What: All Issues : Making Government Work for Everyone, Not Just the Rich or Powerful : HR 2847. (Fiscal 2010 Commerce-Justice-science spending) Motion to preserve an amendment that would decrease funding to a manufacturing innovation program and instead increase funding to a state criminal assistance program/On the motion (2009 senate Roll Call 339)
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HR 2847. (Fiscal 2010 Commerce-Justice-science spending) Motion to preserve an amendment that would decrease funding to a manufacturing innovation program and instead increase funding to a state criminal assistance program/On the motion
senate Roll Call 339     Nov 05, 2009
Progressive Position:
Nay
Progressive Result:
Win

This vote was on whether to allow an amendment by John Ensign, R-Nev., that would have decreased spending by $124.7 million for a manufacturing extension partnership program and decreased by $69.9 million for a technology innovation program.  The amendment would have in turn increased the State Criminal Assistance Program by $172 million.  This program provides payments to states to help offset costs imposed on the prison system by undocumented aliens. 

“I believe this is an important amendment. It is especially important if you are in one of the Southwestern States or border States. Local law enforcement in those states incur a lot of expenses; those associated with illegal immigrants, especially those who are criminals,” Ensign said.

Richard Shelby, R-Ala., who helped write the bill, opposed the amendment.  He said the program Ensign’s amendment seeks to increase is already “overfunded.”

“With the Ensign amendment, we are being asked to add $172 million to a program that barely touches most of our States. Since 2004, five States have received 71 percent of the $2.1 billion in funding for this program.  Let me say that again, 71 percent, or $1.5 billion of the amount for this program since 2004, has gone to five States. This can hardly be called a national program,” Shelby said.

Barbara Mikulski, D-Md., tried to defeat the amendment with a parliamentary maneuver, saying the amendment violated the Senate’s spending rules.  Ensign then asked that the rules be waived for his amendment, which is what this vote was on.

The motion to waive the rules was rejected by a vote of 32-67.  Of Republicans present, 24 voted to waive the rule and 16 voted against.  All but eight Democrats present voted against waiving the rules.  The end result is that the motion to waive the rule failed, the amendment was defeated, and the bill went forward without language that would have reduced two manufacturing technology programs and redirected most of the money to a program of grants to help offset the costs to the prison system of illegal immigrants.

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