Tuesday, July 19, 2005

Senate Votes "No" on Border Security

Last year, the Senate pledged to hire 2,000 more Border Patrol agents and to fund 8,000 new detention beds for illegal aliens in fiscal 2006. Last week, the Senate voted against spending bill amendments to fulfill that pledge.

The spending bill for the Dept. of Homeland Security provides funds for only 1,000 more Border Patrol agents and only 2,240 new detention beds for illegal aliens. Sen. John (R-Nev.) wanted another 1,000 agents, and Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) wanted another 5,760 detention beds. The Senate, which is profligate and spendthrift in other areas, voted down these 2 amendments.

Sen. Hillary Clinton (D-N.Y.), early leader in the race for the 2008 Democratic presidential nomination, voted against both amendments. Sen. Clinton talks tough on border security but votes soft.

Sen. John Kerry (D-Mass.), 2004 Democratic nominee for president, and Sen. Joe Biden (D-Del.), who plans to run in 2008, both voted "no". More than 20 Republicans joined them in opposing the amendments. On this issue, Pres. Bush is no better.

I detect a pattern. In election years (2004), promise to take action to protect the borders. After the election (2005), vote against taking the promised action. The Senate votes to fund all kinds of non-essential items that help buy votes but won't vote to fund border security. What they will say when (and it is "when", not "if") terrorists strike again in the U.S.?

The U.S. Senate needs to get its priorities straight. The security of the Homeland is at stake.

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