On Tuesday, the House of Representatives passed the Conservation and Economic Growth Act, H.R.2578, that included a section to allow the Border Patrol to fully operate on federally-owned lands within 100 miles of the U.S.-Mexico border. The Border Patrol section was originally part of Rep. Rob Bishop's (R-Utah) National Security and Federal Lands Protection Act. Rep. Raul Grijalva (D-Ariz.) offered an amendment to strip Bishop's section from the larger bill, but the House voted down the amendment.
The Gijalva amendment was defeated 247-to-177 with the vote split mostly along party lines, however, 14 Democrats voted to increase border security, including: Reps. John Barrow (Ga.), Sanford Bishop (Ga.), Dan Boren (Okla.), Leonard Boswell (Iowa), Ben Chandler (Ky.), Joe Donnelly (Ind.), Kathy Hochul (N.Y.), Tim Holden (Pa.), Larry Kissell (N.C.), Jim Matheson (Utah), Mike McIntyre (N.C.), Collin Peterson (Minn.), and Mike Ross (Ark.).
Also voting against the Grijalva amendment was Democrat Ron Barber from Arizona who was sworn in just before the vote. Rep. Barber won a special election last week to fill the seat vacated by Gabrielle Giffords who resigned earlier this year. Rep. Barber's district runs along the U.S.-Mexico border in Southern Arizona.
The larger bill passed 232-to-188.
Updated: Wed, Jun 20th 2012 @ 9:17am EDT