Supporters of a guest worker program that would let illegal immigrants stay in the United States said Tuesday they don't have enough Senate votes to overcome objections from conservatives who oppose the measure on grounds it amounts to amnesty.

As negotiators worked on a compromise to let those who have been here longest remain, Sen. John McCain (news, bio, voting record), R-Ariz., said a majority in the 100-member Senate support his and Massachusetts Democratic Sen. Edward M. Kennedy (news, bio, voting record)'s proposal to provide green cards to illegal immigrants after they've worked in the U.S. for six years.

But it takes 60 senators to overcome opponents' parliamentary tactics, and McCain said he doesn't have that many.

So you think Bill Frist will stick to his guns and demand that his caucus give McCain's bill an up-or-down vote? Yeah, me neither. But I do think all you good progressives out there will stick to your guns, reach for your wallets, and subscribe for an extended monthly dose of liberal intelligence. After all, what's the use of an echo chamber if nobody's in it?

--Ezra Klein

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