The Senate on Thursday rejected Sen. John CornynJohn CornynPaul: Pence should oversee Senate ObamaCare repeal votes Senate GOP hedges on ObamaCare repeal timeline GOP senator: 'We still need to figure out what the president was talking about' on wiretapping MORE’s (R-Texas) immigration reform bill amendment that would have put mandatory border security triggers in place before immigrants were given legal status.
Sen. Marco RubioMarco RubioSenators introduce new Iran sanctions Senate intel panel has not seen Nunes surveillance documents: lawmakers With no emerging leaders, no clear message, Democrats flounder MORE (R-Fla.) split with his fellow GOP Gang of Eight members by voting against tabling Cornyn's amendment, while Sens. John McCainJohn McCainOvernight Defense: General warns State Department cuts would hurt military | Bergdahl lawyers appeal Trump motion | Senators demand action after nude photo scandal Senate lawmakers eye hearing next week for Air Force secretary: report House Intel chairman under fire from all sides MORE (Ariz.), Lindsey GrahamLindsey GrahamA real national security budget would fully fund State Department Gorsuch rewrites playbook for confirmation hearings Dem senator: House Intel chairman may have revealed classified info MORE (S.C.) and Jeff FlakeJeff FlakeOvernight Regulation: Senate moves to strike Obama-era internet privacy rules Overnight Tech: Senate votes to eliminate Obama internet privacy rules | FCC chief wants to stay out of 'political debate' on fake news | Wikileaks reveals new CIA docs Senate votes to block internet privacy regulations MORE (Ariz.) voted to kill Cornyn's amendment.
Sen. Rand PaulRand PaulPaul: Pence should oversee Senate ObamaCare repeal votes Healthcare fight pits Trump against Club for Growth GOP rep: Trump could be 'one-term president' if healthcare bill passes MORE (R-Ky.) also voted to table the amendment. Democratic Sens. Joe ManchinJoe ManchinThe Hill’s Whip List: Where Dems stand on Trump’s Supreme Court nominee Senate confirms Trump's pick for Israel ambassador Senate Dems: We won't help pass additional health bills MORE (W.Va.) and Mark PryorMark PryorMedicaid rollback looms for GOP senators in 2020 Cotton pitches anti-Democrat message to SC delegation Ex-Sen. Kay Hagan joins lobby firm MORE (Ark.) voted in support of considering Cornyn's amendment.
Cornyn’s "Results" amendment would have required that the border enforcement standards in the underlying Gang of Eight bill be met before anyone could be granted permanent legal status.
“My amendment is designed to turn border security rhetoric into reality. More specifically it would have a trigger,” Cornyn said ahead of the vote Thursday.
“The difference between my amendment and their bill is that their bill promises the sun and the moon when it comes to border security but it has no trigger mechanism.”
The Senate bill under consideration sets the goals of 100 percent border-monitoring capabilities and a 90 percent apprehension rate of illegal entrants along the Southern border, but does not require the Department of Homeland Security to have them in place before granting permanent legal residency. Cornyn’s amendment would have made those goals mandatory.
“My amendment realigns all of the incentives for people across the political spectrum to make sure that the federal government and bureaucracies keep their commitment,” Cornyn said.
Cornyn’s amendment also would have required the DHS to have a biometric entry-exit system fully operational before anyone is given legal status.
Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Patrick LeahyPatrick LeahyLive coverage: Day three of Supreme Court nominee hearing Dems land few punches on Gorsuch Live coverage: Day two of Supreme Court nominee hearing MORE (D-Vt.) criticized Cornyn's amendment for being "unrealistic," and said it would delay the path to citizenship for years. Leahy added that most of the amendment was "bad" because it would increase the cost of the bill by billions of dollars.
The Senate is considering the Border Security, Economic Opportunity and Immigration Modernization Act.
Senate Majority Leader Harry ReidHarry ReidThis obscure Senate rule could let VP Mike Pence fully repeal ObamaCare once and for all Sharron Angle to challenge GOP rep in Nevada Fox's Watters asks Trump whom he would fire: Baldwin, Schumer or Zucker MORE (D-Nev.) said he hoped the vote to table Cornyn’s amendment would help produce an agreement to vote on more amendments Thursday. He has also said he wants work completed on the bill by the July 4 recess, even if that means weekend votes.
The bipartisan group of eight senators, known as the Gang of Eight, introduced S. 744, which would create a pathway to citizenship for illegal immigrants already in the country, toughen border security, create a guest-worker program and boost high-skilled immigration.
Republicans have complained that the legislation would provide amnesty in 13 years for the nearly 11 million illegal residents before strengthening border enforcement. Several GOP amendments on border security enforcement have been defeated.
On Wednesday, the Senate tabled an amendment from Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) that would have required Congress to vote on border security measures before legal status was granted.
More than 200 amendments have been files, but only 12 have been considered.