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November 19, 2007

House Votes - H.R. 3074: Transportation, HUD Appropriations (Conference Report)

H.Res. 817: Providing for consideration of the conference report to accompany H.R. 3074

Will the House Now Consider the Resolution
Passed 197-186

On Approving the Journal
Passed 221-181

On Motion to Adjourn
Failed 150-244

On Ordering the Previous Question
Passed 221-195

Table Motion to Reconsider
Passed 221-196

On Agreeing to the Resolution
Passed 224-194

Table Motion to Reconsider
Passed 213-194

On Motion to Adjourn
Failed 154-252


H.R. 3074: Making appropriations for the Departments of Transportation, and Housing and Urban Development, and related agencies for the fiscal year ending September 30, 2008, and for other purposes.

Previous Votes:
Debate

Conference Report: 110-446

On Motion to Recommit Conference Report
(consideration: CR H13903)
Failed 182-231

On Agreeing to the Conference Report
Passed 270-147


The Bridge to ... Where? Highway Spending Bill Denies Public Access to Basic Info on Federal Projects
A week after sending a pork-laden Labor-HHS bill that included taxpayer funding for a hippie museum in Woodstock, NY and $1 million for the Bill Clinton School of Public Service in Little Rock, Congress is at it again. The leaders of the "House of Hypocrisy" last night unveiled the conference report for the massive Transportation-HUD spending bill.

Tucked into the bill is a provision barring taxpayers and the media from having access to spending information on taxpayer-funded Transportation Department projects:
SEC. 193. Notwithstanding any other provision of law, none of the funds provided in or limited by this Act may be obligated or expended to provide a budget justification for any fiscal year concurrently with the President's annual budget submission to Congress under section 1105(a) of title 31, United States Code, to any congressional committee other than the House and Senate Committees on Appropriations prior to May 31 following the date of such annual budget submission.
The new language, which was not included in either the House or Senate versions of the bill, prohibits the public release of that information until several months after appropriators have received it. The result is that many spending bills may be [passed by congressional committees] before the public ever has a chance to examine an agency’s detailed justifications and descriptions of its budget requests.

The Transportation-HUD spending bill also includes:
  • $150,000 for construction of Urban Bikeway in West Patterson, NJ, requested by Rep. Bill Pascrell (D-NJ).
  • $400,000 to Improve Bike Trails in Highland, IN, requested by Rep. Peter Visclosky (D-IN).
  • $1,000,000 for the Baton Rouge Riverfront Development and Levee Pedestrian and Bike Path, requested by Sen. Mary Landrieu (D-LA).
  • $200,000 for the Native Hawaiian Tropical Botanical Garden community learning center in Hawaii requested by Sen. Daniel Inouye (D-HI).
  • $301,500 for the International Peace Garden in Dunseith, ND, requested by Sens. Kent Conrad and Byron Dorgan (D-ND).
  • $200,000 to complete renovations and transform the Las Vegas Post Office into a museum on local history, requested by Sen. Harry Reid (D-NV).
  • $275,000 for the Barrington Stage Company to renovate the Berkshire Music Hall and Octagon House in Pittsfield, MA, requested by Rep. John Olver (D-MA).
Conference Report on H.R. 3074
Rep. Obey [D-WI]: Mr. Speaker, I'd like to make a few observations about the White House comments on this bill, because we are told that the White House intends to veto this bill. Let me point out some facts about this bill. This bill spends about $105 billion, all told. Much has been made in the debate this morning or this afternoon about earmarks...

11/20/2007 Update:
Dems Backing Away From Backing Away From Transparency!
Sen. Tom Coburn (R-OK) announced he struck a deal with House Transportation Appropriations Subcommittee Chairman John Olver (D-MA) to remove language that would prohibit the publication of Federal agency budget justifications.
Hat Tip: Open House Project Google Group

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