The Senate will be holding a crucial procedural vote on the DREAM Act tomorrow (Saturday) morning. Most observers expect it to fail, but the list of who stands where is still pretty murky.
Two Senators — Kay Bailey Hutchison and John McCain — have come out against it in the last couple of weeks, while one supporter — Dick Lugar — wavered briefly before re-affirming his vote. But none of these announcements were at all surprising, and none changed the underlying dynamics of the vote.
I’m not going to try to do a full count just yet, because too much is still in play, but I will use this post to pass along what I know and what I learn over the course of today. Check back in for updates.
- DreamActivist released a new target list this morning, with just eight Senators on it — Democrats Kent Conrad, Mark Pryor, Joe Manchin, and Kay Hagan, and Republicans Sam Brownback George Voinovich, Olympia Snowe, and Susan Collins.
- And speaking of Kent Conrad, he’s a past opponent of the bill, but he gave a surprisingly positive response when asked about it late last week.
- As I noted last night, Democrat Ron Wyden — a solid DREAM Act supporter — was briefly considered a question mark for Saturday’s vote, due to upcoming prostate cancer surgery. But a spokesman has confirmed that though he’ll be away from the Senate for tests today, he will be back and voting tomorrow.
- I noted earlier this month that the White House had said that they expected to need seven Republican votes to pass the bill. No idea what that was based on, or if it’s still operative, but you can see my speculation here.
- The Daily Kos has a DREAM Act “whip count” post up, but it’s pretty much worthless. It lists nine Republicans who are on record against the bill — LeMieux, Hutchison, Ensign, Kirk, McCain, Kyl, Cornyn, Graham, Gregg — as possible gets, while it portrays Dick Lugar and Bob Bennett, who are on the record as solid supporters of the bill, as question marks. It’s just not based in anything, as far as I can tell.
- Just got off the phone with a staffer for Senator Snowe, who confirmed that “she’s planning on voting no.” Senator Collins’ staff said she’s still unannounced, and Landrieu’s staff promised to email me with a statement.
- A staffer for Senator Kay Hagan (D-NC) just confirmed for me that she’ll be voting no on the DREAM Act tomorrow.
- A new post up at the National Review’s “The Corner” blog says that anti-DREAM Act group Numbers USA believes they have 42 votes in opposition to the bill. They claim four Democrats — Mark Pryor, Ben Nelson, Jon Tester, and Hagan — as opposed.
- I now count
3938 announced votes against the DREAM Act, and 50 solid votes in favor. With 60 votes needed for passage, that means supporters need to win ten out of the remaining eleventwelve, or flip someone who has already declared against.
- Here are the
eleventwelve I see as up in the air: Democrats Kent Conrad, Byron Dorgan, Jon Tester, Max Baucus, Joe Manchin, Claire McCaskill, Mary Landrieu, and Jim Webb, and Republicans Sam Brownback, Susan Collins, and Lisa Murkowski. Edit: George Voinovich should be on this list. Sorry.
- At least two of the Senators on the above list, it should be noted — Jon Tester and Max Baucus — are widely seen as near-certain no votes, though they haven’t announced their plans yet.