At the beginning of every new work session in the Senate, Senator Harry Reid (D-NV) lays out his plans for the coming few weeks—a sort of roadmap for the Senate and those who follow its sometimes glacial progress towards passage of a bill. Given Senator Reid’s recent statements that he would move comprehensive immigration reform (CIR) this year, the absence of immigration reform on the list for the weeks leading up to Memorial Day has already led to some headlines trumpeting backsliding on Reid’s part. That interpretation would be a mistake, as Reid can’t bring something to the floor that doesn’t yet exist. Just as you can’t expect to see a Supreme Court nomination vote in the next six weeks (there’s no nominee yet), you can’t expect to put immigration on the floor without an actual bill. Every promise to move comprehensive immigration reform—particularly a promise from the Senate Majority Leader—increases the pressure on Senators Schumer and Graham to produce a bill. And Reid hasn’t recanted—his staff has assured ImmigrationImpact that he intends to take on CIR in 2010.
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