WASHINGTON -- A fragile bipartisan plan to legalize millions of unlawful immigrants suffered a setback Thursday.
The plan failed a test vote in the US Senate, leaving its prospects uncertain.
Still, the measure got a reprieve when Majority Leader Harry Reid said he'd give it more time before yanking the bill and moving on to other matters.
The Nevada Democrat's decision set the stage for yet another procedural vote later Thursday. It'll measure lawmakers' appetite for a so-called "grand bargain" between liberals and conservatives on immigration.
By a vote of 33-to-63, the Senate fell far short of the 60 votes needed to limit debate on the immigration measure and put it on a path to passage. Republicans opposed that move, while a majority of Democrats backed it.
Proponents in both parties are scrambling to find a way of reversing a blow their compromise sustained earlier today. That's when the Senate voted to phase out the bill's temporary worker program after five years.