Posts tagged ‘spending cut’

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.

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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 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.

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 Reduce Duplicative Programs

The Senate rejected SA 610 on September 15, 2011, an amendment put forth by Senator Tom Coburn (OK), to  save at least $7 billion by consolidating some duplicative and overlapping Government programs.

Democrat Senators Baucus (MT), Klobuchar (MN), Manchin (WV), McCaskill (MO), Nelson (NE), Tester (MT), and Webb (VA) joined all 47 Republicans in support of the measure,  but failed to obtain a filibuster proof 60 votes.

January 19, 2012

House Approves Continuing Appropriations Bill

On September 23, 2011, the House passed HR 2608 by 219 – 203. The measure provides for continuing discretionary appropriations until November 18, 2011, with the codicil that the total be reduced from previous levels by 1.503%. Twenty-four Republicans voted against the bill to voice displeasure with the continued massive spending, while six moderate Democrats voted for the measure – Altmire (PA-4), Holden (PA-17), Kissel (NC-8), McCarthy (NY-4), Michaud (ME-2), and Welch (VT-at large).

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).

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

House Passes Water and Energy Appropriations for FY 2012

HR 2354, the Energy and Water Development and Related Agencies Appropriations Act, 2012, was passed by a narrow majority, 219-196. The bill essentially does not change appropriations for the Corps of Engineers, various waterway projects, and the Department of Energy from that appropriated in FY 2011, with only a slight decrease in spending on discrete projects.

Twenty-one Republicans voted against the measure, mostly on grounds that it did not cut spending significantly, while ten Democrats voted for the bill in support of their pet projects.

June 27, 2011

House Passes Patent Office Reform Bill

By a vote of 304 – 117, the House passed HR 1249, the America Invents Act. The measure streamlines patent and trademark application procedures, changes the current “First to Invent” requirement to “First to File”, and shifts the cost of maintaining the Patent Office from the Federal Budget to applicant and user fees. This latter saves taxpayers $717 million over the next ten years.

In a mixed bipartisan vote, 67 Republicans and 50 Democrats voted against the bill, saying that the funding changes would stifle the ability of individual entrepreneurs to compete with corporations with R&D funding sources.

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