What: All Issues : Education, Humanities, & the Arts : General Education Funding : Fiscal 2007 continuing resolution to fund the federal government (H. J. Res. 20)/On passage (2007 house Roll Call 72)
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Fiscal 2007 continuing resolution to fund the federal government (H. J. Res. 20)/On passage
house Roll Call 72     Jan 31, 2007
Progressive Position:
Yea
Progressive Result:
Win

This vote was on final passage of a spending bill to fund the federal government through fiscal 2007, which ends Sept. 30.

The resolution would provide $463.5 billion for the programs covered by the nine outstanding fiscal 2007 appropriations bills that Republicans left unfinished at the end of their tenure in the leadership of both chambers of Congress in January 2007. Rather than pass individual bills for the nine leftover fiscal 2007 spending measures, the new Democratic leadership chose to roll them all into one bill. Without another continuing resolution to fund the departments and agencies, a large portion of the federal government would have to shut down by Feb. 15.

The measure would generally hold funding at fiscal 2006 levels but provide some funding increases for certain programs, including: veterans' health care, the National Institutes of Health, low-income housing, education, military housing and military base realignment and closing. The legislation also would block a scheduled 2007 cost-of-living pay increase for lawmakers, which by law happens automatically unless Congress passes legislation to prohibit it.

Republicans complained both about the substance of the bill - principally the long list of Democratic priorities, including such items as funding for low-income housing vouchers and Amtrak, both of which are opposed by many Republicans - and the prohibition on any floor amendments (see Roll Call 67).

Republicans also objected to what they asserted were earmarks in the bill - individual spending items that benefit a particular locale, institution or interest (see Roll Call 70). Democrats maintained that there were no new earmarks in the legislation, just continued funding for programs enacted under previous Republican control of Congress. Appropriations Chairman David Obey (D-Wis.) said it was not the Democrats' responsibility to clean up the "silly things" approved by past Republican-led Congresses.

In the end, 57 Republicans joined all but two Democrats in voting for the spending bill, likely because they were afraid to vote to shut down the government, theoretically a possibility if the measure did not pass. Thus, by a final vote of 286 to 140, the House passed a $463.5 billion spending bill to fund the portions of the federal government covered by the nine appropriations bills for fiscal 2007 left outstanding by the previous Republican-led Congress. The measure then headed to the Senate.

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