What: All Issues : Making Government Work for Everyone, Not Just the Rich or Powerful : Adequate Government Funding for a Broad Range of Human Needs : Reauthorization of the National Science Foundation (H.R. 1867)/Rep. Tom Price (R-Ga.) amendment to prohibit the authorized funding levels for the agency from going into effect unless the cost of the legislation was offset (2007 house Roll Call 294)
 Who: All Members : New York, District 2 : King, Pete
[POW!]
 
Reauthorization of the National Science Foundation (H.R. 1867)/Rep. Tom Price (R-Ga.) amendment to prohibit the authorized funding levels for the agency from going into effect unless the cost of the legislation was offset
house Roll Call 294     May 02, 2007
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This vote was on an amendment to legislation reauthorizing the National Science Foundation (NSF), a large federal grant-making agency, at $21 billion through fiscal 2010. Proposed by Rep. Tom Price (R-Ga.), the amendment would have prohibited the authorized funding levels for the agency from going into effect unless the cost of the legislation was offset by spending cuts or revenue increases elsewhere in the federal budget.

"The NSF has a mission to achieve excellence in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics education at all levels and all settings from kindergarten through postdoctoral training, from classrooms to science museums and online resources, having done so for the last half century," Price said. "So while what this bill does is extremely important, $20.973 billion is a considerable amount of money even here in Washington, and it is equally important that we are good stewards of the hard-earned money of the American people. We should not limit our talk about fiscal responsibility only when it is politically convenient."

What Price was advocating for is known as pay-as-you-go spending rules, or PAYGO. Promises to adhere to PAYGO spending rules are oft made by both parties, and Price was attempting to hold the new Democratic majority to their pledge of fiscal responsibility when they retook control of Congress at the beginning of 2007.

Only Rep. Brian Baird (D-Wash.), the author of the legislation, rose to oppose Price's amendment, and he had only this to say: "The amendment by the gentleman from Georgia has been offered before. It has been defeated before on other bills. I would urge its defeat. And after we accomplish that, I would urge passage of this otherwise outstanding bill."

With no further debate, Price's amendment was defeated on a party-line vote. Democrats were unanimous in their opposition, joined by nine Republicans who broke with party ranks and voted against it. Thus, on a vote of 183 to 253, the House defeated an amendment to require that legislation reauthorizing the National Science Foundation for three years with almost $21 billion in funding not go into effect unless the funding levels were offset by spending cuts or revenue increases elsewhere in the federal budget. The legislation proceeded to a final vote without the requirement, and the bill went on to pass easily.

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