June 7th, 2007
03:03 PM ET
3 years ago

Reid warns immigration bill might be 'over with'

Reid told reporters Thursday the immigration bill may be "over with."

WASHINGTON (CNN) - Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nevada, threatened to pull the long-sought immigration bill off the floor if a key procedural motion to limit debate on the bill – which is to be voted on Thursday night - is defeated.

"The bill’s over with. The bill's gone. I mean what else can I do?" he asked reporters. "Should we spend more time on this so we don't get to debate gas prices, so we don’t have to chance to vote on whether or not Alberto Gonzales should stay on as attorney general?"

Reid's warning may have been part political tactic. He’s sending a message to Republican senators, who early Thursday voted as a group to defeat a similar motion to limit debate, that Thursday night’s vote might be their last chance to keep alive the immigration bill, components of which have polled favorably, that is President Bush’s top domestic priority.

Sen. Trent Lott, R-Mississippi, the number two Republican, held out hope a deal could be reached before Thursday night’s vote that would allow for a handful more amendments to satisfy Republicans but also let Reid know the debate will end soon and allow the Senate to move onto other matters.

But Lott said Reid hurt his cause with Republicans by scheduling the Gonzales no-confidence issue for the first vote after immigration. Lott complained the Gonzales legislation, “is irrelevant, non-binding and will do nothing but drive us into a pit of nastiness out here. What is the rush?”

– CNN's Dana Bash and Ted Barrett


Filed under: Immigration
soundoff (11 Responses)
  1. Josh, Austin, TX

    Illegal immigration is an important topic right now, and I think it deserves at least as much debate as other bills of this magnitude recieve.

    June 7, 2007 03:08 pm at 3:08 pm |
  2. Anonymous

    Die immigration bill, Die!

    June 7, 2007 03:27 pm at 3:27 pm |
  3. Joe Blow

    Senator Reid backtracking because the public ire has grown and continues to grow. Trying to blame the republicans at this point will only cause him damage. The republicans can truthfully say, it was the democrats bill.

    June 7, 2007 03:49 pm at 3:49 pm |
  4. DAN, SAN ANTONIO TEXAS

    Thats garbage!!Its hard to believe the components of this bill polled favorably unless the polls were done in Mexico and Guatamala.

    June 7, 2007 03:53 pm at 3:53 pm |
  5. Joanne Ciccone Charlottesville VA

    All of USA is confused about what to do about our heavy influx of illegal immigrants along with confusion over the Immigration Bill. We need an Immigration Bill which is devoid of any other subject, just immigration. This issue needs much more debate, without distractions.

    June 7, 2007 04:47 pm at 4:47 pm |
  6. Chris, San Diego, CA

    Secure the borders and enforce existing employment regulations FIRST. Then we can debate until the cows come home on amnesty and a temp worker program. Failure to do so puts the cart before the horse and only dooms us to fail (for the third time). Why is this so hard for our leaders (Dem or Rep) to understand?

    June 7, 2007 05:11 pm at 5:11 pm |
  7. Jimmy Pembroke GA

    Wake up America. Do you see any fence being put up? Any enforcement of privious laws? Now rewarding illegals, even those with criminals records by putting them AHEAD of those who did the right thing legally? Nothing is being done to secure the borders and nothing will be done....politics as usual? OR Ron Paul...make up your minds.

    June 7, 2007 06:35 pm at 6:35 pm |
  8. Bob Earl, Miami, Florida

    Senator Reid & his pals are the reason the citizens of the United States of America want
    "A WALL – NOT A FENCE"
    be built on our southern border stretching from the Pacific Ocean to the Gulf of Mexico with our military on the entire length of that border. Thank you Senator Reid

    June 7, 2007 07:23 pm at 7:23 pm |
  9. Garrett Indianapolis, IN

    Notice that Reid wanted limited debate on this bill and a quick vote. Why you ask? Because they didn't want to talk about it and how bad it was. I agree with anonymous: "Die immigration bill, die!"

    June 8, 2007 07:09 am at 7:09 am |
  10. P Gibbons, Springdale, Arkansas

    Immagration Bill might be "OVER WITH" The only comment I have to say about that statement is "PROMISE"

    June 11, 2007 02:19 pm at 2:19 pm |
  11. Chuck, Mohawk,NY

    This whole immagration bill is nothing but a cover-up for future votes when they finally are legal and to line some pockets of those who will be helping big buisness keep cheap labor!!

    June 27, 2007 12:12 pm at 12:12 pm |