Attempt to Change Name of Budget Bill to ‘Kick the Can Down the Road’ Fails

By Patrick Goodenough | July 25, 2019 | 11:56 PM EDT

Rep. Thomas Massie, R-Ky. (Photo by T.J. Kirkpatrick/Getty Images)

( – Libertarian Republican Rep. Thomas Massie (R-Ky.) made clear his dim view of the debt and spending deal reached by President Trump, Republican leaders and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) when he proposed changing the name of the budget bill to reflect what he said was its actual accomplishment.

Speaking on the floor moments after the House passed the budget bill by a 284-149 vote Thursday, Massie offered an amendment to change its title to “A Bill to Kick the Can Down the Road, and for Other Purposes.”

His proposal drew cheers and jeers, and the acting speaker put it to a voice vote, deeming it a failure. Massie then called for a recorded vote – which failed, too, by 384 votes to 47.

Forty-one of the 47 votes in favor of Massie’s amendment came from Republicans – including at least 25 members of the House Freedom Caucus, which comprises limited-government conservatives who opposed the Trump-Pelosi agreement.

They were joined by independent Rep. Justin Amash (Mich.) and five Democrats – Blue Dog Coalition members Anthony Brindisi (N.Y.), Jim Cooper (Tenn.), Ben McAdams (Utah), and Stephanie Murphy (Fla.), as well as Dean Phillips (Minn.)

“Imagine if bills were named based on what they actually did,” Massie tweeted later. “Today, I forced a vote to rename the budget bill that suspends the debt limit, ‘A Bill to Kick the Can Down the Road, and for Other Purposes.’ 47 voted to name this bill honestly.”

The deal reached by Trump and Pelosi places no limits on new debt that the federal government can accumulate until July 31, 2021, including on discretionary defense and non-defense programs.

“I will vote no on this so-called ‘deal,’” Freedom Caucus member Rep. Chip Roy (R-Texas) tweeted earlier. “The GOP is now, in the name of ‘defense spending,’ mortgaging our future national & economic security. But worse, unlimited bipartisan government spending risks losing our character & sense of self-reliance as a nation.”

The Republicans who voted in support of Massie’s name-change amendment were Reps. Biggs (Ariz.), Brooks (Ala.), Buck (Colo.), Budd (N.C.), Burchett (Tenn.), Burgess (Texas), Cloud (Texas), Comer (Ky.), Davidson (Ohio), DesJarlais (Tenn.), Fulcher (Idaho), Gaetz (Fla), Gallagher (Wisc,), Gohmert (Texas), Gosar (Ariz.), Green (Tenn.), Griffith (Va.), Harris (Md.), Hice (Ga.), Hollingsworth (Ind.), Hudson (N.C.), Huizenga (Mich.), Hunter (Calif.), Jordan (Ohio), King (Iowa), LaMalfa (Calif.), Lesko (Ariz.), Massie (Ky.), McClintock (Calif.), McKinley (W.V.), Meadows (N.C.), Mooney (W.V.), Norman (S.C.), Perry (Pa.), Posey (Fla.), Rouzer (N.C.), Roy (Texas), Weber (Texas), Webster (Fla.), Wright (Texas), and Yoho (Fla.)

Patrick Goodenough
Patrick Goodenough
Spencer Journalism Fellow

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