What: All Issues : Making Government Work for Everyone, Not Just the Rich or Powerful : Adequate Funding for Homeland Security : HR 3326. (Fiscal 2010 defense spending) Coburn of Oklahoma amendment that would only release $1.5 billion to the U.S. military reserve and National Guard if they first report to the Defense Department on how they plan to spend that money/On agreeing to the amendment (2009 senate Roll Call 310)
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HR 3326. (Fiscal 2010 defense spending) Coburn of Oklahoma amendment that would only release $1.5 billion to the U.S. military reserve and National Guard if they first report to the Defense Department on how they plan to spend that money/On agreeing to the amendment
senate Roll Call 310     Oct 06, 2009
Progressive Position:
Nay
Progressive Result:
Win

This vote was on an amendment by Tom Coburn, R-Okla., that would have required the National Guard and military Reserve force to first report to the Defense Department on how they plan to spend $1.5 billion in additional funds before those funds are released.  Congress would also get a copy of the report.  The amendment was offered to the bill that funds the Defense Department and related programs in fiscal 2010.

“I am appreciative of the fact that the National Guard and Army Reserve will get additional funds. All the amendment says is, run that by the Defense Department. They don’t get to approve it or disapprove it, but they ought to get to see it. And so should we. Every one of us has National Guard units. Many of us have Army Reserve units. Why should we not have access to information as to how they will spend the money? It is about transparency. The American people ought to see how they will spend the money,” Coburn said.

Patrick Leahy, D-Vt., said the amendment would add more bureaucratic red tape to the National Guard and Reserve’s spending decisions that is “unnecessary and burdensome.”

“This proposal mandates a new component of review and assessment in a process where a high level of accountability already exists.  As is already required by law, the Assistant Secretary of Defense for Reserve Affairs sends reports to Congress, including the four committees which oversee defense spending,” Leahy said. 

By a vote of 28-70, the amendment was rejected.  Of Republicans present, 26 voted for the amendment and 14 voted against it.  All but two Democrats present voted against the amendment.  The end result is that the measure went forward without language that would have required the National Guard and Reserve to report to Congress and Defense Department on how it planned to spend an additional $1.5 billion, as a condition for release of the money.

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