Senate Votes To Build More Fences On Border As Well As Earned Citizenship
In an effort to placate the far right in the Senate GOP caucus, the Senate just approved the construction of hundreds of miles of new fences and vehicle barriers along the border, even though a majority of Americans are against the idea. This vote allowed the Senate just now to pass by a 66-33 vote the earned citizenship program contained in the McCain-Kennedy bill that Bush talked about Monday. Yet McCain and Chuck Hagel had to argue with their own caucus over the program just to get the 66-33 vote.
If Bush and Rove had rolled out a strong security-oriented bill right after 9/11, it would probably had gotten through, but it would have gone against the financial interests of Bush's real base, the corporate check-writers. Instead, the GOP planned to please the corporate base early by doing nothing on immigration before the 2004 election, and then pander to the wingnuts as an way to drive up turnout in the 2006 midterms. It has now backfired. The White House is paying a price for being too clever on immigration, as the rhetoric from the Senate and House today indicates that this issue splits the party at a time when the GOP is falling out of favor.
Update: If you want to know which Democratic senators voted for the additional fencing and vehicle barricades, here they are. And yes, some of them are running for president in 2008.
You will be surprised.
And who were the 16 who voted against the fence?
Jay Rockefeller did not vote.