(H.R.2847) On the Jordan of Ohio amendment, which would have made a $12,511,000,000 across-the board reduction to the amount in the bill providing fiscal year 2010 funding for the Departments of Commerce and Justice
This was a vote on an amendment offered by Rep. Jordan (R-OH) that would have made a $12,511,000,000 across-the board reduction to the total funding in H.R. 2847. That bill provided fiscal year 2010 funding for the Departments of Commerce and Justice and for federal science and other programs. the bill. The reduction proposed by the amendment would have put the spending levels in the bill back to the corresponding levels they were at in the previous fiscal year.
Rep. Jordan referenced the stimulus package Congress had passed in an effort to overcome the current severe economic conditions, the efforts that had been made to help the banking and auto industries, the fact that the annual federal deficit was approaching $2 trillion, and the national debt of more than $11 trillion, and said that Americans were “tired of this blank check, this bailout mentality that has got a hold of Washington. They're sick of the bailouts. They're sick of the deficits. They're sick of the debt that we keep piling up.”
Jordan further argued that the Congress was not being disciplined in its spending. He said: “The easy thing to do is to spend taxpayer money. The disciplined thing, the tough thing to do is say . . . We're going to limit overall spending, and we're going to have some priorities and make some tough decisions . . . .”
Rep. Mollohan (D-WV), who was managing H.R. 2847 for the Democrats, opposed the amendment. Mollohan had opposed a number of similar amendments on the ground that the figures in the appropriation bill had been worked out carefully over a long period, and that a wholesale dollar reduction would undermine the effectiveness of the programs funded by H.R. 2847. His previous statements opposing similar amendments had noted that across-the-board reductions such as those proposed in this amendment would eliminate contingency funding for the 2010 census, which he claimed would significantly increase “the risk of unforeseen events impacting field operations with regard to the census . . . .” Mollohan had also claimed this type of broad cut would eliminate the Minority Business Development Agency, reduce the development of all new NASA missions, and result in a “drop” in government support for research and development.
Mollohan claimed that the Jordan amendment would actually result in a 19.4 percent reduction in the funding of the bill because the total dollar amount in the fiscal year 2010 appropriation made by the bill was already five billion dollars below the comparable 2009 funding level.
The amendment was defeated on a vote of 147-275. One hundred and forty Republicans and seven Democrats voted “aye”. Two hundred forty-two Democrats and thirty-three Republicans voted “nay”. As a result, no across-the board reduction was made to the amount in the bill providing fiscal year 2010 funding for the Departments of Commerce and Justice.