What: All Issues : Aid to Less Advantaged People, at Home & Abroad : S Con Res 13. (Fiscal 2010 budget resolution) Sessions of Alabama amendment that would make it easier to defeat any funding bill that does not allocate $2.6 billion to construct a fence across the U.S.-Mexico border/On agreeing to the amendment (2009 senate Roll Call 150)
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S Con Res 13. (Fiscal 2010 budget resolution) Sessions of Alabama amendment that would make it easier to defeat any funding bill that does not allocate $2.6 billion to construct a fence across the U.S.-Mexico border/On agreeing to the amendment
senate Roll Call 150     Apr 02, 2009
Progressive Position:
Nay
Progressive Result:
Win
Qualifies as polarizing?
Yes
Is this vote crucial?
No

This vote was on an amendment by Jeff Sessions, R-Ala., that would make it easier to defeat any future spending bill that does not allocate $2.6 billion for construction of a fence across the Southwest portion of the U.S.-Mexico border.  The amendment was offered to the budget resolution that serves as the blueprint for Congress’ budget priorities in fiscal 2010.  The budget resolution sets overall spending targets for the Appropriations committees and outlines other budget rules.

In 2006, Congress passed a law requiring that there be erected a 700-mile fence along the U.S-Mexico border, designed to help prevent immigrants from gaining entry to the country illegally.  Less than half of the fence has been built to date, mostly because of a lack of funding.

Sessions said what’s been built of the fence has dramatically reduced crimes in those areas, and could also help reduce drug and gun smuggling.

“Progress is being made.  And if we follow through with what we have told the American people we intend to do, we will be able to create a lawful system of immigration, which is a responsibility this Congress has,” Sessions said.

Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., said Sessions’ amendment makes no sense, given that there is no way to know whether or not that $2.6 billion the amendment requires would be spent effectively.

“The amendment we have before us—without an evaluation as to whether it is effective, without an evaluation of where the new parts should go, without an evaluation as to whether there are other, better ways to deal with the problem of undocumented and illegal immigration—says vote $2.6 billion whether it works or not. That does not make much sense at a time when we are trying to balance the budget, be fiscally austere,” Schumer said.

By a vote of 36-61, the amendment was rejected. Of Republicans present, 34 voted for the amendment and 7 voted against it.  All but two Democrats present voted against the amendment. The end result is that the bill went forward without language that would have made it easier to defeat any spending legislation that did not contain $2.6 billion to fund continuing construction of a fence across the U.S.-Mexico border.

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