This vote was on an amendment by Jim Jordan, R-Ohio, that would cut funds in the bill across the board by 4.6 percent. The amendment was offered to the bill that funds the Labor, Health and Education departments in fiscal 2008.
Jordan said his amendment would have the effect of reducing spending to the amount requested by President Bush in his fiscal 2008 budget.
"So my amendment is real straightforward. It says we are not going to go back to the President, we are not going to cut it, using the term “cut” to the President’s requested level, we are going to go back to last year’s funding level, a level funding amendment, a hold-the-line amendment, whatever you want to call it. It is certainly not a cut, although that has typically been the argument made by the other side of the aisle," Jordan said.
David Obey, D-Wis., defended the bill and its spending priorities.
"I just want to say one thing: Yes, this bill spends $10 billion more on our kids, on our workers, on our obligation to provide access to health care to people who don’t have it, than the President does. I plead fully double guilty. I would do twice as much if I could. I would do three times as much if I could because the country needs it," Obey said. "This is the bill that makes the investments that will make our country stronger economically, educationally and socially not just today but for the next 10 years. That’s what this bill is about."
The amendment was rejected by a vote of 136-288. Of Republicans present, 133 voted for the amendment and 63 voted against it. All but three Democrats voted against the amendment (Tim Mahoney of Florida, Heath Shuler of North Carolina and Gene Taylor of Missisisippi). The end result is that the measure went forward with all of its funding intact.