What: All Issues : Making Government Work for Everyone, Not Just the Rich or Powerful : Adequate Government Funding for a Broad Range of Human Needs : HR 1. (Economic stimulus) Motion to preserve an amendment that would require spending cuts after two quarters of economic growth greater than 2 percent of the gross domestic product/On the motion (2009 senate Roll Call 40)
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HR 1. (Economic stimulus) Motion to preserve an amendment that would require spending cuts after two quarters of economic growth greater than 2 percent of the gross domestic product/On the motion
senate Roll Call 40     Feb 04, 2009
Progressive Position:
Nay
Progressive Result:
Win

This vote was on whether to allow an amendment by John McCain, R-Ariz., that would require federal spending to be cut following two consecutive quarters of economic growth that was greater than 2 percent of the gross domestic product, adjusted for inflation.  The amendment was offered to a $900 billion spending bill intended to bolster the flagging economy and create jobs.

When McCain offered his amendment, Kent Conrad, D-N.D., attempted to defeat it with a parliamentary maneuver that takes advantage of a rule barring budget-related amendments that don’t first go through the Budget Committee.  McCain then made a motion that that the rule be waived for his amendment, which is what this vote was on.

McCain said his amendment would simply make it so that when the economy begins to recover, the government would start cutting spending.

“We should make sure we adopt an amendment that as soon as the GDP improves for two quarters by 2 percent, we will then enact spending cuts to put us on the road to a balanced budget. We need to do that. We used to talk about millions of dollars and then we started talking about billions of dollars and now we are talking about trillions of dollars of deficits that will be run up that we will lay on future generations of Americans,” McCain said.

Conrad said he shares McCain’s desire to “put the budget back on track, and put it on a path to balance,” but that his proposal had not been considered by the Budget Committee to ensure that it would not create unintended consequences, and for that reason he is opposed to the amendment.

By a vote of 44-53, the motion was rejected.  Every Republican present voted for the motion.  All but three Democrats present voted against the motion.  The end result is that the motion to waive the rules failed, McCain’s amendment was defeated with a parliamentary maneuver, and the bill went forward without language that would have tied spending cutbacks to growth in the gross domestic product.

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