According to Right Wing News, momentum is shifting against the bill (keep calling and writing). RWN also gives some background of the “clay pigeon” strategy to be employed:
…pro-amnesty forces have two key cloture votes that they have to win.
The first is the vote on the so-called “clay pigeon” strategy. What this does is take the original bill and all of its amendments and reintroduce it on the Senate floor as a new bill. There are two reasons for doing this. The first is to prevent killer amendments that could upset the “grand compromise” from being voted on. The second reason is procedural, because it keeps conservative Senators who are opposed to the bill from being able to slow up the process.
The conventional wisdom has been that this first cloture vote is a done deal because the Senate leadership has been wheeling and dealing behind the scenes. The way it works is that they go to a Senator and offer to allow a vote on their Amendment IF — and only if — that Senator agrees to vote for cloture on the “clay pigeon” strategy.
this has left a sour taste in the mouth of a number of Republican Senators who are upset that Mitch McConnell is cooperating with Harry Reid to curtail the rights of Republican Senators. Moreover, there’s a growing fear that a dangerous precedent is being set here that could be used against Republican Senators again and again as long as they’re in the minority. After all, if the “clay pigeon” strategy is used against conservatives on the immigration issue, who’s to say it won’t also be used against them on any number of issues in the future?
…if the bill does make it to the floor, there will be 22 amendments offered. These amendments have been carefully selected by the combined Democratic/Republican leadership to try to make sure that no deal breakers can make it through.
I asked him about Johnny Isakson and Saxby Chambliss announcing that they will vote against cloture. My source’s take was that it wasn’t a bill killer, but that it was significant since both of them were prominent early supporters of the bill. He added that he thought their switch was indicative of the pressure Republicans are feeling at the grass roots level and he said that he thought Isakson and Chambliss deserved credit for paying attention to it while a lot of pro-amnesty supporters have tuned it out or even shut off their answering machines because they’re tired of hearing their constituents complain about this issue.
I suggest reading RWN’s entire post as it goes into greater detail and addresses the Lott and Graham fits. I wasn’t sure why Lott was put back in the leadership and continue to question that move. Additionally, Mark Levin exposed Lott’s historical desire to shut up critics via federal regulations (falling into line with Senators Clinton and Boxer, among other “fairness doctrine” supporters).
NOTE: Remember when calling to ask that they vote against cloture. Senators know if something has the votes to pass. Do NOT let them claim that voting for cloture just ends debate and allows the bill to be voted down. The tactic is to vote for cloture and then against the bill (which you know has enough votes to pass by simple majority), then tell constituents that you opposed the bill (while legislatively adept lobbyists, Senators, and the President know the true, tactical, score). A vote for cloture is a vote for the bill.
UPDATE: Sen. Hatch may be pulling the cloture stunt described above. I called Sen. Hatch’s office to ask him to oppose the bill and oppose cloture and said that I would consider a cloture vote a vote for the bill. The staffer came back with the line the cloture would only limit debate and bills can then fail in a vote. I countered (politely) that Senators know the ‘fix’ before cloture is voted on and would know it would pass. The staffer retorted “I’ll pass your opinion along, have a good day”. That’s the first time they haven’t asked for my name etc. I was polite, as should anyone calling be, no matter how you feel they are treating you (remember, they may be short due to call volumes they experience) etc – losing your cool will only hinder. Sen. Bennett’s office was polite and did take my information and stated that Sen. Bennett “is still reviewing the legislation” and has not taken a position on cloture.
Long story short: Sen. Hatch may not be someone to count on (may be pulling the ‘covert pro-amnesty’ tactic). Sen. Bennett is still a toss up (but is purportedly pro-amnesty). Both need to hear from you.
PS, I just need to spotlight this – Video: Immigration lawyers discuss ways to disqualify US workers; find non-US workers