Wednesday, February 23, 2011

In Budget Bill, a Dispute Over Border Security

In Budget Bill, a Dispute Over Border Security - NYTimes.com

Preparing for the fight next week in Congress over federal spending legislation, Democratic leaders in the Senate said they will not support a bill with $60 billion in budget cuts that passed the Republican-led House on Saturday because it reduces funding for border security.

In a letter sent on Monday to House appropriations leaders, Senator Charles Schumer of New York and two other Democrats said the House bill would shrink the Border Patrol by 870 agents and cut $272 million in funds for surveillance systems to monitor the border with Mexico. They said those cuts would cancel gains from a bill adopted last August, with virtually unanimous bipartisan support, that increased border funding by $600 million, adding 1,000 new agents to the Border Patrol.

“This magnitude of reduction is simply dangerous,” wrote Mr. Schumer, who is chairman of the Senate judiciary subcommittee on immigration.

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