Amendments are done: House to pass Commerce/Justice spending bill Thursday
Just before midnight, the House finished up voting on the last wave of amendments to the 2013 spending bill for the Departments of Commerce and Justice, NASA and other agencies, and is poised to approve the bill Thursday. The House adjourned at midnight, and will return at 9 a.m. Thursday.
The House had already disposed of amendments to cut spending in the bill on Tuesday, and rejected most of them. Those votes kept the bill at about $51 billion in total funding, about 3 percent less than current funding levels.
Wednesday debate focused mostly on amendments to prevent the covered agencies from taking certain actions, the so-called defunding amendments. Some of the most dramatic were aimed at preventing the Justice Department from spending money to lie to Congress, defend the healthcare law, or take action against states with voter ID laws.
Amendment votes that started late Wednesday were more subdued, although members did approve an amendments to prevent Justice from undermining the Defense of Marriage Act, limit federal funds to cities that don't enforce laws against criminal aliens, and block Justice from enforcing a rule requiring businesses to allow service horses onto their premises to accommodate the disabled.
Members took nine roll call votes:
Tim Huelskamp (R-Kan.), to prohibit Justice from spending taxpayer money to undermine the Defense of Marriage Act. Passed 245-171.
Jeff Landry (R-La.), to prevent the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAH) from spending money to require the use of turtle excluder devices by fishermen. Passed 218-201.
Cory Gardner (R-Colo.), to require NOAH to use a fisheries enforcement fund only for purposes described in U.S. law, to end abuse of that fund. Passed 357-68.
Dana Rohrabacher (R-Calif.), to prevent the Justice Department from fighting state laws dealing with cultivation and use of medical marijuana. Failed 163-262.
John Lewis (D-Ga.), to prohibit Justice from closing regional Antitrust Division offices in Atlanta, Dallas, Cleveland and Philadelphia. Failed 189-235.
Rush Holt (D-N.J.), to prohibit Justice from using funds in any racial or ethnic profiling. Failed 193-232.
Chip Cravaack (R-Minn.), to prohibit funds that go into any duplicative program. Passed 238-188.
Jeff Flake (R-Ariz.), to prohibit funding for President Obama's SelectUSA initiative, to attract investment in the United States, saving $6 million. Failed 209-217.
Flake, to prohibit funding for a political science program in the National Science Foundation. Passed 218-208.
Throughout the evening, the House approved seven amendments by voice vote, and one amendment was withdrawn. Results follow:
Eliot Engel (D-N.Y.), to prohibit funds to lease or purchase cars except when done consistently with an Executive Order calling for greater fuel efficiency. Accepted voice vote.
Joe Walsh (R-Ill.), to prohibit the disbursement of funds under the Criminal Alien Assistance Program to cities that do not enforce laws against criminal aliens. Accepted voice vote.
Jason Chaffetz (R-Utah), to defund a Justice Department rule requiring businesses to allow service horses into their premises to accommodate people with disabilities. Accepted voice vote.
Corrine Brown (D-Fla.), to increase funding for state and local law enforcement assistance by $20 million, offset with cuts to Census. Accepted voice vote.
John Garamendi (D-Calif.), to add $443,000 to the Manufacturing Extension Partnership account, various offsets. Accepted voice vote.
Jeff Denham (R-Calif.), to prohibit the use of funds for salmon re-introduction in the San Juaquin River. Accepted voice vote.
Denham, to prevent the use of funds to build a courthouse in Los Angeles. Accepted voice vote.
Paul Broun (R-Ga.), to prohibit funding for section 5 of the Voting Rights Act, which says some states must receive clearance before making changes in election laws. Withdrawn.