Posts tagged ‘balanced budget’

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).

January 19, 2012

Balnced Budget Amendment Fails in House Vote

House Joint Resolution 2, Proposing a Balanced Budget Amendment to the Constitution of the United States, failed to meet a 2/3 majority for passage by 23 votes. The vote tally of 261 – 165 was supported by Democrats, but opposed by four Republicans: Amash (MI-3), Dreier (CA-26), Gohmert (TX-1), and Ryan (WI-1).

January 19, 2012

Senate Rejects Amendment to Cut FAA Funding

In an effort to turn the tide on increased Federal spending, Senator Rand Paul (KY) proposed Senate Amendment 622 to the Surface and Air Transportation Program funding bill HR 2887. The amendment would limit spending by the Federal Aviation Administration to 2008 levels.

The measure was supported by 36 Republicans.

January 19, 2012

Senate Rejects Amendment to Balance Highway Trust Fund

An amendment to HR 2887, the bill to extend funds for surface and air transportation programs, would have required that the moneys spent by the Highway Trust Fund in a fiscal year be limited to the revenues raised and appropriated for the Fund within that fiscal year. In sum, it would prohibit the HTF from borrowing money.

The amendment (SA 621) tendered by Senator Rand Paul (KY), garnered only fourteen Republican supporting votes as follows: Burr (NC), Chambliss (GA), Coats (IN), Coburn (OK), Corker (TN), Crapo (ID), DeMint (SC), Johnson (WI), Kyl (AZ), Lee (UT), McCain (AZ), Paul (KY), Risch (ID), and Toomey (PA).

October 15, 2011

Budget Control Act of 2011 Passes Senate, Made Law

S. 365, the Budget Control Act of 2011, passed both Houses of Congress and was signed by the President in three days. The bill provides for a number of budgetary issues, mainly the following: it places an upper limit on discretionary spending for the years 2012 – 2021, beginning with $1.043 trillion for 2012, rising to $1.234 trillion in 2021. There are a number of spending exceptions to these limits, among which are highways, defense, and disaster relief. S. 365 also requires both the Senate and the House to vote on passage of a joint resolution proposing a balanced budget amendment to the Constitution, authorizes the Treasury to borrow an additional $900 billion above the $14.294 trillion already authorized, and establishes a Joint Select Committee on Deficit Reduction.

The votes for the bill were mixed in both houses, with 66 Republican House members voting against it, 95 Democrat House members voting for it, and in the Senate, seven Democrats joined 19 Republicans against the measure.

July 20, 2011

Cut, Cap, and Balance Act Passes in House

HR 2560 , the Cut, Cap, and Balance Act was passed by a vote of 234 – 190. The bill has three major portions: 1) it limits total discretionary spending for FY 2012 to $1.016 trillion, exempting Social Security, Medicare, Veterans Benefits, and Interest on National Debt, and limits other direct spending to $680.7 billion. 2) limits all on-budget and off-budget outlays of Federal spending in future years to a percentage of GDP, starting with 21.7% for FY 2013, diminishing to 19.9% by FY 2021. 3) Increases the debt ceiling to $16.7 trillion on the condition that a Balanced Budget Amendment to the Constitution be forwarded to the States for consideration and ratification.

Five Democrats joined 229 Republicans for the measure: Boren (OK-2), Cooper (TN-5), Matheson (UT-2), McIntyre (NC-7), and Shuler (NC-11). Nine Republicans joined 181 Democrats in voting against the bill: Bachmann (MN-6), Broun (GA-10), Canseco (TX-23), DesJarlais (TN-4), Griffith (VA-9), Jones (NC-3), Mack (FL-14), Paul (TX-14), and Rohrabacher (CA-46).

July 16, 2011

Senate Waives Budgetary Procedure

The Senate voted 56-40 to waive Section 303 of the Congressional Budget Act of 1974 which requires the Senate to have ratified the Federal annual budget before ratifying any appropriations bills sent to them by the House. In April the House passed then sent H Con Res 34, the Ryan Budget, to the Senate, but they have yet to vote on it. Presently, the Senate is considering ratification of HR 2055, which makes appropriations for military construction, funding the Department of Veterans Affairs, and related agencies for FY 2012.

In effect, the Senate is trying to spend taxpayer money before considering how much will be taken in, and without deciding first how to allocate expected revenues to various departments and agencies.

Three Republican Senators, Brown (MA), Cochran (MS), and Kirk (IL) joined all Democrats in voting for the waiver. Senator Hatch (UT) was not present, but it was noted by his aide that he would have voted for the waiver.

June 1, 2011

House Overwhelmingly Rejects Obama’s Debt Ceiling Raise

H.R. 1954,a bill to implement the President’s request to increase the statutory limit on the public debt, was rejected in the House by a vote of 318-97. The proposed new debt ceiling would have been set at $16.7 trillion, an increase of $2.407 trillion.

Eighty-two Democrats joined with all 236 Republicans to shoot down the proposal which Rep. David Camp (MI-4) introduced as a test measure of the political will to raise the national debt without spending reductions. A large number of the Democrats rejecting the bill were fiscal conservatives representing divided districts, but some others from secure districts were following the advice Minority Whip Steny Hoyer (MD-5) to vote against the bill in order to lay the blame for spending cuts in a future debt ceiling bill on the Republicans.

May 27, 2011

Senate Rejects Toomey Budget Proposal

The Senate voted down S. Con. Res. 21, a budget proposal authored by Senator Pat Toomey (PA) by a vote of 55-42.

The plan for FY2012 recommended spending for FY2012 of $2.9 trillion with a deficit of about $1 trillion. It also proposed an increase in spending by the year 2021 of $3.4 trillion, with expected revenues to rise to $3.85 trillion by that year for a total accumulated Federal debt of $13.5 trillion over the same period, just $2 trillion more than what it is presently.

Three Republicans joined all Democrats in opposition to the bill: Scott Brown (MA), Susan Collins (ME), and Olympia Snowe (ME).

May 27, 2011

Senate Rejects Ryan Budget Plan

The Senate voted 57-40 against consideration of H. Con. Res. 34, establishing the budget for the United States Government for fiscal year 2012 and setting forth appropriate budgetary levels for fiscal years 2013 through 2021, popularly known as the Ryan Budget Plan. The House had previously passed the measure in April by a vote of 235-193.

All Republicans voted for consideration except for Scott Brown (MA), Susan Collins (ME), Lisa Murkowski (AK), Rand Paul (KY), and Olympia Snowe (ME).

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