Turning in a final vote just before adjourning for Easter recess, Senate lawmakers voted 50-49 Saturday in favor of a budget plan that would, according to Senate Budget Committee Chairwoman Patty Murphy, D-Wash., replace sequestration, invest in economic growth and job creation and tackle the deficit.
But a final vote for the full budget didn't come until a host of amendments were entertained, many dealing with agriculture. The Senate heard more than 100 amendments during its voting spree, ranging from healthcare provisions to acceptable soft drink sizes.
Some of the food, ag and trade amendments offered saw action, while others were left out of the discussion entirely. The following is a snippet of industry amendments.
Amendments that were passed included:
-An effort to spur movement on renewal of the Trade Promotion Authority. Sens. Rob Portman, R-Ohio, and Ron Wyden, D-Ore., were behind the amendment that would implement a deficit-neutral reserve fund to get the economy "back on track."
“With 95% of the world’s population beyond our borders, we must proactively engage our trading partners to tear down trade barriers," Portman said. The TPA allows Congress to lay out negotiating objectives and consultation requirements to protect American workers.
-An amendment to transfer funding from lower-priority federal programs to the inland waterways system for improved maintenance of locks and dams, which sponsor Sen. Pat Toomey, R-Penn., says is a "threat to the national and regional economy." The amendment passed unanimously.
-Amendment 341 from Sen. Mark Begich, D-Alaska to establish labeling for genetically engineered fish, such as salmon.
Amendments that failed included:
-An amendment from Sen. John Thune, R-S.D., to repeal the "death tax." The amendment, which was co-sponsored by 12 other senators and supported by the American Farm Bureau, failed 46-53.