Courtesy of Greg Siskind: It was a good day for immigration reform. 15 Republicans joined a solid block of every Democrat to pass a cloture vote 67-27 for the Hoeven-Corker substitute immigration bill - a key test vote on immigration reform. Today's vote s a pretty good indicator of what will happen on Thursday on the final vote in the Senate on the immigration bill. Six Senators couldn't make the vote because of flight delays. Two were definite Democrat votes meaning that 70 votes is a real possibility.
I mentioned earlier that I was able to watch the proceedings from the Senate gallery. Though I've made dozens of trips to DC over the years to work on immigration issues, this was actually my first time in the gallery for one of the two chambers in the Capitol. The atmosphere was somewhat party-like as the Senators gathered for a vote that turned out to be more lopsided than many would have initially imagined.
It's a pretty sure bet that the final vote on a Senate bill will come on Thursday. But there could still be more amendment votes. Senator Corker told reporters this afternoon that a deal for 10 amendments to be offered by each side might be considered. No word yet on which amendments might make the cut.
Things are moving on the House side as well. The House Judiciary Committee is set to mark up the E-Verify and high-skilled worker bills. Those bills and the other enforcement bills that have already passed.
This week we could also see the much-awaited House bipartisan bill (written by the Gang of 7) finally be introduced. It's writers clam to be finished with negotiating the framework.Whether that bill will be considered is still not known.
Speaker Boehner says he would like a bill passed on the floor by the end of July. That would then lead to the House and Senate setting up a conference committee to try and hammer out a compromise.
So there are many steps remaining before the bill would make its way to the President's desk for his signature.