Archive for April 8th, 2011

April 8, 2011

Senate Approves Amendment Ordering OMB to Streamline Programs

Senate Amendment 273, which orders the Office of Management and Budget to consolidate unnecessary duplicative and overlapping government programs was passed by a vote of 64-36. The legislation follows on from a GAO report to Congress entitled “Opportunities to Reduce Potential Duplication in Government Programs, Save Tax Dollars, and Enhance Revenue” (GAO-11-318SP) and applies the savings towards deficit reduction; it is estimated that the actions by the OMB will save taxpayers at least $5 billion annually.

Thad Cochran (MS) was the only Republican voting against the measure, while 16 Democrats joined the Republicans in support of the bill.

April 8, 2011

Senate Rejects Prohibiting EPA From Regulating Greenhouse Gas Emissions

Senate Amendment 183, which is a companion legislation to H.R. 910, the Energy Tax Prevention Act, was rejected by a vote of 50-50; the measure required a 3/5 majority vote for passage. This amendment to the Small Business Reauthorization Act prohibits the EPA from promulgating regulations including greenhouse gases such as water vapor and carbon dioxide in its vehicle emission standards.

The vote was largely on a partisan line, with only one Republican Senator, Susan Collins (ME) voting against it, but with Democrats Mary Landrieu (LA), Joe Manchin (WV), Ben Nelson (NE), and Mark Pryor (AR) voting for it.

April 8, 2011

Senate Ratifies House Bill to Rescind 1099 Reporting Requirements

In an unsurprising move, the Senate voted 87-12 to approve H.R. 4, the Comprehensive 1099 Taxpayer Protection and Repayment of Exchange Subsidy Overpayments Act of 2011.

The measure rescinds a provision in the Obamacare bill that would have required individuals and companies to report any payment in excess of $6oo to another individual or company in IRS Form 1099. The CBO estimates that this measure will add to the Federal Deficit by $21.9 billion over the next decade, due to reduced revenues; however, it will save Americans countless time and money spent on compliance. The bill now proceeds to the President for signature.

April 8, 2011

House Passes Energy Tax Prevention Act

H.R. 910, the Energy Tax Prevention Act, prohibits the EPA from defining certain vehicle emission gases, such as water vapor and carbon dioxide, as greenhouse gases in its regulations to stem climate change. The bill also prohibits individual states (such as California) from mandating stricter vehicle emission standards than that provided for by the Federal Government. The CBO estimates that this will save the Federal Government $307 million over the next six years; no estimate of how much this will save consumers at the gas pump, or reduce costs in the auto and oil industries, but it is a significant amount.

The measure passed by a vote of 255-172, with all Republicans voting for it, joined by 19 Democrats.

April 8, 2011

House Passes Continuing Appropriations for Military

H.R. 1363, the Department of Defense and Further Additional Continuing Appropriations Act of 2011, ensures the funding of military payroll and services until September 30, 2011, removing this from the negotiations in the overall budget that may threaten a shutdown of government services. This funding was provided for in H.R. 1, which passed the House February 19, 2011, but the Senate has yet to consider it. The measure also reduces or zeroes out a number of agricultural, energy, and foreign subsidies and assistance programs.

The bill was passed in a mixed partisan vote of 247-181, with 15 Democrats joining the majority of Republicans for it, and six Republicans voting against it in an attempt to force a shut down of the government. The six Republicans were: Amash (MI-3), Bachmann (MN-6), Barton (TX-6), King (IA-5), Mulvaney (SC-5), and Paul (TX-14).

%d bloggers like this: