What: All Issues : Fair Taxation : More Equitable Distribution of Tax Burden : S Con Res 21. Fiscal 2008 budget resolution/On the resolution (2007 senate Roll Call 114)
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S Con Res 21. Fiscal 2008 budget resolution/On the resolution
senate Roll Call 114     Mar 23, 2007
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This vote occurred on the budget resolution that serves as the blueprint for Congress' budget priorities in fiscal 2008, as well as a proposal to balance the federal budget by fiscal 2012. The budget resolution sets overall spending targets for the Appropriations committees and outlines other budget rules. This final vote on the measure came after Democrats spent several days turning back Republican attempts to slash spending or protect tax cuts.

The budget resolution is a nearly $3 trillion plan outlining congressional spending in fiscal 2008, about $18 billion more than what President Bush wanted. It contains significant spending hikes for education and veterans, as well as an enormous $50 billion expansion of the State Children's Health Insurance Program (SCHIP), while rejecting most of the spending cuts requested by the White House. The federal SCHIP program -- funded primarily through taxes on tobacco products -- helps low income families with children afford health insurance, and currently covers about 6 million kids.

The budget resolution also establishes a budget rule known as PAYGO, which requires any bill that creates new spending or reduces revenues be offset by a reduction in spending, or creation of new revenue. It also creates a parliamentary motion that can be used to defeat any bill, amendment or motion that violates PAYGO.

Budget Committee Chairman Kent Conrad, D-N.D., called the bill's balanced budget provisions a "tremendous turning point for the country." He also observed that this sends a message proving that the newly-elected Democratic majority of Congress can govern the country. "This is a critically important step and I am delighted at the result," Conrad said.

Judd Gregg of New Hampshire, who is the top-ranking Republican on the Budget Committee, was highly critical of the resolution because it assumes the continuance of about $700 billion in various taxes through about 2012, significantly more than what Bush wanted. He also took aim at the measure because he said it would add about $2.4 trillion to the country's gross debt, while at the same time ignoring the long-term fiscal problems that are expected when Baby Boomers begin retiring en masse.

The budget resolution was adopted 52-48, with every Democrat voting in favor of its passage. Republicans voted against the budget resolution, except for Olympia Snowe and Susan Collins, both of Maine. Thus, the Senate passed the budget resolution that sets spending priorities and other budgetary rules.

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