What: All Issues : Labor Rights : Rights of Public Employees : H.R. 2555. Fiscal 2004 Homeland Security Appropriations/Vote to Impel Openness In Those "Advisory Committees" Which Are Shielded From Public View But Help Shape the Nation's Security Policies.
 Who: All Members
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H.R. 2555. Fiscal 2004 Homeland Security Appropriations/Vote to Impel Openness In Those "Advisory Committees" Which Are Shielded From Public View But Help Shape the Nation's Security Policies.
senate Roll Call 303     Jul 24, 2003
Y = Conservative
N = Progressive
Winning Side:
Conservative

The Homeland Security Act of 2002, the bill which created the new Department of Homeland Security (DHS), contained numerous secrecy provisions to protect DHS employees from public scrutiny. Given the close working relationships between DHS employees and corporate executives since the department's creation, Progressives became concerned that the administration was providing the private sector with too much information and influence in domestic security policymaking. In an effort to allow congressional and public scrutiny of the actions of DHS employees, Senator Byrd (D-WV) proposed an amendment to the 2004 homeland security spending bill which would have barred funding to those advisory committees, usually composed of private executives, which are exempted from disclosure and openness requirements in the Homeland Security Act. Progressives supported Byrd's amendment as a way to guard against potential wrongdoing and excessive corporate influence in shaping the nation's security policies. Republicans voted against Byrd's proposal in accordance with their legislative strategy of defeating all amendments to the bill to preserve a majority coalition of lawmakers who support the underlying appropriations bill. On a nearly party-line vote of 46-50, the Byrd amendment was rejected.

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