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Roll call

October 30, 2005|By Thomas Voting Reports

WASHINGTON - Here's how area members of Congress were recorded on major roll call votes in the week ending Oct. 28.

HOUSE



Freddie Mac, Fannie Mae



The House on Oct. 26 voted, 331 for and 90 against, to tighten regulation of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. They are federally chartered companies that provide liquidity to the housing market by buying home loans from lenders and packaging and selling them as securities. Both firms recently have been tarred by accounting scandals. The bill (HR 1461) establishes the Federal Housing Finance Agency, which also will regulate the 12 Federal Home Loan Banks, which lend to community banks, credit unions and thrifts.

The bill also creates a fund that organizations can tap to finance affordable housing for the poor, with areas struck by Hurricane Katrina first in line for the aid. The Affordable Housing Fund will be closed to nonprofit entities, including churches, that conduct nonpartisan voter registration and turn-out-the-vote drives.

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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

Nonprofit organizations



Voting 200 for and 220 against, members on Oct. 26 refused to allow churches and other nonprofit organizations that conduct nonpartisan voter registration and get-out-the-vote drives to draw on the Affordable Housing Fund created by HR 1461. The underlying bill bars such groups from tapping the fund to finance housing for the poor, elderly and disabled.

A yes vote was to remove the ban from the bill.

Maryland

Bartlett, no

Pennsylvania

Shuster, no

West Virginia

Capito, no

Military base closings



Members on Oct. 27 refused, 85 for and 324 against, to override Pentagon plans to close or revamp more than 160 U.S. military bases over six years at projected savings of $15 billion over 20 years. Among major bases, 22 would be closed and 33 realigned. By defeating this resolution (HJ Res 65), the House formally joined the Senate in accepting recommendations submitted to President Bush in September by the Base Realignment and Closing Commission.

A yes vote was to reject the base-closing plan.

Maryland

Bartlett, no

Pennsylvania

Shuster, no

West Virginia

Capito, no

Lawsuit curbs



Voting 228 for and 184 against, members on Oct. 27 passed a Republican bill (HR 420) imposing mandatory sanctions, including financial penalties, on lawyers and plaintiffs found by a judge to repeatedly have filed frivolous lawsuits in federal court. The bill seeks to limit "forum shopping" in civil tort cases by requiring plaintiffs to file the suit in jurisdictions where they live or were injured or where the defendant's business is primarily located. The bill awaits Senate action.

A yes vote was to pass the bill.

Maryland

Bartlett, yes

Pennsylvania

Shuster, yes

West Virginia

Capito, yes

Price gouging



Voting 196 for and 217 against, members on Oct. 27 rejected a bid by Democrats to waive HR 420 in cases alleging price gouging by federal contractors engaged in disaster relief. Under the motion, such suits could continue to be filed in any jurisdiction in compliance with state laws and the U.S. Constitution.

A yes vote backed the motion.

Maryland

Bartlett, no

Pennsylvania

Shuster, no

West Virginia

Capito, no

SENATE



No Child Left Behind



Voting 44 for and 51 against, senators on Oct. 26 refused to increase funding by $5 billion, or nearly 40 percent, for Title I of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act in fiscal 2006. Title I payments go mainly to poor districts and are the main funding source for the No Child Left Behind Act. The underlying bill (HR 3010, later passed) appropriates $12.8 billion for Title I in 2006, about $10 billion less than Congress authorized. The $5 billion add-on was to have been deficit spending.

A yes vote was to increase Title I funding.

Maryland

Paul Sarbanes, D, yes

Barbara Mikulski, D, yes

Pennsylvania

Arlen Specter, R, no

Rick Santorum, R, no

West Virginia

Robert Byrd, D, yes

John Rockefeller, D, yes

Head Start funding



Voting 47 for and 52 against, senators on Oct. 26 refused to increase Head Start funding by $153 million, or nearly 3 percent, in fiscal 2006. The underlying bill (HR 3010) provides more than $6 billion for Head Start, which conducts pre-kindergarten schooling for about 900,000 disadvantaged children. The amendment was designed to keep the Head Start budget abreast of inflation, with the additional funding added to the 2006 deficit.

A yes vote was to increase Head Start funding.

Maryland

Sarbanes, yes

Mikulski, yes

Pennsylvania

Specter, no

Santorum, no

West Virginia

Byrd, yes

Rockefeller, yes

Pell Grants



Voting 48 for and 51 against, senators on Oct. 25 refused to increase the maximum Pell Grant by $200, to $4,250 per academic year, at a cost of more than $800 million annually in deficit spending. Pell Grants are the main federal program to help the needy pay the cost of higher education. The vote occurred during debate on HR 3010.

A yes vote backed the amendment.

Maryland

Sarbanes, yes

Mikulski, yes

Pennsylvania

Specter, no

Santorum, no

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