What: All Issues : Making Government Work for Everyone, Not Just the Rich or Powerful : Insuring Government Has Adequate Financing to Function : S Con Res 13. (Fiscal 2010 budget resolution) Gregg of New Hampshire amendment that would provide for a bipartisan task force to examine long-term fiscal imbalances/On agreeing to the amendment (2009 senate Roll Call 123)
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S Con Res 13. (Fiscal 2010 budget resolution) Gregg of New Hampshire amendment that would provide for a bipartisan task force to examine long-term fiscal imbalances/On agreeing to the amendment
senate Roll Call 123     Apr 01, 2009
Progressive Position:
Nay
Progressive Result:
Win

This vote was on an amendment by Judd Gregg, R-N.H., that would provide for the creation of a bipartisan task force to examine long-term fiscal challenges facing the United States.  The commission would make legislative recommendations to Congress.   The amendment was offered to the budget resolution that serves as the blueprint for Congress’ budget priorities in fiscal 2010.  The budget resolution sets overall spending targets for the Appropriations committees and outlines other budget rules.

Gregg said his amendment is “an attempt to move down the road in resolving what is at the center of the problems which we have as a nation for fiscal policy in the future, which is that we are passing on to our children a country they cannot afford, primarily driven by the cost of entitlement programs.” “Entitlement programs” are considered must-spend programs, such as Medicare and Social Security.

Gregg said the task force would be bipartisan, where any proposal it approves would have to have the endorsement of a majority of the representatives from both parties.
Kent Conrad, D-N.D., said he had discussed the task force at length with Gregg, but that his amendment is “at variance with our earlier agreement.”  Conrad said he and Gregg had discussed a task force composed of 8 Democrats and 8 Republicans, however that was when a Republican was in the White House and Democrats controlled Congress.  He said now that Democrats controlled both bodies, such parity “gives our friends who are in the minority an unfair ability to influence the outcome. That does not recognize the political reality.”

“Absolutely it should be bipartisan. But it should not be something that weights both parties the same,” Conrad said.

The amendment was rejected by a vote of 44-54. All but one Republican present voted for the amendment. All but three Democrats voted against the amendment. The end result is that the measure went forward without language that would have created a bipartisan commission to study fiscal challenges facing the nation. Any report would it issued would have to be endorsed by a majority of the representatives of both parties.

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