What: All Issues : Aid to Less Advantaged People, at Home & Abroad : America's Poor : HR 4213. (Extending expiring programs, including those to help the unemployed and other items) Motion to kill an amendment that would pay for a bill extending several expiring programs by using unspent stimulus money/On the motion (2010 senate Roll Call 37)
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HR 4213. (Extending expiring programs, including those to help the unemployed and other items) Motion to kill an amendment that would pay for a bill extending several expiring programs by using unspent stimulus money/On the motion
senate Roll Call 37     Mar 03, 2010
Progressive Position:
Yea
Progressive Result:
Win

This vote was on whether to kill an amendment by Jim Bunning, R-Ky., that would have used unspent money from the 2009 stimulus law to pay for the provisions of the underlying bill, which would extend a variety of expired tax provisions as well as other items. The amendment was offered to a bill that would extend for varying lengths of time, mostly around a year, several programs that would otherwise have expired within a month. These include unemployment benefits, heath insurance subsidies, small business loans and flood insurance.

“They say the families who are getting those benefits turn around and spend the money immediately. Well, if that is true, I cannot think of a better use of the money from last year’s so-called stimulus bill. Why leave that money sitting around unused in a government account somewhere when those funds could get into the hands of people who need them the most and will put them into the economy right away? What is so sacred about the stimulus bill that we should keep that money sitting around until it can be spent later this year or next year or even in 2012 and beyond? Why not help the people now?” Bunning asked.

Max Baucus, D-Mont., said this amendment represents the fourth attempt in two days to “pay for emergency safety net programs by cutting back stimulus spending, by cutting back from the Recovery Act. This is the same amendment. We have voted on this basic topic four times.” Baucus noted that the Congressional Budget Office has said the stimulus bill has added or preserved millions of jobs and so the “last thing we should do is scale back something that is working.”

By a vote of 56-41, Bunning’s amendment was killed. All but three Democrats present voted to kill the amendment. Every Republican present voted against killing the amendment. The end result is that a measure to extend several expiring programs and tax breaks went forward without language that would have paid for those programs out of unspent stimulus funds.

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