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Why immigrant, GLBT and good-government groups were behind the defense bill

Here's a question for you: Why are immigration advocates, GLBT groups and good-government types crestfallen that the defense-spending authorization bill failed to beat a Republican filibuster? "The political gridlock that has immobilized the Senate has resulted once again in a lost opportunity for the American people," said Mary Giovagnoli, director of the Immigration Policy Center. Why did she even care?

Amendments. Attached to the defense bill was legislation to rid the military of "don't ask, don't tell." That's why gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender groups are upset. The DREAM Act, which gives young undocumented immigrants a path to citizenship if they complete college or serve in the military, was slated to get a vote once the bill got to the floor. That's why immigrant groups are angry. And good-government types are bummed because there was talk of a vote on an amendment to ban secret holds.

Republicans blocked the bill because they wanted an opportunity to offer more amendments. As things stood, they were going to get a vote on taking the elimination of "don't ask" off the bill, but that was it. Senate sources say the likely plan now is probably to delay the bill till the lame-duck session, when Congress will have more time to do amendments.

By Ezra Klein  | September 21, 2010; 4:45 PM ET
Categories:  Senate  
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Comments

More amendments was the Republiccan excuse, not the reason. It was base opposition to DADT and Dream Act and giving the DEms a victory.

Posted by: ncaofnw | September 21, 2010 7:44 PM | Report abuse

Agree with ncaofnw but want to add that they did give the Dems a victory by opposing Mom and apple pie just on account of a few progressive items that they couldn't tolerate. A political masterwork, legislatively, but only a display piece due to the negative perception of the economy, which makes voters effect change by replacing incumbents. (Query: the economy is not behaving as economists would like, but are people as badly off as we assume? Will those benefiting from the Affordable Health Care for America Act go out and vote for those who gave it to them?) Unfortunately the voice of the party, Obama, no longer seems to speak to the young and hopeful who elected him. They give strong indications of staying home in 2010.

Posted by: CrowIII | September 22, 2010 1:30 AM | Report abuse

Ezra,
You're misreporting or misanalyzing here -- They SAY they opposed it because they wanted to add more ammendments. That would be factual and correct.

If you need to make a JUDGEMENT about why they opposed it and much more valid reason would be to deny the Democrats any legislative victory that would please the Democratic base. This has the advantage of being true.

When you include the word "say" the reader can infer that their lips are moving and when you include the party affiliation then they can get the whole picture.

Q: How can you tell if a GOP Senator is lying?
A: (see paragraph abobe) ... and they all come to the same "Let's Filibuster" conclusion.

Posted by: grooft | September 22, 2010 8:04 AM | Report abuse

I think of this as a total victory for Republicans.

As Obama, Pelosi, and Reid try to pretend that Republicans have obstructed everything for no reason, most Americans can see the irrationality of attaching a Defense Authorization bill with a politically charged immigration amnesty bill and a repeal of "Don't Ask Don't Tell".

Most Americans recognize that Republicans are the lesser of two evils in the increasingly polarizing partisan games being played in the beltway.

The Obama, Pelosi, and Reid DON'T SEE THIS is testimony to their echo-chamber blindness. Clearly they get all their news from Ezra's blog and don't ever interface with the real world.

Posted by: FastEddieO007 | September 22, 2010 12:07 PM | Report abuse

I attribute Russ Feingold's sudden drop with this underhanded effort by Reid to appease the amnesty lobby.

Posted by: FastEddieO007 | September 22, 2010 12:09 PM | Report abuse

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