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Tuesday, May 16, 2006

Leahy Staff Blogs on Dorgan Amendment 

Senator Patrick Leahy has a blog that reports on actions on the Senate floor. This is how Leahy's staff reported action on the Dorgan amendment. I have taken the liberty of rearranging the entries in forward chronological order (the actual posts are in reverse chronological order, since blogs always report the latest and greatest you know). The summary includes appearances by Barbara Boxer and John McCain.

2:50 Senator Dorgan Describes His Amendment on Guest Workers
Senator Dorgan of North Dakota just came to the Floor to describe his amendment which would prohibit those living outside the United States (i.e., non-U.S. citizens) from participating in the H-2C guestworker visa program. A roll call vote in relation to this amendment is expected to occur later this afternoon.
3:10 Senator Boxer Expresses Support For Dorgan Amendment
Senator Barbara Boxer of California came to the Floor to express her concerns with the guest worker program proposed within the immigration bill. Senator Boxer believes that this is a program which could decrease pay for American workers, and which will result in a permanent underclass of workers coming to our country. Senator Boxer believes this provision was put in the bill to create a cheap labor force. She added that it is shameful that Congress hasn't raised the minimum wage in almost ten years. Senator Boxer believes that if we can remove the guestworker provision we will have a far stronger bill. She commended Senator Dorgan for offering an amendment to strike the guest worker program from the final legislation.
3:35 Senator McCain Discusses Guest Worker Program
Senator John McCain has come to the Floor to describe why, in his opinion, our country needs a guest worker program. Senator McCain stressed that we need such a program to halt the flood of illegal immigrants crossing our border for jobs. Senator McCain stated that if an American employer advertises a job, which no American employee will take, then that employer should be able to join together in a contract with a willing worker out of the country, so that the person can enter the U.S. and work to fill that job.
4:15 Roll Call Vote in Relation to Dorgan Amendment
The Senate is now voting on a motion to table the amendment proposed by Senator Dorgan (#4017) relating to the guest worker program.
4:35 Dorgan Amendment Tabled
By a vote of 69-28, the Senate voted to table the Dorgan amendment.

From the Ontario Empoblog (Latest OVVA news here)

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