What: All Issues : Fair Taxation : H.J. Res. 51. Debt Limit Increase/Vote to Defeat an Amendment Designed to Hold GOP Responsible for Revenue Losses (and Potential Cuts in Domestic Spending) Caused By Tax Cuts. (2003 senate Roll Call 200)
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H.J. Res. 51. Debt Limit Increase/Vote to Defeat an Amendment Designed to Hold GOP Responsible for Revenue Losses (and Potential Cuts in Domestic Spending) Caused By Tax Cuts.
senate Roll Call 200     May 23, 2003
Progressive Position:
Yea
Progressive Result:
Loss

The budget requirement known as PAYGO, which stands for pay-as-you-go, imposes deficit-neutrality on the congressional budget process. In other words, legislation that would increase the federal deficit must be offset by spending reductions in other areas. During debate on legislation to increase the debt limit, Senator Russ Feingold (D-WI) proposed an amendment which would have extended the PAYGO rules to 2008. Progressives supported Feingold's measure because, in their view, the PAYGO rules are necessary to insure financial responsibility and manageable levels of public debt in future years (the public debt is the accumulation of all federal deficits). By enforcing PAYGO requirement, Progressives hoped to hold the GOP financially accountable for recently-enacted tax reductions; under PAYGO rules, those tax cuts would require future tax increases or spending cuts to maintain a balanced federal budget. Senator Don Nickles (R-OK) raised a point of order against the Feingold amendment on the grounds that the proposal was not relevant to the legislation under consideration. As budget-related legislation, debate on the debt limit bill was governed by reconciliation rules. Those rules allow Senators to raise points of order against amendment that they consider to be irrelevant to the underlying legislation. A sixty-vote majority is required to overcome a point of order. The Feingold amendment failed to attract the necessary sixty votes and was defeated 47-52.

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