What’s the story?
- The Senate on Thursday afternoon began a “vote-a-rama” that is likely to feature dozens of votes on amendments to the Democratic budget resolution that allows the reconciliation process to be used for a $1.9 trillion coronavirus (COVID-19) relief bill.
- The vote-a-rama is expected to last into Thursday night or Friday morning. Over 800 amendments have been submitted, although only a fraction of those will be deemed germane (or “in order”) to be considered on the floor. Amendments require a simple majority to be adopted unless they require procedural rules to be waived, in which case they require 60 votes.
- Amendments that are adopted and are passed by both chambers will instruct committees to include those provisions in the final reconciliation package that will be drafted over the next several weeks.
- We’ll track the major amendment votes from the vote-a-rama below in order of most recent.
- McConnell Amendment #889: Offered by Sen. Mitch McConnell (R-KY), this substitute amendment would make technical corrections to the bill. Not adopted 50-50.
- Schumer #888: Offered by Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-NY), this substitute amendment would make technical corrections to the bill. Adopted 51-50.
- Prohibiting “Catch and Release” for Unauthorized Immigrants - Rubio #651: Offered by Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL), this amendment would require the enforcement of laws consistent with the Migrant Protection Protocols, under which certain non-citizens would be returned to Mexico and remain outside the U.S. for the duration of their immigration proceedings rather than being released into the country. Not adopted 50-50.
- Natural Gas Production - Sullivan #461: Offered by Sen. Dan Sullivan (R-AK), this amendment would expand natural gas production. Motion to wave the Budget Act not adopted 51-49 (60 votes required).
- Oil Imports & Environmental Standards - Murkowski #806: Offered by Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R-AK), this amendment would prohibit actions that make the U.S. more reliant on oil imports from countries with weaker environmental standards. Adopted by voice vote.
- Biofuel Cap - Cruz #871: Offered by Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX), this amendment would establish a credit cap for conventional biofuel during the pandemic. Not adopted 26-74.
- Health Savings Accounts - Lee #253: Offered by Sen. Mike Lee (R-UT), this amendment would expand health savings accounts. Adopted 53-47.
- Bipartisan Panels to Improve Solvency of Federal Programs - Romney #803: Offered by Sen. Mitt Romney (R-UT), this amendment would create bipartisan congressional committees to improve the solvency of federal trust fund programs. Adopted 71-29.
- COVID Spending Transparency - Portman #816: Offered by Sen. Rob Portman (R-OH), this amendment would require the creation of a website showing the expenditure of COVID funds. Adopted by voice vote.
- Prohibiting a Federal Carbon Tax - Hoeven #887: Offered by Sen. John Hoeven (R-ND), this amendment would prohibit a federal carbon tax in the budget process. Not adopted 50-50.
- Permanent Tax Cuts for Individuals & Small Businesses - Crapo #55: Offered by Sen. Mike Crapo (R-ID), this amendment would permanently extend the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act’s lower rates for individuals and small businesses under the budget. Not adopted 50-50.
- Federal Aid Equal Treatment of Houses of Worship - Lankford #837: Offered by Sen. James Lankford (R-OK), this amendment would require state and local governments to provide equal treatment for houses of worship in accessing federal relief funds. Adopted 51-49.
- Preserving Navigable Waters Protection Rule - Capito #655: Offered by Sen. Shelley Moore Capito (R-WV), this amendment would preserve the Navigable Waters Protection Rule under the budget resolution. Adopted 51-49.
- Immigration Enforcement - Scott #872: Offered by Sen. Rick Scott (R-FL), this amendment would require full funding for border security and the enforcement of all immigration laws. Not adopted 50-50.
- Limiting Foreign Worker Visas Until U.S. Labor Market Stabilizes - Cruz #811: Offered by Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX), this amendment would create a point of order against legislation that increases the number of visas for foreign workers until the U.S. labor market stabilizes. Motion to waive Budget Act not waived 40-60 (60 votes required).
- Budgeting for Revenue From Oil & Gas Leasing - Lee #770: Offered by Sen. Mike Lee (R-UT), this amendment would allow federal revenues in the budget to reflect continued leasing of oil and gas on federal lands. Not adopted 50-50.
- Cutting Foreign Aid to Pay for Transportation Spending - Paul #441: Offered by Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY), this amendment would reduce foreign aid spending to offset transportation spending. Not adopted 8-92.
- No SBA Aid to Convicted Rioters - Kennedy #782: Offered by Sen. John Kennedy (R-LA), this amendment would prohibit Small Business Administration assistance from being provided to anyone who was convicted in connection with a riot or civil disorder. Not adopted 49-51.
- No COVID Payments to Inmates Cassidy - #483: Offered by Sen. Bill Cassidy (R-LA), this amendment would prohibit economic impact payments from going to inmates. Motion to waive Budget Act not agreed 50-50 (60 votes required).
- Limiting the Number of SCOTUS Justices to 9 - Cotton #66: Offered by Sen. Tom Cotton (R-AR), this amendment would prohibit an increase in the number of Supreme Court justices. Motion to waive Budget Act not adopted 50-50.
- Prohibiting Efforts to Defund the Police - Cornyn #558: Offered by Sen. John Cornyn (R-TX), this amendment would establish a fund to prohibit the defunding of the police. Adopted 100-0.
- Enforcing Border Wall Contracts - Johnson #542: Offered by Sen. Ron Johnson (R-WI), this amendment would prohibit the cancellation of contracts for physical barriers on the border. Not adopted 50-50.
- Protecting Free Exercise of Religion - Lee #821: Offered by Sen. Mike Lee (R-UT), this amendment would prohibit funding to jurisdictions that infringe the free exercise of religion. Not adopted 50-50.
- Supporting the Keystone XL Pipeline - Daines #678: Offered by Sen. Steve Daines (R-MT), this amendment would seek to improve relations between the U.S. and Canada by supporting the Keystone XL pipeline. Adopted 52-48.
- No Federal Minimum Wage Hike to $15 During COVID - Ernst #767: Offered by Sen. Joni Ernst (R-IA), this amendment would prohibit the increase of the federal minimum wage to $15 during a global pandemic. Adopted by voice vote.
- “Penny Plan” to Balance the Budget - Paul #1: Offered by Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY), this amendment would adopt a budget based on a “penny plan” in which 1% of the rate of growth in spending would be reduced until the federal budget balances. Not adopted 29-71.
- U.S. Embassy in Jerusalem - Inhofe #786: Offered by Sen. Jim Inhofe (R-OK), this amendment would require that the U.S. Embassy to Israel remains in Jerusalem. Adopted 97-3.
- Support for Hospitality & Entertainment - Cortez Masto #853: Offered by Sen. Catherine Cortez Masto (D-NV), this amendment would provide support for the hospitality and entertainment industries. Adopted by voice vote.
- No Tax Cut via SALT for the Wealthiest Taxpayers - Grassley #91: Offered by Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-IA), this amendment would prohibit tax cuts for the top 0.1% of taxpayers through changes to the state and local tax (SALT) deduction. Motion to waive Budget Act not agreed to 49-51.
- No Regulatory Fracking Ban - Braun #833: Offered by Sen. Mike Braun (R-IN), this amendment would prohibit the Council on Environmental Quality and the EPA from banning fracking. Adopted 57-43.
- Domestic & Sexual Violence Prevention - Shaheen #834: Offered by Sen. Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH), this amendment would aim to improve services and interventions related to sexual assault, in addition to family and dating violence. Adopted 100-0.
- Support for Rural Hospitals - Collins #546: Offered by Sen. Susan Collins (R-ME), this amendment would include a 20% set aside for rural hospitals in the Provider Relief Fund. Adopted 99-1.
- Enforcing Crimes by Unauthorized Immigrants - Ernst #132: Offered by Sen. Joni Ernst (R-IA), this amendment would require law enforcement to take into custody unauthorized immigrants accused of a crime resulting in death or serious injury. Motion to waive Budget Act not adopted 52-48 (60 votes required).
- Keeping the “Remain in Mexico” Policy - Graham #687: Offered by Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC), this amendment would require that the federal government continue the “Remain in Mexico” policy, which requires asylum-seekers to remain in Mexico while they await their proceedings instead of crossing the border illegally. Motion to waive Budget Act not adopted 50-50 (60 votes required).
- Born-Alive Abortion Survivors Protection - Sasse #192: Offered by Sen. Ben Sasse (R-NE), this amendment would require doctors to provide proper care for children who survive an attempted abortion. Motion to waive Budget Act not adopted 52-48 (60 votes required).
- Relief for Schools in Energy Producing Regions - Barrasso #653: Offered by Sen. John Barrasso (R-WY), this amendment would provide relief funding to school districts that have lost tax revenue due to a moratorium on oil and gas leasing Adopted 98-2.
- COVID-19 Vaccine Awareness - Cardin #716: Offered by Sen. Ben Cardin (D-MD), this amendment would fund a COVID-19 vaccine administration and a public awareness campaign. Adopted 100-0.
- Prohibiting “Sanctuary Cities” - Toomey #553: Offered by Sen. Pat Toomey (R-PA), this amendment would permit state and local law enforcement to cooperate with federal immigration authorities even if a state or local “sanctuary” law intends to prohibit such cooperation. Not adopted 50-50.
- Targeting Relief Payments to Low- and Middle-Income Americans - Manchin #775: Offered by Sens. Joe Manchin (D-WV) and Susan Collins (R-ME), this amendment would impose limits to prevent COVID economic impact payments from going to upper-income taxpayers. Adopted 99-1.
- No COVID Payments to Unauthorized Immigrants - Young #54: Offered by Sens. Todd Young (R-IN) and Tom Cotton (R-AR), this amendment would prohibit unauthorized immigrants from receiving economic impact payments or other direct payments from the federal government. Adopted 58-42.
- Pandemic Worker Tax Relief - Thune #52: Offered by Sens. John Thune (R-SD) and Rob Portman (R-OH), this amendment would extend tax relief to remote workers and others who work across state lines by limiting the ability of states and other taxing jurisdictions to tax such income. Adopted by voice vote.
- Conditioning Funding on Schools Reopening When Teachers are Vaccinated - Blunt #48: Offered by Sens. Roy Blunt (R-MO) and Tim Scott (R-SC), would prohibit federal funding from going to K-12 schools that do not reopen for in-person learning after teachers have received vaccinations. Not adopted 50-50.
- Blocking Small Business Tax Hike During Pandemic - Rubio #69: Offered by Sens. Marco Rubio (R-FL), Tim Scott (R-SC), and James Lankford (R-OK), this amendment would prohibit legislation to increase taxes on small businesses while a national emergency related to a pandemic has been declared. Adopted 100-0.
- COVID Nursing Home Death Data - Scott (SC) #53: Offered by Sens. Tim Scott (R-SC), John Barrasso (R-WY), and James Lankford (R-OK), this amendment would reduce funding to states which have an active investigation into the underreporting of COVID deaths at nursing homes. Not adopted 50-50.
- Pandemic Grants for Bars & Restaurants - Wicker #261: Offered by Sens. Roger Wicker (R-MS) and Kyrsten Sinema (D-AZ), this amendment would establish federal grants for bars and restaurants affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. Adopted 90-10.
— Eric Revell
(Photo Credit: iStock.com / erick4x4)
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