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 1586. (Reauthorizing the Federal Aviation Administration) McCain of Arizona amendment that would make it easier to defeat bills allowing members of Congress to direct money home to pet projects/On the amendment (2010 senate Roll Call 60)
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HR 1586. (Reauthorizing the Federal Aviation Administration) McCain of Arizona amendment that would make it easier to defeat bills allowing members of Congress to direct money home to pet projects/On the amendment
senate Roll Call 60     Mar 18, 2010
Progressive Position:
Nay
Progressive Result:
Win

This vote was on an amendment by John McCain, R-Ariz., that would have made it easier to use a parliamentary maneuver to defeat bills that allow members of Congress to direct money home to pet projects (known as “earmarks”) if there is a federal deficit.  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.

“The amendment is very simple. It would place a moratorium on all earmarks in years in which there is a deficit,” McCain said.  “I have no illusions about the outcome of this amendment. I have been around here long enough to see what goes on. But it doesn’t mean I will quit fighting, nor does it mean the American people will quit fighting to eliminate the waste and abuse of this system, and indeed the corruption that is part of this earmarking.”

No one spoke specifically against McCain’s amendment, but the Senate typically turns back most of these kinds of amendments that put constraints on the kinds of projects members of Congress can allocate spending to. 

By a vote of 26-70, the amendment was defeated.  Of Republicans present, 23 voted for the amendment and 17 voted against it.  All but three Democrats present voted against the amendment.  The end result is that the bill went forward without language that would have disallowed earmarks in years where the federal government had a deficit.

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