Senate to Hold Special Session to Pass Border Security Bill

Sen. Charles Schumer, D-N.Y., left, and Sen. Claire McCaskill, D-Mo., talk about immigration and border security during a news conference in Washington, Aug. 5, 2010.
AP
The United States Senate will interrupt their summer recess on Thursday and return "briefly" for a rare mid-August session in order to pass a $600 million border security bill and a resolution honoring the late Senator Ted Stevens who died in a plane crash earlier this week.

But don't expect to see a lot of Senators flying back to Washington or on the Senate floor for this rare recess session. The measures will be passed by unanimous consent agreement or voice vote which means it does not require the attendance of Senators and members don't need to return to Washington to cast their vote.

However all 100 senators needed to sign off on the measures moving forward. The business on the floor will be handled with a minimal number of Senators.

The Senate will reconvene at 10:00 a.m. tomorrow. It will be a very brief session and the Senate will only be open for a matter of minutes, according to Senate aides.

"The Senate will come back into session tomorrow to pass important legislation to help secure our nation's borders and a resolution to honor the memory of former Senator Ted Stevens by unanimous consent. Senator Benjamin L. Cardin will preside, and Senator Chuck Schumer will offer these consent requests," Jim Manley, a spokesman for Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) announced in a written statement. "Once the Senate adjourns tomorrow, we will remain in recess until September 13th."

This will be the second time this week a house of Congress took an unusual break from their August recess in order to pass legislation. House members were summoned back to the Capitol on Tuesday of this week and voted on the $26 billion dollar jobs bill with aid to the states and also approved the border security bill. Jobs and border security are two issues expected to resonate with voters in the mid-term elections in November.

CBSNews.com Special Report: Election 2010

The $600 million dollar border security bill provides for about 1,500 more agents and personnel along the border and more unmanned surveillance drones. The Senate passed an identical bill before they adjourned for recess last Thursday, but for technical reasons the Senate needs to approve the House-passed version of the measure before they can send it to President Obama to sign into law.


John Nolen is a CBS News Capitol Hill Producer. You can read more of his posts in Hotsheet here.

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