This was a vote on final passage of a resolution requiring the House Budget Committee to set funding allocations for all federal programs (except those affecting national security) at 2008 levels or less. (Specifically, the underlying resolution provided that federal spending on “non-security” programs could not exceed 2008 levels. The measure did not, however, define, “non-security.”)
Rep. David Dreier (R-CA) urged support for the resolution: “The looming crisis of our national debt is a challenge that working Americans recognize very clearly. While the magnitude of a $14 trillion debt is simply too massive to truly comprehend, those with a modicum of common sense can appreciate the crushing weight that will fall on future generations. If we do not immediately change course, the damage could quickly become irreversible. Today's resolution is a clear signal that we are making that change in course.”
Rep. Paul Ryan (R-WI) also supported the measure: “Business as usual has to come to an end…and we've got to put limits on spending….That is exactly and precisely why this measure is necessary. So all the rhetoric aside, the days are over of unlimited spending and of no prioritization. And the days of getting spending under control are just beginning. This is a first step in a long process. This is a minimal, small down payment on a necessary process to go forward so that we can leave our kids with a better generation, so we can get this debt under control, so the spending spigot can close, and so we can do right by our constituents and treat their dollars wisely.”
Rep. Lois Capps (D-CA) argued against the resolution: “…Reverting to 2008 budget levels will cut more than $17 million from the National Health Service Corps. This program trains and employs health care providers, all while caring for millions of Americans. Moreover, it will cut both nurse faculty loan programs and nurse training programs by nearly 70 percent. These cuts will decimate our health care workforce now and long into the future.”
Rep. Robert Andrews (D-NJ) urged members to oppose the measure: “All those who care for and think about the 15 million unemployed people in this country, on both sides of the aisle, want the Congress to work together to help small businesses and entrepreneurs create jobs for Americans, but the new majority, right out of the gate, has ignored that obligation….Here is one fact the members ought to take into consideration. Last year, the departments that would be subject to up to a 25 percent spending cut under this bill made a million contracts with small businesses that gave $60 billion worth of work to caterers, electricians, other small businesses. What will happen to the jobs created by those small businesses if this 25 percent cut goes through?”
The House passed this resolution by a vote of 256-165. All 239 Republicans and 17 Democrats voted “yea.” 165 Democrats voted “nay.” As a result, the House passed a resolution requiring the House Budget Committee to set funding allocations for all federal programs (except those affecting national security) at 2008 levels or less.