Dream Act Senate vote postponed

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Leslie Berestein Rojas/KPCC

At the UCLA Downtown Labor Center Thursday, December 9, 2010, where students campaigning for the Dream Act held a press conference after the Senate voted to table the measure. Speaking at the podium is Carlos Amador, a UCLA graduate student who is undocumented.

The U.S. Senate was supposed to vote this morning on the Dream Act. The measure would grant legal status to undocumented students and members of the military. But the vote’s been postponed.

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid promised a vote on the Dream Act and put it on the schedule. Not a vote on the measure itself, just what’s called a “cloture” vote – a test to see if there’s the 60 votes needed to avoid a filibuster.

It’s unlikely that the 60 votes are there. And Republican members don’t want to vote on anything until there is an agreement on tax cuts.

So Senator Reid used parliamentary procedure to postpone. He suggested that since the House had passed its own version of the Dream Act Wednesday night, why not just vote on that rather than tackling the Senate version and having to reconcile the two?

The reason: Reid could reschedule a vote on the Dream Act after the tax cut vote.

It’s still unlikely that Reid can rustle up the 60 votes he needs, but for now, the Dream – Act – lives another day.

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