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Senate Votes Down Funding For Small Border Fence It Approved in May

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You remember that Senate bill? Yeah the Senate immigration bill that tried to act tough by including a little bit of fence along the border to try and appease those of us who want true border security. Well it didn't appease us as their bill is a ridiculous amnesty and their amount of fence wouldn't do what needs to be done regarding illegal alien smuggling, drug smuggling or potential terrorists.

Well now they have gone further in proving how much they want true border security by voting down funding for their own border fence provisions. They voted against the funding by a vote of 71-29.

The reasoning some Senators used for voting against the amendment is legitimate. It would require taking the border fence funding from the funding of nearly 750 new border-patrol agents and new detention beds for illegal aliens. Somehow though I'm guessing that is the reason for only a handful of the Senators who voted this down. The other "nay voters" simply wanted to try and fool the people of America into thinking they had added border security provisions to their amnesty bill knowing full well that later they could simply kill those portions by not funding any of them.

Washington Times

Mr. Sessions offered his amendment to authorize $1.8 billion to pay for the fencing that the Senate voted 83-16 to build along high-traffic areas of the border with Mexico. In the same vote on May 17, the Senate also directed 500 miles of vehicle barriers to be built along the border.

But the May vote simply authorized the fencing and vehicle barriers, which on Capitol Hill is a different matter from approving the federal expenditures needed to build it.

So who do you think opposed the funding? Well you'd be almost right if you said all Democrats

Virtually all Democrats were joined by the chamber's lone independent and 28 Republicans in opposing Mr. Session's amendment to the Homeland Security Appropriations Act. Only two Democrats -- Sens. Ben Nelson of Nebraska and Thomas R. Carper of Delaware -- supported funding the fence.

All told, 34 senators -- including most of the Republican leadership -- voted in May to build the fence but yesterday opposed funding it.


Sen. Judd Gregg, the New Hampshire Republican who historically has fought to increase border security and enforcement of federal immigration laws, was among those who opposed Mr. Session's amendment.

"We should build these walls; there's no question about it," he said. "But the real issue here is the offset that's being used, and the offset creates a Hobson's choice for almost everyone here."

The offset Gregg mentions are the funds being taken from those available for new border patrol agents and detention beds in order to build the fence.

I personally would like to have all the funding, but if it was a choice between receiving just the funding for the fence and getting just the funding for agents and detention beds, I'd have to vote yes on the fence funding and get it started. Then later we could look at a separate bill for funding the agents and beds.

I don't understand this thought that we always have to do everything all at once. 750 agents isn't going to be as effective as our current number of agents walking behind fences. A fence or a wall is a force multiplier in a way, allowing less agents to patrol more area.

Don't worry though all of you illegal alien supporters, even if the fencing receives it's funding it will never be built under the Senate bill. Why? Because included in the Senate bill is a provision that any fencing to be built must be consulted on by the Mexican government.

If you think the Mexican government isn't going to raise holy hell over something that directly effects their gross revenue you are sadly mistaken. They already lobby heavily against any potential immigration reform and border security bill, but giving them this addition point they can use that they have to be consulted shows just who our Senators feel loyal to when it comes to immigration reform.

What the Senate bill all comes down to is that it is a sham. A complete farce with every loophole and other barrier to actually doing anything about our national security or curtailing illegal immigration. About the only effect it will have on illegal immigration is to increase it dramatically and reward those who have already broken the law with a path to citizenship and a mass amnesty for their crimes.

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Posted by Digger on July 14, 2006 06:47 AM (Permalink)

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