What: All Issues : Making Government Work for Everyone, Not Just the Rich or Powerful : Curbing Presidential Power : S 762. Fiscal 2003 War Supplemental/Vote to Table (Kill) and Amendment Designed to Improve Security at the Nation's Seaports. (2003 senate Roll Call 115)
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S 762. Fiscal 2003 War Supplemental/Vote to Table (Kill) and Amendment Designed to Improve Security at the Nation's Seaports.
senate Roll Call 115     Apr 02, 2003
Progressive Position:
Nay
Progressive Result:
Loss

The 2004 budget resolution, a financial blueprint for future federal spending, was adopted by Senate on March 26, 2003. The budget resolution, however, did not allocate federal money for the costs associated with the Iraqi war effort. To budget for the costs of war and the efforts to protect the home front against terrorism, the Bush Administration crafted a $74.7 billion supplemental spending bill which was sent to Capitol Hill for debate following passage of the budget resolution. Of the $62.6 billion included in the administration proposal for defense-related expenditures, however, $59.9 billion of that total would be spent at the discretion of the Pentagon, not Congress. The administration's "flexibility" in war-related spending was a major source of tension between the Executive and Legislative branches of government. As the sole constitutional entity responsible for spending taxpayer money, Congress pared down the $59.9 billion requested by the executive branch for discretionary purposes; amendments to the war supplemental bill sought to further clarify how the money would be spent. Senate Democrats and Republicans-while united in their desire to pare-down the amount included in the President's discretionary fund for homeland security-were divided nearly along party lines on amendments to further clarify homeland security spending; Republicans generally backed the spending bill crafted by the Appropriations Committee chaired by Senator Ted Stevens (R-AK), while Democrats thought the committee bill did not go far enough in curbing the President's discretionary fund and offered amendments to further clarify how the money would be spent. During consideration of the war supplemental bill, Senator Ernest Hollings (D-SC) offered an amendment allocating $1 billion to improve security measures at the nations' ports. Progressives supported the Hollings amendment because it would have strengthened security in a potentially-vulnerable area of the nation's infrastructure. On this vote, Senator Ted Stevens (R-AZ) offered a motion to table (or strike down) the Hollings amendment and the motion passed the Senate by a 52-47 margin (thereby striking down the Hollings amendment).

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