What: All Issues : Fair Taxation : Tax Breaks for the Rich : S Con Res 13. (Fiscal 2010 budget resolution) McCain of Arizona amendment that would provide for increased defense and veterans spending, extend expiring Bush-era tax cuts, overhaul the tax code and create a commission to retool Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security/On agreeing to the amendment (2009 senate Roll Call 129)
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S Con Res 13. (Fiscal 2010 budget resolution) McCain of Arizona amendment that would provide for increased defense and veterans spending, extend expiring Bush-era tax cuts, overhaul the tax code and create a commission to retool Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security/On agreeing to the amendment
senate Roll Call 129     Apr 02, 2009
Progressive Position:
Nay
Progressive Result:
Win

This vote was on an amendment by John McCain, R-Ariz., that would allow up to $17.5 trillion in spending for fiscal 2010 to 2015, call for an increase of $215 billion for defense and veterans spending, and extend the 2001 and 2003 tax cuts championed by the George Bush administration.  It also would allow for the creation of a commission to find savings in Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security; allow for increases necessary to facilitate a health care overhaul and for disabled veterans, and overhaul the tax code.  The amendment was offered to the budget resolution that serves as the blueprint for Congress’ budget priorities in fiscal 2010.  The budget resolution sets overall spending targets for the Appropriations committees and outlines other budget rules.

McCain presented his amendment as an alternative to President Obama’s budget, which Republicans have repeatedly said spends too much money. 

McCain said his estimates show that the budget as written in his amendment would cut 10 percent in spending immediately across the board, including Medicare.

“We are asking Americans who are tightening their belts, we are asking every State legislature in America to make tough decisions, and we are not making those tough decisions. We are just going on as if it were business as usual,” McCain said. “I do not pretend this is easy. I do not pretend this does not affect many Americans and their lives. But if we lay these multitrillion-dollar debts on future generations of Americans, we have contradicted and betrayed the commitment this Nation has kept throughout our history; that is, that the next generation of Americans inherit a better Nation than the one we did.”

Kent Conrad, D-N.D., said at least McCain tried to put together an alternative plan, instead of just criticizing Obama’s.

“I thank and congratulate the Senator from Arizona for producing a budget and a budget alternative. That was not done on their side until he did it, and I commend him for it,” Conrad said.

He added that the overall budget totals are close to Conrad’s version. But the main difference is that McCain’s budget would reduce spending by about $350 billion over five years across the board, instead of in targeted cuts.

“So, in effect, what he has is an across-the-board cut in Medicare, Medicaid, Social Security, agriculture, and that is how this budget would work. I do not know if that is the intention, but that is what would happen,” Conrad said.

By a vote of 38-60, the amendment was rejected.  All but three Republicans present voted for the amendment.  Every Democrat present voted against the amendment.  The end result is that the measure went forward without adopting language comprising a Republican alternative budget that would increase defense and veterans spending, extend expiring tax cuts and seek to overhaul health care.

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