Feinstein ag worker plan dies

WASHINGTON -- An attempt by California Democratic Senator Dianne Feinstein to attach an agriculture guest worker program to a must-pass Iraq war spending bill has failed.

The Senate Appropriations Committee that Feinstein sits on agreed to the plan last week, but it was scuttled this week amid Senate negotiations on the multibillion-dollar bill to fund operations in Iraq and Afghanistan. There have been various disputes about attempts to add domestic programs to the bill.

Feinstein long has sought to create a guest-worker program to meet shortages of farm workers in California and elsewhere. Her latest plan would not have guaranteed permanent residency to the workers, but still met resistance from opponents who viewed it as amnesty.