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U.S. Border Patrol Deputy Chief Ronald Vitiello, left, National Border Patrol Council President Brandon Judd testify in support of a bill that would trim border patrol costs by capping overtime pay for agents. (Cronkite News Service photo by Julianne DeFilippis)

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Senate panel weighs plan to rein in Border agents' overtime

WASHINGTON - A Senate committee was urged Monday to fix the "hopelessly broken" overtime policy for border patrol agents, by boosting agents' base pay but cutting any extra pay they would otherwise get for overtime hours.The Border Patrol Agent Pay Reform Act of 2013 has the support of Customs and Border Patrol officials as well as the organization that represents more than 16,000 border patrol agents. They say the changes will ultimately increase border security by creating pay stability for agents and improving retention, without cutting hours needed to do the job.