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December 22, 2007

House Votes - H.R. 2764: Omnibus Appropriations

H.Res. 873: Same Day Rule
Waiving a requirement of clause 6(a) of rule XIII with respect to consideration of certain resolutions reported from the Committee on Rules.

On Ordering the Previous Question
Passed 215-183

On Agreeing to the Resolution
Passed 212-185


H.Res. 878: Providing for the consideration of the Senate amendment to H.R. 2764

On Ordering the Previous Question
Passed 216-186

On Agreeing to the Resolution
Passed 214-189


H.R. 2764: Omnibus Appropriations Act

Debate

Amendments (GovTrack, Thomas)

All Votes

On agreeing to Senate amendment with 1st House amendment
Passed 253-154

On agreeing to Senate amendment with 2nd House amendment
Passed 206-201


Democrats Tighten Spending in Latest Version of Bill
Congressional Democrats completed work last night on a sprawling, $515.7 billion domestic spending bill that would shave billions from cherished Democratic programs but would challenge President Bush's tough line on domestic spending with billions of dollars for added veterans care, border security and Southeastern drought relief.

Democrats Shift Funds to Boost Their Education, Health Priorities
Defying heavy pressure from the White House, Democrats released a new fiscal 2008 spending plan for the departments of Labor, Health and Human Services, and Education that would still exceed President Bush’s budget request by $3.9 billion.

House Offers $31 Billion, But Senate Will Add More War Funds
The omnibus spending package headed for a House floor vote Monday night contains $31 billion for the war in Afghanistan and U.S. force protection but no money for war operations in Iraq. That will be added in the Senate.

Liberals lose bigtime in budget battle
Dems buckle under pressure from White House, abandon anti-war, abortion and other policy promises.

House Approves Domestic Spending
The House last night approved a $515.7 billion domestic spending measure that shaves billions from spending levels desired by Democrats and uses emergency spending and other tactics to challenge President Bush on his budget demands.

White House 'Encouraged’ as House Passes Omnibus Bill
The House moved a massive year-end spending bill on to the Senate late Monday night after the White House said it was “encouraged” by what the Democrats had produced.

Health Agencies See Modest Boost Under Omnibus Package
Federal health agencies would still see modest increases in fiscal 2008 under a massive budget package (HR 2764) congressional Democrats have trimmed to avoid a presidential veto, but the numbers will disappoint health care groups who hoped for much more in the way of increased National Institutes of Health funding.

Plan Omits Iraq Funding
The first iteration of the year-end spending package put forth by Congress contains $31 billion for the war in Afghanistan and force protection, but no money for operations in Iraq.

Senate Up Next as House Sends Over Omnibus
The Senate is set to consider a massive year-end spending package Tuesday, leading to predictions that Congress could adjourn for the year by midweek.

CBC complains of unfair treatment
Congressional Black Caucus demands an “emergency meeting” with Nancy Pelosi.

Massive Spending Bill Bad for Taxpayers

Air Dropped Earmarks
As you may have heard, the massive 3500 plus page spending bill last night contained over 9000 earmarks (spread over 692 pages). What you may not have heard is that over 300 of these earmarks were "air-dropped" into the bill, which means that they were secretly inserted in back room negotiations between House and Senate appropriators. This means that these specific earmarks were not passed by either the House or Senate during previous consideration of spending bills, were not subject to a point of order, amendment or debate on the floor of either body questioning their merit.

Pro-life provisions included
  • Language to weaken or eliminate the pro-life Mexico City Policy had been attached to the House and Senate versions of the FY08 State, Foreign Operations Appropriations bill. That language has been dropped. The Mexico City Policy is a pro-life policy established by Executive Order. Under this policy, international family planning assistance is directed to foreign NGOs that do not promote or perform abortion as a method of family planning.

  • The umbilical cord blood stem cell inventory is funded at just over $8.8 million. This is $3.2 million less than the Senate passed level of $12 million and $6.2 million less than the $15 million level included in the Smith (R-NJ)/Davis (D-AL) amendment which passed in the House on voice vote, but above the $4 million originally included in the version of the bill passed by the House Appropriations Committee.

  • The Title X program which serves as a funding source for abortion providing organizations like Planned Parenthood is funded at just under $300 million which reflects a $17 million increase. Unlike prior versions of the FY08 Labor, Health and Human Services Appropriations Act, this increase is not paired with an equal increase in abstinence education funding.

  • Community Based Abstinence Education (CBAE) is funded at about $109 million (which is level-funding to last year) and there is around $4 million for adolescent pregnancy prevention program evaluations, coming to approximately $113 million.

  • $461 is allocated for international family planning although an “across the board cut” in funding for that division of the bill will reduce that amount slightly.

  • The Omnibus contains the following Global AIDS-relevant language passed in the Senate earlier as part of the FY08 Foreign Operations bill: “Provided further, That funds made available under this heading shall be made available notwithstanding the second sentence of section 403(a) of Public Law 108-25” (Division J--State/Foreign Operations).

  • Embryo-destructive stem cell language included in the Senate LHHS Appropriations bill was been removed.
Include the language of the Brownback-Byrd bill (S. 2417) to return America’s national motto “In God We Trust” back to its prominent position on the face of $1 coins (“Division D--Financial Services”).

Secure Fence Act Gutted
  • Allows the Secretary of DHS to disregard the law entirely. Subparagraph D on page 123 of the Omnibus bill removes all requirements for the Secretary to construct any “fencing, physical barriers, roads, lighting, cameras, and sensors” if he/she determines that the “placement of such resources is not the most appropriate means to achieve and maintain operational control over the international border.” This effectively allows the Secretary to ignore current law entirely, as any land area could technically fall under this broad and loosely defined provision.

  • Rescinds the authority of future Secretaries to fully enact the law after one year. On page 122 Subparagraph B, the Secretary of Homeland Security must identity 370 miles to be constructed by December 31, 2008. After the end of calendar year 2008, the Secretary’s authority to determine other fencing mileage expires—meaning that no additional fencing may be constructed unless it is identified in 2008.

  • Removes the locations specified by the Secure Fence Act. Based upon the recommendations of Federal, State, and local law enforcement, the Secure Fence Act specified several locations in which border fencing was to be constructed, in order to maximize the impact of the fence. Language on page 122 of the Omnibus removes all specific locations included in the Secure Fence Act.

  • Contains a provision that will create miles of red tape for DHS, slowing construction to a crawl. The language includes an excessive consultation requirement to include the Secretary of Interior, the Secretary of Agriculture, States, local governments, Indian tribes and property owners. Subsection B limits the use of funds for building the fence until the Secretary of Homeland Security has complied with this section and completed the required consultation. There is no metric to determine when the consultation can be determined to be complete and fencing construction can begin.

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