Archive for February, 2011

February 28, 2011

House Rejects Amendment to Reduce Spending by 5.5%

House Amendment 111 to the FY2011 Continuing Resolutions Budget Bill HR 1 was rejected by a vote of 147-281. The Amendment, sponsored by Rep. Marsha Blackburn (TN-7) would reduce spending by 5.5% in 8 non-securiy spending subsections of the bill and reduce Legislative Branch appropriations by 11%.

Ninety-two Republicans joined with 189 Democrats to reject the bill on grounds that it was going too far. The votes on this amendment draw the line where Republican members of the House stand on fiscal matters – between those who have listened to the people who have demanded that government cut its spending in a meaningful way, and those who proceed with business as usual.

February 20, 2011

House Passes FY2011 Continuing Appropriations Act

On Saturday, February 19, 2011, the House passed HR 1, Full-Year Continuing Appropriations Act, 2011 by a 235-189 vote. The consideration of the bill considered 150 amendments, 15 of which reduced spending by an additional $1.042 billon.

All Republicans voted for it with the exceptions of Campbell (CA-48), Flake (AZ-6), and Jones(NC-3) who objected that it did not cut spending sufficiently. All Democrats voted against it.

Significant amendments defunded the implementation of ObamaCare, Planned Parenthood, the NDIC , and nine White House Czars. It is uncertain whether those amendments will be changed by the Senate when it goes to them next week, and how that will play out in the reconciliation process.

February 18, 2011

House Ratifies Senate Amendment to Patriot Act Sunset Provisions

The House ratified HR 514, extending three provisions of the Patriot Act to May 28, 2011 as amended by the Senate by a bipartisan majority of 279-143.

Twenty-six Republicans voted against the measure:

Amash (MI-3), Bartlett (MD-6), Bishop (UT-1), Broun (GA-10), Campbell (CA-48), Duncan (TN-2), Fitzpatrick (PA-8), Gibson (NY-20), Graves GA-9), Hanna (NY-24),  Heller (NV-2), Hultgren (IL-14), Johnson (IL-15), Jones (NC-3), Kingston (GA-1), Labrador (ID-1), Mack (FL-14), Marchant (TX-24), McClintock (CA-4), Paul (TX-14), Rehberg (MT-at large), Roe (TN-1), Rohrabacher (CA-46), Schilling (IL-17), Schweikert (AZ-5), Woodall (GA-7).

February 18, 2011

Senate Passes FAA Reauthorization Act

The Senate passed S223, the FAA Reauthorization Act, by a vote of 87-8. The bill keeps the funding for the FAA for the remainder of FY 2011 at current levels, along with some increased taxes on commercial airline fuel.

All eight nay votes were Republicans – Crapo (ID), DeMint (SC), Johnson (WI), Lee (UT), Paul (TX), Risch (ID), Toomey (PA), and Vitter (LA).

The bill now goes to the House.

February 15, 2011

Senate Rejects Reducing FAA Budget to 2008 Levels

Senate Amendment 21, sponsored by Rand Paul (KY) would set FY 2011 spending levels by the FAA at FY 2008 levels. The budget for the FAA for FY 2011 is $12.953 billion, while the FAA budget in 2008 was $11.327 billion. The proposed budget is considered a reduction, as it imposes a 14.1 cent per gallon surtax on aviation fuel used by fractional ownership aircraft, and also increases the federal excise tax on all commercial aircraft fuel from 24.3 cents per gallon to 35.9 cents per gallon, a 47.7% increase. The anticipated increase in revenue to the FAA offsets increased budgetary allotments to it from the general fund, so they can say that it is a decrease in overall spending on paper. Without the increased taxes on consumers, the FAA budget would be approximately $1 billion more, or $14 billion.

The amendment was rejected on a strict party line vote, 51-47.

February 15, 2011

Senate Rejects Amendment to Bar TSA Screeners From Unionizing

Senate Amendment 14 to S. 223 (FAA Air Transportation Modernization and Safety Improvement Act),  sponsored by Senators Wicker (MS), Paul (KY), Collins (ME), and Coburn (OK), would exclude TSA screeners from collective bargaining.

The amendment was rejected by a strict party line vote, 51-47.

February 15, 2011

Senate Passes Extension of Patriot Act Provisions

H.R. 514. which passed the House Monday, February 14, 2011, was passed in the Senate by a 86-12 vote. The bill extends expiring provisions of the USA PATRIOT Improvement and Reauthorization Act of 2005 and Intelligence Reform and Terrorism Prevention Act of 2004 relating to access to business records, individual terrorists as agents of foreign powers, and roving wiretaps until December 8, 2011. Senate Amendment 90 amends the original bill to shorten the sunset period to May 27, 2011. The bill now goes back to the House for approval of the amendment.

All Republicans voted for it with the exception of Senators Mike Lee of Utah, and Rand Paul of Kentucky who joined 10 Democrats who were concerned with the constitutionality and violation of civil rights inherent in the warrantless searches involved.

February 15, 2011

House Passes Extension of Patriot Act Sections

In a reversal of the previous consideration of Patriot Act extensions, the House passed a measure to extend the provisions until December 8, 2011 on a 275-144 vote.
In the previous vote, the House leadership suspended the rules and only allowed one hour of debate and disallowed any amendments to the measure; the suspension required a 2/3 majority. Apparently, the leadership miscalculated, and did not anticipate opposition to the measure from within its own ranks by 26 Republican Representatives.
For this measure, the House rules were reinstated, and a simple majority was required for passage.
All 26 Republicans who voted against the previous measure did so in this one, and were joined by Rep. Hanna (NY-24).

February 15, 2011

House Orders Committees to Review Federal Regulations for Economic Impact

The House passed H.RES.72 which direct certain standing committees to inventory and review existing, pending, and proposed regulations and orders from agencies of the Federal Government, particularly with respect to their effect on jobs and economic growth.
The measure passed on a 381-28 vote, with all Republicans voting for it.

February 9, 2011

Extension of Patriot Act Sections Fails in House

H.R.514, which extends three expiring provisions of the Patriot Act failed to pass on a 271-148 vote Tuesday, February 8th, 2011 (it requires a 2/3 majority). The three key sections concern access to business and library records, concerning individual terrorists as agents of foreign powers, and the ability to authorize roving wiretaps. These sections were up for renewal on a sunset provision last renewed in 2005.

Twenty-six Republicans, mostly freshmen and/or Tea Party sponsored, joined with 122 Democrats to deny the extension of the enhanced powers to federal agents: Amash (MI-3), Barlett (MD-6), Bishop (UT-1), Broun (GA-10), Campbell (CA-48), Duncan (TN-2), Fitzpatrick (PA-8), Gibson (NY-20), Graves (GA-9), Heller (NV-2), Hultgren (IL-14), Johnson (IL-15), Jones (NC-3), Kingston (GA-1), Labrador (ID-1), Mack (FL-14), Marchant (TX-24), McClintock (CA-4), Paul (TX-14), Rehberg (MT at large), Roe (TN-1), Rohrabacher (CA-46), Schilling (IL-17), Schweikert (AZ-5), Woodall (GA-7), and Young (AK at large).

%d bloggers like this: