What: All Issues : Aid to Less Advantaged People, at Home & Abroad : America's Poor : (H.R. 1473) Legislation funding federal government programs and agencies through September 2011, and cutting $39 billion from federal programs, including financial aid for low-income college students attending summer semesters, funding for high-speed rail travel, and foreign aid – On bringing to a final vote the resolution setting a time limit for debate and prohibiting amendments to the bill (2011 house Roll Call 259)
 Who: All Members : New York, District 2 : King, Pete
[POW!]
 
(H.R. 1473) Legislation funding federal government programs and agencies through September 2011, and cutting $39 billion from federal programs, including financial aid for low-income college students attending summer semesters, funding for high-speed rail travel, and foreign aid – On bringing to a final vote the resolution setting a time limit for debate and prohibiting amendments to the bill
house Roll Call 259     Apr 13, 2011
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This was a procedural vote on a resolution setting a time limit for debate and prohibiting amendments to legislation funding federal government programs and agencies through September 2011, and cutting $39 billion from federal programs, including financial aid for low-income college students attending summer semesters, funding for high-speed rail travel, and foreign aid. If passed, this particular procedural motion--known as the “previous question"--effectively ends debate and brings the pending legislation to an immediate vote.

The underlying bill—known as a “continuing resolution” represented an agreement on federal government spending negotiated between President Obama, Senate Democrats (who held a majority), and House Republicans (who were the majority party in that chamber). House Republicans had initially demanded more than $60 billion in spending cuts, as well as a number of “policy riders”—prohibitions on government funding for certain policies. For example, the House Republican leadership had initially insisted on banning federal funding for Planned Parenthood—which provides a wide array of health services for women, including breast cancer screenings, pap smears, and abortions. Democrats refused to agree to this provision, and the Planned Parenthood funding prohibition was not included in the final agreement. Senate Democrats did agree, however, to hold an up-or-down vote on banning federal funding for the organization. While the budget agreement also eliminated summer semester Pell Grants for low-income college students, it preserved the full annual grant ($5,500) for the regular school year despite Republican efforts to reduce the overall award.

According to the Associated Press, the Obama administration had managed to preserve funding for many programs through “budget tricks.” Specifically, the underlying bill eliminated funding that had been allocated for programs but had never been spent. The AP’s Andrew Taylor reported: “The historic $38 billion in budget cuts resulting from at-times hostile bargaining between Congress and the Obama White House were accomplished in large part by pruning money left over from previous years… Such moves permitted Obama to save favorite programs - Pell grants for poor college students, health research and "Race to the Top" aid for public schools, among others - from Republican knives, according to new details of the legislation released Tuesday morning.”
 
Rep. David Dreier (R-CA) urged support for the resolution and the underlying bill: “We will halt the practice of reckless and unchecked growth in federal spending… we will reverse the course that we have been on. This final continuing resolution for fiscal year 2011 imposes the single largest cut in non-defense spending in our nation's history….this is not the end of our work to restore discipline and accountability of the federal budget, far from it. After fighting so hard to get to this point, it's important to point out that the truly difficult work still lies ahead for us. This resolution is also not the perfect measure we were all working for. Many of us fought hard to have even greater cuts and more significant reforms. But today's action is so critical because it is the turning point; it is the turning point.. It is that profoundly important first step. The American people have said enough is enough, and this Congress is finally responding.”

Rep. Jared Polis (D-CO) criticized the resolution and the underlying bill: “Under this bill, critical services that many Americans rely on to educate our children, to keep our streets safe, to improve public health, to keep our water and air clean would face tens of billions of dollars worth of real and difficult cuts. Times are tough. We know we have to cut spending….But Republicans didn't go after their favorite areas of Big Government spending.”

The House agreed to the previous question motion by a vote of 242-183. All 237 Republicans present and 5 Democrats voted “yea.” 183 Democrats voted “nay.” As a result, the House proceeded to a final vote on a resolution setting a time limit for debate and prohibiting amendments to legislation funding federal government programs and agencies through September 2011, and cutting $39 billion from federal programs, including financial aid for low-income college students attending summer semesters, funding for high-speed rail travel, and foreign aid.

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Key: Y=Yea, N=Nay, W=Win, L=Loss