What: All Issues : Making Government Work for Everyone, Not Just the Rich or Powerful : Insuring Government Has Adequate Financing to Function : S Con Res 23. Fiscal 2004 Budget Resolution/Procedural Vote to Defeat an Amendment Designed to Increase the Difficulty in Adopting Measures Which Increase Federal Deficits Until the Bush Administration Provides Cost Estimates of the Iraqi War. (2003 senate Roll Call 57)
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S Con Res 23. Fiscal 2004 Budget Resolution/Procedural Vote to Defeat an Amendment Designed to Increase the Difficulty in Adopting Measures Which Increase Federal Deficits Until the Bush Administration Provides Cost Estimates of the Iraqi War.
senate Roll Call 57     Mar 18, 2003
Progressive Position:
Yea
Progressive Result:
Loss

The budget process in Congress starts with a budget resolution: a statement of overall spending and revenue for the coming year. Though its dictates fundamentally non-binding, staying within them can simplify later parliamentary maneuvering. The budget resolution proposed by Republicans for 2004 included $726 billion in tax cuts. Democrats-and even many Republicanswere worried about planning for such a tax cut without knowing the cost of the war in Iraq. To address this issue, Conrad (D-ND) proposed changing the Senate rules to effectively require 60 votes to pass any legislation that increased the deficit until Bush provided a report on the war's costs. Progressives supported this move as a way to prevent the administration from pushing Congress to increase the deficit before knowing how much more spending would be required. However, Conrad's change in the rules would have had the effect of adjusting the budget resolution's spending and revenue totals, so under the Senate's existing rules a member could raise a point of order against it. Nickles (R-OK) raised this point of order, which could only be waived with 60 votes. Conrad (D-ND) moved to waive it and received unanimous Progressive support, but he still fell 17 votes short of the 60 needed, 43-56. The point of order was sustained, and Conrad's change to the rules was defeated.

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