From the Associated Press:
The Senate sidetracked sweeping immigration legislation Friday amid partisan recriminations, leaving in doubt prospects for passage of a measure that offered the hope of citizenship to millions of men, women and children living in the United States illegally.
The bill gained only 38 votes on a key procedural test, far short of the 60 needed to advance.
The vote marked a turnabout from Thursday, when the Senate’s two leaders had both hailed a last-minute compromise as a breakthrough in the campaign to enact the most far-reaching changes in immigration law in two decades.
But Republicans soon accused Democrats of trying to squelch their amendments, while Democrats accused the GOP of trying to kill their own bill by filibuster.
“It’s not gone forward because there’s a political advantage for Democrats not to have an immigration bill,” said Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Arlen Specter, R-Pa.
Senate Democratic Leader Harry Reid countered, “The amendments were being offered by people who didn’t want the bill.”
The vote fell nearly along party lines, with Democrats in favor of advancing the bill and Republicans opposed.