What: All Issues : Making Government Work for Everyone, Not Just the Rich or Powerful : (H.R. 5116) On an amendment to legislation authorizing funding for scientific and technological research that eliminated all new programs established by the bill (including a loan guarantee program for small manufacturers seeking to improve their competitiveness through technological innovation), froze spending on existing programs at 2010 levels, and prohibited federal funds from being used to view, download, or exchange pornography (2010 house Roll Call 270)
 Who: All Members : New York, District 2 : King, Pete
[POW!]
 
(H.R. 5116) On an amendment to legislation authorizing funding for scientific and technological research that eliminated all new programs established by the bill (including a loan guarantee program for small manufacturers seeking to improve their competitiveness through technological innovation), froze spending on existing programs at 2010 levels, and prohibited federal funds from being used to view, download, or exchange pornography
house Roll Call 270     May 13, 2010
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This was a vote on a motion to recommit with instructions on a science and technology research bill that eliminated all new programs established by the bill (including a loan guarantee program for small manufacturers seeking to improve their competitiveness through technological innovation), and froze spending on existing programs at 2010 levels. (A motion to recommit with instructions is the minority's last chance to make substantive changes to a bill before a final up-or-down vote on the measure. If successful, the motion sends the legislation back to committee with instructions to amend the legislation as specified. ) The motion to recommit also required colleges and universities receiving funds provided by the bill to allow military recruiters on their campuses. In addition, the motion to recommit prohibited federal funds from being used to view, download, or exchange pornography.

The motion to recommit effectively put Democrats in a difficult political position. In order to vote against eliminating programs they supported – such as the loan guarantee program described above – they would have to vote against barring federal funds from being used to view and disseminate pornography.

Rep. Ralph Hall (R-TX), the author of the motion to recommit, urged members to support it: “The motion to recommit addresses the biggest concern I, and many of the members on this side of the aisle, have with the legislation, which is the excessive spending…It also would prohibit federal funds from being used by federal employees to view, download, or exchange pornography, including child pornography. Additionally, it will ensure that the institutions that we're giving federal funding to through this act will repay the federal government by allowing the military onto their campuses for recruitment.”

Rep. Bart Gordon (D-TN) urged members to reject the motion to recommit: “Nobody seriously thinks that we don't want to deal with pornography here….Everybody raise your hand that's for pornography. Come on, raise your hand. Nobody? Nobody is for pornography? Well, I'm shocked. So I guess we need this little bitty provision that means nothing; that's going to gut the entire bill. This is an embarrassment, and if you vote for this, you should be embarrassed.”

The House agreed to the motion to recommit by a vote of 292-126. 171 Republicans and 121 Democrats voted “yea.” 125 Democrats – including all of the most progressive members – and 1 Republican voted “nay.” As a result, the House agreed to an amendment to a science and technology research bill that eliminated all new programs established by the bill (including a loan guarantee program for small manufacturers seeking to improve their competitiveness through technological innovation), froze spending on existing programs at 2010 levels, and prohibited federal funds from being used to view, download, or exchange pornography.  Since Republicans had succeeded in making such drastic changes to the bill, Democratic leaders then withdrew the legislation from the House floor without holding a vote on final passage.

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