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This bill would require a comprehensive audit of the Federal Reserve Bank. Currently, several of the Fed's economically significant activities are shielded from their annual audit. Given that the Fed's policies have a dramatic effect on interest rates and the value of our money, it is crucial that their practices be subject to public and Congressional scrutiny.
This amendment, S.Amdt. 4685, offered by Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.), to the Senate version of the Commerce, Justice, Science spending bill would greatly expand the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s (FBI) surveillance powers, giving the agency the ability to collect sensitive, personal information about American citizens’ online activities. The Fourth Amendment is an important protection against government intrusions into our lives, and we should be wary of any legislation that threatens such a fundamental right. The amendment would allow the FBI to collect Electronic Communications Transactional Records (ECTRs) which includes information about web browsing history, the to/from lines of emails, and location information from IP addresses with only an administrative subpoena, also known as a National Security Letter. In addition to not requiring a warrant, national security letters also include a gag order, so companies cannot even inform their customers that their data is being turned over to federal law enforcement officials.
This resolution, S.J. Res. 28, offered by Sens. Kelly Ayotte (R-N.H.), John McCain (R-Ariz.), and Jeanne Shaheen (D-N.H.) would roll back an unnecessary, expensive, and duplicative federal regulation on catfish at the U.S. Department of Agriculture. The resolution would save taxpayers $14.4 million. Federal regulations like this one are part of the regulatory state that burdens individuals and the economy with complex and expensive rules.
To modify the authority of the President of the United States to declare national monuments.
To require campaign finance disclosures for certain persons benefiting from fossil fuel activities.
To make appropriations to address the heroin and opioid drug abuse epidemic for the fiscal year ending September 30, 2016
John B. King, of New York, to be Secretary of Education
To provide for the establishment of free market enterprise zones in order to help facilitate the creation of new jobs, entrepreneurial opportunities, enhances and renewed educational opportunities, and increased community involvement in bankrupt or economically distressed areas.
To nullify a Department of Labor rule published on April 8, 2016, relating to the definition of the term "fiduciary" and the conflict of interest rule with respect to retirement investment advice.
To reauthorize and amend the National Sea Grant College Program Act, and for other purposes
The Land and Water Conservation Fund provides money for states and the federal government to purchase land for "conservation" purposes. This fund has been used to purchase millions of acres of private property, further increasing the massive quantity of government-owned property in the United States. Taxpayers should not be subsidizing the government takeover of ever-greater swaths of property, yet this amendment would make this land-purchase fund permanent.
H.R. 2 is a bill to permanently prevent a scheduled cut in payments to doctors under Medicare, as well as to reauthorize S-CHIP - the federal health insurance program for children. Aside from numerous other policy issues, this bill also adds over $140 billion to the deficit over ten years. This amendment by Senator Mike Lee would invoke the statutory pay-as-you-go requirement so that Congress would be forced to find savings to erase the deficits created by this bill.
This amendment, by Senator Flake, would strike the extension of the Trade Adjustment Assistance (TAA) program from the bill to create fast-track trade authority. TAA is an ineffective and duplicative program that gives financial assistance to workers and companies that have been negatively affected by free trade. TAA has been shown to be ineffective and even harmful to those it is supposed to benefit, and should be allowed to expire.
This amendment by Senator Lee would allow parents to opt their children out of having to take federally mandated standardized tests, while ensuring that schools are not penalized for these students not being tested.
This amendment by Senator Cruz would prohibit the Department of Education from forcing states to adhere to any federal testing standards, allowing states to determine their own assessment plans for public schools.
The Export-Import Bank is an 80-year-old corporate welfare program that ought to be allowed to expire. That Republican leaders prioritize Ex-Im instead of conservative priorities confirms that they fail to address the expansion...
This amendment by Senator Ron Wyden would address one of the most glaring issues with the Cybersecurity Information Sharing Act (CISA), by requiring that companies sharing cyber threat data with the government first scrub non-essential personally identifiable information (PII) from the reports first. Without this amendment, CISA creates a perverse incentive for companies to be less careful about the sharing of their customers' personal data - which would be shared in real times across many government agencies, including the NSA.
This bill was the vehicle for the budget agreement that will spend $80 billion beyond the Budget Control Act caps over two years, along with $16 billion in new defense spending that doesn't count towards the caps. The supposed offsets to this spending are mostly either gimmicks or long-term, while the new deficit spending is immediate. The bill also suspends the debt ceiling through March of 2017, effectively giving the government a blank check for that period.
This resolution invokes the Congressional Act to disapprove of the recent EPA rule that greatly increases emissions restrictions on existing coal-fired power plants. This tremendously destructive regulation would greatly increase energy costs in the many states which rely heavily upon coal-fired power plants for their electricity. These cost increases damage overall economic growth, and in particular lower the standard of living of lower-income earners.
This resolution invokes the Congressional Act to disapprove of the recent EPA rule that greatly increases emissions restrictions on any future coal-fired power plants. This rule tightens emissions standards to the point where it will likely not be economically feasible to build new coal-fired electric plants, crippling one of the most abundant and cost-effective sources of energy in America.
This amendment by Senator Sherrod Brown would make permanent the 100 percent federal match rate for Medicaid enrollees under the ObamaCare expansion of that program. This would completely remove the incentive for states to resist expanding Medicaid because it would be largely free for them. This increase in permanent federal entitlement spending would be paid for by a tax increase on higher income earners.
This bill uses the budget reconciliation process to repeal all of the parts of ObamaCare that have a budgetary impact, which would eliminate nearly all of ObamaCare's core functions. Among the programs repealed are the Medicaid expansion, the insurance premium subsidies, the insurance mandates, several grant programs, and all of the new taxes. Because of the reconciliation procedure, this bill only requires 50 votes to pass.
This bill would renew federal highway funding to states for a period of five years. However, it does not solve the structural deficit within the Highway Trust Fund, doesn't eliminate the wasteful spending that takes away from funding roads, and doesn't offset that spending in any real way. Furthermore, this bill contains a reauthorization of the expired Export-Import Bank, in order to prevent having a standalone vote on renewing such a direct corporate welfare fund.
This omnibus appropriations bills for Fiscal Year 2016 funds former Speaker Boehner's budget-busting deal to the tune of $50 billion above the budget caps for 2016. It contains several very troubling legislative riders a well, including more funding for the IMF, and a massive new cybersecurity information sharing program that violates consumers' privacy and due process. It also fails to include most of the amendments from the appropriations process that would have defunded key, harmful federal regulations.
This bill funds the federal government for the remainder of the fiscal year (through September, 2014). It spends $45 billion more than the budget caps established in 2011, and perpetuates a vast amount of wasteful spending from previous years. Lawmakers were also given almost no time to read this 1,500 page spending bill.
This final version of the Farm Bill, reconciled between the House and Senate, actually undoes some of the already modest reforms to crop insurance and food stamps that were previously in the bill. This five-year reauthorization of the Farm Bill will spend nearly a trillion dollars over ten years, and remains loaded with corporate welfare and special carve-outs for well-connected agricultural corporations.
This bill suspends the debt limit until March 15th of 2015, allowing the president to potentially run up as much debt as he pleases during that time period. The debt is already projected to increase by about $1 trillion over that period, to over $18 trillion. Meanwhile, this debt ceiling suspension contains no reforms to curb spending whatsoever.
This amendment replaced an unrelated bill with a bill to extend federal unemployment insurance benefits by a further six months, starting retroactively in January 2014. Federal unemployment assistance was meant to be temporary, as states already have their own safety nets for the unemployed. Extending this program is an unnecessary cost to taxpayers, and creates perverse incentives than can cause job-seekers more difficulty in finding work.
This bipartisan energy bill further subsidizes state projects to make buildings more energy efficient, among various green subsidies. Many of the provisions of this bill are duplicative, and all would be better handled by states themselves. The projects and the accompanying regulations are theoretically voluntary, but with 'incentives' and studies aimed at coercing states to accept them.
David Jeremiah Barron is a troubling judicial nominee due to his explicit advocacy of judicial activism. He was also the White House legal counsel who approved the extralegal killing of a non-combatant American citizen in Yemen - an unprecedented violation of Constitutional rights to due process and trial.
This was the crucial vote for the nomination of Sylvia Burwell to replace the retiring Kathleen Sebelius as Secretary of Health and Human Services (HHS). During her tenure as Chair of the Office of Management and Budget, Burwell oversaw the Obama Administration's attempts to make the partial government shutdown of 2013 as visibly inconvenient as possible, including famously shutting WWII veterans out of their own (open-air) memorial. Thus, it appears unlikely that Burwell would be willing to change the opaque and uncooperative practices of HHS, which is overseeing the implementation of ObamaCare.
This bill would allow students to refinance their private loans into a lower-interest government loan. To pay for this, the bill also contains the so-called "Buffett Tax", a new alternative minimum tax rate that would greatly increase tax rates for higher-income individuals and small businesses.
This amendment by Sen. Mike Lee would stop the cycle of mismanagement and bankruptcy in the Highway Trust Fund by devolving that funding directly to the states over a period of 5 years. Cutting out the federal middleman for highway infrastructure projects will allow states to more accurately address their own needs, and at a lower cost than under the current system.
This bill bails out the nearly depleted Highway Trust Fund through May of 2015, using revenue gimmicks to supposedly offset most of the cost. The Highway Trust Fund desperately needs reform instead of merely continuing to receive periodic taxpayer bailouts.
This constitutional amendment would allow the government broad power to legally define what constitutes political speech for the purposes of regulating expenditures on behalf of candidates. This means that anything from books, movies, billboards, or any other funded public expression that is deemed "political" could be regulated and potentially limited. Effectively, this amendment would place constitutional limits on free speech, stripping away many First Amendment freedoms.
This bill purports to ban unequal pay on account of gender. But by making unequal pay illegal, it exposes employers to expensive and time-consuming frivolous lawsuits for any perceived inequality. The "wage gap" that this policy is supposed to address has been shown by repeated studies to be diminishing on its own, and is in fact non-existent in most industries.
This trillion-plus dollar spending bill was crafted behind closed doors and was packed with dozens of policy riders that Congress never had a chance to vote on individually. It continues to fund the federal government fully, with zero reforms to the government's out-of-control spending.
This change to the rules of the Senate weakens the minority party's ability to filibuster legislation by imposing much tighter restrictions on debate time on bills. The ability of either party to slow down consideration of a bill or nomination was a feature granted to the Senate intentionally by our founders, providing the opportunity for legislation to be exhaustively debated before being passed into law. This rules change is a major blow to that important tradition.
This amendment, sponsored by Senator Mike Lee (UT), would offset the cost of the emergency spending in the Disaster Relief Act over time by making a .49% across-the board cut to discretionary spending. Such a minor spending cut in order to offset a large amount of deficit spending should be an easy call given the current $16.4 trillion national debt.
This bill is an "emergency" appropriations bill that contains $50.1 billion in spending that is supposed to aid those affected by Hurricane Sandy. In reality, however, most of the spending will not provide acute disaster relief, and much of it is not even scheduled to be spent until 2014 or later. Thus, the bill functions more like a stimulus than true disaster relief and its spending should be appropriated through the budget process instead of as emergency spending that adds to the federal deficit.
This amendment would require that, upon reaching the debt limit, the Treasury would prioritize military pay, Social Security obligations, and payments of interest on the national debt. This would prevent the executive branch from making the claim that reaching the debt ceiling would prevent Social Security checks from being sent, since the government incurs enough revenue to meet these obligations without borrowing.
This bill raises the statutory limit on the public debt (the "debt ceiling") by whatever amount is necessary to reach May 19th, 2013. Although the bill theoretically contains a "no budget, no pay" provision conditional upon the Senate passing a budget resolution, in reality the provision has no teeth. FreedomWorks insists that further increases in the debt ceiling by accompanied by proportional decreases in federal spending in order to address the ever-increasing federal debt, which at the time of this bill stood at $16.4 trillion. Instead, this bill amounts to a "clean" debt ceiling hike, accompanied by the unenforceable promise of spending reforms at a later date.
This amendment would effectively defund ObamaCare by tying its funding to economic growth reaching historical average levels. Defunding ObamaCare would reduce ten-year spending by over $1 trillion and would go a long way towards reducing our government's massive annual deficits.
This is the amended version of the bill containing the Continuing Resolution to fund the federal government through the end of the fiscal year. The bill still funds ObamaCare, and continues to institutionalize current levels of deficit spending. In addition, the House and Senate each added several departmental appropriation bills into the C.R., bypassing regular order and the amendment process that ought to accompany each of these spending bills individually.
This budget amendment was a proxy vote for the Marketplace Fairness Act, which would allow states to band together to collect taxes on internet sales from citizens of other states. This type of internet sales tax scheme violates the physical presence standard of tax collection and would place an undue compliance burden upon online retailers.
This amendment would make federal education dollars under No Child Left Behind portable so that lower-income parents could use that money towards sending their child to another school. This would be a good first step towards offering parents true choice in their children's education.
This amendment to the Senate's budget resolution would call for the outright elimination of the estate tax (better known as the "death tax"). The death tax is absolutely unjust because it taxes assets that have already been taxed before, and it punishes those who have saved their money over a lifetime to pass on to the next generation. This tax is particularly devastating to small businesses and family farms.
This is Senator Rand Paul's budget plan, which would balance in five years, eliminate four Cabinet departments, replace the current tax code with a flat tax, and fundamentally reform all major entitlement programs.
This amendment would prevent taxpayer resources from being used to automatically deduct union dues from the paychecks of unionized federal employees. Federal workers, most of whom have never had the opportunity to vote on whether or not they wish to be unionized, ought to be able to decide if they wish to pay dues to their unions. Much of the collected dues are used for union political activities, which a given employee may or may not agree with.
This is the Senate Democrats' budget plan, which raises taxes by nearly $1 trillion while using budget gimmicks to claim $1.8 trillion in spending cuts. In reality, the budget never achieves balance and actually increases spending in the first year, while failing to address the primary drivers of government spending - entitlements - at all.
This bill allows states to collect taxes on internet sales from businesses in other states. This violates the physical presence standard that has governed tax collection since our founding, and raises constitutional issues about businesses being forced to bear the expense of complying with tax collection for states in which they have no representation.
The so-called "Farm Bill" is actually a combination of agricultural policy and welfare, with food stamps accounting for 80 percent of the bill's nearly trillion dollars in projected spending. Aside from failing to contain the multitude of faults within the rapidly-expanding food welfare programs, the agricultural portion of the bill is an amalgam of direct corporate welfare for insurance companies and farm corporations and special carve-outs and price supports for the specific industries with the best lobbyists.
This bill would fund the Departments of Transportation and Housing & Urban Development (and related agencies) for Fiscal Year 2014. Besides doing nothing to reform the large amount of wasteful spending contained in both departments to begin with, this bill actually increases spending for the departments to pre-sequestration levels. This is part of the broader Democratic strategy to eliminate the only real spending cuts that have been achieved since 2010.
Senator Mike Lee solicited signers on a letter to Senator Harry Reid, which declared that the signers would not vote for any appropriations bill, including a Continuing Resolution (CR), that contained further funding for ObamaCare's implementation or enforcement. The letter put senators on the record committing to actually defunding ObamaCare using a must-pass bill (the CR), rather than just taking another symbolic vote on an amendment that the Democrats could easily defeat.
This is the crucial vote to end debate on the Continuing Resolution (CR) to fund the federal government while ending funding for ObamaCare. Voting for cloture would allow Senate Democrats to resume funding ObamaCare with a straight party-line vote, meaning that a 'yea' vote here is a vote to fund ObamaCare, with the law's first starting date just days away.
H.R. 2775 was used as the vehicle for the Continuing Resolution (CR) to fund the federal government. This bill funds the government fully (including ObamaCare) through January 15th of 2014, suspends the debt ceiling until February of 2014, and obliges both chambers of Congress to go to conference on a full-year budget. In other words, this CR allows for more uncontrolled spending and debt, with no reforms to either, does nothing to address ObamaCare, and potentially promises more future spending if a budget agreement is reached.
This is the final vote of a complicated Senate parliamentary procedure often referred to as the "Nuclear Option", used the allow the Senate's rules to be changed using only a simple majority vote. Majority Leader Harry Reid used this procedure to allow all executive nominations (except Supreme Court nominees) to pass without a cloture vote, meaning that he only needs 51 votes instead of 60. This is a massive blow to the rights of the minority party in the Senate, and sets a dangerous precedent of tyrannical majority rule in a Senate that has traditionally prized the rights of every Senator and party to have their full say.
This is the vote to end debate on the budget deal negotiated by Congressman Paul Ryan and Senator Patty Murray. The deal breaks the budget caps established in 2011 by $63 billion over two years, while claiming to contain a net deficit reduction over ten years by raising fees and making other minor cuts. With no guarantee that future congresses will obey the scheduled spending cuts, this bill delivers increases in both spending and taxes in exchange for no meaningful reforms. Voting for cloture allowed the bill to be passed by a simple majority vote.
Sen. Toomey's amendment to the STOCK Act would eliminate the corrupting practice of earmarks in the Senate.
Sen. Coburn's amendment to the STOCK Act would prevent duplicative and overlapping government programs.
This amendment to the federal highway spending bill would reduce the federal government’s role in transportation funding by giving states direct control of their shares of the transportation funds.
This amendment would eliminate many energy tax subsidies, which distort the market by picking winners and losers in the energy industry. In addition this amendment would lower the U.S. corporate tax rate, which is currently the highest in the industrialized world and is one of the major reasons that many companies choose to locate their operations elsewhere.
This amendment would reauthorize the Export-Import Bank (Ex-Im bank), which is scheduled to expire at the end of May. The Export-Import Bank takes money from American taxpayers to subsidize exports by politically powerful American companies. The Ex-Im Bank embodies corporate welfare; it is a prime example of crony capitalism that has hurt economic growth.
Currently, the inside of your mailbox is legally the property of the U.S. Postal Service. This amendment would end the USPS monopoly on your mailbox, which means that other companies could provide the poorly-run USPS with competition in the delivery of first-class mail.
This amendment introduced by Sen. Rand Paul would have established a pilot program to allow alternative programs to compete with the U.S. Postal Service on a local level.
This is Senator Toomey's 2013 budget plan, which would balance the budget within eight years and save more than $5 trillion over the next ten years. It would also repeal ObamaCare, block grant Medicaid to the states, and cut individual and corporate taxes.
This is Senator Rand Paul's budget proposal for fiscal year 2013, which would balance the budget in five year and save over $8 trillion over ten years. This proposal, which closely resembles the one presented by the Tea Party Debt Commission in 2011, would also repeal ObamaCare, block grant Medicaid and other entitlement programs, and reform both Medicare and Social Security. It would also eliminate the Departments of Energy, Education, Housing and Urban Development, and Commerce, repeal Dodd-Frank, expand energy exploration, and privatize the TSA. In short, this is the single boldest and most effective free-market economic proposal to receive a vote in Congress.
This is Senator Mike Lee's budget proposal for fiscal year 2013, which would balance the budget in five years and would save $7 trillion over ten years. This bill also contains fundamental tax reform, with a single-rate flat tax for corporations and individuals. It also reforms Social Security and Medicare/Medicaid, curbs regulations, and caps spending.
This resolution would have invoked the Congressional Review Act to stop the implementation of the Environmental Protection Agency's Utility MACT rule. Utility MACT is among the most devastating environmental regulations ever passed, as it would make it nearly impossible for new coal-fired power plants to be built and is already putting existing plants out of business. Making America's cheapest, most abundant energy resource difficult to use will greatly increase energy costs for all Americans, and during an economic downturn when they can least afford it.
This bill extends the farm subsidy and crop insurance programs, which are among the largest corporate welfare programs in the federal government. These subsidies largely go to well-connected large farm corporations and make it difficult for small family farms to compete in the marketplace. This bill also contains greatly expanded funding for the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, better known as "food stamps". 80 percent of the "farm bill" actually goes towards funding the food stamp program, a widely-abused welfare program which should be voted on as as a standalone bill instead of being hidden in an unrelated bill.
This bill is the vehicle for the deal brokered by Senator McConnell and Vice President Biden to avert the "fiscal cliff". While it extends the 2001, 2003 and 2009 tax cuts and credits for most Americans, it allows them to expire on those earning over $450,000 per year. The bill also contains a $30 billion extension of unemployment benefits, and reauthorizes the 2008 Farm Bill for nine months. H.R. 8 allows the payroll tax holiday to expire, effectively raising taxes on 77% of taxpayers, yet extends dozens of tax credits and deductions that amount to corporate welfare for special interests. It also fails to extend the Bush-era tax cuts to all Americans, thus raising taxes at a time when economic growth is desperately needed.
This amendment would fully repeal President Obama’s “Affordable Care Act” because it will kill jobs, bankrupt the government, drive up everyone's health insurance costs, put bureaucrats in charge of our health care, and ruin the world's best health care system. This vote was on waiving a point of order against the amendment. The vote failed, killing the amendment.
This amendment would ensure that none of the funds made available under this Act may be used to administer or enforce the wage-rate requirements of the Davis-Bacon Act. Davis-Bacon is a leftover from the New Deal era which costs taxpayers billions of dollars each year because it requires government contractors to pay "local prevailing wages" for every project, which usually leads to expensive union labor receiving the contracts.
This amendment to S.223 would eliminate the Essential Air Service (EAS). The EAS was created in the 1970’s to help a small number of rural communities retain access to air service after airline deregulation. The needless program has continued for 23 years while costing taxpayers $200 million every year.
This amendment would completely strip the EPA of its ability to use the Clean Air Act to regulate greenhouse gases. The EPA has continually abused its authority under the Clean Air Act to promulgate ever more restrictive regulations on emissions, including designating carbon dioxide to be a “public danger”.
H.Con.Res.34 would balance the federal budget by 2040 without raising taxes, and would cut $6.2 trillion over the next decade compared to President Obama’s budget. The plan also reduces government spending to below 20 percent of the economy and block grants Medicaid to the states. While the "Ryan Plan" isn't ideal, it is at least a major step towards fiscal stability.
This is Senator Pat Toomey’s FY 2012 budget proposal, which would balance the entire federal budget within nine years without raising taxes. It reduces the publicly held debt to approximately 52 percent of GDP by 2021 and cuts spending to 18.5 percent of GDP. Unlike President Obama’s budget, it reforms entitlement programs by block granting Medicaid to individual states. The plan would save $7.1 trillion over the next decade.
This is Senator Rand Paul’s FY 2012 budget proposal, which would balance the federal budget in five years without raising taxes. It would result in a $19 billion surplus in the first year, without cutting Social Security, Medicare, or Veterans’ Affairs.
This is a vote on the "megabus" appropriations bill to authorize the government's spending through 2012. This bill authorizes over a trillion dollars in spending and was rushed through Congress without any time to examine what was in it.
This is the “Cut, Cap, and Balance Act of 2011”, which would cut total spending for FY2012 by $111 billion, cap total federal spending, and require the passage of a Balanced Budget Amendment to the U.S. Constitution that includes a super-majority requirement to raise taxes and a limit on spending before the debt limit can be raised.
The bill would grant President Obama the authority to raise the debt ceiling up to three times, with the caveat that these requests would be subject to a resolution of disapproval which could bar his request.
This amendment would limit spending under the federal highway funding bill to the amount deposited into the Highway Trust Fund via the federal gas tax. For many years, the federal government has spent more than the gas tax brings in, and has had to repeatedly bail out the Highway Trust Fund as a result.
This bill would prevent any projects in the 2011 budget from being required to comply with Davis-Bacon wage requirements. Davis-Bacon is a leftover from the New Deal era which costs taxpayers billions of dollars each year because it requires government contractors to pay "local prevailing wages" for every project, which usually leads to expensive union labor receiving the contracts.
This amendment would extend and modify the Trade Adjustment Assistance (TAA) program. TAA is a duplicative and inefficient program that spends millions of dollars to create training programs for workers who have supposedly lost their jobs due to free trade. The program operates on the false premise that free trade destroys jobs by shipping them overseas, when there is no data to support that fact.
This bill, the “Currency Exchange Rate Oversight Reform Act”, would impose sanctions on China for allegedly manipulating its currency. Retaliation aimed at the value of Chinese currency will not fix anything and could trigger a trade war. Placing high tariffs on Chinese goods acts as a tax on American consumers because the costs of the tariffs get passed down in the form of higher prices for imports.
This bill, the “American Jobs Act of 2011”, contains President Obama’s new stimulus plan to spend billions of dollars on infrastructure projects, raise income taxes, and extend unemployment benefits. These New Deal stimulus strategies only waste taxpayer dollars and do not contribute to economic growth.
The bill would ratify the United States-Korea Free Trade Agreement. Free trade is an indispensable part of free markets, the voluntary exchange of goods and services between consenting parties without government interference. Freer trade will allow Americans to reap the benefits of competition, which include more choices, better products, and lower prices.
This bill would ratify the United States-Panama Free Trade Agreement. Free trade is an indispensible part of free markets, the voluntary exchange of goods and services between consenting parties without government interference. Freer trade will allow Americans to reap the benefits of competition, which include more choices, better products, and lower prices.
This bill would ratify the United States-Columbia Free Trade Agreement. Free trade is an indispensible part of free markets, the voluntary exchange of goods and services between consenting parties without government interference. Freer trade will allow Americans to reap the benefits of competition, which include more choices, better products, and lower prices.
This amendment would extend the loan limits for several federal programs, including the Federal Housing Administration and the “government-sponsored enterprises” Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. Given that poor lending practices by the likes of Fannie and Freddie were a primary cause of the financial crisis of 2008, extending their credit line is an inexcusable misallocation of taxpayer money.
This amendment would terminate the Troubled Asset Relief Program, the $700 billion taxpayer-funded bailout to big banks and corporations.
This bill contains a more than $1 trillion increase in the federal debt ceiling. Raising the debt ceiling should be accompanied by measures to cut spending so that such an increase would not be necessary in future. Instead, this bill merely contains a "pay-as-you-go" procedure which Congress can easily ignore and which does nothing to address the current record spending levels.
H.R. 4691 would extend a number of programs that are scheduled to expire and ought to be allowed to do so. This includes further extending the already much-extended time limits on unemployment insurance and the wasteful American Recovery and Reinvestment Act stimulus funds. None of the billions of dollars in new spending in this bill is offset by reductions anywhere else in the budget.
This bill includes several new taxes that will impose significant costs on businesses and threaten job creation. One undesirable tax increase included in the bill is the elimination of the punitive damages tax deduction. Another added tax increase proposed by the legislation is a new tax on carried interest.
This amendment would ban the corrupting practice of earmarks in the Senate for the next fiscal year. Although they account for a very small percentage of overall spending, earmarks are used by appropriators to buy lawmakers' votes for much larger and more consequential bills.
This spending bill would raise taxes, increase regulations, and crush job growth.
H.R. 4872 makes the terrible health care legislation recently enacted even worse by adding even more job killing tax hikes, harsher penalties, and new government bureaucracies. It also nationalizes the student loan industry, allowing the federal government to further manipulate and inflate the cost of higher education.
(Note: this is the initial Dodd-Frank Wall Street regulatory bill, eventually passed as H.R. 4173.) This amendment would replace the previous language of the bill with a new bill to create a massive new framework of regulations on the financial sector. This legislation does little to restore responsibility but instead chooses to absolve the big players on Wall Street from responsibility for their role in the financial meltdown by codifying their access to taxpayer-funded bailouts.
This was another procedural vote to attempt to uphold a point of order against the Dodd-Frank Wall Street reform bill and its institutionalized bailouts for firms deemed "too big to fail".
This bill imposes a gigantic new framework of mandates, fees, and regulations on the nation's financial services sector and creates a permanent $150 billion Wall Street bailout fund. The Dodd-Frank bill creates a board headed by an unaccountable bureaucrat who can deem a financial institution to be "too big to fail" and thus eligible for a taxpayer bailout if its bad investments become unstable. This actually incentivizes the big banks to continue the kinds of risky lending that caused the financial collapse of 2008.
This bill appropriates funding for use in disaster assistance for the earthquake in Haiti, and for the Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill relief effort in the Gulf, along with a number of smaller, unrelated items. But all of the spending in this bill is designated as "emergency spending", meaning that it is not paid for and therefore adds to our already tremendous national debt.
A joint resolution disapproving a rule submitted by the Environmental Protection Agency relating to their endangerment finding that aims to allow the EPA to enforce a massive crackdown on all greenhouse gas emissions. The regulations that the EPA is considering based upon this finding would cause irreparable damage to the energy sector and our economy at large by sharply increasing the cost of all energy.
This is the vote to end debate on the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform bill, which includes a massive new regulatory regime for financial markets that promises more government intrusion and has the potential to leave taxpayers on the hook for bad decisions made on Wall Street. Worse still, the bill does little to address the underlying causes of the financial crisis.
The final vote on Dodd-Frank.
This rather technical procedural vote would have required language preventing an increase in the estate tax from being included in the bill. The "death tax" taxes income that has already been tax multiple times beforehand, and penalizes individuals who choose to save their money responsibly, or who wish to pass along their farm or small business to another generation of the family.
Motion to Concur in the House Amdt. to the Senate Amdt. to H.R. 4213 with Amdt. No. 4425, As Amended; A bill to amend the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 to extend certain expiring provisions, and for other purposes.
The DISCLOSE Act amends the Federal Election Campaign Act of 1971 (FECA) to prohibit independent expenditures and payments for electioneering communications by government contractors if the value of the contract is at least $10 million. It is a clear violation of free speech and would likely have a chilling effect on political discourse.
This amendment to the FAA Air Transportation Modernization and Safety Improvement Act would reauthorize the Federal Aviation Administration. This would add to the national debt.
The Small Business Jobs Act of 2010 would allocate $30 billion from the Troubled Asset Relief Program to a new fund for financial institutions with less than $10 billion in assets. This would add to the national debt and not create jobs.
The DISCLOSE Act is a clear violation of free speech and would likely have a chilling effect on political discourse.
The FDA Food "Safety" Modernization Act would grant the federal government unprecedented control over our diets while not making our food any safer. The bill imposes new regulations upon farmers and other food producers and also requires the government to hire a troop thousands of new bureaucrats to enforce the new rules. They will be funded by "such sums as may be necessary." Besides wasting taxpayer dollars directly, the cost of producers complying with these new regulations will simply be passed onto consumers in the form of higher prices. Outbreaks of food-borne illnesses have decreased dramatically in frequency in recent decades, and there is simply no need for such an intrusive and expensive new set of regulations on food safety.
This amendment would change the enactment date. The so-called Middle Class Tax Relief fails to extend the 2001 and 2003 tax cuts to all Americans.
This would hike taxes and add to the national debt.
This legislation calls for spending an additional $33 billion over the next five years to expand coverage under the S-CHIP program. At a time when our nation is facing record-breaking deficits in the trillions of dollars, expanding autopilot spending programs should not be on the agenda.
This amendment would attempt to stop implementation of the stimulus spending. Deficit spending is out of control and is not capable of bringing the United States out of the recession. Any control over stimulus spending would be welcome.
The Ensign/McConnell “Fix Housing First” amendment would offer government backed fixed mortgages at 4% to “any credit worthy” borrower either to purchase a new home or refinance. This plan, which reportedly could cost as much as $200 billion dollars, is a flagrant misuse of taxpayer funds and in essence creates a new housing entitlement fund. This amendment's cost violates the pay-as-you-go requirements of the Budget Act, so a point of order was raised against the amendment. The vote being scored would waive that point of order and allow the amendment to proceed to a vote on final passage.
This bill would create $787 billion in new government spending on projects designed to stimulate an economic recovery. It is neither the government's role, nor is it within its ability, to spend the economy into prosperity. This stimulus package merely spends a fortune in taxpayers' hard-earned money to give away to whatever special interests are best able to claim that they can "create jobs".
This amendment, sponsored by Senator DeMint, would prevent the Federal Communications Commission from implementing the fairness doctrine. The fairness doctrine would violate freedom of speech and represents an overreach of government power.
The budget taxes too much, spends too much, and borrows too much. And, potentially worst of all, it would open the door for socialized medicine and a massive energy tax to be enacted later this year without substantial debate through the reconciliation process.
The bill includes a $100 billion International Monetary Fund (IMF) bailout. The bill contains funding for other projects that should not be used as a vehicle to ram IMF funding through Congress. Using this method to get the IMF funding passed is dirty Washington politics and law makers should reject it.
The Food and Drug Administration would grant certain authority to the Food and Drug administration to regulate tobacco products. The FDA should not be given the power to regulate tobacco.
The bill includes a $100 billion International Monetary Fund (IMF) bailout. The bill contains funding for other projects that should not be used as a vehicle to ram IMF funding through Congress. Using this method to get the IMF funding passed is dirty Washington politics and law makers should reject it.
A bill to amend title XVIII of the Social Security Act to provide for the update under the Medicare physician fee schedule for years beginning with 2010 and to sunset the application of the sustainable growth rate formula, and for other purposes
The Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2010, or so-called “minibus” would combine six of the seven remaining appropriations bills to fund nine Cabinet departments to the tune of $447 billion and $600 billion in funding for Medicare and Medicaid for a total of $1.1 trillion; a 13% increase over FY 2009 and a 25% increase over FY 2008.
This is the vote on the final passage of ObamaCare. The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act neither protects patients nor provides affordable care. It would kill jobs, drive up the price of health care, bankrupt the government, and ruin the world's best health care system. The bill also contains an individual mandate, which forces everyone to either purchase health care or pay a penalty, violating our individual liberty.
This would provide for a deficit-neutral reserve fund for Social Security reform. Social Security is unsustainable in its current form and this amendment would be a welcome reform.
This would put a moratorium on earmarks. Earmarks are spending projects which will add to the deficit and are unnecessary.
This amendment would increase government involvement in the lending and housing markets, rewarding the irresponsible decision makers while punishing those not involved. There is plenty to reform in the housing market, but this is not the way to do it.
To create a bipartisan, bicameral special committee to investigate the insertion of an earmark for Coconut Road into a 2005 highway bill. This is one step in reforming earmark abuse.
This amendment would create a new hurricane insurance program that would crowd out private insurance coverage and leading to increased costs and higher government spending.
This bill would give exclusive bargaining controls to inefficient labor unions over public safety employers. It would thus create a union-run monopoly over all public safety employees and would force local governments to cooperate.
The Act, which proposes to curb greenhouse gases, would significantly hamstring the economy of the United States by burdening taxpayers and risking thousands of jobs as our global competitiveness vanishes under a flood of regulations, taxes, and higher costs.
This bill, and farm subsidies generally, benefit politically connected farm corporations and agriculture industry lobbyists through inefficient price hikes and market restrictions. These market-distorting policies mostly benefit those who engage in cronyism, while making it impossible for small, family-owned farms and businesses to compete. The costs of these market distortions then get passed on to consumers in the form of higher prices.
This is the final vote on the bill that provided a massive (up to $300 billion) bailout to the "Government Sponsored Entities" Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. These two GSEs were in danger of bankruptcy because of their irresponsibly loose lending practices, and they should have been allowed to go bankrupt instead of putting taxpayers on the hook for their misbehavior. In addition, the bill contains an $800 billion increase in the debt ceiling.
FreedomWorks opposes this omnibus spending bill because it greatly increases the government's already out-of-control spending. The omnibus is also loaded loads of unnecessary and wasteful earmarks.
This bill would introduce over 30 new provisions to the tax code that would increase taxes by nearly $2 billion. Congress should not be using the tax code as a way to pick winners and losers in the economy by creating lobbyist-influenced loopholes and deductions, nor should it be raising taxes on the American people, particularly in a time of economic turbulence.
This bill would provide a $700 billion taxpayer-funded bailout of the financial industry. Institutions which make risky loans should be allowed to suffer the consequences of those loans. Bailing them out creates the moral hazard that these banks and lenders know that will not have to suffer the long-term consequences of their bad decision if they merely become "too big to fail".
This amendment would help stop earmarks. Earmarks are wasteful and serve the interests of only a few.
The Fair Minimum Wage Act would allow for an increase in the minimum wage from $5.15 per hour to $7.25 per hour over two years. According to CBO estimates, a minimum wage increase would saddle small businesses with up to $7 billion in added costs.
To protect families, family farms and small businesses by raising the death tax exemption to $5 million and reducing the maximum death tax rate to no more than 35%, to extend college tuition deduction, to extend the student loan interest deduction, to extend the teacher classroom deduction, to protect senior citizens from higher taxes on their retirement income, to maintain U.S. financial market competitiveness, and to promote economic growth by extending the lower tax rates on dividends and capital gains.
This amendment, sponsored by Senator Demint, would establish a reserve fund for Social Security reform. Congress would be able to save Social Security surpluses to be used by future recipients. This helps ensure the long-term stability of the program so that further reforms may be pursued.
To provide for the consideration of an increase in the tobacco products user fee rate, but only to the extent that such rate increase does not result in an increase of more than 61 cents per pack of cigarettes, with all revenue generated by such increase dedicated to the re-authorization and expansion of the State Children's Health Insurance Program.
To amend the National Labor Relations Act to ensure the right of employees to a secret-ballot election conducted by the National Labor Relations Board.
This water projects bill is bloated with over 900 special-interest earmarks, which far exceeds the $4.9 billion requested by the Army Corps of Engineers. The bill does not set any priorities and would result in funding for truly essential projects, like protections in Louisiana against future hurricanes, being drowned out in a sea of pork.
A bill to reauthorize Amtrak, and for other purposes. Amtrak should be abolished since it is a wasteful program that cost taxpayers too much money.
This bill calls for $50 billion in new funding for the program that far exceeds the $5 billion requested by the President. In addition to greatly expanding a program that was originally designed to be a limited contribution to State health services, this bill would be a giant step toward government controlled health care.
This bill would create a Strategic Energy Efficiency and Renewables Reserve to invest in alternative energy. This would increase spending and the national debt. The government should not be subsidizing alternative energy.
A bill to provide for the continuation of agricultural programs through fiscal year 2012, and for other purposes. The bill contains wasteful farm subsidies and would add to the national debt.
A bill making appropriations for the Department of State, foreign operations, and related programs for the fiscal year ending September 30, 2008, and for other purposes. This is a spending bill that would add to the national debt.
This vote would table the Cornyn amendment which would provide a new system by which to resolve claims for bodily injury caused by asbestos exposure.
This amendment, sponsored by Senator Santorum, would provide an additional $550,000,000 for Amtrak for fiscal year 2007. This is an enormous amount of spending on an already costly program.
This amendment, sponsored by Senator Inhofe, would provide discretionary spending control. Discretionary spending is out-of-control. This is a good step in reducing the deficit.
This amendment, sponsored by Senator Demint, would establish a reserve fund for Social Security reform. Congress would be able to save Social Security surpluses to be used by future recipients. This helps ensure the long-term stability of the program.
This amendment, sponsored by Senator Ensign, would include Federal entities in the definition of earmarks. This would help to clear up the many abuses of earmarks by expanding their definition.
This amendment, sponsored by Senator McCain, would strike a provision providing $6 million to sugarcane growers in Hawaii, which was not included in the Administration's emergency supplemental request. This is an unnecessary project and is irrelevant to emergency relief.
This bill would provide for reconciliation pursuant to section 201(b) of the concurrent resolution on the budget for fiscal year 2006. This would prevent tax increases which stifle economic growth.
This bill would make the repeal of the estate tax permanent. The estate tax, also known as the death tax, is a form of double taxation and hurts small businesses and family farms.
A bill to express the policy of the United States regarding the United States relationship with Native Hawaiians and to provide a process for the recognition by the United States of the Native Hawaiian governing entity. This bill would add more layers of bureaucracy to the Hawaiian government.
A bill to enhance the energy independence and security of the United States by providing for exploration, development, and production activities for mineral resources in the Gulf of Mexico, and for other purposes.
This legislation moves the United States closer to the goal of creating a region-wide Middle East free trade area by 2013. An agreement with Oman would mark the fifth such nation in the Middle East with open trade ties to the United States. Free trade agreements allow Americans to buy and sell goods in more markets.
S. 5 is a major step towards stopping lawsuit abuse by limiting venue shopping by trial lawyers. Unscrupulous attorneys often bring cases to a handful of state ‘tort hellholes’ where judges and juries consistently produce unreasonable awards with national economic impact. This new legislation would move the largest cases to federal courts, where judges are better equipped to consider the national scope of each case.
This amendment, sponsored by Senator DeMint, expresses the sense of the Senate that failing to address the financial condition of Social Security will result in massive debt, deep benefit cuts and tax increases.
This amendment, sponsored by Senator Byrd, would provide funding of $1.4 billion in fiscal year 2006 to preserve a national intercity passenger rail system. This is a waste of taxpayer dollars.
The amendment, sponsored by Senator Cantwell, would cancel the outlay reductions for the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge provided in S.C.Res. 18, making the resolution even more costly.
The Feingold amendment would fully reinstate the pay-as-you-go requirement, allowing for further deficit spending and debt-ceiling increases.
This bill would implement the Central American Free Trade Agreement (CAFTA), expanding mutually-beneficial exchanges with our friendly, democratic neighbors in our region.
This is a $295 billion transportation bill which is more than $11 billion larger than the agreed upon allotment for transportation. In addition, it contains literally thousands of wasteful earmarks.
The Kenedy Amdt. No. 2063 would provide for an increase in the Federal minimum wage. An increase in the minimum wage would increase unemployment and hurt small businesses and low-skilled workers.
Motion To Table Coburn Amdt. No. 2093 As Modified; To prohibit any funds under the Act from being used for a parking facility as part of the Joslyn Art Museum Master Plan, in Omaha, Nebraska. This amendment would eliminate at least one wasteful project.
This amendment, sponsored by Senator Reed, would provide for appropriations for the Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program. This is a wasteful program that would increase government spending at the expense of free market solutions.
Coburn Amdt. No. 2165, As Modified; To make a perfecting amendment. Senator Coburn's amendment would block construction of the “bridge to nowhere” in Alaska, the leading symbol of earmark abuse in the 109th Congress.
This amendment would cap non-defense, non-trust fund, discretionary spending at previous fiscal year’s level, putting a hold on out-of-control spending.
Deficit Reduction Omnibus Reconciliation Act includes relatively slight reductions in the rate of growth in some mandatory spending programs. Though rather modest, this is a first step in reducing the national debt.
The amendment would impose a windfall tax on crude oil profits. This tax would discourage oil production and stifle economic growth.
This amendment, sponsored by Senator Feinstein, would reinstate for millionaires a top individual income tax rate of 39.6 percent, the pre-May 2003 rates of tax on capital gains and dividends, and to repeal the reduction and termination of the phase out of personal exemptions and overall limitation on itemized deductions, until the Federal budget deficit is eliminated. This kind of tax would hurt wealth creation.