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Posted at 6:00 AM ET, 12/18/2010

Senate's full plate: DADT, START, DREAM Act

By Felicia Sonmez

As Congress's lame-duck session enters its final days, the Senate is convening for the second Saturday this month, with key votes slated on a trio of hotly debated and highly politicized measures.

The issues run the gamut from a U.S.-Russia nuclear treaty to a measure that would provide a pathway to citizenship for young undocumented immigrants to a bill that would repeal the "don't ask, don't tell" law banning gay individuals from serving openly in the military.

On top of that, the clock is ticking on a measure to keep the federal government running; its day-to-day funding is set to expire Wednesday.

Things will kick off at 9 a.m. Saturday, when the Senate comes into session. Senators from both parties will have some time for debate, which is likely to center on the DREAM Act -- the immigration measure -- and "don't ask, don't tell."

Later in the morning, shortly after 10:30 a.m., the Senate is slated to vote on whether to proceed on each measure.

The DREAM Act appears likely to fall short of the 60 votes necessary to end debate and move forward. Supporters of ending "don't ask, don't tell," meanwhile, say they are confident they have more than 60 votes, boosted by the recent support of four key Republican senators.

If the Senate does vote to proceed on "don't ask, don't tell," a final vote on repealing the military policy could come as early as Saturday night.

Things are somewhat more unpredictable on the the U.S.-Russia nuclear agreement known as New START. Some Republican START supporters, miffed at Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid's (D-Nev.) decision to bring "don't ask, don't tell" up for a vote, are now expressing second thoughts about backing the nuclear treaty, making its future uncertain. The treaty needs the support of two-thirds of the Senate in order to be ratified.

The House, meanwhile, is out of session for the weekend following an eventful week. The lower chamber is slated to return at 10 a.m. Tuesday morning.

By Felicia Sonmez  | December 18, 2010; 6:00 AM ET
Categories:  44 The Obama Presidency  
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Comments

The pro amnesty Dream Act people like to say illegal alien children were brought here thru no fault of their own. The truth is they were brought here thru no initiative of their own to the Disneyland of the world & have been blessed to be allowed to stay in the happiest place on earth, with no ticket out in the open, not in the shadows & should be grateful, but instead too many of them, after getting to stay in paradise, with no ticket, want to go on all the rides for free.
How about a little gratitude instead of attitude? This is not your country & contrary to your mindless rhetoric, you are not America, so if you want to complain, go back to the corrupt third world ghetto you came from & rag on it, but while you’re here, why don't you try having some gratitude to a nation that's given you more than the one you came from & more than it gives to its illegal aliens & if you want to blame some one for your problems, try yourself , the corrupt government of the country you’re from & your own bad attitude of a lack of gratitude?

Posted by: chuckawala | December 18, 2010 3:19 PM | Report abuse

From CAPS....Good News! DREAM Act Amnesty Fails in Senate!

America prevails in its fight against illegal immigration...for the time being.

Posted by: Patriot12 | December 18, 2010 2:02 PM | Report abuse

This is not the end. It is just the beginning. Many of us are in the path to become US Citizenships. Many of us are already voters. We will never forget today dear Republicans.

Posted by: Carrick319 | December 18, 2010 1:03 PM | Report abuse

The U.S. Senate may be the only so-called representative body in a democrracy in which a majority can vote for for something and it still loses.

Some of these things will pass, and some will fail, but they all illustrate the major probmlem. The Senate rules are archaic. It takes 60% for most things to pass, a single senator can hold up an appointment or a bill on a whim, and senatorial privilege trumps the will of the voters.

Change the Senate rules.

Posted by: tinyjab40 | December 18, 2010 12:21 PM | Report abuse

Stupid move Republicans, make sure Hispanics brought here through no fault of their own grow up to lives in the shadow economy and of course, in uglier forms of crime.

Everybody wants to secure the border. So why don't we? Republican business owners, obviously. Democrats don't want illegal immigration (unless you believe there is a multi-generational plot to increase D voters by hoping they will get naturalized some day, like you know, what Ronald Reagan did...kooky Republicans.

Posted by: shrink2 | December 18, 2010 11:49 AM | Report abuse

Evlanton,

you have it backwards. Supporters of the Dream Act are helping other countries by helping people break into our country and then gain legal status even though they have shown a fundamental disrespect for our laws. Do not forget that we already have the most general legal immigration system on the planet, granting over 1 million green cards every single year, the larger part of which goes to Mexicans and people from central and south America.

Supporters of the Dream Act are short-sighted shallow thinkers who do not see the big picture and the long term damage the US quality of life down the road - a huge unsustainable population with all of the attendant problems. If unlimited population growth were such a good thing, India should be the most prosperous nation in the world.

Is it selfish to want to preserve the quality of life in the US for its citizens? So what? Emigrants are emigrating for selfish reasons. The selfish label goes nowhere in your argument.

Posted by: merbc | December 18, 2010 11:09 AM | Report abuse

This is the most corrupt and treasonous, lame-duck session in American history.

The dead ducks have been totally rejected by America and yet they persist in trying to jam these poison pill bills down our throats.

It is the most hated congress in American history and the reasons are obvious.

Giveaways to our enemies

Freebies to outlaw immigrants

Homosexualizing America's military.

These are the biggest stink-bombs we have ever seen.

Posted by: battleground51 | December 18, 2010 10:45 AM | Report abuse

If the DREAM Act is approved there will be 2 million less American kids going to college over the next several years because some politicians want to give those slots to illegal aliens.

Why do some politicians hate American kids so much???

However we American citizens do get one thing out of it... the bill. Yup the democrats want the American taxpayer to subsidize their education while cheating our own American kids.

The Nightmare Act has no cap, no end-date and no enforcement. Illegal aliens merely have to claim — not provide evidence — that they meet criteria. It's simply a "mass ongoing amnesty". In the future any foreign family with a school age child can sneak in the country and enroll their child in school to obtain automatic citizenship.

Why do some politicians encourage this corruption???

Posted by: fury60 | December 18, 2010 10:44 AM | Report abuse

Carrick, unless you are Janet Napolitano, you have no knowledge of the level of vetting that BCIS will carry out. From experience with previous legalization programs and the current non-enforcement policies of BCIS, even dismissing thousands of existing deportation cases, there is evidence that applications for Dream act 10-year work permits will be accepted without vetting. DHS doesn't even have the manpower to do what it's supposed to do right now, let alone administer or enforce anything new.

And anyone that is working illegally has broken a number of our laws.

And there is the matter of trust. Because our government never carried out their promises from 1986 to enforce laws so as to end illegal immigration. Why should we have anymore legalization programs for anyone when we are still waiting for what was promised 24 years ago? The 1986 was billed as a one-time only legalization, so another legalization program means we can only believe actions, not words.

My solution to end illegal immigration is: mandatory E-Verify to check ALL jobs in the US, even those currently held.

When the workplace is cleared of illegal workers, then and only then will the US citizens be able to trust their government, and we can think about a numerically capped legalization program for true STUDENTS who are true high-achievers only relative to the general population, like the ones commonly trotted out in the press. They will never be able to petition for any family members.

Posted by: merbc | December 18, 2010 10:27 AM | Report abuse

What bothers me about all the opponents of the Dream Act is that they don't really care about helping the country. They are not real Americans, they are just want to take and take from our society and don't want to help our society improve by adding to our educated workforce....they are all about me, and not about US...

Don't we have a word for that in English? Oh yeah...selfish.

Posted by: evlanton | December 18, 2010 10:20 AM | Report abuse

I made an error in my previous post. WalMart is not open Christmas. It is open every day before and after. I'd say the Senate can do the same.

Posted by: tinyjab40 | December 18, 2010 10:13 AM | Report abuse

The Dream Act represents for millions of illegal aliens, a 10-year legal status to work here if they apply for the status, even if they don't qualify. At the end of the 10-years the only penalty is that their status goes back to illegal alien.

There is absolutly no risk, no penalty for fraudulently applying for the Dream Act benefits.

There is no way that our government is even interested to vetting the applications sufficiently to weed out unqualified people; the administration has spoken that they would like to legalize everyone except for the small number of dangerous criminals amongst them. Even now the law enforcement agency tasked with enforcing all of our immigration laws announces that it enforces the law unevenly, leaving the 95% that are non-dangerous alone.

The passage of the Dream Act will be a population nightmare for our country.

Posted by: merbc | December 18, 2010 10:11 AM | Report abuse

votingrevolution worries Marines with slopping ãsshøles will be mincing around fire bases sporting fairy wings.

Republicans just might be crazy.

Posted by: shrink2 | December 18, 2010 10:07 AM | Report abuse

This is not how the Dream Act works. Even the most naive person knows that USCIS is going to ask for a boatload of papers before they advance one of those application, which btw is going to be paid for the beneficiaries.

We all know that school records will be the best proof of continuing residency. If you are paying 1K for application under the Dream Act, it is obvious that there is going to be a due process.

Those kids are going to wait for at least 10 years to become permanent legal residents. 10 years. Do you think that is amnesty? I bet it is not. The meaning behind the Dream Act goes beyond whether it is going to pass or not. We already know it is not going to pass. It will take a miracle. But, Republicans are doing an awful job trying to block this law.

Posted by: Carrick319 | December 18, 2010 9:54 AM | Report abuse

OPENLY GAY......This country will see the full negative effects on are military in ten to twenty years if they repeal this.Ordinary 'straight'citisens should take a stroll threw a gay bar and see and feel the atmosphere and then make your judgment.Now picture those types as officers ?

Posted by: votingrevolution1 | December 18, 2010 9:53 AM | Report abuse

I got a kick out of the GOP Senator who said that for the Senate to work up to Christmas or the week after Christmas somehow disrespected Christianity. He needs to get a life. I have a relative who works for Wal-Mart. She will work almost every day this coming week, and there will be people in her store working Christmas Day. The very big businesses this GOP Senator represents are the ones who truly disrespect Christmas.

If ordinary people can work though Christmas, why not the Senate if they haven't done their work before?

Posted by: tinyjab40 | December 18, 2010 9:40 AM | Report abuse

And in other news, 150 Mexican thugs just escaped from Prison and, just like millions of more illegals are headed to the US to take advantage of the DREAM ACT and then sponsor 30 million more LaFamilia members for U.S. citizenship.

Free education and welfare for 3 million illegals under 40 in this nation....with 11 of them considering signing up for military service.

PC BS pandering and illegal alien magnets have gone too far!

Call your liberal idiot Senators and Tell Them NO to the NIGHTMARE Act.

Posted by: Patriot12 | December 18, 2010 9:36 AM | Report abuse

Are conservatives insane? Don't you realize why illegal labor is in this country? Who do you think owns, operates and profits from the exploitation of illegal labor (hint: Democrats are not business owners, right?). But you toadies really think the whole porous border problem is an elaborate multi-generational plot by Democrats to increase their voting base? Or you don't really care about illegal labor so long as it doesn't become legal labor, is that it? The Republican mind is an oxymoron.

Posted by: shrink2 | December 18, 2010 9:32 AM | Report abuse

Carrick318: Fury...you should change your name to fearful. The Dream Act will never put those kids on the job market immediately and you know it. They may be already working full time jobs now since most of them pay for their education.

-------------
Carrick318, this bill IMMEDIATELY GIVES 10-YEAR WORK VISAS to applicants for the amnesty. NO "waiting" until you complete 2 years of college or the military, all that this bill requires, NOT a college degree. Just claim that you're under 30 and entered before age 16 and you get a work visa. NO verification procedures and no penalty for fraud or not meeting its requirements. Information in the application CANNOT be used to deport you, and do we really think that this Administration or any other is going to be able to deport people who DON'T meet the very minimal requirements of this bill? After all, Obama's not deporting non violent illegal aliens NOW. Meanwhile, the work visa gives them a legal right to work and presumably an SS number, thus complicating efforts to identify and remove them, should an Administration actually decide to do so. Look at TPS and how well THAT hasn't worked.

By the way, Carrick 318, what do you think will be done about the PARENTS of those who get work visas. You know, the parents who brought the kids here illegally? Wanna bet that this Admin will do nothing, or claim that deporting them would hurt a "legal" resident?

Posted by: Ali4 | December 18, 2010 9:23 AM | Report abuse

This "lame duck" congress should be called the "Kamikaze" congress because it is determined to inflict maximum damage on the country before it goes out of business.

Posted by: rplat | December 18, 2010 9:11 AM | Report abuse

This "lame duck" congress should be called the "Kamikaze" congress because it is determined to inflict maximum damage on the country before it goes out of business.

Posted by: rplat | December 18, 2010 9:10 AM | Report abuse

This "lame duck" congress should be called the "Kamikaze" congress because it is determined to inflict maximum damage on the country before it goes out of business.

Posted by: rplat | December 18, 2010 9:10 AM | Report abuse

The bill stinks it opens the door for the kids to invite their family's and we have more than enough as it is. Also the cut off age is obscenely high if it is for the kids why is the age so high?

This is just a stealth Amnesty. I know it you know it and your biggest problem is the rest of America knows it and says not only no but hell no.

We have millions of unemployed citizens and Harry Reid spits on them every time he brings this up.

Posted by: PennyWisetheClown | December 18, 2010 9:03 AM | Report abuse

The DREAM ACT:
A betrayal of the American values of self reliance and self determination to achieve success.

A confirmation of the inferiority of the Latino race.

A validation that Latin America's communist agenda can be forced onto the American people through the use of seemingly innocent community groups.

A shocking display of how Latin America could conceivably topple the United States of America from within.

Posted by: BULLFIGHTER11-11 | December 18, 2010 8:50 AM | Report abuse

dems need citizenship so that they can vote...
I don't think they deserve to change the political landscape of America illegally...
can't believe the cbc will let themselves become irrelevant...

Posted by: DwightCollins | December 18, 2010 8:45 AM | Report abuse

I understand certain GOP Senators are holding START hostage, threatening to stall START if DADT passes.

The Senate is dysfunctional. It requires 60% to get most things done. Individual Senators can hold up bills and appointments on a whim. When they come back, they need to reform the Senate rules and do away with those undemocratic privileges. Except where the constitution specifices otherwise, operate the Senate on a straight majority vote plain and simple with no individual being able to put a private hold on anything. Right now, the Senate and the way it functions is a disgrace.

Posted by: tinyjab40 | December 18, 2010 8:24 AM | Report abuse

Fury...you should change your name to fearful. The Dream Act will never put those kids on the job market immediately and you know it. They may be already working full time jobs now since most of them pay for their education.

How in the world you are going to cheat your way in when you have to demonstrate your presence in the United States? We have the school records, home bills and any other original documents such official state IDs.

This law is a good law. We should not be scared of doing the right thing for these minors or young adults. Most of them have graduated despite the odds. Most of them are ready to fill out those areas where we are importing professionals. The American worker is already competing with people around the world due to our deficit of professionals.

Posted by: Carrick319 | December 18, 2010 8:13 AM | Report abuse

Also: home village town drunk.

The Nightmare Act, technically, Dream Act, is simply an amnesty, and everyone knows it. Worse, these "youngsters," up to their 30s, can then 'chain in' their illegal parents and all their relatives back in the old country, including--expect hidden in the fine print--their in-law's pet snake and their favorite native crop infestation.
- - - -
Border Enforcement + Immigration Moratorium = Job, Crime and Eco Sanity.

Posted by: tma_sierrahills | December 18, 2010 8:01 AM | Report abuse

THE DREAM ACT 10-YEAR WORK PERMITS (What you are not being told by corrupt politicians and MSM)

1. Application: The DREAM amnesty begins with illegal aliens filling out applications. They merely have to claim — not provide evidence — that they meet criteria of having been brought to the U.S. before age 16 and being under the age of 30 at time of enactment and being present in the U.S. at least 5 years before enactment of the amnesty, among other criteria.

2. Work Permits Given: Upon filing the application, the illegal aliens are given a 10-year work permit to compete directly with the 22 million Americans who want a full-time job but can’t find one.

Regardless of how many people eventually get a permanent amnesty, DREAM would result in 2 MILLION to 4 MILLION illegal aliens getting 10-year work permits immediately to compete against 22 million unemployed Americans.

Those millions would immediately be able to legally compete for any U.S. job…

Posted by: fury60 | December 18, 2010 7:47 AM | Report abuse

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