|Recent Senate Votes|
|Fiscal 2013 Continuing Appropriations Passage – Vote Passed (73-26, 1 Not Voting)
With a week left to avert a government shutdown, Senators passed a stopgap measure to keep federal funds flowing for the remainder of fiscal 2013. The Senate slightly expanded the spending package included in the original bill the House of Representatives passed on March 6, which only included full appropriations for Defense, Military Construction, and Veterans Affairs. Through a last-minute amendment put forth by Appropriations Committee Chairwoman Barbara Mikulski, D-Md., senators added additional spending provisions from three other related bills. The Senate approved Mikulskis amendment 70-29 (roll call 42), less than an hour before the bills final passage roll call vote. All told, the bill appropriated $517.7 billion for the Defense Department, $71.9 billion for veterans programs and military construction projects, $39.6 billion for the Department of Homeland Security, $20.5 billion for the Department of Agriculture and $50.2 billion for commerce, law enforcement and science programs. Spending on all other government programs will remain flat from fiscal 2012 rates. The bill made slight spending cuts from the earlier stopgap spending bill set to expire on March 27 to get federal outlays under the discretionary spending caps of the 2011 debt limit law (PL 112-25). The senate rejected several floor amendments that cut funds from Homeland Security and defense biofuel programs. Senator Kelly Ayotte, R-N.H., relented on consideration for the single-largest spending cut amendment, which would have redirected nearly $381 million in spending for the Armys Medium Extended Air Defense System. Ayottes opposition to the program had held up final consideration of the bill for a week. The bill returned to the House the next day and received a motion to concur to its amended status, passing it to the presidents desk for signing.
Fiscal 2014 Senate Budget Resolution Adoption – Vote Agreed to (50-49, 1 Not Voting)
Just before 5:00 in the morning on Saturday, the Senate passed its first budget resolution in four years by a single vote. Four Democrats Max Baucus of Montana, Mark Begich of Alaska, Kay Hagan of North Carolina, and Mark Pryor of Arkansas voted with Senate Republicans against the measure. Final passage arrived after senators spent 13 hours considering dozens of floor amendments on a huge swath of policy areas. Without any force of law, the nonbinding resolution laid out Senate Democrats alternative to the House budget, which passed two days before on a largely party-line vote (roll call 88). The Senate blueprint laid out $975 in new revenue and $975 in spending cuts over 10 years that promised to reduce the budget deficit $1.8 trillion in all. It also included additional economic stimulus and infrastructure investment funds supported by the White House. During floor debate, the Senate rejected a substitute budget put forth by Rand Paul of Kentucky that slashed spending by $9.6 trillion and cut taxes by $2.3 trillion over 10 years (roll call 69). Another Senate conservative firebrand, Texan Ted Cruz, offered unsuccessful amendments to repeal the Affordable Care Act (roll call 51), cut foreign aid to Egypt and build missile defense batteries on the East Coast (roll call 85), and withhold American funds to the United Nations until China rescinded its one-child population control policy (roll call 86). Republicans received Democratic support to pass amendments endorsing the Keystone XL pipeline (roll call 61), eliminating subsidies to the largest banks (roll call 70), and initiating a biennial budget process (roll call 65.) Senate Democrats played amendment tug-of-war, too. New Hampshires Jeanne Shaheen successfully introduced an amendment backing womens family planning and birth control access provided under the Affordable Care Act (roll call 54). Rhode Islander Sheldon Whitehouses amendment to create a carbon tax to combat global warming, however, failed (roll call 58).
|Recent House Votes|
|FY 2014 Budget Resolution Adoption – Vote Passed (220-207, 4 Not Voting)
On Thursday of last week, the House agreed to adopt the concurrent resolution introduced a week earlier by sponsor Paul D. Ryan, R-Wis., that would provide $2.769 trillion in new budget authority for FY2014, not including off-budget accounts. It assumed that the spending levels set by the sequester would stay in place and the discretionary savings from the sequester will come from nondefense programs. It also included the repeal of the 2010 health care overhaul and changed Medicare to a premium support system starting in 2024. In addition, the resolution called for changes to the tax code, including the consolation of the individual income tax brackets from six to two and the reduction or elimination of some tax credits and deductions. In addition to mapping out government spending levels for FY 2014, the resolution included appropriate budgetary levels for FY2015-FY2023 that would assume $5.7 trillion in reductions over the next ten years in discretionary and mandatory spending. Prior to adopting H. Con. Res. 25, on Wednesday the House rejected five amendments that would have provided alternative budget plans: the Senates Concurrent Resolution from Mick Mulvaney, R-S.C. (Roll Call 83); the Congressional Black Caucus preparation from Robert C. Scott, D-Va. (Roll Call 84); the Congressional Progressive Caucus substitute from Raul M. Grijalva, D-Ariz. (Roll Call 85); the Republican Study Committees idea from Rob Woodall, R-Ga. (Roll Call 86); and the Democratic alternative from Budget Committee Ranking Member Chris Van Hollen, D-Md. (Roll Call 87). 171 Democrats attempted to force Republicans to pass or reject the conservative Woodall plan by voting present. That vote was the closest of any of the five to being approved.
FY 2013 Continuing Appropriations Final Passage – Vote Passed (318-109, 4 Not Voting)
At the end of the legislative week, the House agreed to the Senates amendments to the bill that would approve the continuing appropriations through FY 2013 including $1.043 trillion in discretionary funds before the sequester. It funds departments and agencies at their FY2012 enacted levels, with adjustments for certain programs. The legislation provides $517.7 billion in base discretionary funding for the Defense Department, $71.9 billion for veterans programs and military construction, $20.5 billion for agriculture programs, $39.6 billion for the Department of Homeland Security and $50.2 billion for commerce, law enforcement and science programs. The legislation is now cleared for the president to sign into law, thus ending the lengthy process of funding government operations for FY2013.
March 26, 2013
Bennet, Udall, and Perlmutter Watch 3-25-13: Recent Votes