What: All Issues : Education, Humanities, & the Arts : General Education Funding : (H.R. 3644) Legislation authorizing funding for two programs intended to educate the public about water resources issues -- On a "motion to recommit with instructions" -- or an amendment to freeze federal spending on programs funded by the bill at 2010 levels (2010 house Roll Call 141)
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(H.R. 3644) Legislation authorizing funding for two programs intended to educate the public about water resources issues -- On a "motion to recommit with instructions" -- or an amendment to freeze federal spending on programs funded by the bill at 2010 levels
house Roll Call 141     Mar 19, 2010
Progressive Position:
Nay
Progressive Result:
Win

This was a vote on an amendment offered to a bill authorizing funding for an environmental literacy grant program (which would educate the American public about water resources issues) and additional funding for an environmental education program "promoting stewardship" of coastal and marine resources for students in Kindergarten through 12th grade.

A motion to recommit with instructions is the minority's last chance to make substantive changes to a bill before a final up-or-down vote on the measure. If successful, the motion sends the legislation back to committee with instructions to amend the legislation as specified. 

This amendment, offered by Rep. Jason Chaffetz (R-UT), would have frozen federal spending on programs funded by the bill at 2010 levels. The amendment would also have prohibited any entity currently suing the federal government from receiving funding under the bill.

Chaffetz argued his amendment was fiscally responsible: "We're $12 trillion in debt. We're spending more than $600 million a day just in interest on our debt. At some point, some way, we're going to have to curb spending in this body. This bill authorizes a 10 percent increase every year for the 5 years covered in this bill. This is just too much….This motion to recommit simply will freeze funding at the current year appropriated levels…"

Rep. Lois Capps (D-CA) urged opposition to the amendment, and argued a 10% annual increase in funding was appropriate: "The modest increases in this bill were negotiated with my colleague, Mr. [Rep. Bill] Cassidy [R-LA], in the Natural Resources Committee, in a very bipartisan discussion with negotiations that we made between the two sides, and I urge Members to oppose this motion and support the underlying bill."

The House rejected the motion to recommit with instructions by a vote of 200-215. All 169 Republicans present and 31 Democrats voted "yea."  215 Democrats voted "nay." As a result, the House rejected an amendment to the water resources education bill freezing federal spending on programs funded by the measure at 2010 levels.

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