monday night. Source: Bill Kristol

Pergram thinks the idea that Senators have not had time to read the bill is “a bit of a spin,” as the Gang of Eight bill has been available since May. Compare that to the reality that Kristol presents.

Sarah Palin had some comments on the bill today. She noted that Senator Marco Rubio “nixed” the amendments Senators Thune and Paul offered to assuredly secure the border. She pointed to what others have also pointed to – there are other ways and additional ways to secure the border. Everything should be on the table – with the exception of immediately granting a legal status on the way to citizenship before the border is assuredly secure.

More from Pergram:

Here’s why 60 votes are so important on immigration reform:

For starters, the Senate needs just a simple majority to OK most measures. But the trick is ending debate. That’s where 60 votes comes in to play. So if the Senate can score anything north of 60 votes on today’s cloture vote, the immigration reform bill is in business. It will have secured wide, bipartisan support — well above the simple majority threshold of 51 votes. That simultaneously plows the procedural road, preventing any senator from stopping it.

But this “test” vote features another dynamic. Watch how many votes it can garner above 60.

“I think we’re on the verge of getting 70 votes,” said Gang of 8 member Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., on “Fox News Sunday.” “We’re very, very close to getting 70 votes.”

The higher the vote total, the better, for supporters of the bill — because it could nudge the House to act. (And the vote does not immediately halt debate. It just limits debate to an additional 30 hours.)

The “unprecedented” surge of large numbers of border patrol agents to the border is not guaranteed:

Page 34, Line 24

Notwithstanding paragraph (1), nothing in this subsection shall require the Secretary to install fencing, or infrastructure that directly results from the installation of such fencing, in a particular location along the Southern border, if the Secretary [or her successors] determines that the use or placement of such resources is not the most appropriate means to achieve and maintain effective control over the Southern border at such location.

DHS Secretary Napolitano has already told us the border is secure.

As an aside, there are other non-immigration issues included in the immigration bill – one, the Travel Promotion Act which makes the $100 MILLION slush-fund to promote tourism PERMANENT, with Las Vegas particularly on the radar.

Call the Senate today and ask them not to vote for cloture until We The People can learn everything that’s in the bill and have time to talk to our Senators. One-by-one stories are breaking and those stories are of deceit. Let’s talk straight about this bill. Immigration is not being filibustered.

Linked at Grumpy Opinions – Read The Republican Party “Gone Missing” here.

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