What: All Issues : War & Peace : Well-Being of America's Military Personnel : HR 1268. Fiscal 2005 Supplemental Appropriations/Vote to Waive a Point of Order Against an Amendment to Increase Funding for Veterans' Health Care by $1.98 Billion.
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HR 1268. Fiscal 2005 Supplemental Appropriations/Vote to Waive a Point of Order Against an Amendment to Increase Funding for Veterans' Health Care by $1.98 Billion.
senate Roll Call 90     Apr 12, 2005
Y = Conservative
N = Progressive
Winning Side:
Conservative

Congressional rules stipulate that after an amendment is considered and voted upon in the context of a legislative debate, it cannot be reintroduced and voted upon a second time. In an effort to force a second vote on an amendment to the 2005 Supplemental Appropriations bill which would have increased funding for veterans' health care by $1.98 billion, Senator Murray modified slightly her amendment by removing the "emergency spending" designation and reintroduced the amendment on the Senate floor (see Roll Call Vote 89). Progressives supported Murray's modified (but similar) amendment as a way to strengthen the veterans' health care system so as to insure that the future generation of American veterans-those who have served or are currently serving in Iraq and Afghanistan-are able to receive the medical care they need after leaving military service (the change in emergency designation makes no substantive impact to the modified amendment). In the words of Senator Murray, "I am very concerned that when all of these new veterans come home and need medical care, they are going to be pushed into a veterans' health care system that does not have the medical staff, the facilities, or the funding to take care of them." Murray's modified amendment, like the initial proposal, would have increased the total amount of spending in the supplemental appropriations bill and was subject to a budgetary point of order as a result. In response, Senator Murray again motioned to waive the point of order against her amendment, a motion which requires a sixty vote majority for passage. Progressives voted with Murray to waive the point of order based on their support for additional veterans' health care funding. Conservatives voted to sustain the point of order and questioned the need for additional funds. According to Senator Cochran (R-MI), "Less than 1 percent of the veterans population is made up of new eligibles who are entering into the Veterans' Administration system, and most of those who are requiring health care assistance and hospital care are older veterans who have already been in the system for a number of years...The administration says that sufficient funds exist now in the Department of Veterans Affairs budget to take care of this fiscal year's needs." On another vote of 46-54, the Murray amendment failed to attract the necessary sixty votes to waive the point of order, the point of order was sustained, and the additional $1.98 billion for veterans' health care was again excluded from the underlying supplemental appropriations bill.

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