June 11, 2013
There were 55 Democrats and 27 Republicans who voted for passage; no Democrats voted against the bill. The Republicans who voted against the bill were: Sens. John Barrasso (Wyo.), John Boozman (Ark.), Mike Crapo (Idaho), Ted Cruz (Tex.), Mike Enzi (Wyo.), Charles E. Grassley (Iowa), James Inhofe (Okla.), Mark Kirk (Ill.), Mike Lee (Utah), James Risch (Idaho), Pat Roberts (Kan.), Tim Scott (S.C.), Jeff Sessions (Ala.), Richard Shelby (Ala.) and David Vitter (La.).
Senator Charles Schumer (D-NY), one of the authors of the bill gave an eloquent speech in support of immigration reform.
Ted Cruz (R-TX) talked about his amendments, which failed to pass the Judiciary Committee and stated his belief that the bill will not pass the House as it stands. The Tea Party Texan said that he supports legal immigration, but wants stronger border control. He claimed that immigration was a tool used by Democrats to win the 2013 and 2016 elections.
Senator Tim Kaine (D-VA) delivered his entire 41- minute speech in Spanish. It was reported that he is the first Senator to deliver a speech in Spanish on the Senate Floor.
The CNMI provision is still in the bill.
Now the debate begins. The bill is expected to pass by the July 4th recess and will face a more difficult path in the U.S. House where there is a Republican majority.
Earlier in the day I visited some offices concerning CNMI issues - the closing ob the Ombudsman Office, the immigration reform and minimum wage.
Every person I have spoken to questions the wisdom of the Ombudsman Office, but most agree that the decision is unlikely to be reversed.