This vote was on an amendment by John Campbell, R-Calif., that would cut spending in the bill by .25 percent. The amendment was offered to the bill that funds the Labor, Health and Education departments in fiscal 2008. The amendment was the last in a series of Republican attempts to cut varying amounts of money from the bill (all unsuccessful).
Campbell said his amendment is a small step toward restoring fiscal discipline and that it is necessary in a time of deficits.
"The mainstream outside of Washington wants to keep their own money to spend it on what they want. And they believe, Madam Chairman, even if the other side doesn’t, Americans believe, and they are right, that government wastes some of their tax money. And what this proposed amendment does is it would increase spending on this bill by 4.6 percent instead of 4.8 percent. It is a reduction over what is proposed by a quarter of a percent. A quarter of a percent. It still provides an increase of $6.6 billion over last year," Campbell said. "So under this amendment if there is a government program that is scheduled to get a million dollars, it would instead have to struggle through on $997,500."
Steve Israel, D-N.Y., said Campbell and the other Republicans who sought to cut money from the bill ignored the $3 trillion in debt Republicans amassed while Congress was under Republican control.
"We won’t say anything about the 3 trillion … in debt that part of this fringe has supported when they wanted to spend more money on Halliburton, more money on tax cuts for big oil companies, didn’t see any amendments to cut those amendments. Now we see amendments to cut or reduce the amount of spending and investment in other funds," Israel said.
The amendment was rejected by a vote of 177-245. Of Republicans present, 162 voted for the amendment and 34 voted against the amendment. Of Democrats present, 15 voted for the amendment and 211 voted against it. The end result is that the bill that funds the Labor, Health and Education departments in fiscal 2008 went forward with its funding intact.