Archive for November, 2011

November 30, 2011

Senate Ratifies Surface and Air Transportation Act Extension

The Senate voted 92 – 6 to ratify HR 2887, the Surface and Air Transportation Programs Extension Act of 2011. The $25.6 billion measure was passed in the House by a simple voice vote, and the Senate passed it without amendment. The initial sponsor of the bill, Republican John Mica (FL-7), argued it was past time that the continuing appropriations for various transportation programs and agencies be enacted, as this was the 22nd time an extension has been passed by Congress since the initial act in 2007. The bill extends funding for the programs and agencies till January 31, 2012, at which time the funding may be included in an omnibus spending bill for FY 2012.

The six votes against the bill came from Republican Senators Tom Coburn (OK), Jim DeMint (SC), Ron Johnson (WI), Mike Lee (UT), Rand Paul (KY), and Pat Toomey (PA).

November 30, 2011

Senate Votes Down Amendment to Eliminate Duplicative Programs

The Senate voted 54 – 45 for Senate Amendment 610, which would have cut $7 billion from the Federal Budget; the measure required a 3/5 majority to override a potential filibuster. The Amendment directed the Office of Management and Budget to identify and report to Congress a minimum of $7 billion in cost savings that could be had by eliminating or consolidating unnecessary or duplicative Federal programs contained in the General Accounting Office Report GAO-11-318SP of March 2011.

Seven Democrats joined all Republicans in voting for the measure: Max Baucus (MT), Amy Klobuchar (MN), Claire McCaskill (MO), Joe Manchin (WV), Ben Nelson (NE), John Tester (MT), and Jim Webb (VA).

November 30, 2011

Senate Rejects Disapproval of Presidential Debt Limit Raise

The Senate voted 52 – 45 against a companion bill to House Joint Resolution 77, which simply stated a disapproval of the President increasing the Federal Debt Limit. Democratic Senator Ben Nelson of Nebraska voted with 44 Republicans for the measure, while Republican Senators Scott Brown (MA) and Bob Corker (TN) voted with the majority against. Three Senators, Marco Rubio (R-FL), John Rockefeller (D-WV), and Jim Webb (D-VA) were not present for the vote.

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