What: All Issues : Making Government Work for Everyone, Not Just the Rich or Powerful : Adequate Government Funding for a Broad Range of Human Needs : HR 2918. (Fiscal 2010 legislative branch spending) Motion to preserve a measure that would spend $4.6 billion for the operations of the legislative branch/On the motion (2009 senate Roll Call 300)
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HR 2918. (Fiscal 2010 legislative branch spending) Motion to preserve a measure that would spend $4.6 billion for the operations of the legislative branch/On the motion
senate Roll Call 300     Sep 30, 2009
Progressive Position:
Yea
Progressive Result:
Win
Qualifies as polarizing?
Yes
Is this vote crucial?
Yes

This vote was on whether to allow to go forward the conference report on a bill that would appropriate $4.6 billion in fiscal 2010 for the operations of the legislative branch of federal government.  The bill also contains stopgap funding, through Oct. 31, 2009, for any federal department or agency whose fiscal 2010 appropriation bill had not been enacted.  This “continuing resolution” is a procedure Congress sometimes uses when it can’t complete its annual appropriations bills.  This “continuing resolution” language would give lawmakers an extra month to finish its appropriations bills.  A conference report is the final agreement reached between the House and Senate when each chamber passes different versions of the same bill.

John McCain, R-Ariz., had attempted to defeat the bill with a parliamentary maneuver, arguing that the measure violated the Senate’s rule against including any provision in a conference report that was not first passed by either the full House or Senate.  McCain was specifically referring to the portion of the bill that contains the stopgap funding.

“This $4.7 billion piece of legislation was bloated enough; however, conferees took this opportunity to airdrop into the bill’s conference a “continuing resolution” to continue funding the operations of the government through October 31, having, obviously—certainly not according to the rules of the Senate—any relation to the appropriations bill. By including a CR or continuing resolution, we are precluded from offering amendments to modify it,” McCain said.  “That is why we have the rule that you don’t put these things in conference reports because it then inhibits and actually prohibits Members from trying to amend and perfect the legislation. So it is a direct assault on how we do business in the Senate, by adding a very mammoth piece of legislation to what is a very small piece of legislation designated to allow the legislative branch to receive the funding it needs.”

No one spoke against the motion, but Ben Nelson, D-Neb., made a motion that the rule be waived for this bill, which is what this vote was on.

By a vote of 61-39, the motion to waive the rules was agreed to.  All but one Democrat present voted to waive the rules.  All but two Republicans present voted against waiving the rules.  The end result is that the Senate’s rules were waived, and the attempt to defeat the fiscal 2010 legislative branch spending bill with a parliamentary move was not successful. 

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