What: All Issues : Making Government Work for Everyone, Not Just the Rich or Powerful : HR 3081. (Stopgap appropriations bill) DeMint of South Carolina amendment that would have extended the temporary appropriations bill from Dec. 3, 2010 through Feb. 4, 2011/On agreeing to the amendment (2010 senate Roll Call 246)
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HR 3081. (Stopgap appropriations bill) DeMint of South Carolina amendment that would have extended the temporary appropriations bill from Dec. 3, 2010 through Feb. 4, 2011/On agreeing to the amendment
senate Roll Call 246     Sep 29, 2010
Progressive Position:
Nay
Progressive Result:
Win

This vote was on an amendment by Jim DeMint, R-S.C., that would have extended through Feb. 4, 2011, a bill providing stopgap funding for the federal government through Dec. 3, 2010, for federal agencies and departments.  The amendment was offered to a stopgap appropriations bill – known as a “continuing resolution” – intended to bridge the gap between the end of the fiscal year 2010, which ends on Sept. 30, and the beginning of December 2010.  This continuing resolution was necessary to keep the government functioning because Congress could not finish its appropriations bills, which must be passed each year.  This gave Congress a little bit more time – specifically, through December 3rd -- to finish its appropriations bills.

DeMint said his amendment only makes one change, it pushes the date back to February 4.  “There is no reason we should fund the government only to the lame duck. We need to wait until we have a new Congress and the dust settles after the election. We don’t need to be passing another continuing resolution or an omnibus spending bill with the pressure of a government shutdown before Christmas. So the amendment is just a couple of lines that change the date. Everything else in the continuing resolution is the same. Let’s push the operation of the government all the way through January to a new Congress,” DeMint said.

Daniel Inouye, D-Hawaii, said the bill was drafted in a bipartisan manner and with a narrow focus, including the expectation that it would only last for two months.  He also said having a bill that lasts for a longer period of time may have significant negative impacts to several government functions.

“As we all know, the short-term CR [continuing resolution] is not efficient, but it is manageable. For the many reasons I enumerated earlier, we know that if we accept this amendment, the government will not be able to function as it should. I urge that we vote no,” Inouye said. 

By a vote of 39-60, the amendment was rejected.  All but five Republicans present voted for the amendment.  All but four Democrats present voted against the amendment.  The end result is that an amendment that would have added two months onto the date through which the continuing resolution runs was defeated.

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