What: All Issues : Human Rights & Civil Liberties : Human Rights Abuses : HR 4775. 2002 Supplemental Appropriations/Vote to Prevent Colombian Counternarcotics Funding for Use in Colombia's Civil War.
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HR 4775. 2002 Supplemental Appropriations/Vote to Prevent Colombian Counternarcotics Funding for Use in Colombia's Civil War.
house Roll Call 202     May 23, 2002
Y = Conservative
N = Progressive
Winning Side:
Conservative

The September 11th terrorist attacks left most on Capitol Hill wanting more spending on the military and homeland security. The House Republican leadership proposed a supplemental appropriations bill that provided this spending along with aid to New York City. But it also included a number of provisions that Progressives disliked. Two in particular angered them. One was a limit on spending for the upcoming 2003 appropriations that Progressives felt was unrealistically low. The second was language that prevented a vote on raising the government's debt ceiling. Everyone agreed that the ceiling had to be raised or the government would become insolvent. But Progressives wanted a vote on the matter so they could argue that the Bush tax cuts had made the increase necessary. Obey (D-WI) tried to force the Republican leadership to relent on this issue by bringing countless procedural motions and minor amendments to a vote. The amendment at issue here was in the spirit of that effort, though it was proposed by McGovern (D-MA) and not Obey. The amendment removed language from the supplemental appropriations bill that permitted using Colombian counternarcotics funds for Colombian counterterrorism. In Colombia, "counterterrorist" meant "counterinsurgent," so Progressives feared the amendment pushed the United States deeper into Colombia's 40-year-old civil war. However, though Progressives agreed with the substance of this amendment, they were even more supportive of the vote as part of a larger effort to slow the legislative process to a virtual stop. 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 failed 192-225.

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