- The Washington Times - Tuesday, March 6, 2007

1:46 p.m.

The Senate voted today to give 45,000 airport screeners the same union rights that Border Patrol, customs and immigration agents have despite a veto threat from the White House.

The 51-46 vote was on an amendment by Sen. Jim DeMint, South Carolina Republican, to remove the union rights from a broad anti-terrorism bill to implement recommendations of the September 11 commission previously rejected by Congress.

The House passed a similar anti-terrorism bill with the same union provision for airport screeners in an indication of organized labor’s strength with Democrats running Congress.

Republicans vowed to strike the union provision when negotiators sit down to merge the House and Senate bills.

“We’re not going to let big labor compromise national security,” said Sen. Mitch McConnell, Kentucky Republican, noting that there are not enough votes in either the House or Senate to override a veto by President Bush.

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