The Senate drove a stake Thursday through President Bush’s plan to legalize millions of unlawful immigrants, likely postponing major action on immigration until after the 2008 elections.
After the stinging political setback, Bush sounded resigned to defeat.
“Legal immigration is one of the top concerns of the American people, and Congress’ failure to act on it is a disappointment,” he said after an appearance in Newport, R.I. “A lot of us worked hard to see if we couldn’t find common ground. It didn’t work.”
The bill’s Senate supporters fell 14 votes short of the 60 needed to limit debate and clear the way for final passage of the legislation, which critics assailed as offering amnesty to illegal immigrants. The vote was 46 to 53 in favor of limiting the debate.