What: All Issues : Making Government Work for Everyone, Not Just the Rich or Powerful : Adequate Government Funding for a Broad Range of Human Needs : S. 1054. Tax Reductions/Procedural Vote to Defeat an Amendment Designed to Provide Financial Assistance to States As a Way to Forestall State Cuts in Medicaid and Other Social Services. (2003 senate Roll Call 158)
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S. 1054. Tax Reductions/Procedural Vote to Defeat an Amendment Designed to Provide Financial Assistance to States As a Way to Forestall State Cuts in Medicaid and Other Social Services.
senate Roll Call 158     May 15, 2003
Progressive Position:
Yea
Progressive Result:
Loss

Unlike the federal government, forty-nine state governments (all except Vermont) have laws that require a balanced budget. The combination of new spending requirements to protect against future terrorist attacks and a weak economy, however, have caused nearly every state in the union to reduce spending in other areas to maintain a balanced budget. During Senate debate on legislation to reduce taxes, Senator Patty Murray (D-WA) offered a proposal which would have provided $40 billion in aid to states and localities. Progressives viewed Murray's amendment as a good start toward reversing the trend in increasing spending cuts that is occurring in state legislatures across the nation. Senator Charles Grassley (R-IA) raised a point of order against Murray's proposal by arguing that it was not relevant to the tax cut measure under consideration. Debate on budget-related legislation-which, according to recent rulings by the Senate parliamentarian, includes legislation to cut taxes-is governed by reconciliation rules set forth in the Budget Act of 1974. Those rules allow Senators to raise points of order against amendments by claiming that they are not relevant to the pending legislation in order to sink the amendment. To overcome a point of order, a sixty-vote majority is required in support of the amendment. The Murray amendment failed to attract the necessary sixty votes and was defeated by a 47-52 margin.

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