By Tony Romm and Russell Berman - 05/18/10 11:15 PM EDT
House Democrats on Wednesday will take a second stab at a science and technology research funding bill that was scuttled last week because of a debate over Internet porn.
Aides said the House would vote on a version that costs about half of what the legislation that Democratic leaders abandoned last week had cost.
The bill will also include language expressly forbidding the use of federal funds to pay employees who have been disciplined for viewing pornography. That provision was included in a motion by Republicans that successfully forced Democrats to vote for steep cuts to the bill. Once that measure – called a motion to recommit – passed, Democratic leaders pulled the underlying legislation from the floor and lambasted Republicans for playing “political games.”
Rep. Bart Gordon (D-Tenn.), the chairman of the House Committee on
Science and Technology, plans to introduce the bill using his chamber's
suspension process, which prevents amendments to the act but
requires two-thirds vote of those present for passage.
Gordon said he had agreed to compromise on the length of the reauthorization in order to get it passed. “This legislation is too important to our nation’s scientific and economic leadership to let it fall victim to political gridlock,” said Gordon.
"While I certainly would have preferred the stability a five-year
authorization would have given our science agencies, I am willing to
compromise with the minority, in the interest of getting a good bill
through the House and to our colleagues in the Senate."
A Democratic aide would say only that the cuts made to the bill were
what most Republicans had asked for and that Democrats hoped to gain
House GOP members, led by Rep. Paul Broun (R-Ga.), pushed an amendment that cut the legislation's funding to three years as part of the party's motion to recommit last week.