The Senate's immigration bill cleared the Judiciary Committee on Tuesday by a vote of 13-5, reports Reuters. Amidst the fireworks of the recent scandal-mania on Capitol Hill, the bill has been quietly edging its way towards the Senate floor for several weeks. Now that it's cleared the Judiciary Committee, it's primed for debate on the Senate floor.
Three Republican senators – Orrin Hatch (Utah), Jeff Flake (Arizona), and Lindsey Graham (South Carolina) – voted for the bill, perhaps only because Sen. Patrick Leahy of Vermont pulled the controversial amendment that would have granted immigration rights to same-sex partners. Leahy said he dropped the amendment “with a heavy heart,” while Graham laid out a clear ultimatum, as reported by the Washington Times:
“You’ve got me on immigration; you don’t have me on marriage,” said Sen. Lindsey Graham, a South Carolina Republican and one of the eight senators who wrote the bill and who said he would have had to back out if Mr. Leahy’s proposal had passed. “If you want to keep me on immigration, let’s stay on immigration.”
Unfortunately, this cleared hurdle is a practice run. As much as I applaud good ol’ fashioned compromise, this sweet-smelling flower of bi-partisanship will wither next week when the bill is debated on the Senate floor. The topic of immigration is already heated enough, and only recently has some of the GOP been willing to change their views on immigration. The fate of at least 11 million people living in America, national security concerns (especially after the Boston bombing), and the still-unanswered question about how to control the flow of future immigrants hang in the balance.
Realistically, same-sex marriage/unions are probably inevitable, regardless of what “bigots” like myself and my fellow conservatives believe. Therefore, perhaps Republicans should have let this slide?
Just kidding, we all know neither side will budge. Let the gridlock begin. Viva los Estados Unidos!