What: All Issues : Aid to Less Advantaged People, at Home & Abroad : The Unemployed : HR 3357. (Solvency of federal trust funds) Sessions of Alabama amendment that would take back unspent economic stimulus money and redirect it to highway spending/On agreeing to the amendment (2009 senate Roll Call 252)
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HR 3357. (Solvency of federal trust funds) Sessions of Alabama amendment that would take back unspent economic stimulus money and redirect it to highway spending/On agreeing to the amendment
senate Roll Call 252     Jul 30, 2009
Progressive Position:
Nay
Progressive Result:
Win

This vote was on an amendment by Jeff Sessions, R-Ala., that would have taken back unspent economic stimulus money and redirected it to highway spending.  The amendment was offered to a bill that would funnel $7 billion into the Highway Trust Fund, which fuels federal surface transportation spending, in order to keep the fund from running out of money.

Sessions said his amendment would kill two birds with one stone; it would direct more stimulus money toward job-creating transportation projects, and also keep transportation spending commitments on track. 

“We cannot keep spending more and more,” Sessions said.  “We do have the money because we passed $800 billion in a stimulus package earlier this year. It was supposed to be primarily, we heard, for roads. But only 4 percent went to roads. So we can fix the shortfall in the highway trust fund by using some of the $800 billion we have already spent.    This amendment would do that,” Sessions said.

Barbara Boxer, D-Calif., said Sessions’ amendment would slash stimulus funding just at the moment the stimulus funding is ‘beginning to take hold.”

If you want to take care of all these things, and I think we all do, let’s do it the right way. Let us not do it the wrong way and slash funds from the stimulus bill,” Boxer said.

The amendment was defeated 40-57.  All but two Republicans present voted for the amendment.  All but two Democrats present voted against the amendment.  The end result is that the bill went forward without language that would have used unspent economic stimulus money to shore up federal highway spending.

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