What: All Issues : Making Government Work for Everyone, Not Just the Rich or Powerful : Curbing Presidential Power : HR 4775. 2002 Supplemental Appropriations/Vote to Curb President's Discretion in Funding the National Guard.
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HR 4775. 2002 Supplemental Appropriations/Vote to Curb President's Discretion in Funding the National Guard.
house Roll Call 201     May 23, 2002
Y = Conservative
N = Progressive
Winning Side:
Conservative

In the aftermath of the September 11th terrorist attacks, there was a broad consensus on Capitol Hill that more spending was needed, particularly on homeland security, the military, and aid to New York City. The Republican leadership provided that extra spending in a supplemental appropriations bill, but they used the popularity of this bill to push through more contentious provisions. Two of these were particularly galling to Progressives. The first set a spending limit for upcoming 2003 appropriations that Progressives considered far too low to meet the government's needs. The second prevented a vote on raising the government's debt ceiling. Everyone agreed the debt ceiling needed to be raised to keep the government solvent; Progressives wanted a vote on the matter so they could make the case that the Bush tax cuts had made the increase necessary. Obey (D-WI) tried to force the Republicans to back track on these two provisions by bringing countless procedural motions and minor amendments to a vote. The amendment at issue here reduced the portion of funds for the National Guard that were subject to emergency designation. Emergency status gave the president the discretion not to spend the money. Progressives supported this amendment because they wanted better funding for homeland security and did not want to leave the decision entirely up to President Bush, but they backed the amendment mostly because they supported Obey's efforts to gum up the works. The longer the legislative process could be stalled, the more likely it was that Republicans would be forced to permit a separate vote on the debt ceiling. The amendment was rejected 197-216.

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