This vote was on adopting a final conference report for a $1.086 trillion budget resolution for fiscal year 2010. A conference report represents the final compromise version of any legislation in which the House and Senate pass different bills. The budget resolution that serves as the blueprint for Congress’ budget priorities in fiscal 2010. The budget resolution sets overall spending targets for the Appropriations committees and outlines other budget rules.
The budget resolution’s overall sum includes $130 billion for operations in Iraq and Afghanistan. It also would assume $764 billion in tax cuts over five years, including an extension of Bush-era tax cuts in 2001 and 2003 for households earning less than $250,000 annually, and contains budgetary allowances for future legislation to overhaul the health care system and for sweeping climate change legislation.
“This budget moves in the right direction. It is a contribution to economic recovery. It does preserve the President’s key priorities of reducing our dependence on foreign energy, which must be done. It focuses on excellence in education, because if we are not the best educated, we are not going to be the strongest country in the world for very long. And it provides for fundamental health care reform—because that is the 800-pound gorilla that could swamp the fiscal boat of the United States, not to mention the boats of every American family and American companies that absolutely need cost containment—at the same time improving health care outcomes for the American people,” said Kent Conrad, D-N.D.
Republicans spent much of the debate on the budget resolution repeatedly criticizing at what they consider Democrats’ irresponsible spending, particularly in the face of the recently-enacted economic stimulus law, which allocated almost $1 trillion in financial assistance for various sectors of the economy.
“As I review the agreement before the Senate, it once again reminds me of the old adage that I have referred to before: You can pay me now or you can pay me later. This budget conference agreement leaves the bills for later. It taxes too much, it spends too much, and it borrows too much. I ask my colleagues if this is the legacy we want to leave our children and grandchildren. Actually, we are going to be paying for it within our lifetimes; it will not be just the next generation. We ought to know better,” said Mike Enzi, R-Wyo.
By a vote of 53-43, the Senate adopted the measure. All but three Democrats present voted for the measure. Every Republican present voted against the measure. The end result is that the Senate passed the final conference agreement on a measure that sets spending and revenue targets in fiscal 2010.