Wednesday, December 21, 2005
AP: Cheney breaks tie vote on budget cuts
By ANDREW TAYLOR, Associated Press Writer - 4 minutes ago
WASHINGTON - The Republican-controlled Senate passed legislation to cut federal deficits by $39.7 billion on Wednesday by the narrowest of margins, 51-50, with Vice President(left) casting the deciding vote.
The measure, the product of a year's labors by the White House and the GOP in Congress, imposes the first restraints in nearly a decade in federal benefit programs such as Medicaid, Medicare and student loans.
"This is the one vote you'll have this year to reduce the rate of growth of the federal government," said Sen. Judd Gregg (news, bio, voting record), R-N.H., chairman of the Senate Budget Committee, in a final plea for passage.
But Senate Democratic Leader Harry Reid of Nevada, right, countered that the GOP was advancing "an ideologically driven, extreme, radical budget. It caters to lobbyists and an elite group of ultraconservative ideologues here in Washington, all at the expense of middle class Americans," he said.
The roll call delivered less than the final victory Republicans had hoped for. In maneuvering in advance of the final vote, Democrats succeeded in forcing minor changes.
That requires the House to vote on the bill before it can be sent tofor his signature. Passage is all but certain, but the timing remains in question, since most House members have returned home for the holidays.
The vote came on the first of two major measures facing tests in the Senate during the day. On the second, Republicans maneuvered to open the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge to oil drilling. Democrats opposed that measure with a filibuster, and Republicans scrambled for the 60 votes needed to prevail.
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The poor always get shafted. I wonder if New Hampshire voters will ever throw off the yoke of WASP control of the State.
<< This was inevitable. >>
Tell me something -- why didn't we filibuster this budget deal?
We threatened to filibuster the arctic drilling and they overcame that, but they only had 50 votes on the budget deal, not 60, so what's the deal here?
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