What: All Issues : Fair Taxation : H Con Res 95. Fiscal 2006 Budget Resolution/Vote on Conference Committee Version of the 2006 Budget Resolution to Authorize $843 Billion for Discretionary (Appropriations) Spending Programs, $34.7 Billion in Cuts to Mandatory (Entitlement) Spending Programs, and $70 Billion in Tax Cuts. (2005 senate Roll Call 114)
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H Con Res 95. Fiscal 2006 Budget Resolution/Vote on Conference Committee Version of the 2006 Budget Resolution to Authorize $843 Billion for Discretionary (Appropriations) Spending Programs, $34.7 Billion in Cuts to Mandatory (Entitlement) Spending Programs, and $70 Billion in Tax Cuts.
senate Roll Call 114     Apr 28, 2005
Progressive Position:
Nay
Progressive Result:
Loss

The subject of this vote was final passage of the conference committee version of the 2006 Budget Resolution, a non-binding budgetary blueprint for the administration's taxing and spending priorities for the upcoming year and beyond. (When the House and Senate pass legislation in different forms, a conference committee is convened to reconcile differences between the two versions. A conference report, the final version of a bill, is the product of conference committee negotiations.) The resolution would authorize $843 billion in discretionary (appropriations) spending, strike $34.7 billion from mandatory spending programs such as Medicare, Medicaid, and Social Security ($10 billion from Medicaid alone), and cut taxes by $70 billion. Progressives voted against final passage based on their view that the budget resolution provided inadequate funding for a wide range of domestic needs in order to accommodate additional tax cuts for wealthy individuals proposed by the Bush Administration. In the view of Progressives, the recklessness with which the Bush Administration has pursued tax cuts for wealthy individuals has and will continue to hinder the government's ability to provide basic services to America's needy, disabled, and poor and undermine future economic growth. "It is a profound mistake for this country to stack additional debt upon already record levels of debt that I believe puts the long-term economic security of our country at risk," explained Senator Conrad (D-ND). Progressives also argued that both the budget deficit and the national debt have reached record highs as a result of the president's tax policies. In the words of Senator Dodd (D-CT), "This budget is irresponsible and takes the country in the wrong direction. It adds to our Nation's debt, continues to slash taxes for those in our Nation who least need tax breaks, and would enact massive cuts in critical domestic priorities." Conservatives voted in favor of the budget resolution and argued that funding cuts to mandatory spending programs such as Medicare, Medicaid, and Social Security were needed to help restore those programs to financial solvency. According to Senator Bunning (R-KY), "We absolutely must get a handle on entitlement and mandatory spending because the numbers are alarming. By 2030 Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security spending alone will be 13 percent of GDP. Unless we reform entitlement spending, we simply cannot continue on our current path." In the view of Senator Gregg (R-NH), "I strongly believe this resolution is a responsible effort to try to bring our fiscal house in order and to make strides in the area of controlling the rate of growth in spending so it is affordable for our taxpayers, but, more importantly, so it is affordable for the next generations who will have to pay the burden we put on the books today." Although Progressives voted unanimously in opposition to final passage, the budget resolution passed 52-47 and Congress was provided a spending blueprint of the Bush Administration's taxing and spending priorities for the upcoming year and beyond. (Note: The Budget Resolution is non-binding and congressional appropriators are free to modify funding levels for specific programs contained within the resolution. However, if Congress chooses to spend more money than the total provided in the budget resolution ($843 billion), additional expenditures will have to overcome budgetary points of order against them with a sixty vote majority, an often difficult task in the divided Senate.)

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