The fate of the DREAM Act in the Senate hinges on seven Republican senators, according to a senior White House official.
In a conference call with reporters this morning, Cecilia Munoz, White House director of intergovernmental affairs, said, “It looks very much like the outcome [of the Senate DREAM Act vote] is going to depend on whether we have that level of Republican support,” a reference to the GOP senators who had backed the measure in 2007. Munoz added that the White House was working very hard “to make sure this is a positive vote.”
Sen. Bob Bennett (R., Utah) has publicly stated he will support the DREAM Act again, telling The Hill, “If Harry Reid brings it to the floor as a standalone bill, I will vote for it.”
Spokespersons for Sens. Orrin Hatch (R., Utah), a former sponsor of the bill, and Kay Bailey Hutchinson (R., Texas) indicated to NRO in November that neither senator would be supporting the legislation.
Sen. Richard Lugar (R., Indiana), formerly a co-sponsor, is now undecided. Sens. Sam Brownback (R., Kansas), Susan Collins (R., Maine), and Olympia Snowe (R., Maine), all of whom backed the legislation in 2007, have not announced their votes yet. There is also speculation that Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R., Alaska) may back the bill this year, although she voted against it in 2007.
Seven current Senate Democrats did not support the DREAM Act in 2007, making gaining GOP votes crucial to succeed in passing the measure. Majority senate leader Harry Reid (D., Nevada) filed cloture on the bill yesterday, meaning the Senate could vote on the act as soon as Wednesday. The House may vote as early as Wednesday morning, reports The Hill.