What: All Issues : Aid to Less Advantaged People, at Home & Abroad : America's Poor : H. Con. Res. 99 (Fiscal 2008 Budget Resolution), Woolsey of California substitute amendment offering an alternative budget resolution authored by the Congressional Progressive Caucus/On agreeing to the amendment (2007 house Roll Call 210)
 Who: All Members : New York, District 2 : King, Pete
[POW!]
 
H. Con. Res. 99 (Fiscal 2008 Budget Resolution), Woolsey of California substitute amendment offering an alternative budget resolution authored by the Congressional Progressive Caucus/On agreeing to the amendment
house Roll Call 210     Mar 29, 2007
Member's Vote
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or not)
Progressive Position
Progressive Result
(win or loss)

This vote was on an alternative budget resolution proposed by the Congressional Progressive Caucus (CPC), of which Rep. Lynn Woolsey (D-Calif.) is a member, to the fiscal 2008 budget resolution. The budget resolution sets spending and revenue targets for the next five years.

The CPC's alternative budget resolution, offered in the form of a substitute amendment, would repeal tax cuts enacted in the past six years and move funding away from defense and war efforts towards domestic programs.

By law, Congress is supposed to pass a budget resolution every year by April 15. The Republican-led Congress failed to do so for the fiscal 2007 year, leading to what many in both parties acknowledged was a breakdown in the appropriations process. Even though the budget resolution does not have the force of law, it establishes broad financial guidelines for the upcoming debates on spending and thus serves as an agreed-upon framework for how Congress considers tax and spending decisions. The new Democratic majority in Congress sought to pass a fiscal 2008 budget resolution as a way to contrast its leadership style with its Republican predecessors. But the Progressive Caucus didn't feel that the Democrat leadership drafted budget resolution went far enough in supporting social programs and curbing defense spending.

The Congressional Progressive Caucus' substitute amendment would set non-defense, domestic discretionary spending at $483 billion for fiscal 2008. By assuming the repeal of the 2001 and 2003 tax cuts to households earning in the top 1 percent of income, the budget would project a $22.7 billion surplus by fiscal 2010. It would also eliminate certain corporate tax breaks and assume full funding for programs under the No Child Left Behind Act and Individuals with Disabilities Education law. Furthermore, it would assume funding for the Iraq war would end in 2007, while making veterans health care a mandatory spending program funded for fiscal 2008 at 130 percent of the fiscal 2005 level.

Calling it the "peace and security budget alternative," Woolsey said the CPC's alternative would balance the budget "by the year 2010, which is 2 years ahead of the Democratic budget, 2 years ahead of the Republican substitute, and light years ahead of the administration's budget, a budget that doesn't balance anywhere in a 10-year horizon."

The CPC's budget would cut $108 billion out of President Bush's defense spending request, "all the while keeping America safe," in Woolsey's words. The resolution would assume $395 billion on defense, which Woolsey said was "a lot of money." At the same time, the CPC alternative would increase domestic discretionary spending to $483 billion. "Our spending is $89 billion over the President, $58 billion over the Democrats, and if you can believe this, it is $33 billion more than the social justice groups have been asking for," Woolsey continued.

Rep. Jeb Hensarling (R-Texas) said the CPC's proposal was just one of "three different versions of essentially the same Democrat budget," all of which, he said, are "fiscally irresponsible."

"They all promote the federal budget over the family budget," Hensarling continued. "Each one would represent the single largest tax increase in the history of the United States of America."

By a vote of 81-340, the Congressional Progressive Caucus' proposed substitute budget resolution was rejected by the House. Eighty-one Democrats voted for the amendment, while 142 Democrats opposed it. The 81 Democrats who voted for it included many of the most progressive Democrats in the House. Opposition within Republican ranks was unanimous. Thus, the fiscal 2008 budget resolution went forward without an amendment by the CPC that would have tilted the federal budget away from defense and war spending towards increased spending on domestic programs.

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