Washington Week

Bill would end convention funding

Published Sep 23, 2012 at 05:00AM

WASHINGTON — The House of Representatives voted Wednesday to end public funding of political conventions.

Under current law, the presidential nominating conventions are paid for with funds from the Presidential Election Campaign Fund, which collects the contributions made by checking a box on federal tax returns. Since 1976, taxpayers have spent $220 million on conventions, according to the bill’s sponsor, Rep. Tom Cole, R-Okla.

Needing a two-thirds majority to pass, the matter carried easily, 310-95. All of the no votes were cast by Democrats, while 85 joined with the Republican majority.

U.S. House vote

• End public funding for political conventions

Walden (R) Y

Blumenauer (D) Y

Bonamici (D) Y

DeFazio (D) Y

Schrader (D) Y

On Thursday, the House passed a resolution that would block the Obama administration’s efforts to allow states to opt out of the current work requirements for people on welfare. House Republicans maintained that allowing states to waive the requirement that 50 percent of a state’s welfare recipients either work or be taking steps — like job training — to work, are necessary to keep people motivated to get off the welfare rolls. Democrats countered that the administration’s plan only grants waivers to states with an alternative proposal to keep welfare recipients working. The resolution, which passed 250-164 with 19 Democrats joining the Republican majority, must also clear the Democrat-controlled Senate to go into effect, which is unlikely.

• Resolution blocking Obama plan that allows states to opt out of welfare work requirement

Walden (R) Y

Blumenauer (D) N

Bonamici (D) N

DeFazio (D) N

Schrader (D) N

On Wednesday, the Veterans Jobs Corps Act stalled in the Senate after it failed to win enough support to overcome a budgetary point of order. Republicans objected to the bill, which would have provided $1 billion to train post-9/11 veterans to be first responders or to do conservation work on federal land, as violating the Budget Control Act, which sets strict limits on spending. Democrats fell two votes short of the 60 votes needed to override the point of order, with five Republicans joining them in a 58-40 vote.

U.S. Senate vote

• Veterans Job Corps Act

Merkley (D) Y

Wyden (D) Y

— Andrew Clevenger, The Bulletin