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June 27, 2007

The Debate Ahead: Wednesday - Friday

On Wednesday morning (June 27) at 10:00 a.m., Senator Reid will break the so-called “clay pigeon” amendment into 27 separate amendments. The Senate will then commence debate on these amendments and will push to have votes on as many as 10 amendments before the cloture petition on the underlying bill ripens on Thursday morning (June 28).

The Senate will work through the clay pigeon amendments with the intention of voting on as many as 10 before the cloture petition on the underlying bill ripens on Thursday morning (June 28).

It appears, however, that a goal of 10 pre-cloture votes could be overly ambitious. Because the restrictionists have vowed to reject any unanimous consent agreement - including time agreements to structure debate and votes - the managers of the bill will be forced to try to dispense with pending amendments through a procedure known as a motion to table.

If cloture is successfully invoked on Thursday morning with 60 votes, 30 hours of debate will ensue. Restrictionist Senators once again can thwart votes during that 30 hour period through refusing to provide unanimous consent. At the expiration of the 30 hours, however, we would expect a “vote-a-rama” on all of the outstanding amendments that remained “germane” post cloture.

If the process unfolds as described, at the conclusion of the “vote-a-rama” there would be a vote on final passage, likely sometime late on Friday (June 29).

Posted by VisaLawyer at June 27, 2007 06:40 AM

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