The Senate passed a key procedural hurdle to immigration reform yesterday evening.
Senators leading the debate on immigration have long argued that seventy votes would force the GOP controlled House to take up the Senate version.
The amendment that passed tonight fell three short of that threshold. But at 67, it cruised to passage. Fifteen Republicans voted for cloture as did every Democrat.
The Republican written provision would send billions of dollars to the southern border. The money would pay for hundreds of miles of fencing, tens of thousands of new Border Patrol agents and technology like drones to police illegal crossings.
It’s a sign that passage of the final bill in the Senate is guaranteed by the end of the week. Both Senators Murkowski and Begich signed onto the bill.
The so-called border surge amendment – labeled after the Iraqi troop surge – includes language that Alaska’s fish processors sought. It allows them to continue recruiting foreign workers who come to Alaska on student visas.
Attention will soon shift to the House, where Speaker John Boehner says he will not take up the Senate measure.
- Legislators are considering a special audit of the Alaska Mental Health Trust and how the trustees are investing its money.
- Cynthia Franklin, who helped guide Alaska's work in setting up the state's legal marijuana industry, is resigning as director of the Alcohol and Marijuana Control Office.
- An online controversy spread to the halls of city government in Anchorage on Tuesday, with accusations flying about fake news, liberal media bias and a militant Islamic training camp in Wasilla that does not exist.
- Former Sen. John Glenn has died at 95. After a career as a Marine pilot, Glenn was chosen as an astronaut. He was the third American in space.