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October 02, 2006

Senate Clears Border Fence Legislation for President

Republican Majority Leader Bill Frist, after winning a cloture vote on the measure a day earlier (which essentially prevented amendments from being offered during floor consideration), had nonetheless agreed to allow minor amendments offered by Senators Kay Bailey Hutchison (R-TX) and Mel Martinez (R-FL). The amendments sought to give the DHS Secretary greater discretion in determining where the fencing should be placed, and modify the term “operational control” of the border to reflect a more fluid standard.

However, amending the House-passed version of the bill would have required that the bill return to the House for another vote and, after lengthy negotiations between House and Senate leaders, lawmakers decided that the proposed changes relating to the location of the fencing could be handled "via a gentlemen's agreement" after the legislation passed, rather than through formal amendment. They did not address the second amendment relating to the definition of “operational control.”

President Bush is expected to sign the legislation without delay.

Posted by VisaLawyer at October 2, 2006 08:57 AM

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