Two big developments yesterday in the effort to pass the DREAM Act in the current lame duck session of Congress…

First, Harry Reid and Dick Durbin have introduced a new, scaled-down version of the bill in hopes of tempting wavering senators to join the team. The changes to the bill are major, and they make vote-counting a lot more difficult, at least in the short term. The new bill may shift a large number of votes, or none — it’s just impossible to say right now. If I get word on new commitments, I’ll pass them along in an update.

Second, though, is the big hitch. Yesterday all 42 Senate Republicans signed a pledge to filibuster any and all legislation in that body until agreement is reached on an extension of the Bush tax cuts. If the Democrats call their bluff, this could put not only the DREAM Act but also DADT repeal, extension of unemployment benefits, and other priorities in peril.

But if you can remember the last time the Democrats called the Republicans’ bluff, you have a longer memory than me.

I give it 24 hours until we’re back on track.