The Senate Tuesday afternoon unanimously cleared an amendment to prohibit funding for operations similar to the Justice Department's botched gun-tracking program, nicknamed “Operation Fast and Furious.”
The amendment is designed to prevent the Justice Department from implementing similar programs in the future, Sen. John CornynJohn CornynFirst US Zika death reported in Puerto Rico Senate confirms Obama's long-stalled ambassador to Mexico Overnight Healthcare: Medicare fight looms on Capitol Hill MORE (R-Texas) — the sponsor of the amendment — said prior to the 99-0 vote.
Cornyn's amendment, now tacked on the appropriations “minibus,” would explicitly prohibit the Justice Department from expending further federal funds on Operation Fast and Furious or programs that involve sending weapons into Mexico.
The program, now under congressional investigation, was run by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives beginning in 2009. It facilitated the export of American weapons to known Mexican drug cartels in order to map gun-running routes. Agents lost track of around 1,500 of the assault rifles, however, and one was linked to the murder of a U.S. border agent.
The program has drawn political fire from both sides of the aisle: Rep. Darrell Issa (R-Calif.) has launched an investigation in his House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform in which Attorney General Eric HolderEric H. HolderThe Hill's 12:30 Report The Trail 2016: Smelling victory TMZ: Unreleased video convinced prosecutors to forego charges against Lewandowski MORE testified as to what he did or did not know about the program.