Comprehensive immigration reform suffered a major blow June 28 when lawmakers refused to end debate on the bill in the Senate, potentially killing the bill for the remainder of the year.
The 45-53 cloture vote fell far short of the 60 needed to end debate and move to a vote on the bill.
Calling the defeat of the bill "a profound disappointment," Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) blamed Republicans for failing to support the bill. "Today, unfortunately, we learned that there wasn't enough Republican support for the President's approach."
Following the vote, Sen. Edward Kennedy (D-Mass.), a leading advocate of reform, said, "It's now clear that we are not going to complete our work on immigration reform." Congressional leaders said that they had no plans to bring the bill back for the foreseeable future.
Republicans opposed to the bill quickly claimed victory. "This was a victory for the American people," said Sen. David Vitter (R-La.).
Sen. Jim DeMint (R-S.C.) said, "The Senate rejected this bill and the heavy-handed tactics used to ram in through...Americans want legislation to be written in public-not in secret-and they want Congress to engage in an open and fair debate."
Some industry groups still hold out hope that the Senate could revisit immigration reform sometime this year. Jerry Howard, executive vice president and CEO of the National Association of Home Builders, said, "Everyone has a stake in reforming the nation's immigration laws in a fair and just manner. We hope to continue working with members of Congress to craft immigration policy that protects our borders without placing an unfair burden on small business owners."