Republicans put the Senate on the record Wednesday evening on the federal government’s lawsuit against the controversial immigration law from Arizona, which is set to go into effect a week from today.
The move came as the Senate wrapped up work on a $34 billion extension of long term jobless benefits, as GOP Senators tried to force a vote on a plan to block funding for any Justice Department legal work on the Arizona immigration law.
“Our federal government should be doing its job securing the borders, rather than trying to bully and intimidate the people of Arizona,” DeMint said on the Senate floor.
The Senate voted 55-43 against his plan, as five Democrats and two Republicans broke ranks on the measure.
The five Democrats who voted to consider the DeMint immigration measure were Sen. Max Baucus (D-MT), Sen. John Tester (D-MT), Sen. Mark Pryor (D-AR), Sen. Blanche Lincoln (D-AR) and Sen. Ben Nelson (D-NE).
The two Republicans who voted against the plan were Sen. George Voinovich (R-OH) and Sen. Mike Johanns (R-NE).
Out in Arizona, the legal wrangling over the law continues in a federal courthouse in Phoenix, where two more challenges to the law will be heard today by federal judge Susan Bolton.
Earlier this week, attorneys for the state argued against the Justice Department’s effort to block the law from going into effect on July 29 at 12:01 am.
The feds argue the law violates the Constitution and undermines the federal government’s responsiblity for border security matters.
Judge Bolton was nominated by President Clinton in 2000 – but it came on the recommendation of Sen. John Kyl (R-AZ).
She will certainly get a lot of scrutiny in coming days when the judge rules on this case.
For now, at least one house of Congress is on the record about the Arizona law.
As for the polls, another one came out yesterday with a question about this issue, from Quinnipiac.
As one might expect, Republicans went 81-11% that the federal lawsuit against Arizona was a bad idea; Democrats were 48-35% that it was a good idea.
The numbers from Independents were another eye opener – 65-25% that it was a “bad idea”.
It will be interesting to see how the numbers change after this issue gets bounced around in the courts over the next few weeks.