Posts tagged ‘spending increase’

March 9, 2012

Senate Moves to Waive Budget Control Act Provisions

In debating S. 1813, the Federal Transportation funding bill, known as Moving Ahead for Progress in the 21st Century Act, a motion was passed by a vote of 66-31 to waive the budgetary restrictions of the Budget Control Act, capping discretionary spending. In effect, the motion renders the Budget Control Act meaningless in controlling the growth of Federal spending.

Republican Senators Alexander (R-TN), Blunt (R-MO), Boozman (R-AR), Brown (R-MA), Cochran (R-MS), Collins (R-ME), Heller (R-NV), Hoeven (R-ND), Hutchison (R-TX), Inhofe (R-OK), Shelby (R-AL), Snowe (R-ME), Vitter (R-LA), and Wicker (R-MS) voted to waive budgetary restrictions, while all Democrats voted for the motion except Warner of Virginia.

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January 19, 2012

House Passes Payroll Tax Cut Extension

The House Passed HR 3630, the Temporary Payroll Tax Cut Continuation Act of 2011 on December 17, 2011. The measure provides for the continuation of the 2% payroll tax cut for both self-employed and employees, extends the funding for Unemployment Compensation until March 1, 2012, extends Medicare payments to doctors until March 1, 2012, imposes increased fees for home buyers under Fannie Mae, and gives the President 60 days to make a determination of the permit for the XL Keystone Pipeline from Canada. The CBO estimates the total bill will add $166.8 billion to the national debt for the 2012 fiscal year.

Ten Democrats supported 224 Republicans for the measure, while 14 Republicans opposed the bill on grounds of excessive spending. The final tally was 234 – 193.

 

January 19, 2012

Senate Passes Disaster Relief Bill

The Senate, on December 17, 2011, passed HR 3672, the Disaster Relief Appropriations Act of 2012 by a vote of 72 – 27.

The measure allows for spending up to $8.073 billion by the Corps of Engineers, FEMA, and the Social Security Administration. All 27 nay votes were Republicans who objected to the amount budgeted.

January 19, 2012

Senate Passes Consolidated Appropriations Bill

The Senate passed HR 2112, making consolidated appropriations for the Departments of Agriculture, Commerce, Justice, Transportation, and Housing and Urban Development, and related programs for the fiscal year ending September 30, 2012.

The bill was passed by the House June 6, 2011, and finally was put through the Senate on Nov. 1, 2011. Thirty Republicans voted against the measure on grounds of excessive spending.

January 19, 2012

Senate Rejects Amendment to Limit Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae

The Senate rejected an amendment (SA 917) to HR 2112, the Consolidated and Further Continuing Appropriations Act, by Sen. Vitter (LA). The amendment proposed to limit the amount the Federal Government may allow Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae to $200 billion in the fiscal year.

Four Republicans, Blunt (MO), Brown (MA), Heller (NV), and Isakson (GA) joined all Democrats in opposition to the amendment.

January 19, 2012

Senate Ratifies Continuing Appropriations Bill

On September 26, 2011, the Senate ratified HR 2608 (see previous post), which provides continuing appropriations for discretionary programs for the remainder of the fiscal year. The Senate amended the bill to add $25 billion to home mortgage insurance programs.

Twelve Republican Senators voted against the bill: Ayotte (NH), Blunt (MO), Crapo (ID), Hatch (UT), Heller (NV), Inhofe (OK), Johnson (WI), Lee (UT), Paul (KY), Risch (ID), Rubio (FL), and Toomey (PA).

January 19, 2012

Senate Passes Transportation Act

The Senate passed HR 2887, the Surface and Air Transportation Programs Extension Act of 2011, on September 15, 2011 by a vote of 92 – 6. The bill extends general funding for transportation programs until January 31, 2012, and selected programs until March 31, 2012 at present levels. The bill was introduced in the House on September 12, 2011, passed the House the following day by voice vote so that no House members would be on record as having increased spending, and sent to the Senate for ratification.

The six noe votes came from Republican Senators Coburn (OK), DeMint (SC), Johnson (WI), Lee (UT), Paul (KY), and Toomey (PA) on grounds that the spending should have been reduced, and that there was little or no time devoted to debating the measure.

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).

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.

May 27, 2011

Senate Unanimously Rejects Obama Budget Proposal for 2012

The Senate unanimously voted (97-0) against consideration of S. Con. Res. 18, setting forth the President’s budget request for the United States Government for fiscal year 2012, and setting forth the appropriate budgetary levels for fiscal years 2013 through 2021.

The measure was introduced by Republican Senator Jeff Sessions (AL) as a test of the support for the President’s proposal which recommends the spending of $3.125 trillion in FY2012; with anticipated revenues of $1.877 trillion, this suggests a budget deficit of $1.248 trillion for FY2012. It also projects an average annual budget deficit of $1 trillion for the next ten years with the total Federal debt reaching $20.8 trillion by 2021.

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