From: Roy Beck, President, NumbersUSA
Date: Tuesday 26JUN07 8;30 p.m. EDT
We lost 1st amnesty cloture vote today …. But a big improvement from May … Victory in our grasp
THANK YOU, FRIENDS — WE NOW HAVE THE MOMENTUM TO WIN ON THURSDAY,
Thanks to all of you who have already responded to our nearly two dozen separate fax and phone action alerts that we’ve sent out in various groupings since the Senate voted mid-day to reconsider the Kennedy/Bush amnesty bill (S. 1639).
Check out your customized Action Buffet corkboard to be sure you have done all you can do Wednesday to influence the Thursday vote.
I hope you have been consulting our home page at www.NumbersUSA.com throughout the day and evening as our legislative team has kept you informed of every step as it has happened.
Some people have been discouraged by the vote today after working so hard to kill the amnesty outright.
But please do not be disheartened. Sen. DeMint (R-S.C.) is truly right in claiming that the momentum is with us — it just wasn’t quite strong enough today.
* We did much better today than in a vote a month ago that was nearly identical in its procedural purpose.
Then as now, Senate Majority Leader Reid (D-Nev.) brought up a cloture vote to violate Senate procedures and bring the Kennedy/Bush amnesty bill to the floor for a vote without going through a committee.
You were able to persuade only 23 Senators to vote NO in May.
Today, you got 35! That’s a lot of progress in just a month.
* We only missed killing the Kennedy/Bush amnesty outright by 5 votes today, and those 5 seem within reach.
It takes 60 Senators to pass a cloture vote. The amnesty people got 64 votes today. If you switch just 5 of them, we kill the bill.
It looks like we have at least 8 Senators who voted YES for the amnesty today who are saying privately that they don’t like the bill and are leaning toward voting NO on the Thursday cloture vote. If you can talk 5 of those 8 (or any of the rest of the 64) into switching to NO on Thursday and persuade the 35 NO votes from today to hold, we will kill the bill.
ONE THOUSAND ACTIVISTS IN EACH CONGRESSIONAL DISTRICT!
Your activist army is growing rapidly.We issued this statement to the news media this afternoon:The insistence of Bush, Kennedy, Reid, McConnell and Lott to ignore the American people and revive this amnesty bill is causing frustration and anger in the grassroots.The American people are eager to express their displeasure over amnesty, and we at NumbersUSA see this in an accelerated and booming membership growth:This afternoon we have reached a new milestone of an average of 1,000 ACTIVIST members per congressional district — 435,000 activist members (with a total email membership list of more than 1.5 million).
We are disappointed that more Senators didn’t understand that there is nothing at all that can be gained by further debating this bill under a sham amendment process. Nonetheless, we are heartened by the continuing momentum toward killing this bill later this week.
Amazingly, about 125,000 of you getting this Alert tonight have registered on NumbersUSA and begun faxing and phoning Congress ONLY SINCE MAY 1!
Now, each U.S. Representative must answer to 1,000 activists in the District, on average, and each Senator must answer to more than 8,000 activists in the average state.
That’s enough to make a difference if we all keep doing our part.
(By the way, newcomers, about 2,000 of your fellow faxers have been fighting this battle with NumbersUSA since before the 9/11 attacks in 2001. If they’ve stuck with it for six years, I know the rest of you can stick with it more than six weeks.)
TODAY’S CLOTURE VOTE ALREADY SCORED IN OUR IMMIGRATION GRADE CARDS
You can see your Senators’ latest Career and Recent immigration-reduction grades, reflecting their vote today.www.CongressGrades.org
Just click on your state and then on the Senator’s name. Don’t forget that you can click on VIEW HISTORY and see grades for the Senator in every Congress of his/her career.And you can click on any of the subject grades (such as Amnesty or Interior Enforcement) to look into more details of how that grade was earned.On every page, you can click VIEW ACTIONS USED FOR GRADE link to see every action and the weighting of each action.These grades provide our activists with myriad ways to print and quote for good effect in lobbying.
EXAMPLE OF WHERE OUR OPPORTUNITIES LIE
Sen. Bond (R-Mo.) was a big disappointment today in voting YES. But on Hannity tonight he called the bill a “june bug.” The longer people look at it and see it out there, the more they will hate it. He says that was the method to his madness today.Hannity accepted his explanation but said he still wished he would have killed the bill today, once and for all.Bond said the bill has a lot of problems but he voted for “debate” because he “loves” debating legislation and he hopes it improves with his amendment. He said Thursday’s cloture vote and the budget Point of Order are the key votes, not today’s cloture vote. He said the more “sunshine” shown on this bill, the better off. That’s why he voted to allow the bill to proceed.We are hearing some of this same kind of talk out of a number of Senate offices today. They talk of respecting the institution of the Senate and not standing in the way of debate. Also, they talk of respecting their colleagues who are begging them to at least allow the debate to occur.Actually, I also have a lot of respect for that point of view. But our argument was that the Senate and the public has been disrespected by the whole way this bill has been handled and the bill was not deserving of debate.
Nonetheless, you can see that there is room for you to move many of these Senators.
Each of you has gotten Action Alerts and Action Notes on your corkboard that are designed for your Senators’ specific situation.
I am not giving you the list of the most movable tonight because we need to guard some relationships and because I want each of you to concentrate on your own Senators who voted NO today. I think all but maybe a dozen could still be moved — some of them for the wrong reasons but that is OK. Our goal right now is to kill this amnesty.
One of the problems — and we have confirmation of this — is that both the White House and Majority Leader Reid succeeded in offering “goodies” to some Senators who had voted NO on cloture earlier this month in exchange for their voting YES today.
The good news for us is that it does not appear that these Senators sold their vote on the second cloture — at least not yet.
HOUSE REPUBLICANS TAKE EXTRAORDINARY ACTION AND REPUDIATE THE SENATE — AND THEIR PARTY’S PRESIDENT
About two-thirds of the Republicans in the U.S. House got together this afternoon and held a secret ballot about the Kennedy/Bush bill in the Senate.This is highly irregular — and, of course, non-binding. Nonetheless, these Republicans overwhelmingly voted to tell the Senate and Pres. Bush that they have no interest in the Comprehensive Amnesty bill. This was quite a slap in the face of the the Senate Republican Leaders and the Republican White House which are pulling out all the stops to pass the amnesty.It also suggests tough going in the House if the Senate passes the bill this week.We think the 23 House Republicans voting against the resolution amount to about the highest number of Republicans that Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) could hope to support her if she tries to move an amnesty through the House in July.The vote by the Republicans was taken by secret ballot. It is doubtful that quite a number of them would still vote for an amnesty in public where their constituents and Republican peers could judge them.
VOTES OF NOTE TODAY
A number of people on Capitol Hill today were impressed at how accurate the NumbersUSA “whip” list was that we have been providing you the last few days (showing who would vote NO).The one big loss was Sen. Pryor (D-Ark.). We thought we had his promise to vote NO.The three great pickups that we had not been able to predict were Sens. Hatch (R-Utah), Cochran (R-Miss.) and Bayh (D-Ind.).I’m especially proud of you in Mississippi who have managed to help Cochran come back into the fold while you have been pounding your other Senator, Lott (R-Miss.) for his leadership for the amnesty. Like a lot of the Senators who are voting better than their career record, Cochran is up for re-election next year.And Sen. Bayh popped up out of nowhere. I know that Indiana activists have gotten stronger and stronger and that some of our best Democrats in the House are in Indiana. Still, we had no inclination that this Democratic Senator would vote NO. Perhaps he is paying more attention than most Democrats to the AFL-CIO’s opposition to the amnesty bill.
Particularly disappointing was the fact that Presidential candidates seem so immune from public sentiment. Sens. Biden (D-Del.), Brownback (R-Kan.), Clinton (D-N.Y.), Dodd (D-Conn.), McCain (R-Ariz.) and Obama (D-Ill.) all voted for the Kennedy/Bush amnesty that would also triple chain migration for the next 16 years.
MEANINGLESSNESS OF THE AMENDMENT VOTES
On our Senate Vote Day Page on the website, you will not see our customary listing of NumbersUSA positions on the amendments. Rosemary sent out a statement to all Senate offices this morning explaining our position:Because the amendment process is a sham and because no amendment could improve S. 1639 enough to make it worth supporting (even if the amendment could survive a rigged conference), neither NumbersUSA nor Americans for Better Immigration will be taking a position on any amendment or scoring the vote on any amendment. Thus, your votes on amendments will not be able to make up for a “yea” vote on cloture.NumbersUSA and our sister organization, Americans for Better Immigration, will score today’s cloture vote on the motion to proceed to the immigration bill as if it were a vote on final passage of the underlying bill. While we normally would not give a procedural vote the same weight as a vote on passage, it should be apparent to all that such action is warranted in this case for the following reasons:In its consideration of the underlying bill, the Senate has bypassed normal procedure at every turn—no hearings on the bill were held; no committee ever considered it; the amendment process was stifled by a cloture vote;The underlying bill, with its instant amnesty for illegal aliens, its unenforceable “guest” worker program for low-skill cheap labor, and its meaningless triggers, has already been debated on the Senate floor and, knowing that the vast majority of Americans opposes the bill, 50 Senators voted to let it die;
The bill has been resuscitated at the insistence of President Bush, who promises to hold enforcement hostage to amnesty, and the handful of Senators who drafted it behind closed doors only to once again bypass regular order, stifle any real debate, and ram it down America’s throat;
The amendment process being orchestrated by Senate leadership and the bill’s drafters is a sham*—the drafters have rigged the process by allowing only those amendments they hand picked to be offered and Senators Reid and Kennedy have made clear that, in the unlikely event that any amendment they oppose is passed, they will simply strip it out in conference;
In their desperation to convince 60 Senators to ignore their constituents and pass this bill, White House officials have been on the Hill attempting to buy votes for cloture; and
In order to ensure that the Senators who represent the American people on this issue will not have a chance to change the outcome purchased by the White House, the majority party intends to use a procedural tool—the clay pigeon, designed to protect the rights of the minority party—to shut out the bill’s opponents.
For these reasons, your vote on cloture today will be scored and will be given the same weight as a vote on the underlying amnesty bill.
For the rest of your career, your constituents will see your vote reflected in your profile at http://profiles.numbersusa.com/ and in your immigration grade at http://congressgrades.com/reportcardintro.html.
YOU ARE PART OF AN INCREDIBLE ARMY OF CITIZENS BANDED TOGETHER FOR A NOBLE PURPOSE — DON’T STOP NOW — VICTORY IS IN YOUR GRASP.
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