BREAKING NEWS Finally Feeling Like Fall Full Story

Immigration state of play: Senate gets ready to vote

The bipartisan deal has eme...

Posted: Feb 15, 2018 12:57 PM
Updated: Feb 15, 2018 12:58 PM

The bipartisan deal has emerged, but doesn't yet have 60 votes. And it's not just Republicans -- a handful of Democrats are still on the fence, senators and aides say.

All the while, the White House and conservative Republicans are doing everything in their power, both publicly and privately, to undercut the compromise proposal. To put it plainly, even if the bipartisan deal gets the votes, it hardly appears to be the answer.

As one senior GOP aide put it: "This deal works if Barack Obama is president, not Donald Trump. They need to come our way, we don't need to go their way."

Bottom line: This is the day on DACA in the Senate. If the bipartisan proposal has life, it will play out on the floor Thursday. But simple fact remains: life in the Senate doesn't mean a pathway to the President's desk ...

Does a plan exist that can get 60 votes: Not yet.

What to watch today:

- First Senate votes on cloture for amendments, timing TBD.

- Speaker Paul Ryan press conference, where he could join the Trump administration in trying to put a stake in the heart of the bipartisan deal.

How this is all going to work:

The first Senate votes of this entire debate should come Thursday (it's the Senate, so they need everyone to agree to have them, but that is expected to happen.)

- These will be cloture votes on four amendments.

- They will each have a 60-vote threshold.

- If any one of the amendments receives 60 votes and cloture is invoked, that amendment will then be open for other amendments.

- If an amendment doesn't receive 60 votes, the Senate will immediately move onto the next one in the queue.

Got it? OK, probably not. Here's an easier explanation.

There are four amendments. They need 60 votes to advance. This is the order they will be voted on:

- Coons-McCain bipartisan proposal (this does NOT have 60 votes, will not move forward)

- Toomey on sanctuary cities (this does NOT have 60 votes, will not move forward)

- Rounds-Collins (THIS IS THE BIPARTISAN PROPOSAL -- and will be THE vote to watch)

- Grassley-Cornyn (this is the White House proposal and does NOT have 60 votes, and barring some sudden change, will not move forward.

The order:

The order of these votes was the subject of extensive behind-the-scenes debate throughout the day Wednesday. Democrats (and some Republicans) wanted the Grassley proposal to be voted on before the bipartisan proposal, in order to take it off the table (because it lacks 60 votes) and create a "last chance"-type moment on the bipartisan bill. That effort obviously did not prevail. "McConnell said he'd allow a free and open debate, not let the minority dictate when each vote would occur," one GOP aide told me with a grin.

Where the votes stand:

There are eight Republican co-sponsors of the bipartisan plan. If -- and this is a big if -- every Democrat gets behind the proposal, 11 Republicans will be needed to get it across the 60-vote threshold. As of now, sources tell me, they aren't there.

"There's a pretty good chance we don't actually know whether we've got it locked in til it's time to vote -- just a lot of folks that could go either way," one aide directly involved in the process told me this morning.

The bipartisan deal

The product of weeks of negotiations -- and several iterations of drafts and language -- the final proposal was finally released late Wednesday night.

Key components:

- 10- to 12-year pathway to citizenship for 1.8 million

- $25 billion in a border security trust fund

- Restricts parents from being sponsored for citizenship by their US citizen children if that child gained citizenship through the pathway created in the bill or if they brought the child to the US illegally

- Does not touch the diversity visa program

More on all of this from Tal Kopan, Lauren Fox and Ted Barrett here.

How does the Trump administration feel about the bipartisan proposal:

Well, just before 1 a.m. Thursday morning, President Donald Trump's Homeland Security Department's press operation sent out a 1,592 word opposition document ripping into the proposal, piece by piece.

To make this as clear as possible: the administration has done everything in its power to nuke any potential bipartisan proposal that has started to form. Whether it's McCain-Coons, or Bennet-Gardner (a bill co-written by the NRSC chair!), or the latest proposal, the White House and DHS has done a full court press, with their allies on the Hill, to kill them off. Why? I laid this out in Wednesday's note, but the bottom line is they believe they've made their compromise on pathway. And don't want to move anymore.

More details here on what's been happening behind the scenes from Republicans trying to sink the bipartisan deal here, from Lauren Fox and me.

Keep an eye on this today:

Ryan's press conference. With the White House doing everything but officially threatening a veto, and Senate Republicans repeatedly saying the bill has no future, Ryan could really solidify that by saying today he would not put the bipartisan proposal on the floor if it made it through the Senate.

Would he do that? Unlikely -- not his style to get ahead and things and aides have made clear he wants to see everything play out. But as CNN's Deirdre Walsh lays out extremely well (via her ask of the key question to Freedom Caucus Chair Mark Meadows Wednesday), the pressure on him is building.

Mississippi Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 497790

Reported Deaths: 9917
CountyCasesDeaths
Harrison34102530
DeSoto31839398
Hinds31837622
Jackson24314377
Rankin21881388
Lee15427234
Madison14525279
Jones13772241
Forrest13412250
Lauderdale11937314
Lowndes10934185
Lamar10470135
Pearl River9431237
Lafayette8454138
Hancock7697126
Washington7365156
Oktibbeha7111129
Monroe6727174
Warren6642176
Pontotoc6609101
Neshoba6606205
Panola6460131
Marshall6386132
Bolivar6266145
Union596094
Pike5784152
Alcorn5633101
Lincoln5417134
George491879
Scott470998
Tippah465381
Prentiss464181
Leflore4627143
Itawamba4596104
Adams4570119
Tate4546109
Copiah445191
Simpson4421116
Wayne438572
Yazoo438586
Covington427394
Marion4216107
Sunflower4215104
Coahoma4115104
Leake407787
Newton380879
Grenada3692108
Stone358464
Tishomingo356391
Attala330289
Jasper328265
Winston313191
Clay306375
Chickasaw296767
Clarke290694
Calhoun277945
Holmes266987
Smith262550
Yalobusha232647
Tallahatchie225251
Walthall217763
Greene215548
Lawrence211140
Perry204755
Amite203954
Webster201645
Noxubee185340
Montgomery179056
Jefferson Davis170642
Carroll167438
Tunica158639
Benton147438
Kemper141241
Choctaw133026
Claiborne131237
Humphreys129038
Franklin119128
Quitman106227
Wilkinson104539
Jefferson94234
Sharkey64020
Issaquena1937
Unassigned00

Alabama Coronavirus Cases

Cases: 813481

Reported Deaths: 15179
CountyCasesDeaths
Jefferson1139971910
Mobile722271323
Madison51970686
Shelby37279341
Baldwin37069540
Tuscaloosa34934599
Montgomery33953725
Lee23142240
Calhoun22142470
Morgan20639372
Etowah19758496
Marshall18245300
Houston17302405
St. Clair15912337
Cullman15306290
Limestone15202198
Elmore15075284
Lauderdale14143294
Talladega13715272
DeKalb12569259
Walker11085366
Blount10094174
Autauga9893146
Jackson9789180
Coffee9182189
Dale8859181
Colbert8789200
Tallapoosa7044195
Escambia6732127
Covington6682179
Chilton6587160
Russell625958
Franklin5930105
Chambers5559142
Marion4955126
Dallas4882199
Clarke472782
Pike4719105
Geneva4564126
Winston4473101
Lawrence4264117
Bibb421686
Barbour355475
Marengo334089
Monroe330262
Randolph327063
Butler324794
Pickens313882
Henry310965
Hale309187
Cherokee299957
Fayette290679
Washington250951
Cleburne246958
Crenshaw243575
Clay240367
Macon230562
Lamar215846
Conecuh185652
Coosa178538
Lowndes173761
Wilcox167438
Bullock151744
Perry138040
Sumter131038
Greene125544
Choctaw86927
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A cold front passing through our area overnight will bring into our area some of the coolest temperatures of the season so far. We will see most of the highs this weekend only in the upper 60s to lower 70s. While overnight lows will drop off down into the 40s Saturday night.
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