What: All Issues : Making Government Work for Everyone, Not Just the Rich or Powerful : Adequate Government Funding for a Broad Range of Human Needs : (H.R.2847) On the Flake of Arizona amendment to the fiscal year 2010 appropriations for the Departments of Commerce and Justice, which would prohibit funds under the bill from being used for the National Drug Intelligence Center.
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(H.R.2847) On the Flake of Arizona amendment to the fiscal year 2010 appropriations for the Departments of Commerce and Justice, which would prohibit funds under the bill from being used for the National Drug Intelligence Center.
house Roll Call 378     Jun 18, 2009
Y = Conservative
N = Progressive
Winning Side:
Progressive

This was a vote on an amendment offered by Rep. Flake (R-AZ) to H.R. 2847, the fiscal year 2010 appropriations for the Departments of Commerce and Justice and for federal science and other programs. H.R. 2847 was a multi-billion measure that, among other things, expanded funding for criminal justice programs, and provided for improved scientific research, including programs to study climate change. The amendment would eliminate forty-four million dollars provided in the bill for the National Drug Intelligence Center. Republican Members offered a series of amendments, of which this was one, to remove small “earmarked” projects from H.R. 2847. An earmark is the provision of funds in a major appropriation bill for a specific project or purpose.

Rep. Flake began his statement in support of the amendment by noting that the previous (George W. Bush) administration described the Center “as duplicative and ineffective” and that a recent Office of Management and Budget study concurred. He then noted that the Center “has been the recipient of more than 350 million taxpayer dollars in the 15 years it has been in existence” and that the Obama Administration had said it wanted to make the Center permanent. He added that “‘permanent’ is a troubling word, particularly when it regards the National Drug Intelligence Center.” Flake concluded by arguing “we have unfunded liabilities that should make us all shudder (and) . . .  part of the role of Congress, one that we have not done well, is to police the administration and to look at what they are allocating and earmarking for.”

Rep. Mollohan (D-WV), who was managing H.R. 2847 for the Democrats, opposed the amendment. He first noted that this amount for the Center was in the budget requested by President Obama. He then argued: “(T)he National Drug Intelligence Center provides strategic drug-related intelligence, document and computer exploitation support, and training assistance to the drug control, public health and law enforcement and intelligence communities in order to reduce the adverse effects of drug trafficking, drug abuse and other drug related criminal activities.” Rep. Flake responded by reiterating that part of the oversight role of Congress “is to ensure that money is not wasted (and)  . . . Here's a perfect example of where we can make a difference, where we can save money . . . . “

The vote was 130-295. One hundred and twenty-four Republicans and six Democrats voted “aye”. Two hundred and forty-five Democrats and fifty Republicans voted “nay”. As a result, the House rejected the amendment and the funding for the National Drug Intelligence Center was preserved in the appropriation.

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