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Following are the U.S. Senate votes used to indicate candidates' stances on the issues. Votes which include "VoteMatch Usage" are scored as VoteMatch and SenateMatch quiz responses. Those without a VoteMatch usage are included only on each candidate's main issues page.
Abortion
Senate BillVote descriptionVoteMatch UsageCandidate Voting
Vote number 2009-S081 restricting UN funding for population control policies
on Mar 5, 2009 regarding bill S.Amdt.607 to H.R.1105 Wicker Amdt.
Results: Failed 39-55
Congressional Summary:To require that amounts appropriated for the United Nations Population Fund are not used by organizations which support coercive abortion or involuntary sterilization.

Proponent's argument to vote Yes:Sen. WICKER (R-MS): This amendment with one issue and one issue only--whether US taxpayer dollars will be provided to help fund coercive population control policies, such as China's one-child policy--a policy that relies on coerced abortion and forced sterilization. Specifically, this pro-child, pro-family, pro-woman amendment would restore the Kemp-Kasten antipopulation control provision, which has been a fundamental part of our foreign policy for almost a quarter century. As it has always done, Kemp-Kasten allows the President to certify that funds are not used for coercive family practices. My amendment is needed because the underlying bill reverses this longstanding provision.

Sen. COBURN (R-OK): I stand in the corner of pro-life. But I want to debate this issue as if I were pro-choice. If we believe that women have a right to choose, why in the world would we send money to UNFP that is going to take that right away from women in other countries? You can't be on both sides of this issue. Either you believe in a woman's right to choose or you do not. Or you only believe in a woman's right to choose in America, and because the Chinese have too many people, you don't think that same human right ought to be given to women in China. There is no question that UNFP will mix this money, and we will fund forced abortions in China. [Without this amendment] American taxpayer dollars are going to go to China to enforce coercive abortion against the will of women and force sterilization against the will of women in China.

Opponent's argument to vote No:None spoke against the amendment.

Voting N counts for 1 points on VoteMatch question 1: Abortion. Democrats: YES 0; NO 0
Republicans: YES 0; NO 0
Independents: YES 1; NO 0
Vote number 08-S081 defining unborn child as eligible for SCHIP
on Mar 14, 2008 regarding bill S.Amdt.4233 to S.Con.Res.70
Results: Amendment rejected, 46-52
CONGRESSIONAL SUMMARY: To require that legislation to reauthorize SCHIP include provisions codifying the unborn child regulation. Amends the definition of the term "targeted low-income child" to provide that such term includes the period from conception to birth, for eligibility for child health assistance.

SUPPORTER'S ARGUMENT FOR VOTING YES:Sen. ALLARD: This amendment will codify the current unborn child rule by amending the SCHIP reauthorization reserve fund. This amendment will clarify in statute that the term "child" includes the period from conception to birth. This is a pro-life vote.OPPONENT'S ARGUMENT FOR VOTING NO: Sen. FEINSTEIN: We already clarified SCHIP law that a pregnant woman's coverage under SCHIP law is optional. We made it obligatory so every pregnant woman has the advantage of medical insurance. This amendment undoes that. It takes it away from the woman and gives it to the fetus. Now, if a pregnant woman is in an accident, loses the child, she does not get coverage, the child gets coverage. We already solved the problem. If you cover the pregnant woman, you cover her fetus. What Senator Allard does is remove the coverage from the pregnant woman and cover the fetus.LEGISLATIVE OUTCOME:Amendment rejected, 46-52

Voting N counts for 1 points on VoteMatch question 1: Abortion. Democrats: YES 0; NO 2
Republicans: YES 0; NO 0
Independents: YES 1; NO 0
Vote number 08-S071 prohibiting minors crossing state lines for abortion
on Mar 13, 2008 regarding bill S.Amdt.4335 to S.Con.Res.70
Results: Amendment rejected, 49-49 (1/2 required)
CONGRESSIONAL SUMMARY: To increase funding for the vigorous enforcement of a prohibition against taking minors across State lines in circumvention of laws requiring the involvement of parents in abortion decisions consistent with the Child Custody Protection Act.

SUPPORTER'S ARGUMENT FOR VOTING YES:Sen. ENSIGN: This amendment enables enforcing the Child Custody Protection Act, which passed the Senate in a bipartisan fashion by a vote of 65 to 34. Too many times we enact laws, and we do not fund them. This is going to set up funding so the law that says we are going to protect young children from being taken across State lines to have a surgical abortion--we are going to make sure those people are protected. OPPONENT'S ARGUMENT FOR VOTING NO:Sen. BOXER: We already voted for $50 million to enhance the enforcement of child protective laws. If Sen. Ensign's bill becomes law, then that money is already there to be used for such a program. LEGISLATIVE OUTCOME:Amendment rejected, 49-49 (1/2 required, or 50 votes; Sen. Byrd & Sen. McCain absent)

Voting N counts for 2 points on VoteMatch question 1: Abortion. Democrats: YES 0; NO 2
Republicans: YES 0; NO 0
Independents: YES 1; NO 0
Vote number 2007-379 barring HHS grants to organizations that perform abortions
on Oct 18, 2007 regarding bill S.Amdt. 3330 to H.R. 3043 Vitter Amendment to HHS/Education/Labor Appropriations
Results: Rejected 41-52
Vote on an amendment, S.AMDT.3330, to H.R.3043 (HHS Appropriations Bill): To prohibit the provision of funds to grantees who perform abortions, with exceptions for maternal health.

Proponents support voting YES because:

Sen. VITTER: Whatever side of the abortion debate you are on, we can all agree on one thing: Abortion is a very divisive topic. In that context, I think it is the right policy to say we are not going to send taxpayer dollars to support groups that perform abortions. Now, the other side will say: Well, we have current Federal law that says we are not going to use taxpayer dollars to fund abortions. But, quite frankly, that is not good enough. Because now, we send Federal dollars to abortion providers and money is fungible--it is a big shell game and it supports their organizations and, in many cases, that funding is a huge percentage of their overall revenue.

Letter of Support from Family Research Council:

Recent reports indicate that Planned Parenthood generated over $900 million in income in 2006, of which over $300 million came from government. We should not be sending taxpayer money to an organization such as Planned Parenthood that performs abortions. Your support for the Vitter amendment will uphold the principle that the US taxpayer should not have to subsidize the abortion industry.

Opponents recommend voting NO because:

Sen. BOXER: The Vitter amendment is "Big Brother" at its very worst. It tells non-governmental entities how they should spend their own private funds. This amendment punishes the very organizations that work hard every day using their own funds to provide family planning services and reproductive health care, including legal abortion services. If Sen. Vitter wants to deny these funds, he should work to outlaw all abortion. That is an honest way. But to punish a private organization that works to give women a full array of reproductive health care is really, I think, a very sorry idea.

Voting N counts for 1 points on VoteMatch question 1: Abortion. Democrats: YES 0; NO 1
Republicans: YES 1; NO 0
Independents: YES 1; NO 0
Vote number 2007-127 expanding research to more embryonic stem cell lines
on Apr 11, 2007 regarding bill S.5 & H.R.3 Stem Cell Research Enhancement Act
Results: Bill passed, 63-34 Vetoed by Pres. Bush
Allows federal funding for research that utilizes human embryonic stem cells, regardless of the date on which the stem cells were derived from a human embryo, provided such embryos:
  1. have been donated from in vitro fertilization clinics;
  2. were created for the purposes of fertility treatment;
  3. were in excess of the needs of the individuals seeking such treatment and would otherwise be discarded; and
  4. were donated by such individuals with written informed consent and without any financial or other inducements.

Proponents support voting YES because:

Since 2 years ago, the last Stem Cell bill, public support has surged for stem cells. Research is proceeding unfettered and, in some cases, without ethical standards in other countries. And even when these countries have ethical standards, our failures are allowing them to gain the scientific edge over the US. Some suggest that it is Congress' role to tell researchers what kinds of cells to use. I suggest we are not the arbiters of research. Instead, we should foster all of these methods, and we should adequately fund and have ethical oversight over all ethical stem cell research.

Opponents support voting NO because:

A good deal has changed in the world of science. Amniotic fluid stem cells are now available to open a broad new area of research. I think the American people would welcome us having a hearing to understand more about this promising new area of science. As it stands today, we will simply have to debate the bill on the merits of information that is well over 2 years old, and I think that is unfortunate.

The recent findings of the pluripotent epithelial cells demonstrates how quickly the world has changed. Wouldn't it be nice to have the researcher before our committee and be able to ask those questions so we may make the best possible judgment for the American people?

Voting Y counts for 1 points on VoteMatch question 1: Abortion is a woman's right. Democrats: YES 2; NO 0
Republicans: YES 1; NO 1
Independents: YES 0; NO 1
Vote number 2006-216 notifying parents of minors who get out-of-state abortions
on Jul 25, 2006 regarding bill S.403 Child Interstate Abortion Notification Act
Results: Passed 65-34
This bill prohibits taking minors across State lines in circumvention of laws requiring the involvement of parents in abortion decisions. Makes an exception for an abortion necessary to save the life of the minor. Authorizes any parent to sue unless such parent committed an act of incest with the minor. Imposes a fine and/or prison term of up to one year on a physician who performs an abortion on an out-of-state minor in violation of parental notification requirements in their home state.

Proponents recommend voting YES because:

This bill deals with how young girls are being secretly taken across State lines for the purpose of abortion, without the consent of their parents or even the knowledge of their parents, in violation of the laws of the State in which they live. 45 states have enacted some sort of parental consent laws or parental notification law. By simply secreting a child across State lines, one can frustrate the State legislature's rules. It is subverting and defeating valid, constitutionally approved rights parents have.

Opponents recommend voting NO because:

Some States have parental consent laws, some don't. In my particular State, it has been voted down because my people feel that if you ask them, "Do they want their kids to come to their parents?", absolutely. But if you ask them, "Should you force them to do so, even in circumstances where there could be trouble that comes from that?", they say no.

This bill emanates from a desire that our children come to us when we have family matters, when our children are in trouble, that they not be fearful, that they not be afraid that they disappoint us, that they be open with us and loving toward us, and we toward them. This is what we want to have happen. The question is: Can Big Brother Federal Government force this on our families? That is where we will differ.

Voting N counts for 1 points on VoteMatch question 1: Abortion is a woman's right. Democrats: YES 1; NO 3
Republicans: YES 8; NO 1
Independents: YES 1; NO 1
Vote number 2005-75 $100M to reduce teen pregnancy by education & contraceptives
on Mar 17, 2005 regarding bill S.Amdt. 244 to S Con Res 18 Appropriation to expand access to preventive health care services
Results: Amendment Rejected, 47-53
Vote to adopt an amendment to the Senate's 2006 Fiscal Year Budget that allocates $100 million for the prevention of unintended pregnancies. A YES vote would expand access to preventive health care services that reduce unintended pregnancy (including teen pregnancy), reduce the number of abortions, and improve access to women's health care. A YES vote would:
  • Increase funding and access to family planning services
  • Funds legislation that requires equitable prescription coverage for contraceptives under health plans
  • Funds legislation that would create and expand teen pregnancy prevention programs and education programs concerning emergency contraceptives
Voting Y counts for 1 points on VoteMatch question 1: Abortion is a woman's right. Democrats: YES 5; NO 0
Republicans: YES 1; NO 8
Independents: YES 1; NO 1
Vote number 2004-63 criminal penalty for harming unborn fetus during other crime
on Mar 25, 2004 regarding bill S.1019/HR.1997 Unborn Victims of Violence Act
Results: Bill passed, 61-38
Bill would make it a criminal offense to harm or kill a fetus during the commission of a violent crime. The measure would set criminal penalties, the same as those that would apply if harm or death happened to the pregnant woman, for those who harm a fetus. It is not required that the individual have prior knowledge of the pregnancy or intent to harm the fetus. This bill prohibits the death penalty from being imposed for such an offense. The bill states that its provisions should not be interpreted to apply a woman's actions with respect to her pregnancy. Voting N counts for 1 points on VoteMatch question 1: Abortion is a woman's right. Democrats: YES 4; NO 5
Republicans: YES 11; NO 1
Independents: YES 0; NO 0
Vote number 2003-51 banning partial birth abortions except for maternal life
on Mar 12, 2003 regarding bill S.3
Results:
S. 3 As Amended; Partial-Birth Abortion Ban Act of 2003. Vote to pass a bill banning a medical procedure, which is commonly known as "partial-birth" abortion. Those who performed this procedure would then face fines and up to two years in prison, the women to whom this procedure is performed on are not held criminally liable. This bill would make the exception for cases in which a women's life is in danger, not for cases where a women's health is in danger. Voting N counts for 2 points on VoteMatch question 1: Abortion is a woman's right. Democrats: YES 4; NO 4
Republicans: YES 11; NO 1
Independents: YES 0; NO 1
Vote number 2000-134 maintaining ban on Military Base Abortions
on Jun 20, 2000 regarding bill S 2549
Results: Amendment killed, 50-49
Vote on a motion to table [kill] an amendment that would repeal the ban on privately funded abortions at overseas military facilities. Voting N counts for 1 points on VoteMatch question 1: Abortion is a woman's right. Democrats: YES 1; NO 12
Republicans: YES 21; NO 2
Independents: YES 0; NO 1
Vote number 1999-340 banning partial birth abortions
on Oct 21, 1999 regarding bill S. 1692 Partial Birth Abortion Ban
Results: Y)63; N)34; NV)3 Bill Passed
This legislation, if enacted, would ban the abortion procedure in which the physician partially delivers the fetus before completing the abortion. [A NO vote supports abortion rights]. Voting N counts for 2 points on VoteMatch question 1: Abortion is a woman's right. Democrats: YES 4; NO 9
Republicans: YES 21; NO 0
Independents: YES 0; NO 1
Vote number 1999-148xxx disallowing overseas military abortions
on May 26, 1999 regarding bill S. 1059 Motion to table Murray Amdt #397
Results: Y)51; N)49 Motion to Table Agreed to
The Murray amdt would have repealed current laws prohibiting overseas U.S. military hospitals and medical facilities from performing privately funded abortions for U.S. service members and their dependents. (Not used in VoteMatch) Democrats: YES 0; NO 0
Republicans: YES 0; NO 0
Independents: YES 0; NO 0
Vote number 1998-10 banning human cloning
on Feb 11, 1998 regarding bill S. 1601 Motion to invoke cloture on motion to proceed to S. 1601
Results: Y)42; N)54; NV)4 Cloture Motion Rejected
This cloture motion was in order to end debate and move to consideration of legislation banning human cloning. [A YES vote opposes human cloning]. (Not used in VoteMatch) Democrats: YES 0; NO 15
Republicans: YES 20; NO 5
Independents: YES 0; NO 1

Budget & Economy
Senate BillVote descriptionVoteMatch UsageCandidate Voting
Vote number 2009-S254 $192B additional anti-recession stimulus spending
on Jul 30, 2009 regarding bill H.R. 3357 Omnibus Appropriations Act Amendment
Results: Passed 79-17
    Congressional Summary:
  • $7 billion Increase in Fund balance appropriation (without fiscal year limitation).
  • With respect to the Unemployment Trust Fund and to the Black Lung Disability Trust Fund: Removes the FY2010 limitation as well as the specific dollar amount for such advances, replacing them with such appropriations as may be necessary.
  • Increases from $315 billion to $400 billion the maximum loan principal for FY2009 commitments to guarantee single family loans insured under the Mutual Mortgage Insurance Fund (MMIF).
  • Increases from $300 billion to $400 billion the limit on new Government National Mortgage Association (GNMA or Ginnie Mae) commitments to issue guarantees under the Mortgage-Backed Securities Loan Guarantee Program.

Proponent's argument to vote Yes:Rep. LEWIS (D, GA-5): This bipartisan bill will provide the necessary funds to keep important transportation projects operating in States around the country. The Highway Trust Fund will run out of funding by September. We must act, and we must act now.

Opponent's argument to vote No:Rep. CAMP (R, MI-4): [This interim spending is] needed because the Democrats' economic policy has resulted in record job loss, record deficits, and none of the job creation they promised. Democrats predicted unemployment would top out at 8% if the stimulus passed; instead, it's 9.5% and rising. In Michigan, it's above 15%. The Nation's public debt and unemployment, combined, has risen by a shocking 40% [because of] literally trillions of dollars in additional spending under the Democrats' stimulus, energy, and health plans.

We had a choice when it came to the stimulus last February. We could have chosen a better policy of stimulating private-sector growth creating twice the jobs at half the price. That was the Republican plan. Instead, Democrats insisted on their government focus plan, which has produced no jobs and a mountain of debt.

(Not used in VoteMatch) Democrats: YES 0; NO 0
Republicans: YES 0; NO 0
Independents: YES 1; NO 0
Vote number 2009-S185 modifying bankruptcy rules to avoid mortgage foreclosures
on May 6, 2009 regarding bill HR1106&S896 Helping Families Save Their Homes Act
Results: Passed 91-5
Congressional Summary:Amends federal bankruptcy law to exclude debts secured by the debtor's principal residence that was either sold in foreclosure or surrendered to the creditor.

Proponent's argument to vote Yes:Rep. PETER WELCH (D, VT-0): Citigroup supports this bill. Why? They're a huge lender. They understand that we have to stabilize home values in order to begin the recovery, and they need a tool to accomplish it. Mortgages that have been sliced and diced into 50 different sections make it impossible even for a mortgage company and a borrower to come together to resolve the problem that they share together.

Sen. DICK DURBIN (D, IL): 8.1 million homes face foreclosure in America today. Last year, I offered this amendment to change the bankruptcy law, and the banking community said: Totally unnecessary. In fact, the estimates were of only 2 million homes in foreclosure last year. America is facing a crisis.

Opponent's argument to vote No:

Sen. JON KYL (R, AZ): This amendment would allow bankruptcy judges to modify home mortgages by lowering the principal and interest rate on the loan or extending the term of the loan. The concept in the trade is known as cram-down. It would apply to all borrowers who are 60 days or more delinquent. Many experts believe the cram-down provision would result in higher interest rates for all home mortgages. We could end up exacerbating this situation for all the people who would want to refinance or to take out loans in the future.

Rep. MICHELE BACHMANN (R, MN-6): Of the foundational policies of American exceptionalism, the concepts that have inspired our great Nation are the sanctity of private contracts and upholding the rule of law. This cramdown bill crassly undercuts both of these pillars of American exceptionalism. Why would a lender make a 30-year loan if they fear the powers of the Federal Government will violate the very terms of that loan?

(Not used in VoteMatch) Democrats: YES 0; NO 0
Republicans: YES 0; NO 0
Independents: YES 1; NO 0
Vote number 2009-S061 additional $825 billion for economic recovery package
on Feb 10, 2009 regarding bill H.R.1 American Recovery and Reinvestment Act
Results: Passed 61-37
Congressional Summary:Supplemental appropriations for job preservation and creation, infrastructure investment, energy efficiency and science, assistance to the unemployed, and State and local fiscal stabilization, for fiscal year ending Sept. 30, 2009.

Proponent's argument to vote Yes:Rep. DAVID OBEY (D, WI-7): This country is facing what most economists consider to be the most serious and the most dangerous economic situation in our lifetimes. This package today is an $825 billion package that does a variety of things to try to reinflate the economy:

  1. creating or saving at least 4 million jobs
  2. rebuilding our basic infrastructure
  3. providing for job retraining for those workers who need to learn new skills
  4. moving toward energy independence
  5. improving our healthcare system so all Americans can have access to quality treatment
  6. providing tax cuts to lessen the impact of this crisis on America's working families.

Opponent's argument to vote No:

Rep. JERRY LEWIS (R, CA-51): Most of us would agree that the recent $700 billion Troubled Asset Relief Program (TARP) is an illustration of how good intentions don't always deliver desired results. When Congress spends too much too quickly, it doesn't think through the details and oversight becomes more difficult. The lesson learned from TARP was this: we cannot manage what we do not measure. We cannot afford to make the same mistake again.

Sen. THAD COCHRAN (R, MS): We are giving the executive branch immense latitude in the disbursement of the spending this bill contains. We are doing so without any documentation of how this spending will stimulate the economy. Normally, this kind of information would be contained in an administration budget. For items that have a short-term stimulative effect, most of us will feel comfortable debating their merits as an emergency measure. But there is a great deal of spending that is not immediately stimulative.

(Not used in VoteMatch) Democrats: YES 0; NO 0
Republicans: YES 0; NO 0
Independents: YES 0; NO 1
Vote number 2008-S206 $60B stimulus package for jobs, infrastructure, & energy
on Sep 26, 2008 regarding bill S.3604&HR7110 Job Creation and Unemployment Relief Act
Results: Failed 52-42 (3/5ths required)
Congressional Summary:
    Supplemental appropriations for:
  1. Infrastructure Investments: Transportation: DOT, FAA, AMTRAK, and FTA
  2. Clean Water (EPA)
  3. Flood Control and Water Resources (ACE)
  4. 21st Century Green High-Performing Public School Facilities (ED)
  5. Energy Development (DOE)
  6. Extension of Unemployment Compensation and Job Training
  7. Temporary Increase in Medicaid Matching Rate
  8. Temporary Increase in Food Assistance

Proponent's argument to vote Yes:Rep. DAVID OBEY (D, WI-7): Congress has tried to do a number of things that would alleviate the squeeze on the middle class. Meanwhile, this economy is sagging. Jobs, income, sales, and industrial production have all gone down. We have lost 600,000 jobs. We are trying to provide a major increase in investments to modernize our infrastructure and to provide well-paying construction jobs at the same time.

Opponent's argument to vote No:Rep. JERRY LEWIS (R, CA-41): Just 2 days ago we were debating an $800 billion continuing resolution. Now in addition to being asked to pay for a bailout for Wall Street, taxpayers are being asked to swallow an additional $60 billion on a laundry list of items I saw for the first time just a few hours ago. The Democratic majority is describing this legislation as a "stimulus package" to help our national economy. But let's not fool ourselves. This is a political document pure and simple. If these priorities are so important, why hasn't this bill gone through the normal legislative process? We should have debated each of the items included in this package.

It doesn't take an economist to tell you that the economy needs our help. But what does this Congress do? It proposes to spend billions more without any offsets in spending. The failure to adhere to PAYGO means that this new spending will be financed through additional borrowing, which will prove a further drag on our struggling economy.

(Not used in VoteMatch) Democrats: YES 1; NO 0
Republicans: YES 0; NO 0
Independents: YES 0; NO 1
Vote number 2007-090 paying down federal debt by rating programs' effectiveness
on Mar 22, 2007 regarding bill S.Amdt.491 on S.Con.Res.21 Allard Amendment
Results: Amendment rejected 33-64
Amendment intends to pay down the Federal debt and eliminate government waste by reducing spending on programs rated ineffective by the Program Assessment Rating Tool (PART).

Proponents recommend voting YES because:

My amendment says we are going to take about $18 billion as a strong signal from the Congress that we want to support effective programs and we want the taxpayer dollars spent in a responsible way. My amendment doesn't take all of the $88 billion for the programs found by PART, realizing there may be points in time when another program is not meeting its goals and needs more money. So that flexibility is allowed in this particular amendment. It doesn't target any specific program. Almost worse than being rated ineffective, we have programs out there that have made absolutely no effort at all to measure their results. I believe these are the worst offenders. In the following years, I hope Congress will look at those programs to create accountability.

Opponents recommend voting NO because:

The effect of this amendment will simply be to cut domestic discretionary spending $18 billion. Understand the programs that have been identified in the PART program are results not proven. Here are programs affected: Border Patrol, Coast Guard search and rescue, high-intensity drug trafficking areas, LIHEAP, rural education, child abuse prevention, and treatment. If there is a problem in those programs, they ought to be fixed. We ought not to be cutting Border Patrol, Coast Guard search and rescue, high-intensity drug trafficking areas, LIHEAP, rural education, and the rest. I urge a "no" vote.

(Not used in VoteMatch) Democrats: YES 0; NO 2
Republicans: YES 2; NO 0
Independents: YES 1; NO 0
Vote number 2005-363 $40B in reduced federal overall spending
on Dec 21, 2005 regarding bill S. 1932 Work, Marriage, and Family Promotion Reconciliation Act
Results: Motion Agreed to, 51-50
Vote to pass a bill that reduces federal spending by $40 billion over five years by decreasing the amount of funds spent on Medicaid, Medicare, agriculture, employee pensions, conservation, and student loans. The bill also provides a down-payment toward hurricane recovery and reconstruction costs. (Not used in VoteMatch) Democrats: YES 0; NO 5
Republicans: YES 7; NO 2
Independents: YES 1; NO 1
Vote number 2000-55 prioritizing national debt reduction below tax cuts
on Apr 5, 2000 regarding bill S Con Res 101
Results: Tabled 52-48
Vote to table [kill] an amendment that would increase the amount of the budget that would be used to reduce the national debt by $75 billion over 5 year. The debt reduction would be offset by reducing the tax cut in the budget framework from $150 billion Voting N counts for 1 points on VoteMatch question 11: Repeal tax cuts on wealthy. Democrats: YES 1; NO 12
Republicans: YES 22; NO 1
Independents: YES 1; NO 0
Vote number 1998-314xxx $500B Omnibus spending bill
on Oct 21, 1998 regarding bill H.R. 4328 Conference Report on H.R. 4328
Results: Y)65; N)29; NV)6 Conf Rpt Agreed to
Passage of a $500 billion-plus omnibus spending bill for 1999. (Not used in VoteMatch) Democrats: YES 0; NO 0
Republicans: YES 0; NO 0
Independents: YES 0; NO 0
Vote number 1997-92 1998 GOP budget
on May 23, 1997 regarding bill H. Con. Res. 84 H. Con. Res. 84 as amended
Results: Y)78; N)22 CR Agreed to
Approval of the 1998 GOP Budget which would cut spending and taxes. (Not used in VoteMatch) Democrats: YES 11; NO 5
Republicans: YES 18; NO 7
Independents: YES 1; NO 0
Vote number 1997-24 Balanced-budget constitutional amendment
on Mar 4, 1997 regarding bill S. J. Res. 1 S. J. Res. 1
Results: Y)66; N)34 Joint Resolution Defeated
Approval of the balanced-budget constitutional amendment. (Not used in VoteMatch) Democrats: YES 6; NO 10
Republicans: YES 25; NO 0
Independents: YES 1; NO 0

Civil Rights
Senate BillVote descriptionVoteMatch UsageCandidate Voting
Vote number 2006-189 recommending Constitutional ban on flag desecration
on Jun 27, 2006 regarding bill S.J.Res.12 Flag Desecration Amendment
Results: Resolution failed, 66-34 (2/3rds required)
The Senate voted on a resolution which would recommend a Constitutional Amendment banning flag desecration (not a vote on the Amendment itself). The resolution states:
  1. the flag of the US is a unique symbol of national unity...
  2. the Bill of Rights should not be amended in a manner that could be interpreted to restrict freedom...
  3. abuse of the flag causes more than pain and distress... and may amount to fighting words...
  4. destruction of the flag of the US can be intended to incite a violent response rather than make a political statement and such conduct is outside the protections afforded by the first amendment to the Constitution.
    Proponents of the Resolution say:
  • Fifty State legislatures have called on us to pass this amendment. This amendment simply says that "Congress shall have power to prohibit the physical desecration of the flag of the United States."
  • In other words, in passing this amendment, we would give to Congress the power that the Supreme Court took away in 1989.
  • 48 States had anti-desecration measures on the books before 1989. It was then that five unelected judges told those 48 sovereign entities that they were wrong.
    Opponents of the Resolution say:
  • I am deeply offended when people burn or otherwise abuse this precious national symbol.
  • I also believe that the values and beliefs that the American flag represents are more important than the cloth from which this symbol was created.
  • Prominent among these beliefs are the right to voice views that are unpopular, and the right to protest.
  • I oppose this amendment not because I condone desecration of our flag, but because I celebrate the values our flag represents. Flag burning is despicable. However, the issue is whether we should amend our great charter document, the Constitution, to proscribe it.
  • Is this a problem needing such strong medicine? Are we facing an epidemic of flag burnings?
Voting Y counts for 1 points on VoteMatch question 4: Teach family values In Public Schools. Democrats: YES 2; NO 2
Republicans: YES 8; NO 1
Independents: YES 1; NO 1
Vote number 2006-163 constitutional ban of same-sex marriage
on Jun 7, 2006 regarding bill S. J. Res. 1 Marriage Protection Amendment
Results: Cloture motion rejected, 49-48 (3/5ths required)
Voting YES implies support for amending the constitution to ban same-sex marriage. This cloture motion to end debate requires a 3/5th majority. A constitutional amendment requires a 2/3rd majority. The proposed amendment is:
Marriage in the United States shall consist only of the union of a man and a woman. Neither this Constitution, nor the constitution of any State, shall be construed to require that marriage or the legal incidents thereof be conferred upon any union other than the union of a man and a woman.
    Proponents of the motion say:
  • If Members of the Senate vote as their States have voted on this amendment, the vote today will be 90 to 10 in favor of a constitutional amendment.
  • Marriage is a foundational institution. It is under attack by the courts. It needs to be defended by defining it as the union of a man and a woman as 45 of our 50 States have done.

    The amendment is about how we are going to raise the next generation. It is not an issue that the courts should resolve. Those of us who support this amendment are doing so in an effort to let the people decide.

    Opponents of the motion say:
  • This proposal pits Americans against one another. It appeals to people's worst instincts and prejudices.

    Supporters rail against activist judges. But if this vaguely worded amendment ever passes, it will result in substantial litigation. What are the legal incidents of marriage? Is a civil union a marriage?

  • Married heterosexual couples are wondering, how, exactly, the prospect of gay marriages threatens the health of their marriages.
  • This amendment would make a minority of Americans permanent second-class citizens of this country. It would prevent States, many of which are grappling with the definition of marriage, from deciding that gays and lesbians should be allowed to marry. And it would write discrimination into a document that has served as a historic guarantee of individual freedom.
Voting N counts for 2 points on VoteMatch question 3: Sexual orientation protected by civil rights laws. Democrats: YES 0; NO 4
Republicans: YES 8; NO 1
Independents: YES 1; NO 1
Vote number 2002-147 adding sexual orientation to definition of hate crimes
on Jun 11, 2002 regarding bill S.625
Results:
Motion to Invoke Cloture on S. 625; Local Law Enforcement Enhancement Act of 2001. The bill would expand the definition of hate crimes to incorporate acts committed because of a victim's sex, sexual orientation or disability and permit the federal government to help states prosecute hate crimes even if no federally protected action was implicated. If the cloture motion is agreed to, debate will be limited and a vote will occur. If the cloture motion is rejected debate could continue indefinitely and instead the bill is usually set aside. Hence a Yes vote supports the expansion of the definition of hate crimes, and a No vote keeps the existing definition. Three-fifths of the Senate, or 60 members, is required to invoke cloture. Voting Y counts for 2 points on VoteMatch question 3: Sexual orientation protected by civil rights laws. Democrats: YES 12; NO 1
Republicans: YES 1; NO 15
Independents: YES 1; NO 0
Vote number 2001-300 loosening restrictions on cell phone wiretapping
on Oct 11, 2001 regarding bill S1510
Results: Motion agreed to, 90-7
Motion to table (kill) the amendment that would provide that in order to conduct roving surveillance, the person implementing the order must ascertain that the target of the surveillance is present in the house or is using the phone that has been tapped. (Not used in VoteMatch) Democrats: YES 11; NO 2
Republicans: YES 14; NO 1
Independents: YES 1; NO 0
Vote number 2000-136 expanding hate crimes to include sexual orientation
on Jun 20, 2000 regarding bill S.2549
Results: Adopted 57-42
Vote on an amendment that would expand the definition of hate crimes to include gender, sexual orientation and disability. The previous definition included only racial, religious or ethnic bias. Voting Y counts for 1 points on VoteMatch question 3: Sexual orientation protected by civil rights laws. Democrats: YES 13; NO 0
Republicans: YES 5; NO 18
Independents: YES 1; NO 0
Vote number 1998-93HR ending the set-aside of 10% of highway funds for minorities
on Apr 1, 1998 regarding bill HR 2400
Results: Rejected 194-225
Vote on an amendment to repeal the Disadvantaged Business Enterprise [DBE] Program, which requires no less than 10% of highway construction projects funded by the federal government to be contracted to businesses owned by minorities & women Voting N counts for 1 points on VoteMatch question 2: Require companies to hire more women & minorities. Democrats: YES 0; NO 0
Republicans: YES 0; NO 0
Independents: YES 0; NO 0
Vote number 1998-23 setting aside 10% of highway funds for minorities & women
on Mar 6, 1998 regarding bill S.1173
Results: Tabled 58-37
Vote to table, or kill, an amendment to repeal the Disadvantaged Business Enterprise [DBE] Program, which requires no less than 10% of highway construction projects funded by the federal government to be contracted to 'disadvantaged business enterprises' Voting Y counts for 1 points on VoteMatch question 2: Require companies to hire more women & minorities. Democrats: YES 14; NO 1
Republicans: YES 6; NO 18
Independents: YES 1; NO 0
Vote number 1997-275 ending special funding for minority & women-owned business
on Oct 23, 1997 regarding bill S.1173 Motion to invoke cloture
Results: Y)48; N)52 Cloture Motion Rejected
This legislation would have abolished a program that helps businesses owned by women or minorities compete for federally funded transportation. Voting N counts for 2 points on VoteMatch question 2: Require companies to hire more women & minorities. Democrats: YES 0; NO 16
Republicans: YES 22; NO 3
Independents: YES 1; NO 0
Vote number 1996-280 prohibiting same-sex marriage
on Sep 10, 1996 regarding bill HR 3396
Results: Bill passed, 85-14
The Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA): Vote to prohibit marriage between members of the same sex in federal law, and provide that no state is required to recognize same-sex marriages performed in other states. Define 'marriage' as 'between one man and one woman.' Voting N counts for 2 points on VoteMatch question 3: Sexual orientation protected by civil rights laws. Democrats: YES 14; NO 6
Republicans: YES 31; NO 0
Independents: YES 1; NO 0
Vote number 1996-281 prohibiting job discrimination by sexual orientation
on Sep 10, 1996 regarding bill S. 2056 Employment Non-Discrimination Act
Results: Y)49; N)50; NV)1 Bill Defeated
Would have prohibited job discrimination based on sexual orientation. Voting Y counts for 2 points on VoteMatch question 3: Sexual orientation protected by civil rights laws. Democrats: YES 17; NO 3
Republicans: YES 5; NO 26
Independents: YES 1; NO 1
Vote number 1995-600 Amendment to prohibit flag burning
on Dec 12, 1995 regarding bill S. J. Res. 31 Flag Desecration Bill
Results: Y)63; N)36 Joint Res. Defeated
Approval of a constitutional amendment which would prohibit desecration or burning of the U.S. flag. (Not used in VoteMatch) Democrats: YES 8; NO 13
Republicans: YES 30; NO 1
Independents: YES 1; NO 1
Vote number 1995-317 banning affirmative action hiring with federal funds
on Jul 20, 1995 regarding bill HR 1854
Results: Rejected, 36-61
Vote to disallow any funds in the Legislative Appropriations bill from being used to award, require, or encourage any Federal contract, if the contract is being awarded on the basis of the race, color, national origin, or gender of the contractor. Voting N counts for 2 points on VoteMatch question 2: Require companies to hire more women & minorities. Democrats: YES 2; NO 19
Republicans: YES 20; NO 10
Independents: YES 0; NO 1

Corporations
Senate BillVote descriptionVoteMatch UsageCandidate Voting
Vote number 2005-63 repealing tax subsidy for companies which move US jobs offshore
on Mar 17, 2005 regarding bill S AMDT 210 to S Con Res 18 Tax Subsidy for Domestic Companies Amendment
Results: Amendment Rejected, 40-59
Amendment to repeal the tax subsidy for certain domestic companies which move manufacturing operations and American jobs offshore. (Not used in VoteMatch) Democrats: YES 5; NO 0
Republicans: YES 0; NO 9
Independents: YES 0; NO 2
Vote number 2005-44 reforming bankruptcy to include means-testing & restrictions
on Mar 10, 2005 regarding bill S 256 Bankruptcy Abuse Prevention and Consumer Protection Act of 2005
Results: Bill Passed, 74 to 25
Amends Federal bankruptcy law to revamp guidelines governing dismissal or conversion of a Chapter 7 liquidation (complete relief in bankruptcy) to one under either Chapter 11 (Reorganization) or Chapter 13 (Adjustment of Debts of an Individual with Regular Income). Voting YES would:
  • Declare a debtor eligible only for Chapter 13, as anyone financially capable of paying back their creditors at a rate that still allows them to earn above their state's median income
  • Place domestic support obligations such as child support and alimony amongst the first priority claim category of non-dischargeable debts on a debtor filing for bankruptcy
  • Require debtors to pay for and attend credit counseling prior to filing for bankruptcy
  • Cap home equity protection at $125,000 if the debtor purchased a house within 40 months of filing for bankruptcy.
(Not used in VoteMatch) Democrats: YES 1; NO 4
Republicans: YES 9; NO 0
Independents: YES 2; NO 0
Vote number 2001-236 restricting rules on personal bankruptcy
on Jul 17, 2001 regarding bill HR 333
Results: Bill passed, 82-16
Vote to pass a bill that would require debtors able to repay $10,000 or 25 percent of their debts over five years to file under Chapter 13 bankruptcy (reorganization and repayment) rather than Chapter 7 (full discharge of debt). (Not used in VoteMatch) Democrats: YES 9; NO 4
Republicans: YES 16; NO 0
Independents: YES 1; NO 0

Crime
Senate BillVote descriptionVoteMatch UsageCandidate Voting
Vote number 2007-110 reinstating $1.15 billion funding for the COPS Program
on Mar 23, 2007 regarding bill S.Amdt.529 on S.Con.Res.21 Biden Amendment
Results: Amendment agreed to, 65-33
Amendment would increase funding for the COPS Program to $1.15 billion for FY 2008 to provide state and local law enforcement with critical resources. The funding is offset by an unallocated reduction to non-defense discretionary spending.

Proponents recommend voting YES because:

This amendment reinstates the COPS Program. I remind everyone, when the COPS Program was functioning, violent crime in America reduced 8.5% a year for 7 years in a row. Throughout the 1990s, we funded the COPS Program at roughly $1.2 billion, and it drove down crime. Now crime is rising again. The COPS Program in the crime bill worked, and the Government Accounting Office found a statistical link between the COPS grants and a reduction in crime. The Brookings Institution reported the COPS Program is one of the most cost-effective programs we have ever had in this country. Local officials urgently need this support.

Opponents recommend voting NO because:

The COPS Program has some history. It was started by President Clinton. He asked for 100,000 police officers. He said that when we got to 100,000, the program would stop. We got to 110,000 police officers and the program continues on and on and on.

This program should have ended 5 years ago or 6 years ago, but it continues. It is similar to so many Federal programs that get constituencies that go on well past what their original purpose was. It may be well intentioned, but we cannot afford it and we shouldn't continue it. It was never thought it would be continued this long.

Voting N counts for 1 points on VoteMatch question 9: Crime. Democrats: YES 2; NO 0
Republicans: YES 0; NO 2
Independents: YES 0; NO 1
Vote number issues2000-B requiring DNA testing in every death penalty case
on Jul 2, 2000 regarding bill issues2000-B DNA for death penalty questionnaire
Results: (issues2000 questionnaire)
If the Senate were to vote on a bill that required DNA testing in every murder/homicide would you support such a measure in order to alleviate wrongful death sentences? Voting N counts for 2 points on VoteMatch question 8: Death Penalty. Democrats: YES 0; NO 0
Republicans: YES 0; NO 0
Independents: YES 0; NO 0
Vote number issues2000-C Three Strikes law
on Jul 2, 2000 regarding bill issues2000-C Three Strikes questionnaire
Results: (issues2000 questionnaire)
If the Senate were to vote on a bill requiring a "three strikes" law, would you support such a measure? Voting Y counts for 2 points on VoteMatch question 9: Mandatory "Three Strikes" Sentencing Laws. Democrats: YES 0; NO 0
Republicans: YES 0; NO 0
Independents: YES 0; NO 0
Vote number 1999-139 $1.15 billion per year to continue the COPS program
on May 20, 1999 regarding bill S.254
Results: Rejected 48-50
Vote on an amendment to authorize $1.15 billion per year from 2000 through 2005 to continue and expand the Community Oriented Policing Services program. $600 million of the annual funding is marked for hiring additional officers [up to 50,000] Voting N counts for 1 points on VoteMatch question 9: Mandatory "Three Strikes" Sentencing Laws. Democrats: YES 12; NO 0
Republicans: YES 2; NO 21
Independents: YES 1; NO 0
Vote number 1996-66 limiting death penalty appeals
on Apr 17, 1996 regarding bill S.735
Results: Tabled 64-35
Vote to table, or kill, a motion to send the bill back to the joint House-Senate conference committee with instructions to delete the provisions in the bill that would make it harder for prisoners given the death penalty in state courts to appeal. Voting Y counts for 1 points on VoteMatch question 8: Death Penalty. Democrats: YES 7; NO 13
Republicans: YES 29; NO 1
Independents: YES 1; NO 0
Vote number 1996-46 limiting product liability punitive damage awards
on Mar 21, 1996 regarding bill H. R. 956 Conference Report on H.R. 956
Results: Y)59; N)40; NV)1 Conf Rpt Agreed to
Approval of a limit on punitive damages in product liability cases. (Not used in VoteMatch) Democrats: YES 7; NO 13
Republicans: YES 27; NO 4
Independents: YES 1; NO 1
Vote number 1996-64HR allowing Habeus Corpus appeals in capital cases
on Mar 14, 1996 regarding bill HR 2703
Results: Rejected 135-283
Vote on an amendment to delete provisions in the bill that would make it harder for prisoners who have been given the death penalty in state courts to appeal the decision on constitutional grounds in the federal courts ['Habeas Corpus']. Voting N counts for 1 points on VoteMatch question 8: Death Penalty. Democrats: YES 0; NO 0
Republicans: YES 0; NO 0
Independents: YES 0; NO 0
Vote number 1995-612 restricting class-action lawsuits
on Dec 22, 1995 regarding bill H.R. 1058 H.R. 1058 passage over veto
Results: Y)68; N)30; P)1 Veto Overridden
Restriction of class-action security lawsuits. (Not used in VoteMatch) Democrats: YES 7; NO 14
Republicans: YES 30; NO 1
Independents: YES 1; NO 1
Vote number 1995-270 repealing federal speed limits
on Jun 20, 1995 regarding bill S. 440 Motion to table Lautenberg Amdt #1428
Results: Y)64; N)36 Motion to Table Agreed to
Repeal federal speeding limits. (Not used in VoteMatch) Democrats: YES 6; NO 15
Republicans: YES 28; NO 4
Independents: YES 1; NO 1
Vote number 1994-126 mandatory prison terms for crimes involving firearms
on May 19, 1994 regarding bill HR.3355
Results: Passed 51-47
Vote on the motion to instruct conferees on the bill to insist that the conference report include Mandatory prison terms for the use, possession, or carrying of a firearm or destructive device during a state crime of violence or drug trafficking Voting Y counts for 2 points on VoteMatch question 9: Mandatory "Three Strikes" Sentencing Laws. Democrats: YES 8; NO 12
Republicans: YES 17; NO 6
Independents: YES 1; NO 0
Vote number 1994-106 rejecting racial statistics in death penalty appeals
on May 11, 1994 regarding bill S 1935
Results: Amendment passed, 58-41
Vote to express that the Omnibus Crime bill [H.R. 3355] should reject the Racial Justice Act provisions, which would enable prisoners appealing death penalty sentences to argue racial discrimination using sentencing statistics as part of their appeal. Voting Y counts for 1 points on VoteMatch question 8: Death Penalty. Democrats: YES 9; NO 12
Republicans: YES 19; NO 4
Independents: YES 0; NO 1

Drugs
Senate BillVote descriptionVoteMatch UsageCandidate Voting
Vote number issues2000-F Drugs
on Jul 2, 2000 regarding bill Drugs
Results:
(Not used in VoteMatch) Democrats: YES 0; NO 0
Republicans: YES 0; NO 0
Independents: YES 0; NO 0
Vote number 1999-360 increasing penalties for drug offenses
on Nov 10, 1999 regarding bill S.625
Results: Passed 50-49
Vote to increase penalties on certain drug-related crimes. The amendment would specifically target the manufacturing or trafficking of amphetamines & methamphetamines and possession of powder cocaine, and set stronger penalties for dealing drugs Voting Y counts for 1 points on VoteMatch question 19: Drug use is immoral: enforce laws against it. Democrats: YES 0; NO 13
Republicans: YES 21; NO 1
Independents: YES 0; NO 1
Vote number 1996-244 spending international development funds on drug control
on Jul 25, 1996 regarding bill HR 3540
Results: Amendment adopted, 51-46
Vote to add an additional $53 million (raising the total to $213 million) to international narcotics control funding, and pay for it by taking $25 million from international operations funding and $28 million from development assistance. Voting Y counts for 2 points on VoteMatch question 19: Drug use is immoral: enforce laws against it. Democrats: YES 1; NO 19
Republicans: YES 28; NO 2
Independents: YES 0; NO 1

Education
Senate BillVote descriptionVoteMatch UsageCandidate Voting
Vote number 2007-391 additional $10.2B for federal education & HHS projects
on Oct 23, 2007 regarding bill H.R. 3043 American Competitiveness Scholarship Act
Results: Bill Passed, 75-19
Vote on the passage of the bill, the American Competitiveness Scholarship Act, the omnibus appropriations bill for the Departments of Departments of Education, Health and Human Services, and Labor. Pres. Bush then vetoed the Bill.

Proponents support voting YES because:

Rep. OBEY: This bill, more than any other, determines how willing we are to make the investment necessary to assure the future strength of this country and its working families. The President has chosen to cut the investments in this bill by more than $7.5 billion in real terms. This bill rejects most of those cuts.

Opponents recommend voting NO because:

Rep. LEWIS: This bill reflects a fundamental difference in opinion on the level of funding necessary to support the Federal Government's role in education, health and workforce programs. The bill is $10.2 billion over the President's budget request. While many of these programs are popular on both sides of the aisle, this bill contains what can rightly be considered lower priority and duplicative programs. For example, this legislation continues three different programs that deal with violence prevention. An omnibus bill is absolutely the wrong and fiscally reckless approach to completing this year's work. It would negate any semblance of fiscal discipline demonstrated by this body in recent years.

Veto message from President Bush:

This bill spends too much. It exceeds [by $10.2 billion] the reasonable and responsible levels for discretionary spending that I proposed to balance the budget by 2012. This bill continues to fund 56 programs that I proposed to terminate because they are duplicative, narrowly focused, or not producing results. This bill does not sufficiently fund programs that are delivering positive outcomes. This bill has too many earmarks--more than 2,200 earmarks totaling nearly $1 billion. I urge the Congress to send me a fiscally responsible bill that sets priorities.

(Not used in VoteMatch) Democrats: YES 1; NO 0
Republicans: YES 1; NO 0
Independents: YES 0; NO 1
Vote number 2005-279 $52M for "21st century community learning centers"
on Oct 27, 2005 regarding bill S Amdt 2287 to HR 3010 Amendment to Agencies Appropriations Act
Results: Motion Rejected, 41-56
To increase appropriations for after-school programs through 21st century community learning centers. Voting YES would increase funding by $51.9 million for after school programs run by the 21st century community learning centers and would decrease funding by $51.9 million for salaries and expenses in the Department of Labor. (Not used in VoteMatch) Democrats: YES 4; NO 0
Republicans: YES 0; NO 9
Independents: YES 1; NO 1
Vote number 2005-269 $5B for grants to local educational agencies
on Oct 26, 2005 regarding bill S Amdt 2275 to HR 3010 Elementary and Secondary Education Amendment
Results: Motion Rejected, 44-51
To provide an additional $5 billion for title I of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1965. Voting YES would provide:
  • $2.5 billion for targeting grants to local educational agencies
  • $2.5 billion for education finance incentive grants
Voting N counts for 1 points on VoteMatch question 7: Parents Choose Schools via Vouchers. Democrats: YES 3; NO 0
Republicans: YES 0; NO 9
Independents: YES 1; NO 0
Vote number 2005-68 shifting $11B from corporate tax loopholes to education
on Mar 17, 2005 regarding bill S AMDT 177 to S Con Res 18 Kennedy amendment relative to education funding
Results: Amendment Agreed to, 51-49
Vote to adopt an amendment to the Senate's 2006 Fiscal Year Budget Resolution that would adjust education funding while still reducing the deficit by $5.4 billion. A YES vote would:
  • Restore education program cuts slated for vocational education, adult education, GEAR UP, and TRIO.
  • Increase the maximum Pell Grant scholarship to $4,500 immediately.
  • Increases future math and science teacher student loan forgiveness to $23,000.
  • Pay for the education funding by closing $10.8 billion in corporate tax loopholes.
(Not used in VoteMatch) Democrats: YES 5; NO 0
Republicans: YES 2; NO 7
Independents: YES 1; NO 1
Vote number 2001-103 funding smaller classes instead of private tutors
on May 15, 2001 regarding bill S1
Results: Amendment rejected, 48-50
Vote to authorize a federal program aimed at reducing class size. The plan would assist states and local education agencies in recruiting, hiring and training 100,000 new teachers, with $2.4 billion in fiscal 2002. This amendment would replace an amendment allowing parents with children at under-performing schools to use public funding for private tutors. Voting N counts for 1 points on VoteMatch question 7: Parents Choose Schools via Vouchers. Democrats: YES 12; NO 0
Republicans: YES 0; NO 17
Independents: YES 0; NO 1
Vote number 2001-99 funding student testing instead of private tutors
on May 10, 2001 regarding bill S1
Results: Amendment adopted, 50-47
Vote to pass an amendment that would authorize $200 million to provide grants to help states develop assessment systems that describe student achievement. This amendment would replace an amendment by Jeffords, R-VT, which would allow parents with children at under-performing schools to use public funding for private tutors. Voting N counts for 1 points on VoteMatch question 7: Parents Choose Schools via Vouchers. Democrats: YES 12; NO 1
Republicans: YES 1; NO 16
Independents: YES 1; NO 0
Vote number 2001-69 spending $448B of tax cut on education & debt reduction
on Apr 4, 2001 regarding bill H Con Res 83
Results: Amendment adopted, 53-47
Vote to reduce the size of the $1.6 trillion tax cut by $448 billion while increasing education spending by $250 billion and providing an increase of approximately $224 billion for debt reduction over 10 years. Voting Y counts for 1 points on VoteMatch question 11: Repeal tax cuts on wealthy. Democrats: YES 12; NO 1
Republicans: YES 2; NO 15
Independents: YES 1; NO 0
Vote number issues2000-D allowing School Prayer
on Jul 2, 2000 regarding bill issues2000-D School Prayer questionnaire
Results: (issues2000 questionnaire)
If the Senate were to vote on a bill that allowed for student organized prayer in school, would you support such a measure? Voting Y counts for 2 points on VoteMatch question 4: Teach moral standards In Public Schools. Democrats: YES 0; NO 0
Republicans: YES 0; NO 0
Independents: YES 0; NO 0
Vote number 2000-33 Educational Savings Accounts
on Mar 2, 2000 regarding bill S.1134
Results: Passed 61-37
Vote to pass a bill that would permit tax-free savings accounts of up to $2000 per child annually to be used for public or private school tuition or other education expenses. Voting Y counts for 1 points on VoteMatch question 7: Parents Choose Schools via Vouchers. Democrats: YES 4; NO 9
Republicans: YES 22; NO 1
Independents: YES 0; NO 1
Vote number 1999-121 declaring memorial prayers and religious symbols OK at schools
on May 18, 1999 regarding bill S.254
Results: Passed 85-13
Vote to declare that erecting religious symbols and praying on public school campuses as part of a memorial service does not violate the First Amendment to the Constitution, and to provide legal assistance to any government entity defending such a case. Voting Y counts for 1 points on VoteMatch question 4: Teach moral standards In Public Schools. Democrats: YES 1; NO 0
Republicans: YES 3; NO 0
Independents: YES 0; NO 0
Vote number 1999-35 allowing more flexibility in federal school rules
on Mar 9, 1999 regarding bill S. 280 Motion to Invoke cloture on Jeffords Amdt #31
Results: Y)55; N)39; NV)6 Cloture Motion Rejected
This vote was a motion to invoke cloture on a bill aimed at allowing states to waive certain federal rules normally required in order to use federal school aid. [A YES vote implies support of charter schools and vouchers]. Voting Y counts for 2 points on VoteMatch question 7: Parents Choose Schools via Vouchers. Democrats: YES 0; NO 10
Republicans: YES 23; NO 0
Independents: YES 1; NO 0
Vote number 1998-169 education savings accounts
on Jun 24, 1998 regarding bill H.R. 2646 H.R. 2646 Conference Report
Results: Y)59; N)36; NV)5 Conf Rpt Agreed to
This Conference Report approved tax-sheltered education savings accounts. Voting Y counts for 1 points on VoteMatch question 7: Parents Choose Schools via Vouchers. Democrats: YES 3; NO 13
Republicans: YES 24; NO 1
Independents: YES 0; NO 1
Vote number 1997-260 school vouchers in DC
on Sep 30, 1997 regarding bill S. 1156 DC Appropriations Act
Results: Y)58; N)41; NV)1 Cloture Motion Rejected
This legislation would have amended the DC spending measure, imposing an unconstitutional school voucher program on the District. Voting Y counts for 2 points on VoteMatch question 7: Parents Choose Schools via Vouchers. Democrats: YES 2; NO 14
Republicans: YES 24; NO 1
Independents: YES 1; NO 0
Vote number 1996-231 $75M for abstinence education
on Jul 23, 1996 regarding bill S 1956
Results: Motion to waive rejected, 52-46
Vote to retain a provision of the Budget Act that funds abstinence education to help reduce teenage pregnancy, using $75 million of the Maternal and Child Health Block Grant Program. Voting Y counts for 2 points on VoteMatch question 4: Teach moral standards In Public Schools. Democrats: YES 2; NO 19
Republicans: YES 28; NO 2
Independents: YES 0; NO 1
Vote number 1994-236 requiring schools to allow voluntary prayer
on Jul 27, 1994 regarding bill S.1513
Results: Rejected 53-14
Cut off federal funds to school districts that deny students their right to constitutionally protected voluntary prayer. Voting Y counts for 1 points on VoteMatch question 4: Teach moral standards In Public Schools. Democrats: YES 4; NO 16
Republicans: YES 18; NO 5
Independents: YES 0; NO 1
Vote number 1994-85HR giving federal aid only to schools allowing voluntary prayer
on Mar 23, 1994 regarding bill HR 1804
Results: Rejected 195-232
Vote on the motion to send the conference report [final version] of the bill back to the conference committee to have language added that would not permit any federal aid to schools that do not allow voluntary prayer. Voting Y counts for 1 points on VoteMatch question 4: Teach moral standards In Public Schools. Democrats: YES 0; NO 0
Republicans: YES 0; NO 0
Independents: YES 0; NO 0
Vote number 1994-34 national education standards
on Feb 8, 1994 regarding bill H.R. 1804 Goals 2000: Educate America Act
Results: Y)71; N)25; NV)4 Bill Passed
Approval of national education standards. (Not used in VoteMatch) Democrats: YES 19; NO 0
Republicans: YES 10; NO 13
Independents: YES 2; NO 0

Energy & Oil
Senate BillVote descriptionVoteMatch UsageCandidate Voting
Vote number 11-SV054 barring EPA from regulating greenhouse gases
on Apr 6, 2011 regarding bill Am183 to S.49 Energy Tax Prevention Act
Results: Failed 50-50 (3/5
Congressional Summary:To prohibit the Administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency from promulgating any regulation concerning the emission of a greenhouse gas to address climate change. The Clean Air Act is amended by adding a section entitled, "No Regulation of Emissions of Greenhouse Gases". In this section, the term 'greenhouse gas' means any of the following:
  1. Water vapor
  2. Carbon dioxide
  3. Methane
  4. Nitrous oxide
  5. Sulfur hexafluoride
  6. Hydrofluorocarbons
  7. Perfluorocarbons
  8. Any other substance subject to, or proposed to be subject to regulation to address climate change.
The definition of the term 'air pollutant' does not include a greenhouse gas, except for purposes of addressing concerns other than climate change.

Proponent's Argument for voting Yes:
[Sen. McConnell, R-KY]: The White House is trying to impose a backdoor national energy tax through the EPA. It is a strange way to respond to rising gas prices. But it is perfectly consistent with the current Energy Secretary's previously stated desire to get gas prices in the US up to where they are in Europe.

Opponent's Argument for voting No:
[Sen. Lautenberg, D-NJ]:We hear the message that has been going around: Let's get rid of the EPA's ability to regulate. Who are they to tell us what businesses can do? Thank goodness that in this democratic society in which we live, there are rules and regulations to keep us as a civilized nation. The Supreme Court and scientists at the Environmental Protection Agency agreed that the Clean Air Act is a tool we must use to stop dangerous pollution. This amendment, it is very clear, favors one group--the business community. The Republican tea party politicians say: "Just ignore the Supreme Court. Ignore the scientists. We know better." They want to reward the polluters by crippling EPA's ability to enforce the Clean Air Act.

Voting N counts for 1 points on VoteMatch question 18: Energy & Oil. Democrats: YES 0; NO 0
Republicans: YES 0; NO 0
Independents: YES 0; NO 0
Vote number 2009-S135 protecting middle-income taxpayers from a national energy tax
on Apr 2, 2009 regarding bill S.Amdt.910 to S.Con.Res.13 Graham Amendment
Results: Passed 65-33
    Congressional Summary:
  • On budget resolutions, it shall not be in order in the Senate to consider any bill or amendment that includes a National energy tax increase which would have widespread applicability on middle-income taxpayers.
  • The term "middle-income" taxpayers means single individuals with $200,000 or less in adjusted gross income and married couples filing jointly with $250,000 or less.
  • The term "widespread applicability" includes the definition with respect to individual income taxpayers.
  • The term "National energy tax increase" means any legislation that the Congressional Budget Office would score as leading to an increase in the costs of producing, generating or consuming energy.

    Proponent's argument to vote Yes:Sen. LINDSEY GRAHAM (R, SC): The climate change proposal that was in the President's budget would create a massive tax increase on anybody who uses energy, and that would be every American middle-class family, which already has a tough time getting by. This [amendment creates a procedure to block] any bill that would raise the cost of energy on our middle-class families who are struggling to get by. I ask the Senate to rally around this concept. We can deal with climate change without passing a $3,000-per-household energy tax on the families of America who are having a hard time paying their bills.

    Opponent's argument to vote No:No senators spoke against the amendment.

Voting N counts for 1 points on VoteMatch question 18: Spend Resources to Stop Global Warming. Democrats: YES 0; NO 0
Republicans: YES 0; NO 0
Independents: YES 1; NO 0
Vote number 2009-S126 requiring full Senate debate and vote on cap-and-trade
on Apr 1, 2009 regarding bill S.Amdt.735 to S.Con.Res.13 Johanns Amendment
Results: Passed 67-31
Congressional Summary:AMENDMENT PURPOSE: To prohibit the use of reconciliation in the Senate for climate change legislation involving a cap and trade system.

Sec. 202 is amended by inserting at the end the following: "The Chairman of the Senate Committee on the Budget shall not revise the allocations in this resolution if the legislation is reported from any committee pursuant to sec. 310 of the Congressional Budget Act of 1974."

Proponent's argument to vote Yes:Sen. LINDSEY GRAHAM (R, SC): This idea to most people of a debate about reconciliation probably is mind-numbing and not very interesting. But there is a process in the Congress where you can take legislation and basically put it on a fast track. It is subject to 50 votes.

The whole idea of the Senate kind of cooling things down has served the country well. In that regard, to end debate you need 60 votes. If 41 Senators are opposed to a piece of legislation, strongly enough to come to the floor every day and talk about it, that legislation doesn't go anywhere. If you took climate change and health care, two very controversial, big-ticket items, and put them on the reconciliation track, you would basically be doing a lot of damage to the role of the Senate in a constitutional democracy.

Senator Byrd, who is one of the smartest people to ever serve in the Senate about rules and parliamentary aspects of the Senate, said that to put climate change and health care reform in reconciliation is like "a freight train through Congress" and is "an outrage that must be resisted." Senator Conrad said: "I don't believe reconciliation was ever intended for this purpose."

I think both of them are right. Under the law, you cannot put Social Security into reconciliation because we know how controversial and difficult that is. I come here in support of the Johanns amendment that rejects that idea.

Opponent's argument to vote No:No senators spoke against the amendment.

Voting N counts for 1 points on VoteMatch question 18: Spend Resources to Stop Global Warming. Democrats: YES 0; NO 0
Republicans: YES 0; NO 0
Independents: YES 1; NO 0
Vote number 2008-150 tax incentives for energy production and conservation
on Jun 17, 2008 regarding bill HR6049 Renewable Energy and Job Creation Act
Results: Cloture Motion Rejected, 52-44 (3/5 needed)
OnTheIssues.org Explanation:A "Cloture Motion" would end debate on the bill, and then allow a vote on passage. This motion failed (3/5ths of the Senators must vote YEA), based on objections of how the new incentives would be paid for.Congressional Summary:A bill to amend the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 to provide Tax incentives for energy production and conservation, to extend certain expiring provisions, and to provide individual income tax relief.
  • TITLE I--ENERGY TAX INCENTIVES
  • Sec. 102. Production credit for electricity produced from marine renewables.
  • Sec. 104. Credit for residential energy efficient property.
  • Sec. 106. New clean renewable energy bonds.
  • Part II--Carbon Mitigation Provisions
  • Sec. 112. Expansion and modification of coal gasification investment credit.
  • Sec. 115. Carbon audit of the tax code.
  • Sec. 121. Inclusion of cellulosic biofuel in bonus depreciation for biomass ethanol plant property.
  • Sec. 122. Credits for biodiesel and renewable diesel.
  • Sec. 124. Credit for new qualified plug-in electric drive motor vehicles.
  • Sec. 127. Transportation fringe benefit to bicycle commuters.
  • Sec. 146. Qualified green building and sustainable design projects.Opponents argument for voting NAY:Sen. SPECTER: H.R. 6049 would revive important tax provisions that expired at the end of 2007 and extend provisions that are set to expire at the end of 2008. I support extension of the R&D tax credit, the renewable energy tax incentives, and many other important provisions in this package.

    Despite the positive elements of this legislation, the main sticking point is whether temporary extensions of tax relief should be offset with permanent tax increases elsewhere. The White House issued a statement recommending a Presidential veto of this bill in its current form. [Vote NAY to] allow the Senate to work its will and pass legislation that can be quickly signed by the President.

Voting Y counts for 2 points on VoteMatch question 18: Energy & Oil. Democrats: YES 1; NO 0
Republicans: YES 0; NO 0
Independents: YES 0; NO 1
Vote number 2008-132 addressing CO2 emissions without considering India & China
on May 15, 2008 regarding bill Motion to Instruct S.Con.Res70 Motion to Instruct Conferees (China-India) re: S.Con.Res.70
Results: Motion Agreed to, 55-40
OnTheIssues.org Explanation: This is a motion on an omnibus spending bill, sending instructions to the committee resolving differences between the House and Senate versions of the bill. Sen. Boxer introduced this motion, and Sen. DeMint introduced a counter-motion. Voting for the Boxer motion means you favor Boxer's method over DeMint's method, which means speeding up Congressional action on global warming.Opponents argument for voting NAY:Sen. DeMINT. When we are talking about trade agreements, there needs to be a level playing field. This motion would prevent Congress from passing any law with new mandates on greenhouse gas emissions that would harm the U.S. economy or result in job loss unless both China and India had the same mandates--in other words, if we had a level playing field. It is not going to help the environment in the United States or the world if we pass mandates that raise the cost of doing business in our country, if we create mandates that do not exist in India or China.Proponents argument for voting YEA:Sen. BOXER. I rise to speak against the DeMint motion and in favor of the Boxer motion. The DeMint motion is a throwback to 10 years ago when everybody, including myself, was saying we better watch out and not do anything about global warming until the undeveloped world acts. We cannot do that anymore. This is a time when we need to stand up as the leading country in the world and say that we can fight global warming, and we can win this fight.

But what happens with the DeMint motion, he gives China and India a veto power over what we should be doing. Imagine saying we are not going to do anything about human rights until China acts. Why would we give up our chance to take the mantle of leadership and finally grab hold of this issue? I cannot look into the eyes of my grandchildren and tell them: Sorry, I am giving over my proxy to China & India, and I can't do anything about it.

Voting Y counts for 1 points on VoteMatch question 18: Energy & Oil. Democrats: YES 1; NO 0
Republicans: YES 0; NO 0
Independents: YES 1; NO 0
Vote number 2007-226 removing oil & gas exploration subsidies
on Jun 21, 2007 regarding bill H.R.6 Creating Long-Term Energy Alternatives for the Nation (CLEAN)
Results: Bill passed, 65-27 Bill passed
Creating Long-term Energy Alternatives for the Nation (CLEAN) Act
  • Title I: Ending Subsidies for Big Oil Act--denying a deduction for income attributable to domestic production of oil, natural gas, or their related primary products.
  • Title II: Royalty Relief for American Consumers Act--to incorporate specified price thresholds for royalties on oil & gas leases in the Gulf of Mexico.
  • Title III: Strategic Energy Efficiency And Renewables Reserve--makes the Reserve available to accelerate the use of clean domestic renewable energy resources and alternative fuels.

Proponents support voting YES because:

This legislation seeks to end the unwarranted tax breaks & subsidies which have been lavished on Big Oil over the last several years, at a time of record prices at the gas pump and record oil industry profits. Big Oil is hitting the American taxpayer not once, not twice, but three times. They are hitting them at the pump, they are hitting them through the Tax Code, and they are hitting them with royalty holidays put into oil in 1995 and again in 2005.

It is time to vote for the integrity of America's resources, to vote for the end of corporate welfare, to vote for a new era in the management of our public energy resources.

Opponents support voting NO because:

I am wearing this red shirt today, because this shirt is the color of the bill that we are debating, communist red. It is a taking. It will go to court, and it should be decided in court.

This bill will increase the competitive edge of foreign oil imported to this country. If the problem is foreign oil, why increase taxes and make it harder to produce American oil and gas? That makes no sense. We should insert taxes on all foreign oil imported. That would raise your money for renewable resources. But what we are doing here today is taxing our domestic oil. We are raising dollars supposedly for renewable resources, yet we are still burning fossil fuels.

Voting Y counts for 2 points on VoteMatch question 18: Spend Resources to Stop Global Warming. Democrats: YES 2; NO 0
Republicans: YES 0; NO 1
Independents: YES 0; NO 1
Vote number 2007-215 making oil-producing and exporting cartels illegal
on Jun 19, 2007 regarding bill S.Amdt.1519 to H.R.6 NOPEC Amendment to CLEAN Energy Act
Results: Amendment Agreed to, 70-23
Voting YES would amend the Sherman Anti-Trust Act to make oil-producing and exporting cartels illegal. It would be a violation for any foreign state:
  1. to limit the production or distribution of oil & natural gas;
  2. to set or maintain the price of oil & natural gas; or
  3. to otherwise take any action in restraint of trade for oil & natural gas;
  4. when such collective action has a direct, substantial, and reasonably foreseeable effect on the market, supply, price, or distribution of oil & natural gas in the US.

Proponents recommend voting YES because:

Our NOPEC bill will authorize filing suit against nations that participate in a conspiracy to limit the supply, or fix the price, of oil. In addition, it will specify that the doctrines of sovereign immunity do not exempt nations that participate in oil cartels from basic antitrust law.

Opponents recommend voting NO because:

No one likes OPEC. But this amendment, in my opinion, would make bad law. The Framers of the Constitution wisely assigned responsibility for formulating foreign policy and conducting foreign relations to the President and to the Congress, not to the law courts.

The amendment before us has its roots in a lawsuit filed by the labor union nearly 30 years ago. The union at that time charged OPEC with price fixing in violation of our antitrust laws. The trial court dismissed the case on the ground that OPEC members are sovereign nations and are immune from suit. Adopting the amendment will undoubtedly be very popular, but it is also very unwise.

In addition, we here in the Senate ought to consider how enactment of this amendment might affect our relations with OPEC members. What will be the international repercussions when the US starts awarding judgments against foreign nations and attaching their assets in this country? Will other nations start to view our trade policies--such as our nuclear trade restrictions--as violations of their antitrust laws?

(Not used in VoteMatch) Democrats: YES 2; NO 0
Republicans: YES 0; NO 1
Independents: YES 1; NO 0
Vote number 2007-166 factoring global warming into federal project planning
on May 15, 2007 regarding bill S.Amdt.1094 to H.R.1495 Kerry Amendment
Results: Amendment rejected, 51-42 (3/5ths required)
Amendment would require the consideration of global climate change, in planning, feasibility studies, & general reevaluation reports. Would require accounting for the costs & benefits from the impacts of global climate change on flood, storm, and drought risks; potential future impacts of global climate change-related weather events, such as increased hurricane activity, intensity, storm surge, sea level rise, and associated flooding; & employs nonstructural approaches and design modifications to avoid or prevent impacts to streams, wetlands, and floodplains that provide natural flood and storm buffers.

Proponents recommend voting YES because:

It just seems logical that we ask the Corps of Engineers to include in their analyses, judgments about the potential impact of global climate change. All this amendment seeks to do, as a matter of common sense, is to ask the Army Corps of Engineers to factor climate change into their future plans. Secondly, we are making a statement here to finally recognize the reality of what is happening with respect to climate change.

Opponents recommend voting NO because:

The same people today who are saying we are all going to die from global warming, just back in the middle 1970s were saying another ice age is coming and we are all going to die. Which way do you want it?

If a surge of anthropogenic gases--this CO2, methane, or whatever it is--were causing a warming period, then around 1945 we would have a warming period because in the middle 1940s we had the greatest increase in greenhouse gases. But what happened? It did not precipitate a warming period.

Peer reviewed evidence shows that the sun has actually been driving the temperature change. You don't have to be a scientist to know that the Sun can have something to do with climate change.

Implementing Kyoto would reduce the average annual household income nearly $2,700, at a time when the cost of all goods would rise sharply.

Voting Y counts for 1 points on VoteMatch question 18: Energy & Oil. Democrats: YES 1; NO 1
Republicans: YES 0; NO 2
Independents: YES 0; NO 1
Vote number 2005-288 disallowing an oil leasing program in Alaska's ANWR
on Nov 3, 2005 regarding bill S Amdt 2358 to S 1932 Bar Oil and Gas Leasing amendment
Results: Amendment Rejected, 48-51
To remove the establishment of an oil and gas leasing program in the Alaskan Coastal Plain. The original bill allows for an oil and gas leasing program in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge (ANWR). Voteing YES on this amendment would remove that section, hence barring leasing in ANWR. Voting Y counts for 2 points on VoteMatch question 18: Spend Resources to Stop Global Warming. Democrats: YES 4; NO 0
Republicans: YES 2; NO 7
Independents: YES 1; NO 1
Vote number 2005-250 $3.1B for emergency oil assistance for hurricane-hit areas
on Oct 5, 2005 regarding bill S.AMDT.2033 to HR 2863 Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program appropriation
Results: Motion rejected, 50-49 (3/5th required)
To provide for appropriations for the Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program. Vote on a motion to waive the Budget Act in order to adopt an amendment that appropriates federal funds for the LIHEAP program. A 3/5th vote is required to amand a budget bi (Not used in VoteMatch) Democrats: YES 4; NO 0
Republicans: YES 4; NO 5
Independents: YES 1; NO 1
Vote number 2005-140 reducing oil usage by 40% by 2025 (instead of 5%)
on Jun 16, 2005 regarding bill S.Amdt. 784 to H.R. 6 Energy Policy Act of 2005
Results: Amendment Rejected, 47 to 53
Amendment to improve the energy security of the United States and reduce United States dependence on foreign oil imports by 40% by 2025. The amendment seeks to reduce usage by 7.6 million barrels of oil a day, out of a total usage of 20 million barrels of oil a day. The bill without amendment seeks to reduce usage by 1 million barrels of oil a day. Opponents of the amendment said, "It would be disruptive of jobs if you set a 78 mile per gallon CAFÉ standard for cars, a 185-percent increase; a 60 mile per gallon standard for trucks, light trucks, a 174-percent increase. [The unamended version] is more in keeping with President Kennedy's "man on the Moon" goal. [The amended version] is a "man or woman on Mars" goal, and maybe we will get there one day, but it is unrealistic today." Voting Y counts for 2 points on VoteMatch question 18: Spend Resources to Stop Global Warming. Democrats: YES 5; NO 0
Republicans: YES 1; NO 8
Independents: YES 1; NO 1
Vote number 2005-52 banning drilling in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge
on Mar 16, 2005 regarding bill S AMDT 168 to S.Con.Res. 18 Arctic National Wildlife Refuge anti-drilling Amendment
Results: Amendment Rejected, 49 to 51
Vote to adopt an amendment that would strike a provision in the concurrent resolution that recognizes revenue from oil drilling in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge (ANWR). The amendment says: "To ensure that legislation that would open the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge, other federal lands, and the Outer Continental Shelf to oil drilling receives full consideration and debate in the Senate under regular order, rather than being fast-tracked under reconciliation procedures; to ensure that receipts from such drilling destined for the federal treasury are fairly shared with local jurisdictions; and does not occur unless prohibitions against the export of Alaskan oil are enacted." Voting Y counts for 1 points on VoteMatch question 18: Spend Resources to Stop Global Warming. Democrats: YES 5; NO 0
Republicans: YES 2; NO 7
Independents: YES 1; NO 1
Vote number 2003-317 Bush Administration Energy Policy
on Jul 31, 2003 regarding bill HR 6 Energy Policy Act of 2003
Results: Bill Passed 84-14: R 48-3; D 35-11
Vote to pass a bill would overhaul the nation's energy policies, reorganize the electricity system and make available approximately $15 billion in energy-related tax incentives. It also would direct the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) to establish a new CAFE standard within 15 months to two years. It would support the use of alternative energy and call for utilities to increase their dependence on renewable fuels. (Not used in VoteMatch) Democrats: YES 9; NO 0
Republicans: YES 12; NO 0
Independents: YES 0; NO 0
Vote number 2003-212 targeting 100,000 hydrogen-powered vehicles by 2010
on Jun 10, 2003 regarding bill S.14
Results:
Dorgan Amdt. No. 865; To require that the hydrogen commercialization plan of the Department of Energy include a description of activities to support certain hydrogen technology deployment goals. Part of S 14 Energy Omnibus bill; this vote would pass an amendment that would call for the Department of Energy to set targets and timelines to maintain the production of 100,000 hydrogen-powered vehicles by 2010, and 2.5 million vehicles annually by 2020. It also would call for the department to set targets for the sale of hydrogen at fueling stations. The bill would require the Energy secretary to submit a yearly progress report to Congress. Voting Y counts for 2 points on VoteMatch question 18: Spend Resources to Stop Global Warming. Democrats: YES 7; NO 1
Republicans: YES 5; NO 7
Independents: YES 1; NO 0
Vote number 2003-59 removing consideration of drilling ANWR from budget bill
on Mar 19, 2003 regarding bill SConRes 23
Results:
Boxer Amdt. No. 272.; To prevent consideration of drilling in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge in a fast-track budget reconciliation bill. S Con Res 23 Budget resolution FY2004: Vote to pass an amendment that would strike (remove) language in the resolution that would permit oil drilling and exploration in part of the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge (ANWR) in Alaska. [Voting No favors drilling for oil in ANWR]. Voting Y counts for 1 points on VoteMatch question 18: Spend Resources to Stop Global Warming. Democrats: YES 7; NO 2
Republicans: YES 3; NO 9
Independents: YES 1; NO 0
Vote number 2002-71 drilling ANWR on national security grounds
on Apr 18, 2002 regarding bill S.517
Results:
Motion to Invoke Cloture on the Murkowski Amendment No. 31323; To create jobs for Americans, to reduce dependence on foreign sources of crude oil and energy, to strengthen the economic self determination of the Inupiat Eskimos and to promote national security. Would allow gas and oil development in a portion of the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge if the president certifies to Congress that production in the area is in the nation's security and economic interests (qwhich Prsident Bush would). If the cloture motion is agreed to, debate will be limited and a vote will occur. If the cloture motion is rejected debate could continue indefinitely and instead the bill is usually set aside. A yea vote for this bill was one in favor of drilling in the reserve. Three-fifths of the total Senate (60) is required to invoke cloture. (Not used in VoteMatch) Democrats: YES 2; NO 11
Republicans: YES 14; NO 3
Independents: YES 0; NO 1
Vote number 2002-47 terminating CAFE standards within 15 months
on Mar 13, 2002 regarding bill S.517
Results:
Levin Amendment No. 2997; To provide alternative provisions to better encourage increased use of alternative fueled and hybrid vehicles. Vote to pass an amendment that would remove the Corporate Average Fuel Economy standard (CAFE) and instead establish a new automobile efficiency standard in 15 months. Congress could veto any CAFE increase and would be allowed to increase the standard if no changes are made with 15 months. The bill would overhaul the nation's energy policies by restructuring the electricity system and providing for $16 billion in energy-related tax incentives. Voting N counts for 2 points on VoteMatch question 18: Spend Resources to Stop Global Warming. Democrats: YES 4; NO 9
Republicans: YES 16; NO 1
Independents: YES 0; NO 1
Vote number 2000-58 preserving budget for ANWR oil drilling
on Apr 6, 2000 regarding bill S Con Res 101
Results: Tabled 51-49
Vote to preserve language in the Fiscal Year 2001 Budget Framework that assumes $1.2 billion in revenue from oil exploration in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge [ANWR] in Alaska. Voting N counts for 1 points on VoteMatch question 18: Spend Resources to Stop Global Warming. Democrats: YES 2; NO 11
Republicans: YES 20; NO 3
Independents: YES 0; NO 1
Vote number 1999-275 ending discussion of CAFE fuel efficiency standards
on Sep 15, 1999 regarding bill H.R. 2084 Gorton Amdt # 1677
Results: Y)40; N)55; NV)4 Amdt Rejected
Senators Feinstein (D-CA) and Bryan (D-NV) introduced a resolution expressing the sense of the Senate towards ending CAFE Standards. Senator Gorton motioned to table this amendment. [A YES vote is considered pro-business]. Voting N counts for 1 points on VoteMatch question 18: Spend Resources to Stop Global Warming. Democrats: YES 11; NO 0
Republicans: YES 1; NO 21
Independents: YES 1; NO 0
Vote number 1999-171 defunding renewable and solar energy
on Jun 16, 1999 regarding bill S. 1186 Motion to table the recommital
Results: Y)60; N)39; NV)1 Motion Agreed to
In June of 1999, Senator Jeffords (R-VT) was prepared to offer an amendment which would have added $62 million to the Energy Department solar and renewable energy programs. This action was blocked by Senator Reid (D-NV). Voting N counts for 2 points on VoteMatch question 18: Spend Resources to Stop Global Warming. Democrats: YES 10; NO 3
Republicans: YES 19; NO 4
Independents: YES 0; NO 1
Vote number 1997-42 approving a nuclear waste repository
on Apr 15, 1997 regarding bill S. 104 Nuclear Waste Policy Act of 1997
Results: Y)65; N)34; NV)1 Bill Passed
Approval of the interim nuclear waste repository. The repository would be located at Yucca Mountain in Nevada, with an integrated management system for storage and permanent disposal of spent nuclear fuel and high-level radioactive waste. Voting YES would authorize the President with sole and unreviewable discretion to determine the suitability of the Yucca Mountain site. (Not used in VoteMatch) Democrats: YES 5; NO 11
Republicans: YES 24; NO 1
Independents: YES 1; NO 0
Vote number 1994-255 do not require ethanol in gasoline
on Aug 3, 1994 regarding bill H.R. 4624 Departments of Veterans Affairs and Housing and Urban Development, and Independent Agencies Appropriations Act, 1995
Results: Y)50; N)50; VP decided YES Table Motion Agreed to
Funding a mandated percentage of market share for the use of ethanol in gasoline, to be funded b reducing NASA budget b $39 million.. Voting N counts for 1 points on VoteMatch question 18: Spend Resources to Stop Global Warming. Democrats: YES 12; NO 9
Republicans: YES 11; NO 13
Independents: YES 1; NO 1

Environment
Senate BillVote descriptionVoteMatch UsageCandidate Voting
Vote number 2009-S270 $2 billion more for Cash for Clunkers program
on Aug 6, 2009 regarding bill H.R. 3435 Cash for Clunkers bill
Results: Passed 60-37
Congressional Summary:Emergency supplemental appropriations of $2 billion for the Consumer Assistance to Recycle and Save (CARS) Program.

Proponent's argument to vote Yes:Rep. OBEY (D, WI-7): The cash for clunkers program has proven even more wildly popular than its strongest supporters had predicted. Just last month, Congress passed the program, which provided up to $4,500 if you trade in your old gas guzzler for a new car that gets better mileage. That was done in the hopes of spurring some new car sales and encouraging people to be a little more environmentally friendly. We provided $1 billion in the supplemental to get it going, enough for about 250,000 sales--which was just about exhausted in one week. This bill transfers $2 billion from the Department of Energy's Innovative Technology Loan Guarantee program, which doesn't expect to award funding until late next year.

Opponent's argument to vote No:Rep. LEWIS (R, CA-41): In the majority's haste to slam legislation with no time for consideration or amendments, we are now seeing the effects of such shortsighted martial law tactics.

Senator Feinstein tried to negotiate some changes to improve the program but was told that it was this way or the highway. Not one hearing on the Cash for Clunkers program, not one hearing on how the first billion dollars has been spent, not one hearing on how much money the program will need to get through the fiscal year.

Many of my colleagues will say, This is a great program, and it is necessary for the revitalization of the car industry. I'm not really going to argue with those goals. However, are we sure this program is working like it's supposed to? I don't think so. This program has only been up and running 1 week. If that is how the government is going to handle billion-dollar programs affecting all Americans, I ask, Whatever will we do if the administration takes control of our health care system?

Voting Y counts for 1 points on VoteMatch question 18: Spend Resources to Stop Global Warming. Democrats: YES 0; NO 0
Republicans: YES 0; NO 0
Independents: YES 0; NO 1
Vote number 2007-429 prohibiting eminent domain for use as parks or grazing land
on Dec 13, 2007 regarding bill S.Amdt. 3640 to H.R. 2419 Craig Amendment to Farm Bill Extension Act
Results: Rejected 37-58 (3/5 required)
To prohibit the involuntary acquisition of farmland & grazing land by government for parks, open space, or similar purposes. Exceptions include takings for use by:
  • public utility
  • road or other right of way
  • an aqueduct or pipeline
  • a prison or hospital
  • national disaster

Proponents support voting YES because:

Sen. CRAIG: "Eminent domain was elevated greatly as an issue following a highly controversial 2005 Supreme Court decision known as Kelo vs. The City of New London. Since that decision, we as a nation have allowed state & local governments to utilize eminent domain to force landowners to yield their property to private development. Farmers and ranchers in particular have become vulnerable to state and local governments taking their property for economic development or open space designations. My amendment is a very targeted amendment. It addresses only cases in which private working agricultural land is taken and turned into public open space."

Opponents recommend voting NO because:

Sen. HARKIN: This amendment doesn't reach the Kelo decision [because Kelo was about taking open space for private development]. Under this amendment they can still do that.

CRAIG. Oh, I disagree totally. We reach a portion of Kelo that is now most frequently impacting farms and ranches, and that is open space for open space.

HARKIN. The amendment has the Federal Government telling a local government what it can and cannot do within its own jurisdiction.

Letter from the National Conference of State Legislatures & US Conference of Mayors:

"This amendment is not only ill-advised, but it is also unconstitutional [because it] preempts state & local land use laws. The 5th Amendment expressly permits the taking of private property for public use provided just compensation is provided to the owner. The power of eminent domain has always been, and should remain, a state and local power."

(Not used in VoteMatch) Democrats: YES 0; NO 1
Republicans: YES 1; NO 0
Independents: YES 0; NO 1
Vote number 2005-225 including oil & gas smokestacks in mercury regulations
on Sep 13, 2005 regarding bill S J Res 20 EPA's Clean Air Mercury Rule
Results: Passage Vote Failed: 47 - 51
A joint resolution disapproving the rule submitted by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) on March 15, 2005, relating to the removal of coal- and oil-fired electric generating units from the list of major sources of hazardous air pollutants under the Clean Air Act. The EPA's Clean Air Mercury Rule:
  • Limits smokestack emissions in a two-phase program founded on a market based capping system
  • Calls for the first cap to limit mercury emissions to 38 tons in 2010
  • Requires the second and final cap to begin in 2018 and stay fix at 15 tons
(Not used in VoteMatch) Democrats: YES 5; NO 0
Republicans: YES 1; NO 8
Independents: YES 1; NO 1
Vote number 2001-6 confirming Gale Norton as Secretary of Interior
on Jan 30, 2001 regarding bill Confirmation vote
Results: Confirmed, 75-24
Vote to confirm the nomination of Gale Norton as Secretary of Interior. [Ms. Norton generally favors conservative or libertarian stances on the environment.] (Not used in VoteMatch) Democrats: YES 6; NO 7
Republicans: YES 17; NO 0
Independents: YES 1; NO 0
Vote number 1999-272 more funding for forest roads and fish habitat
on Sep 14, 1999 regarding bill H.R. 2466 Motion to table Bryan Amdt. #1588
Results: Y)54; N)43; NV)3 Table Motion Agreed to
The Bryan Amdt (D-NV) offered an amendment to raise funding levels for Forest Service road maintenance and wildlife and fisheries habitat management programs. Senator Craig (R-ID) motioned to table this amendment. [A YES vote is considered pro-business]. (Not used in VoteMatch) Democrats: YES 3; NO 9
Republicans: YES 19; NO 4
Independents: YES 0; NO 1
Vote number 1998-29 transportation demo projects
on Mar 12, 1998 regarding bill S. 1173 McCain Amdt #1726
Results: Y)78; N)22 Amdt Agreed to
McCain amendment to the transportation reauthorization bill (S. 1173) would require that funding for demonstration projects be covered by their respective state allocations instead of being funded individually in the transportation bill. (Not used in VoteMatch) Democrats: YES 10; NO 6
Republicans: YES 23; NO 2
Independents: YES 0; NO 1
Vote number 1997-242 reducing funds for road-building in National Forests
on Sep 17, 1997 regarding bill HR.2107
Results: Rejected 51-49
Vote on an amendment to cut the $47.4 million provided for Forest Service road construction by $10 million, and to eliminate the purchaser credit program [which provides credits to timber companies to offset what they owe the government]. Voting Y counts for 1 points on VoteMatch question 18: Spend Resources to Stop Global Warming. Democrats: YES 14; NO 2
Republicans: YES 6; NO 19
Independents: YES 1; NO 0
Vote number 1994-326 continuing desert protection in California
on Oct 8, 1994 regarding bill S. 21 California Desert Protection Act of 1993
Results: Y)68; N)23; NV)9 Cloture Agreed to
Invoking cloture on the California desert protection bill. ["Invoking cloture" means "ending the discussion and calling a vote." A NO vote in this case would continue discussing whether to terminate the existing program, and hence is considered pro-business and/or anti-environment]. (Not used in VoteMatch) Democrats: YES 19; NO 0
Republicans: YES 6; NO 14
Independents: YES 2; NO 0
Vote number 1994-117 requiring EPA risk assessments
on May 18, 1994 regarding bill S. 2019 Safe Drinking Water Act Amdt.s of '94
Results: Y)90; N)8; NV)2 Amdt Agreed to
Require risk assessments of new EPA regulations. (Not used in VoteMatch) Democrats: YES 19; NO 2
Republicans: YES 22; NO 2
Independents: YES 2; NO 0

Families & Children
Senate BillVote descriptionVoteMatch UsageCandidate Voting
Vote number issues2000-A V-chip on every television
on Jul 2, 2000 regarding bill issues2000-A V-Chip questionnaire
Results: (issues2000 questionnaire)
If the Senate were to vote on a bill that called for a V-chip on every television made/sold, would you support such a bill? (Not used in VoteMatch) Democrats: YES 0; NO 0
Republicans: YES 0; NO 0
Independents: YES 0; NO 0
Vote number 1999-114 killing restrictions on violent videos to minors
on May 13, 1999 regarding bill S.254
Results: Tabled 60-39
Vote to kill an amendment that would prohibit the distribution of violent video programming to the public during hours when children are reasonably likely to comprise a substantial portion of the audience. Voting YES would kill the amendment proposing the new restrictions. Voting NO would suport the amendment proposing the new restrictions. Voting N counts for 1 points on VoteMatch question 4: Teach moral standards In Public Schools. Democrats: YES 7; NO 6
Republicans: YES 17; NO 6
Independents: YES 1; NO 0

Foreign Policy
Senate BillVote descriptionVoteMatch UsageCandidate Voting
Vote number 2008-S211 cooperating with India as a nuclear power
on Oct 1, 2008 regarding bill HR.7081 US-India Nuclear Agreement
Results: Passed 86-13
Congressional Summary:US-India Nuclear Cooperation Approval and Nonproliferation Enhancement Act:
  • Approves the US-India Agreement for Cooperation on Peaceful Uses of Nuclear Energy.
  • Declares that it is US policy to prevent the transfer to India of nuclear equipment, materials, or technology from other participating governments in the Nuclear Suppliers Group or from any other source; and
  • any nuclear power reactor fuel reserve provided to India for use in safeguarded civilian nuclear facilities should be commensurate with reasonable reactor operating requirements.

Proponent's argument to vote Yes:Rep. HOWARD BERMAN (D, CA-28): Integrating India into a global nonproliferation regime is a positive step. Before anyone gets too sanctimonious about India's nuclear weapons program, we should acknowledge that the five recognized nuclear weapons states have not done nearly enough to fulfill their commitments under the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty, including making serious reductions in their own arsenals, nor in the case of the US in ratifying the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty.

Opponent's argument to vote No:Rep. BARBARA LEE (D, CA-9): In withholding my approval, I seek not to penalize the people of India but, rather, to affirm the principle of nuclear nonproliferation. Jettisoning adherence to the international nuclear nonproliferation framework that has served the world so well for more than 30 years, as approval of the agreement before us would do, is just simply unwise. It is also reckless.

Approval of this agreement undermines our efforts to dissuade countries like Iran and North Korea from developing nuclear weapons. By approving this agreement, all we are doing is creating incentives for other countries to withdraw from the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty.

(Not used in VoteMatch) Democrats: YES 2; NO 0
Republicans: YES 0; NO 0
Independents: YES 1; NO 0
Vote number 2002-116 enlarging NATO to include Eastern Europe
on May 17, 2002 regarding bill HR.3167
Results:
H.R. 3167; Gerald B. H. Solomon Freedom Consolidation Act of 2001, To endorse the vision of further enlargement of the NATO Alliance. Vote to pass a bill that would support further expansion of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization, authorize military assistance to several eastern European countries and lift assistance restrictions on Slovakia. (Not used in VoteMatch) Democrats: YES 12; NO 0
Republicans: YES 14; NO 0
Independents: YES 1; NO 0
Vote number 2000-242 killing a bill for trade sanctions if China sells weapons
on Sep 13, 2000 regarding bill HR.4444
Results: Tabled 65-32
Vote to table [kill] an amendment that would require sanctions against China or other countries if they were found to be selling illicit weapons of mass destruction. (Not used in VoteMatch) Democrats: YES 10; NO 4
Republicans: YES 11; NO 10
Independents: YES 1; NO 0
Vote number 1999-312 cap foreign aid at only $12.7 billion
on Oct 6, 1999 regarding bill H.R. 2606 H.R. 2606 Conference Report
Results: Y)51; N)49 Conf Rpt Agreed to
Adoption of the conference report on the 2000 Foreign Operations Appropriations Bill provided $12.7 billion for foreign aid programs in 2000. (Not used in VoteMatch) Democrats: YES 0; NO 13
Republicans: YES 23; NO 0
Independents: YES 2; NO 0
Vote number 1998-201 limiting the President's power to impose economic sanctions
on Jul 15, 1998 regarding bill S. 2159 Motion to table the Lugar Amdt #3156.
Results: Y)53; N)46; NV)1 Motion to Table Agreed to
To kill a proposal limiting President Clinton's ability to impose economic sanctions on foreign nations. (Not used in VoteMatch) Democrats: YES 8; NO 7
Republicans: YES 14; NO 11
Independents: YES 0; NO 2
Vote number 1998-112 limiting NATO expansion to only Poland, Hungary & Czech
on Apr 30, 1998 regarding bill NATO Expansion Treaty #105-36 NATO Expansion limit-Warner Amdt. #2322
Results: Y)41; N)59 Amdt Rejected
This amendment would have limited NATO Expansion to only include Poland, Hungary and the Czech Republic. (Not used in VoteMatch) Democrats: YES 5; NO 11
Republicans: YES 10; NO 15
Independents: YES 1; NO 1
Vote number 1998-44 $17.9 billion to IMF
on Mar 26, 1998 regarding bill S. 1768 McConnell Amdt #2100
Results: Y)84; N)16 Amdt Agreed to
Would provide $17.9 billion for the International Monetary Fund. (Not used in VoteMatch) Democrats: YES 15; NO 1
Republicans: YES 16; NO 9
Independents: YES 1; NO 1
Vote number 1996-22 Strengthening of the trade embargo against Cuba
on Mar 5, 1996 regarding bill H.R. 927 Conference Report on H.R. 927
Results: Y)74; N)22; NV)4 Conf Rpt Agreed to
Strengthening of the trade embargo against Cuba. (Not used in VoteMatch) Democrats: YES 13; NO 7
Republicans: YES 28; NO 2
Independents: YES 1; NO 2
Vote number 1994-5 ending Vietnam embargo
on Jan 27, 1994 regarding bill S. 1281 For. Reltns. Auth. Act FY 94 & 95
Results: Y)62; N)38 Amdt Agreed to
Ending U.S. trade embargos on the country of Vietnam. (Not used in VoteMatch) Democrats: YES 19; NO 2
Republicans: YES 10; NO 14
Independents: YES 1; NO 2

Free Trade
Senate BillVote descriptionVoteMatch UsageCandidate Voting
Vote number 2007-413 promoting free trade with Peru
on Dec 4, 2007 regarding bill H.R. 3688 Peru Trade Promotion Agreement Implementation Act
Results: Bill passed, 77-18
Approves the Agreement entered into with the government of Peru. Provides for the Agreement's entry into force upon certain conditions being met on or after January 1, 2008. Prescribes requirements for:
  • enforcement of textile and apparel rules of origin;
  • certain textile and apparel safeguard measures; and
  • enforcement of export laws governing trade of timber products from Peru.

Proponents support voting YES because:

Rep. RANGEL: It's absolutely ridiculous to believe that we can create jobs without trade. I had the opportunity to travel to Peru recently. I saw firsthand how important this agreement is to Peru and how this agreement will strengthen an important ally of ours in that region. Peru is resisting the efforts of Venezuela's authoritarian President Hugo Chavez to wage a war of words and ideas in Latin America against the US. Congress should acknowledge the support of the people of Peru and pass this legislation by a strong margin.

Opponents recommend voting NO because:

Rep. WU: I regret that I cannot vote for this bill tonight because it does not put human rights on an equal footing with environmental and labor protections.

Rep. KILDEE: All trade agreements suffer from the same fundamental flaw: They are not self-enforcing. Trade agreements depend upon vigorous enforcement, which requires official complaints be made when violations occur. I have no faith in President Bush to show any enthusiasm to enforce this agreement. Congress should not hand this administration yet another trade agreement because past agreements have been more efficient at exporting jobs than goods and services. I appeal to all Members of Congress to vote NO on this. But I appeal especially to my fellow Democrats not to turn their backs on those American workers who suffer from the export of their jobs. They want a paycheck, not an unemployment check.

Voting Y counts for 1 points on VoteMatch question 13: Free Trade. Democrats: YES 1; NO 0
Republicans: YES 1; NO 0
Independents: YES 1; NO 0
Vote number 2006-190 free trade agreement with Oman
on Jun 29, 2006 regarding bill S. 3569 United States-Oman Free Trade Agreement
Results: Bill passed, 60-34
Vote on final passage of a bill to implement the United States-Oman Free Trade Agreement.
    Opponents of the bill say to vote NAY because:
  • International trade can confer tremendous benefits on all of its participants. Unfortunately, the Oman Free Trade Agreement fails to live up to that potential.
  • In 2001, the US entered into a similar trade agreement with the country of Jordan. The agreement was heralded for its progressive labor standards. However, we have recently seen in Jordan instances of foreign workers forced into slave labor, stripped of their passports, denied their wages, and compelled to work for days without rest.
  • These incidents have been occurring in Jordan because Jordanian labor laws preclude protections for foreign workers. My fear in Oman is that they have far weaker labor standards, and that would lend itself to even worse conditions than in Jordan.
  • When our trade partners are held to different, less stringent standards, no one is better off. When Omani firms can employ workers in substandard conditions, the Omani workers and American workers both lose. The playing field is not level.
    Proponents of the bill say to vote YEA because:
  • The Oman Free Trade Agreement sends a very important message that the US strongly supports the economic development of moderate Middle Eastern nations. This is a vital message in the global war on terrorism.
  • Since the end of WWII, the US has accepted nonreciprocal trade concessions in order to further important Cold War and post-Cold War foreign policy objectives. Examples include offering Japan and Europe nonreciprocal access to American markets during the 1950s in order to strengthen the economies of our allies and prevent the spread of communism.
  • Oman is quickly running out of oil and, as a result, has launched a series of measures to reform its economy. This free-trade agreement immediately removes Oman's uniform 5% tariff on US goods.
Voting Y counts for 2 points on VoteMatch question 13: Support & Expand Free Trade. Democrats: YES 2; NO 2
Republicans: YES 8; NO 0
Independents: YES 2; NO 0
Vote number 2005-209 implementing CAFTA for Central America free-trade
on Jul 28, 2005 regarding bill HR 3045 Central America Free Trade Agreement Implementation Act
Results: Bill Passed, 55-45
Approves the Dominican Republic-Central America-United States-Free Trade Agreement entered into on August 5, 2005, with the governments of Costa Rica, the Dominican Republic, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, and Nicaragua (CAFTA-DR), and the statement of administrative action proposed to implement the Agreement. Voting YES would:
  • Progressively eliminate customs duties on all originating goods traded among the participating nations
  • Preserve US duties on imports of sugar goods over a certain quota
  • Remove duties on textile and apparel goods traded among participating nations
  • Prohibit export subsidies for agricultural goods traded among participating nations
  • Provide for cooperation among participating nations on customs laws and import licensing procedures
  • Recommend that each participating nation uphold the Fundamental Principles and Rights at Work
  • Urge each participating nation to obey various international agreements regarding intellectual property rights
Voting Y counts for 2 points on VoteMatch question 13: Support & Expand Free Trade. Democrats: YES 0; NO 5
Republicans: YES 7; NO 2
Independents: YES 2; NO 0
Vote number 2003-318 establishing free trade between US & Singapore
on Jul 31, 2003 regarding bill S.1417/HR 2739 US-Singapore Free Trade Agreement Implementation Act
Results: Bill Passed 66-32: R 44-7; D 22-24
Vote to pass a bill that would put into effect a trade agreement between the US and Singapore. The trade agreement would reduce tariffs and trade barriers between the US and Singapore. The agreement would remove tariffs on goods and duties on textiles, and open markets for services The agreement would also establish intellectual property, environmental and labor standards. Voting Y counts for 1 points on VoteMatch question 13: Support & Expand Free Trade. Democrats: YES 3; NO 6
Republicans: YES 12; NO 0
Independents: YES 0; NO 0
Vote number 2003-319 establishing free trade between the US and Chile
on Jul 31, 2003 regarding bill S.1416/HR 2738 US-Chile Free Trade Agreement Implementation Act
Results: Bill Passed 66-31: R 43-7; D 23-23
Vote to pass a bill that would put into effect a trade agreement between the US and Chile. The agreement would reduce tariffs and trade barriers between the US and Chile. The trade pact would decrease duties and tariffs on agricultural and textile products. It would also open markets for services. The trade pact would establish intellectual property safeguards and would call for enforcement of environmental and labor standards. Voting Y counts for 1 points on VoteMatch question 13: Support & Expand Free Trade. Democrats: YES 4; NO 5
Republicans: YES 12; NO 0
Independents: YES 0; NO 0
Vote number 2002-130 extending free trade to Andean nations
on May 23, 2002 regarding bill HR.3009
Results:
HR3009 Fast Track Trade Authority bill: To extend the Andean Trade Preference Act, to grant additional trade benefits under that Act, and for other purposes. Vote to pass a bill that would enlarge duty-free status to particular products from Colombia, Bolivia, Peru, and Ecuador, renew the president's fast-track authority and reauthorize and increase a program to make accessible retraining and relocation assistance to U.S. workers hurt by trade agreements. It would also approve a five-year extension of Generalized System of Preferences and produce a refundable 70 percent tax credit for health insurance costs for displaced workers. Voting Y counts for 2 points on VoteMatch question 13: Support & Expand Free Trade. Democrats: YES 7; NO 6
Republicans: YES 14; NO 2
Independents: YES 1; NO 0
Vote number 2001-291 granting normal trade relations status to Vietnam
on Oct 3, 2001 regarding bill HJRES51
Results: Passed, 88-12
Vote to grant annual normal trade relations status to Vietnam. The resolution would allow Vietnamese imports to receive the same tariffs as those of other U.S. trading partners. Voting Y counts for 1 points on VoteMatch question 13: Link Human Rights to trade with China. Democrats: YES 13; NO 0
Republicans: YES 13; NO 4
Independents: YES 1; NO 0
Vote number 2001-275 removing common goods from national security export rules
on Sep 6, 2001 regarding bill S149
Results: Bill passed, 85-14
Vote to provide the president the authority to control the export of sensitive dual-use items for national security purposes. The bill would eliminate restrictions on the export of technology that is readily available in foreign markets. Voting Y counts for 1 points on VoteMatch question 13: Support & Expand Free Trade. Democrats: YES 13; NO 0
Republicans: YES 12; NO 4
Independents: YES 1; NO 0
Vote number 2000-251 permanent normal trade relations with China
on Sep 19, 2000 regarding bill HR.4444
Results: Passed 83-15
Vote to give permanent Normal Trade Relations [NTR] status to China. Currently, NTR status for China is debated and voted on annually. Voting Y counts for 2 points on VoteMatch question 13: Link Human Rights to trade with China. Democrats: YES 11; NO 3
Republicans: YES 19; NO 3
Independents: YES 0; NO 1
Vote number 2000-98 expanding trade to the third world
on May 11, 2000 regarding bill HR.434
Results: Adopted 77-19
Vote to expand trade with more than 70 countries in Africa, Central America and the Caribbean. The countries would be required to meet certain eligibility requirements in protecting freedoms of expression and associatio Voting Y counts for 1 points on VoteMatch question 13: Support & Expand Free Trade. Democrats: YES 8; NO 4
Republicans: YES 20; NO 2
Independents: YES 1; NO 0
Vote number 1999-53xxx China in WTO
on Mar 18, 1999 regarding bill S.544 Motion to table Specter Amdt #77
Results: Y)71; N)21 Motion to Table Agreed to
This motion would kill an amendment that would prohibit U.S. support for China's admission into the WTO (Not used in VoteMatch) Democrats: YES 0; NO 0
Republicans: YES 0; NO 0
Independents: YES 0; NO 0
Vote number 1997-294 renewing 'fast track' presidential trade authority
on Nov 5, 1997 regarding bill S 1269
Results: Motion passed, 68-31
Vote to proceed to the bill which establishes negotiating objectives for trade agreements, and renews 'fast track' trade authority for the President, which allows Congress to adopt or to reject a proposed trade agreement, but not to amend it. Voting Y counts for 1 points on VoteMatch question 13: Support & Expand Free Trade. Democrats: YES 10; NO 6
Republicans: YES 20; NO 5
Independents: YES 1; NO 0
Vote number 1997-292xxx fast track trading authority
on Nov 4, 1997 regarding bill S. 1269 Motion to invoke cloture on the motion to proceed to the Nuclear Waste Policy Act.
Results: Y)69; N)31 Cloture Agreed to
Authorizing President Clinton to make fast-track trade pacts with foreign nations. (Not used in VoteMatch) Democrats: YES 0; NO 0
Republicans: YES 0; NO 0
Independents: YES 0; NO 0
Vote number 1995-158 imposing trade sanctions on Japan for closed market
on May 9, 1995 regarding bill S Res 118
Results: Resolution adopted, 88-8
Resolution supporting sanctions on Japanese products if car parts markets don't open up; and seeking sharp reductions in the trade imbalances in car sales and parts through elimination of restrictive Japanese market-closing practices. (Not used in VoteMatch) Democrats: YES 18; NO 2
Republicans: YES 28; NO 2
Independents: YES 1; NO 0

Government Reform
Senate BillVote descriptionVoteMatch UsageCandidate Voting
Vote number 2009-S217 Congressional pay raise
on Jul 6, 2009 regarding bill HR2918&S1294 Legislative Branch Appropriations Act
Results: Passed 67-25
Congressional Summary:
    Makes appropriations to the Senate for FY2010 for:
  1. expense allowances;
  2. representation allowances for the Majority and Minority Leaders;
  3. salaries of specified officers, employees, and committees (including the Committee on Appropriations);
  4. agency contributions for employee benefits;
  5. inquiries and investigations;
  6. the Senate Caucus on International Narcotics Control;
  7. the Offices of the Secretary and of the Sergeant at Arms and Doorkeeper of the Senate;
  8. miscellaneous items;
  9. the Senators' Official Personnel and Office Expense Account; and
  10. official mail costs.
Amends the Legislative Branch Appropriation Act of 1968 to increase by $50,000 the gross compensation paid all employees in the office of a Senator. Increases by $96,000 per year the aggregate amount authorized for the offices of the Majority and Minority Whip.

Proponent's argument to vote Yes:Rep. WASSERMAN SCHULTZ (D, FL-20): We, as Members of Congress, have responsibility not just for the institution, but for the staff that work for this institution, and to preserve the facilities that help support this institution. We have endeavored to do that responsibly, and I believe we have accomplished that goal.

Opponent's argument to vote No:Rep. SCALISE (R, LA-1): It's a sad day when someone attempts to cut spending in a bill that grows government by the size of 7%, and it's not allowed to be debated on this House floor. Some of their Members actually used the term "nonsense" and "foolishness" when describing our amendments to cut spending; they call that a delaying tactic. Well, I think Americans all across this country want more of those types of delaying tactics to slow down this runaway train of massive Federal spending. Every dollar we spend from today all the way through the end of this year is borrowed money. We don't have that money. We need to control what we're spending.

(Not used in VoteMatch) Democrats: YES 0; NO 0
Republicans: YES 0; NO 0
Independents: YES 0; NO 1
Vote number 2009-S073 providing a US House seat for the District of Columbia
on Feb 26, 2009 regarding bill S.160 District of Columbia House Voting Rights Act
Results: Passed 61-35 (3/5ths required)
Congressional Summary:
  • The District of Columbia shall be considered a Congressional district for purposes of representation in the House of Representatives.
  • DC shall not be considered a State for purposes of representation in the US Senate.
  • Reapportionment [census-based House seats] shall apply with respect to DC in the same manner as it applies to a State, except that DC may not receive more than one Member.
  • Effective with the 112th Congress, the House of Representatives shall be composed of 437 Members, including the Member representing DC.
  • The State of Utah is entitled to one additional Representative pursuant to this reapportionment.

Proponent's argument to vote Yes:Sen. ORRIN HATCH (R-UT): I am cosponsoring the legislation to provide a House seat for DC and an additional House seat for Utah. Representation and suffrage are so central to the American system of self-government that America's founders warned that limiting suffrage would risk another revolution and could prevent ratification of the Constitution. The Supreme Court held in 1820 that Congress' legislative authority over DC allows taxation of DC. Do opponents of giving DC a House seat believe that DC is suitable for taxation but not for representation?

Opponent's argument to vote No:Sen. JOHN McCAIN (R-AZ): I make a constitutional point of order against this bill on the grounds that it violates article I, section 2, of the Constitution. I appreciate the frustration felt by the residents of DC at the absence of a vote in Congress. According to many experts, DC is not a State, so therefore is not entitled to that representation. Also, one has to raise the obvious question: If DC is entitled to a Representative, why isn't Puerto Rico, which would probably entail 9 or 10 Members of Congress? [With regards to the seat for Utah], this is obviously partisan horse-trading.

(Not used in VoteMatch) Democrats: YES 0; NO 0
Republicans: YES 0; NO 0
Independents: YES 0; NO 1
Vote number 2007-339 granting the District of Columbia a seat in Congress
on Sep 18, 2007 regarding bill S. 1257 District of Columbia House Voting Rights Act
Results: Cloture motion failed, 57-42 (3/5 required)
Cloture vote on the District of Columbia House Voting Rights Act:
  • Considers D.C. a congressional district for purposes of representation in the House.
  • D.C. shall not be considered a state for representation in the Senate.
  • Limits D.C. to one Member under any reapportionment.
  • Increases membership of the House from 435 to 437.
  • Entitles Utah to one additional Representative until the next census, and modifies the reapportionment formula thereafter.
[Washington DC currently has a "delegate" to the US House, whose vote does not count. Utah had complained that the 2000 census did not count many Utahns on Mormon missions abroad].

Opponents recommend voting NO because:

Sen. BYRD: In 1978, I voted for H.J. Res. 554, that proposed amending the Constitution to provide for representation of D.C. [That amendment passed the Senate but was not ratified by the States]. While I recognize that others believe that the Constitution authorizes the Congress to "exercise exclusive legislation" over D.C., the historical intent of the Founders on this point is unclear. I oppose S.1257, because I doubt that our Nation's Founding Fathers ever intended that the Congress should be able to change the text of the Constitution by passing a simple bill.

Proponents support voting YES because:

Sen. HATCH. There are conservative and liberal advocates on both sides of this issue,and think most people know Utah was not treated fairly after the last census. For those who are so sure this is unconstitutional, [we include an] expedited provision that will get us to the Supreme Court to make an appropriate decision. It will never pass as a constitutional amendment. There are 600,000 people in D.C., never contemplated by the Founders of this country to be without the right to vote. They are the only people in this country who do not have a right to vote for their own representative in the House. This bill would remedy that situation.

(Not used in VoteMatch) Democrats: YES 2; NO 0
Republicans: YES 0; NO 1
Independents: YES 0; NO 1
Vote number 2007-269 requiring photo ID to vote in federal elections
on Jul 19, 2007 regarding bill S.2350, amending SP2350 Dole Amendment to the Help America Vote Act
Results: Rejected, 42-54 (3/5 required)
Vote on Dole Amdt. S.2350, amending SP2350 (via the College Cost Reduction Act): To amend the Help America Vote Act of 2002 to require individuals voting in person to present photo identification.

Proponents support voting YES because:

Sen. DOLE. I am proposing a commonsense measure to uphold the integrity of Federal elections. My amendment to require voters to show photo identification at the polls would go a long way in minimizing potential for voter fraud. When a fraudulent vote is cast and counted, the vote of a legitimate voter is cancelled. This is wrong, and my amendment would help ensure that one of the hallmarks of our democracy, our free and fair elections, is protected. Opinion polls repeatedly confirm that Americans overwhelmingly support this initiative.

Opponents recommend voting NO because:

Sen. FEINSTEIN. If one would want to suppress the vote in the 2008 election, one would vote for this because this measure goes into effect January 1, 2008. It provides that everybody who votes essentially would have to have a photo ID. If you want to suppress the minority vote, the elderly vote, the poor vote, this is exactly the way to do it. Many of these people do not have driver's licenses. This amendment would cost hundreds of millions of dollars to actually carry out. It goes into effect--surprise--January 1, 2008 [to affect the presidential election]. I urge a "no" vote.

(Not used in VoteMatch) Democrats: YES 0; NO 1
Republicans: YES 0; NO 0
Independents: YES 1; NO 0
Vote number 2006-080 allowing some lobbyist gifts to Congress
on Mar 29, 2006 regarding bill S.Amdt.2962 to S.2349 Feingold Amendment to Legislative Transparency and Accountability Act
Results: Motion to table passed, 68-30
A motion to table (kill) an amendment to clarify the application of the gift rule to lobbyists. Voting NAY would define employees of lobbying companies as registered lobbyists and therefore subject to the gift ban. Voting YEA would apply the gift ban only to specific people who registered as lobbyists.
    Proponents of the amendment say to vote NAY on the tabling motion because:
  • Using the term "registered lobbyist'' will create a huge loophole. The Ethics Committee treats the actual listed lobbyists as registered lobbyists, but not the organization.
  • So, for example, a company can give a Senator free tickets to a show or a baseball game, as long as a lobbyist doesn't actually offer or handle them. If the lobbyist's secretary makes the call, that would be permitted.
  • If these companies can still give gifts, we won't have a real lobbyist gift ban. We won't be able to look the American people in the eye and say, "We just banned gifts from lobbyists,'' because we didn't.
    Opponents of the amendment say to vote YEA on the tabling motion because:
  • I can tolerate not accepting gifts from lobbyists. But this amendment goes a step further which is problematic.

    For example, I am a big fan of McDonald's. What about the kids working behind the counter? Would they be considered registered lobbyists because McDonald's has lobbyists? Would I not be able to go to lunch with my longtime friend who owns 12 McDonald's?

  • Every company in the Fortune 1000 employs a lobbyist, either a private firm or an in-house lobbyist. Under this amendment, every person who works for Exxon, Wal-Mart, Home Depot, and countless other businesses that employ lobbyists in Washington would be considered registered lobbyists.
  • If we want to ban the CEO and chairman of the board of the company from paying for a meal, or the head of a labor union, do that specifically. But this is so broadly developed I think it goes way beyond that.
Voting N counts for 2 points on VoteMatch question 16: Stricter limits on political campaign funds. Democrats: YES 1; NO 3
Republicans: YES 6; NO 3
Independents: YES 2; NO 0
Vote number 2006-077 establishing the Senate Office of Public Integrity
on Mar 28, 2006 regarding bill S.Amdt.3176 to S.2349 Collins Amendment to Legislative Transparency and Accountability Act
Results: Amendment rejected, 30-67
An amendment to establish the Senate Office of Public Integrity. Voting YEA would establish the new office, and voting NAY would keep ethics investigations within the existing Senate Ethics Committee.
    Proponents of the bill say to vote YEA because:
  • We have heard from the media about the bribes and scandals, but we have heard only silence from the House Ethics Committee. One of the greatest travesties of these scandals is not what Congress did, but what it didn't do.
  • The American people perceive the entire ethics system--House and Senate--to be broken. We can pass all the ethics reforms we want--gift bans, travel bans, lobbying restrictions--but none of them will make a difference if there isn't a nonpartisan, independent body that will help us enforce those laws.
  • The Office of Public Integrity established in this amendment would provide a voice that cannot be silenced by political pressures. It would have the power to initiate independent investigations and bring its findings to the Ethics Committees in a transparent manner.
    Opponents of the bill say to vote NAY because:
  • The Constitution gave us not only the right but the duty to create our own rules, including the rules concerning our ethics. They are enforced internally by the Senate itself.
  • The decisions made under this amendment would be no different than right now. The final decision will be made by the Senate Ethics Committee. All this really does is find a way to further publicize that complaints have been made.
  • We have people accusing us almost daily of having done something wrong and publishing it through blogs and all that. I think we should be very careful in setting up another tool for these bloggers to create more charges against the Senate.
  • I cannot support an amendment that either replaces the Senate Ethics Committee or adds another layer to our already expensive and time-consuming process. I urge the Senate to defeat this provision.
Voting Y counts for 1 points on VoteMatch question 16: Stricter limits on political campaign funds. Democrats: YES 2; NO 2
Republicans: YES 3; NO 6
Independents: YES 0; NO 2
Vote number 2002-54 banning "soft money" contributions and restricting issue ads
on Mar 20, 2002 regarding bill HR.2356
Results:
Vote on passage of H.R. 2356; Bipartisan Campaign Reform Act of 2002 (Shays-Meehan bill, House equivalent of McCain-Feingoldf bill). Vote to ban “soft money” contributions to national political parties but permit up to $10,000 in soft money contributions to state and local parties to help with voter registration and get-out-the-vote drives. The bill would stop issue ads from targeting specific candidates within 30 days of the primary or 60 days of the general election. Additionally, the bill would raise the individual contribution limit from $1,000 to $2,000 per election for House and Senate candidates, both of which would be indexed for inflation. Voting Y counts for 1 points on VoteMatch question 16: Stricter limits on campaign funds. Democrats: YES 12; NO 1
Republicans: YES 3; NO 14
Independents: YES 1; NO 0
Vote number 2002-38 require photo ID (not just signature) for voter registration
on Feb 27, 2002 regarding bill S.565
Results:
Motion to Table Schumer Amdt. No. 2937; To permit the use of a signature or personal mark for the purpose of verifying the identity of voters who register by mail, and for other purposes. Voting Yes would kill the amendment. The amendment would allow a signature to identify voters who register by mail, instead of requiring showing photo identification or other proof of residence before being allowed to vote. (Not used in VoteMatch) Democrats: YES 0; NO 13
Republicans: YES 17; NO 0
Independents: YES 0; NO 1
Vote number 2001-64 banning campaign donations from unions & corporations
on Apr 2, 2001 regarding bill S.27
Results: Bill passed, 59-41
Vote to ban soft money donations to political parties and forbid corporate general funds and union general funds from being spent on issue ads. The bill would increase the individual contribution limit to candidates from $1,000 to $2,000. Voting Y counts for 1 points on VoteMatch question 16: Stricter limits on campaign funds. Democrats: YES 11; NO 2
Republicans: YES 3; NO 14
Independents: YES 1; NO 0
Vote number 1999-260 funding for National Endowment for the Arts
on Aug 5, 1999 regarding bill H.R. 2466 Motion to table Smith Amdt #1569
Results: Y)80; N)16; NV)4 Motion to Table Agreed to
This table motion would end debate on an amendment aimed at funding for the National Endowment for the Arts. Support for the motion to table is a vote for NEA funding. [YES to table means supporting the NEA; NO means defunding the NEA]. (Not used in VoteMatch) Democrats: YES 13; NO 0
Republicans: YES 15; NO 8
Independents: YES 1; NO 0
Vote number 1998-174xxx ending some agricultural subsidies
on Jun 25, 1998 regarding bill S. 2057 Inhofe Amdt #2981
Results: Y)48; N)45; NV)7 Amdt Agreed to
Senator Inhofe (R-OK) offered an amendment to the 1999 Agriculture Appropriations bill to end government funding for agricultural market access and market promotion. (Not used in VoteMatch) Democrats: YES 0; NO 0
Republicans: YES 0; NO 0
Independents: YES 0; NO 0
Vote number 1998-16xxx supporting McCain-Feingold campaign finance reform
on Feb 26, 1998 regarding bill S. 1663 Motion to invoke cloture on the McCain Amendment #1646
Results: Y)51; N)48; NV)1 Cloture Motion Rejected
Cloture to end debate on the McCain-Feingold plan to overhaul campaign finance laws. [Voting FOR cloture (a YES vote) is voting FOR campaign finance reform.] (Not used in VoteMatch) Democrats: YES 0; NO 0
Republicans: YES 0; NO 0
Independents: YES 0; NO 0
Vote number 1997-267 favoring 1997 McCain-Feingold overhaul of campaign finance
on Oct 7, 1997 regarding bill S. 25 Campaign Finance Reform Bill
Results: Y)53; N)47 Cloture Motion Rejected
Support of the campaign finance bill proposed by Senators McCain (R-AZ) and Feingold (D-WI). Voting Y counts for 1 points on VoteMatch question 16: Stricter limits on campaign funds. Democrats: YES 16; NO 0
Republicans: YES 3; NO 22
Independents: YES 1; NO 0
Vote number 1996-56 Approving the presidential line-item veto
on Mar 27, 1996 regarding bill S. 4 Conference Report on S. 4
Results: Y)69; N)31 Conf Rpt Agreed to
Approval of the presidential line-item veto authority. (Not used in VoteMatch) Democrats: YES 8; NO 13
Republicans: YES 28; NO 3
Independents: YES 0; NO 2
Vote number 1995-339 banning more types of Congressional gifts
on Jul 28, 1995 regarding bill S. 1061 Murkowski Amdt to S. 1061
Results: Y)39; N)60; NV)1 Amdt Failed
To exclude certain items from the Congressional Gift Ban. (Not used in VoteMatch) Democrats: YES 6; NO 15
Republicans: YES 19; NO 13
Independents: YES 2; NO 0

Gun Control
Senate BillVote descriptionVoteMatch UsageCandidate Voting
Vote number 2009-S145 allowing firearms in checked baggage on Amtrak trains
on Apr 2, 2009 regarding bill S.Amdt.798 to S.Con.Res.13 Wicker Amendment
Results: Passed 63-35
Congressional Summary:AMENDMENT PURPOSE: To ensure that law abiding Amtrak passengers are allowed to securely transport firearms in their checked baggage.

On page 37, between lines 8 and 9, insert the following: "Allowing Amtrak Passengers to Securely Transport Firearms on Passenger Trains.--None of amounts made available in the reserve fund authorized under this section may be used to provide financial assistance for the National Railroad Passenger Corporation (Amtrak) unless Amtrak passengers are allowed to securely transport firearms in their checked baggage.

Proponent's argument to vote Yes:Sen. ROGER WICKER (R, MS). This amendment aims to ensure that gun owners and sportsmen are able to transport securely firearms aboard Amtrak trains in checked baggage, a practice that is done thousands of times a day at airports across the country. I emphasize that this amendment deals with checked, secured baggage only. It would return Amtrak to a pre-9/11 practice. It does not deal with carry-on baggage. Unlike the airline industry, Amtrak does not allow the transport of firearms in checked bags. This means that sportsmen who wish to use Amtrak trains for hunting trips cannot do so because they are not allowed to check safely a firearm.

Opponent's argument to vote No:Sen. FRANK LAUTENBERG (D, NJ): I object to this disruptive amendment offered by the Senator from Mississippi. He wants to enable the carrying of weapons, guns, in checked baggage. One doesn't have to be very much concerned about what we are doing when they look at the history of attacks on railroads in Spain and the UK and such places. This amendment has no place here interrupting the budgetary procedure. The pending amendment is not germane and, therefore, I raise a point of order that the amendment violates section 305(b)(2) of the Congressional Budget Act of 1974.

Voting Y counts for 1 points on VoteMatch question 10: Absolute right to gun ownership. Democrats: YES 0; NO 0
Republicans: YES 0; NO 0
Independents: YES 1; NO 0
Vote number 2007-321 prohibiting foreign & UN aid that restricts US gun ownership
on Sep 6, 2007 regarding bill S.Amdt. 2774 to H.R. 2764 Vitter Amendment to State Dept. Appropriations Bill
Results: Agreed to, 81-10
Amendment SA 2774 to H.R. 2764, the Department of State's International Aid bill: To prohibit the use of funds by international organizations, agencies, and entities (including the United Nations) that require the registration of, or taxes guns owned by citizens of the United States.

Proponents support voting YES because:

Sen. VITTER: This is a straight funding limitation amendment. Many folks who haven't followed the proceedings on this in the U.N. may ask: What is this all about? Unfortunately, it is about an effort in the United Nations to bring gun control to various countries through that international organization. Unfortunately, that has been an ongoing effort which poses a real threat, back to 1995. In 2001, the UN General Assembly adopted a program of action designed to infringe on second amendment rights. The Vitter amendment simply says we are not going to support any international organization that requires a registration of US citizens' guns or taxes US citizens' guns. If other folks in this Chamber think that is not happening, that it is never going to happen, my reply is simple and straightforward: Great, then this language has no effect. It is no harm to pass it as a failsafe. It has no impact. But, in fact, related efforts have been going on in the U.N. since at least 1995. I hope this can get very wide, bipartisan support, and I urge all my colleagues to support this very fundamental, straightforward amendment.

No opponents spoke against the bill.

Voting Y counts for 1 points on VoteMatch question 10: Gun Control. Democrats: YES 1; NO 0
Republicans: YES 1; NO 0
Independents: YES 1; NO 0
Vote number 2005-219 prohibiting lawsuits against gun manufacturers
on Jul 29, 2005 regarding bill S 397 Protection of Lawful Commerce in Arms Act
Results: Bill Passed, 65-31
A bill to prohibit civil liability actions from being brought or continued against manufacturers, distributors, dealers, or importers of firearms or ammunition for damages, injunctive or other relief resulting from the misuse of their products by others. Voting YES would:
  • Exempt lawsuits brought against individuals who knowingly transfer a firearm that will be used to commit a violent or drug-trafficking crime
  • Exempt lawsuits against actions that result in death, physical injury or property damage due solely to a product defect
  • Call for the dismissal of all qualified civil liability actions pending on the date of enactment by the court in which the action was brought
  • Prohibit the manufacture, import, sale or delivery of armor piercing ammunition, and sets a minimum prison term of 15 years for violations
  • Require all licensed importers, manufacturers and dealers who engage in the transfer of handguns to provide secure gun storage or safety devices
Voting Y counts for 2 points on VoteMatch question 10: Absolute right to gun ownership. Democrats: YES 1; NO 4
Republicans: YES 7; NO 2
Independents: YES 2; NO 0
Vote number 2004-30 banning lawsuits against gun manufacturers for gun violence
on Mar 2, 2004 regarding bill S.1805/H.R.1036 Protection of Lawful Commerce in Arms Act
Results: Bill Rejected 8-90: R 3-48; D 5-41
Vote to pass a bill that would block certain civil lawsuits against manufacturers, distributors, dealers and importers of firearms and ammunition, mainly those lawsuits aimed at making them liable for gun violence. In this bill, trade groups would also be protected The bill would call for the dismissal of pending lawsuits against the gun industry. The exception would be lawsuits regarding a defect in a weapon or ammunition. It also would provide a 10-year reauthorization of the assault weapons ban which is set to expire in September 2004. The bill would increase the penalties for gun-related violent or drug trafficking crimes which have not resulted in death, to a minimum of 15 years imprisonment. The bill calls for criminal background checks on all firearm transactions at gun shows where at least 75 guns are sold. Exemptions would be made available for dealers selling guns from their homes as well as members-only gun swaps and meets carried out by nonprofit hunting clubs. Voting Y counts for 2 points on VoteMatch question 10: Absolute right to gun ownership. Democrats: YES 2; NO 6
Republicans: YES 0; NO 12
Independents: YES 0; NO 0
Vote number 1999-134 background checks at gun shows
on May 20, 1999 regarding bill S. 254 Lautenberg Amdt #362
Results: Y)50; N)50; VP decided YES Amdt Agreed to
Require background checks on all firearm sales at gun shows. Voting N counts for 2 points on VoteMatch question 10: Absolute right to gun ownership. Democrats: YES 13; NO 0
Republicans: YES 4; NO 19
Independents: YES 0; NO 1
Vote number 1999-118 more penalties for gun & drug violations
on May 14, 1999 regarding bill S. 254 Hatch Amendment #344
Results: Y)48; N)47; NV)5 Amdt Agreed to
The Hatch amdt would increase mandatory penalties for the illegal transfer or use of firearms, fund additional drug case prosecutors, and require background check on purchasers at gun shows. [A YES vote supports stricter penalties]. Voting Y counts for 1 points on VoteMatch question 9: Mandatory "Three Strikes" Sentencing Laws. Democrats: YES 0; NO 11
Republicans: YES 18; NO 5
Independents: YES 1; NO 0
Vote number 1999-118 more penalties for gun & drug violations
on May 14, 1999 regarding bill S. 254 Hatch Amendment #344
Results: Y)48; N)47; NV)5 Amdt Agreed to
The Hatch amdt would increase mandatory penalties for the illegal transfer or use of firearms, fund additional drug case prosecutors, and require background check on purchasers at gun shows. [A YES vote supports stricter penalties]. Voting Y counts for 1 points on VoteMatch question 9: Mandatory "Three Strikes" Sentencing Laws. Democrats: YES 0; NO 11
Republicans: YES 18; NO 5
Independents: YES 1; NO 0
Vote number 1999-111 loosening license & background checks at gun shows
on May 11, 1999 regarding bill S.254
Results: Tabled 51-47
Vote to table or kill a motion to require that all gun sales at gun shows be completed by federally licensed gun dealers. Also requires background checks to be completed on buyers and requires gun show promoters to register with the Treasury. Voting Y counts for 1 points on VoteMatch question 10: Absolute right to gun ownership. Democrats: YES 1; NO 11
Republicans: YES 20; NO 3
Independents: YES 1; NO 0
Vote number 1998-216 maintaining current law: guns sold without trigger locks
on Jul 21, 1998 regarding bill S 2260
Results: Motion passed, 61-39
Vote to table [kill] an amendment to make it unlawful for gun dealers to sell handguns without providing trigger locks. Violation of the law would result in civil penalties, such as suspension or revocation of the dealer's license, or a fine. Voting Y counts for 2 points on VoteMatch question 10: Absolute right to gun ownership. Democrats: YES 4; NO 12
Republicans: YES 23; NO 2
Independents: YES 1; NO 0

Health Care
Senate BillVote descriptionVoteMatch UsageCandidate Voting
Vote number 11-SV077 the Ryan Budget: Medicare choice, tax & spending cuts
on May 25, 2011 regarding bill HCR34&SCR21 Ryan Budget Plan
Results: Failed 40-57
Proponent's Arguments for voting Yes:

[Sen. DeMint, R-SC]: The Democrats have Medicare on a course of bankruptcy. Republicans are trying to save Medicare & make sure there are options for seniors in the future. Medicare will not be there 5 or 10 years from now. Doctors will not see Medicare patients at the rate [Congress will] pay.

[Sen. Ayotte, R-NH]: We have 3 choices when it comes to addressing rising health care costs in Medicare. We can do nothing & watch the program go bankrupt in 2024. We can go forward with the President's proposal to ration care through an unelected board of 15 bureaucrats. Or we can show real leadership & strengthen the program to make it solvent for current beneficiaries, and allow future beneficiaries to make choices.

Opponent's Arguments for voting No:

[Sen. Conrad, D-ND]: In the House Republican budget plan, the first thing they do is cut $4 trillion in revenue over the next 10 years. For the wealthiest among us, they give them an additional $1 trillion in tax reductions. To offset these massive new tax cuts, they have decided to shred the social safety net. They have decided to shred Medicare. They have decided to shred program after program so they can give more tax cuts to those who are the wealthiest among us.

[Sen. Merkley, D-TK]: The Republicans chose to end Medicare as we know it. The Republican plan reopens the doughnut hole. That is the hole into which seniors fall when, after they have some assistance with the first drugs they need, they get no assistance until they reach a catastrophic level. It is in that hole that seniors have had their finances devastated. We fixed it. Republicans want to unfix it and throw seniors back into the abyss. Then, instead of guaranteeing Medicare coverage for a fixed set of benefits for every senior--as Medicare does now--the Republican plan gives seniors a coupon and says: Good luck. Go buy your insurance. If the insurance goes up, too bad.

Voting N counts for 1 points on VoteMatch question 5: Health Care. Democrats: YES 0; NO 0
Republicans: YES 0; NO 0
Independents: YES 0; NO 0
Vote number 2009-S207 regulating tobacco as a drug
on Jun 11, 2009 regarding bill HR1256&S982 Family Smoking Prevention and Tobacco Control Act
Results: Passed 79-17
Congressional Summary:Amends the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act (FFDCA) to provide for the regulation of tobacco products by the Secretary of Health and Human Services through the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). Defines a tobacco product as any product made or derived from tobacco that is intended for human consumption. Excludes from FDA authority the tobacco leaf and tobacco farms.

Opponent's argument to vote No:Rep. HEATH SHULER (D, NC-11): Putting a dangerous, overworked FDA in charge of tobacco is a threat to public safety. Last year, the FDA commissioner testified that he had serious concerns that this bill could undermine the public health role of the FDA. And the FDA Science Board said the FDA's inability to keep up with scientific advancements means that Americans' lives will be at risk.

Proponent's argument to vote Yes: Rep. HENRY WAXMAN (D, CA-30): The bill before us, the Waxman-Platts bill, has been carefully crafted over more than a decade, in close consultation with the public health community. It's been endorsed by over 1,000 different public health, scientific, medical, faith, and community organizations.

Sen. HARRY REID (D, NV): Yesterday, 3,500 children who had never smoked before tried their first cigarette. For some, it will also be their last cigarette but certainly not all. If you think 3,500 is a scary number, how about 3.5 million. That is a pretty scary number. That is how many American high school kids smoke--3.5 million. Nearly all of them aren't old enough to buy cigarettes. It means we have as many boys and girls smoking as are participating in athletics in high schools. We have as many as are playing football, basketball, track and field, and baseball combined.

Voting Y counts for 1 points on VoteMatch question 5: More Federal Funding for Health Coverage. Democrats: YES 0; NO 0
Republicans: YES 0; NO 0
Independents: YES 1; NO 0
Vote number 2009-S031 expanding the Children's Health Insurance Program
on Jan 29, 2009 regarding bill H.R.2 SCHIP Reauthorization Act
Results: Passed 66-32
Congressional Summary:

  • Reauthorizes State Children's Health Insurance Program (SCHIP) through FY2013 at increased levels.
  • Gives states the option to cover targeted low-income pregnant women
  • Phases out coverage for nonpregnant childless adults.
Proponent's argument to vote Yes:

Rep. FRANK PALLONE (D, NJ-6): In the last Congress, we passed legislation that enjoyed bipartisan support as well as the support of the American people. Unfortunately, it did not enjoy the support of the President, who vetoed our bill twice, and went on to proclaim that uninsured children can simply go to the emergency room to have their medical needs met. As the Nation moves deeper into a recession and unemployment rates continue to rise, millions of Americans are joining the ranks of the uninsured, many of whom are children. We can't delay. We must enact this legislation now.

Opponent's argument to vote No:Rep. ROY BLUNT (R, MI-7): This bill doesn't require the States to meet any kind of threshold standard that would ensure that States were doing everything they could to find kids who needed insurance before they begin to spend money to find kids who may not have the same need. Under the bill several thousands of American families would be poor enough to qualify for SCHIP and have the government pay for their health care, but they'd be rich enough to still be required to pay the alternative minimum tax. The bill changes welfare participation laws by eliminating the 5-year waiting period for legal immigrants to lawfully reside in the country before they can participate in this program. In the final bill, we assume that 65% of the children receiving the benefit wouldn't get the benefit anymore. It seems to me this bill needs more work, would have benefited from a committee hearing. It doesn't prioritize poor kids to ensure that they get health care first.

Voting Y counts for 1 points on VoteMatch question 5: More Federal Funding for Health Coverage. Democrats: YES 0; NO 0
Republicans: YES 0; NO 0
Independents: YES 1; NO 0
Vote number 2008-S177 overriding veto on expansion of Medicare
on Jul 15, 2008 regarding bill HR.6331 Medicare Improvements for Patients and Providers Act
Results: Passed 70-26
Congressional Summary:
  • Extends Medicare to cover additional preventive services.
  • Includes body mass index and end-of-life planning among initial preventive physical examinations.
  • Eliminates by 2014 [the currently higher] copayment rates for Medicare psychiatric services.
Pres. GEORGE W. BUSH's veto message (argument to vote No):
    I support the primary objective of this legislation, to forestall reductions in physician payments. Yet taking choices away from seniors to pay physicians is wrong. This bill is objectionable, and I am vetoing it because:
  • It would harm beneficiaries by taking private health plan options away from them.
  • It would undermine the Medicare prescription drug program.
  • It is fiscally irresponsible, and it would imperil the long-term fiscal soundness of Medicare by using short-term budget gimmicks that do not solve the problem.
In addition, H.R. 6331 would delay important reforms like the Durable Medical Equipment, Prosthetics, Orthotics, and Supplies competitive bidding program. Changing policy in mid-stream is also confusing to beneficiaries who are receiving services from quality suppliers at lower prices. In order to slow the growth in Medicare spending, competition within the program should be expanded, not diminished.

Proponent's argument to vote Yes: Sen. PATTY MURRAY (D, WA): President Bush vetoed a bill that would make vital improvements to the program that has helped ensure that millions of seniors and the disabled can get the care they need. This bill puts an emphasis on preventive care that will help our seniors stay healthy, and it will help to keep costs down by enabling those patients to get care before they get seriously ill. This bill will improve coverage for low-income seniors who need expert help to afford basic care. It will help make sure our seniors get mental health care.

Voting Y counts for 1 points on VoteMatch question 5: More Federal Funding for Health Coverage. Democrats: YES 1; NO 0
Republicans: YES 0; NO 0
Independents: YES 1; NO 0
Vote number 08-S063 means-testing to determine Medicare Part D premium
on Mar 13, 2008 regarding bill S.Amdt.4240 to S.Con.Res.70
Results: Amendment rejected, 42-56
CONGRESSIONAL SUMMARY:To require wealthy Medicare beneficiaries to pay a greater share of their Medicare Part D premiums.

SUPPORTER'S ARGUMENT FOR VOTING YES:Sen. ENSIGN: This amendment is to means test Medicare Part D the same way we means test Medicare Part B. An individual senior making over $82,000 a year, or a senior couple making over $164,000, would be expected to pay a little over $10 a month extra. That is all we are doing. This amendment saves a couple billion dollars over the next 5 years. It is very reasonable. There is nothing else in this budget that does anything on entitlement reform, and we all know entitlements are heading for a train wreck in this country. We ought to at least do this little bit for our children for deficit reduction. OPPONENT'S ARGUMENT FOR VOTING NO:Sen. BAUCUS: The problem with this amendment is exactly what the sponsor said: It is exactly like Part B. Medicare Part B is a premium that is paid with respect to doctors' examinations and Medicare reimbursement. Part D is the drug benefit. Part D premiums vary significantly nationwide according to geography and according to the plans offered. It is nothing like Part B.

Second, any change in Part D is required to be in any Medicare bill if it comes up. We may want to make other Medicare changes. We don't want to be restricted to means testing.

Third, this should be considered broad health care reform, at least Medicare reform, and not be isolated in this case. LEGISLATIVE OUTCOME:Amendment rejected, 42-56

Voting N counts for 1 points on VoteMatch question 5: Health Care. Democrats: YES 0; NO 2
Republicans: YES 0; NO 0
Independents: YES 0; NO 1
Vote number 08-S025 allowing tribal Indians to opt out of federal healthcare
on Feb 14, 2008 regarding bill SA.4034 to SA.3899 to S.1200 Tribal Member Choice Program
Results: Amendment rejected, 28-67
CONGRESSIONAL SUMMARY:
    TRIBAL MEMBER CHOICE PROGRAM: Members of federally-recognized Indian Tribes shall be provided the opportunity to voluntarily enroll, with a risk-adjusted subsidy for the purchase of qualified health insurance in order to--
  1. improve Indian access to high quality health care services;
  2. provide incentives to Indian patients to seek preventive health care services;
  3. create opportunities for Indians to participate in the health care decision process;
  4. encourage effective use of health care services by Indians; and
  5. allow Indians to make health care coverage & delivery decisions & choices.

SUPPORTER'S ARGUMENT FOR VOTING YES:Sen. COBURN: The underlying legislation, S.1200, does not fix the underlying problems with tribal healthcare. It does not fix rationing. It does not fix waiting lines. It does not fix the inferior quality that is being applied to a lot of Native Americans and Alaskans in this country. It does not fix any of those problems. In fact, it authorizes more services without making sure the money is there to follow it.

Those who say a failure to reauthorize the Indian Health Care Improvement Act is a violation of our trust obligations are correct. However, I believe simply reauthorizing this system with minor modifications is an even greater violation of that commitment.

OPPONENT'S ARGUMENT FOR VOTING NO:Sen. DORGAN: It is not more money necessarily that is only going to solve the problem. But I guarantee you that less money will not solve the problem. If you add another program for other Indians who can go somewhere else and be able to present a card, they have now taken money out of the system and purchased their own insurance--then those who live on the reservation with the current Indian Health Service clinic there has less money. How does that work to help the folks who are stranded with no competition?

LEGISLATIVE OUTCOME:Amendment rejected, 28-67

Voting N counts for 2 points on VoteMatch question 5: Health Care. Democrats: YES 0; NO 1
Republicans: YES 0; NO 0
Independents: YES 1; NO 0
Vote number 2007-403 adding 2 to 4 million children to SCHIP eligibility
on Nov 1, 2007 regarding bill H.R. 3963 Children's Health Insurance Program Reauthorization Act
Results: Bill Passed, 64-30
Allows State Children's Health Insurance Programs (SCHIP), that require state legislation to meet additional requirements imposed by this Act, additional time to make required plan changes. Pres. Bush vetoed this bill on Dec. 12, 2007, as well as a version (HR976) from Feb. 2007.

Proponents support voting YES because:

Rep. DINGELL: This is not a perfect bill, but it is an excellent bipartisan compromise. The bill provides health coverage for 3.9 million children who are eligible, yet remain uninsured. It meets the concerns expressed in the President's veto message [from HR976]:

  1. It terminates the coverage of childless adults.
  2. It targets bonus payments only to States that increase enrollments of the poorest uninsured children, and it prohibits States from covering families with incomes above $51,000.
  3. It contains adequate enforcement to ensure that only US citizens are covered.

Opponents recommend voting NO because:

Rep. DEAL: This bill [fails to] fix the previous legislation that has been vetoed:

  • On illegal immigration: Would the verification system prevent an illegal alien from fraudulently using another person's name to obtain SCHIP benefits? No.
  • On adults in SCHIP: Up to 10% of the enrollees in SCHIP will be adults, not children, in the next 5 years, and money for poor children shouldn't go to cover adults.
  • On crowd-out: The CBO still estimates there will be some 2 million people who will lose their private health insurance coverage and become enrolled in a government-run program.

Veto message from President Bush:

Like its predecessor, HR976, this bill does not put poor children first and it moves our country's health care system in the wrong direction. Ultimately, our goal should be to move children who have no health insurance to private coverage--not to move children who already have private health insurance to government coverage. As a result, I cannot sign this legislation.

Voting Y counts for 1 points on VoteMatch question 5: Health Care. Democrats: YES 1; NO 0
Republicans: YES 0; NO 1
Independents: YES 0; NO 1
Vote number 2007-132 requiring negotiated Rx prices for Medicare part D
on Apr 18, 2007 regarding bill S.3 & H.R.4 Medicare Prescription Drug Price Negotiation Act
Results: Cloture vote rejected, 55-42 (3/5ths required) Cloture rejected
Would require negotiating with pharmaceutical manufacturers the prices that may be charged to prescription drug plan sponsors for covered Medicare part D drugs.

Proponents support voting YES because:

This legislation is an overdue step to improve part D drug benefits. The bipartisan bill is simple and straightforward. It removes the prohibition from negotiating discounts with pharmaceutical manufacturers, and requires the Secretary of Health & Human Services to negotiate. This legislation will deliver lower premiums to the seniors, lower prices at the pharmacy and savings for all taxpayers.

It is equally important to understand that this legislation does not do certain things. HR4 does not preclude private plans from getting additional discounts on medicines they offer seniors and people with disabilities. HR4 does not establish a national formulary. HR4 does not require price controls. HR4 does not hamstring research and development by pharmaceutical houses. HR4 does not require using the Department of Veterans Affairs' price schedule.

Opponents support voting NO because:

Does ideological purity trump sound public policy? It shouldn't, but, unfortunately, it appears that ideology would profoundly change the Medicare part D prescription drug program, a program that is working well, a program that has arrived on time and under budget. The changes are not being proposed because of any weakness or defect in the program, but because of ideological opposition to market-based prices. Since the inception of the part D program, America's seniors have had access to greater coverage at a lower cost than at any time under Medicare.

Under the guise of negotiation, this bill proposes to enact draconian price controls on pharmaceutical products. Competition has brought significant cost savings to the program. The current system trusts the marketplace, with some guidance, to be the most efficient arbiter of distribution.

Voting Y counts for 1 points on VoteMatch question 5: More Federal Funding for Health Coverage. Democrats: YES 2; NO 0
Republicans: YES 0; NO 2
Independents: YES 0; NO 1
Vote number 2006-115 limiting medical liability lawsuits to $250,000
on May 8, 2006 regarding bill S. 22 Medical Care Access Protection Act
Results: Cloture vote rejected, 48-42 (3/5ths required)
A "cloture motion" cuts off debate. Voting YEA indicates support for the bill as written, in this case to cap medical liability lawsuits. Voting NAY indicates opposition to the bill or a desire to amend it. This bill would "provide improved medical care by reducing the excessive burden the liability system places on the health care delivery system." It would limit medical lawsuit noneconomic damages to $250,000 from the health care provider, and no more than $500,000 from multiple health care institutions.
    Proponents of the motion recommend voting YEA because:
  • Many doctors have had to either stop practicing medicine due to increased insurance premiums.
  • Patients are affected as well--due to rising malpractice rates, more and more patients are not able to find the medical specialists they need.
  • The cost of medical malpractice insurance premiums are having wide-ranging effects. It is a national problem, and it is time for a national solution.
  • I am pleased that S. 22 extends liability protections to all health care providers and institutions.
  • These bills are a commonsense solution to a serious problem, and it is time for us to vote up or down on this legislation.
    Opponents of the motion recommend voting NAY because:
  • We have virtually no evidence that caps on economic damages will actually lower insurance rates. And in my view, these caps are not fair to victims.
  • If we want to reduce malpractice insurance premiums we must address these problems as well as looking closely at the business practices of the insurance companies. What we shouldn't do is limit the recovery of victims of horrible injury to an arbitrarily low sum.
  • This is obviously a complicated issue. This is the kind of issue that needs to be explored in depth in our committees so that a consensus can emerge. So I will vote no on cloture, and I hope that these bills will go through committees before we begin floor consideration of this important topic.
Voting Y counts for 1 points on VoteMatch question 5: More Federal Funding for Health Coverage. Democrats: YES 0; NO 3
Republicans: YES 8; NO 0
Independents: YES 1; NO 0
Vote number 2006-005 expanding enrollment period for Medicare Part D
on Feb 2, 2006 regarding bill S Amdt 2730 to HR 4297 Medicare Part D Amendment
Results: Motion Rejected, 52-45 (3/5th required)
To provide for necessary beneficiary protections in order to ensure access to coverage under the Medicare part D prescription drug program. Voting YES would extend the 6-month enrollment period for the Prescription Drug Benefit Program to the entire year of 2006 and allows beneficiaries to change plans once in that year, without penalty, after enrollment. Also would fully reimburse pharmacies, states and individuals for cost in 2006 for covered Medicare Part D drugs. Voting Y counts for 1 points on VoteMatch question 5: More Federal Funding for Health Coverage. Democrats: YES 4; NO 0
Republicans: YES 2; NO 6
Independents: YES 1; NO 1
Vote number 2005-299 increasing Medicaid rebate for producing generics
on Nov 3, 2005 regarding bill S Amdt 2348 to S 1932 Amendment for Medicaid rebates for generic drugs
Results: Amendment Rejected, 49-50
Vote on an amendment that removes an increase in the Medicaid deduction rebate for generic drugs from 11% to 17%. The effect of the amendment, according to its sponsor, is as follows: "This bill eliminates the ability of generic drugs to be sold using Medicaid. Over half the prescription drugs used in Medicaid are generic. Because we have raised the fees so dramatically on what a generic drug company must pay a pharmacy to handle the drug, pharmacies are not going to use the generic. In the long run, that will cost the Medicaid Program billions of dollars. My amendment corrects that situation." A Senator opposing the amendment said: "This bill has in it already very significant incentives for generic utilization through the way we reimburse generics. Brand drugs account for 67% of Medicaid prescriptions, but they also account for 81% of the Medicaid rebates. This is reasonable policy for us, then, to create parity between brand and generic rebates. This amendment would upset that parity." Voting Y counts for 1 points on VoteMatch question 5: More Federal Funding for Health Coverage. Democrats: YES 4; NO 0
Republicans: YES 1; NO 8
Independents: YES 1; NO 1
Vote number 2005-60 negotiating bulk purchases for Medicare prescription drug
on Mar 17, 2005 regarding bill S.Amdt. 214 to S.Con.Res. 18 Prescription Drug Amendment
Results: Amendment Rejected, 49-50
Vote to adopt an amendment that would allow federal government negotiations with prescription drug manufactures for the best possible prescription drug prices. Amendment details: To ensure that any savings associated with legislation that provides the Secretary of Health and Human Services with the authority to participate in the negotiation of contracts with manufacturers of covered part D drugs to achieve the best possible prices for such drugs under Medicare Part D of the Social Security Act, that requires the Secretary to negotiate contracts with manufacturers of such drugs for each fallback prescription drug plan, and that requires the Secretary to participate in the negotiation for a contract for any such drug upon the request of a prescription drug plan or an MA-PD plan, is reserved for reducing expenditures under such part. Voting Y counts for 2 points on VoteMatch question 5: More Federal Funding for Health Coverage. Democrats: YES 5; NO 0
Republicans: YES 1; NO 8
Independents: YES 1; NO 1
Vote number 2003-262 $40 billion per year for limited Medicare prescription drug benefit
on Jun 26, 2003 regarding bill S.1/H.R.1 Medicare Prescription Drug Benefit bill
Results: Bill Passed 76-21: R 40-10; D 35-11
S. 1 As Amended; Prescription Drug and Medicare Improvement Act of 2003. Vote to pass a bill that would authorize $400 billion over 10 years to create a prescription drug benefit for Medicare recipients beginning in 2006. Seniors would be allowed to remain within the traditional fee-for-service program or seniors would have the option to switch to a Medicare Advantage program that includes prescription drug coverage. Private insurers would provide prescription drug coverage. Private Insurers would engage in competitive bidding to be awarded two-year regional contracts by the Center for Medicare Choices under the Department of Health and Human Services.Enrolled seniors would pay a $275 deductible and an average monthly premium of $35. Annual drug costs beyond the deductible and up to $4,500 would be divided equally between the beneficiary and the insurer. Beneficiaries with incomes below 160 percent of the poverty level would be eligible for added assistance. Voting Y counts for 1 points on VoteMatch question 5: More Federal Funding for Health Coverage. Democrats: YES 5; NO 4
Republicans: YES 9; NO 3
Independents: YES 1; NO 0
Vote number 2002-201 allowing reimportation of Rx drugs from Canada
on Jul 31, 2002 regarding bill S.812
Results:
S. 812, as amended; Greater Access to Affordable Pharmaceuticals Act of 2002. Vote to pass a bill that would permit a single 30-month stay against Food and Drug Administration approval of a generic drug patent when a brand-name company's patent is challenged. The secretary of Health and Human Services would be authorized to announce regulations allowing pharmacists and wholesalers to import prescription drugs from Canada into the United States. Canadian pharmacies and wholesalers that provide drugs for importation would be required to register with Health and Human Services. Individuals would be allowed to import prescription drugs from Canada. The medication would have to be for an individual use and a supply of less than 90-days. (Not used in VoteMatch) Democrats: YES 12; NO 1
Republicans: YES 8; NO 8
Independents: YES 1; NO 0
Vote number 2001-220 allowing patients to sue HMOs & collect punitive damages
on Jun 29, 2001 regarding bill S1052
Results: Bill passed, 59-36
Vote to provide federal protections, such as access to specialty and emergency room care, and allow patients to sue health insurers in state and federal courts. Economic damages would not be capped, and punitive damages would be capped at $5 million. (Not used in VoteMatch) Democrats: YES 13; NO 0
Republicans: YES 3; NO 10
Independents: YES 0; NO 1
Vote number 2001-65 funding GOP version of Medicare prescription drug benefit
on Apr 3, 2001 regarding bill H Con Res 83
Results: Amendment adopted, 50-50; VP decided YES
Vote to pass an amendment that would make up to $300 billion available for a Medicare prescription drug benefit for 2002 through 2011. The money would come from the budget's contingency fund. The amendment would also require a Medicare overhaul. Voting N counts for 1 points on VoteMatch question 5: More Federal Funding for Health Coverage. Democrats: YES 1; NO 12
Republicans: YES 16; NO 1
Independents: YES 1; NO 0
Vote number 2000-144 including prescription drugs under Medicare
on Jun 22, 2000 regarding bill HR.4690
Results: Rejected 53-44
Vote to establish a prescription drug benefit program through the Medicare health insurance program. Among other provisions, Medicare would contribute at least 50% of the cost of prescription drugs and beneficiaries would pay a $250 deductible Voting Y counts for 1 points on VoteMatch question 5: More Federal Funding for Health Coverage. Democrats: YES 12; NO 1
Republicans: YES 2; NO 20
Independents: YES 0; NO 1
Vote number 1999-202 limiting self-employment health deduction
on Jul 13, 1999 regarding bill S. 1344 Santorum Amdt #1234
Results: Y)53; N)47 Amdt Agreed to
The Santorum (R-PA) amdt would effectively kill the Kennedy Amdt (D-MA) which would have allowed self-employed individuals to fully deduct the cost of their health insurance on their federal taxes. Voting N counts for 1 points on VoteMatch question 5: More Federal Funding for Health Coverage. Democrats: YES 0; NO 13
Republicans: YES 22; NO 1
Independents: YES 1; NO 0
Vote number 1999-76xxx increasing funds for Medicare prescriptions
on Mar 25, 1999 regarding bill S. Con. Res. 20 Motion to waive Snowe Amdt #232
Results: Y)54; N)44; NV)2 Motion Rejected
The Snowe (R-ME) Amdt would allow the Medicare prescription drug benefit program to be paid for by an increase in tobacco taxes. (Not used in VoteMatch) Democrats: YES 0; NO 0
Republicans: YES 0; NO 0
Independents: YES 0; NO 0
Vote number 1998-161 increasing tobacco restrictions
on Jun 17, 1998 regarding bill S. 1415 Motion to invoke cloture on a modified committee substitute to S. 1415
Results: Y)57; N)42; NV)1 Cloture Motion Rejected
This cloture motion was on a bill which would have increased tobacco restrictions. [YES is an anti-smoking vote]. (Not used in VoteMatch) Democrats: YES 14; NO 2
Republicans: YES 6; NO 19
Independents: YES 1; NO 0
Vote number 1997-113 Medicare means-testing
on Jun 24, 1997 regarding bill S. 947 Motion to table the Kennedy Amdt #440
Results: Y)70; N)20 Motion to Table Agreed to
Approval of means-based testing for Medicare insurance premiums. Voting N counts for 1 points on VoteMatch question 5: More Federal Funding for Health Coverage. Democrats: YES 9; NO 7
Republicans: YES 22; NO 3
Independents: YES 1; NO 0
Vote number 1996-72 blocking medical savings acounts
on Apr 18, 1996 regarding bill S. 1028 Kassebaum Amdt #3677
Results: Y)52; N)46; NV)2 Amdt Agreed to
Vote to block a plan which would allow tax-deductible medical savings accounts. Voting Y counts for 1 points on VoteMatch question 5: More Federal Funding for Health Coverage. Democrats: YES 21; NO 0
Republicans: YES 4; NO 25
Independents: YES 1; NO 1

Homeland Security
Senate BillVote descriptionVoteMatch UsageCandidate Voting
Vote number 11-SV019 extending the PATRIOT Act's roving wiretaps
on Feb 17, 2011 regarding bill H.514 FISA Sunsets Extension Act
Results: Passed 86-12
Congressional Summary: A bill to extend expiring provisions of the USA PATRIOT Improvement and Reauthorization Act of 2005 and Intelligence Reform and Terrorism Prevention Act of 2004 relating to access to business records, individual terrorists as agents of foreign powers, and roving wiretaps until December 8, 2011.

Proponent's Argument for voting Yes:
[Rep. Smith, R-TX]: America is safe today not because terrorists and spies have given up their goal to destroy our freedoms and our way of life. We are safe today because the men and women of our Armed Forces, our intelligence community, and our law enforcement agencies work every single day to protect us. And Congress must ensure that they are equipped with the resources they need to counteract continuing terrorist threats. On Feb. 28, three important provisions of the USA PATRIOT Act will expire. These provisions give investigators in national security cases the authority to conduct "roving" wiretaps, to seek certain business records, and to gather intelligence on lone terrorists who are not affiliated with a known terrorist group. The Patriot Act works. It has proved effective in preventing terrorist attacks and protecting Americans. To let these provisions expire would leave every American less safe.

Opponent's Argument for voting No:
[Rep. Conyers, D-MI]: Section 215 of the Patriot Act allows a secret FISA court to authorize our government to collect business records or anything else, requiring that a person or business produce virtually any type record. We didn't think that that was right then. We don't think it's right now. This provision is contrary to traditional notions of search and seizure which require the government to show reasonable suspicion or probable cause before undertaking an investigation that infringes upon a person's privacy. And so I urge a "no" vote on the extension of these expiring provisions.

Voting N counts for 2 points on VoteMatch question 14: Homeland Security. Democrats: YES 0; NO 0
Republicans: YES 0; NO 0
Independents: YES 0; NO 0
Vote number 2008-111 cutting $221M in benefits to Filipinos who served in WWII US Army
on Apr 24, 2008 regarding bill S.Amdt. 4572 to S. 1315 Burr Amendment
Results: Amendment failed, 41-56
Opponents argument for voting NAY:Sen. INOUYE. From the Spanish-American War in 1898, until the end of World War II, we exercised jurisdiction over the Philippines like a colonial power. In July 1941, we called upon the Filipinos to volunteer to serve the US under American command, and 470,000 Filipinos volunteered. An Executive Order in 1941 promised Filipinos if they fought for us, they could become citizens of the US and get all of the veterans' benefits. But in 1946, the Congress rescinded the 1941 act. Well, this veterans bill has a provision in it--a provision of honor--in which, finally, after six decades, we will restore our honor and tell the Filipinos: It is late, but please forgive us. Proponents argument for voting YEA:Sen. BURR. This bill is so much more than just a pension for Philippine veterans. It is $332 million in Philippine benefits, of which $221 million is devoted to a new special pension that does not exist [previously. Only that $221M would be cut]. Regardless of the outcome of my amendment, I support final passage of this bill. But we do have a difference as it relates to the pensions. I believe that there was not a promise made. We did not imply it. Those who made the decision on the 1946 Rescissions Act, they looked at the history very well.

Sen. CORNYN. The problem I have with this bill is that the US Treasury is not bottomless, and the funding that is being provided to create this new pension would literally be at the expense of US veterans. The $221 million that is addressed by Sen. Burr's amendment would actually go back in to supplement benefits for US veterans. And while we appreciate and honor all of our allies who fought alongside of us in WWII, certainly that doesn't mean we are going to grant pension benefits to all of our allies, [like] the British or the Australians. Vote for the Burr Amendment because certainly our American veterans should be our priority.

(Not used in VoteMatch) Democrats: YES 0; NO 1
Republicans: YES 0; NO 0
Independents: YES 1; NO 0
Vote number 08-S012 requiring FISA court warrant to monitor US-to-foreign calls
on Feb 7, 2008 regarding bill S.Amdt.3913 to S.2248 Amendment to Protect America Act
Results: Amendment Rejected, 38-57
SUPPORTER'S ARGUMENT FOR VOTING YES:Sen. FEINGOLD: The Protect America Act (PAA) we passed last year was sold repeatedly as a way to allow the Government to collect foreign-to-foreign communications without needing the approval of the FISA Court. Now, this is something all of us support, every one of us. But the PAA actually went much further. It authorized new sweeping intrusions into the privacy of countless Americans. The bill the Senate is considering to replace the PAA does not do nearly enough to safeguard against Government abuse. So this amendment would provide those safeguards.

[The PAA allows] acquiring all the calls and e-mails between employees of a US company and a foreign company, with no requirement to get a warrant and no requirement that there be some link to terrorism. So any American who works at a company that does business overseas should think about that.

OPPONENT'S ARGUMENT FOR VOTING NO: Sen. BOND: The purpose of this bill is, and always has been, to enable the intelligence community to act to target foreign terrorists and spies overseas.

The amendment, as it is drafted, will have a totally unexpected impact. It is difficult to explain, in an unclassified session, why this amendment is unworkable. There are only certain communications which the intelligence community is lawfully permitted to acquire, and which it has any desire to acquire, because to acquire all the communications from all foreigners is an absolutely impossible task.

I cannot describe in a public setting how they go about ascertaining which collections are important. But to say that if Osama bin Laden calls somebody in the US, we cannot listen in to that communication, unless we have an independent means of verifying it has some impact or a terrorist threat--That is the most important communication we need to intercept.

LEGISLATIVE OUTCOME:Amendment Rejected, 38-57

Voting Y counts for 2 points on VoteMatch question 14: Homeland Security. Democrats: YES 0; NO 1
Republicans: YES 0; NO 0
Independents: YES 0; NO 1
Vote number 2007-309 removing need for FISA warrant for wiretapping abroad
on Aug 3, 2007 regarding bill S.1927 Protect America Act
Results: Bill Passed, 60-28 (3/5 required)
Vote on passage of S.1927, the Protect America Act: Amends the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) to state that nothing under its definition of "electronic surveillance" should encompass surveillance directed at any person reasonably believed to be located outside the US.

A modified version, S.2011, failed; it called for amending FISA to provide that a court order is not required for the electronic surveillance of communication between foreign persons who are not located within the US for collecting foreign intelligence information, without respect to whether the communication passes through the US or the surveillance device is located within the US.

Opponents recommend voting NO because:

Sen. LEVIN: Both bills cure the problem that exists: Our intelligence agencies must obtain a court order to monitor the communications of foreigners suspected of terrorist activities who are physically located in foreign countries. Now, what are the major differences? Our bill (S2011) is limited to foreign targets limited overseas, unlike the Bond bill (S1927), which does not have that key limitation and which very clearly applies to US citizens overseas. Our bill does not. Now, if there is an incidental access to US citizens, we obviously will permit that. But the Bond bill goes beyond that, citing "any person." It does not say a "foreign person." We avoid getting to the communications of Americans. There you have to go for a warrant.

Proponents support voting YES because:

Sen. LIEBERMAN: I will vote for the Bond proposal (S1927) because we are at war, & there is increased terrorist activity. We have a crisis. This proposal will allow us to gather intelligence information on that enemy we otherwise would not gather. This is not the time for striving for legislative perfection. Let us not strive for perfection. Let us put national security first. We are going to have 6 months to reason together to find something better.

Voting N counts for 2 points on VoteMatch question 14: Homeland Security. Democrats: YES 1; NO 1
Republicans: YES 0; NO 0
Independents: YES 1; NO 0
Vote number 2007-243 limiting soldiers' deployment to 12 months
on Jul 11, 2007 regarding bill SA2032 to HR1585 Hagel Amendment to Defense Authorization Bill
Results: Rejected, 52-45 (3/5 required)
Vote on an amendment, SA2032, which amends HR1585, the Defense Authorization bill: To limit the deployment of a unit or individual of the Armed Forces for Operation Iraqi Freedom to no more than 12 consecutive months; and to limit Marine Corps deployment to no more than 7 consecutive months; except in time of national emergency.

Proponents support voting YES because:

Sen. HAGEL: The war in Iraq has pushed the US Army to the breaking point. When we deploy our military, we have an obligation to ensure that our troops are rested, ready, prepared, fully trained, and fully equipped. Today's Armed Forces are being deployed repeatedly for increasing periods of time. This is quickly wearing down the troops and their families, impacting the mental and physical health of our troops. Further, these deployments are affecting the recruiting and retention rates of the military. For example, the Army reached only a little over 80% of its recruiting goal for June. This is the second month in a row that the Army has failed to recruit the number of new soldiers needed to fill the ranks. And this is with $1 billion in large cash bonus incentives.

Opponents recommend voting NO because:

Sen. KYL: Time in theater and dwell times should be a goal, rather than an absolute fixed requirement that becomes the policy of the US military determined by congressional action. By mandating a certain policy for deployment time or dwell time, the Congress is engaged in the most explicit micromanaging of what is obviously a function for the Commander in Chief and military commanders to perform. This is not something Members of Congress are knowledgeable about or would have the ability to dictate in any responsible fashion. It also would be unconstitutional. Clearly, the dwell times of troops or the amount of time in theater is an obligation of the Commander in Chief, not something for the Congress to determine.

Voting N counts for 1 points on VoteMatch question 15: Homeland Security. Democrats: YES 2; NO 0
Republicans: YES 0; NO 1
Independents: YES 0; NO 1
Vote number 2007-073 implementing the 9/11 Commission report
on Mar 13, 2007 regarding bill S. 4 Improving America's Security Act
Results: Bill passed 60-38
Vote on passage of a bill to implement unfinished recommendations of the National Commission on Terrorist Attacks Upon the United States (9/11 Commission) to fight the war on terror more effectively:
  • I: Improving Intelligence and Information Sharing within the Federal Government and with State, Local, and Tribal Governments
  • II: Homeland Security Grants
  • III: Communications Operability and Interoperability
  • IV: Emergency Management Performance Grants Program
  • V: Enhancing Security of International Travel
  • VI: Privacy and Civil Liberties Matters
  • VII: Enhanced Defenses Against Weapons of Mass Destruction
  • VIII: Private Sector Preparedness
  • IX: Transportation Security Planning and Information Sharing
  • X: Incident Command System
  • XI: Critical Infrastructure Protection
  • XII: Congressional Oversight of Intelligence
  • XIII: International Cooperation on Antiterrorism Technologies
  • XIV: Transportation and Interoperable Communication
  • XV: Public Transportation Terrorism Prevention
  • XVII: 911 Modernization
  • XIX: Advancement of Democratic Values

Opponents recommend voting NO because:

One of the authors of the 9/11 Commission report said, the President's announced strategy should be given a chance to succeed. That is what I think we should do, give this plan a chance to succeed. Our troops in theater, our commanders, and the Iraqi leaders all believe they can see early signs of success in this program, even though it has just begun, and they are cautiously optimistic that it can succeed. I think it would be unconscionable for the Congress, seeing the beginnings of success here, to then act in any way that would pull the rug out from under our troops and make it impossible for them to achieve their mission.

(Not used in VoteMatch) Democrats: YES 2; NO 0
Republicans: YES 0; NO 2
Independents: YES 0; NO 1
Vote number 2006-255 preserving habeas corpus for Guantanamo detainees
on Sep 28, 2006 regarding bill S.AMDT.5087 to S.3930 Specter Amendment
Results: Amendment rejected 48-51
Sen. Specter's amendment would strike the provision regarding habeas review. The underlying bill authorizes trial by military commission for violations of the law of war. Excerpts from the Senate floor debate:

Sen. GRAHAM [recommending NO]: The fundamental question for the Senate to answer when it comes to determining enemy combatant status is, Who should make that determination? Should that be a military decision or should it be a judicial decision? That is something our military should do.

Sen. SPECTER [recommending YES]: My amendment would retain the constitutional right of habeas corpus for people detained at Guantanamo. The right of habeas corpus was established in the Magna Carta in 1215 when, in England, there was action taken against King John to establish a procedure to prevent illegal detention. What the bill seeks to do is to set back basic rights by some 900 years. This amendment would strike that provision and make certain that the constitutional right of habeas corpus is maintained.

GRAHAM: Do we really want enemy prisoners to bring every lawsuit known to man against the people fighting the war and protecting us? No enemy prisoner should have access to Federal courts--a noncitizen, enemy combatant terrorist--to bring a lawsuit against those fighting on our behalf. No judge should have the ability to make a decision that has been historically reserved to the military. That does not make us safer.

SPECTER: The US Constitution states that "Habeas Corpus shall not be suspended, unless when in Cases of Rebellion or Invasion the public Safety may require it." We do not have either rebellion or invasion, so it is a little hard for me to see, as a basic principle of constitutional law, how the Congress can suspend the writ of habeas corpus.

GRAHAM: If the Supreme Court does say in the next round of legal appeals there is a constitutional right to habeas corpus by those detained at Guantanamo Bay, then Sen. Specter is absolutely right.

Voting Y counts for 2 points on VoteMatch question 14: Patriot Act harms civil liberties. Democrats: YES 4; NO 0
Republicans: YES 1; NO 8
Independents: YES 1; NO 1
Vote number 2006-256 requiring CIA reports on detainees & interrogation methods
on Sep 28, 2006 regarding bill S.AMDT.5095 to S.3930 Rockefeller Amendment
Results: Amendment rejected 46-53
Amendment to provide for congressional oversight of certain Central Intelligence Agency programs. The underlying bill S. 3930 authorizes trial by military commission for violations of the law of war. The amendment requires quarterly reports describing all CIA detention facilities; the name of each detainee; their suspected activities; & each interrogation technique authorized for use and guidelines on the use of each such technique.

Opponents recommend voting NO because:

I question the need for a very lengthy, detailed report every 3 months. We will probably see those reports leaked to the press.

This amendment would spread out for the world--and especially for al-Qaida and its related organizations--precisely what interrogation techniques are going to be used.

If we lay out, in an unclassified version, a description of the techniques by the Attorney General, that description will be in al-Qaida and Hezbollah and all of the other terrorist organizations' playbook. They will train their assets that: This is what you must be expected to do, and Allah wants you to resist these techniques.

We are passing this bill so that we can detain people. If we catch someone like Khalid Shaikh Mohammed, we have no way to hold him, no way to ask him the questions and get the information we need, because the uncertainty has brought the program to a close. It is vitally important to our security, and unfortunately this amendment would imperil it.

Voting Y counts for 2 points on VoteMatch question 14: Patriot Act harms civil liberties. Democrats: YES 4; NO 0
Republicans: YES 1; NO 8
Independents: YES 1; NO 1
Vote number 2006-025 reauthorizing the PATRIOT Act
on Mar 1, 2006 regarding bill S. 2271 USA PATRIOT Act Additional Reauthorizing Amendments
Results: Bill passed, 95-4
This vote reauthorizes the PATRIOT Act with some modifications (amendments). Voting YEA extends the PATRIOT Act, and voting NAY would phase it out. The official summary of the bill is:
A bill to clarify that individuals who receive FISA orders can challenge nondisclosure requirements, that individuals who receive national security letters are not required to disclose the name of their attorney, that libraries are not wire or electronic communication service providers unless they provide specific services, and for other purposes.
    Opponents of the bill say to vote NAY because:
  • Some may see the vote we are about to have as relatively trivial. They are mistaken. While the bill we are voting on makes only minor cosmetic changes to the PATRIOT Act, it will allow supporting the PATRIOT Act conference report that was blocked in December. Cosmetic changes simply don't cut it when we are talking about protecting the rights and freedoms of Americans from unnecessarily intrusive Government powers.
  • The White House has tried to make life uncomfortable for Senators. It has suggested they are soft on terrorism, that they don't understand the pressing threat facing this country, that they are stuck in a pre-9/11 mindset. Those attacks should be rejected.
  • We can fight terrorism aggressively without compromising our most fundamental freedoms against Government intrusion. The Government grabbed powers it should not have when it passed the original PATRIOT Act and we should not be ratifying that power grab today. The PATRIOT Act reauthorization conference report is flawed. S. 2271 pretends to fix it but I don't think anyone is fooled, least of all our constituents.
  • Because the Republican leadership obstructed efforts to improve the bill, the "police state" provisions regarding gag orders remain uncorrected. The Senate should get down to the serious business of legislating real fixes to the PATRIOT Act.
Voting N counts for 1 points on VoteMatch question 14: Patriot Act harms civil liberties. Democrats: YES 4; NO 0
Republicans: YES 9; NO 0
Independents: YES 1; NO 1
Vote number 2005-358 extending the PATRIOT Act's wiretap provision
on Dec 16, 2005 regarding bill HR 3199 Motion for Cloture of PATRIOT Act
Results: Cloture Not Invoked, 52-48 (3/5ths required)
Vote to invoke cloture on a conference report that extends the authority of the FBI to conduct "roving wiretaps" and access business records. Voting YES would recommend, in effect, that the PATRIOT Act be extended through December 31, 2009, and would makes the provisions of the PATRIOT Act permanent. Voting NO would extend debate further, which would have the effect of NOT extending the PATRIOT Act's wiretap provision. Voting N counts for 2 points on VoteMatch question 14: Patriot Act harms civil liberties. Democrats: YES 0; NO 5
Republicans: YES 8; NO 1
Independents: YES 1; NO 1
Vote number 2005-203 restricting business with entities linked to terrorism
on Jul 26, 2005 regarding bill S AMDT 1351 to S 1042 Stop Business with Terrorists Act of 2005
Results: Amendment Rejected, 47-51
Vote to adopt an amendment that makes US businesses and their subsidiaries liable to prosecution for dealing with foreign businesses which have links to terrorism or whose parent country supports terrorism. Voting YES would:
  • Empower the President under the Trading with the Enemy Act to prohibit US businesses and their subsidiaries from transacting with foreign businesses identified as having links to terrorism.
  • Forbid US businesses and their subsidiaries from engaging in transactions with any foreign business whose parent country has been identified as a supporter of international terrorism.
  • Require the President to publish a list of foreign businesses identified as having links to terrorism, and bans US ownership or control of foreign businesses engaged in transactions with such businesses.
  • Call for US businesses to disclose in their annual reports any ownership stake of at least 10% in a foreign business that is itself engaging in transactions with a proscribed foreign business.
(Not used in VoteMatch) Democrats: YES 5; NO 0
Republicans: YES 0; NO 9
Independents: YES 1; NO 1
Vote number 2005-64 restoring $565M for states' and ports' first responders
on Mar 17, 2005 regarding bill S AMDT 220 to S Con Res 18 State Homeland Security Grant Program Amendment
Results: Amendment Agreed to, 63-37
Amendment intended to protect the American people from terrorist attacks by restoring $565 million in cuts to vital first-responder programs in the Department of Homeland Security, including the State Homeland Security Grant program, by providing $150 million for port security grants and by providing $140 million for 1,000 new border patrol agents. (Not used in VoteMatch) Democrats: YES 5; NO 0
Republicans: YES 4; NO 5
Independents: YES 2; NO 0
Vote number 2002-249 establishing the Homeland Security Department
on Nov 19, 2002 regarding bill HR.5005
Results:
H.R. 5005, as amended; Homeland Security Act of 2002. Vote to pass a bill that would join 22 agencies into a new cabinet-level Homeland Security Department with the responsibility to protect domestic security. The new Department would include the following agencies: the Coast Guard, the Federal Emergency Management Agency, the Customs Service, the Secret Service and the Transportation Security Administration. It would split the Immigration and Naturalization Service between immigration enforcement and citizen services, both agencies would be placed under the new The President would be given the ability to exempt some employees from collective bargaining units for national security reasons. The department would also be given the ability to make changes to personnel rules but would set up a process for unions to make an objection to and negotiate on those changes. (Not used in VoteMatch) Democrats: YES 0; NO 0
Republicans: YES 0; NO 0
Independents: YES 0; NO 0
Vote number 1999-325 adopting the Comprehensive Nuclear Test Ban Treaty
on Oct 13, 1999 regarding bill Treaty Document #105-28 Comprehensive Nuclear Test Ban Treaty
Results: Y)48; N)51; P)1 Resolution of Ratification Rejected
Adoption of the Comprehensive Nuclear Test Ban Treaty would ban nuclear weapons testing six months after ratification by the 44 nations that have nuclear power plants or nucelar research reactors. (Not used in VoteMatch) Democrats: YES 13; NO 0
Republicans: YES 1; NO 22
Independents: YES 1; NO 1
Vote number 1999-147 allowing another round of military base closures
on May 26, 1999 regarding bill S.1059
Results: Failed 60-40
Vote on an amendment to allow one round of military base closures beginning in 2001 as determined by an independent panel. Voting N counts for 1 points on VoteMatch question 15: More Spending on Armed Forces. Democrats: YES 6; NO 7
Republicans: YES 8; NO 15
Independents: YES 1; NO 0
Vote number 1999-149 cutting nuclear weapons below START levels
on May 26, 1999 regarding bill S. 1059 Motion to table Kerrey Amdt #395
Results: Y)56; N)44 Motion to Table Agreed to
The Kerrey (D-NE) amdt would strike bill language requiring that U.S. strategic nuclear forces remain at START I levels through the end of fiscal 2000 unless Russia ratified START II. (Not used in VoteMatch) Democrats: YES 1; NO 12
Republicans: YES 22; NO 1
Independents: YES 0; NO 1
Vote number 1999-51 deploying National Missile Defense ASAP
on Mar 17, 1999 regarding bill S 257
Results: Bill passed, 97-3
Vote that the policy of the US is to deploy a National Missile Defense system capable of defending against limited ballistic missile attack as soon as it is technologically possible, and to seek continued negotiated reductions in Russian nuclear forces. Voting Y counts for 2 points on VoteMatch question 15: Reduce spending on Missile Defense ("Star Wars"). Democrats: YES 12; NO 1
Republicans: YES 23; NO 0
Independents: YES 1; NO 0
Vote number 1999-26 military pay raise of 4.8%
on Feb 24, 1999 regarding bill S.4
Results: Passed 91-8
Vote to pass a bill to authorize a military pay raise of 4.8% in 2000 and annual pay increases through 2006 of 0.5% above the inflation rate. The bill would also provide additional incentives to certain enlisted personnel who remain on active duty. Voting Y counts for 2 points on VoteMatch question 15: More Spending on Armed Forces. Democrats: YES 11; NO 1
Republicans: YES 22; NO 1
Independents: YES 1; NO 0
Vote number 1998-262xxx deploying missile defense as soon as possible
on Sep 9, 1998 regarding bill S 1873
Results: Cloture motion rejected, 59-41
Vote to limit further debate and proceed to a bill that would require the U.S. to deploy as soon as possible an effective National Missile Defense system capable of defending against a limited ballistic missile attack. (Not used in VoteMatch) Democrats: YES 0; NO 0
Republicans: YES 0; NO 0
Independents: YES 0; NO 0
Vote number 1998-180 prohibiting same-sex basic training
on Jun 25, 1998 regarding bill S. 2057 Byrd Amdt #3011
Results: Y)39; N)53; NV)8 Amdt Rejected
Byrd Amdt (D-WV) that would prohibit same-sex military barracks and basic training. Voting N counts for 1 points on VoteMatch question 2: Require companies to hire more women & minorities. Democrats: YES 5; NO 10
Republicans: YES 15; NO 8
Independents: YES 1; NO 1
Vote number 1997-287 favoring 36 vetoed military projects
on Oct 30, 1997 regarding bill S. 1292 Line Item Veto Cancellation bill
Results: Y)69; N)30; NV)1 Bill Passed
Overturning line-item vetoes of 36 military projects vetoed by President Clinton. Voting Y counts for 2 points on VoteMatch question 15: More Spending on Armed Forces. Democrats: YES 8; NO 8
Republicans: YES 17; NO 8
Independents: YES 1; NO 0
Vote number 1997-51 banning chemical weapons
on Apr 24, 1997 regarding bill S. Res. 75 Resolution of ratification of the Chemical (Comprehensive) Weapons (Convention) Ban
Results: Y)74; N)26 Resolution of Ratification Agreed to
Approval of the chemical weapons ban. (Not used in VoteMatch) Democrats: YES 16; NO 0
Republicans: YES 11; NO 14
Independents: YES 2; NO 0
Vote number 1996-157 considering deploying NMD, and amending ABM Treaty
on Jun 4, 1996 regarding bill S 1635
Results: Motion rejected, 53-46
Vote to consider establishing a policy requiring the deployment of a national missile defense system by the end of 2003. The bill would also urge discussions with Russia to amend the ABM Treaty to allow deployment of the system. Voting Y counts for 1 points on VoteMatch question 15: Reduce spending on Missile Defense ("Star Wars"). Democrats: YES 0; NO 21
Republicans: YES 30; NO 0
Independents: YES 1; NO 0
Vote number 1995-397 1996 Defense Appropriations
on Sep 5, 1995 regarding bill S. 1087 Defense Approps Bill FY 96
Results: Y)62; N)35; NV)3 Bill Passed
Approval of the 1996 Defense Appropriations bill. Voting Y counts for 1 points on VoteMatch question 15: More Spending on Armed Forces. Democrats: YES 8; NO 13
Republicans: YES 27; NO 3
Independents: YES 2; NO 0

Immigration
Senate BillVote descriptionVoteMatch UsageCandidate Voting
Vote number 08-S069 continuing federal funds for declared "sanctuary cities"
on Mar 13, 2008 regarding bill Table S.Amdt.4309 to S.Con.Res
Results: Motion to Table Agreed to, 58-40
CONGRESSIONAL SUMMARY: To create a reserve fund to ensure that Federal assistance does not go to sanctuary cities that ignore the immigration laws of the United States and create safe havens for illegal aliens and potential terrorists. This vote is a motion to table the amendment; voting YES would kill the amendment.

SUPPORTER'S ARGUMENT FOR VOTING NO ON TABLING MOTION:Sen. VITTER: There are so-called sanctuary cities which establish as an official policy of their jurisdiction: We are not going to cooperate with Federal immigration enforcement officials. That is wrong. What is more, it is completely contrary to Federal immigration law. My amendment says: We are going to put some consequence to that defiance of Federal law. We are not going to give them COPS funds. We are going to send those funds, instead, to all of those other jurisdictions which abide by Federal law.OPPONENT'S ARGUMENT FOR VOTING YES ON TABLING MOTION:Sen. DURBIN: There are sanctuary cities in about 23 different States across America. What the Vitter amendment will do is to take away the COPS funding from those cities. Police departments will tell you they need the cooperation of everyone to solve crimes and stop crime. If you create fear in the minds of those who are here in an undocumented status that any cooperation with the police will result in their arrest, they will not cooperate and criminals will go free. Let's not use the COPS Program as some sort of threat. If you want to deal with immigration, deal with it responsibly in a comprehensive way. SUPPORTER'S RESPONSE:Sen. VITTER: If folks feel that way, they should come to Congress and change Federal law, not simply defy Federal law. This is another amnesty vote. Are we going to give folks in sanctuary cities amnesty for defying Federal law and refusing to cooperate with Federal immigration officials? LEGISLATIVE OUTCOME:Motion to Table Agreed to, 58-40

Voting Y counts for 2 points on VoteMatch question 12: Immigration. Democrats: YES 2; NO 0
Republicans: YES 0; NO 0
Independents: YES 0; NO 1
Vote number 2007-235 comprehensive immigration reform
on Jun 28, 2007 regarding bill S.1639 McCain-Kennedy Immigration Reform Bill
Results: Cloture Motion rejected, 46-53
    Establishes specified benchmarks which must be met before the guest worker and legalization programs may be initiated:
  1. operational control of the border with Mexico;
  2. Border Patrol increases;
  3. border barriers, including vehicle barriers, fencing, radar, and aerial vehicles;
  4. detention capacity for illegal aliens apprehended crossing the US-Mexico border;
  5. workplace enforcement, including an electronic employment verification system; and
  6. Z-visa alien processing.

Proponents recommend voting YES because:

If we do not legislate now, we will not legislate later this year when our calendar is crowded with Iraq and appropriations bills. We are then an election year, and it will be pushed over to 2009. Circumstances will not be better then, they will be worse.

A vote against cloture is a vote to kill the bill. A Senator may vote for cloture and then express himself in opposition to the bill by voting against the bill.

Opponents recommend voting NO because:

If this bill becomes law, we will see only a 13% reduction in illegal immigration into America, and in the next 20 years we will have another 8.7 million illegals in our country. How can that be reformed? I submit this would be a disaster.

The Congressional telephone systems have shut down because of the mass phone calls Congress is receiving. A decent respect for the views of the American people says let's stop here now. Let's go back to the drawing board and come up with a bill that will work.

The American people get it, and they do have common sense and wisdom on this issue. They know repeating the fundamental mistakes of the 1986 bill, joining a big amnesty with inadequate enforcement, will cause the problem to grow and not diminish. They know promising enforcement after 30 years of broken promises isn't good enough. They know the so-called trigger is a joke because if the trigger is never pulled, the Z visas, the amnesty happens forever.

Voting Y counts for 2 points on VoteMatch question 12: Immigration. Democrats: YES 2; NO 0
Republicans: YES 1; NO 0
Independents: YES 1; NO 0
Vote number 2007-198 declaring English as the official language of the US government
on Jun 6, 2007 regarding bill S.Amdt.1151 to S.1348 National Language Amendment Act
Results: Amendment Agreed to, 64-33
Voting YES would declare English as the national language of the Government of the US. Unless specifically provided by statute, no person would have an entitlement to have the Government of the US communicate or provide materials in any language other than English. If an exception is made with respect to the use of a language other than English, the exception does not create a legal entitlement to additional services in that language. If any form is issued by the Federal Government in a language other than English, the English language version of the form is the sole authority for all legal purposes. Nothing in this amendment shall prohibit the use of a language other than English.

Proponents recommend voting YES because:

Right now, the polling shows that 91% of the people in America want English as an official language, and 76% of Hispanics believe English should be an official language.

Opponents recommend voting NO because:

I believe the American people understand in order to succeed in our society, immigrants need to learn English. But the amendment would do a number of things that are problematical. The first is that it is contrary to the provisions of law that exist in many States. For example, in New Mexico, you have in their State Constitution, a provision that says that many of the documents within that State have to be provided in both English and Spanish. The same thing is true for the State of Hawaii. I believe this is a States rights issue, and those constitutions of those States ought to be respected. I do not believe it is a matter we ought to be imposing here from Washington DC.

Also, this amendment would undo an executive order conceived by President Bill Clinton and implemented by President George Bush. Both recognized it is important that people who have limited English proficiency receive the kinds of services so they can understand what is going on in terms of the interface between the Government and themselves.

Voting N counts for 2 points on VoteMatch question 12: Immigration. Democrats: YES 0; NO 2
Republicans: YES 1; NO 0
Independents: YES 1; NO 0
Vote number 2007-174 eliminating the "Y" nonimmigrant guestworker program
on May 22, 2007 regarding bill S.Amdt.1153 on S.1348 Dorgan Amendment
Results: Amendment Rejected, 31-64

Proponents recommend voting YES because:

This legislation says we wish to add something called guest workers or temporary workers. With guest workers, working Americans would discover there is no opportunity for upward mobility at their job. In fact, every day their employers are trying to find ways to push down wages, eliminate retirement, and eliminate health care. What has happened in this country, with what is called the "new global economy," is dramatic downward pressure on income for American workers. The guest worker program provides that 400,000 people will be able to come in to assume jobs in our country per year--adding to the 12 million illegal immigrants already here.

Opponents recommend voting NO because:

I certainly concur about the need to secure our borders, about the need to have a workable immigration system, and the need for reform that ensures the rule of law is restored in the US. Where I differ is in the belief that we can actually achieve these goals if we have no ability for temporary workers to come to the country. This amendment would eliminate the temporary worker program from this bill.

Now, there are several reasons why a temporary worker program, within certain constraints, is a good idea. The first reason is because it will help to relieve the magnet for illegal immigration. The reason most of the people are crossing our border illegally is to get employment. There are jobs available for them. Some people say this is work Americans will not do. That is actually not true. But there are not enough American citizens to do all of the work that needs to be done. So naturally the law of supply and demand sets in here. People come across the border illegally, and they take that work. What we want to do is both close the border, but also eliminate the magnet for illegal employment here, because the reality is desperate people will always try to find some way to get into the country.

Voting N counts for 0 points on VoteMatch question 12: Immigration. Democrats: YES 0; NO 1
Republicans: YES 0; NO 2
Independents: YES 0; NO 1
Vote number 2006-262 building a fence along the Mexican border
on Sep 29, 2006 regarding bill H R 6061 Secure Fence Act
Results: Bill passed, 80-19
Within 18 months, achieves operational control over U.S. land and maritime borders, including:
  1. systematic border surveillance through more effective use of personnel and technology; and
  2. physical infrastructure enhancements to prevent unlawful border entry
Defines "operational control" as the prevention of all unlawful U.S. entries, including entries by terrorists, other unlawful aliens, narcotics, and other contraband.

Proponents support voting YES because:

It is obvious there is no more defining issue in our Nation today than stopping illegal immigration. The most basic obligation of any government is to secure the Nation's borders. One issue in which there appears to be a consensus between the Senate and the House is on the issue of building a secure fence. So rather than wait until comprehensive legislation is enacted, we should move forward on targeted legislation which is effective and meaningful. The legislation today provides over 700 miles of Within 18 months, achieves operational control over U.S. land and maritime borders, including:

  1. systematic border surveillance through more effective use of personnel and technology; and
  2. physical infrastructure enhancements to prevent unlawful border entry
Defines "operational control" as the prevention of all unlawful U.S. entries, including entries by terrorists, other unlawful aliens, narcotics, and other contraband.

Proponents support voting YES because:

It is obvious there is no more defining issue in our Nation today than stopping illegal immigration. The most basic obligation of any government is to secure the Nation's borders. One issue in which there appears to be a consensus between the Senate and the House is on the issue of building a secure fence. So rather than wait until comprehensive legislation is enacted, we should move forward on targeted legislation which is effective and meaningful. The legislation today provides over 700 miles of

Voting N counts for 2 points on VoteMatch question 12: Immigration helps our economy-encourage it. Democrats: YES 2; NO 2
Republicans: YES 8; NO 1
Independents: YES 1; NO 1
Vote number 2006-157 establishing a Guest Worker program
on May 25, 2006 regarding bill S. 2611 Comprehensive Immigration Reform Act
Results: Bill Passed 62-36
    Voting YES establishes a guest worker program with a path to citizenship for illegal aliens who have worked in the US for 5 years. The bill:
  • Increases border security and enforcement
  • Makes it unlawful to knowingly hire, recruit, or refer for a fee an unauthorized alien.
  • Establishes a temporary guest worker program (H-2C visa) with a three-year admission and one additional three-year extension; and issuance of H-4 nonimmigrant visas for accompanying or following spouse and children;
  • Provides permanent resident status adjustment for a qualifying illegal alien, and family, for aliens who have been in the US and employed for five years.
    Proponents of the bill say:
  • Our immigration system is broken and needs to be repaired. This bill is a strong step in the right direction. We need to protect our borders and look out for American workers, and we also need a responsible way to meet the need for temporary workers, particularly in the agricultural area, where they represent about 70 percent of the U.S. agricultural workforce, with a path to earned citizenship for hard-working, law abiding temporary workers. This bill, the product of bipartisan compromise, takes a commonsense approach to all of these issues.
    Opponents of the bill say:
  • Our country has been built by immigrants. But the reason we have had quotas for immigration is the world has progressed in different parts of this globe at a very different rate. In some countries, the economies have lagged far behind.
  • There are jobs available in this country with rates of pay that are far in excess of those of Third World countries. We have on our southern border people who aspire to come to this country. In order to protect our way of life and our standard of living and to protect jobs, we have quotas.
Voting Y counts for 1 points on VoteMatch question 12: Illegal immigrants earn citizenship. Democrats: YES 3; NO 0
Republicans: YES 3; NO 6
Independents: YES 2; NO 0
Vote number 2006-130 allowing illegal aliens to participate in Social Security
on May 18, 2006 regarding bill S.Amdt.3985 to S.2611 Preclusion of Social Security Credits
Results: Motion to table passed, 50-49
Voting YEA would table (kill) the proposed amendment to prohibit illegal immigrants from receiving Social Security benefits. Voting NAY supports that prohibition, while voting YEA supports immigrants participating in Social Security. Text of amendment:
To reduce document fraud, prevent identity theft, and preserve the integrity of the Social Security system, by ensuring that persons who receive an adjustment of status under this bill are not able to receive Social Security benefits as a result of unlawful activity.
    Proponents of the amendment say to vote NAY because:
  • The Immigration Reform bill would allow people to qualify for social security based on work they did while they were illegally present in the US and illegally working in the US. People who broke the law to come here and broke the law to work here can benefit from their conduct to collect social security.
  • In some cases, illegal immigrants may have stolen an American citizen's identity. They may have stolen an American's social security number to fraudulently work. This amendment corrects this problem.
    Opponents of the amendment say to vote YEA because:
  • Americans understand that for years there are undocumented workers who have tried to follow our laws and be good neighbors and good citizens, and have paid into the Social Security Trust Fund.
  • Once that person regularizes his or her status, and as they proceed down the path to earned citizenship, they should have the benefit after having followed the law and made those contributions. That is fairness.
  • We should not steal their funds or empty their Social Security accounts. That is not fair. It does not reward their hard work or their financial contributions.
  • The amendment proposes to change existing law to prohibit an individual from gaining the benefit of any contributions made while the individual was in an undocumented status. I oppose this amendment and believe it is wrong.
Voting Y counts for 2 points on VoteMatch question 12: Illegal immigrants earn citizenship. Democrats: YES 3; NO 1
Republicans: YES 2; NO 7
Independents: YES 2; NO 0
Vote number 2006-135 giving Guest Workers a path to citizenship
on May 18, 2006 regarding bill S.Amdt.3969 to S.2611 Kyl Amendment to Comprehensive Immigration Reform Act
Results: Motion to table passed, 58-35
This amendment to the Comprehensive Immigration Reform Act would prohibit H-2C nonimmigrants ("Guest Workers") from adjusting to lawful permanent resident status. Voting YEA on the motion to table (which would kill the amendment) indicates supporting a path to citizenship for guest workers. Voting NAY on the motion indicates opposing any path to citizenship. The amendment says:
Notwithstanding any other provision of this Act, an alien having nonimmigrant status is ineligible for and may not apply for adjustment of status.''
    Proponents of the amendment say to vote NAY because:
  • The Immigration Reform Act purports to create two different paths to citizenship for those, first of all, who are in the country living outside of the law in an undocumented status, and secondly, for those who are not yet present in the country but who want to come here at some future date to work.
  • We have given the somewhat misleading name of ''guest worker'' to the so-called future flow. A guest is not ordinarily defined as someone who moves in with you and never leaves.
  • These so-called guest workers could work here up to 6 years, after which they then apply for a green card. They then get on the path to American citizenship 5 years later.
  • It is important for us to debate this issue honestly. The amendment simply makes the point that a guest worker ought to be temporary.
    Opponents of the amendment say to vote YEA because:
  • If this amendment should pass, that whole compromise is destroyed because a fundamental part of that compromise was that those who have been here for 2 to 5 years would be eligible for green card status and citizenship. This amendment would destroy that compromise.
  • We have examples today in Europe of having people living in your country with no hope to ever be a part of that society. No hope, no opportunity, no future, but we will let you work.
Voting Y counts for 2 points on VoteMatch question 12: Illegal immigrants earn citizenship. Democrats: YES 4; NO 0
Republicans: YES 2; NO 6
Independents: YES 1; NO 0
Vote number 1998-233 allowing more foreign workers into the US for farm work
on Jul 23, 1998 regarding bill S.2260
Results: Passed 68-31
Vote to create a national registry containing names of U.S. workers who want to perform temporary or seasonal agricultural work, and to require the Attorney General to allow more foreign workers into the U.S. for farm work under H-2A visas. Voting Y counts for 1 points on VoteMatch question 12: Immigration helps our economy-encourage it. Democrats: YES 9; NO 7
Republicans: YES 25; NO 0
Independents: YES 1; NO 0
Vote number 1998-141 visas for skilled workers
on May 18, 1998 regarding bill S. 1723 The American Competitiveness Act
Results: Y)78; N)20; NV)2 Bill Passed
This bill expanded the Visa program for skilled workers. Voting Y counts for 1 points on VoteMatch question 12: Immigration helps our economy-encourage it. Democrats: YES 9; NO 7
Republicans: YES 21; NO 2
Independents: YES 1; NO 1
Vote number 1997-111 limit welfare for immigrants
on Jun 24, 1997 regarding bill S.947 Motion to table Kennedy Amdt #429
Results: Y)59; N)41 Motion to Table Agreed to
This amendment would have restored food stamp benefits to the children of legal immigrants Voting N counts for 2 points on VoteMatch question 12: Immigration helps our economy-encourage it. Democrats: YES 6; NO 10
Republicans: YES 23; NO 2
Independents: YES 2; NO 0
Vote number 1996-432HR limiting immigrant benefits & controlling borders more tightly
on Sep 25, 1996 regarding bill HR 2202
Results: Adopted 305-123
Vote to adopt the conference report of a bill to change immigration policy, including hiring more Border Patrol Agents, increasing penalties for document fraud and alien smuggling, and limiting public assistance for immigrants, among other provisions. Voting N counts for 1 points on VoteMatch question 12: Immigration helps our economy-encourage it. Democrats: YES 0; NO 0
Republicans: YES 0; NO 0
Independents: YES 0; NO 0
Vote number 1994-348HR prohibiting illegal immigrants from receiving FEMA benefits
on Jul 22, 1994 regarding bill HR 3838
Results: Passed 220-176
Prohibit illegal immigrants from receiving benefits under the FEMA's Food and Shelter program unless the president declares a national disaster. Voting N counts for 1 points on VoteMatch question 12: Immigration helps our economy-encourage it. Democrats: YES 0; NO 0
Republicans: YES 0; NO 0
Independents: YES 0; NO 0

Jobs
Senate BillVote descriptionVoteMatch UsageCandidate Voting
Vote number 2008-S214 extending unemployment benefits from 39 weeks to 59 weeks
on Nov 20, 2008 regarding bill HR.6867 Unemployment Compensation Extension Act
Results: Passed 89-6 (3/5ths required)
Congressional Summary:Revises the formula for Tier-1 amounts a state credits to an applicant's emergency unemployment compensation account. Increases the figures in the formula from 50% to 80% of the total amount of regular compensation ; and from 13 to 20 times the individual's average weekly benefit amount.

Proponent's argument to vote Yes:

Rep. CHARLES RANGEL (D, NY-15): The House, for weeks, has attempted to save the free world from a fiscal disaster. We have bailed out the banks and those who held mortgages. At the same time, we provided for energy extensions, we provided tax breaks for those people that tax provisions have expired. We provided for hurricane relief, for mental health. So over $1 trillion is out there for this House to ease the pain of millions of Americans.

While we were dealing with these gigantic powers, we overlooked the fact that over the last 12 months the number of unemployed workers has jumped by over 2 million, leaving 10 million Americans struggling for work. These are hardworking people that have lost their jobs through no fault of their own.

Rep. JERRY WELLER (R, IL-11): This important legislation provides additional needed assistance to the long-term unemployed. It's important that we pass this legislation today as our last act before we leave for the election campaign.

This legislation focuses the most additional benefits on workers and States where the unemployment rate is highest and where jobs are hardest to find. This program continues the requirement that those benefiting from extended unemployment benefits had to have worked at least 20 weeks. Americans were rightly concerned about proposals to eliminate that work requirement and allow 39 weeks or, under the legislation before us today, as many as 59 weeks of total unemployment benefits to be paid to those who have previously only worked for a few weeks.

Opponent's argument to vote No:None voiced.

(Not used in VoteMatch) Democrats: YES 1; NO 0
Republicans: YES 0; NO 0
Independents: YES 1; NO 0
Vote number 2008-151 overriding presidential veto of Farm Bill
on Jun 18, 2008 regarding bill HR6124 Veto Override on Food, Conservation, and Energy Act
Results: Veto Overridden, 80-14 (2/3 needed)
OnTheIssues.org Explanation:This bill was vetoed twice! Congress passed an identical bill in May, which Pres. Bush vetoed. Congress then discovered that a clerical error. A replacement bill was passed; then vetoed again by the President; and this is its "final" veto override.Congressional Summary:Provides for the continuation of agricultural and other programs of the Department of Agriculture through FY2012. Revises agricultural and related programs, including provisions respecting:
  1. commodity programs;
  2. conservation;
  3. trade;
  4. nutrition;
  5. credit;
  6. rural development;
  7. research and related matters;
  8. forestry;
  9. energy;
  10. horticulture and organic agriculture;
  11. livestock;
  12. crop insurance and disaster assistance;
  13. socially disadvantaged and limited resource producers; and
  14. miscellaneous programs.
President's veto message:I am returning herewith without my approval H.R. 6124. The bill that I vetoed on May 21, 2008, H.R. 2419, did not include the title III (trade) provisions that are in this bill. In passing H.R. 6124, the Congress had an opportunity to improve on H.R. 2419 by modifying certain objectionable, onerous, and fiscally imprudent provisions [but did not].

This bill lacks fiscal discipline. It continues subsidies for the wealthy and increases farm bill spending by more than $20 billion, while using budget gimmicks to hide much of the increase. It is inconsistent with our trade objectives of securing greater market access for American farmers. [Hence] I must veto H.R. 6124.Proponents argument for voting YEA:We had a meeting this morning with the Secretary of Agriculture to talk about implementation. So [despite the two vetoes], the work has been going on within the department of agriculture to get ready for implementation.

This is a good bill. It has wide support in the Congress. It does address all of the issues that have been brought to the Agriculture Committee.

(Not used in VoteMatch) Democrats: YES 1; NO 0
Republicans: YES 0; NO 0
Independents: YES 1; NO 0
Vote number 08-S058 terminating legal challenges to English-only job rules
on Mar 13, 2008 regarding bill S.Amdt.4222 to S.Con.Res.70
Results: Amendment passed, 54-44
CONGRESSIONAL SUMMARY: To take $670,000 used by the EEOC in bringing actions against employers that require their employees to speak English, and instead use the money to teach English to adults through the Department of Education's English Literacy/Civics Education State Grant program.

SUPPORTER'S ARGUMENT FOR VOTING YES:Sen. ALEXANDER: Let me begin with this story. In March 2007, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission sued the Salvation Army for allegedly discriminating against two employees in a Boston area thrift store. What had the Salvation Army done to earn this lawsuit from the Federal Government? Well, it had required its employees to speak English on the job. The English rule was clearly posted, and the employees were given a year to learn it. But this lawsuit means that a small business in Missouri would have to hire a lawyer in order to make sure they have a clear business reason to require their employees to speak our common language on the job.

So I have an amendment to bring some common sense to this subject. It would be to take $670,000 used by the EEOC, which it is using to bring actions against employers who require their employees to speak English.OPPONENT'S ARGUMENT FOR VOTING NO:Sen. KENNEDY: Let's look at what the law is and what the Alexander amendment provides. The law currently says that if there is a need to speak English on the job, fine; employers can require that. But employers cannot use English-only rules as an excuse when they want to fire minorities who are performing the job correctly. In this fact situation, those employees had performed the job correctly for 5 years.

In addition, this amendment reduces the EEOC's ability to fight all forms of discrimination because it cuts the entire budget. That means race, age, religion, and disability cases will be harmed. I hope the amendment will be defeated.LEGISLATIVE OUTCOME:Amendment passed, 54-44

(Not used in VoteMatch) Democrats: YES 0; NO 2
Republicans: YES 0; NO 0
Independents: YES 0; NO 1
Vote number 2007-426 limiting farm subsidies to people earning under $750,000
on Dec 13, 2007 regarding bill S.Amdt. 3810 to H.R. 2419 Klobuchar Amendment to Farm, Nutrition, and Bioenergy Act
Results: Rejected 48-47 (3/5 required)
Vote on an amendment to bill H.R. 2419 (Farm, Nutrition, and Bioenergy Act): To improve the adjusted gross income limitation and use the savings to reduce the Federal deficit.

Proponents support voting YES because:

Sen. KLOBUCHAR: The focus of this amendment is to make sure the subsidy and the safety net in the farm bill go to the people whom it will most help; that is, family farmers. The top 20 business recipients in the country have each gotten more than $3 million under this farm bill. Under the current system, a part-time farmer can have an income as high as $2.5 million from outside sources and still qualify for Federal farm benefits. I do not believe we should be handing out payments to multimillionaires, when these payments should be targeted to family farmers. This amendment places reasonable limits on the incomes of those who receive farm payments: If you are a full-time farmer, you can get the subsidies as long as your income does not exceed $750,000. If you are a part-time farmer or farm investor, you can participate in farm programs if your income does not exceed $250,000.

Opponents recommend voting NO because:

Sen. CHAMBLISS: I am disheartened that farm program critics continue to try to lead us into believing that there is a vast army receiving benefits to which they are not entitled. Stories about people receiving program benefits continue to make the headlines. But most of the people I know in these situations don't consider themselves wealthy. This debate is not about wealthy landowners and millionaires receiving program benefits. It is really about farmers in general, regardless of their economic situation, receiving program benefits. A few short months ago the debate was about making payments to millionaires and now we are at $750,000 and people want to go even further. This amendment is actually an assault on everyday farmers; but is disguised as an assault on wealthy landowners and millionaires.

(Not used in VoteMatch) Democrats: YES 0; NO 1
Republicans: YES 0; NO 1
Independents: YES 0; NO 1
Vote number 2007-227 restricting employer interference in union organizing
on Jun 26, 2007 regarding bill H R 800 Employee Free Choice Act
Results: Cloture vote rejected, 51-48 (3/5ths required) Cloture rejected
    To enable employees to form & join labor organizations, and to provide for mandatory injunctions for unfair labor practices during organizing efforts. Requires investigation that an employer:
    1. discharged or discriminated against an employee to discourage membership in a labor organization;
    2. threatened to discharge employees in the exercise of guaranteed collective bargaining rights; and
    3. adds to remedies for such violations: back pay plus liquidated damages; and additional civil penalties.

    Proponents support voting YES because:

    The principle at stake here is the freedom that all workers should have to organize for better working conditions & fair wages. There are many employers around the country who honor this freedom. Unfortunately, there are also many employers who do not. These employers attempt to prevent workers from unionizing by using tactics that amount to harassment, if not outright firing. In fact, one in five people who try to organize unions are fired. These tactics are already illegal, but the penalties are so minor, they are not effective deterrents.

    Opponents support voting NO because:

    Democracy itself is placed at risk by this bill. The sanctity of the secret ballot is the backbone of our democratic process. Not one voter signed a card to send us here to Congress. None of us sent our campaign workers out to voters' houses armed with candidate information & a stack of authorization cards. No. We trusted democracy. We trusted the voters to cast their ballots like adults, freely, openly, without intimidation, and we live with the results. But here we are, poised to advance legislation to kill a secret ballot process.

    Let's be clear. Every American has the right to organize. No one is debating that. This is a right we believe in so strongly we have codified it and made it possible for workers to do so through a secret ballot.

(Not used in VoteMatch) Democrats: YES 2; NO 0
Republicans: YES 0; NO 1
Independents: YES 0; NO 1
Vote number 2007-042 increasing minimum wage to $7.25
on Feb 1, 2007 regarding bill H.R.2 Fair Minimum Wage Act
Results: Bill passed, 94-3
Increase the federal minimum wage to:
  1. $5.85 an hour, beginning on the 60th day after enactment;
  2. $6.55 an hour, beginning 12 months after that 60th day; and
  3. $7.25 an hour, beginning 24 months after that 60th day.

Proponents support voting YES because:

We have waited for over 10 years to have a clean vote on the minimum wage for the poorest workers in this country Low-wage workers had their wages frozen in time, from 10 years ago, but when they go to the supermarket, the food prices are higher; when they put gasoline in the car, the gasoline prices are higher; when they pay the utility bills, the utility bills are higher; when their kids get sick, the medical bills are higher. All of those things are higher. They are living in 2007, but in their wages they are living in 1997.

Opponents support voting NO because:

This bill is marked more by what is not in the bill than what is in it. Small businesses are the backbone of our economy. They create two-thirds of our Nation's new jobs, and they represent 98% of the new businesses in the US. What protection does this bill provide them? None whatsoever.

We can do better. In the interest of sending the President a final measure that provides consideration for small businesses and their workers, the very men and women who are responsible for our economy's recent growth and strength, we must do better.

(Not used in VoteMatch) Democrats: YES 2; NO 0
Republicans: YES 2; NO 0
Independents: YES 1; NO 0
Vote number 2005-26 raising the minimum wage to $7.25 rather than $6.25
on Mar 7, 2005 regarding bill S AMDT 44 to S 256 Amendment to the Fair Labor Standards Act of 1938
Results: Amendment Rejected, 46 to 49
Vote to increase the minimum wage from $5.15 per hour to $7.25 per hour, over a two-year time period, in three incremental stages. Without the amendment, the minimum wage would increase to $6.25 per hour. (Not used in VoteMatch) Democrats: YES 5; NO 0
Republicans: YES 2; NO 7
Independents: YES 1; NO 1
Vote number 2001-15 repealing Clinton's ergonomic rules on repetitive stress
on Mar 6, 2001 regarding bill S J Res 6
Results: Resolution passed, 56-44
Vote to pass a resolution to give no enforcement authority to ergonomics rules submitted by the Labor Department during the Clinton Administration. These rules would force businesses to take steps to prevent work-related repetitive stress disorders (Not used in VoteMatch) Democrats: YES 3; NO 10
Republicans: YES 17; NO 0
Independents: YES 1; NO 0
Vote number 1999-356 killing an increase in the minimum wage
on Nov 9, 1999 regarding bill S. 625 Motion to table Kennedy Amdt #2751
Results: Y)50; N)48; NV)2 Motion to Table Agreed to
The Kennedy (D-MA) Amdt would have increased the minimum wage by $1 an hour over two years, to $5.65 an hour beginning Jan. 1, 2001. The Kennedy Amdt would have also provided $9.5 billion in tax cuts over five years. (Not used in VoteMatch) Democrats: YES 0; NO 12
Republicans: YES 22; NO 0
Independents: YES 0; NO 1
Vote number 1997-68 allowing workers to choose between overtime & comp-time
on May 15, 1997 regarding bill S. 4 Motion to invoke cloture on a Committee amdt to S. 4
Results: Y)53; N)47 Cloture Motion Rejected
This bill would have allowed workers to choose between overtime and compensatory time. (Not used in VoteMatch) Democrats: YES 0; NO 16
Republicans: YES 24; NO 1
Independents: YES 1; NO 0
Vote number 1996-19 replacing farm price supports
on Feb 7, 1996 regarding bill S. 1541 Agriculture Market Transition Act of 1996
Results: Y)64; N)32; NV)4 Bill Passed
Replaces farm price supports with seven years of annual fixed payments. (Not used in VoteMatch) Democrats: YES 10; NO 10
Republicans: YES 26; NO 3
Independents: YES 1; NO 1

Principles & Values
Senate BillVote descriptionVoteMatch UsageCandidate Voting
Vote number 2009-S262 confirming of Sonia Sotomayor to Supreme Court
on Aug 6, 2009 regarding bill PN506 Supreme Court Nomination
Results: Confirmed 68-31
Yesterday, the Senate Judiciary Committee kicked off the confirmation hearings for Supreme Court Nominee, Judge Sonia Sotomayor. In her opening statement, Judge Sotomayor pledged a "fidelity to the law:"
"In the past month, many Senators have asked me about my judicial philosophy. It is simple: fidelity to the law. The task of a judge is not to make the law--it is to apply the law. And it is clear, I believe, that my record in two courts reflects my rigorous commitment to interpreting the Constitution according to its terms; interpreting statutes according to their terms and Congress's intent; and hewing faithfully to precedents established by the Supreme Court and my Circuit Court. In each case I have heard, I have applied the law to the facts at hand."
(Not used in VoteMatch) Democrats: YES 0; NO 0
Republicans: YES 0; NO 0
Independents: YES 1; NO 0
Vote number 2006-002 confirming Samuel Alito as Supreme Court Justice
on Jan 31, 2006 regarding bill PN 1059 Alito Nomination
Results: Nomination Confirmed, 58-42
Vote on the Nomination -- a YES vote would to confirm Samuel A. Alito, Jr., of New Jersey, to be an Associate Justice of the Supreme Court of the United States. (Not used in VoteMatch) Democrats: YES 0; NO 4
Republicans: YES 8; NO 1
Independents: YES 1; NO 1
Vote number 2005-245 confirming John Roberts for Chief Justice of the Supreme Court
on Sep 27, 2005 regarding bill PN 801 Supreme Court Nomination of John Roberts
Results: Nomination Confirmed, 78-22
Vote on the Nomination (Confirmation John G. Roberts, Jr., of Maryland, to be Chief Justice of the United States ) (Not used in VoteMatch) Democrats: YES 1; NO 4
Republicans: YES 9; NO 0
Independents: YES 2; NO 0
Vote number issues2000-G Principles & Values
on Jul 2, 2000 regarding bill Principles & Values
Results:
(Not used in VoteMatch) Democrats: YES 0; NO 0
Republicans: YES 0; NO 0
Independents: YES 0; NO 0

Social Security
Senate BillVote descriptionVoteMatch UsageCandidate Voting
Vote number 2007-089 establishing reserve funds & pre-funding for Social Security
on Mar 22, 2007 regarding bill S.Amdt.489 on S.Con.Res.21
Results: Amendment rejected 45-53
Voting YES would:
  1. require that the Federal Old Age and Survivors Trust Fund be used only to finance retirement income of future beneficiaries;
  2. ensure that there is no change to benefits for individuals born before January 1, 1951
  3. provide participants with the benefits of savings and investment while permitting the pre-funding of at least some portion of future benefits; and
  4. ensure that the funds made available to finance such legislation do not exceed the amounts estimated to be actuarially available.

Proponents recommend voting YES because:

Perhaps the worst example of wasteful spending is when we take the taxes people pay for Social Security and, instead of saving them, we spend them on other things. Even worse than spending Social Security on other things is we do not count it as debt when we talk about the deficit every year. So using the Social Security money is actually a way to hide even more wasteful spending without counting it as debt. This Amendment would change that.

Opponents recommend voting NO because:

This amendment has a fatal flaw. It leaves the door open for private Social Security accounts by providing participants with the option of "pre-funding of at least some portion of future benefits."

    This body has already closed the door on the President's ill-conceived plan for private Social Security accounts. The opposition to privatization is well-known:
  • Privatizing Social Security does nothing to extend the solvency of the program.
  • Transition costs would put our Nation in greater debt by as much as $4.9 trillion.
  • Creating private accounts would mean benefit cuts for retirees, by as much as 40%.
  • Half of all American workers today have no pension plan from their employers. It is critical that we protect this safety net.
Make no mistake about it, this is a stalking-horse for Social Security. It looks good on the surface, but this is an amendment to privatize Social Security.
Voting Y counts for 1 points on VoteMatch question 6: Social Security. Democrats: YES 0; NO 2
Republicans: YES 2; NO 0
Independents: YES 1; NO 0
Vote number 1999-236 using the Social Security Surplus to fund tax reductions
on Jul 30, 1999 regarding bill S.1429
Results: Tabling motion passed 55-45
Vote on a motion to table (or kill) the motion to recommit the bill to the Senate Finance and Claims Committee with instructions directing the committee to "correct the fact that the bill uses" Social Security surpluses for tax breaks. Voting Y counts for 1 points on VoteMatch question 6: Privatize Social Security. Democrats: YES 0; NO 1
Republicans: YES 2; NO 0
Independents: YES 0; NO 0
Vote number 1999-90 Social Security Lockbox & limiting national debt
on Apr 22, 1999 regarding bill S. 557 Motion to invoke cloture on Amdt #254 to S. 557
Results: Y)54; N)45; NV)1 Cloture Motion Rejected
This vote limited debate on the amendment offered by Sen. Abraham (R-MI) that would have created a Social Security "lockbox" and establish limits on the public debt. [A YES vote was for a lockbox]. This vote failed because 3/5 of the Senate did not vote. (Not used in VoteMatch) Democrats: YES 0; NO 12
Republicans: YES 22; NO 1
Independents: YES 1; NO 0
Vote number 1998-464HR putting 90% of any budget surplus toward Social Security
on Sep 25, 1998 regarding bill HR 4578
Results: Passed 240-188
Vote to pass a bill to establish a 'Protect Social Security Account' to place 90 percent of any annual budget surpluses until a reform measure is enacted to keep Social Security solvent long-term. Voting Y counts for 1 points on VoteMatch question 6: Privatize Social Security. Democrats: YES 0; NO 0
Republicans: YES 0; NO 0
Independents: YES 0; NO 0
Vote number 1998-120 allowing Roth IRAs for retirees
on May 6, 1998 regarding bill H.R. 2676 Roth Amdt #2339
Results: Y)56; N)42; NV)2 Amdt Agreed to
Senator Roth (R-DE) offered this amendment to the IRS Restructuring and Reform Act to allow people older than 70.5 with incomes over $100,000 to move funds from an Individual Retirement Account into a Roth IRA. Voting Y counts for 1 points on VoteMatch question 6: Privatize Social Security. Democrats: YES 1; NO 15
Republicans: YES 24; NO 0
Independents: YES 1; NO 0
Vote number 1998-56 allowing personal retirement accounts
on Apr 1, 1998 regarding bill S.Con.Res.86
Results: Passed 51-49
Vote on an amendment expressing the sense of the Senate that the Finance Committee should consider legislation to use the federal budget surplus to establish personal retirement accounts as a supplement to Social Security. Voting Y counts for 1 points on VoteMatch question 6: Privatize Social Security. Democrats: YES 2; NO 14
Republicans: YES 24; NO 1
Independents: YES 0; NO 1
Vote number 1996-140 deducting Social Security payments on income taxes
on May 22, 1996 regarding bill S Con Res 57
Results: Amendment rejected, 43-57
Vote on an amendment to establish an income tax deduction for Social Security taxes paid by employees and the self-employed. Voting Y counts for 1 points on VoteMatch question 6: Privatize Social Security. Democrats: YES 0; NO 21
Republicans: YES 25; NO 6
Independents: YES 1; NO 0

Tax Reform
Senate BillVote descriptionVoteMatch UsageCandidate Voting
Vote number 08-S064 increasing tax rate for people earning over $1 million
on Mar 13, 2008 regarding bill S.Amdt.4218 to S.Con.Res.70
Results: Amendment rejected, 43-55
CONGRESSIONAL SUMMARY: To put children ahead of millionaires and billionaires by restoring the pre-2001 top income tax rate for people earning over $1 million, and use this revenue to invest in LIHEAP; IDEA; Head Start; Child Care; nutrition; school construction and deficit reduction.

SUPPORTER'S ARGUMENT FOR VOTING YES:Sen. SANDERS: The wealthiest people in the country have not had it so good since the 1920s. Their incomes are soaring, while at the same time the middle class is shrinking, and we have by far the highest rate of childhood poverty of any major country. The time is now to begin changing our national priorities and moving this country in a different direction.

This amendment restores the top income tax bracket for households earning more than $1 million a year, it raises $32.5 billion over 3 years, and invests that in our kids, including $10 billion for special education. OPPONENT'S ARGUMENT FOR VOTING NO:Sen. KYL: The problem is we are spending the same dollar 3 or 4 times, it appears. The Sanders amendment is paid for by raising taxes another $32.5 billion, ostensibly from the rich; that is to say, by raising taxes on people who make over $1 million a year. Here is the problem with that. The budget on the floor already assumes the expiration of the current tax rates; that is to say, the rates on the highest level go from 35% to 39.6%, and that money is spent. If you took all the top-rate income, you would come up with $25 billion a year, not even enough to meet what is here, and that money has already been spent. The reality is somewhere or other, somehow, more taxes would have to be raised. I don't think the American people want to do that, particularly in the current environment. LEGISLATIVE OUTCOME:Amendment rejected, 43-55

Voting Y counts for 2 points on VoteMatch question 11: Tax Reform. Democrats: YES 1; NO 1
Republicans: YES 0; NO 0
Independents: YES 0; NO 1
Vote number 08-S078 allowing AMT reduction without budget offset
on Mar 13, 2008 regarding bill S.Amdt.4276 to S.Con.Res.70
Results: Amendment rejected, 47-51
CONGRESSIONAL SUMMARY:To exempt from pay-as-you-go enforcement modifications to the individual alternative minimum tax (AMT) that prevent millions of additional taxpayers from having to pay the AMT.

SUPPORTER'S ARGUMENT FOR VOTING YES:Sen. GRASSLEY: The Senate voted to make sure that middle-class America didn't pay the AMT, and we did it without an offset, by a vote of [about 95%]. So here we are again with an opportunity to say to middle-class America that we are not going to tax the people who were not supposed to be hit by the AMT. This amendment gives us an opportunity to get over that hurdle that is in this budget resolution that, under pay-go, you would have to have an offset for the AMT. Unless my amendment is adopted, the 25 million families who will be hit by the AMT increase will get a tax increase of over $2,000 apiece. They deserve a guarantee of relief.OPPONENT'S ARGUMENT FOR VOTING NO: Sen. CONRAD: If you want to blow a hole in the budget as big as all outdoors, here is your opportunity--a trillion dollars not paid for, a trillion dollars that we are going to go out and borrow from the Chinese and Japanese. That makes absolutely no sense. I urge my colleagues to vote no.LEGISLATIVE OUTCOME:Amendment rejected, 47-51

Voting N counts for 1 points on VoteMatch question 11: Tax Reform. Democrats: YES 0; NO 2
Republicans: YES 0; NO 0
Independents: YES 1; NO 0
Vote number 08-S050 raising the Death Tax exemption to $5M from $1M
on Feb 13, 2008 regarding bill S.Amdt.4191 to S.Con.Res.70 Kyl Amendment
Results: Amendment rejected, 50-50
CONGRESSIONAL SUMMARY:To protect small businesses, family ranches and farms from the Death Tax by providing a $5 million exemption, a low rate for smaller estates and a maximum rate no higher than 35%.

SUPPORTER'S ARGUMENT FOR VOTING YES:Sen. KYL: This amendment is a reprise of what we did last year in offering to reform the estate tax, sometimes referred to as the death tax. Now, in the budget itself, there is a provision to allow the death tax to be changed from the current law to a top rate of 45% and an exempted amount of $3.5 million, and there are some other features. My amendment would reduce that top rate to no higher than 35% so that if you had more than one rate, at least the top rate could not exceed 35%, and both of the two spouses would have a $5 million exempted amount before the estate tax would kick in. Now, the reason for my amendment is: current law [is] getting up to a high rate of 55% and an exempted amount of either $2 million or $1 million, probably $1 million--a continued unfair burden on primarily America's small businesses and farms.

OPPONENT'S ARGUMENT FOR VOTING NO:Sen. CONRAD: This amendment would virtually eliminate the estate tax. Let me say why. Let me first say there is no death tax in the country. Of course, if you poll people and you ask them: Do you want to eliminate the death tax? they will say sure. But you are not going to pay any tax when you die unless you have $2 million. There is no death tax in America. There is a tax on estates. At today's level of $2 million, that affects only 0.5% of estates. When the exemption reaches $3.5 million in 2009, 0.2% of estates will be taxed. If the amendment is agreed to, we would be borrowing money in the name of 99.8% of the American people, borrowing primarily from China & Japan, to give it to the Warren Buffets, the Paris Hiltons, & others of enormous wealth in this country.

LEGISLATIVE OUTCOME:Amendment rejected, 50-50

Voting N counts for 2 points on VoteMatch question 11: Tax Reform. Democrats: YES 0; NO 2
Republicans: YES 0; NO 0
Independents: YES 1; NO 0
Vote number 2007-108 repealing the Alternative Minimum Tax
on Mar 23, 2007 regarding bill S.Amdt.471 on S.Con.Res.21 Grassley Amendment
Results: Amendment rejected 44-53
Amendment would accommodate the full repeal of the Alternative Minimum Tax, preventing 23 million families and individuals from being subject to the AMT in 2007, and millions of families and individuals in subsequent years.

Proponents recommend voting YES because:

This amendment repeals the AMT. Except for the telephone tax, the alternative minimum tax is the phoniest tax we have ever passed. The AMT, in 1969, was meant to hit 155 taxpayers who used legal means to avoid taxation, under the theory that everybody ought to pay some income tax.

This very year, more than 2,000 people who are very wealthy are not paying any income tax or alternative minimum income tax. So it is not even working and hitting the people it is supposed to hit. Right now, this year, 2007, the year we are in, there are 23 million families that are going to be hit by this tax. It is a phony revenue machine, over 5 years, $467 billion dollars. We are going to have to have a point of order this year to keep these 23 million taxpayers from paying this tax. We might as well do away with it right now, once and for all, and be honest about it.

Opponents recommend voting NO because:

The reality of the budget resolution is this may not have anything to do with eliminating the alternative minimum tax. The one thing it will do is reduce the revenue of the Government over the next 5 years by $533 billion, plunging us right back into deficit. Look, we can deal with the AMT. We have dealt with it in the underlying budget resolution for the next 2 years. There will be no increase in the number of people affected by the AMT for the next 2 years under the budget resolution, and that is paid for. Unfortunately, this amendment is not paid for. It would plunge us back into deficit. I urge my colleagues to vote no.

Voting N counts for 2 points on VoteMatch question 11: Repeal tax cuts on wealthy. Democrats: YES 0; NO 2
Republicans: YES 1; NO 0
Independents: YES 1; NO 0
Vote number 2007-083 raising estate tax exemption to $5 million
on Mar 21, 2007 regarding bill S.Amdt.507 on S.Con.Res.21 Kyl Amendment
Results: Amendment rejected 47-51
An amendment to raise the death tax exemption to $5 million; reducing the maximum death tax rate to 35%; and to promote economic growth by extending the lower tax rates on dividends and capital gains.

Proponents recommend voting YES because:

It is disappointing to many family businesses and farm owners to set the death tax rate at what I believe is a confiscatory 45% and set the exemption at only $3.5 million, which most of us believe is too low. This leaves more than 22,000 families subject to the estate tax each year.

Opponents recommend voting NO because:

You can extend all the tax breaks that have been described in this amendment if you pay for them. The problem with the amendment is that over $70 billion is not paid for. It goes on the deficit, which will drive the budget right out of balance. We will be going right back into the deficit ditch. Let us resist this amendment. People could support it if it was paid for, but it is not. However well intended the amendment is, it spends $72.5 billion with no offset. This amendment blows the budget. This amendment takes us from a balance in 2012 right back into deficit. My colleagues can extend those tax cuts if they pay for them, if they offset them. This amendment does not pay for them; it does not offset them; it takes us back into deficit. It ought to be defeated.

Voting N counts for 2 points on VoteMatch question 11: Repeal tax cuts on wealthy. Democrats: YES 0; NO 2
Republicans: YES 2; NO 0
Independents: YES 1; NO 0
Vote number 2006-229 supporting permanence of estate tax cuts
on Aug 3, 2006 regarding bill H.R. 5970 Estate Tax and Extension of Tax Relief Act
Results: Cloture Passed 56-42
Increases the estate tax exclusion to $5,000,000, effective 2015, and repeals the sunset provision for the estate and generation-skipping taxes. Lowers the estate tax rate to equal the current long-term capital gains tax rate (i.e., 15% through 2010) for taxable estates up to $25 million. Repeals after 2009 the estate tax deduction paid to states.

Proponents recommend voting YES because:

The permanent solution to the death tax challenge that we have today is a compromise. It is a compromise that prevents the death rate from escalating to 55% and the exclusion dropping to $1 million in 2011. It also includes a minimum wage increase, 40% over the next 3 years. Voting YES is a vote for that permanent death tax relief. Voting YES is for that extension of tax relief. Voting YES is for that 40% minimum wage increase. This gives us the opportunity to address an issue that will affect the typical American family, farmers, & small business owners.

Opponents recommend voting NO because:

Family businesses and family farms should not be broken up to pay taxes. With the booming economy of the 1990s, many more Americans joined the ranks of those who could face estate taxes. Raising the exemption level and lowering the rate in past legislation made sense. Under current law, in my State of Delaware, fewer than 50 families will face any estate tax in 2009. I oppose this legislation's complete repeal of the estate tax because it will cost us $750 billion. Given the world we live in today, with clear domestic needs unmet, full repeal is a luxury that we cannot afford.

To add insult to this injury, the first pay raise for minimum wage workers in 10 years is now hostage to this estate tax cut. We are told that to get those folks on minimum wage a raise, we have to go into debt, so that the sons and daughters of the 7,000 most fortunate families among us will be spared the estate tax. We must say no to this transparent gimmick.

Voting N counts for 2 points on VoteMatch question 11: Repeal tax cuts on wealthy. Democrats: YES 0; NO 4
Republicans: YES 7; NO 2
Independents: YES 1; NO 1
Vote number 2006-164 permanently repealing the `death tax`
on Jun 8, 2006 regarding bill HR 8 Death Tax Repeal Permanency Act
Results: Cloture motion rejected, 57-41 (3/5ths required)
A cloture motion ends debate and forces a vote on the issue. In this case, voting YES implies support for permanently repealing the death tax. Voting against cloture would allow further amendments. A cloture motion requires a 3/5th majority to pass. This cloture motion failed, and there was therefore no vote on repealing the death tax.
    Proponents of the motion say:
  • We already pay enough taxes over our lifetimes We are taxed from that first cup of coffee in the morning to the time we flip off the lights at bedtime. If you are an enterprising entrepreneur who has worked hard to grow a family business or to keep and maintain that family farm, your spouse and children can expect to hear the knock of the tax man right after the Grim Reaper.
  • In the past, when Congress enacted a death tax, it was at an extraordinary time of war, and the purpose was to raise temporary funds. But after the war was over the death tax was repealed. But that changed in the last century. The death tax was imposed and has never been lifted.
  • The death tax tells people it is better to consume today than to invest for the future. That doesn't make sense.
    Opponents of the motion say:
  • Small businesses and farms rarely--if ever--are forced to sell off assets or close up shop to pay the tax. Under the current exemption, roughly 99% of estates owe nothing in estate taxes. By 2011, with a $3.5 million exemption, only two of every 100,000 people who die that year would be subject to the estate tax.
  • Today's vote is on a motion to proceed to a bill to repeal the estate tax. Not to proceed to a compromise or any other deal--but to full repeal. I oppose full repeal of the estate tax. Our Nation can no longer afford this tax break for the very well off. Permanently repealing the estate tax would add about $1 trillion to our national debt from 2011 to 2021.
Voting N counts for 2 points on VoteMatch question 11: Repeal tax cuts on wealthy. Democrats: YES 0; NO 4
Republicans: YES 8; NO 1
Independents: YES 1; NO 1
Vote number 2006-008 $47B for military by repealing capital gains tax cut
on Feb 2, 2006 regarding bill S Amdt 2737 to HR 4297 Tax Relief Extension Reconciliation Act
Results: Motion Rejected, 44-53
To strengthen America's military, to repeal the extension of tax rates for capital gains and dividends, to reduce the deficit, and for other purposes. Specifically, a YES vote would appropriate $47 billion to the military and would pay for it by repealing the extension of tax cuts for capital gains and dividends to 2010 back to 2008. The funds wuold be used as follows:
  • $25.4 billion for procurement
  • $17 billion for Army operation and maintenance
  • $4.5 billion for Marine Corps operation and maintenance
Voting Y counts for 1 points on VoteMatch question 11: Repeal tax cuts on wealthy. Democrats: YES 4; NO 0
Republicans: YES 1; NO 7
Independents: YES 1; NO 1
Vote number 2006-010 retaining reduced taxes on capital gains & dividends
on Feb 2, 2006 regarding bill HR 4297 Tax Relief Extension Reconciliation Act
Results: Bill passed, 66-31 Bill passed
Vote to reduce federal spending by $56.1 billion over five years by retaining a reduced tax rate on capital gains and dividends, as well as.
  • Decreasing the number of people that will be required to pay the Alternative Minimum Tax (AMT)
  • Allowing for deductions of state and local general sales taxes through 2007 instead of 2006
  • Lengthening tax credits for research expenses
  • Increasing the age limit for eligibility for food stamp recipients from 25 to 35 years
  • Continuing reduced tax rates of 15% and 5% on capital gains and dividends through 2010
  • Extending through 2007 the expense allowances for environmental remediation costs (the cost of cleanup of sites where petroleum products have been released or disposed)
Voting N counts for 2 points on VoteMatch question 11: Repeal tax cuts on wealthy. Democrats: YES 2; NO 2
Republicans: YES 7; NO 1
Independents: YES 1; NO 1
Vote number 2005-347 extending the tax cuts on capital gains and dividends
on Nov 18, 2005 regarding bill S. 2020 Tax Relief Act of 2005
Results: Bill passed, 64-33
This large piece of legislation (418 pages) includes numerous provisions, generally related to extending the tax cuts initiated by President Bush. This vote was on final passage of the bill. The specific provisions include:
  1. Extension Of Expiring Provisions: for business expenses, retirement savings contributions, higher education expenses, new markets tax credit, and deducting state and local sales taxes.
  2. Provisions Relating To Charitable Donations, and Reforming Charitable Organizations
  3. Improved Accountability of Donor Advised Funds
  4. Improvements in Efficiency and Safeguards in IRS Collection
    Opponents of the bill recommend voting NAY because:
  • Health care for children (among many other things) should come before tax cuts for the wealthy.
  • The 2-year cost of the extensions on capital gains tax cuts for the wealthiest Americans is $20 billion. So if we defer the tax break the administration is pushing for the wealthiest people in America, we would have enough money to provide basic health insurance for every uninsured child in America, and we would eliminate 20% of the uninsured Americans with that single act alone.
    Proponents of the bill recommend voting YEA because:
  • The largest provision in the bill--about $30 billion of tax relief--amounts to half of the net tax package and is designed to keep 14 million people out of the Alternative Minimum Tax. The AMT is terrible and should be repealed.
  • College tuition benefits for families who send their kids to college -- by definition, this benefit goes to middle-income families.
  • The small savers' credit -- for low-income folks that save through an IRA or pension plan.
  • Many small businesses use the small business expensing benefit to buy equipment on an efficient after-tax basis. It is good for small business. It is good for economic growth.
Voting N counts for 2 points on VoteMatch question 11: Repeal tax cuts on wealthy. Democrats: YES 2; NO 2
Republicans: YES 7; NO 1
Independents: YES 1; NO 1
Vote number 2003-196 $350 billion in tax breaks over 11 years
on May 23, 2003 regarding bill HR.2
Results: Bill passed 50-50; VP decided Yes
H.R. 2 Conference Report; Jobs and Growth Tax Relief Reconciliation Act of 2003. Vote to adopt the conference report on the bill that would make available $350 billion in tax breaks over 11 years. It would provide $20 billion in state aid that consists of $10 billion for Medicaid and $10 billion to be used at states' judgment. The agreement contains a new top tax rate of 15 percent on capital gains and dividends through 2007 (5 percent for lower-income taxpayers in 2007 and no tax in 2008). Income tax cuts enacted in 2001 and planned to take effect in 2006 would be accelerated. The child tax credit would be raised to $1,000 through 2004. The standard deduction for married couples would be double that for a single filer through 2004. Tax breaks for businesses would include expanding the deduction that small businesses could take on investments to $100,000 through 2005. Voting N counts for 2 points on VoteMatch question 11: Repeal tax cuts on wealthy. Democrats: YES 1; NO 8
Republicans: YES 11; NO 1
Independents: YES 0; NO 1
Vote number 2002-94 $15 billion in energy-related tax incentives
on Apr 25, 2002 regarding bill HR.4
Results:
H.R. 4, as amended; Energy Policy Act of 2002. "Securing America's Future Energy" (SAFE) Act of 2001. Vote to pass a bill that would reform the electricity system, overhaul the nation's energy policies, and make available approximately $15 billion in energy-related tax incentives. It would promote the use of alternative energy and call for utilities to increase their dependence on renewable fuels. It would also regulate that within the next 15 months to two years, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) to establish a new CAFE standard. (Not used in VoteMatch) Democrats: YES 0; NO 0
Republicans: YES 0; NO 0
Independents: YES 0; NO 0
Vote number 2001-165xxx cutting taxes by $1.35 trillion over 11 years
on May 23, 2001 regarding bill HR 1836
Results: Bill passed, 63-38
Vote to pass a bill that would reduce all income tax rates and make other tax cuts totaling $1.35 trillion over 11 years. The bill would increase the standard deduction for married couples subject to the 15% bracket to double that of singles by 2005 (Not used in VoteMatch) Democrats: YES 0; NO 0
Republicans: YES 0; NO 0
Independents: YES 0; NO 0
Vote number 2001-112 reducing marriage penalty instead of cutting top tax rates
on May 17, 2001 regarding bill HR 1836
Results: Amendment rejected, 44-56
Vote to expand the standard deduction and 15% income tax bracket for couples. The elimination of the "marriage penalty" tax would be offset by reducing the marginal tax rate reductions for the top two rate bracket Voting Y counts for 1 points on VoteMatch question 11: Repeal tax cuts on wealthy. Democrats: YES 9; NO 4
Republicans: YES 1; NO 16
Independents: YES 0; NO 1
Vote number 2001-114 increasing tax deductions for college tuition
on May 17, 2001 regarding bill HR 1836
Results: Amendment rejected, 43-55
Vote to increase the tax deduction for college tuition costs from $5,000 to $12,000 and increase the tax credit on student loan interest from $500 to $1,000. The expense would be offset by limiting the cut in the top estate tax rate to 53%. (Not used in VoteMatch) Democrats: YES 11; NO 2
Republicans: YES 0; NO 17
Independents: YES 0; NO 1
Vote number 2000-215 eliminating the 'marriage penalty'
on Jul 18, 2000 regarding bill HR.4810
Results: Passed 61-38
Vote on a bill that would reduce taxes on married couples by increasing their standard deduction to twice that of single taxpayers and raise the income limits on both the 15 percent and 28 percent tax brackets for married couples to twice that of singles Voting N counts for 1 points on VoteMatch question 11: Repeal tax cuts on wealthy. Democrats: YES 3; NO 10
Republicans: YES 22; NO 0
Independents: YES 1; NO 0
Vote number 2000-197 phasing out the estate tax ("death tax")
on Jul 14, 2000 regarding bill HR 8
Results: Bill passed 59-39
Vote on a bill that would eventually eliminate the tax imposed on estates and gifts by 2010 at an estimated cost of $75 billion annually when fully phased in. Voting N counts for 1 points on VoteMatch question 11: Repeal tax cuts on wealthy. Democrats: YES 0; NO 1
Republicans: YES 2; NO 1
Independents: YES 0; NO 0
Vote number 1999-313 across-the-board spending cut
on Oct 6, 1999 regarding bill S. 1650 Nickles Amdt #1889
Results: Y)54; N)46 Amdt. Agreed to
The Nickles (R-OK) Amdendment would express the sense of the Senate that Congress should adopt an across-the-board cut in all discretionary funding, to prevent the plundering of the Social Security Trust Fund (Not used in VoteMatch) Democrats: YES 0; NO 13
Republicans: YES 23; NO 0
Independents: YES 1; NO 0
Vote number 1999-230xxx $792B tax cuts
on Jul 29, 1999 regarding bill S. 1429 Motion to waive Congressional Budget Amendment in regards to the Gramm Amdt #1405
Results: Y)46; N)54 Motion Rejected
This vote was on a motion to waive the Congressional Budget Act against the Gramm (R-TX) amendment which would reduce taxes by $792 billion over 10 years by reducing all income tax rates by 10%, effectively eliminating the so-called "marriage penalty". (Not used in VoteMatch) Democrats: YES 0; NO 0
Republicans: YES 0; NO 0
Independents: YES 0; NO 0
Vote number 1998-71 requiring super-majority for raising taxes
on Apr 2, 1998 regarding bill S Con Res 86 Kyl Amdt #2221
Results: Y)50; N)48; NV)2 Amdt Agreed to
Senator Kyl (R-AZ) offered an amendment to the 1999 budget resolution to express the sense of the Senate on support for a Constitutional amendment requiring a supermajority to pass tax increases. Voting N counts for 1 points on VoteMatch question 11: Repeal tax cuts on wealthy. Democrats: YES 0; NO 16
Republicans: YES 22; NO 2
Independents: YES 0; NO 1
Vote number 1998-55xxx FY99 tax cuts
on Apr 1, 1998 regarding bill S Con Res 86 Motion to waive CBA Re: Coverdell Amdt. # 2199
Results: Y)38; N)62) Motion Rejected
Senator Coverdell (R-GA) offered an amendment to the 1999 budget resolution to reduce revenues by $101.5 billion over the next 5 years, to provide middle-class tax reflief (Not used in VoteMatch) Democrats: YES 0; NO 0
Republicans: YES 0; NO 0
Independents: YES 0; NO 0

Technology
Senate BillVote descriptionVoteMatch UsageCandidate Voting
Vote number 2007-406 $23B instead of $4.9B for waterway infrastructure
on Nov 8, 2007 regarding bill Veto override on H.R. 1495 Veto override on Water Resources Development Act
Results: Veto Overridden, 79-14 (2/3 required)
Vote on overriding Pres. Bush's veto. The bill reauthorizes the Water Resources Development Act (WRDA): to provide for the conservation and development of water and related resources, to authorize the Secretary of the Army to construct various projects for improvements to rivers and harbors of the United States. The bill authorizes flood control, navigation, and environmental projects and studies by the Army Corps of Engineers. Also authorizes projects for navigation, ecosystem or environmental restoration, and hurricane, flood, or storm damage reduction in 23 states including Louisiana.

Veto message from President Bush:

This bill lacks fiscal discipline. I fully support funding for water resources projects that will yield high economic and environmental returns. Each year my budget has proposed reasonable and responsible funding, including $4.9 billion for 2008, to support the Army Corps of Engineers' main missions. However, this authorization bill costs over $23 billion. This is not fiscally responsible, particularly when local communities have been waiting for funding for projects already in the pipeline. The bill's excessive authorization for over 900 projects and programs exacerbates the massive backlog of ongoing Corps construction projects, which will require an additional $38 billion in future appropriations to complete. This bill does not set priorities. I urge the Congress to send me a fiscally responsible bill that sets priorities.

(Not used in VoteMatch) Democrats: YES 1; NO 0
Republicans: YES 1; NO 0
Independents: YES 1; NO 0
Vote number 2006-052 restoring $550M in funding for Amtrak for 2007
on Mar 15, 2006 regarding bill S.Amdt.3015 to S.Con.Res.83 Santorum amendment to Transportation funding bill
Results: Amendment rejected, 39-59
An amendment to provide an additional $550,000,000 for Amtrak for fiscal year 2007. Voting YEA would increase Amtrak funding from $900 million to $1.45 billion. Voting NAY would keep Amtrak funding at $900 million.
    Proponents of the bill say to vote YEA because:
  • [In my state], Philadelphia's 30th Street station is the second busiest train station nationally, with over 3.7 million boarding a year. And 3,000 people are employed by Amtrak in Pennsylvania. Amtrak and the health of Amtrak is important.
  • Last year the Senate transportation bill had $1.45 billion for Amtrak, which is obviously more than the $900 million in the current budget proposal. I am offering an amendment to increase that funding from the $900 million which is in the bill right now to the $1.45 billion level and adding $550 million.
  • I support funding through the section 920 account [without a tax increase]. We have seen that without raising the cap or without raising taxes, the Senate has been able to come up with a robust number for Amtrak which I will support within the context of a responsible budget.
  • We have spent less money on Amtrak in the last 35 years than we will on highways in this year alone. And highways don't pay for themselves, even with the gas tax. Neither does mass transit, either in this country or anywhere else in the world. But we subsidize them because they improve the quality of our lives.
  • We have never provided the kind of commitment to Amtrak that we have for other modes of transportation, and this amendment will be an important step to getting Amtrak off the starvation budgets that it has subsisted on for far too long.
    Opponents of the bill say to vote NAY because:
  • The problem with that is there is no money in the section 920 account. If we want to talk about "funny money" financing, that is it--taking money from an account that has no money. This whole budget takes money we don't have. The result is we keep running up the debt.
(Not used in VoteMatch) Democrats: YES 1; NO 2
Republicans: YES 8; NO 1
Independents: YES 1; NO 1
Vote number 2003-348 disallowing FCC approval of larger media conglomerates
on Sep 16, 2003 regarding bill S J Res 17/H.J.RES.72 FCC Media Ownership bill
Results: Bill passed 55-40: R 12-38; D 42-2
Vote to pass a joint resolution expressing congressional disapproval of the rule submitted by the Federal Communications Commission. The rule would therefore have no force or effect. The rule in question deals with broadcast media ownership and would allow media conglomerates to own more television stations and newspapers. (Not used in VoteMatch) Democrats: YES 5; NO 2
Republicans: YES 2; NO 10
Independents: YES 0; NO 0
Vote number 1998-296 Internet sales tax moratorium
on Oct 2, 1998 regarding bill S.442
Results: Tabled 66-29
Vote against allowing states to require companies who do business in their state solely by phone, mail, or the Internet to collect state sales taxes. [Current law does not require companies to collect sales taxes where the customer is out of state] Voting N counts for 1 points on VoteMatch question 11: Repeal tax cuts on wealthy. Democrats: YES 3; NO 9
Republicans: YES 24; NO 1
Independents: YES 1; NO 0
Vote number 1996-8 telecomm deregulation
on Feb 1, 1996 regarding bill S. 652 Conference Report on S. 625, the
Results: Y)91; N)5; NV)3 Telecommunications Competition and Deregulation Act of 1995
Deregulation of the telecommunications industry. (Not used in VoteMatch) Democrats: YES 19; NO 2
Republicans: YES 30; NO 0
Independents: YES 2; NO 0

War & Peace
Senate BillVote descriptionVoteMatch UsageCandidate Voting
Vote number 2007-437 redeploying non-essential US troops out of Iraq in 9 months
on Dec 18, 2007 regarding bill S.AMDT.3875 to H.R.2764 Safe Redeployment Of US Troops From Iraq Amendment
Results: Rejected 24-71 (3/5 required)
Vote to transition the missions of US Forces in Iraq to a more limited set of missions as specified by the President on September 13, 2007: S.AMDT.3875 amends S.AMDT.3874 and underlying bill H.R.2764:
  • The President shall commence the safe, phased redeployment of members of the US Armed Forces from Iraq who are not essential to the [new limited mission].
  • Such redeployment shall begin not later than 90 days after the date of the enactment of this Act.
  • No funds under any provision of law may be expended to continue the deployment in Iraq of members of the US Armed Forces after 9 months.

Proponents support voting YES because:

Sen. LEVIN: "The amendment requires redeployment be completed within 9 months. At that point, funding for the war would be ended, with four narrow exceptions:"

  1. Security for US Government personnel and infrastructure
  2. Training Iraqi security forces
  3. Equipment to US service men and women to ensure their safety
Targeted operations against members of al-Qaida.

Opponents recommend voting NO because:

Sen. McCAIN: "This year, after nearly 4 years of mismanaged war, our military has made significant gains under the so-called surge. Overall violence in Iraq has fallen to its lowest level since [2003]. Improvised explosive device blasts now occur at a rate lower than at any point since September 2004.

"Al-Qaida's leadership knows which side is winning in Iraq. It may not be known in some parts of America and in this body, but al-Qaida knows. We are succeeding under the new strategy.

"Given these realities, some proponents of precipitous withdrawal from Iraq have shifted their focus. While conceding, finally, that there have been dramatic security gains, they have begun seizing on the lackluster performance of the Iraqi Government to insist that we should abandon the successful strategy and withdraw U.S. forces. This would be a terrible mistake."

Voting Y counts for 1 points on VoteMatch question 17: War & Peace. Democrats: YES 0; NO 1
Republicans: YES 0; NO 1
Independents: YES 0; NO 1
Vote number 2007-349 designating Iran's Revolutionary Guards as terrorists
on Sep 26, 2007 regarding bill S.Amdt. 3017 to H.R. 1585 Sense of the Senate on Iran
Results: Agreed to, 76-22 (3/5 required)
Vote on a "Sense of the Senate" amendment, S.Amdt. 3017, to H.R. 1585 (National Defense Authorization Act), that finds:
  • that it is a vital US national interest to prevent the Government of the Islamic Republic of Iran from turning Shi'a militia extremists in Iraq into a Hezbollah-like force;
  • that it should be US policy to combat, contain, and roll back the violent activities and destabilizing influence inside Iraq of the Government of Iran;
  • to support the prudent and calibrated use of all instruments of power in Iraq, including diplomatic, economic, intelligence, and military instruments, in support of the policy;
  • that the US should designate the Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps as a foreign terrorist organization.

Proponents support voting YES because:

Sen. LIEBERMAN: Some of our colleagues thought the Sense of the Senate may have opened the door to some kind of military action against Iran [so we removed some text]. That is not our intention. In fact, our intention is to increase the economic pressure on Iran and the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps so that we will never have to consider the use of the military to stop them from what they are doing to kill our soldiers.

Opponents recommend voting NO because:

Sen. BIDEN. I will oppose the Kyl-Lieberman amendment for one simple reason: this administration cannot be trusted. I am very concerned about the evidence that suggests that Iran is engaged in destabilizing activities inside Iraq. Arguably, if we had a different President who abided by the meaning and intent of laws we pass, I might support this amendment. I fear, however, that this President might use the designation of Iran's Revolutionary Guard Corps as a terrorist entity as a pretext to use force against Iran as he sees fit. [The same was done with the Senate resolution on Iraq in 2002]. Given this President's actions and misuse of authority, I cannot support the amendment.

(Not used in VoteMatch) Democrats: YES 1; NO 0
Republicans: YES 1; NO 0
Independents: YES 1; NO 0
Vote number 2007-075 redeploying US troops out of Iraq by March 2008
on Mar 15, 2007 regarding bill S.J.Res.9 US Policy in Iraq Resolution
Results: Resolution rejected 48-50
Begins the phased redeployment of US forces from Iraq within 120 days of enactment of this joint resolution with the goal of redeploying by March 31, 2008, all US combat forces from Iraq, except for a limited number essential for protecting US and coalition personnel and infrastructure, training and equipping Iraqi forces, and conducting targeted counter-terrorism operations. Such redeployment shall be implemented as part of a diplomatic, political, and economic strategy that includes sustained engagement with Iraq's neighbors and the international community in order to bring stability to Iraq.

Proponents recommend voting YES because:

Our troops are caught in the midst of a civil war. The administration has begun to escalate this war with 21,000 more troops. This idea is not a new one. During this war, four previous surges have all failed. It is time for a different direction. It is time for a drawdown of our troops.

Opponents recommend voting NO because:

This resolution calls for imposing an artificial timeline to withdraw our troops from Iraq, regardless of the conditions on the ground or the consequences of defeat; a defeat that will surely be added to what is unfortunately a growing list of American humiliations. This legislation would hobble American commanders in the field and substantially endanger America's strategic objective of a unified federal democratic Iraq that can govern, defend, and sustain itself and be an ally in the war against Islamic fascism. The unintended consequence of this resolution is to bring to reality Osama bin Laden's vision for Iraq; that after 4 years of fighting in Iraq the US Congress loses its will to fight. If we leave Iraq before the job is done, as surely as night follows day, the terrorists will follow us home. Osama bin Laden has openly said: America does not have the stomach to stay in the fight. He is a fanatic. He is an Islamic fascist. He is determined to destroy us and our way of life.

Voting Y counts for 2 points on VoteMatch question 17: Continue Foreign Aid to UN, NATO, & others. Democrats: YES 2; NO 0
Republicans: YES 0; NO 2
Independents: YES 0; NO 1
Vote number 2006-181 redeploying troops out of Iraq by July 2007
on Jun 22, 2006 regarding bill S.Amdt. 4442 to S. 2766 Kerry Amendment to National Defense Authorization Act
Results: Amendment failed, 13-86
Voting YEA on this amendment would establish a timetable for withdrawal from Iraq. Voting NAY would keep the current situation without a timetable. The amendment states:
  1. The President shall redeploy, commencing in 2006, US forces from Iraq by July 1, 2007, leaving only the minimal number of forces that are critical to completing the mission of standing up Iraqi security forces and conducting specialized counterterrorism operations.
  2. The President should maintain an over-the-horizon troop presence to prosecute the war on terror and protect regional security interests.
  3. Within 30 days, the administration shall submit to Congress a report that sets forth the strategy for the redeployment of US forces from Iraq by July 1, 2007.
    Opponents of the Resolution say:
  • This amendment would withdraw American forces from Iraq without regard to the real conditions on the ground.
  • The consequences of an American retreat would be terrible for the security of the American people at home.
  • Our commitment is not open-ended. It is conditional on the Iraqis moving toward self-government and self-defense.
    Supporters of the Resolution say:
  • Congress talks almost incessantly about the situation in Iraq as if on 9/11 the situation involved Iraq. Of course, it didn't. We were attacked by al-Qaida operating out of Afghanistan on 9/11.
  • One of the theories we hear is that somehow staying in Iraq is necessary because all the terrorists will come into Iraq, and then they wouldn't be able to attack us anywhere else. Some call this the roach-motel theory. The fact is, al-Qaida is operating in 60 to 80 countries. Yet our resources are only heavily focused on this Iraq situation.
  • In terms of differences from other Iraq amendments: This is binding, not just a sense of the Senate.
  • Secondly, we have a date; other amendments are open-ended.
  • Thirdly, this has an over-the-horizon force specifically to protect our security interests.
Voting Y counts for 2 points on VoteMatch question 17: Replace US troops with UN in Iraq. Democrats: YES 0; NO 4
Republicans: YES 0; NO 9
Independents: YES 1; NO 1
Vote number 2005-316 investigating contract awards in Iraq & Afghanistan
on Nov 10, 2005 regarding bill S Amdt 2476 to S 1042 Committee to Investigate War Contracts
Results: Amendment Rejected, 44-53
To establish a special committee of the Senate to investigate the awarding and carrying out of contracts to conduct activities in Afghanistan and Iraq and to fight the war on terrorism. Voting YES would: create Senate special committee to investigate war contracts, taking into consideration: bidding, methods of contracting, subcontracting, oversight procedures, allegations of wasteful practices, accountability and lessons learned in Afghanistan and Iraq. (Not used in VoteMatch) Democrats: YES 4; NO 0
Republicans: YES 1; NO 8
Independents: YES 1; NO 1
Vote number 2005-96 requiring on-budget funding for Iraq, not emergency funding
on Apr 20, 2005 regarding bill S.AMDT.464 to H.R.1268 Emergency Supplemental Appropriations Act
Results: Amendment Agreed to, 61-31
Amendment to express the sense of the Senate on future requests for funding for military operations in Afghanistan and Iraq. A YES vote would:
  • Request all future funding for ongoing military operations overseas, especially in Afghanistan and Iraq, be included in the President's annual fiscal year budget proposal
  • Call for the President to submit to Congress by Sept. 1, 2005, an amendment to his annual fiscal budget, that details estimated costs for ongoing military operations overseas.
  • Ask that all future funding requests for ongoing military operations overseas appear in the appropriation bills in which such expenditures are normally included.
Voting N counts for 1 points on VoteMatch question 15: More Spending on Armed Forces. Democrats: YES 4; NO 0
Republicans: YES 3; NO 5
Independents: YES 1; NO 1
Vote number 2003-400 $86 billion for military operations in Iraq & Afghanistan
on Oct 17, 2003 regarding bill S1689 FY04 Emergency Supplemental for Iraq and Afghanistan
Results: Bill Passed 87-12: R 50-0; D 37-11
Vote to pass a bill that would appropriate $86.5 billion in supplemental spending for military operations and reconstruction in Iraq and Afghanistan, in Fiscal 2004. The bill would provide $10.3 billion as a grant to rebuild Iraq. This includes:
  • $5.1 billion for security
  • $5.2 billion for reconstruction costs
  • $65.6 billion for military operations and maintenance
  • $1.3 billion for veterans medical care
  • $10 billion as a loan that would be converted to a grant if 90% of all bilateral debt incurred by the former Iraqi regime of Saddam Hussein, would have to be forgiven by other countries.
(Not used in VoteMatch) Democrats: YES 5; NO 4
Republicans: YES 12; NO 0
Independents: YES 0; NO 0
Vote number 2002-237 authorizing use of military force against Iraq
on Oct 11, 2002 regarding bill H.J.RES.114
Results:
H.J.Res. 114; Authorization for Use of Military Force Against Iraq Resolution of 2002. The administration would be required to report to Congress that diplomatic options have been exhausted before, or within 48 hours after military action has started. Every 60 days the president would also be required to submit a progress report to Congress. (Not used in VoteMatch) Democrats: YES 8; NO 5
Republicans: YES 16; NO 1
Independents: YES 0; NO 1
Vote number 1999-98 allowing all necessary force in Kosovo
on May 4, 1999 regarding bill S. J. Res. 20 Motion to table S. J. Res. 20
Results: Y)78; N)22 Motion to Table Agreed to
Majority Leader Trent Lott motioned to kill the resolution that would have authorized the president to "use all necessary forces and other means," in cooperation with U.S. allies to accomplish objectives in Yugoslavia. (Not used in VoteMatch) Democrats: YES 9; NO 4
Republicans: YES 21; NO 2
Independents: YES 2; NO 0
Vote number 1999-57 authorizing air strikes in Kosovo
on Mar 23, 1999 regarding bill S.Con.Res 21
Results: Adopted 58-41
Vote to adopt a resolution to authorize the President to conduct military air operations and missile strikes in cooperation with NATO against Yugoslavia (Serbia and Montenegro). (Not used in VoteMatch) Democrats: YES 12; NO 1
Republicans: YES 5; NO 18
Independents: YES 1; NO 0
Vote number 1995-331 ending the Bosnian arms embargo
on Jul 26, 1995 regarding bill S. 21 Bosnia Herzegovina Self-Defense Act of '95
Results: Y)69; N)29; NV)2 Bill Passed
Ending the Bosnian arms embargo. (Not used in VoteMatch) Democrats: YES 8; NO 12
Republicans: YES 28; NO 4
Independents: YES 2; NO 1

Welfare & Poverty
Senate BillVote descriptionVoteMatch UsageCandidate Voting
Vote number 2009-S115 instituting National Service as a new social invention
on Mar 26, 2009 regarding bill H.R. 1388 Serve America Act/GIVE Act
Results: Passed 79-19
Congressional Summary:Generations Invigorating Volunteerism and Education (GIVE) Act:
    Adds to National and Community Service Act of 1990 (NCSA) purposes:
  1. providing year-round opportunities in service-learning;
  2. involving program participants in emergency and disaster preparedness, relief, and recovery;
  3. increasing service opportunities for retiring professionals;
  4. encouraging service by individuals age 55 or older and continued service by national service alumni;
  5. focusing national service on the areas of national need.

Proponent's argument to vote Yes:Sen. BARBARA MIKULSKI (D, MD): [In developing national service over many years] we were not in the business of creating another new social program. What we were in the business of was creating a new social invention. What do I mean by that? In our country, we are known for our technological inventions. But also often overlooked, and sometimes undervalued, is our social inventions.

We created national service to let young people find opportunity to be of service and also to make an important contribution. But not all was rosy. In 2003, when I was the ranking member on the appropriations subcommittee funding national service, they created a debacle. One of their most colossal errors was that they enrolled over 20,000 volunteers and could not afford to pay for it. That is how sloppy they were in their accounting. I called them the "Enron of nonprofits."

And they worked on it. But all that is history. We are going to expand AmeriCorps activity into specialized corps. One, an education corps; another, a health futures corps; another, a veterans corps; and another called opportunity corps. These are not outside of AmeriCorps. They will be subsets because we find this is where compelling human need is and at the same time offers great opportunity for volunteers to do it.

Opponent's argument to vote No:No senators spoke against the amendment.

(Not used in VoteMatch) Democrats: YES 0; NO 0
Republicans: YES 0; NO 0
Independents: YES 1; NO 0
Vote number 1996-262 welfare block grants
on Aug 1, 1996 regarding bill H.R. 3734 Conference Report on H.R. 3734
Results: Y)78; N)21; NV)1 Conf Rpt Agreed to
Replacement of federal welfare guarantee with block grants to the states. Voting Y counts for 1 points on VoteMatch question 20: Allow churches to provide welfare services. Democrats: YES 9; NO 11
Republicans: YES 31; NO 0
Independents: YES 2; NO 0
Vote number 1996-383HR replacing welfare entitlements with work rules
on Jul 31, 1996 regarding bill HR 3734
Results: Adopted 328-101
Vote to adopt a bill to reform the welfare system by ending the entitlement nature of welfare, giving states control over most welfare programs; limiting welfare benefits; requiring most adult recipients to work; & limiting welfare for legal immigrants. Voting Y counts for 1 points on VoteMatch question 20: Allow churches to provide welfare services. Democrats: YES 0; NO 0
Republicans: YES 0; NO 0
Independents: YES 0; NO 0
Vote number 1996-218 eliminating block grants for food stamps
on Jul 23, 1996 regarding bill S 1956
Results: Amendment adopted, 53-45
Vote to not allow states the option of getting food stamp funds as a block grant administered by the state, rather than as a federal program, if they meet certain criteria. Voting N counts for 1 points on VoteMatch question 20: Allow churches to provide welfare services. Democrats: YES 21; NO 0
Republicans: YES 3; NO 26
Independents: YES 1; NO 0
Vote number 1996-208 allowing state welfare waivers
on Jul 19, 1996 regarding bill S.1956
Results: Rejected 55-43
Vote on a procedural motion to allow consideration of an amendment to express the Sense of Congress that the president should approve the waivers requested by states that want to implement welfare reform. Voting Y counts for 1 points on VoteMatch question 20: Allow churches to provide welfare services. Democrats: YES 0; NO 18
Republicans: YES 30; NO 1
Independents: YES 1; NO 0
Vote number 1995-443 welfare overhaul
on Sep 19, 1995 regarding bill H.R. 4 Contract w/ America (Welfare Refm)
Results: Y)87; N)12; NV)1 Bill Passed
Approval of an overhaul on the federal welfare system. Voting Y counts for 1 points on VoteMatch question 20: Allow churches to provide welfare services. Democrats: YES 14; NO 7
Republicans: YES 30; NO 1
Independents: YES 2; NO 0


                                                                                                                                                                               
  

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