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Reid Promises a Lame-Duck Vote on the DREAM Act

October 31, 2010 - by Donny Shaw

What’s actually going to happen in the lame duck session of Congress is still pretty much a mystery. But if Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid’s [D, NV] word is worth anything, we now know for sure at least one bill that will get a vote, and — no surprise here — it’s one with strong appeal to the Latino voters in Nevada Reid is counting on to help him defeat challenger Sharron Angle on Tuesday. The Hill:

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) vowed on Spanish-language television to bring the DREAM Act back for a vote in the lame-duck session.

On the Univision program “Al Punto,” Reid was repeatedly hammered by host Jorge Ramos on whether the vote would happen, win or lose on Tuesday.

“The answer is yes,” Reid said.

The DREAM Act would establish a path to citizenship for some undocumented immigrants under the age of 35 who graduate high school or promise to serve in the military. Applicants for citizenship under the DREAM Act would have to meet certain criteria designed to prevent the bill from being exploited and to weed out applicants that have been in trouble with the law.

There’s no reason to think this will pass. The last time the bill was voted on (2007), it failed, 52-44, to get the 60 votes needed to overcome a Republican filibuster. And in September when the Democrats tried to bring up a Defense Authorization bill that had the DREAM Act attached, it was voted down and blocked by all Republicans plus Sen. Ben Nelson [D, NE]. With the votes almost definitely not in place in the lame duck session, the main effect of Reid’s plan to vote on the DREAM Act will probably be to eat up time and prevent other items, like repealing “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” or creating fifth tier of unemployment benefits, from getting considered.

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