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Summary of the Sessions-McCaskill Discretionary Spending Amendment

Summary of the Sessions-McCaskill Discretionary Spending Amendment

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Published by: clairecmccaskill on Mar 05, 2010
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01/16/2012

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Sessions-McCaskill Discretionary Caps Amendment
 
SUMMARY:
 
Caps discretionary spending levels for Fiscal Years 2011-2014 at the level thatwas passed in the Budget Resolution for FY2010. The FY 2010 budget allows forapproximately 2% increases per year in both defense and non-defense spending
 
Specifies spending levels for “defense” and “non-defense” programs until 2014
 
Due to the current state of the economic emergency, FY2010 is exempt from thecaps
 
Contains a $10 billion per year “emergency fund” for unforeseen emergencyspending
 
Requires a two-thirds vote of 67 Senators to waive the annual caps for emergencyspending above $10 billion
 
Does not apply to funding for any military action in which Congress hasauthorized the use of force (including Afghanistan and Iraq)
 
This approach is very similar to what the president has called for in his State othe Union address
 
The amendment has the endorsement of a number of fiscal accountability groupsincludingConcord Coalitionand theCommittee for a Responsible Federal Budget.
 Myth vs. Fact on the Sessions-McCaskill discretionary spending cap amendment:
Myth:
Sessions-McCaskill would prevent the federal government from responding toemergencies.
Fact:
$10 billion a year are automatically dedicated to emergency spending. In caseof emergency funding beyond the $10 billion 67 votes are needed to override theamendment. Emergency appropriations for 9/11, the 2004 Tsunami, andHurricane Katrina all passed with overwhelming support in the Senate (93 votesor more).
Myth:
The Sessions-McCaskill amendment would prevent Congress from adequatelyfunding the missions in Iraq and Afghanistan.
Fact:
Funding for Iraq, Afghanistan, or the War on Terror is not affected by the caps.Funding for authorized conflicts like these is not subject to the 67 vote threshold.
Myth:
The Sessions-McCaskill amendment would prevent Congress from caring forVeterans.

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