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House, Senate Pass FY2009 Budget Resolutions

This week, the House and Senate approved their respective versions of the FY2009 budget resolution. A House-Senate conference committee is expected to meet soon to reconcile the differences in the two versions of the resolution.

House

On March 13, the House approved, 212-207, its version of the FY2009 budget resolution (H. Con. Res. 312). Provisions of the resolution are detailed in the March 7 edition of the The Source.

During consideration of the budget resolution, the following amendments were defeated:

  • an amendment by Reps. Carolyn Kilpatrick (D-MI) and Bobby Scott (D-VA) that would have repealed several current tax cuts, provided $84.6 billion more health care, and $101.2 billion more over five years for education and employment programs, 115-312;

  • an amendment by Rep. Barbara Lee (D-CA) that would have repealed tax cuts for the wealthiest one percent of Americans, fully funded the State Children’s Health Insurance Program (SCHIP) (P.L. 110-173) and the No Child Left Behind (NCLB) Act (P.L. 107-110), and guaranteed mental and physical care to all veterans, 98-322; and
  • an amendment by Rep. Paul Ryan (R-WI) that would have retained the current tax cuts, including the child tax credit and marriage penalty relief, fully funded the president’s request for defense and war spending, placed a moratorium on earmarks, established a line-item veto, established caps on medical malpractice damage awards, and reduced mandatory spending by $253.2 billion, 157-263.

Senate

Also on March 13, the Senate approved, 51-44, the FY2009 budget resolution (S. Con. Res. 70). Provisions of the resolution are detailed in the March 7 edition of The Source.

During consideration of the budget resolution, the Senate approved:

  • an amendment by Sen. Max Baucus (D-MT) that would make permanent the 10 percent tax bracket, the child tax credit, and marriage penalty relief, 99-1;
  • an amendment by Sen. Arlen Specter (R-PA) that would increase funding for the National Institutes of Health by $2.1 billion and the Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program by $1 billion, 95-4;
  • an amendment by Sen. Barbara Boxer (D-CA) that would increase funding for the Department of Justice “for the vigorous enforcement of laws protecting children,” 90-5;
  • an amendment by Sen. Boxer that would facilitate coverage of pregnant women in SCHIP, 70-27;
  • an amendment by Sen. Bryon Dorgan (D-ND) that would increase funding for the Indian Health Service by $1 billion in FY2009, 69-30.

The Senate also approved the following amendments by unanimous consent:

  • an amendment by Sen. Joseph Biden (D-DE) that would increase funding for the Violence Against Women Act (P.L. 109-162) by $100 million;
  • an amendment by Sen. Chris Dodd (D-CT) that would increase funding for the Maternal Child Health Block Grant by $184 million in FY2009;
  • an amendment by Sen. Pat Roberts (R-KS) that would ensure the viability of small businesses by helping them provide to their employees access to quality child care;
  • an amendment by Sen. Herbert Kohl (D-WI) that would increase FY2009 funding for Juvenile Justice Programs by $560 million;
  • an amendment by Sen. David Vitter (R-LA) that would fully fund the Adam Walsh Act (P.L. 109-248) to combat child pornography and sex crimes against children;
  • an amendment by Sen. Blanche Lincoln (D-AR) that would create a deficit-neutral reserve fund for reducing the income threshold for the refundable child tax credit to $10,000 for 2009 and 2010 “to ensure that low-income working families receive the benefit of such credit”;
  • an amendment by Sen. Jim Bunning (R-KY) that would permanently extend the adoption tax credit; and
  • an amendment by Sen. Hillary Clinton (D-NY) that would increase funding for the Administration on Aging by $53 million in FY2009 for the Lifespan Respite Care Act (P.L. 109-716), “which provides much-needed respite care to our nation’s dedicated family caregivers for the elderly and disabled.”

The following amendments were defeated:

  • an amendment by Sen. Bernie Sanders (D-VT) that would have repealed the 2001 tax cuts for people earning over $1 million and used the revenue to fund the Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program, Head Start, childhood nutrition programs, school construction, and to reduce the deficit, 43-55;
  • an amendment by Sen. John Ensign (R-NV) that would have increased funding for the Department of Justice for the vigorous enforcement of a prohibition against taking minors across state lines in circumvention of laws requiring the involvement of parents in abortion, 49-49; and
  • an amendment by Sen. Wayne Allard (R-CO) that would have defined “child” in the SCHIP as “an individual under age 19, including the period from conception to birth,” 46-52.

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