What: All Issues : Fair Taxation : Corporate Tax Breaks, General : H. Con. Res. 393. Fiscal 2005 Budget Resolution/Motion to Proceed to a Vote on the Rules of Debate Governing Consideration of the Budget Resolution. (2004 house Roll Call 84)
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H. Con. Res. 393. Fiscal 2005 Budget Resolution/Motion to Proceed to a Vote on the Rules of Debate Governing Consideration of the Budget Resolution.
house Roll Call 84     Mar 25, 2004
Progressive Position:
Nay
Progressive Result:
Loss

The purpose of the congressional budget process-and specifically the budget resolution-is to set an overall financial blueprint early in the congressional session to guide future spending decisions in the House and Senate on appropriations bills, tax legislation, and changes to mandatory spending programs such as Social Security and Medicare. While a budget resolution is non-binding and Congress is not required to stay within its limits, the majority party gains procedural protections during future debates on spending legislation if those measures stay within the budget caps set in the budget resolution. Before the budget resolution could be considered on the House floor, however, agreement needed to be reached on the rules governing debate (rules are drafted by the House Rules Committee, a de facto arm of the majority party leadership). The subject of this vote was a motion to proceed to a vote on the rules of debate. Progressives opposed the motion to proceed based on their opposition to the underlying budget resolution (budget resolutions, it should be noted, are drafted by the White House but require congressional approval). Specifically, Progressives opposed what they characterized as an excessive amount of tax cuts which were contained in the Bush Administration's budget resolution. Progressives argued that after three years of tax cutting by Congress and the White House-tax cutting which has contributed to record high budget deficits and an additional $1.2 trillion to the nation's debt-it was now time to restore some fiscal discipline in government. Progressives also objected to Republicans' failure to budget for future costs associated with the occupation of Iraq. By excluding estimates of the future costs of Iraq's occupation, Progressives contended, the Republican leadership was deceiving the American public about the true costs of the occupation. Republicans defended the budget resolution and some Conservatives argued that the proposed tax cuts, domestic spending reductions, and funding increases to the military which were contained in the budget resolution did not go far enough. On a straight party line vote of 222-201, the motion to proceed to a vote on the rules of debate was adopted and the budget resolution was allowed to proceed in the legislative process.

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