What: All Issues : Aid to Less Advantaged People, at Home & Abroad : Coburn of Oklahoma amendment that would require a competitive process for grants and contracts funded under the bill/On agreeing to the amendment (2009 senate Roll Call 77)
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Coburn of Oklahoma amendment that would require a competitive process for grants and contracts funded under the bill/On agreeing to the amendment
senate Roll Call 77     Mar 04, 2009
Progressive Position:
Nay
Progressive Result:
Win
Qualifies as polarizing?
Yes
Is this vote crucial?
No

This vote was on an amendment by Tom Coburn, R-Okla., that would require contracts and grants funded by the bill to undergo a competitive bidding process.  The amendment was offered to the bill that funds most domestic agencies in fiscal 2009.

Daniel Inouye, D-Hawaii, said Coburn's amendment appears to be a good-government amendment, but "is in fact the opposite.”  He said it would be particularly crippling to Native American tribes, which often have specialized ways of qualifying for federal money.

"If this amendment is adopted, it will cause significant disruptions to small businesses across this country, and I don’t wish to be part of that effort. Small businesses make up 99.7 percent of our Nation’s employers and 50.3 percent of our Nation’s private sector employment. Denying the ability of these small businesses to compete on a level playing field would severely impact small businesses that are already struggling to stay afloat during the current economic downturn," Inouye said.  "This amendment systematically ignores years of Small Business Committee and Indian Affairs Committee authorizations enacted into law by insisting that all contracts be awarded through one specific section of one specific law."

Coburn did not speak on this amendment.

The amendment was rejected by a vote of 38-57.  Of Republicans present, 31 voted for the amendment and 8 voted against it.  Of Democrats, 7 voted for the amendment and 47 voted against it.  The end result is that an amendment that would have required all federal money used for grants and contracts in fiscal 2008 be competitively bid was defeated.

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