What: All Issues : War & Peace : (H.R. 1) On an amendment that would have cut $18.75 million for boards and commissions that provide advice and policy recommendations to the Defense Department. This amendment was offered to legislation funding the federal government (such legislation is known as a “continuing resolution, or “CR”) through September 2011, and cutting $61 billion in federal funding for many government programs. (2011 house Roll Call 41)
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(H.R. 1) On an amendment that would have cut $18.75 million for boards and commissions that provide advice and policy recommendations to the Defense Department. This amendment was offered to legislation funding the federal government (such legislation is known as a “continuing resolution, or “CR”) through September 2011, and cutting $61 billion in federal funding for many government programs.
house Roll Call 41     Feb 15, 2011
Progressive Position:
Yea
Progressive Result:
Loss

This was a vote on an amendment by Rep. Jeff Flake (R-AZ) that would have cut $18.75 million for boards and commissions that provide advice and policy recommendations to the Defense Department. This amendment was offered to legislation funding the federal government (such legislation is known as a “continuing resolution, or “CR”) through September 2011, and cutting $61 billion in federal funding for many government programs.

Flake urged support for his amendment: “I realize the amount of savings in this amendment is relatively small compared to the overall defense budget, but I think the point has to be made here that the defense budget is not sacrosanct. We can't say if it is defense, it is all good; that there is no waste here, we can't cut any. So it is important to look for ways we can actually save.”

A majority of Democrats supported Flake’s amendment. Rep. Barbara Lee (D-CA) argued: “I rise today in support of the bipartisan Flake amendment…In my opinion, any discussion about getting our fiscal house in order must begin with a real discussion about reducing the bloated size of the Pentagon…”

Rep. Bill Young (R-FL) argued that Flake’s proposal needed to be reviewed more thoroughly before such budgetary cuts could be safely implemented: “… America is at war. We have soldiers fighting, losing their lives, having serious injuries not only in Afghanistan but in Iraq and, before that, in Kosova and in Bosnia. We have known war for a long time, and cutting the defense budget was unheard of….The idea of the Flake amendment may be a good idea. The [Defense] subcommittee would like to be able to analyze it to make sure that it doesn't have any kind of a negative effect [on military readiness]. It may be, as we go through our process for this year, that we would include that, but the subcommittee would very much like to have an opportunity to review this recommendation by the Flake amendment.”

The House rejected this amendment by a vote of 207-223. Voting “yea” were 115 Democrats – including a majority of progressives – and 92 Republicans. 148 Republicans and 75 Democrats voted “nay.” As a result, the House rejected and amendment that would have cut $18.75 million for boards and commissions that provide advice and policy recommendations to the Defense Department.

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