This vote was on an amendment by Tom Price, R-Ga., that would cut spending in the bill by 1 percent. The amendment was offered to the bill that funds the Labor, Health and Education departments in fiscal 2008.
Price said his amendment is a small step toward restoring fiscal discipline and that it is necessary in a time of deficits.
"If you, Mr. Chairman, or I or any of our constituents find themselves in a situation where they need to save some money, then oftentimes what they will do is say we need to cut back across the board on the kinds of things that we are spending. And this amendment simply states that, out of a 1 percent cut, we ought to be able to find one penny out of every dollar to save for our children’s future. And the rationale for that is because it is not our money, Mr. Chairman, it is not Congress’s money. It is the hard-earned money of the American taxpayer. And we hear a lot about priorities, and we ought to be prioritizing. And that is what budgetary bills are, that is what appropriations bills are, making priority judgments for the hard-earned American taxpayer money. Our priority on this side is that hardworking American taxpayer," Price said.
Maurice Hinchey, D-N.Y., said if Republicans want to save money they should support ending the war in Iraq, instead of pushing to cut money from a bill that funds domestic social priorities.
"What we’re trying to do here in this particular bill, and in the context of our budget responsibilities, is to focus attention on the needs of the American people, what we as a Congress ought to be doing in the context of our responsibilities, serving the American people, doing what’s right for them, improving the possibility, the prospects of education, making it easier for our children to get the best possible education that they can get, making it easier for people to get the health care that they need, making it easier for people to deal with housing situations and circumstances so that people have proper housing," Hinchey said. "You want to reduce the amount of money that is available for education, reduce the amount of money that’s available for health care, reduce the amount of money that’s available for housing and other things that are essential to the American public, while you keep wasting more and more money in Iraq."
The amendment was rejected by a vote of 165-256. Of Republicans present, 154 voted for the amendment and 42 voted against it. All but 11 Democrats present voted against the amendment. The end result is that the bill that funds the Labor, Health and Education Departments in fiscal 2008 went forward with its funding intact.