(H.R. 1) Final passage of legislation that would have funded the federal government through September 2011 and cut $61 billion in federal funding from government programs, including food stamps (which provide nutritional assistance to the poor), community health centers, Pell Grants for low–income college students, and funding for state job training programs
This was vote on final passage of legislation that would have funded the federal government (such bills are known as “continuing resolutions, or “CRs”) through September 2011, and cut $61 billion in federal funding from many government programs. For example, the bill would have cut funding from environmental protection programs, food stamps—which provide nutritional assistance to the poor—as well as community health centers, scientific research, Pell Grants for low–income college students, the National Institutes of Health, federal aid for state law enforcement programs, and funding for state job training programs.
The bill also would have prohibited its funding from being used to implement a major health care reform law enacted in 2010. That measure—which was signed into law by President Obama—expanded health care coverage to more than 30 million uninsured Americans and prohibited health insurance companies from denying coverage to people with pre-existing medical conditions.
[This bill—which had passed the Republican-controlled House of Representatives—was one of two continuing resolutions considered by the Senate. This House-passed bill was strongly supported by most Republicans in both the House and Senate. Senate Democrats, however, had drafted their own CR to fund the government and cut only $4.7 billion from federal programs.]
Sen. Orrin Hatch (R-UT) urged support for this bill: “…In my view, the votes that we are taking today are transcendent. They are quite literally about the future of this country. Are we going to be a country with a constitutionally limited government; are we going to be a country that limits the burden of taxation on individuals and families and businesses; or are we going to become Europe? Are we going to move toward a full-blown cradle-to-grave nanny government…In short, are we going to remain America--a beacon of freedom to the world or do we aspire to become a second European Union with high taxes, high spending, and measly economic growth?...Either we can step off the pedal, hit the brakes, and bring spending back in line with historical levels--levels that respect our Constitution of limited government and respect taxpaying citizens or we can keep the car on cruise control and drive the car off the cliff. Republicans want to hit the brakes.”
Sen. Pat Leahy (D-VT) opposed the House-passed CR: “The House CR slashes funding for refugees and other victims of disaster by 40 percent, at the same time members on the other [Republican] side of the aisle are rightly urging that we help the tens of thousands of Libyans, Tunisians and Egyptians who have fled their homes [during popular uprisings in which pro-democracy protesters clashed with police forces or supporters of those countries’ governments]….It [The House-passed CR] eliminates funding for the Clean Technology Fund which supports exports of solar, wind, and other renewable energy….How shortsighted can we be?...The impact of H.R. 1 [the House-passed CR] is equally devastating to our domestic programs. From the social safety net to programs that maintain and expand our country's infrastructure, these programs would be slashed.”
The Senate rejected this bill by a vote of 44-56. Voting “yea” were 44 Republicans. All 53 Democrats and 3 Republicans voted “nay.” As a result, the Senate rejected a bill that would have funded the federal government through September 2011 and cut $61 billion in federal funding from government programs, including food stamps, community health centers, Pell Grants for low–income college students, and funding for state job training programs.