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Key Votes

S Amdt 4302 - Requiring Reports on Foreign Holdings of U.S. Debt - Key Vote

National Key Votes

John Ensign voted Nay (Tabling Vote) on this Amendment.

Read statements John Ensign made in this general time period.

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Note

NOTE: A SENATOR MAY MOVE TO TABLE ANY PENDING LEGISLATION, THUS HALTING FURTHER CONSIDERATION. A "YEA" VOTE IS IN SUPPORT OF HALTING FURTHER CONSIDERATION, AND A "NAY" VOTE IS IN SUPPORT OF FURTHER CONSIDERATION. TABLING MOTIONS ARE OFTEN USED TO KILL LEGISLATION.

Stage Details

Amendment - Introduced (Senate) -

Title: Requiring Reports on Foreign Holdings of U.S. Debt

Amendment - Amendment Adopted (Senate) -
Amendment - Amendment Not Tabled (Senate) (38-61) - (Key vote)

Title: Requiring Reports on Foreign Holdings of U.S. Debt

Vote Smart's Synopsis:

Vote on a motion to table an amendment to S Amdt 4301 to HR 4213 that requires the President submit quarterly reports on the risks posed by foreign holdings of U.S. debt and requires the Comptroller General to submit annual reports on risks posed by the federal debt of the U.S., and outlines "corrective action" to address "unacceptable and unsustainable" risks posed by foreign holdings of U.S. debt.

Highlights:
  • Requires the President to submit quarterly reports on the risks posed by foreign holdings of U.S. debt to the appropriate congressional committees that include the following (Sec. X04):
    • The most recent data available on foreign holdings of debt of the U.S., which shall not be older than the date that is 7 months before the date of the report;
    • The country of domicile of all foreign creditors who hold debt instruments of the U.S.;
    • The total amount of debt instruments of the U.S. that are held by the foreign creditors, broken out by the creditors' country of domicile and by public, quasi-public, and private creditors;
    • An analysis of each country's purpose in holding debt of the U.S. and an analysis of the current and future risks to the U.S. posed by each country's holdings of debt of the U.S.; and
    • A specific determination of whether the level of risk identified in the report is "acceptable" or "unacceptable."
  • Requires the Comptroller General to submit annual reports on the risks posed by the federal debt of the U.S. to the appropriate congressional committees that include the following (Sec. X05):
    • An analysis of the current and foreseeable risks posed to the long-term national security and economic stability of the U.S. as a result of federal debt and a determination as to whether the levels of risk identified are "sustainable;" and
    • If risk levels are deemed "unsustainable," recommendations for reducing the levels of risk to "sustainable" levels in a manner that results in a reduction in federal spending.
  • Requires the President, upon determining that foreign holdings of U.S. debt pose an "unacceptable risk" to the U.S. or if the Comptroller General determines that the U.S. federal debt poses an "unsustainable risk," to do all of the following within 30 days of the determination (Sec. X06):
    • Formulate a plan of action to reduce the risk level to an "acceptable and sustainable level" by reducing federal spending;
    • Submit to the appropriate congressional committees a report on the plan of action that includes a time-line for the implementation of the plan and recommendations for any legislative action that would be required to fully implement the plan; and
    • Move "expeditiously" to implement the plan.
  • Defines "appropriate congressional committees" as all of the following (Sec. X02):
    • Senate Committee on Armed Services;
    • Senate Committee on Foreign Relations;
    • Senate Committee on Ways and Means;
    • Senate Committee on the Budget;
    • House Committee on Armed Services;
    • House Committee on Foreign Relations;
    • House Committee on Ways and Means; and
    • House Committee on the Budget.
  • Establishes the "sense of Congress," with regards to the People's Republic of China's holding of U.S. debt, that (Sec. X03):
    • Under "certain circumstances," China's holdings of U.S. debt could give China a tool "to manipulate the domestic and foreign policymaking of the U.S.," including the U.S. relationship with Taiwan;
    • Under "certain circumstances," China could attempt to "destabilize" the U.S. economy by rapidly divesting large portions of U.S. debt; and
    • China's "expansive" holdings of U.S. debt could potentially pose a direct threat to the U.S. economy and national security, and this potential threat "is a significant issue that warrants further analysis and evaluation."

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