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Today the Senate failed to invoke cloture and advance the DREAM Act by a vote of 55-41. By Senate rules the bill needed 60 votes to move forward for consideration:

Question:  On the Cloture Motion (Motion to Invoke Cloture on the Motion to Concur in the House Amendment to the Senate Amendment No. 3 to H.R. 5281 )

Vote Number: 278 Vote Date: December 18, 2010, 11:09 AM

Required For Majority: 3/5 Vote Result: Cloture Motion Rejected

Measure Number: H.R. 5281 (Removal Clarification Act of 2010 )

Measure Title: A bill to amend title 28, United States Code, to clarify and improve certain provisions relating to the removal of litigation against Federal officers or agencies to Federal courts, and for other purposes.

Vote Counts: YEAs 55

NAYs 41

Not Voting 4

Bond (R-MO), Nay

McCaskill (D-MO), Yea    

[emphasis in original]

The DREAM Act would have enabled a path to citizenship and productive service for children who were brought into this country illegally (through no fault of their own) and who have lived here for a number of years.

Senator Claire McCaskill (D) issued a statement on her vote:

Dec 18, 2010

Statement on DREAM Act

First and foremost, I believe it is wrong to punish innocent children for the crimes of their parents.  This bill would ONLY have applied to children who were brought here at least five years ago by adults, children who were under the age of 16 at the time and had no choice. These are not children who made a decision to break the law. These children were simply the victims of adults who were law breakers.

My faith played a big role in my decision.  Ezekiel 18:20 reads: “The son will not share the guilt of the father, nor will the father share the guilt of the son. The righteousness of the righteous man will be credited to him, and the wickedness of the wicked will be charged against him.”

Unlike the last time this legislation was considered, this bill was much more narrow in scope. The children that would have been allowed to stay in this country are those who have already been here for five years at the time the legislation is enacted. If someone illegally came to America after this bill was already enacted, they would not be eligible. In other words, this bill cannot be a magnet for future illegal immigration.

Lastly, these children must meet very strict criteria, such as proving themselves of good character during their time in the United States and during 10 total years of conditional residency, which can be readily revoked at any time. The application process also included other rigorous requirements including health examinations, background checks, and the completion of two years of college education or military service.   I know many of the young people that would have been impacted by the legislation would love an opportunity to serve this country in the world’s finest military.

Of course, the batshit crazy wingnuts in the Twitterverse went insane:

@Ed4Congress Will @clairecmc vote for #DADT? Two votes against the will of Missourians in one day? First her YES on Amnesty/#DREAM, now …? #MOSen about 6 hours ago via HootSuite

Uh, Ed, you lost your congressional race in November in an environment that was the most favorable for republicans and teabaggers in years. What does that tell you?

@jeffmw @clairecmc would you allow the childern of bank robbers to keep the money the robbers stole? about 2 hours ago via web in reply to clairecmc

And you probably think that the profits from dumping credit default swaps are sacrosanct.

@chuck1125 @clairecmc your through about 2 hours ago via web from West Central, Springfield in reply to clairecmc

Maybe. And only because there are no longer literacy tests for voters.

@DanME @clairecmc It’s really disgusting that Democrats even tried to jam through the Dream Act and DADT after defeat in election – Stop Lame Ducks about 2 hours ago via web in reply to clairecmc

And, of course, you spoke up when Newt Gingrich (r – serial adulterer) pushed impeachment during the 1998 lame duck session, right?

@jantoday @clairecmc and I guess you care about the unborn . They are innocent too. about 2 hours ago via web in reply to clairecmc

Because all matters facing the nation should be based on what single issue voters think?

@flyoverland @clairecmc a tough decision. Why I will be voting against you. about 2 hours ago via web in reply to clairecmc

As if you ever were going to vote for Claire McCaskill?

@RyanSilvey I think @clairecmc #DREAM of convincing Missourians she isn’t a liberal is slipping away. #hcr, #DREAM, #DADT, the list keeps growing. about 1 hour ago via Twitter for iPhone in reply to clairecmc

Yes Representative Silvey (r), we understand that you used to work for Kit Bond (r) and that you consider anyone not to the right of Attila the Hun a liberal. We’ll just assume you’ve never voted for Claire McCaskill and leave it at that.

@907611 @clairecmc obviously you prefer illegals over legal citizens we will not forget who to vote out of office when your term comes up again 17 minutes ago via web from Elgin, IL in reply to clairecmc

Uh, if you’re from Elgin, Illinois you don’t get to vote in Missouri.

@RandyJohnsonLA @clairecmc You thinking of the next election? 4 minutes ago via web in reply to clairecmc

As if you ever voted for Claire McCaskill?

There were a significant number of thank you posts in the Twitterverse, too.

Later the motion to invoke cloture (and end the republican filibuster) on the repeal of DADT passed by a vote of 63-33:

Question:  On the Cloture Motion (Motion to Invoke Cloture on the Motion to Concur in the House Amendment to the Senate Amendment to H.R. 2965 )

Vote Number: 279 Vote Date: December 18, 2010, 11:36 AM

Required For Majority: 3/5 Vote Result: Cloture Motion Agreed to

Measure Number: H.R. 2965 (SBIR/STTR Reauthorization Act of 2009

Bond (R-MO), Nay  

McCaskill (D-MO), Yea

[emphasis in original]

The rules were waived to allow a vote on the bill this afternoon which then passed 65-31:

Question:  On the Motion (Motion to Concur in the House Amendment to the Senate Amendment to H.R. 2965 )

Vote Number: 281 Vote Date: December 18, 2010, 03:02 PM

Required For Majority: 1/2 Vote Result: Motion Agreed to

Measure Number: H.R. 2965 (SBIR/STTR Reauthorization Act of 2009 )

Measure Title: A bill to amend the Small Business Act with respect to the Small Business Innovation Research Program and the Small Business Technology Transfer Program, and for other purposes.

Vote Counts: YEAs 65

NAYs 31

Not Voting 4

Bond (R-MO), Nay

McCaskill (D-MO), Yea  

Brown (R-MA), Yea

Bunning (R-KY), Not Voting      

Burr (R-NC), Yea

Collins (R-ME), Yea    

Ensign (R-NV), Yea

Gregg (R-NH), Not Voting

Hatch (R-UT), Not Voting    

Kirk (R-IL), Yea  

Manchin (D-WV), Not Voting  

Murkowski (R-AK), Yea  

Snowe (R-ME), Yea  

Voinovich (R-OH), Yea

[emphasis in original]

That would make it a bipartisan vote.

Sixty-five votes. It passed by a margin greater than two to one. And why was this bottled up in the Senate for so long with an outcome like this?

Blue Girl, via Twitter:

Yes! DADT repeal passes the Senate 65-31!!!     about 5 hours ago  via web  

I sent a message via Twitter in response to Blue Girl:

@BGinKC “Yes! DADT repeal passes the Senate 65-31!!!” | Why was it so hard and why did it take so long to get there with a vote like that?     about 5 hours ago  via web  in reply to BGinKC

She replied:

@MBersin Cuz Senate is broken, like the Polish Sejm of the 18th century. Rules MUST change 1/5/11, or it’s the Dems fault. cc: @clairecmc    about 5 hours ago  via web  in reply to MBersin

Good point.

Senator Claire McCaskill (D) had a good day today.