Today Senator Reid filed cloture on the DREAM Act setting the stage for a vote on the bill this Wednesday in the Senate, while the House will probably vote earlier and pass the bill. Although the bill is not likely to pass in the Senate (given the estimated vote counts), DREAM Act and immigration reform advocates will be able to draw a line in the sand. This is the strategy according to this piece in The Hill:
“Because the bill has a much better chance of passing in the lower chamber, staging the House vote first would “give a little more push” to the Senate version, according to a Democratic aide familiar with the debate.
The measure is not expected to pass the upper chamber, where lawmakers shot down a similar measure in September and where 60 votes will be needed to defeat a Republican filibuster. But by insisting on the two separate votes this week, Democrats are hoping to draw a clear and very public distinction between themselves and Republicans on the topic of immigration reform — in part as a way to court the ever-growing voting bloc of Hispanic Americans.”
The prospect of a GOP filibuster isn’t deterring DREAMers and other advocates from reaching out to Republican lawmakers who have supported the bill in the past, including Senator McCain, who lived up to his “McNasty” moniker when approached by DREAM activist Gaby Pacheco shortly before the Thanksgiving recess. You can read about how McCain treated Pacheco here.