|Recent Senate Votes|
|Paul Budget Resolution – Vote Rejected (16-83, 1 Not Voting)
This budget resolution from Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky., would set new FY 2013 budget authority at $3.084 trillion. According to the Senator, his resolution would balance the budget in five years and cut the national deficit by $2 trillion over ten years. It introduces means-testing requirements to Social Security and raises the retirement age to 70 by 2032. It would also means-test Medicare and raise the age of eligibility to 70 over a 20-year window. Senior citizens would be permitted to enroll in the Federal Employee Health Benefits Plan used by congressional Members and staff. The resolution would set a flat tax rate of 17 percent for all individuals and businesses and eliminate all credits and deductions except the child credit and mortgage interest deduction.
Lee Budget Resolution – Vote Rejected (17-82, 1 Not Voting)
The budget resolution from Sen. Mike Lee, R-Utah, would set new FY 2013 budget authority at $3.269 trillion. It purports to balance the budget by 2017 through myriad changes to entitlements and the tax code as well as reducing spending to 17.8 percent of GDP over ten years. It would establish a single 25% tax rate for individuals and businesses while eliminating the payroll, estate, and any investment taxes. Social Security would be means-tested and the retirement age would rise to 68. Medicare participants would be able to enroll in a premium-support or voucher program. Total Medicare spending would be capped at the level of the Consumer Price Index plus one percent. Medicaid would become a block grant program.
Agency Confirmation – Vote Confirmed (70-24, 6 Not Voting)
The Senate voted to confirm the nomination of Jeremy C. Stein of Massachusetts to the Federal Reserve Board of Governors.
Agency Confirmation – Vote Confirmed (74-21, 5 Not Voting)
The Senate voted to confirm the nomination of Jerome H. Powell of Maryland to the Federal Reserve Board of Governors.
Export-Import Bank Reauthorization – Vote Passed (78-20, 2 Not Voting)
This bill would extend the charter of the Export-Import Bank of the United States through FY 2014. It would allow the banks lending limit to rise incrementally to $140 billion (from $100 billion currently). Following House passage last week, the Senate cleared this bill for the presidents signature, narrowly avoiding the May 31 expiration of the banks charter. Passage followed several failed amendment votes, among them a vote to terminate the bank within one year.
Obama Budget Resolution – Vote Rejected (0-99, 1 Not Voting)
The Senate unanimously rejected this budget resolution, which was the GOPs interpretation of President Obamas FY 13 budget proposal. It would set new FY 2013 budget authority at $2.982 trillion. This marks the second time Senate Republicans have introduced what they call the presidents budget for a floor vote, and the second time the proposal has failed to garner a single yea vote. This was the first of five budget resolutions the Senate voted on last week, each one a messaging vote since both chambers have already set spending levels for their respective FY 13 appropriations bills.
Ryan Budget Resolution – Vote Rejected (41-58, 1 Not Voting)
In another reprisal of last years budget theater, the House-passed budget drafted by Rep. Paul D. Ryan, R-Wis., failed in a party-line Senate vote. The resolution would set new FY 2013 budget authority at $2.794 trillion. As happened last year, all Democrats voted nay along with Independents Bernard Sanders (Vt.) and Joseph I. Lieberman (Conn.). All Republicans voted yay with the exceptions of Sens. Scott P. Brown (Mass.), Susan Collins (Maine), Dean Heller (Nev.), Rand Paul (Ky.) and Olympia J. Snowe (Maine).
Toomey Budget Resolution – Vote Rejected (42-57, 1 Not Voting)
This budget resolution introduced by Sen. Pat Toomey, R-Pa. would set new FY 2013 budget authority at $2.843 trillion. It purports to create a balanced budget within eight years, in part by reducing spending to about 18.3 percent of GDP. It would also create a two-thirds supermajority requirement for votes to exceed discretionary spending levels set forth in the resolution and a three-fifths supermajority to make any advance appropriation unless the latter are for a handful of accounts at the Veterans Affairs Administration.
|Recent House Votes|
|Violence Against Women Act Reauthorization – Vote Passed (222-205, 4 Not Voting)
The House last week passed its version of a reauthorization of the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA). Originally passed in 1994, the bill had been reauthorized twice without controversy until this year. The Senate version (S 1925), passed April 26, created several new provisions to which the House objected, such as expanding protections to include LGBT victims. President Obama has threatened to veto the House bill. While it looked like the two bills were headed to a conference committee following House passage, it was discovered late last week that the Senate bill contained a revenue-raising provision, causing the House to raise constitutional objections. The path forward at this point is not clear.
Suspension Vote: Iran Sanctions Resolution – Vote Passed (401-11, 9 Present, 10 Not Voting)
In a shot across the bow of world leaders gathered last weekend for the G8 Summit, the House loudly expressed its position on Iran. While reiterating that it is a vital national interest of the United States to prevent Iran from acquiring a nuclear capability, the resolution also comes down firmly against any proposed containment policy. Debate has raged about what U.S. red lines are with regard to Irans uranium enrichment program, and there is some question as to what exactly a nuclear capability would mean. If it means having a certain amount of enriched uranium, for example, that is a much different standard than having the ability to arm a missile with a nuclear warhead. Perhaps with that in mind, the resolution also demands that Iran end its ballistic missile program.
Flood Insurance Extension – Vote Passed (402-18, 11 Not Voting)
Hoping to avoid a May 31 expiration date, the House passed a short-term extension of the National Flood Insurance Program. The bill would extend the programs authorization through June 30, allowing homeowners living in flood zones to purchase private insurance. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., attempted to pass a different extension last week by unanimous consent, but Sen. Tom Coburn, R-Okla., objected. Republicans in both chambers want a complete overhaul of the program in exchange for a multi-year extension.
National Defense Authorization, FY 2013 – Vote Passed (299-120, 12 Not Voting)
The House passed its version of the annual defense policy bill last week following two days of debate and dozens of amendments. The bill would provide $643 billion for FY 13, including $88.5 billion for the war in Afghanistan. The topline figure exceeds agreed-upon spending levels from last years Budget Control Act (PL 112-25) by $8 billion. Amendment debate ranged widely, from the sale of fighter jets to Taiwan to the detention of terrorism suspects arrested on U.S. soil. President Obama has issued a veto threat on this bill. The Senate Armed Services Committee is slated to mark up its version this week.
May 22, 2012
Bennet, Udall, and Perlmutter Watch 5-21-12: Recent Votes
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