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Roll call

October 02, 2005|By Thomas Voting Reports

HOUSE



Endangered Species Act

Voting 229 for and 193 against, members on Sept. 29 passed a bill (HR 3824) to weaken the 1973 Endangered Species Act. The bill narrows the definition of habitat needed to protect imperiled plant and animal species, lowers scientific standards for judging the viability of species and establishes an entitlement program to compensate property owners for land use denied by the act. Also under the bill, if the government fails to respond within 180 days to property owners' questions as to whether a planned use of their land is legal, the project automatically goes forward. The bill awaits Senate action.

A yes vote was to pass the bill.

Maryland

Roscoe Bartlett, R-6, yes

Pennsylvania

Bill Shuster, R-9, yes

West Virginia

Shelley Moore Capito, R-2, yes




Species protection

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Voting 206 for and 216 against, members on Sept. 29 defeated a substitute to HR 3824 that was backed by environmentalists and opposed by property rights' groups. The rival measure eliminated the underlying bill's guaranteed compensation to landowners for loss of economic value attributable to the Endangered Species Act. In other differences, the substitute contained enforceable recovery programs for imperiled species, kept most decision-making in the hands of civil servants rather than political appointees and required a higher standard of scientific review.

A yes vote backed the substitute.

Maryland

Bartlett, no

Pennsylvania

Shuster, no

West Virginia

Capito, no




FEMA changes

On a nonbinding vote of 196 for and 227 against, members on Sept. 29 rejected a Democratic bid to continue the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) as an agency that both prepares for and responds to man-made and natural disasters. The motion sought to use HR 2630 to block Secretary of Homeland Security Michael Chertoff's plan to shift preparedness to a new unit comprised of the Coast Guard, Department of Defense, Border Patrol and Secret Service. FEMA would be left only with response functions.

A yes vote was to keep preparedness within FEMA.

Maryland

Bartlett, no

Pennsylvania

Shuster, no

West Virginia

Capito, no




Gasoline prices

Voting 195 for and 226 against, members on Sept. 28 rejected a Democratic bid for tougher federal action against any price gouging by the oil and gas industry during energy emergencies. The motion sought to authorize the Federal Trade Commission to legally define the practice, followed by more vigorous enforcement by agencies such as the Department of Energy. This occurred during debate on a bill (HR 3402, later passed) authorizing $94 billion for Department of Justice operations and programs in fiscal 2006-10.

A yes vote backed the motion.

Maryland

Bartlett, no

Pennsylvania

Shuster, no

West Virginia

Capito, no

SENATE



Chief Justice Roberts

Voting 78 for and 22 against, senators on Sept. 29 confirmed Judge John G. Roberts Jr. as the 17th chief justice of the United States. All 55 Republicans, the Senate's lone Independent and 22 of the 44 Democrats supported the nominee. Roberts, 50, had been a judge on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia, a lawyer in private practice in Washington and a government lawyer in the administrations of President Reagan and the first President Bush.

A yes vote was to confirm Roberts.

Maryland

Paul Sarbanes, D, no

Barbara Mikulski, D, no

Pennsylvania

Arlen Specter, R, yes

Rick Santorum, R, yes

West Virginia

Robert Byrd, D, yes

John Rockefeller, D, yes




Key votes ahead

The House will take up the Department of Homeland Security's fiscal 2006 budget and a measure on gasoline prices, while the Senate will consider 2006 budgets for homeland security and the military.

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