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Advocacy Update - March 15, 2011

March 15, 2011

Senate Fails to Pass H.R. 1 & Senate FY 2011 Funding Alternative
On March 9, the Senate defeated both H.R. 1 and the Senate fiscal year (FY) 2011 funding alternative to H.R. 1.  The vote for H.R. 1 was 44 to 56 and did not receive a single Democratic vote.   Three members of the Senate Tea Party Caucus also opposed the bill: Senators Jim DeMint (R-SC), Rand Paul (R-KY) and Mike Lee (R-UT). 

The final vote for the Senate funding alternative was 42 to 58.  The alternative failed to attract Republican support.  Ten Democrats and one independent, a mix of centrists and liberals, voted against the Senate alternative: Michael Bennet (D-CO), Kay Hagan (D-NC), Herb Kohl (D-WI), Carl Levin (D-MI), Joe Manchin (D-WV), Claire McCaskill (D-MO), Ben Nelson (D-NE), Bill Nelson (FL), Bernie Sanders (I-VT), Mark Udall (D-CO) and Jim Webb (D-VA).

Congress will pass another short-term continuing resolution (CR) this week since negotiations have yielded little progress to date on FY 2011.  The House of Representatives passed another short-term CR 271-158 on March 15 to allow more time to reach consensus on appropriations levels for the final six and a half months of FY 2011.  One hundred eighty-six Republicans and 85 Democrats voted for the extension while 54 Republicans joined 104 Democrats in voting against the short-term CR.  The latest short-term CR would keep the federal government running until April 8.  The Senate is expected to take up the short-term CR soon. 

House conservatives are growing impatient with short-term CRs designed to avoid a government shutdown. The latest CR (and possibly last short-term CR) would be sixth such extension this fiscal year.  Senate Democrats have refused to accede to House demands for $57.5 billion in spending cuts for FY 2011 and they have balked at GOP language that would bar the use of funds to implement Patient Protection Affordable Care Act.

For more information about the legislation listed above or any other IMF advocacy initiative, contact IMF’s Director of Government Relations, Christine Murphy at cmurphy@myeloma.org or 703-738-1498.

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