What: All Issues : Making Government Work for Everyone, Not Just the Rich or Powerful : Infrastructure Funding : HR 3288. (Fiscal 2010 transportation and housing spending) DeMint of South Carolina amendment that would prohibit certain funds from going to the John Murtha Johnstown-Cambria County Airport/On agreeing to the amendment (2009 senate Roll Call 284)
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HR 3288. (Fiscal 2010 transportation and housing spending) DeMint of South Carolina amendment that would prohibit certain funds from going to the John Murtha Johnstown-Cambria County Airport/On agreeing to the amendment
senate Roll Call 284     Sep 17, 2009
Progressive Position:
Nay
Progressive Result:
Win

This vote was on an amendment by Jim DeMint, R-S.C., that would prohibit funds from going to the John Murtha Johnstown-Cambria County Airport in Pennsylvania (air traffic control operations would be excepted).  The amendment was offered to the bill that funds transportation and housing projects in fiscal 2010.

DeMint said he wants his amendment to serve as a “turning point for the Senate where we identify wasteful spending and begin to make some progress toward cutting those things that we don’t have to do here at the Federal level.”

DeMint was targeting the airport named after House of Representatives member John Murtha, a Democrat.  Murtha has come under fire for directing many millions of dollars worth of federal funding to the small airport in Pennsylvania that is named after him, despite its low traffic numbers.

Bob Casey, D-Pa., said DeMint’s amendment sets a bad precedent and singles out one airport for punishment.

“At a time when we are in the middle of a recession and with the unemployment rate in this county at 9.5 percent, and we are going to say here in Washington that we are going to vote on something that will shut down an airport—it is bad policy. We should allow this decision to be made by the Federal authority that should be making the decision, which is the Federal Aviation Administration,” Casey said.

By a vote of 43-53, the amendment was rejected.  All but two Republicans present voted for the amendment.  All but five Democrats present voted against the amendment.  The end result is that the measure went forward with funding intact for John Murtha Airport in Pennsylvania.

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