By Joel Gehrke
Senate Democrats succeeded in blocking a vote on President Obama’s promised post-election executive orders providing administrative amnesty to illegal immigrants — but only by the barest of margins.
Senator Jeff Sessions (R., Ala.) wanted to offer an amendment opposing the orders, but Senate Democrats thwarted the attempt.
“I am going to make a motion that would allow this Senate to block the President’s planned executive amnesty,” Sessions said Thursday afternoon. “This is a common Senate action. If you believe we are sovereign nation, with the right to control our own borders, then you must vote ‘yes.’ If you believe America is an oligarchy, run by a group of special interests meeting in the White House to rewrite our immigration laws, then vote ‘no.’”
Fifty senators voted for Sessions’ motion and fifty voted against, so the proposal failed.
Four embattled Democratic lawmakers — North Carolina senator Kay Hagan, Louisiana senator Mary Landrieu, New Hampshire senator Jeanne Shaheen, and Arkansas senator Mark Pryor — voted with Sessions after opposing the same motion earlier this year. Senator Joe Manchin (D., W.Va.) voted with Sessions both times.
“Begich saved the day for Ds,” Politico’s Manu Raju tweeted, referring to Senator Mark Begich (D., Alaska), a vulnerable Democrat who voted with Democratic leadership.