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House Debates Hundreds of Amendments to $429 Billion Spending Package

by Countable | 9.7.17

After starting debate on hundreds of amendments to a $429 billion spending package Wednesday afternoon and working until 1:30am Thursday morning, the House resumed its deliberations this afternoon with an eye toward eventually holding a passage vote Friday.

But before they can vote to pass the bill, they have to deal with all those amendments. How many can be considered is determined by the Rules Committee, which allowed 118 amendments for one half of this bill and 224 amendments for the rest. That means another late night on the House floor is in store for lawmakers.

Given that you probably didn’t stay up watching C-SPAN in anticipation of a debate about funding for the Institute of Peace, we recapped some of the notable amendments that came up in the first batch of 118.

Numbers 18, 59, 88, 118: Rep. Steve King’s (R-IA) first three proposals prohibit funding from being used to spend money on new hires to the federal workforce who haven’t gone through an E-Verify check under individual sections of the bill, while the last applies the prohibition to the remaining sections. E-Verify ensures that a would-be employee is authorized to work in the U.S. All were passed by voice vote.

Number 19: Rep. Gwen Moore’s (D-WI) amendment prohibits funds to entities that have so-called "lunch shaming" policies that overtly identify or stigmatize potential recipients of subsidized school meals. It was passed en bloc by voice vote with several other non-controversial amendments.

Number 33: Rep. Mo Brooks’s (R-AL) amendment defunds Amtrak — the partially government funded, for-profit passenger railroad corporation. It failed 128-293.

Number 56: Rep. Jason Smith’s (R-MO) amendment prevents funds from going to a state or local government that implement so-called "sanctuary" policies, which prohibit agencies and officials from sending or receiving information about an individual’s immigration status to federal authorities. It passed 225-195.

Number 84: Rep. Pramila Jayapal’s (D-WA) amendment prohibits funding from being used to expand or build detention facilities for those awaiting immigration hearings or deportation as called for in the Homeland Security section of the underlying bill. It failed 180-230.

Number 93: Rep. Paul Mitchell’s (R-MI) amendment prohibits the use of funds to attend a Canadian water resources conference to protest the construction of a deep geological repository for nuclear waste on the Canadian shore of Lake Huron. It passed en bloc by voice vote.

Number 94: Rep. Ken Buck’s (R-CO) amendment defunds the U.S. Institute of Peace, which is slated to receive $35.3 million based on the underlying bill. It failed by voice vote.

Number 113: Rep. Matt Gaetz’s (R-FL) amendment prohibits funds from going to schools in Palestine that are named after terrorists, some of whom were connected to Osama bin Laden and Adolf Hitler’s regime. It passed by voice vote.

Tell your reps what you think of these amendments, and suggest others you'd like to see using the Take Action button.

Related Reading

H.R. 3354: From the Border Wall to the EPA: $429 Billion in Funding for a Variety of Federal Departments

What's Congress Voting On? Week of September 5, 2017

— Eric Revell

(Photo Credit: tunart / iStock)

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