This vote was on passing a bill that would fund federal transportation and housing programs in fiscal 2010. This includes money for the Federal Aviation Administration, the Federal Highway Administration, Amtrak, public housing subsidies, Native American housing subsidies, community planning and development and more.
“This bill does have broad bipartisan support because it addresses the very real housing and transportation needs of American families across all regions of the Nation. It has bipartisan support because it touches the lives of all of our constituents in ways that they can appreciate each day—whether it is a parent who commutes every day and needs safe roads or new public transportation options so they can spend more time with their families, or a young family searching for safe and affordable communities to raise their children, or perhaps a recently laid-off worker who needs help to afford their rent or stay off the street. This bill has real impact on American families that are struggling in these troubling economic times—the hard-working Americans who are not only losing their jobs but also their homes and their financial security,” said Patty Murray, D-Wash., who managed the bill for Democrats.
Most of the debate over the bill was fairly amicable and centered around parochial issues or spending debates between the two parties. Several amendments seeking to trim spending or rein in member pet projects (known as “earmarks”) were offered and defeated.
“This is a bill about which everybody can say we could do it better, but I am proud to support it and urge my colleagues to support it. The legislation has a number of extremely important programs which, in today’s economy, are critical to helping families overwhelmed by the national financial crisis. It is especially pleasing that we have been able to provide funding for the Nation’s most vulnerable—to our homeless, to low-income families and seniors, and to the disabled. Our committee has increased investment in HUD community development programs to provide assistance needed the most,” said Christopher Bond, R-Mo., who managed the bill for Republicans.
By a vote of 73-25, the Senate passed the bill. All but two Democrats present voted for the bill . Of Republicans present, 17 voted for the bill and 23 voted against it. The end result is that the Senate passed a bill that would fund transportation and housing programs in fiscal 2010 at $122 billion.