No Fence for the Mexican Border


The good news: By a 71-29 tally, the Senate yesterday voted not to appropriate the necessary $$$ to build a fence on the U.S.-Mexico border. Yes, the same fence the Senate voted 83-16 to build back in May. (The House has already voted to build and finance the fence.)

The bad news: Much of the "no" vote proceeded from questions about overall spending and once the GOP majority settles those matters, the fence will likely go up.

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 [Sen. Jeff] Session's amendment [to fund the fence].

"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."

Mr. Session's amendment would have required across-the-board cuts to the rest of the Homeland Security appropriations bill, Mr. Gregg said, which would mean cutting 750 new border-patrol agents and 1,200 new detention beds for illegal aliens that he included in the bill.

"We've attempted very hard to increase Border Patrol agents in this bill, increase detention beds," he said. "And, yes, we haven't funded the wall specifically as a result of our efforts to do these increases."

So watch out as soon as Senate Republicans get ready to bust the budget bank again. Whole Wash Times account here.