According to this Chattanooga, TN newspaper article, both Tennessee senators will vote against cloture. Kay Bailey Hutchison and John Cornyn of Texas and Saxby Chambliss and Johnny Isakson of Georgia have also announced that they’ll vote against cloture. Here’s what Sen. Corker said:

Anticipating a cloture vote on the immigration bill on Tuesday, Sen. Bob Corker (R-TN) said he will be in opposition.

He said, “I plan to vote against cloture on the immigration bill, as I have already done twice during this debate. I believe a better approach would be a more modest bill that focuses on border security, employer identification, and putting systems in place that will put us in a position to actually enforce a new immigration policy.

“We have lost credibility in Washington on this issue, and I think before the American people will really ever get behind an immigration policy, they’re going to have to feel that Washington is truly going to follow through on what it says, especially in terms of securing our border.”

Sen. Corker has it exactly right in saying that Washington doesn’t have a shred of credibility left on the issue of enforcing the borders. I just wish that’d sink in with Trent Lott, Ted Kennedy and President Bush. It’s to the point where I almost feel sorry for Tony Snow. He’s caught in an impossible position. He’s obligated to sell President Bush’s plan but he’s gotten hammered by Rush Limbaugh and Laura Ingraham about the bill.

He knows that they’ve told him that the American people don’t believe that President Bush will do what the legislation obligates him to do. He knows that his words won’t sway either host. Worst of all, he knows that he can’t give his own opinion, which I’m betting is different than President Bush’s opinion.

Sen. Lamar Alexander said he will also vote against cloture.

He said, “I will vote against cloture to end debate on the current immigration bill when it comes before us next week. Other than the war on terror, there is nothing more important than fixing our broken immigration system, and we must keep working on it for as long as it takes to get it right, but right must include a process that earns the confidence of the American people, and this bill does not do that.

“This problem has been years in the making and will take time to fix. We must secure the border first once and for all, verified by credible sources, without amnesty, you are here legally or you are not here. We also must make it easier for highly skilled workers to come to America to create jobs and expect and assist those here legally to become Americans by speaking our language and appreciating our history and culture.

“I will oppose any bill that does not include these essential elements.”

It sounds like Alexander is open to a deal at some point but he isn’t willing to sign onto this bill because it’s badly flawed.

In his appearance on This Week with George Stephanopoulos, Sen. Jeff Sessions told Stephanopoulos that support for the bill was dwindling:

“A lot of key senators that were thought to be supportive have announced in recent days that they don’t support it,” the Alabama Republican said on ABC’s “This Week with George Stephanopoulos.” “The poll numbers continue to plummet. Only 20 percent of the people, according to a Rasmussen poll, support the bill now.”

What needs to happen is for senators to “go back, re-evaluate and create something we can be proud of,” he said. A good bill, he said, would provide for better tracking of people already in the country.

This link takes you to Captain Ed’s eloquent explanation on why the committee process had to be followed if immigration reform had any chance of passing:

Here’s what people have forgotten about legislation. Under normal circumstances, a bill comes to the House or Senate floor, and is sent immediately to a relevant committee. That committee assigns it to a subcommittee, which begins deliberation on the proposal. It gets hearings, readings, debate, and amendments at that level, after which it gets sent back to the committee (if it passes at all) and goes through the same process all over again. If the committee approves it, it then goes to the floor of the Senate for more debate and amendments.

And this is why this bill failed. The coalition members arrogated to themselves the role of both committee and subcommittee, bypassing members who serve on those panels. In the case of a bill this broad, it could have come to a number of different committees, all of whose members vied for the right to deliberate on these very policies. They had their roles usurped by the coalition, and that made them antagonistic at the start.

I totally agree with Captain Ed’s opinion on that. If legislators can offer their amendments within the committee and floor frameworks, the more likely they’ll feel that their input was given a fair hearing. The original “Grand Bargain” and the current version of the bill avoided the committee process. That’s why I’m predicting this bill’s failure to reach cloture.

Let’s hope that President Bush and Sens. Kennedy and Lott learn from this failure, go back to the drawing board and get this legislation right. Unfortunately, there aren’t any indications that that’s what will happen.

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Cross-posted at California Conservative

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