Voting on H.R. 1, the American Recovery and Re-Investment Act, otherwise known as the stimulus package, begins today in the House. Before the bill itself will be voted on, there will be eleven amendments, and lots of debate:
- Oberstar (MN): Would amend the aviation, highway, rail, and transit priority consideration and "use-it-or-lose-it" provisions to require that 50 percent of the funds be obligated within 90 days. (10 minutes)
- Markey (MA): Would require that the Secretary require, as a condition of receiving funding under Title XIII of the Energy Independence and Security Act of 2007, that the demonstration projects utilize Internet-based or other open protocols and standards if available and appropriate, and would require that grants recipients utilize Internet-based or other open protocols and standards. (10 minutes)
- Shuster (PA): Would clarify that federal funds received by States under the bill for highway maintenance shall not be used to replace existing funds in place for transportation projects. (10 minutes)
- Nadler (NY)/DeFazio (OR)/Ellison (MN)/McMahon (NY)/Lipinski (IL): Would increase transit capital funding by $3 billion. (10 minutes)
- Neugebauer (TX): Would strike the appropriations provisions from the bill.(10 minutes)
- Waters (CA): Would provide that job training funds may be used for broadband deployment and related activities provided in the bill. (10 minutes)
- Flake (AZ): Would strike funding for Amtrak. (10 minutes)
- Kissell (NC): Would expand the Berry Amendment Extension Act to include DHS to require the government to purchase uniforms for more than one hundred thousand uniformed employees from U.S. textile and apparel manufacturers. (10 minutes)
- Platts (PA)/Van Hollen (MD): Would insert the text of the Whistleblower Protection Enhancement Act (H.R. 985 in the 110th Congress) regarding protections for federal employees who report waste, fraud, and abuse. (10 minutes)
- Teague (NM): Would require that the Recovery.gov website contain links and other information on how to access job information created at or by entities receiving funding under the bill; including links to local employment agencies, state, local, and other public agencies receiving recovery funds, and private firms contracted to perform work funded by the bill. (10 minutes)
- Camp (MI)/Cantor (VA): Amendment in the Nature of a Substitute. Would strike everything after enacting clause and adds income tax rate deductions for bottom two income tax brackets, alternative minimum tax relief, small business deduction, bonus depreciation, small business expensing, expanded carryback of net operating losses, improved home buyer credit, unemployment benefit tax exemption, health insurance premium deduction, repeal of 3 percent withholding requirement for government contractors, extension of unemployment benefits, and a Sense of Congress against tax increases to offset outlays. (60 minutes)
"Our" campaign to increase rail funding is #4. It is also the only amendment that seems to increase the overall size of the bill by any significant measure. For now, I am willing to go along with the idea that, while the stimulus isn't as big as is probably needed, we can up infrastructure and social investment through the budget and the other twelve appropriation bills later in the year.
I will be blogging the voting during the day. You can watch the debate, and the amendment votes, online at C-SPAN.