This was a vote on passage of H.R. 3170, providing fiscal 2010 year funds for the Securities and Exchange Commission, the Small Business Administration, the federal courts and many other federal government operations. The bill provided $24.15 billion in funding, which represented a 7% increase above the fiscal year 2009 level. The funding focused on five areas: Supporting and expanding the regulatory agencies; providing capital and other assistance grants to small businesses and low-income communities, including $236 million more for the Small Business Administration and $137 million more for the Community Development Financial Institutions Fund; supporting, and accommodating the additional work load of the federal courts; providing for tax collections and taxpayer assistance by the IRS; funding many of the operations of the local government of the District of Columbia.
The bill also included a provision eliminating the prohibition on using local D.C. tax funds for abortions. Appropriations Committee Chairman Obey (D-WI), arguing in support of the measure, said it was a “key part of efforts to restore the stability of, and public confidence in, America's financial institutions.” Rep. Serrano (D-NY), the chair of the Appropriations Committee subcommittee that developed H.R. 3170, claimed that the funds in the bill are “directed to those programs where we believe the American people will derive the most benefit.”
Rep. Emerson (R-MO), the Ranking Republican on the Appropriations Committee subcommittee that developed H.R. 3179, said she was “disappointed” that the Appropriations Committee was not working “together in a totally bipartisan way”. Emerson said that the amount in the bill was “much too large” and that “the resource requirements of the agencies funded in the bill can be met with a smaller allocation.” She argued that “at a time when every household in America faces difficult budgetary choices, Congress must be diligent when spending the taxpayers' money. The Federal Government, in this bill, is growing at an incredible rate at a time when employers who I represent in the district have cut jobs, and when people are really hurting. They're making the tough choices, and we really should too, as an example to them.”
Emerson went on to say that the 7% funding increase in the bill “goes straight to the bureaucracy's bottom line. We're not making the tough decisions the American people feel we should consider at a crucial time for our Nation's economy.” She also expressed her objection to the rule that had set the terms under which H.R. 3179 was being considered. Emerson noted that only 17 amendments had been made in order under the rule, although requests for 97 amendments had been submitted to the Rules Committee. She argued that the rule did not display “bipartisanship or regular order.”
The legislation passed by a vote of 219-208. Two hundred and fifteen Democrats and four Republicans voted “aye”. One hundred and seventy Republicans and thirty-eight Democrats voted “nay” As a result, the House approved legislation providing 2010 fiscal year funding for a range of government operations and sent it on to the Senate.