(H.R.2847) On the Price of Georgia amendment, which would have reduced the total in the bill providing fiscal year 2010 funding for the Departments of Commerce and Justice by 1% or $644,150,000.
This was a vote on an amendment offered by Rep. Price (R-GA) that would have reduced the total amount in H.R. 2847 by 1% or $644,150,000. H.R. 2847 provided fiscal year 2010 funding for the Departments of Commerce and Justice and for federal science and other programs.
Rep. Price began his statement in support of the amendment by noting that the bill, as written, made an 11.6 percent increase in comparable spending over the previous year and said that his amendment would change it “from an 11.6 percent increase to a 10.6 percent increase.” He also noted that the current public debt was $11.4 trillion and that federal tax revenues dropped 34 percent in April 2009 compared with April of 2008.
Price said: “(A) penny out of every dollar, that is all we are asking.” He also pointed out that his amendment would not make an across-the-board reduction, but would allow “the department itself to figure out how to save a penny out of every dollar that it spends.”He concluded by claiming that not making a 1% spending reduction in the bill would be “irresponsible”.
Rep. Mollohan (D-WV), who was managing H.R. 2847 for the Democrats, opposed the amendment. He first noted that the Republicans and Democrats on the Appropriations Committee “worked months and months in drafting this legislation.” He then enumerated a number of the programs that the bill would fund, such as those related to law enforcement and said: “(T)he bill is carefully drafted to provide adequate funding to the Bureau of Prisons to ensure safety and security for inmates and corrections officers in Federal prisons. A 1 percent cut would be $71 million . . . A 1 percent cut would (also) eliminate $345 million in new funds to safeguard the Southwest border.” Mollohan concluded by arguing that a one percent cut would “undermine” the programs funded by H.R. 2847.
The amendment was defeated on a vote of 188-236. One hundred and fifty-nine Republicans and twenty-nine Democrats voted “aye”. Two hundred twenty-four Democrats and twelve Republicans voted “nay”. As a result, no reduction was made in the fiscal year 2010 funding levels for the Departments of Commerce and Justice provided by H.R. 2847.