WASHINGTON, April 7 (UPI) -- The full U.S. Senate Friday stalled plans for a massive overhaul of U.S. immigration policy before members leave town for the Easter recess.
Senate negotiators reached a compromise Thursday but in votes Friday, the full body failed to protect the measure from amendment or to invoke cloture.
President Bush had been urging senators to act quickly.
At issue is how to deal with the nation's approximately 11 million illegal immigrants. The compromise would have put most on a path to citizenship and would have created a temporary worker program allowing 325,000 foreigners to fill jobs in the United States each year.
"I cannot think of a more complicated, comprehensive issue," Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison, R-Texas, said. She said she thinks there is an overall consensus on the issues of securing U.S. borders and the need for a guest worker program. But, she said, what to do about the 11 million illegals remains a major sticking point.
"I think we've missed an opportunity," she said, urging colleagues to think about the issue during the Easter recess and come up with solutions.