What: All Issues : Environment : Rail Transportation : S Con Res 70. (Fiscal 2009 budget resolution) Allard of Colorado amendment that would reduce funding by $750 million for programs rated as ineffective/On agreeing to the amendment (2008 senate Roll Call 66)
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S Con Res 70. (Fiscal 2009 budget resolution) Allard of Colorado amendment that would reduce funding by $750 million for programs rated as ineffective/On agreeing to the amendment
senate Roll Call 66     Mar 13, 2008
Progressive Position:
Nay
Progressive Result:
Win

This vote was on an amendment by Wayne Allard, R-Colo., that would reduce funding in the budget resolution by $750 million for programs rated as ineffective by the Office of Management and Budget (OMB).  The money would instead be used to pay down the national debt. 

The amendment was offered to the budget resolution that serves as the blueprint for Congress’ budget priorities in fiscal 2009. The budget resolution sets overall spending targets for the Appropriations committees and outlines other budget rules.

Allard said his amendment would reduce the federal deficit and eliminate government waste at the same time by cutting spending by 5 percent on programs rated by OMB as ineffective.

“We are not cutting any programs or zeroing anything out, just saying that an “ineffective” rating probably means they do not deserve an increase,” Allard said.

Kent Conrad, D-N.D., said there is a “kernel of a good idea here,” but that the ratings program on which Allard’s amendment is based is defective.  As an example, Conrad said the program rates Amtrak as ineffective because its purpose is “ambiguous.”

“Ask the millions of people who go to work every day on Amtrak. It says the Department of Homeland Security security grants have an ineffective risk assessment formula and a lack of consistent performance. Ask that of the first responders around the country who have the responsibility of protecting the homeland,” Conrad said.

By a vote of 29-68, the amendment was rejected.  Every Democrat present voted against the amendment.  Of Republicans present, 29 voted for the amendment and 18 voted against it.  The end result is that the budget resolution went forward without language that would have cut $750 million from programs rated as ineffective.

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