Washington (CNN) - Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid said Tuesday he will add the DREAM Act, a controversial immigration measure, to a defense policy bill the Senate will take up next week.
The decision means the defense bill, which often passes with bipartisan support, will be home to two major, thorny political issues – the other being the repeal of the military's "don't ask, don't tell" policy.
Reid called the DREAM Act "really important" and said it should be passed because it provides a path to citizenship for young illegal immigrants who go to college or serve in the military. DREAM is an acronym for Development, Relief and Education of Alien Minors Act.
"I know we can't do comprehensive immigration reform," Reid said at a news conference. "But those Republicans we had in the last Congress have left us."
Many Hispanic voters are angry with Democratic leaders for not doing more to pass an immigration overhaul. The decision by Reid to add the DREAM Act now could help soothe that anger.
Senate Republican leader Mitch McConnell called Reid's decision "needlessly controversial."
The Senate will need 60 votes to take up the bill next week, and Reid said Tuesday he doesn't know if he has enough votes.
"I know we can't do comprehensive immigration reform."
Hey Reid, what can't we have comprehensive immigration reform?
Adding to the defense bill an immigration measure is not only idiotic, but out right underhanded. These jerks that say they are for the people is, just utterly nonsense. He has to be getting kickbacks from these minority groups just to think of adding it to this bill. Of course no one will do a damn thing about it. They are all on the take anyway. They are just crooks posing as honest politicians to make a dishonest buck and to hell with everyone else. Look at Republican Rick Scott running for Governor of Florida. One of the biggest crooks in the US, yet he won in the Republican primary in Florida. What a crock. This is what our government is about. Not helping the people, just lining their pockets.
Dingy Hairy at it again. If Dingy stooped any lower, he would be underground
The hispanics who are upset are the scofflaws who are here illegally.
What a weasel Harry Reid is. So, if conservatives vote against the "DREAM" act rider, liberals will report in the media that they voted "Against the troops".
Bunch of whiny, drama queen weasels.
So, stacking this in with and defense appropriations bill, (see Hate crime legislation)is part of the lame-duck stategy by the regressives to secure votes from the hispanic caucus and it'll be hard to stop since the right hasn't got the cojones to fight them. Entitlements will destroy this nation and both parties share the blame. Thanks for nothing.
Wow, they will do ANYTHING to get their 20,000,000+ voters, pre-addicted to our broke Social Services.
I think this exemplifies what the American people hate about Congress. If the bill is a good bill, it should pass on it's own merits, not be tied to another bill.
Congress needs to start proposing bills without the pork and without amendments. This is ridiculous. If you don't vote for the bill because of DREAM, then your anti-military. If you vote for the bill because you're pro-military, then you're labeled soft on illegal immigration. Stop with the game playing!!!
Vote NO – even if it shuts down the military temporarily. I'm sick and tired of how both parties have passed legislation this way.
This pathetic old man MUST go. Please, Nevada.....do the right thing.
Can we not put gays at the back of the bus yet again? Immigration reform is important, sure, and I'm sure the act is fine and dandy, but DADT is the easiest and most popular thing the Democrats can fulfill a promise on. Don't needlessly jeopordize it.
Harry Reid and Dems just care about illegals or children of illegals. Mr Reid, what about thousands of legal immigrants who have Masters' PHDs from US universities, waiting in line for almost 5 + for their green card due to bad employment based immigration procedures.
Mr. reid, Can you please first introduce a bill for that?
Just what we need. A way for illegals to have a better chance at taking our economy over for hopping the fence...VERY patriotic!
This exactly why nothing gets done in Washington D.C. Every bill is loaded up with five proposed measures one agrees with and five one deplores. Why not vote for each proposal as its own bill, and on its own merits?
Look at Harry Reid's logic. If someone robbed a bank and $100,000 dollars, they should be able to keep it even though it is illegal to rob a bank. Time to vote this self serving moonbat traitor out of office. He should then be tried for treason, locked up and have the key thrown away.
This guy is one of the most dangerous elected officials in Washington today... more than Pelosi and more than Hussein Obama.
His defeat in November will be cause for celebration.
What is wrong with this guy?
This is total BS. Reid is only trying to advance his own political re-election campaign by pandering to the minorities in NV. This is another waste of taxpayer money to aid an incompetent politician.
Why do we care if illegal immigrant hispanics are angry? If they are here against the law, I could care less about them!
How else will these Libs get reelected except by adding new illegal votes to the ones they used last time through the ACORN fiasco?
This gutless rat-turd is a real piece of work...I hope Nevadans will finally show some self respect and vote this elitist twit out of office.
Good by Harry....your career is OVER!
This is the reason Dirty Harry is going down in Nov. We may be trading one nut case for another but at least the new one won't have as much unchecked power like the creep king Harry.
Obviously it's some kind of trick. Virtually no one in DC can be trusted anymore.
needless to say, this bill should be dead on arrival. The Democrats are about to be neutered so it can wait until the next congress convenes. Hayy will be long gone thank God.
Why can't Reid understand, WE HAVE A FUNCTIONING IMMIGRATION PROCESS! It is slow and deliberative FOR A REASON! We do not want people to come here who DO NOT WANT TO BE AMERICANS!!! We do not want to make the felons of the rest of the planet into AMERICAN CITIZENS!!! We do not want to make the diseased, afflicted, and poor of the rest of the planet into AMERICAN CITIZENS We HAVE THE RIGHT to expect our government to be discriminant about who we DO allow to become citizens. Turkey-stuffing this fast-track back-door immigration garbage into bills that would otherwise pass on their own merits is yet another attempt to CIRCUMVENT THE WILL OF THE AMERICAN PEOPLE, AND GIVE AMNESTY TO ILLEGALS!!!!!!!