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Roll call - Congressional Voting

September 25, 2005|By Thomas Voting Reports

HOUSE



Head Start renewal

Voting 231 for and 184 against, the House on Sept. 22 passed a bill (HR 2123) extending the Head Start program for pre-school children through fiscal 2010 at a cost of $36 billion. The bill, which awaits Senate action, emphasizes academics and fiscal accountability and allows sponsors to use federal funds for hiring practices based on religious discrimination.

The bill directs Head Start programs to set a foundation for math, reading and English, and to require newly hired instructors to hold at least an associate's degree in early childhood education. The bill requires grantees to submit to independent audits, publish annual accountings of how they spent their federal money and limit administrative costs to 15 percent of program costs. Additionally, the bill strengthens the nutrition and health-care components of Head Start and seeks increased parental involvement in local programs.

A yes vote was to pass the bill.

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Maryland

Roscoe Bartlett, R-6, no

Pennsylvania

Bill Shuster, R-9, yes

West Virginia

Shelley Moore Capito, R-2, yes

Religion-based hiring

Voting 220 for and 196 against, the House on Sept. 22 amended HR 2123 to allow faith-based Head Start sponsors, such as churches, to use federal funds to hire only members of the same religion. This goes beyond current law, which permits sponsors to implement religious discrimination in their hiring only if they use nonpublic funds to pay for the practice.

A yes vote backed the amendment.

Maryland

Bartlett, yes

Pennsylvania

Shuster, yes

West Virginia

Capito, yes

SENATE



Veterans' counseling

Senators on Sept. 22 refused, 48 for and 50 against, to add $10 million to the fiscal 2006 budget for counseling services for Guard, Reserve and active duty personnel returning from Iraq and Afghanistan and the families of fallen veterans. The funds were to have been taken from the Department of Veterans Affairs information-technology budget. The vote occurred as the Senate sent to conference with the House a 2006 appropriations bill (HR 2528) for veterans' programs and military construction. The underlying bill already raised the veterans' counseling budget by $4 million over 2005 spending.

A yes vote was to increase the veterans' counseling budget by $10 million.

Maryland

Paul Sarbanes, D, yes

Barbara Mikulski, D, yes

Pennsylvania

Arlen Specter, R, yes

Rick Santorum, R, no

West Virginia

Robert Byrd, D, yes

John Rockefeller, D, yes

Pork-barrel disclosure

Senators on Sept. 21 voted, 55 for and 39 against, to require public disclosure of the "earmarks," or pork-barrel items, contained in the fiscal 2006 Department of Agriculture appropriations bill (HR 2744). Under this amendment, when the bill's conference report is debated later this year, it must identify the hundreds of special projects requested by individual lawmakers. At present, members' projects typically are hidden in fine print and do not become publicly known until long after they are enshrined in law.

The 2005 agricultural budget funded 512 earmarked projects costing $526 million, according to the interest group Citizens Against Government Waste.

A yes vote backed pork-barrel disclosure.

Maryland

Sarbanes, no

Mikulski, not voting

Pennsylvania

Specter, yes

Santorum, yes

West Virginia

Byrd, no

Rockefeller, not voting

Horse slaughter

Senators on Sept. 20 voted, 68 for and 29 against, to bar federal meat inspections of U.S. horses slaughtered for human consumption overseas. In 2004, about 95,000 U.S. horses were killed for foreign tables, with about 65,000 processed by - and federally inspected at - three U.S. slaughterhouses. Canadian and Mexican slaughterhouses handled the remaining 30,000. The amendment to HR 2744 was designed to stop the killing of American horses for food sales abroad.

A yes vote was to adopt the amendment.

Maryland

Sarbanes, yes

Mikulski, yes

Pennsylvania

Specter, yes

Santorum, yes

West Virginia

Byrd, yes

Rockefeller, not voting

Japanese beef imports

Senators on Sept. 22 voted, 72 for and 26 against, to prevent Japan from exporting whole cuts of boneless beef to the United States unless it fully opens its markets to U.S. beef and beef-product exports. The amendment to HR 2744 would block an impending U.S. Department of Agriculture rule to allow the importation of Japanese whole cuts on a large scale. The rule is part of a larger trade agreement between the United States and Japan. The next stop for the issue is a House-Senate conference committee on HR 2744.

A yes vote backed the amendment.

Maryland

Sarbanes, yes

Mikulski, yes

Pennsylvania

Specter, yes

Santorum, yes

West Virginia

Byrd, yes

Rockefeller, not voting

Key votes ahead

In the week of Sept. 26, the House will consider a weakening of the Endangered Species Act, while the Senate will vote on the nomination of John G. Roberts Jr. as Chief Justice of the United States and also debate appropriations bills. The 2006 fiscal year begins at week's end.

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