***This is the second of several communications to the Senate NTU intends to make during the course of the budget debate. ***
As the Senate considers S. Con. Res. 11, the Concurrent Resolution on the Budget for Fiscal Year 2016, NTU urges all Senators to vote as follows:
- “YES” on Daines Amendment #389: This amendment would incentivize Members of Congress to pass a balanced budget by suspending salaries until a budget passes their respective chambers.
- “YES” on Gardner Amendment #448: This amendment would expedite approval of liquefied natural gas exports, ensuring the sustainability of an essential industry and increasing economic growth.
- “YES” on Hatch Amendment #535: This amendment would ensure that budgets are balanced and that total outlays do not exceed 18 percent of gross domestic product.
- “Yes” on Rubio Amendment #589: This amendment would permit employers to pay employees more than the amount specified in collective bargaining agreements ensuring workers are rewarded based on merit.
- “Yes” on Shaheen Amendment #600: This amendment would implement important reforms to current sugar policy that would increase flexibility in the market, level the playing field, and begin to get taxpayers out of the sugar industry.
- “Yes” on Thune Amendment #607: This amendment would provide for the full and permanent repeal of the estate tax. The “death tax,” as it is commonly known, places an enormous burden on entrepreneurs and causes job loss when farmers or family-owned small businesses don’t have the liquid assets to foot their inherited tax bill.
- “Yes” on Thune Amendment #608: This amendment would clarify interstate tax coordination issues in order to ease the state income tax compliance burden for millions of traveling employees and telecommuters who are subject to confusing rules and the potential for double-taxation.
- “Yes” on Lankford Amendment #626: This amendment would streamline overlapping programs identified by the Government Accountability Office, reducing waste.
- “Yes” on Cotton Amendment #657: This amendment would eliminate non-defense programs from the Department of the Defense, reducing waste and ensuring that limited resources are not misdirected to projects outside the agency’s core duties.
- “NO” on Rubio Amendment #423: This amendment would increase defense spending to $661 billion, the 2016 figure in the 2012 Pentagon budget request. This increased spending is not offset by commensurate spending reductions elsewhere.
- “NO” on McCain Amendment #546: This amendment would change the Budget Point of Order in the underlying legislation that would require 60 votes to increase Overseas Contingency Operations (OCO) funding above the originally included $58 billion. Removing or amending this important procedure increases the risk that taxpayers would be stuck with increased levels of unaffordable spending in what is increasingly becoming a permanent slush-fund.
- “NO” on Heinrich Amendment #571: This amendment would create a point of order against the sale of federal land to reduce the deficit. Available estimates suggest as many as 77,000 buildings identified as vacant or underutilized could be costing taxpayers potentially billions of dollars a year for operation and maintenance. Selling excess property could generate much-needed cost savings.
- “NO” on Manchin Amendment #575: This amendment would remove the TRICARE exclusion for members of the Armed Forces Reserves. TRICARE is in urgent need of reform and continues to consume an outsized portion of our defense budget. Adding more people to those rolls will exacerbate spending problems and make reform more challenging.
Roll call votes on the above amendments to S. Con. Res. 11 will be included in our annual Rating of Congress.
If you have any questions, please contact NTU Federal Affairs Manager Nan Swift at (703) 683-5700