What: All Issues : Government Checks on Corporate Power : Oil & Gas Industry : (Reauthorizing the Federal Aviation Administration) Motion to preserve an amendment that would make it easier to apply for funding under the Coastal Impact Assistance Program/On the motion (2010 senate Roll Call 52)
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(Reauthorizing the Federal Aviation Administration) Motion to preserve an amendment that would make it easier to apply for funding under the Coastal Impact Assistance Program/On the motion
senate Roll Call 52     Mar 16, 2010
Progressive Position:
Nay
Progressive Result:
Win

This vote was on whether to allow to go forward an amendment offered by David Vitter, R-La., that would have prohibited the Interior Department from asking for supplemental information on a project being funded by the Coastal Impact Assistance Program once that project has been approved.  The program gives grants to coastal states with companies that drill for oil and gas on the Outer Continental Shelf (OCS) to mitigate the environmental impacts of those activities.  The amendment was offered to a bill that would reauthorize the Federal Aviation Administration and enact several new programs, including stricter pilot training recordkeeping standards and penalties for airlines that keep passengers idling on the tarmac too long.

After Vitter offered his amendment, Jeff Bingaman, D-N.M., attempted to defeat it with a parliamentary maneuver, saying the amendment violated the Senate’s budgetary rules.  Vitter then asked that the rules be waived in this case, which is what this vote was on.

Vitter said money from this grant program has been “very slow to get to states.”  

Mary Landrieu, D-La., also supported the amendment.

“No environmental laws will be ignored. The process will be followed. But this amendment would simply expedite getting money to the Gulf Coast States and to other States that benefit from this program,” she said.

Jeff Bingaman, D-N.M., said the amendment is completely unrelated to the underlying bill and would “make, in my view, inappropriate changes to a program that provides assistance to six coastal States.”

“In my view, it will dilute the authority of the Secretary of Interior to properly oversee and ensure the accountability for the funds that are being spent in these programs,” Bingaman said.

By a vote of 41-57, the motion to waive the rules and allow the amendment to go forward failed. All but four Republicans present voted to waive the rules.  All but five Democrats present voted against waiving the rules.  The end result is that the rules were not waived, the amendment was defeated, and a bill to reauthorize aviation programs went forward without language that would have made it easier for states to apply for funding under a coastal management program.

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