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Senate votes to cut Bush Iraq budget to pay for border fence, patrols

[JURIST] The US Senate Wednesday voted 59-39 to hold back $1.9 billion in funds requested by President Bush to support the Iraq war and instead put them towards increased border security, including the building of a security fence along the Mexican border near San Diego. The proposal to divert the funds was made by Sen. Judd Gregg (R-NH) [official website] chair of the Senate Appropriations Homeland Security Subcommittee [official website]. Read Senator Gregg's press release on the passage of his amendment. Listen to Gregg's floor speech [recorded audio] on his amendment, delivered Tuesday.

The overall Senate emergency supplemental spending bill already faces the threat of a White House veto [OMB Statement of Administrative Policy, PDF] unless it is reduced to below $95 billion overall from its current level of $106.5 billion. The measure is likely to be adjusted further in negotiations with the House next month. AP has more.

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