That Washington

Fizz Follow-Up: "That's Nonsense!"

By Josh Feit September 22, 2010

Sen. Patty Murray's campaign quickly attacked Dino Rossi's reasoning for not supporting cloture on yesterday's defense budget.

In Fizz this morning, Rossi's spokeswoman Jennifer Morris told PubliCola the main reason Rossi wouldn't have voted to send the DOD authorization bill to the floor for a vote yesterday was because of the Dream Act—an amendment to give children of undocumented immigrants a pathway to citizenship. (That pathway would include getting a bachelors degree or joining the military.) Morris said Rossi does not support amnesty.

"That's nonsense," Murray spokeswoman Julie Edwards tells PubliCola, calling the excuse a "fig leaf for supporting the Republicans' obstructionist agenda."

Here's why: Murray's office in D.C. told us this morning, the Dream Act was not included in the defense budget. Had the GOP supported cloture on the Pentagon bill, the bill would have then gone to the floor for debate where Democrats needed to pass a separate amendment adding the Dream act in. (This is different than the "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" repeal provision, which was already in the bill that would have gone to the floor.)

Additionally, Edwards called Rossi's objections to amnesty for undocumented workers "an election year conversion" (to appease his conservative base).

Indeed, in 2003, as a state senator, Rossi voted for a bill that would have allowed children of non-citizen migrant workers to be considered state residents for college tuition purposes. The bill was later amended to clarify that the measure only applied to children of legal immigrants or who had received amnesty.

"It's an endorsement of amnesty," Edwards says.
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