Senate readies border vote

The Senate this morning will vote to invoke cloture — or limit debate — on the Secure Fence Act providing 700 miles of fencing along the southern border. The cloture vote requires 60 supporters in order to move forward on the bill.

Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist is framing the vote as a national security issue in hopes of rallying support from his entire caucus, including the 23 Senate Republicans who support “comprehensive” immigration reform. Frist himself supports that approach and has insisted that passage of the Secure Fence Act is not the death of “comprehensive” reform. Rather, Frist calls it “an essential first step toward comprehensive reform.”

The vote is scheduled for just after 11:00 a.m.

UPDATE: Democrats rolled over on the vote, cloture was invoked 94-0. Now watch for Democrats to try to amend the border security bill with the already-passed Senate amnesty bill that enjoys the support of all Dems plus 23 Republicans. To defeat that amendment — which would spell doom for the underlying border security bill — Frist will need to convince his colleagues not to vote for a bill that they have already voted for.

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