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Senate Rejects Bid to Boost Homeland Security Funding

Senate Republicans yesterday turned back the first of several Democratic attempts to add to proposed spending for homeland security next year, ensuring the issue a role in the 2004 congressional elections. A proposal by Sen. Robert C. Byrd (D-W.Va.) to add $1.75 billion to the $29.3 billion appropriations bill for the new Department of Homeland Security was defeated on a largely party-line vote of 50 to 43 — 17 votes short of the 60 needed under Senate rules because the proposal exceeded budget allocations. But, just as they did last week in forcing a series of losing votes on initiatives challenging President Bush’s Iraq policy, the Democrats were seeking to make a political point. They plan other, more narrowly targeted efforts to increase anti-terrorism spending. The Democrats’ contention, disputed by Republicans, is that the administration and the GOP-controlled Congress are shortchanging the nation’s domestic security needs. Full Story

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