What: All Issues : Making Government Work for Everyone, Not Just the Rich or Powerful : Adequate Funding for Homeland Security : S. 4 Legislation to implement the recommendations of the 9/11 Commission; Coburn amendment to ensure the fiscal integrity of grants awarded by the Department of Homeland Security/Motion to table (2007 senate Roll Call 71)
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S. 4 Legislation to implement the recommendations of the 9/11 Commission; Coburn amendment to ensure the fiscal integrity of grants awarded by the Department of Homeland Security/Motion to table
senate Roll Call 71     Mar 13, 2007
Progressive Position:
Yea
Progressive Result:
Win

This amendment, offered by Sen. Tom Coburn (R-Okla.), would have amended a bill to implement the recommendations of the 9/11 Commission by prohibiting the Homeland Security Department from awarding grants to state and local governments until it certified that the grants were being managed with fiscal accountability. Coburn said his amendment would make sure that the agency was managing its money properly in how it doles out grants to state and local governments. " It's putting them under the gun. That's exactly what we're supposed to do," Coburn said, adding that rejecting the amendment would mean that Senators are rejecting "the very idea of having accountability." The amendment faced heavy opposition from the National Governors Association, which argued that it would prevent state governments from receiving grants necessary to uphold their responsibilities to protect national security. The ranking Republican member on the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee, Sen. Susan Collins (Maine), led the opposition to the amendment, saying it would penalize first responders and state agencies for faults of the Homeland Security Department and unnecessarily halt the grant program. "It isn't just the governors and the emergency managers, it's also the Department of Homeland Security that strongly opposes the amendment," she said. The majority of the Senate agreed, and Coburn's amendment to require the Homeland Security Department to certify the fiscal responsibility of state and local governments receiving federal grant money was tabled by a vote of 66 to 31. Thus, the bill to implement the recommendations of the 9/11 Commission went forward without further constraints on the Homeland Security Department.

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