Immigration compromise suffers crushing blow (AP - 6.8.07)
A broad immigration bill to legalize millions of people in the U.S. unlawfully suffered a stunning setback in the Senate Thursday, costing President Bush perhaps his best opportunity to win a top domestic priority.
The bipartisan compromise championed by the president failed a crucial test when it could not attract even a simple majority for an effort to speed its passage.
Intense public concern over immigration across the country conspired with high political stakes to produce a roiling debate on the issue. Ultimately, those forces overwhelmed a painstakingly forged liberal-to-conservative alliance that sought to insulate their compromise from partisanship. (Watch the high-profile bill go down and why "this is no small matter" )
Supporters could muster only 45 votes to limit debate and speed the bill to final passage, 15 short of what was needed on the procedural maneuver. Fifty senators voted against cutting off debate.
Most Republicans voted to block Democrats' efforts to advance the measure.