It has just been announced that the DREAM Act vote has been delayed. The bill has now been pushed to next week at the earliest.
Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid called a last minute vote to hold off on the Senate’s vote on the DREAM Act until next week for the purpose of mirroring the Senate’s version with yesterday’s passed House version. Reid’s motion passed, and the bill has been set aside until later in the month.
The DREAM Act would allow children of undocumented immigrants who meet specific requirements, such as attending college for at least two years or serving in the military for two years, to apply for U.S. citizenship.
∙The Senate will convene at 9:30am and proceed to consideration of the motion to proceed to the Development, Relief, and Education for Alien Minors (DREAM) Act of 2010 (S.3992), with ten minutes reserved for Senator Durbin, and the remaining time until 11:00am equally divided and controlled between the two Leaders, or their designees.
∙At 11:00am, the Senate will proceed to a series of up to three roll call votes on the following:
o The motion to invoke cloture on the motion to proceed to the Development, Relief, and Education for Alien Minors (DREAM) Act of 2010 (S.3992).
o The motion to invoke cloture on the motion to proceed to the James Zadroga 9/11 Health and Compensation Act of 2010 (H.R.847).
o Reconsideration of the motion to invoke cloture on the motion to proceed to Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2011 (S.3454).
What is “Cloture”?
In parliamentary procedure, cloture (pronounced KLOH-chər) is a motion or process aimed at bringing debate to a quick end.
The procedure for “invoking cloture,” is as follows:
• A minimum of sixteen senators must sign a petition for cloture.
• The petition may be presented by interrupting another Senator’s speech.
• The clerk reads the petition.
• The cloture petition is ignored for one full day during which the Senate is sitting (If the petition is filed on a Friday, it is ignored until Monday, assuming that the Senate did not sit on Saturday or Sunday.)
• On the second calendar day during which the Senate sits after the presentation of the petition, after the Senate has been sitting for one hour, a “quorum call” is undertaken to ensure that a majority of the Senators are present. However, the mandatory quorum call is often waived by unanimous consent.
• The President of the Senate or President pro tempore presents the petition.
• The Senate votes on the petition; three-fifths of the whole number of Senators (sixty with no vacancies) is the required majority; however, when cloture is invoked on a question of changing the rules of the Senate, two-thirds of the Senators voting (not necessarily two-thirds of all Senators) is the requisite majority.
After cloture has been invoked, the following restrictions apply:
• No more than thirty hours of debate may occur.
• No Senator may speak for more than one hour.
• No amendments may be moved unless they were filed on the day in between the presentation of the petition and the actual cloture vote.
• All amendments must be relevant to the debate.
• Certain procedural motions are not permissible.
• The presiding officer gains additional power in controlling debate.
• No other matters may be considered until the question upon which cloture was invoked is disposed of.