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This bill funded the federal government for the remainder of fiscal year 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 bill would delay a major reform to the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) that would have returned some semblance of market rates to flood insurance premiums. Currently, NFIP is over $25 billion in debt because homeowners in frequently flooded areas do not have to pay an amount that is equal to the risk they incur, meaning that the government takes a loss when the inevitable floods occur. By delaying the scheduled reforms, the NFIP will require a taxpayer bailout for billions of dollars.
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 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 increases tax rates for higher-income individuals and small businesses.
This amendment 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 from the workforce. But by making unequal pay illegal, it exposes employers to expensive and time-consuming frivolous lawsuits, all to defend an inequality that many studies show does not exist in most industries.
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.
The bill would repeal the Community Living Assistance Services and Support (CLASS) Act. The CLASS Act is the long-term care entitlement, which even the Dept. of Health and Human Services admits is prohibitively expensive. Voting to repeal CLASS at this time advances the larger goal of fully repealing President Obama's unworkable Affordable Care Act.
The bill would reform the way that the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) calculates the baseline spending assumptions that are the basis for all of its projections of future spending. The legislation would remove the assumption from CBO calculations that spending will increase each year in proportion to inflation, which makes Congress’ new spending each year look like less than it is. The Baseline Reform Act would make the federal budget process more honest and transparent.
FreedomWorks opposes this bill. It would allow the Department of Commerce to continue issuing countervailing duty (CVD) on imports from China, Vietnam and other countries deemed non-market economies (NMEs). H.R. 4105 would hurt U.S. consumers and importers while further escalating a trade war with China. Like other taxes, the cost of tariffs, including “countervailing duties” are only paid by consumers.
The amendment would replace Paul Ryan's budget proposal, which does not balance until after 2040, with the Republican Study Committee's alternative proposal, which would balance in five years. The RSC's budget also simplifies the tax code, reforms Medicare and Social Security, and caps federal spending at just below 2008 levels. The RSC budget is the kind of aggressive but workable reform we need in order to get America back on the path to fiscal sustainability.
This bill would keep student loan rates at 3.4 percent instead of allowing them to rise to their 2007 level of 6.8 percent. Artificially keeping student loan rates low not only costs taxpayers billions of dollars, it also distorts markets by encouraging students to take loans that they otherwise may not have been able to afford, which in turn encourages colleges to charge more for tuition.
This amendment would eliminate the Economic Development Administration (EDA), which is an obsolete program whose grants are being used by many Members of Congress to essentially create earmarks. Eliminating this useless program would also save over $500 million per year.
This amendment would cut Commerce, Science & Justice Appropriations across the board by 1%, for an annual savings of $511 million.
This amendment would reduce spending for each of the agencies funded by this bill by 12.2%, exempting certain key organizations such as the U.S. Marshals and the FBI. This would save $2.7 billion in FY 2014 and apply that money towards reducing the budget deficit.
FreedomWorks opposes reauthorizing the Export-Import bank because it is essentially a corporate welfare program that hands out trade subsidies to politically connected companies. The government could better improve exports by reducing regulations and corporate taxation, which would render American manufacturing more competitive with the rest of the world.
This amendment would eliminate the Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy Program, which directly subsidizes green energy companies. This program is pure corporate welfare, with the government picking winners and losers in the energy sector, and eliminating it would save taxpayers $1.45 billion annually.
This amendment would eliminate much of the Department of Fossil Energy, another federal agency which uses taxpayer dollars to subsidize green energy research. This would save nearly half a billion dollars in 2013, and return more research and development to the private sector where it belongs.
This amendment would cut nearly 10% from the Energy and Water Appropriations bill, for an annual savings of $3.1 billion. This cut would comply with the Republican Study Committee's budget, which aims to balance the federal budget in five years.
This motion by Rep. Paul Broun (R-GA) would instruct the House conferees to insist upon capping highway spending at the amount taken in by the gas tax. The gas tax was intended to be the sole revenue source for the Highway Trust Fund, but the federal government has routinely outspent their revenue supply in the past decades, requiring periodic bailouts of the Trust Fund.
This bill provides funding for the Departments of Transportation and Housing & Urban Development. It increases funding for such unnecessary programs as Amtrak, the Essential Air Service, and community development block grants. The bill fails to make any real cuts to spending, in spite of the country's massive deficits.
FreedomWorks opposes this bill because it reauthorizes federal highway spending at a level that far exceeds its revenue from the gas tax. This bill also includes an amendment which continues the artificial lowering of student loan rates, a practice which encourages students to incur debt that they cannot afford to pay back.
This bill would fully repeal the unaffordable and unpopular health care law popularly known as "ObamaCare". ObamaCare fails to either protect patients or make health care more affordable, and must be repealed and replaced with free-market, patient-centered reforms to bring competition into the industry and drive down costs for all consumers.
This amendment selectively cuts $1.07 billion from the Department of Defense's Appropriations, exempting military pay and benefits from any cuts. As the DoD accounts for over 40% of total discretionary spending, targeted cuts in defense spending will be necessary in order to ever balance the budget.
This bill would require the Comptroller of the United States to conduct a comprehensive audit of the Federal Reserve, in order to determine where this powerful and notoriously opaque private agency has been allocating the U.S. money supply. Transparency in the Federal Reserve is an essential first step to reestablishing a sound monetary policy.
This bill would prohibit the Secretary of the Interior from promulgating upcoming regulations that would devastate the coal industry and make it nearly impossible for many companies to develop new mines. Attacking coal development will massively increase the cost of energy over a large portion of the country, further straining resources in the midst of a weak economy.
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.
The bill would fully repeal the deeply controversial “Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act” (ObamaCare) passed in March 2010. ObamaCare will reduce the quality and drive up the cost of health care, and contains an unconstitutional mandate requiring Americans to purchase health care simply because they exist.
This amendment would save taxpayers $450 million by cutting the development of the superfluous second engine for the F-35 fighter jet. The military already has one functioning engine for the F-35, and this second design is a wasteful payoff to defense contractors. Even the military says that this program is not necessary.
This bill would cut the EPA's science and technology budget by $64 million. EPA programs were given massive increases in funding in 2010, and were clearly over-funded. Many of these programs are redundant and wasteful, funding scientific studies that should be left to academia and the private sector.
This amendment would save taxpayers $100 million by reducing the Child & Family Services entitlement, a program which contains a great deal of fraud and wasted spending.
This amendment prohibits the use of funds to pay any employee, officer, contractor, or grantee of any department or agency to implement the provisions of The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act also known as "ObamaCare."
This amendment would prevent any funds from H.R. 1 from being allocated to the implementation of the job-killing and unconstitutional bill popularly known as ObamaCare.
This amendment specifically disallows any funds from H.R. 1 from being used to pay the salary of any employee working to implement ObamaCare.
This bill prevents the IRS from being allowed to enforce the penalty under ObamaCare for failing to enroll in a health insurance plan. Basically, this would make the unconstitutional individual mandate in ObamaCare powerless, as there would be no consequences for failing to comply with it.
This Republican Study Committee amendment would reduce discretionary spending back to 2008 levels, which would amount to $18.6 billion in cuts in 2011 alone.
This amendment would reduce all non-defense discretionary spending to 2006 levels, saving taxpayers billions of dollars in 2011 alone. This is by far the boldest of the spending cuts offered to the 2011 appropriations bill.
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 omnibus appropriations bill for 2011 includes the largest single discretionary spending cut in history, cutting $106 billion from various programs and departments. While this is only a fraction of the cuts needed to rein in the government’s spending, it is a very good first step in the right direction.
This bill eliminates the 1099 reporting mandate from Obamacare. Due to a provision hidden in the 2,400 page health care law passed last March, businesses will be required to submit an IRS form 1099 for all goods and services purchased over $600 starting in 2012. This is a paperwork nightmare that will significantly hurt small businesses and cost an abundance of jobs, and must be repealed.
The bill would eliminate the inefficient FHA Refinance Program, saving taxpayers $8 billion. This program, one of the T.A.R.P bailout programs, refinances underwater loans to the FHA, which by the government’s own admission transfers the risk on these bad investments to the taxpayer. This program should never have been created, as it is a clear violation of free market principles.
The bill would end the Department of Housing & Urban Development’s Emergency Homeowners Relief Program, saving taxpayers $1 billion. The program provides high-loss mortgage loan subsidies to people who are very unlikely to be able to pay back the money, which merely delays the inevitable foreclosures and wastes taxpayers’ dollars.
This bill contains a Continuing Resolution (CR) to fund the federal government. Because the Senate has refused to pass a budget for three years, the government has been funded through these CR’s, continuing our unsustainable levels of deficit spending without even the transparency of the open budget process.
This bill would reauthorize the Washington, D.C. Opportunity Scholarship Program, which provided school vouchers to allow parents in failing school districts to send their children to higher-quality schools of their choice. Congress ended this program in 2009 despite its overwhelming success.
This bill, the “Energy Tax Prevention Act of 2011”, would stop Obama's cap and trade scheme by completely stripping the EPA of its ability to use the 'Clean Air Act' to regulate greenhouse gases. This is important legislation that would take serious steps towards addressing high energy costs and ensuring America's energy security.
H.J. Res 37 would prohibit the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) from imposing net neutrality regulations on Internet providers. These job-killing regulations would involve new government controls on the Internet that would have significant implications for investing in innovation and broadband deployment.
This substitute amendment would replace Paul Ryan's budget with the Republican Study Committee's alternative proposal, which would actually balance the federal budget in about a decade. Ryan's budget, while a step in the right direction, would not balance the budget until at least 2040 – far too slowly given the massive size of our nation’s debt.
This bill is Congressman Paul Ryan’s budget proposal for FY 2012. It 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 reduces government spending to below 20 percent of GDP and block grants Medicaid to the states.
The bill would repeal mandatory funding provided to states in the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ObamaCare) to establish American Health Benefit Exchanges. The Obama administration is already using this unlimited slush fund to seduce states into collaborating in the implementation of ObamaCare and has hinted at tapping it to bail out exploding state Medicaid budgets. H.R. 1213 would strike the unlimited direct appropriation and rescind any unobligated funds.
The bill would amend the Outer Continental Shelf Lands Act to facilitate the production of American energy resources from the Gulf of Mexico. The Obama administration has delayed or canceled offshore lease sales in the Gulf of Mexico. The bill would jumpstart offshore oil drilling by implementing a 30-day deadline in which the secretary of the U.S. Interior Department would have to make a decision on the Gulf of Mexico drilling permit applications.
The amendment to Homeland Security appropriations would cut funding to that department by 10% across the board. This would save over $3.5 billion from current funding levels.
This amendment to the “megabus” appropriations bill would reduce funding for the Economic Research Service by $43 million; reduce funding for the National Agriculture Statistical Service by $85 million; reduce funding for the Agriculture research service by $650 million; zero out the Food for Peace program and to apply the savings towards reducing the budget deficit.
This amendment to the “megabus” appropriations bill would reduce Food for Peace Title II Grants by $940 million and apply the savings towards reducing the budget deficit.
This amendment to the Energy & Water appropriations bill would cut spending by an additional $3.04 billion – nearly 10% - and apply that total to reducing the budget deficit.
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.
This amendment to the Department of Interior appropriations would reduce spending in that department by over $3 billion and apply that money to reducing the budget deficit.
This weak bill, the “Budget Control Act of 2011”, allows President Obama to raise the debt ceiling to over $16 trillion, in exchange for undetermined spending cuts to be decided by a "Super-Committee" picked from both parties. This committee is unlikely to be able to agree to any real spending cuts, and is allowed to use tax increases to create the necessary deficit reductions.
The bill would prohibit the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) from ordering any employer to close, relocate or transfer employment under any circumstance. The Protecting Jobs from Government Interference Act would help ensure that the government agency does not over step their bounds by dictating decisions made by private sector companies.
This bill, the TRAIN Act, would establish an 11-member committee, chaired by the Department of Commerce, to analyze the impacts of a number of major Environment Protection Agency (EPA) regulations. This bill would push back against the EPA's unconstitutional, outrageous rules and regulations that raise energy prices for consumers, destroy jobs and increase our dependence on foreign sources of energy.
This bill was used as the vehicle for the Continuing Resolution (CR) to fund the federal government. Because the Senate has refused to pass a budget for three years, the government has been funded through these CR’s, continuing our unsustainable levels of deficit spending without even the transparency of the open budget process.
This would ratify the pending free trade agreement with Columbia. Freer trade will allow Americans to reap the benefits of competition, which include more choices, better products, and lower prices.
This would ratify the pending free trade agreement with Panama. Freer trade will allow Americans to reap the benefits of competition, which include more choices, better products, and lower prices.
This would ratify the pending free trade agreement with South Korea. Freer trade will allow Americans to reap the benefits of competition, which include more choices, better products, and lower prices.
This bill picks favorites among trading partners and disrupts the price system. The biggest problem is that an amendment to extend Trade Adjustment Assistance (TAA) at the current, higher post-stimulus levels is attached to the bill.
The bill would help to curtail the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Boiler MACT regulations on boilers and industrial incinerators. Boiler MACT is an unreasonable regulation that would shut down businesses and cost thousands of jobs.
This bill, titled the “REINS Act” would require a vote in Congress on any “major” regulations issued by the executive branch before it could be enforced on the American people. The REINS Act would restore accountability and protect citizens’ rights by giving elected officials a voice in all major regulations issued.