(H.R. 2219) Legislation providing annual funding for Defense Department programs in 2012—On passage of the resolution setting a time limit for debate and determining which amendments could be offered to the Defense bill
Description:These votes were on a resolution setting a time limit for debate and determining which amendments could be offered to legislation providing annual funding for Defense Department programs in 2012. The first of these votes was on a procedural motion known as the “previous question"--which effectively ends debate and brings the pending resolution to an immediate vote. The second vote was on passage of the resolution itself.
The underlying Defense bill provided $530 billion for Defense Department programs in 2012. In addition, the measure provided $119 billion for ongoing military operations in Iraq and Afghanistan.
Rep. Richard Nugent (R-FL) urged support for the resolution and the underlying Defense bill: “Now, as a father of three sons all currently serving in the United States Army, this bill is of special importance to me. It's important to the Blue Star moms and dads whose kids have answered the call of duty and are serving their country in uniform. But this legislation isn't just important to the moms and dads and husbands and wives of the loved ones serving overseas. This legislation is important to all Americans. This appropriations bill ensures that the men and women in our armed forces are equipped with the tools and the resources they need to get the job done. It's a bill that ensures we can continue to go to bed at night and be safe and sound in our homes, knowing our troops are protecting our nation and our way of life.”
Rep. Alcee Hastings (D-FL) opposed the resolution and criticized the underlying bill: “…I'm deeply concerned by really the staggering amounts of money this country continues to devote to the military. At a time of fiscal austerity when the majority is slashing tens of billions of dollars from essential social programs, it's, in my view, absurd that we continue to exempt the Department of Defense from the same scrutiny that we apply to our domestic programs….The United States accounts for 43 percent of all military spending on Earth. We already outspend Russia and China, the next biggest spenders, by a factor of six. We tell teachers they can't get classroom supplies, but we don't tell admirals that they can't have more submarines. We tell mayors that they can't have more cops, but we don't tell generals that they can't have more ballistic missiles. And we tell Americans that they can't get their roads fixed or their levies strengthened, but here we are funding a next generation of nuclear weapons, not to mention that we already have enough nuclear weapons to kill everybody on Earth 25 times over.”
The House agreed to the previous question motion by a vote of 247-168. All 236 Republicans and 11 Democrats voted “yea.” 168 Democrats voted “nay.” As a result, the House proceeded to a final vote on a resolution setting a time limit for debate and determining which amendments could be offered to the Defense bill. The House then passed that resolution by a vote of 251-173. Voting “yea” were 235 Republicans and 16 Democrats. 172 Democrats and 1 Republican voted “nay.” As a result, the House proceeded to formal floor debate on legislation providing annual funding for Defense Department programs in 2012.