Mobile Menu - OpenMobile Menu - Closed

Democratic Amendments to FY18 Republican Budget

Jul 19, 2017

Link to PDF »

On July 19, 2017, the House Budget Committee approved the fiscal year 2018 Republican budget resolution, reflecting a set of values that shows Congressional Republicans, just like President Trump, favor the wealthy and well connected over hardworking, everyday Americans. The resolution undermines national security by boosting only defense spending while severely underfunding other components integral to national security including diplomacy, economic opportunity, and investments in safe and healthy communities. The Republican budget betrays American families, favoring tax breaks for millionaires, billionaires, and corporations over investing in American workers and ensuring all families have access to basic standards of living. The Republican budget guts investments critical to expanding economic opportunity, ends the Medicare guarantee, and undermines health care for all while using a series of budget games and gimmicks to pretend to reach balance in 10 years.

Committee Democrats offered 28 amendments; each crafted with the goal of reversing the harmful policies put forth in the Republican budget while supporting the priorities of the American people. Had the amendments been adopted, they would protected important investments that help lift millions out of poverty, increased paychecks for working Americans, and restored American leadership in the world. They would have spurred economic growth through immigration reform and made critical investments that help our economy grow, including in infrastructure, education, scientific research, and efforts to combat climate change. And they would have protected the promises we made to our seniors, our veterans, and the most vulnerable among us. With these amendments, Republicans could have shown that they stand on the side of American workers and American families rather than on the side of millionaires, billionaires, and corporations.

The amendments offset any proposed spending or tax breaks for working families by cutting unproductive special interest tax breaks for the wealthiest and the well-connected – including closing tax loopholes that allow inversions and encourage firms to ship jobs and capital overseas and shelter their profits in foreign tax havens, and egregious tax breaks such as tax deductions for corporate jets and special tax rates for hedge fund managers. Yet, Republicans rejected every amendment offered by the Democrats.

The following is a description of Democratic amendments. 



 



 

 

  Amendment Sponsor
1 Reject Trumpcare Wasserman Schultz
2 Protect Medicaid for Vulnerable Americans Jackson Lee
3 No Tax Increases for Low-Income and Middle-Class Families Boyle
4

Increase Austerity-Level Defense and Non-Defense Funding Caps

Yarmuth
5 Provide Funding for Proven Anti-Poverty Programs Lee
6 Prevent the End of Medicare as We Know It Jeffries
7 Protect Women’s Health Care Schakowsky
8 Reject Cuts to America’s Transportation Infrastructure Higgins
9 Adopt Comprehensive Immigration Reform Jayapal
10 Reject Construction of a Border Wall Carbajal
11 Protect Nutrition Assistance Lujan Grisham
12 Improve the Economy and Create Jobs in Areas with High Poverty, Unemployment, Food Insecurity, Homelessness, and Foreclosure Rates DelBene
13 Fully Fund the Investigation of Russian Interference in the 2016 U.S. Presidential Election Moulton
14 Improve the Earned Income Tax Credit Khanna
15 No Fast Track for Millionaire Tax Cuts or Gutting Investments Vital to American Families Yarmuth
16 Eliminate Unrequested Overseas Contingency Operations Funding Lee
17 Improving the Availability of Long-Term Care Services and Supports for Seniors and Other Americans Lujan Grisham
18 Reject Cuts to Diplomatic and Foreign Aid Operations Moulton
19 No Tax Cut for the Wealthy Jeffries
20 Protect Clean Air and Water Higgins
21 Invest in Science and Research to Find Life-Saving Cures and to Create Jobs DelBene
22 Invest in Early Childhood Developmentto Ease Financial Burden on Struggling Families and Ensure Academic Success of our Children Wasserman Schultz
23 Protect Social Security Benefits Boyle
24 Protect Consumers from Abusive Financial Practices Khanna
25 Reaffirming America’s Commitment to the Paris Agreement Combating Climate Change Jayapal
26 Fully Fund Veterans’ Benefits Carbajal
27 Increase Pell Grantsto Make College More Affordable Jackson Lee
28 Reduce Prescription Drug Costs for All Americans Schakowsky

 

 

 

 

 

 

Reject Trumpcare

(Lead Sponsor: Rep. Wasserman Schultz)

The amendment rejects the House Republican plan to dismantle the Affordable Care Act and gut Medicaid, all to cut taxes for the wealthy and corporations. The budget contains the House-passed American Health Care Act, which will allow insurers to rig the system against people with pre-existing conditions, drastically raise costs for older and low-income adults, and kick more than 20 million people off their health insurance. 

Vote Tally Back to top
 

Protect Medicaid for Vulnerable Americans

(Lead Sponsor: Rep. Jackson Lee)

The amendment rejects roughly $1 trillion in cuts to Medicaid driven by ending the ACA’s Medicaid expansion and capping federal payments to states. Steep cuts in the budget will ultimately fall on seniors in nursing homes, children with disabilities, and Americans with substance use disorders, as cash-strapped states look to reduce services or drop people from coverage altogether. This amendment protects Medicaid for the most vulnerable Americans.

Vote Tally Back to top
 

No Tax Increases for Low-Income and Middle-Class Families

(Lead Sponsor: Rep. Boyle)

This amendment rejects increasing taxes on low-income or middle-class families, including any reduction in refundable tax credits. The Trump tax plan could potentially raise taxes on millions of these American families.

Vote Tally Back to top
 

Increase Austerity-Level Defense and Non-Defense Funding Caps

(Lead Sponsor: Rep. Yarmuth)

This amendment urges increases to the current inadequate limits for defense and non-defense spending. It supports equal increases for defense and non-defense, as has been the practice in past bipartisan agreements, and highlights the urgency of bipartisan agreement to fully fund critical investments in economic opportunity, education, research, and more.

Vote Tally Back to top
 

Provide Funding for Proven Anti-Poverty Programs

(Lead Sponsor: Rep. Lee)

This amendment restores funding for critical and proven anti-poverty programs. The programs restored by this amendment ensure all Americans have access to basic standards of living like food, housing, and education. This funding protects individuals unable to work such as seniors and persons with disabilities, while investing in job training and removing barriers to economic opportunity.

Vote Tally Back to top
 

Prevent the End of Medicare as We Know It

(Lead Sponsor: Rep. Jeffries)

This amendment rejects policies that would eliminate the guaranteed health insurance benefits for seniors and people with disabilities under the Medicare program. These policies increase costs for Medicare beneficiaries by establishing a Medicare premium support plan that provides limited payments to purchase health care, or weakens the traditional Medicare program by diverting the healthiest enrollees into private plans and undermining the program's ability to control costs while offering access to a broad range of providers.

Vote Tally Back to top
 

Protect Women’s Health Care

(Lead Sponsor: Rep. Schakowsky)

The amendment makes it the policy of the budget resolution that Congress should protect women’s access to quality, affordable health care at the provider of their choice and that Congress should not restrict or prohibit federal funding to Planned Parenthood health centers. The Republican plan to block funding to the organization for one year will make it very difficult for women, especially those in low-income and underserved communities, to obtain the preventive services they need.

Vote Tally Back to top
 

Reject Cuts to America’s Transportation Infrastructure

(Lead Sponsor: Rep. Higgins)

This amendment reverses the Republican resolution’s $254 billion in cuts to transportation programs, which represents 25 percent of total transportation funding over ten years. At a time when there is bipartisan agreement on the need to invest in infrastructure, this amendment ensures funding to begin to meet the infrastructure needs in cities and towns across America.

Vote Tally Back to top
 

Adopt Comprehensive Immigration Reform

(Lead Sponsor: Rep. Jayapal)

This amendment accommodates passage of comprehensive immigration reform, like the Border Security, Economic Opportunity, and Immigration Modernization Act proposed by House Democrats during the 113th Congress. Immigration reform will bring clear and just rules for those seeking citizenship, help secure our borders, all while boosting the economy, extending Social Security solvency, and reducing budget deficits.

Vote Tally Back to top
 

Reject Construction of a Border Wall

(Lead Sponsor: Rep. Carbajal)

This amendment rejects construction of an American taxpayer-funded wall on the U.S. southern border by prohibiting Congress from providing funding. President Trump’s proposed border wall could cost American taxpayers up to $70 billion. The American people should not be forced to pay for a costly and ineffective wall the President promised they would not have to pay for.

Vote Tally Back to top
 

Protect Nutrition Assistance

(Lead Sponsor: Rep. Lujan Grisham)

This amendment protects the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) by ensuring it retains its current structure and continues to play a vital role in helping vulnerable Americans combat food insecurity. The current structure allows the program to automatically expand as needs increase, ensuring millions of Americans, especially children and seniors, do not go hungry.

Vote Tally Back to top
 

Improve the Economy and Create Jobs in Areas with High Poverty, Unemployment, Food Insecurity, Homelessness, and Foreclosure Rates

(Lead Sponsor: Rep. DelBene)

This amendment supports legislation that improves the economy or creates jobs in areas of the country that are struggling, including tribal communities. Investments in these communities are critical to providing economic opportunity.

Vote Tally Back to top
 

Fully Fund the Investigation of Russian Interference in the 2016 U.S. Presidential Election

(Lead Sponsor: Rep. Moulton)

The amendment supports full funding of the investigation into Russian meddling in the U.S. election.  Uncovering the extent of Russian interference in our election, including any collusion, is the first step in restoring the public’s trust in our electoral system and preventing our adversaries from interfering in the future.

Vote Tally Back to top
 

Improve the Earned Income Tax Credit

(Lead Sponsor: Rep. Khanna)

This amendment supports improving the Earned Income Tax Credit, a refundable tax credit that rewards work and lifts millions out of poverty. This includes an expansion of the EITC for childless workers, and the potential for even more changes to improve the EITC’s pro-work, pro-family benefits.

Vote Tally Back to top
 

No Fast Track for Millionaire Tax Cuts or Gutting Investments Vital to American Families

(Lead Sponsor: Rep. Yarmuth)

This amendment eliminates the resolution’s reconciliation instructions so that tax cuts for the wealthy would not be tied to devastating reductions in safety net programs. The amendment also ensures that both tax cuts and mandatory spending cuts would have to be considered under regular order rather than under expedited procedures.

Vote Tally Back to top
 

Eliminate Unrequested Overseas Contingency Operations Funding

(Lead Sponsor: Rep. Lee)

The amendment eliminates OCO funding in excess of the level our military commanders requested and calls for ending the use of the OCO gimmick to get around funding caps.  The OCO gimmick obfuscates the true cost of regular government operations, disincentivizes tradeoffs in the budget, and inhibits long-term planning.  In short, it is bad budgeting.

Vote Tally Back to top
 

Improving the Availability of Long-Term Care Services and Supports for Seniors and Other Americans

(Lead Sponsor: Rep. Lujan Grisham)

This amendment accommodates deficit-neutral initiatives to improve the availability of long-term care services and insurance for seniors and other Americans.  Such initiatives could include creation of a comprehensive long-term care insurance program; pilot programs or studies to determine the best options for improving access to long-term care services; or improvements to Medicare, Medicaid, or other programs to provide increased access to long-term care.

Vote Tally Back to top
 

Reject Cuts to Diplomatic and Foreign Aid Operations

(Lead Sponsor: Rep. Moulton)

The amendment rejects the Republican resolution’s $11.2 billion cut to diplomatic and foreign aid operations.  These investments are essential in preventing conflict and facilitating stability around the world.  They help address the root causes of extremism and engender goodwill around the world by responding to humanitarian crises.  More than 120 former admirals and generals called on Congress to support these activities, saying they are “critical to keeping America safe.”

Vote Tally Back to top
 

No Tax Cut for the Wealthy

(Lead Sponsor: Rep. Jeffries)

This amendment rejects giving a tax cut to the top one percent of income earners.  Under the Trump and House Republican tax plans, they get trillions of dollars of tax cuts, despite the fact that most of new wealth accumulated over the past several years has already gone to this group.

Vote Tally Back to top
 

Protect Clean Air and Water

(Lead Sponsor: Rep. Higgins)

This amendment eliminates cuts in the Republican budget to natural resources and environmental programs, ensuring future generations can thrive in a safe and healthy environment. The amendment restores the 2017 funding levels for the Environmental Protection Agency and preserves funding for geographic initiatives such as Great Lakes Restoration, Chesapeake Bay, Long Island Sound, and Puget Sound.

Vote Tally Back to top
 

Invest in Science and Research to Find Life-Saving Cures and to Create Jobs

(Lead Sponsor: Rep. DelBene)

This amendment increases spending on science and research at the National Institutes of Health (NIH) and the National Science Foundation (NSF).  NIH and NSF have been at the forefront of innovation and scientific discovery and increased investment in these agencies will ensure that the U.S. continues to lead the world in basic research discoveries. 

Vote Tally Back to top
 

Invest in Early Childhood Development to Ease Financial Burden on Struggling Families and Ensure Academic Success of our Children

(Lead Sponsor: Rep. Wasserman Schultz)

This amendment increases spending on early learning and early childhood development programs including Head Start, the Child Care and Development Block Grant, and the Preschool Development Grant.  This amendment provides relief for families struggling to pay for quality childcare and improves the chances of future academic success for our children.

Vote Tally Back to top
 

Protect Social Security Benefits

(Lead Sponsor: Rep. Boyle)

This amendment adds policy language to the resolution rejecting any cuts in Social Security benefits. Social Security ensures that millions of older Americans can retire and live with dignity, and this amendment affirms the ongoing importance of Social Security and expresses Congress’ intent to protect retirees and other beneficiaries.

Vote Tally Back to top
 

Protect Consumers from Abusive Financial Practices

(Lead Sponsor: Rep. Khanna)

This amendment adds language to the resolution opposing efforts to attack the work of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB). Rising from the financial crisis of 2008, the CFPB provides critical protections that must be strengthened and enforced rather than undermined.

Vote Tally Back to top
 

Reaffirming America’s Commitment to the Paris Agreement Combating Climate Change

(Lead Sponsor: Rep. Jayapal)

The amendment reaffirms America’s commitment to the Paris Agreement, and creates a new initiative to help cities and states in their efforts to abide by the pact. The amendment creates a fund to provide resources to state and local governments, and to fulfill America’s commitment to the Green Climate Fund.

Vote Tally Back to top
 

Fully Fund Veterans’ Benefits

(Lead Sponsor: Rep. Carbajal)

This amendment upholds our commitment to veterans by rejecting the Republican budget cuts to mandatory benefits provided to veterans through the Veterans Administration (VA) while fully funding the requested discretionary levels. With so many veterans in need, this amendment ensures that they and their families, can access the benefits they have earned and the care they need while continuing to hold the VA accountable.

Vote Tally Back to top
 

Increase Pell Grants to Make College More Affordable

(Lead Sponsor: Rep. Jackson Lee)

This amendment increases the maximum Pell Grant award to $6,420 and indexes it to inflation after 2018.  The Pell Grant program is the primary federal aid program that helps low-income students pay for college and remains the cornerstone for funding higher education for these families.  This increase improves the purchasing power of the Pell Grant, ensuring future academic and economic success for millions of Americans.

Vote Tally Back to top
 

Reduce Prescription Drug Costs for All Americans

(Lead Sponsor: Rep. Schakowsky)

This amendment endorses the principle of building on the Affordable Care Act to improve access to, and affordability of, prescription drugs for all Americans. This amendment seeks to hold the health care industry accountable for the prices that consumers and federal programs pay for critical medications, while providing appropriate incentives to promote pharmaceutical innovation that can lead to new cures and more effective treatments.

Vote Tally Back to top