What: All Issues : War & Peace : S 600. Fiscal 2006 State Department Authorization/Vote to Eliminate Funding for Television Broadcasts Into Cuba. (2005 senate Roll Call 85)
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S 600. Fiscal 2006 State Department Authorization/Vote to Eliminate Funding for Television Broadcasts Into Cuba.
senate Roll Call 85     Apr 06, 2005
Progressive Position:
Nay
Progressive Result:
Loss

In an effort to undermine Fidel Castro's regime, the U.S. government has in recent years spent about $12 million per year to broadcast U.S. television stations into Cuba. Fidel Castro's government, however, has successfully jammed U.S. transmissions and thereby prevented Cubans from receiving U.S. news broadcasts. During debate on the 2006 State Department Authorization bill-a $34 billion authorization for State Department operations, foreign assistance programs, and U.S. foreign aid-Senator Dorgan (D-ND) introduced an amendment which would have eliminated funding for television broadcasts to Cuba. The subject of this vote was a motion to table (strike down) the Dorgan amendment. Progressives voted against the tabling motion based on their view that U.S. television transmissions to Cuba which are systematically jammed by the Cuban government are a waste of taxpayer money and should be excluded from the underlying authorization bill. In the words of Senator Dorgan, "We ought not continue to pay to send television signals to a country that can't receive them or television signals to people who can't see them because the Government is jamming them... It seems to me when you see something that doesn't work, isn't needed, shouldn't be done and doesn't function at all, maybe it is time for all of us to say: This we can get rid of." Conservatives voted in favor of the motion to table Dorgan's amendment but did not offer explanations for their votes during debate on the Senate floor. The motion to table was agreed to 65-35, the Dorgan amendment was excluded from the 2006 State Department Authorization bill, and funding remained for U.S. television broadcasts to Cuba.

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