With Congress working on finishing up all 2010 business, the White House is again pushing for final passage of the Dream Act, hosting a conference call with religious leaders who are hoping to drive the deal home before everyone on Capitol Hill heads home for the holidays.
The DREAM Act, bipartisan legislation that would provide a path to citizenship for undocumented youth, passed in the House earlier this month but is being held up in the Senate. According to Fox News producers on Capitol Hill, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., does intend to bring up the DREAM Act during this lame duck session.
So, while lawmakers on the Hill scramble to get everything done, the White House put together another in a series of conference calls on the DREAM Act. Rabbi Jack Moline, from Congregation Agudas Achim in Alexandria, VA says he has been working the phones on this for a while. "I have both personally and publicly called on Senators Warner and Webb to support his act. They were on the fence for a little while," Moline admitted on the call. "Have we done enough? If we had done enough we wouldn't be having this call. It's one of the reasons we're having this call."
Heather Higgenbottom from the White House Domestic Policy Council said the president is working the phones, pushing senators to vote in favor of the DREAM Act whenever it does come up for a vote and also told reporters that Defense Secretary Gates has written to the sponsors of the act, Senators Orrin Hatch, R-Utah, and Dick Durbin, D-Ill.,to show his support.
And in perhaps a final appeal for senators to vote in favor of the DREAM Act, Dr. Joel Hunter from A Church Distributed in Northland, FL, implored senators to be fair in their vote saying, "...don't punish the kids for something their parents did."
Even though Reid plans on bringing up the DREAM Act, it's looking less likely there will be enough time for it to get through.