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.
- A new study from a Alaskan epidemiologist looks at infants who were exposed to opiates before birth. Unlike previous studies, it goes beyond the sharp rise in cases for a portion of the population to explore what happens next.
- Commercial fisheries in Southeast Alaska have survived two years of state budget cuts but not without some changes. The Alaska Department of Fish and Game’s Division of Commercial Fisheries has cut some positions, ended some monitoring programs, and found some new funding sources.
- Alaska National Parks can hire the hundreds of seasonal employees they need to keep up with summer operations. Seasonal staffing was thrown into limbo when President Donald Trump ordered a federal hiring freeze in January. After about a month of questions and waiting,
- Lindemuth has been in the position since Craig Richards resigned in June.