Thursday, June 4, 2015

The Latest GOP Appropriations Bill Slashes Climate Research $. Which 12 Ds Voted for It?

Earlier today, I wrote about some of the good and the bad in the Commerce/Justice/Science appropriations bill.

Here is an overview of what the bill does:
H.R. 2578 provides approximately $51.4 billion in discretionary budget authority for FY 2016, which is $1.3 billion (2.5%) above FY 2015 levels but $600 million below the President’s request.
The bill increases funding for the National Science Foundation (funded at $7.39 billion, $50 million above FY 2015) and NASA (funded at $18.53 billion, $519 million above FY 2015) but continues the Republican attacks on climate research and social sciences by cutting NSF’s Geosciences and Social, Behavioral and Economic Sciences by $257M below the FY 2015 level. The bill continues gun-related riders from past bills, and includes a new rider related to the facilitation, permitting, licensing, or promotion of exports to the Cuban military or intelligence service.
The bill cuts funding for grants to state and local law enforcement agencies by $325 million, while these governments continue to experience budget problems, and provides increases for most federal law enforcement agencies. In addition, H.R. 2758 provides $237.5 million for the Community Oriented Policing Services (COPS) program; however this figure is deceiving as the bill shifts more than $200 million in grants, previously funded elsewhere in the bill – thus maintaining the illusion of a high COPS number.
Republicans are developing this year's spending bills based on their budget resolution’s adherence to sequester level discretionary spending caps for FY 2016, established in the Budget Control Act of 2011. The two-year Ryan-Murray Bipartisan Budget Agreement to replace much of the sequester’s cuts to defense and non-defense funding has expired, limiting resources for the regular appropriations process to $1,016.6 billion for FY 2016, a funding increase of just 0.29%. Because this Commerce, Justice, Science appropriations bill includes an increase larger than 0.29%, cuts to other non-defense Appropriations subcommittees’ 302(b) allocations will be necessary without an agreement to replace the sequester. At the same time, Republicans are exempting defense from the sequester by shifting $38 billion of the President’s base defense request into the Overseas Contingency Operations (OCO) war funding account, relieving pressure to replace the sequester for non-defense priorities.
  Here are some bad amendments of note.

Scott Garrett (NJ-05) offered an amendment to prohibit the use of funds to enforce the Fair Housing Act in a manner that relies upon an allegation of liability under section 100.500 of title 24, Code of Federal Regulations. That section affirms that "[l]iability may be established under the Fair Housing Act based on a practice's discriminatory effect...even if the practice was not motivated by a discriminatory intent.").

The amendment passed 232 to 196, with 11 Republicans joining Democrats in voting against it.

Tom Massie (K-Y-04) offered an amendment to prohibit the use of funds to treat ammunition as armor piercing for purposes of chapter 44 of title 18, United States Code, except for ammunition designed and intended for use in a handgun.

It passed 250 to 171. 238 Republicans and 12 Democrats voted for it. 169 Democrats and 2 Republicans voted against it.

The 2 Republicans were Pete King (NY-02) and Dan Donovan (NY-11).

And here are the 12 Democrats:

Brad Ashford (NE-02)
Cheri Bustos (IL-17)
Jim Cooper (TN-05)
Henry Cuellar (TX-28)
Pete DeFazio (OR-04)
Gene Green (TX-29)
Ron Kind (WI-03)
Ann Kirkpatrick (AZ-01)
Collin Peterson (MN-07)
Jared Polis (CO-02)
Kurt Schrader (OR-05)
Tim Walz (MN-01)

Bill Flores (TX-17) offered an amendment to prohibit the use of funds to implement Executive Order 13547 (75 Fed. Reg. 43023, relating to the stewardship of oceans, coasts, and the Great Lakes), including the National Ocean Policy developed under such Executive Order.

It passed 236 to 190.

Two Democrats voted for it: Henry Cuellar (TX-28) and Filemon Vela (TX-34).

Seven Republicans voted against it:

Bob Dold (IL-10)
Dan Donovan (NY-11)
Mike Fitzpatrick (PA-08)
Frank Guinta (NH-01)
Pete King (NY-02)
Elise Stefanik (NY-21)
Lee Zeldin (NY-01)

Steve King (IA-04) offered an amendment to prohibit the use of funds in the Fifth Circuit Court case of Texas v. U.S (the lawsuit seeking to block Obama's recent executive order on immigration).
It passed 222 to 204, with 19 Republicans joining Democrats in opposition.

Final Passage

When the final Appropriations bill came up for a vote, it passed 242 to 183.

12 Democrats joined Republicans in voting for it. 10 Republicans joined Democrats in voting against it.

Here are the 12 Democrats:

Brad Ashford (NE-02)
Julia Brownley (CA-26)
Cheri Bustos (IL-17)
Jim Costa (CA-16)
Henry Cuellar (TX-28)
Gwen Graham (FL-02)
Gene Green (TX-29)
Annie Kuster (NH-02)
Sean Maloney (NY-18)
Collin Peterson (MN-07)
Kyrsten Sinema (AZ-09)
Filemon Vela (TX-34)

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