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. 3170) On the Flake of Arizona amendment, would have eliminated a $125,000 earmark for the Defense Procurement Assistance Program in Pennsylvania. (2009 house Roll Call 566)
 Who: All Members : New York, District 2 : King, Pete
[POW!]
 
(H.R. 3170) On the Flake of Arizona amendment, would have eliminated a $125,000 earmark for the Defense Procurement Assistance Program in Pennsylvania.
house Roll Call 566     Jul 16, 2009
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Progressive Result
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This was a vote on am amendment offered by Rep. Flake (R-AZ) to H.R. 3081, the bill providing fiscal year 2010 funding for the Securities and Exchange Commission, the Small Business Administration, the federal courts and many other federal government operations. The amendment would have eliminated a $125,000 earmark for the Defense Procurement Assistance Program of the Economic Growth Connection of Westmoreland in Greensburg, Pennsylvania. An earmark is a project that benefits only a specific constituency or geographic area, and which is inserted into a spending bill by an individual Member. This earmark was designed to provide funding to small and medium-sized business in the area with additional support in the government contracting and acquisition process. A number of Republicans, of whom Rep. Flake was the most active, had been consistent critics of earmarks, and had been offering a series of amendments to remove them from spending bills.

Rep. Serrano (D-NY), the chair of the Appropriations Committee subcommittee that developed H.R. 3081, opposed the amendment. He said that the Defense Procurement Assistance Program advances the goals of developing small business by offering assistance “on how to work with the Defense Department, including assistance with federal acquisition regulations and workforce training; acting as a liaison between prime contractors and local suppliers to identify opportunities for subcontracting; conducting seminars to enhance the skill sets of the local workforce in this supply chain, including workshops on military certifications, process improvements, and quality assurance; and developing a manufacturing database to identify local companies and their capabilities.” Serrano claimed that “over the last 3 years, clients (of the program) have been awarded on average $40 million each year in procurement contracts.”

Rep. Flake said the congressional district in which the Economic Growth Connection of Westmoreland (is) located, is “hardly the poorest of the poor.” He noted that the district “has benefited from more than a billion dollars in federal contracts from 2004 to 2009”, and claimed that the majority of those contracts were not awarded on a fully competitive basis. Flake concluded his remarks by arguing “if we're going to step up at any time, and say, enough is enough, let's step up here; for an earmark for $125,000 to go to . . . an area that (already) receives billions and billions of dollars in defense procurement.”

The amendment was defeated by a vote of 119-312. One hundred and nine Republicans and ten Democrats voted “aye”. Two hundred and forty-seven Democrats and sixty-five Republicans voted “nay”. As a result, the earmark for the Defense Procurement Assistance Program of the Economic Growth Connection of Westmoreland in Greensburg, Pennsylvania remained in H.R.3170. 

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