What: All Issues : Making Government Work for Everyone, Not Just the Rich or Powerful : Infrastructure Funding : HR 1. (Economic stimulus) Motion to bring debate to a close on an amendment that would provide $838 billion in tax cuts and additional spending to stimulate the economy/On the motion (2009 senate Roll Call 59)
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HR 1. (Economic stimulus) Motion to bring debate to a close on an amendment that would provide $838 billion in tax cuts and additional spending to stimulate the economy/On the motion
senate Roll Call 59     Feb 09, 2009
Progressive Position:
Yea
Progressive Result:
Win

This vote was an attempt to bring debate on a compromise amendment to a close (known as a “cloture motion” in the Senate).  If the Senate votes to “invoke cloture” – or bring debate to a close – then lawmakers must either hold a vote on the legislation, amendment or motion in question, or move on to other business. This type of motion is most often called on contentious legislation where the leadership is concerned that consideration could be held up indefinitely by unhappy politicians.

The amendment in question, drafted by Sens. Ben Nelson, D-Neb. and Susan Collins, R-Maine, would decrease the amount of money the economic stimulus bill would spend (from just under $900 billion to $838 billion).  It also would expand certain types of tax depreciations, increase unemployment benefits (particularly in states with very high unemployment rates), expand the homeownership tax credit by up to $15,000 and temporarily increase the amount of federal reimbursement paid to states for Medicaid payments by $87 billion.

Max Baucus, D-Mont., said the amendment is a “principled compromise” and urged cloture to be invoked on the amendment so the Senate can proceed to a vote on its substance.

“Yes, if I had my way, I would have written it differently. I brought a slightly different bill to the floor on behalf of the Finance Committee. But the substitute makes the change we need so as to allow the broad consensus we need to pass this bill. In the Collins-Nelson substitute, we agreed to trim the underlying bill. But I am pleased the compromise does not sacrifice the main thrust of the bill,” Baucus said.

John McCain, R-Ariz., said Baucus’ claims of bipartisanship were false.

“Madam President, many of my colleagues are claiming that the ‘compromise bipartisan bill’ that is before us is a product and result of serious negotiations, and it is neither. It is neither bipartisan nor is it a compromise. It is not bipartisan in that 3 Republican Senators, after not a single Republican Member of the other body, the House of Representatives, plus 11 Democrats voted against this legislation,” McCain said.

By a vote of 61-36, the Senate agreed to the motion.  All but three Republicans present voted against the motion.  Every Democrat present voted for the motion.  The end result is that debate was shut off on a compromise amendment to the economic stimulus bill that would trim some spending and bolster some tax breaks.

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