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Immigration

This morning at 10:30 am ET, the Senate will take a critical procedural vote on the immigration bill, NBC's Strickland says. The "cloture" vote requires 60 to pass and would bring debate to an end, putting the bill on the path to a final vote. As with most things on this bill, the vote is too close to call. But if it fails -- and it very well could -- the immigration bill would likely be pulled from the floor again (and will probably dead for the rest of the year, if not the rest of Bush's presidency).

However, if there are at least 60 votes, the Senate would vote on some more amendments with a vote on final passage on Friday. It is reasonable to assume if they get 60 votes for "cloture" Thursday, they should be able to pass the bill on Friday.

The New York Times: "[S]enators of both parties said they were unsure the bill would clear that [60-vote] hurdle. Several senators who voted to keep the bill alive Tuesday said they would probably oppose efforts to shut off debate." The article adds that to get to this point today, the Senate yesterday killed amendments from both the left and the right for major changes in the legislation.

The Washington Times adds that the legislation hangs on by a thread today, just two days after the bill was revived, as patience runs out and supporters begin to balk. The change began "after a messy day in the chamber yesterday, with dozens of objections, arguments on the floor and five amendments defeated, at least a half-dozen senators said publicly or privately that their patience has run out."