The immigration bill before the Senate dodged bullets from the right and the left yesterday; when the smoke cleared the coalition backing it appeared to be intact—if barely, the Washington Post reports. An amendment to block legalization for many illegals was defeated; one to extend visas to many more relatives of immigrants was passed.
By a single vote just after midnight, the guest-worker program was given a time limit of 5 years. Conservative opponents rolled out new television campaigns to pressure GOP supporters to bolt, and the Congressional Budget Office made backers on both sides nervous by raising questions about whether the bill will do what they say it will. A showdown is expected today on whether to cut off debate and call for a vote.