Anticipating a Senate "vote-a-rama" Friday, Sen. Lamar Alexander has introduced a host of amendments that could get tacked onto a final version of a budget plan.
The flurry of voting—described by The Atlantic as an "old, weird Senate procedure" surrounding budget resolutions that can't be filibustered—allows for minority members of the Senate to attempt to add items to the resolution as the final version gets pushed through. Debate on the budget is limited to 20 hours, and votes on amendments are expected to begin Friday afternoon.
The amendments being put forward by Alexander reflect many issues he has been vocal on in recent years.
A former education secretary, the senator has at least two amendments being put forward to address schools—one that would fund $1,300 in school vouchers for 11 million low-income children through a $14.5 billion pot of existing federal Title I funds and another that would allow for successful charter school models to be replicated.
Alexander has another education-related amendment that would expand a 2006 incentive fund for teachers—designed to encourage states and schools to reward teachers and principals based upon their performance.
The senator also has an amendment that would eliminate a 2.3 percent federal excise tax on medical device manufacturers, which has become mandated through the Affordable Care Act. Alexander suggests replacing the loss in revenues from repealing the tax by killing a $12 billion federal subsidy to the wind energy industry—a subsidy he has called to end numerous times in the past.
Alexander has also introduced an amendment to void any decision and prevent any funding for items that were passed by the National Labor Relations Board during a period of time when recess appointees to the board, tapped by President Barack Obama last year, were serving. The appointees were removed from their positions in January after a court determined that the appointments were unconstitutional and invalid.
The NLRB amendment is co-sponsored by 17 GOP senators, including Sen. Bob Corker.