The next few weeks are critical for the Bridge legislation. The conventional wisdom is that no immigration bills will be approved in 2008, which compounds the urgency. There are still many budget bills that are set to be acted on in the next few weeks. The Bridge is still on the short-list of smaller immigration amendments under consideration.
At least one immigration amendment has crossed a major hurdle. By unanimous consent on Wednesday the Senate passed Sen. Mikulski’s amendment to address the H-2B cap. The amendment is part of the Commerce-Justice-Science appropriations bill.
The Mikulski amendment still has several steps before it becomes law: base appropriations bill passage, House approval, Conference committee survival, and no Presidential veto. Still, it is a significant breakthrough and shows what never-ending advocacy can do even on controversial immigration legislation. The H-2B has been a pet issue of Sen. Mikulski for some time. She and her staff deserve a lot of credit.
For the Bridge amendment we have our eye on several base appropriations bill, including the likely end-game omnibus appropriations bill. Stay tuned. It could be a wild ride over the short run.