One of the most interesting aspects of the Senate budget process is the offering of amendments, which is different than for regular bills in the Senate. After a maximum of 50 hours of debate, Senators can still offer any amendments they would like to the budget, as long as the amendments are ruled “germane”. Senators are given a very short time to introduce and plug their amendment and an opponent is given an equally short period to oppose it, and then the Senate votes. This is the “vote-a-rama”, which could last for hours as Senators vote on dozens of amendments, many of which are usually as much about political messaging as actual impact.
Because Majority Leader Harry Reid has allowed very few opportunities for the minority party to offer amendments during his iron-fisted reign over the Senate, the best fiscal conservatives in the Senate have a backlog of great amendment ideas, and many of these will show up during the vote-a-rama, which will occur Friday starting around 3 PM.
We will post the best amendments (and a few of the worst) below as we hear of them. FreedomWorks may choose to score any of these amendments on our Congressional Scorecard. This list will be updated frequently throughout the day – be sure to check back often!
- Cruz Amendment #202 – Adds a full repeal of ObamaCare to the Senate budget (Failed, 45-54-1)
- Johnson Amendment #212 – Prohibits federal bailouts of insolvent states and municipalities.
- Johnson Amendment #213 – Creates a Point of Order against budget resolutions which do not provide for the long-term solvency of Medicare and Social Security
- Flake Amendment #225 – To prohibit earmarks
- Begich/Paul Amendment #254 – Requires that crop insurance programs become more transparent so that they can be held accountable for their spending
- Blunt Amendment #261 – Creates a Point of Order that would make it more difficult to pass a carbon tax.
- Sessions Amendment # – Creates a Point of Order against budgets which increase spending past the ten-year CBO window (stops the budget gimmick that made ObamaCare look less expensive than it really was).
- Sessions Amendment # – Creates a Point of Order against budgets which increase deficits past the 10-year CBO window (similar to the above amendment).
- Paul Amendment #263 – Rand Paul’s Budget
- Lee Amendment #305 – Effectively neuters ObamaCare’s individual mandate
- Thune Amendment #307 – Eliminates the death tax
- Alexander/Paul/Toomey/Rubio/McConnell Amendment #342 – To establish nationa school choice
- Lee Amendment #374 – Phases out the Export-Import bank, which is a classic corporate welfare program.
- Paul Amendment #376 – Essentially a vote on the REINS Act to require that major regulations receive a vote in Congress.
- Coburn Amendment #408 – Prevents federal funds to states for the Medicaid expansion under ObamaCare
- Lee Amendment #446 – Ends all energy subsidies
- Alexander/Vitter Amendment #523 – Eliminates the Wind Production Tax Credits and the Medical Device Tax
- Durbin Amendment #578 and Enzi Amendment #656 – Allows states to tax internet sales (the Marketplace Fairness Act). FreedomWorks may score one or both of these amendments (see our letter here).
FreedomWorks Letter to Congress in Support of Fiscal Commision Act (H.R. 5779)