What: All Issues : Housing : Preventing Bank Foreclosures on Homes : HR 3357. (Solvency of federal trust funds) Ensign of Nevada amendment that would use $7.5 billion in unspent economic stimulus funding to replenish the unemployment trust fund/On agreeing to the amendment (2009 senate Roll Call 250)
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HR 3357. (Solvency of federal trust funds) Ensign of Nevada amendment that would use $7.5 billion in unspent economic stimulus funding to replenish the unemployment trust fund/On agreeing to the amendment
senate Roll Call 250     Jul 30, 2009
Progressive Position:
Nay
Progressive Result:
Win

This vote was on an amendment by John Ensign, R-Nev., that would have used $7.5 billion in unspent economic stimulus funding to replenish the Unemployment Trust Fund.  The amendment was offered to a bill that would provide extra surface transportation funding, allow states to keep borrowing money to pay unemployment benefits and tweak the Federal Housing Administration’s two main mortgage-assistance programs.

Ensign said states are borrowing from the federal unemployment trust fund, and as a result it is depleted.  “There are more States that are going to need to borrow from it. It is temporarily putting back into that trust fund a little over $7 billion.  Next year, there is going to be about $30 billion that is going to be needed. That is why I am saying don’t just borrow the money …  let’s take it out of the stimulus funds and let’s be fiscally responsible around here,” Ensign said.

Dick Durbin, D-Ill., said shoring up the unemployment trust fund is a worthy idea, but that Ensign really just “wants to cut back on spending in the stimulus program, which is building highways and projects across America. He wants to reduce the President’s effort to create jobs, thereby creating more unemployment in order to have more money for unemployment in America. It does not work.”

By a vote of 41-56, the amendment was rejected.  All but one Republican present voted for the amendment.  All but two Democrats present voted against the amendment.  The end result is that the measure went forward without language that would have taken $7.5 billion from unspent economic stimulus funds and used it to shore up the Unemployment Trust Fund.

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