What: All Issues : Fair Taxation : S. 1054. Tax Reductions/Procedural Vote to Defeat an Amendment Designed to Extend Unemployment Benefits to Jobless Workers. (2003 senate Roll Call 152)
 Who: All Members
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S. 1054. Tax Reductions/Procedural Vote to Defeat an Amendment Designed to Extend Unemployment Benefits to Jobless Workers.
senate Roll Call 152     May 15, 2003
Progressive Position:
Yea
Progressive Result:
Loss

During Senate debate on tax cut legislation, Senator Edward Kennedy (D-MA) proposed a measure that would have extended federal unemployment benefits by twenty-six weeks with an additional thirteen week extension for those workers who had already exhausted their federal unemployment benefits. The Kennedy amendment would have been paid for by eliminating the rate reduction contained in the tax cut bill for individuals in the highest income bracket Progressives voted in favor of Kennedy's amendment because, in their view, providing financial assistance to unemployed workers should take precedence over providing tax cuts to wealthy individuals. A point of order was raised by Senator Charles Grassley (R-IA) against the Kennedy amendment on the grounds that it was not relevant to the tax cut measure being debated. Debate on budget-related legislation-which, according to recent rulings by the Senate parliamentarian, includes tax cut measures-is governed by the reconciliation process. Reconciliation rules allow Senators to raise points of order against amendments by claiming they are not relevant to the pending legislation in order to strike down the amendment. To overcome a point of order, a sixty-vote majority in favor of the amendment is required. The Kennedy amendment failed to attract the necessary sixty votes and was defeated by a 50-49 margin.

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