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 3326. (Fiscal 2010 defense spending) Coburn of Oklahoma amendment that would bar any congressionally-directed spending paid for through the Defense Department’s operations and maintenance accounts/On agreeing to the amendment (2009 senate Roll Call 311)
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HR 3326. (Fiscal 2010 defense spending) Coburn of Oklahoma amendment that would bar any congressionally-directed spending paid for through the Defense Department’s operations and maintenance accounts/On agreeing to the amendment
senate Roll Call 311     Oct 06, 2009
Progressive Position:
Nay
Progressive Result:
Win

This vote was on an amendment by Tom Coburn, R-Okla., that would have prohibited any funds from going toward any member pet projects (known as “earmarks”) that were funneled from the Defense Department’s operations and maintenance accounts.  The amendment was offered to the bill that funds the Defense Department and related programs in fiscal 2010.

Coburn said his amendment would keep members of Congress from using up war fighters’ money for what he called parochial projects.

“Last year, I would remind my colleagues, the Navy ran out of operation and maintenance money. We had to supplement it. Why did we supplement it? Because we took their money last year and put it into earmarks instead of giving the Navy what it needed,” Coburn said.  “The fact is we ought not be playing games with the money that goes to protect our troops.”

Daniel K. Inouye, D-Hawaii, said the Senate Appropriations Committee thoroughly reviews and approves the entire budget and adjusts funds based on that review, including for member projects that might not pass muster.

“During this debate, the Senator from Oklahoma has spoken about his concerns to provide adequate funding for the National Guard. I share that concern. I would point out that if this amendment is adopted, it would decrease funding in excess of $75 million provided by this subcommittee to National Guard units in nearly 20 States,” Inouye said.

By a vote of 25-73, the amendment was rejected.  Of Republicans present, 22 voted for the amendment and 18 voted against it.  All but three Democrats present voted against the amendment.  The end result is that the measure went forward without language that would have prevented lawmakers from earmarking funds from the Defense Department’s operations and maintenance accounts.

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