Senate Republicans voted unanimously against opening debate for the defense authorization bill this afternoon, a move that blocked the so-called DREAM Act, a controversial immigration measure. The vote was 56-43, with Democrats unable to round-up the 60 votes needed to stop a filibuster.
Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nevada, had planned to add the Development Relief and Education for Alien Minors Act as an amendment to the larger bill this afternoon. The act would give undocumented immigrants who entered the U.S. as children temporary resident status — on the condition that they graduate from a two-year college, complete at least two years toward a four-year degree, or serve in the U.S. military for at least two years. The bill also included the repeal of the "don't ask, don't tell" military policy.
The University Leadership Initiative held a rally this morning on the University of Texas campus in support of the act. The group released a statement calling the vote extremely disappointing and vowed to continue pushing for the measure.