by Brittany Jablonsky, Director of Advocacy Communications

On Saturday, the Senate passed a budget on a 50-49 vote, with four Democrats, Sens. Max Baucus, Mont., Mark Begich, Alaska, Mark Pryor, Ark., and Kay Hagan, N.C., joining all Republicans in voting no. The budget is non-binding, and is largely a reflection of the majority party’s priorities. Before final passage, Senators spent days on what’s known as a “vote-o-rama,” a slog of symbolic budget amendments that, again, are non-binding but are used as either a test of support for specific priorities or as a way to get recorded support of or opposition to issues that may come up in the next campaign. A number of the more than 700 amendments filed were agriculture-, energy- or rural America-related and are listed below. Those that were actually voted on are in bold. (The complete list may be found on the Washington Post’s website.)

  • Shaheen amendment to end the feedstock flexibility program for bioenergy producers and reform the Federal sugar program. (#148)
  • Bennet amendment to establish a deficit-neutral reserve fund to promote energy conservation and clean energy. (#151)
  • Ayotte amendment to include the reining in of onerous regulations on our nation’s fishing industry in a deficit-neutral reserve fund. (#166)
  • Inhofe amendment to create a point of order against legislation that would allow funds to be used to enforce any oil refinery rule or regulation against family farms. (#175)
  • Roberts amendment to eliminate the low-income home energy assistance loophole in the supplemental nutrition assistance program. (#180)
  • Roberts amendment to eliminate the employment and training program of the supplemental nutrition assistance program. (#181)
  • Roberts amendment to enact the reforms described in S458, the Improve Nutrition Program Integrity and Deficit Reduction Act of 2013. (#182)
  • Roberts amendment to reduce resources provided for categorical eligibility. (#183)
  • Roberts amendment to establish a deficit-neutral reserve fund to expedite exports from the United States through reform of the National Environmental Policy Act of 1969 in such a manner that greenhouse gas emissions produced outside the United States by any good exported from the United States are not subject to the requirements of that Act. (#184) Agreed to in the Senate by voice vote.
  • Udall (NM) amendment to modify the deficit-neutral reserve fund for America’s service members and veterans to increase access to health care for veterans in rural areas. (#192). Agreed to by unanimous consent.
  • Sessions amendment to establish a deficit-neutral reserve fund to end payment of Federal funds used in promoting nutrition programs through any partnerships between Federal agencies and foreign embassies. (#207)
  • Johanns amendment to establish a deficit-neutral reserve fund related to the reform of applicable statutes to eliminate the risk of the Environmental Protection Agency conducting aerial surveillance for the inspection of agricultural operations. (#223)
  • Johanns amendment to amend the deficit-neutral fund for a farm bill. (#224)
  • Hoeven amendment to strike a provision relating to the clean energy fund. (#260)
  • Blunt amendment to create a point of order against legislation that would create a Federal tax or fee on carbon emissions. (#261)
  • Baucus amendment to establish a deficit-neutral reserve fund to support rural schools and districts. (#267) Agreed to in Senate by Unanimous Consent.
  • Inhofe amendment to establish a deficit-neutral reserve fund to ensure that impact aid payments under sections 8002 and 8003 of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1965 do not fall below 2012-2013 school year levels. (#281)
  • Inhofe amendment to reduce spending and decrease the risk of drastic energy price increases by prohibiting further greenhouse gas regulations for the purposes of addressing climate change. (#283)
  • Inhofe amendment to establish a deficit-neutral reserve fund to protect jobs by preventing Federal agencies from overriding efforts by States to conserve species. (#284)
  • Heller amendment to establish a deficit-neutral reserve fund to ensure that the Bureau of Land Management collaborates with States in efforts to promote sustainable sage-grouse populations and the conservation of sage-grouse habitat by developing and approving State plans that prevent the listing of the bird under the Endangered Species Act of 1973 and preserve the way of life in, and economic health of, the impacted areas. (#293) Agreed to in Senate by Voice Vote.
  • Thune amendment to establish a deficit-neutral reserve fund to permanently eliminate the Federal estate tax. (#307) Not agreed to in Senate by Yea-Nay Vote. 46 – 53.
  • Thune amendment to increase spending for the impact aid program under title VIII of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1965 in an offset manner. (#309)
  • Begich amendment to establish a deficit-neutral reserve fund relating to the labeling of genetically engineered fish. (#341) Agreed to in Senate by Voice Vote.
  • Franken amendment to amend section 308 relating to broadband infrastructure investments in rural areas. (#353) Agreed to in Senate by Unanimous Consent.
  • Franken amendment to establish a deficit-neutral reserve fund to support tribal energy independence, economic development, and job creation through the development of renewable-energy resources and energy efficiency on Indian land. (#354)
  • Inhofe amendment to reduce spending and decrease the risk of drastic energy price increases by prohibiting further greenhouse gas regulations for the purposes of addressing climate change. (#359) Not agreed to in Senate by Yea-Nay Vote. 47 – 52.
  • Hoeven amendment to ensure funds are available in fiscal year 2014 for the Department of Education’s Impact Aid program and to provide an offset. (#362)
  • Inhofe amendment to achieve domestic energy independence. (#369)
  • Paul amendment to establish a deficit-neutral reserve fund to clarify the definition of waters of the United States and to provide property rights protections. (#380)
  • Tester amendment to modify the deficit-neutral reserve fund to invest in clean energy and preserve the environment. (#385)
  • Coburn amendment to prohibit the use of supplemental nutrition assistance program (SNAP) benefits to purchase junk food. (#421)
  • Baucus amendment to include livestock and specialty crop disaster assistance programs in a deficit-neutral reserve fund for a farm bill. (#424)
  • Udall (NM) amendment to establish a deficit-neutral reserve fund relating to general education, which may include fully funding the impact aid program under title VIII of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1965 and supporting school programs for children living on Federal property and Indian land. (#429)
  • Hoeven amendment to provide additional resources to maintain funding for research activities conducted by the Agricultural Research Service and the National Institute of Food and Agriculture. (#435)
  • Sanders amendment to establish a deficit-neutral reserve fund relating to the need to vigorously combat global warming by establishing policies that transform the energy system of the United States away from fossil fuels and into energy efficiency and sustainable energy. (#440)
  • Lee amendment to establish a deficit-neutral reserve fund to end all energy subsidies on a technology-neutral basis. (#446)
  • Murphy amendment to improve a deficit-neutral reserve fund to invest in clean energy and preserve the environment. (#454)
  • Manchin amendment to create a point of order against legislation that would establish an unrealistic or unattainable standard for carbon dioxide emissions from new coal-fired electricity-generating units. (#458)
  • Murkowski amendment to establish a deficit-neutral reserve fund to provide assistance for fishery disasters declared during 2012. (#488)
  • Hoeven amendment to establish a deficit-neutral reserve fund to promote investment and job growth in the United States manufacturing, oil and gas production, and refining sectors through the construction of the Keystone XL Pipeline. (#494) Agreed to in Senate by Yea-Nay Vote. 62 – 37.
  • Cantwell amendment to establish a deficit-neutral reserve fund relating to prioritizing funds for fishery stock surveys and stock assessments to support, protect, and develop the United States fishing economy. (#497)
  • Warren amendment to establish a deficit-neutral reserve fund to provide for disaster assistance for commercial fishery failures. (#498)
  • Manchin amendment to establish a deficit-neutral reserve fund to ensure that abundant domestic energy sources and technologies can meet present and future greenhouse gas emissions rules. (#499) agreed to in Senate by Unanimous Consent.
  • Manchin amendment to establish a deficit-neutral reserve fund relating to the commercialization of technologies such as carbon capture, carbon storage, and other carbon utilization technologies required for coal and natural gas electric generating units (EGUs) to meet proposed and future greenhouse gas regulations. (#501)
  • McConnell amendment to modify the deficit-neutral reserve fund relating to trade and international agreements to promote and protect United States agricultural exports. (#531)
  • Vitter amendment to establish a deficit-neutral reserve fund to prevent the Secretary of the Interior from offering offshore wind leases if the royalty rate for the leases is below the value of the wind production tax credit. (#546)
  • Sanders amendment to establish a deficit-neutral reserve fund relating to the Older Americans Act of 1965, which may include congregate and home-delivered meals programs, or other assistance to low-income seniors. (#594) Agreed to in Senate by Unanimous Consent.
  • Franken amendment to establish a deficit-neutral reserve fund relating to community bank and small institution regulations, including Basel III capital standards. (#595)
  • Ayotte amendment to eliminate wasteful spending on the essential air service program and airport improvement grants for rural airports. (#603)
  • Bennet amendment to establish a deficit-neutral reserve fund to address health care access problems in rural areas, which may include access to primary care and outpatient services, hospitals, or an adequate supply of providers in the workforce. (#612)
  • Boxer amendment to establish a deficit-neutral reserve fund relating to protecting the interests of the United States in making a decision relating to the Keystone XL pipeline. (#622) Not agreed to in Senate by Yea-Nay Vote. 33 – 66.
  • Murkowski amendment to permit a deficit-neutral reserve fund to provide assistance for fishery disasters declared during 2012. (#672) Agreed to in Senate by Unanimous Consent.
  • Vitter amendment to end “Too Big To Fail” subsidies or funding advantage for Wall Street mega-banks (over $500 billion in total assets). (#689) Agreed to in Senate by Yea-Nay Vote. 99 – 0.
  • Warner amendment to repeal or reduce the estate tax, but only if done in a fiscally responsible way. (#693) Agreed to in Senate by Yea-Nay Vote. 80 – 19.

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