Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist of Tennessee addresses the delegates of the Southern Republican Leadership Conference at the Peabody Hotel in Memphis, Tenn. on Saturday, March. 11, 2006.
Washington Times: Senate GOP to filibuster alien bill
Senate Republicans will filibuster their own immigration bill today in the face of steadfast refusal by Democrats to allow amendments to the bill that many conservatives view as granting amnesty to illegal aliens.
As an alternative, Majority Leader Bill Frist reached an agreement last night with fellow Republicans on a new comprehensive immigration plan that includes increasing border security and a guest-worker plan, but still does not resolve concerns about amnesty.
The new plan would allow illegal aliens who have been in the United States for more than five years to remain in the country working while applying for U.S. citizenship. Those who have been here between two and five years would have to apply for citizenship at a point of entry, but could remain working. Anyone here for less than two years would have to leave the country, but they could still apply for citizenship from their home country.
The Senate Democrats wanted an up or down vote on the Senate Judiciary Committee passed bill to further fracture the Republican majority. But, it appears GOP leader Frist has outmanuvered Senate Democrat leader Reid with a new compromise immigration plan.
Will the Senate Democrats reach across the aisle to embrace the new GOP measure?
The result: Stalemate with votes to end debate failing.
Senate leader Frist should then call up his bill (without amnesty and guest worker provisions) for an up or down vote. This will force the Democrats to vote against more border security and enforcement.
Mr. Frist declined to tell The Washington Times last night how he would vote on the alternative measure.
If neither of those bills receives enough votes to move forward, senators will have an opportunity before the end of the week to vote on a border-security-only bill introduced last month by Mr. Frist.
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