What: All Issues : Making Government Work for Everyone, Not Just the Rich or Powerful : Adequate Government Funding for a Broad Range of Human Needs : H J Res 2. Fiscal 2003 Omnibus Appropriations Conference Report/Final Passage of Government Spending Measure Which, With Few Exceptions, Contained Across-the-Board Funding Cuts in Domestic Programs. (2003 senate Roll Call 34)
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H J Res 2. Fiscal 2003 Omnibus Appropriations Conference Report/Final Passage of Government Spending Measure Which, With Few Exceptions, Contained Across-the-Board Funding Cuts in Domestic Programs.
senate Roll Call 34     Feb 13, 2003
Progressive Position:
Nay
Progressive Result:
Loss

In 2002, Congress had been unable to pass spending legislation for 2003 as would normally be the case, because the Republican House and the Democratic Senate could not agree on a final package. The Democrats lost the Senate in the 2002 elections, so they lost the leverage necessary to press their own spending plan. As a result, Republicans moved aggressively in 2003 to pass their vision of spending, which was strongly constrained by White House spending caps. The final spending program-after separate action by the House and Senate and negotiations between leaders of both bodies-increased spending on some programs popular in both parties. The bill added $10 billion for intelligence and military activities, $3.1 billion for drought relief for farmers, $1.5 billion for election reform, and increased payments to physicians under Medicare to keep them in the system. However, to pay for these increases and still remain within the president's totals, the bill also cut 0.65 percent across the board from all other programs. (Spending bills for most military programs had already been passed the previous year, so the cuts did not apply to those areas.) Though Progressives favored some of these increases, they felt they did not have to come at the expense of funding for the rest of government. As a result, they voted against the bill. But they were a small minority: the bill passed by a wide margin 76-20.

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