What: All Issues : War & Peace : S Con Res 21. (Fiscal 2008 budget resolution). Ensign of Nevada amendment that would protect defense spending from being redirected/On agreeing to the amendment (2007 senate Roll Call 86)
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S Con Res 21. (Fiscal 2008 budget resolution). Ensign of Nevada amendment that would protect defense spending from being redirected/On agreeing to the amendment
senate Roll Call 86     Mar 21, 2007
Progressive Position:
Nay
Progressive Result:
Win

This vote was on an amendment by John Ensign, R-Nev., that would have in essence made it more difficult for money for defense programs to be shifted into other programs, including domestic programs.

The amendment was offered to the budget resolution that serves as the blueprint for Congress' budget priorities in fiscal 2008. The budget resolution sets overall spending targets for the Appropriations committees and outlines other budget rules.

"This amendment is very simply a defense firewall amendment. We have had these in the past. The chairman of the Budget Committee will argue that they did not work very effectively in the past. I would disagree. It made it more difficult to take money out of defense and to spend it on other programs," Ensign said.

Indeed, Budget Committee Chairman Kent Conrad, D-N.D., rose immediately to oppose the amendment, saying that in the past these types of firewalls have resulted in the defense spending bill being studded with medical research earmarks that had little to do with defense programs.

Democrats were able to turn back the amendment on a largely party line vote of 51-47. Democrats were united, while two Republicans voted with them against establishing firewalls around defense spending -- George Voinovich of Ohio and Arlen Specter of Pennsylvania. The amendment was defeated, and the bill moved forward without language that would have prevented Defense funding from being shifted into other programs, such as domestic programs.

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