HERITAGE ACTION: SCORING THE SENATE’S VOTE-A-RAMA
For the first time in four years, the Senate is engaged in a full-fledged budget debate on the floor. Because the rules governing the Senate’s budget debate are complex, amendment votes often occur without notice. As a result, Heritage Action will not release key votes in advance of the votes. Instead, Heritage Action’s Legislative Scorecard will be updated following the conclusion of vote-a-rama after all the votes have been evaluated.
UPDATE (4/1): Heritage Action scored the following votes during vote-a-rama.
Scott Amendment #597
During vote-a-rama, the Senate voted on Scott Amendment #597 to the Senate Budget (S.CON.RES.8). The amendment would have prevented union dues from being automatically deducted from the pay of Federal employees.
The Scott Amendment is a key plank of the Employee Rights Act, which Heritage explains, “further protects workers from union pressure and extortion”:
Union membership should be voluntary. If employees do not want to organize, the law should not allow unions to threaten employees or their families. Nor should the law let unions attack the livelihood of non-union workers.
Heritage Action supported the Scott Amendment and will include it as a key vote on our legislative scorecard.
Inhofe Amendment #359
During vote-a-rama, the Senate voted on Inhofe Amendment #359 to the Senate Budget (S.CON.RES.8). The amendment would have prevented drastic energy price increases by prohibiting further greenhouse gas regulations for the purposes of addressing climate change.
The Inhofe Amendment sought to block the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) forthcoming regulation of carbon dioxide (CO2). As Heritage explained, these regulations would do more than just destroy jobs in the coal industry:
They drive up the costs of the necessities of life. National Economic Research Associates estimated that the EPA’s regulations could decrease U.S. gross domestic product (GDP) by $29 billion and disposable personal income by $34 billion. Households earning less than $50,000 a year spend a disproportionately large portion of their budgets on energy. Even if there were “meaningful benefits,” lower-income households would still be hurt more than others. And the benefits don’t necessarily accrue to those who bear the largest costs.
Heritage Action supported the Inhofe Amendment and will include it as a key vote on our legislative scorecard.
Cruz Amendment #702
During vote-a-rama, the Senate voted on Cruz Amendment #702 to the Senate Budget (S.CON.RES.8). The amendment would have prevented any taxpayer funds to the United Nations while any member nation forces citizens or residents of that nation to undergo involuntary abortions.
The Cruz Amendment would have tied taxpayer funding of the United Nations to China’s abortion policy. Sen. Cruz explained, “surely all of us can be agreed that for a woman to be forced against her will to abort her child is a horrific evil.”
Heritage Action supported the Cruz Amendment and will include it as a key vote on our legislative scorecard.
Portman Amendment #154
During vote-a-rama, the Senate voted on Portman Amendment #154 to the Senate Budget (S.CON.RES.8). The amendment required the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) to include macroeconomic feedback scoring of tax legislation.
The Portman Amendment advanced the very straightforward concept of dynamic scoring. As Heritage has explained, this is commonsense:
It is difficult to find any serious economist who would argue that the federal government’s tax and spending policies make no difference to U.S. economic performance. … Indeed, all across the political spectrum and throughout the leading schools of economic thought, a broad consensus exists that what governments do with tax dollars and how they raise those revenues matters in the larger, dynamic, economic world.
Heritage Action supported the Portman Amendment and will include it as a key vote on our legislative scorecard.
After four years without a budget, Senate Democrats finally drafted, debated and (barely) passed a budget. As Heritage explains, the budget would increase taxes at the expense of economic growth:
The Senate Budget Committee’s tax hikes would harm economic growth by raising taxes on business and capital investment. Most other countries have chosen to reduce the tax rate on corporations in order to maximize economic growth. The shortsighted budget produced by Senator Murray would result in $1.4 trillion less in total economic output and 853,000 fewer jobs over the 10-year forecast period.
It is bad enough that the Senate Budget Committee has abdicated responsibility on fixing entitlements, but the salt in the wound is the harmful higher taxes that would impact American businesses, individuals, and families.
Heritage Action opposed the Senate Budget and will include it as a key vote on our legislative scorecard.
Heritage Action previously announced opposition to Enzi Amendment #656, the so-called Marketplace Fairness Act.