ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — Federal legislation that calls for expanding the Amber Alert system in Native American communities across the country has cleared its last hurdle before heading to the full U.S. Senate for consideration.

The measure was endorsed this week by the Senate Indian Affairs Committee. It’s supported by Republican Sen. John McCain of Arizona and a bipartisan contingent of lawmakers from New Mexico, Montana and North Dakota.

The legislation is in response to the 2016 deadly abduction of 11-year-old Ashlynne Mike on the Navajo Nation, the largest American Indian reservation in the U.S. The Navajo Nation spans parts of New Mexico, Arizona and Utah.

The measure would make permanent and expand the tribal Amber Alert pilot program. This would allow tribes to manage and operate their own alert systems.

(© Copyright 2017 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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