Indiana’s Dick Lugar has confirmed that he will be supporting the DREAM Act if and when it’s brought up for a vote in the Senate’s lame duck session. Lugar, a longtime sponsor of the DREAM Act, surprised many in recent days when he announced that he was having second thoughts about the bill.
The Senate was slated to hold a crucial procedural vote on the DREAM Act yesterday, but Majority Leader Harry Reid pulled it from the floor. Supporters now intend to bring it back next week, in a revised version designed to duplicate the one that the House of Representatives passed recently.
The White House has said that they anticipate needing seven Republican votes to secure the DREAM Act’s passage. Right now they have two — Lugar and outgoing Utah senator Bob Bennett. Olympia Snowe of Maine, long regarded as a must-have Republican vote on the bill, reportedly decided this week to oppose it.
Right now the DREAM Act’s only barrier to passage — and it’s a huge one — is political. The list of current and past supporters of the measure in the Senate is well over the sixty it now needs. The odds against adoption of the bill remain extremely long, but the political climate in Washington is in an unusual state of flux right now, and additional surprises are far from out of the question.