From NBC's Mark Murray
The comprehensive immigration bill in the Senate cleared its first hurdle this week when the "motion to proceed" picked up 64 votes today (it needed 60 to move forward). However, as NBC's Ken Strickland has reported, the actual heavy lifting begins with votes on amendments that could affect the core elements in the bill -- and that could determine whether or not it eventually passes the Senate.
Here are some interesting tidbits from today's 64-35 vote in the Senate:
-- All presidential candidates, Democrat and Republican, voted for the motion to proceed (Biden, Brownback, Clinton, Dodd, McCain, Obama)
-- 24 Republicans voted for it (Bennett, Bond, Brownback, Burr, Coleman, Collins, Craig, Domenici, Ensign, Graham, Gregg, Hagel, Kyl, Lott, Lugar, Martinez, McCain, McConnell, Murkowski, Snowe, Specter, Stevens, Voinovich, Warner)
-- 9 Democrats voted against it (Baucus, Bayh, Byrd, Dorgan, Landrieu, McCaskill, Rockefeller, Stabenow, Tester)
-- the independents were split: Lieberman voted for it, while Sanders voted against it.