Before you can understand this story...
Lawmakers killed the Senate immigration bill today, voting 46 to 53 to move to a final vote on the controversial measure, 14 short of the 60 required.
The defeat is a setback for the bipartisan team of lawmakers who worked for months to craft a bill they hoped would draw enough support from both parties to pass. It represents a blow to President Bush, who threw his full support behind broad immigration reform and whose Cabinet played a key role in shaping the legislation.
You need to be able to understand this picture.
And what, you might ask, is significant about this picture? Well that's Senator DeMint talking to Congressmen John Shadegg and Pete Hoekstra. Undoubtedly, they are discussing this.
And even as the Senate moved forward, House Republicans late Tuesday voted overwhelmingly in favor of a resolution opposing the immigration bill -- a move that could place a significant roadblock in front of the measure even if it clears the Senate.
By a vote of 114-23, the House Republican Conference approved a statement by Rep. Pete Hoekstra of Michigan that simply read: "Resolved: The House GOP Conference disapproves of the Senate immigration bill." The vote came during a closed-door meeting.
It was the HOUSE Republican Conference vote that ultimately derailed the Senate Immigration bill. House Democrats needed some cover and they weren't going to pass the bill without significant support from House Republicans. With no chance of the bill passing in the House, the Republican Senators didn't want to be on record against their House counterparts so they voted against cloture. Unable to end the debate, the Senate Democratic Leadership was forced to pull the plug.
What the CNN fails to mention is that it is unheard of for the House Republican Conference to take a position on a pending Senate bill. In fact, the House Leadership had no intention of hearing the Resolution.
So why would the House Republicans vote on a resolution against a Senate Bill over the objections of their own leadership?
That brings us back to the picture of DeMint, Hoekstra and Shadegg. Pete Hoekstra's name is on the Statement, but why would Sen. DeMint be discussing the Republican Conference vote with Shadegg? That would be because of this.
This is the signature page from a Resolution that reads in part:
"We the undersigned Members of the Republican Conference, hereby request a Conference meeting to consider a resolution disapproving of the Senate's immigration bill..."
The resolution has 25 signatures. That number is significant because of this. This would be the rules of the House Republican Conference which reads in part.
A resolution which has 25 or more signatures of Members shall be considered by the appropriate Conference committee as soon as practicable and reported back to the Conference.
Dang, there's that pesky "shall" word which trips up so many people who have their head in the sand. The leadership "shall" consider the measure if it has 25 signatures.
And whose signature is on the top line of the Resolution that forced the Republican Leadership to schedule a vote on the Statement that led to the demise of the Immigration bill?
It was Shadegg who came up the the Resolution. It was Shadegg who knew the rules and gathered the 25 signatures. It was Shadegg who forced leadership to vote on the Statement and it was the Statement that led to the defeat of the bill in the Senate.
One guy...a guy with a rule book in one hand and a grenade launcher in the other...that's what really happened to the immigration bill.