What: All Issues : Human Rights & Civil Liberties : Freedom of Speech and Press : S Con Res 70. (Fiscal 2009 budget resolution) DeMint of South Carolina amendment that would take back federal funds received by the city of Berkeley, California and transfer them to the U.S. Marine Corps/On agreeing to the amendment (2008 senate Roll Call 79)
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S Con Res 70. (Fiscal 2009 budget resolution) DeMint of South Carolina amendment that would take back federal funds received by the city of Berkeley, California and transfer them to the U.S. Marine Corps/On agreeing to the amendment
senate Roll Call 79     Mar 13, 2008
Progressive Position:
Nay
Progressive Result:
Win

This vote was on an amendment by Jim DeMint, R-S.C., that would rescind about $2 million in federal funding received by the city of Berkeley, California, and transfer that money to the U.S. Marine Corps.  The amendment was offered to the budget resolution that serves as the blueprint for Congress’ budget priorities in fiscal 2009. The budget resolution sets overall spending targets for the Appropriations committees and outlines other budget rules.

DeMint said his amendment is “somewhat unusual,” and that it is intended to punish the city of Berkeley for “inciting hate against our Marines and [encouraging protesters] to disrupt recruitment, which is their federal responsibility” during a protest outside a Marine Corps recruitment office in Berkeley.  The demonstration focused on protesters’ disagreement with the war in Iraq.

“The things that were said by the city council about our Marines were disgraceful. What we are proposing is to make a point,” DeMint said.


Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif., said Berkeley made a “huge mistake” for which the city has apologized.


“This amendment is an overkill,” Feinstein said, adding that it would punish many worthy efforts, such as a center that treats paralyzed veterans.  “I mean, the point has been made. The situation is solved, but it isn’t enough for the Senator. He has to come back and hit hard, and I disagree.”

The amendment was rejected by a vote of 41-57.  All but 9 Republicans present voted for the amendment.  All but two Democrats present voted against the amendment (Evan Bayh of Indiana and Mary Landrieu of Louisiana).  The end result is that the measure went forward without language that would have taken back $2 million in federal funding for the City of Berkeley, California, and redirected it to the Marine Corps.

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