What: All Issues : Aid to Less Advantaged People, at Home & Abroad : Immigrants : HR 4899. (Supplemental spending for the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, veterans and natural disasters) Motion to preserve an amendment that would allocate $640 million extra for keeping from illegal immigrants from crossing the U.S.-Mexico border/On the motion (2010 senate Roll Call 167)
 Who: All Members
[POW!]
 

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HR 4899. (Supplemental spending for the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, veterans and natural disasters) Motion to preserve an amendment that would allocate $640 million extra for keeping from illegal immigrants from crossing the U.S.-Mexico border/On the motion
senate Roll Call 167     May 27, 2010
Progressive Position:
Nay
Progressive Result:
Win

This vote was on whether to allow to go forward an amendment by John Cornyn, R-Texas, that would have provided an additional $300 million in grants to state and local law enforcement operating within 100 miles of the U.S.-Mexico border, as well as an additional $340 million for federal agencies to pay for hiring investigators and agents to operate along the border.  The amendment would fund this effort by using money originally allocated by the economic stimulus law that has so far yet to be spent.  The amendment was offered to a bill that would provide supplemental appropriations in fiscal 2010, including extra money for the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan as well as money for veterans, areas affected by natural disasters, and and funding for some social policy initiatives, such as for teachers and firefighters.
 
When Cornyn offered his amendment, Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., attempted to defeat the amendment with a parliamentary maneuver, saying the amendment violated the Senate’s budgetary rules.  Cornyn then made a motion to waive the rules in this case, which is what this vote was on.

Cornyn said the time is now to beef up the border between the U.S. and Mexico, which he said is too porous.

“It is obvious our current border security measures are inadequate to deal with this new phenomenon of ultra light aircraft transporting drugs into the United States and perhaps transporting back to Mexico the bulk cash that is generated from these drug sales, further funding illegal drug activity and the cartels that are causing so much mayhem on our southern border,” Cornyn said.  “The problem we have with our broken immigration system is that it is simply not perceived as credible by the American people. Until we deal with this broken border, we are not going to be able to deal with other aspects of our broken immigration system, and I would support an effort to do that.”

Schumer said of the $300 million for agencies within 100 miles of the border Cornyn’s amendment calls for, “almost none” would be used for border enforcement.

“Second, the Cornyn amendment also calls for $100 million for construction of new land ports of entry. But the problem at our ports of entry is not lack of funding from the taxpayers, it is that we need an adequate fee system to make sure the users of those ports of entry pay for things rather than taking the money away from job creation in our States.”

By a vote of 54-43, the motion to waive the rules was rejected.  Though more voted yes than no, this particular type of vote required 60 in order to be considered approved.  Every Republican present voted to waive the rules.  Of Democrats present, 13 voted to waive the rule sand 42 voted against (including many of the most progressive senators).  The end result is that the motion to waive the rules failed, the amendment was defeated with a parliamentary maneuver, and the bill went forward without language that would have added $640 million in border enforcement money, paid out of unspent stimulus funds.

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