Senate kills DREAM Act, moves forward on repealing Don't Ask, Don't Tell

The U.S. Senate rejected a cloture motion on the DREAM Act today by a vote of 55 to 41. At least 60 yes votes were needed to move forward the bill, which would give some undocumented immigrants brought to this country as children a path to citizenship. Iowa’s Tom Harkin voted yes, as did most of the Democratic caucus. Chuck Grassley voted no, along with most Senate Republicans. Six cowardly and mean-spirited Democrats voted no: Mark Pryor of Arkansas, Kay Hagan of North Carolina, Ben Nelson of Nebraska, Joe Manchin of West Virginia, and Max Baucus and Jon Tester of Montana. (Correction: it looks like Manchin missed the vote, but his office released a statement this morning saying he could not support the bill because it didn’t require people seeking citizenship to receive a college degree. Jackass.)

Only three Republicans voted yes on the DREAM Act: Lisa Murkowski of Alaska, Richard Lugar of Indiana and Bob Bennett of Utah. Fake GOP moderates Scott Brown of Massachusetts, Olympia Snowe and Susan Collins of Maine, Mark Kirk of Illinois all voted against the bill. Sickening. President Barack Obama nominally supports the DREAM Act, but as far as I can tell, the White House did nothing to convince wavering senators to vote for it.

After the DREAM Act failed, the Senate moved to a cloture motion on a stand-alone bill to repeal the ban on gays and lesbians serving openly in the military. The Senate approved that cloture motion 63 to 33, with Iowa’s senators splitting the usual way (Harkin for repealing Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell, Grassley against). The Senate will vote on the bill itself early next week later today, and it should easily pass.

UPDATE: Click here for the roll call on the DREAM Act cloture motion. The roll call for the Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell vote is here. Congratulations, Chuck Grassley, you put yourself on the wrong side of history twice in one day.

SECOND UPDATE: The bill repealing Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell passed the Senate by 65 to 31 (roll call). Harkin yes, Grassley no, of course. After the jump I’ve posted Harkin’s statements on the DREAM Act and Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell. Grassley’s office hasn’t issued a statement on either vote; typically he sends out a press release every time the Senate considers major legislation.

Harkin’s statement on DREAM noted that the original 2003 bill had 15 Republican co-sponsors, which prompted me to look them up here. Lo and behold, there’s our Chuck Grassley, one of 47 sponsors of Senator Orrin Hatch’s “Development, Relief, and Education for Alien Minors Act of 2003.” No wonder he doesn’t want to explain his vote today to block the bill from consideration.

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