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Senate rejects every single immigration proposal

Last Updated Feb 15, 2018 5:09 PM EST

The Senate rejected all four immigration proposals brought to the Senate floor Thursday afternoon, dimming hopes for a breakthrough on immigration anytime soon. 

The proposal that failed by the most votes was the one that reflected President Trump's four must-have immigration pillars — a path to citizenship for DREAMers, $25 billion for border security and the wall, an end to the diversity visa lottery program and an end to family-based or "chain migration." That bill, introduced by Sen. Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa, only received 39 votes to move forward, with 60 votes against its advancement. Eleven of those "nay" votes came from Republicans.

Mr. Trump, who had initially indicated he would sign an immigration proposal that arrived at his desk, later made it clear that he will not sign any legislation without those four components. 

"If there was ever a time for presidential leadership, this was it," Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-New York, said from the Senate floor ahead of the final, failed vote. 

Bipartisan bills failed, too. A bill from Sens. Mike Rounds, R-South Dakota, Susan Collins, R-Maine, and Angus King, I-Maine, failed to receive the 60 votes it needed to advance, with 54 votes for its advancement and 47 votes against. It would have provided protection for DACA recipients, along with $25 billion in border security funds.

A measure from Sen. John McCain, R-Arizona, and Sen. Chris Coons, D-Delaware, failed 52-47. That legislation would have also addressed DACA and border security.

A proposal from Sen. Pat Toomey, R-Pennsylvania, to restrict federal funding for sanctuary cities failed, 54-47.

On the Senate floor, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Kentucky, said this doesn't have to be the end of immigration work. But it's unclear what lies next. 

"Now, even though this week has been squandered, this does not have to be the end of our efforts to resolve these matters," McConnell said. "I would encourage members to put away the talking points, to get serious about finding a solution that can actually become law. I remain eager to improve our immigration policy."

Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-South Carolina, said he thinks there is still a solution, criticizing the "demagogues" on the left and the right for the failed votes. He also emphasized the need for Mr. Trump to lead. 

"Looking ahead, I continue to believe there is a deal to be had on immigration that gives President Trump many of his priorities on the border and relief for the DACA-eligible population," he said in a statement following the failed votes. "I do not believe victory will be achieved by further politicization of this issue.  That's the oldest game in the Swamp – blame the other side.  There's already enough intensity around immigration. The only way forward is for President Trump to grab the reins and lead us to a solution."

Follow below for updates from earlier. 


Grassley proposal — most closely aligned with Trump — fails

This is the proposal the president has endorsed, as it encapsulates the four pillars of his original immigration proposal. The proposal provided a pathway to citizenship for DACA recipients, $25 billion for border security, an end to the diversity visa lottery program and an end to extended family-based migration. 

Rounds-King amendment fails 

An amendment from Sens. Mike Rounds, R-South Dakota, and Angus King, I-Maine, failed to obtain 60 votes. Mr. Trump had called the proposal a "total catastrophe" on Twitter an hour earlier, saying it creates "a giant amnesty." The bill would have provided protection for DACA recipients and $25 billion for border security.

Toomey amendment fails

The amendment fails to gain enough support in the Senate. The amendment from Sen. Pat Toomey, R-Pennsylvania, would have limited grant funding for "sanctuary cities." The amendment would also ensure that State and local law enforcement officials may cooperate with federal immigration officials. 

Vote that would advance McCains-Coons proposal fails

A vote on cloture that would have advanced an amendment from Sens. John McCain, R-Arizona, and Sen. Chris Coons, D-Delaware, failed to receive enough support just before 3 p.m. That proposal addressed DACA and border security. The final tally was 52 yeas to 47 nays. 

Graham says immigration votes will "crash and burn"

Sen. Lindsey Graham, speaking to reporters Thursday afternoon, predicted that all of the bills introduced Thursday will fail. 

"We're going to fail today most likely and whether or not we go forward depends on presidential leadership," he said.

"After this crash and burn experience we will do one of two things. We'll reconfigure the process to be able to get us to a yes position where 70 percent of Americans reside by the way or we'll do what's happened for the last 35 years, punt..." he said. 

  • Kathryn Watson

    Kathryn Watson is a politics reporter for CBS News Digital.