Budget Background

WASHINGTON—During the mark-up of what would be the first Senate budget in four years, Republicans on the Budget Committee offered several key amendments to balance the budget, grow the economy, and return to the sound principles of the bipartisan 1996 welfare reform agreement. Amazingly, the panel's Democrat majority unanimously opposed each of these efforts. Amendment summaries and vote tallies follow:

  • SESSIONS AMDT.: This amendment would reduce revenues in the Chairman’s Mark to the level of revenues in CBO’s February baseline and reduce total outlays such that the Democrats’ budget would balance in FY 2023.

YEAS: Sessions, Grassley, Enzi, Crapo, Graham, Portman, Toomey, R. Johnson, Ayotte, Wicker

NAYS: Murray, Wyden, Nelson, Stabenow, Sanders, Whitehouse, Warner, Merkley, Coons, Baldwin, Kaine, King

  • JOHNSON AMDT.: This amendment would create a new 60-vote point of order against any budget resolution that does not produce a surplus in any year after FY 2022.

YEAS: Sessions, Grassley, Enzi, Crapo, Graham, Portman, Toomey, R. Johnson, Ayotte, Wicker

NAYS: Murray, Wyden, Nelson, Stabenow, Sanders, Whitehouse, Warner, Merkley, Coons, Baldwin, Kaine, King

  • ENZI AMDT.: This amendment would strike any reconciliation instructions in the Chairman’s Mark that would allow expedited passage of legislation that raises taxes.

YEAS: Sessions, Grassley, Enzi, Crapo, Graham, Portman, Toomey, R. Johnson, Ayotte, Wicker

NAYS: Murray, Wyden, Nelson, Stabenow, Sanders, Whitehouse, Warner, Merkley, Coons, Baldwin, Kaine, King

  • GRASSLEY AMDT.: This amendment would allow the Chairman of the Budget Committee to adjust the levels and allocations in the FY 2014 budget resolution for the budgetary effects of revenue-neutral reform of corporate, business, and individual income taxes that applies any increased revenue to additional rate reductions and not for additional federal spending.

YEAS: Sessions, Grassley, Enzi, Crapo, Graham, Portman, Toomey, R. Johnson, Ayotte, Wicker

NAYS: Murray, Wyden, Nelson, Stabenow, Sanders, Whitehouse, Warner, Merkley, Coons, Baldwin, Kaine, King

  • SESSIONS AMDT.: Welfare programs are expected to grow by 80 percent over the next 10 years, largely due to the expansion of benefits. This amendment would direct the Finance Committee to develop policies that incentivize work, reduce poverty, and improve the operation of programs for those truly in need. Doing so would reduce the rate of growth in welfare from 80 percent to 60 percent.

YEAS: Sessions, Grassley, Enzi, Crapo, Graham, Portman, Toomey, R. Johnson, Ayotte, Wicker

NAYS: Murray, Wyden, Nelson, Stabenow, Sanders, Whitehouse, Warner, Merkley, Coons, Baldwin, Kaine, King

  • SESSIONS AMDT.: Contrary to sound policy, the United States is spending money advertising food stamp benefits in foreign consulates. This amendment would prohibit any funds from being spent on this controversial promotion campaign.

YEAS: Sessions, Grassley, Enzi, Crapo, Graham, Portman, Toomey, R. Johnson, Ayotte, Wicker

NAYS: Murray, Wyden, Nelson, Stabenow, Sanders, Whitehouse, Warner, Merkley, Coons, Baldwin, Kaine, King

  • AYOTTE AMDT.: This amendment would create a new 60-vote point of order against any budget resolution that assumes tax increases while the civilian unemployment rate is above 5.5 percent.

YEAS: Sessions, Grassley, Enzi, Crapo, Graham, Portman, Toomey, R. Johnson, Ayotte, Wicker

NAYS: Murray, Wyden, Nelson, Stabenow, Sanders, Whitehouse, Warner, Merkley, Coons, Baldwin, Kaine, King