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Dirksen Maneuver Blooks Senate Unit Action on Immigration Bill

A procedural maneuver by Senate Republican leader Everett Mckinley Dirksen, of Illinois, today resulted in delaying Senate Judiciary Committee action on the House-approved immigration reform bill. He prevented action on the bill when the committee refused to clear his proposed constitutional amendment on the apportionment of state legislatures, which he had attached to the immigration bill as a rider.

Under the procedures of the committee, any member can defer consideration of legislation from one meeting by simply objecting. Accordingly, Sen. Dirksen objected to committee action on immigration after the committee, by a tie vote of 8-8, refused to clear his apportionment amendment. He did it as pressure on the committee for acceptance of his amendment, knowing that the White House is eager for early action on immigration.