What: All Issues : Making Government Work for Everyone, Not Just the Rich or Powerful : Adequate Government Funding for a Broad Range of Human Needs : HR 2996. (Fiscal 2010 environmental spending) Motion to kill an amendment that would require funding for the Save America’s Treasures program to instead be awarded through competitive bidding/On the motion (2009 senate Roll Call 294)
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HR 2996. (Fiscal 2010 environmental spending) Motion to kill an amendment that would require funding for the Save America’s Treasures program to instead be awarded through competitive bidding/On the motion
senate Roll Call 294     Sep 23, 2009
Progressive Position:
Yea
Progressive Result:
Win

This vote was on whether to table (kill) an amendment by Claire McCaskill, D-Mo., that would have required funds for the Save America’s Treasures program to be distributed in the form of competitive grants.  These grants could only be awarded to collections or historic property that were threatened or endangered, have a clear public benefit and are feasible to be conducted.  Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif., made a motion that the amendment be defeated, which is what this vote was on.

McCaskill said inside the underlying bill, members of Congress have used half of the funding for the Save America’s Treasures program, which helps restore historic properties, to fund member pet projects (known as “earmarks”).  This leaves the program only $10 million to use for the normal competitive bidding process, McCaskill said.

“It began as a competitive program and it has begun to morph into something more than a competitive program because now half of the money this year will be earmarked, leaving only $10 million for a competitive program.  So if your State doesn’t get an earmark, either in the House or the Senate, in the bill, then the chances of your State getting any money out of this program have been cut in half,” McCaskill said.

Feinstein said lawmakers who earmarked part of the program’s funding followed the program’s own rules for determining eligibility before they were included.

“As Senator Alexander and I have reviewed each of the 128 funding requests the Interior Subcommittee has received, we applied the same criteria that has been applied for the past 10 years and that has been codified in the program’s authorization. When we did that, only 16 projects passed muster,” Feinstein said.

By a vote of 72-26, the motion to defeat the amendment was agreed to.  All but four Democrats voted for the motion to kill the amendment.  Of Republicans present, 18 voted for the motion to kill the amendment and 22 voted against it.  The end result is that the motion to kill the amendment was agreed to, and an amendment that would have cancelled earmarks for the Save America’s Treasures program and instead required all grants to be competitively bid was defeated.

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