Archive for February, 2012

February 14, 2012

House Passes Line Item Veto Bill

The House passed HR 3521, a bill which allows the President to rescind  any part of a spending bill, and upon the rescission being confirmed by both houses of Congress, the portion cut from the bill would be applied to the deficit.

The measure passed in a mixed partisan vote, 254 – 173, with 197 Republicans and 57 Democrats voting for it, and 41 Republicans and 132 Democrats against.

February 4, 2012

House Passes Budget Baseline Bill

The House passed HR 3578, a bill to amend the Balanced Budget and Emergency Deficit Control Act of 1985 to reform the budget baseline. The measure provides that for any program of more than $50 million, the anticipated expenditures in the following year shall be that of the current year unless explicitly raised by a Congressional action. It further mandates that the CBO (Congressional Budget Office) estimate tax revenues in budget projections up to nine years in the future at current levels. The intent of the bill is to bring to a halt the automatic rise in spending from year to year, and forestall attempts by spendthrifts in Congress and the administration to claim a spending cut when the rate of growth in a program is merely slowed down rather than actually cut in raw numbers.

All Republicans voted for the bill, along with four Democrats: Barrow (GA-12), Green (TX-29), Matheson (UT-2), and McIntyre (NC-7).

February 2, 2012

House Votes to Limit Welfare Cash Usage

HR 3567, the Welfare Integrity Now for Children and Families Act of 2011, was overwhelmingly passed in the House. The measure prohibits State welfare agencies  from allowing the use of cash assistance debit cards in strip clubs, casinos, and liquor stores.

159 Democrats joined 236 Republicans in support of the bill, while one Republican, Justin Amash (MI-3), joined 26 Democrats in opposition to the measure.

February 2, 2012

House Bars COLA Increase for Congress

The House voted overwhelmingly for HR 3835, which bars any automatic increase of pay to members of Congress and their employees for the next two years, ending December 31, 2013.  Cost of living increases of Congressional pay has been a regular feature for more than 50 years, and technically circumvents the Constitutional provision against Congress voting themselves a pay increase within the same term. This bill suspends that automatic increase.

Seventy-two Democrats joined 237 Republicans in support of the bill, while Republicans Bartlett (MD-6) and Young (AK-at large) joined 115 Democrats against the measure.

February 2, 2012

House Repeals CLASS Program

The House passed a bill to repeal the Community Living Assistance Services and Supports Act (CLASS program), a portion of Obamacare. The program was touted as a voluntary, pay as you go program, to be financed wholly from premiums people would pay into the government-run long-term care insurance program. However, the major flaw in the proposed program (it hasn’t gone into effect as yet) was that a large number of people were expected to enter into the program shortly before they needed long-term care, ending up with the government (taxpayers) bearing the bulk of the payouts to the tune of $81 billion over the next 10 years.

All Republicans and 28 Democrats voted for passage of  HR 1173.

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