Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) on Saturday announced that he would file cloture Monday to force votes on a series of bills Democrats have sought to push through, including the DREAM Act immigration reform measure and 911 firefighters health bill.
The move would set up votes on the measures Wednesday, which would give the Senate enough time to conduct a rare impeachment trial of Judge Thomas Porteous beginning Tuesday morning.
None of the bills, which also include a collective-bargaining measure for firefighters and a one-time $250 cost-of-living adjustment payment to seniors, are expected to muster the 60 votes needed to break a GOP filibuster, although agreement could be reached on the $250 COLA payment measure.
But Reid has insisted he would try to force votes on all of them, and by doing so on Wednesday he could clear the way for progress on big-ticket items such as tax cuts, an omnibus spending bill, the START Treaty and possibly even “don’t ask, don’t tell.”
Indeed, Reid did not include the DADT repeal, and the underlying defense authorization measure, in the list of cloture votes, saying he is still hoping to work out a deal on “the question of amendments” to the bill.