Continued from page 1

But Sen. Lindsey Graham, South Carolina Republican and another who voted to break the filibuster, said he will try to force the bill back onto the schedule.

“We could see the finish line,” he said. “At the end of the day, there’s a small group of people, probably on both sides, that want to make sure we don’t succeed. And we’ll find a way around that.”

Mr. Reid left open the possibility of returning to the bill again this year, but Democrats said that will depend on Mr. Bush.

“When the president calls Harry Reid and says I can get some more votes for you, we’ll come back to it. But until that time we can’t,” he said. “They said he made some phone calls, but he could only deliver six or seven votes.”

It’s not clear what will change in the next weeks or months. A Washington Times survey after the “grand bargain” was announced three weeks ago found few supporters or opponents, with most senators saying they had concerns or hadn’t had any time to read the bill. Since then opposition has only grown — fueled in part by the reception senators got while home last week on vacation.

The immigration issue has deeply split the Republican Party, with Mr. Bush accusing some in his own party of trying to “frighten people” and conservative blogs saying Mr. Bush abandoned them. Some even talked of impeachment, and the national party’s fundraising took a hit many attributed to the president’s stance on this issue.

Sen. Charles E. Schumer, New York Democrat, said yesterday’s vote was a good indication of how much opposition there was among Republicans to passing any bill.

“I don’t think the vote on final passage would have been much different,” he said.

But with 50 votes in favor of a filibuster, including 11 Democrats and one Democrat-leaning independent, it underscored just how unpopular the compromise was with Democrats as well.

After the vote, Mr. Reid praised the seven Republican “profiles in courage” who bucked their own party, prompting Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, Kentucky Republican, to dryly note that more Democrats voted against their leaders.

“I want to express my admiration for the 12 Democrats who voted against cloture for being profiles in courage,” he said with a smirk.

Several said after the vote that the bill was cobbled together and had too many problems.

Republicans blamed the bill’s origin behind closed doors and the fact that it never went through the committee process for many of its problems. Several said they would be in meetings over the past few weeks and point out a problem that even Democrats or administration officials agreed needed fixing.

“That’s what the amendment process is for,” Mr. Cornyn said, though he said his party didn’t have much luck fixing the problems on the Senate floor. “What happened is people hunkered down, and they began to support the bill and fend off amendments in sort of a reflexive, defensive maneuver.”

The bill had already taken a major hit early yesterday morning when the Senate approved a Democrat-sponsored amendment that punched a hole in the middle of the temporary-worker program for future foreign workers.

Story Continues →