What: All Issues : Aid to Less Advantaged People, at Home & Abroad : HR 3357. (Solvency of federal trust funds) Motion to defeat a parliamentary maneuver against a bill that would keep the federal highway trust fund from running out of money /On the motion (2009 senate Roll Call 253)
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HR 3357. (Solvency of federal trust funds) Motion to defeat a parliamentary maneuver against a bill that would keep the federal highway trust fund from running out of money /On the motion
senate Roll Call 253     Jul 30, 2009
Progressive Position:
Yea
Progressive Result:
Win

This vote was on a motion to waive the Senate’s budgetary rules and allow the Senate to consider 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.

The bill had been on the Senate floor for most of the day when David Vitter, R-La., made a motion to defeat the bill with a parliamentary maneuver based on a Senate rule that says that no bill shall increase deficit spending.  Barbara Boxer, D-Calif., then made a motion that the rule be waived for this bill, which is what this vote was on.

“This bill … is contrary to the Budget Act. It has more outlays this year. It also requires us to rack up more debt, borrow more money. In the face of $2 trillion of new debt this year, doubling that in 5 years, and tripling it in 10, this is a critical vote. Either you vote yes and say let’s continue to go down that path or you vote no and say we need to change course about debt,” Vitter said.

Boxer defended the bill, saying simply that “we do not want to play Russian roulette with the highway trust fund. We have to make sure it stays solvent. I urge an “aye” vote.”

By a vote of 71-26, the motion to waive the rules was adopted.   All but one Democrat voted for the motion.   Of Republicans present, 15 voted for the motion and 25 voted against it.  The end result is that the motion carried, the budgetary rules were waived, and the Senate was able to move to a vote on final passage on a bill that would funnel $7 billion into the Highway Trust Fund.

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