What: All Issues : Justice for All: Civil and Criminal : Assisting Crime Impacted Communities : HR 3093. (Fiscal 2008 Commerce-Justice-Science appropriations) Motion to send the bill back to its committee of jurisdiction to reduce its funding totals/On the motion
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HR 3093. (Fiscal 2008 Commerce-Justice-Science appropriations) Motion to send the bill back to its committee of jurisdiction to reduce its funding totals/On the motion
senate Roll Call 371     Oct 16, 2007
Y = Conservative
N = Progressive
Winning Side:
Progressive

This vote was on whether or not to send a bill back to the committee that wrote it – in this case, the Appropriations Committee – to rewrite some portion of the bill that a lawmaker finds objectionable.  Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., made the motion, saying that the bill – which funds science programs as well as the departments of Commerce and Justice in fiscal 2008 -- would spend too much money.  He moved that it be sent back to the committee to cut the measure’s funding levels.  The White House threatened to veto any annual funding bill that exceeded the targets set out in President Bush's budget request.  For the Commerce-Justice bill, Bush requested $51.2 billion, but the bill as written would spend $54 billion.

"This bill, should it pass, will never get signed into law.  It is time to start taking our obligations to the taxpayers seriously. I believe that we can do so in a fiscally responsible way," McConnell said.  "Senator Lott and I propose to send this bill back to committee and instruct them to prioritize spending in a way that is both responsible to the taxpayer and will secure a Presidential signature."

Barbara Mikulski, D-Md., opposed the motion, saying that while the measure spends more money than what President Bush wanted, most of the difference would go to programs that the administration underfunded, such as programs to combat violent crime and hire more law enforcement personnel.

"This bill is the product of strong bipartisan work. Our bill totals $54 billion in discretionary budget authority. Some say we spent more than the President asked. Yes, we did. We are proud of the fact that what we spent money on was that we didn't overspend, that the President underfunded," Mikulski said.

By a vote of 44-50, the Senate rejected the motion to send the bill back to the committee.  Every Democrat present voted not to send the measure back for a rewrite.  Of Republicans present, all but three voted to send the measure back to the committee.  Thus, the motion to send the bill back to the committee to reduce its funding levels failed, and debate on the bill continued.

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