The Senate approved a budget amendment yesterday sponsored by Senators Kay Bailey Hutchison (R.-Tex.) and John Ensign (R.-Nev.) that increases the number of Border Patrol agents by 2,000 without increasing discretionary spending. The $352 million cost of the agents will be offset by reductions elsewhere in the discretionary budget. The law responding to the recommendations of the 9/11 Commission, signed by the President in December, authorized 2,000 new agents per year for five years. But President Bush only funded 210 new agents in his fiscal 2006 budget.
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