The hotly contested immigration reform bill collapsed on the Senate floor Thursday, after appearing to survive challenges from detractors in both parties. The measure fell 15 votes short of a move to curtail debate and move toward a final vote. That leaves it stalled, although the New York Times reports it may be revived later this year.
The failure of the bill, a bipartisan balancing act that would have tightened borders while offering a route to citizenship to millions of illegal aliens, is a major disappointment for President Bush, as well as the rare coalition that labored to craft it. "This matter is on life support but it is not dead," said Arlen Specter, an architect of the bill.