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Roll call

November 06, 2005|By Thomas Voting Reports

HOUSE



Private property rights



Voting 376 for and 38 against, members on Nov. 3 sent the Senate a bill (HR 4128) denying all types of federal aid to any state or locality using powers of eminent domain to acquire private property for transfer to another private owner for purposes of economic development. The bill seeks to negate the 2005 Supreme Court ruling Kelo v. City of New London, which held that private economic development could be a legitimate public use under the "takings clause" of the Fifth Amendment.

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

The Internet, campaign finance



Voting 225 for and 182 against, members on Nov. 2 failed to reach a two-thirds majority needed to pass a bill (HR 1606) exempting Internet fundraising from the federal campaign-finance law. The bill sought to permit organizations to raise unregulated "soft money" from labor unions, corporations or wealthy individuals over the Internet. This would open a loophole in the 2002 McCain-Feingold law that bars unregulated soft money from federal campaigns.

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The bill required a supermajority for passage because it was debated under a shortcut parliamentary procedure that limited debate and prohibited amendments.

A yes vote was to pass the bill.

Maryland

Bartlett, yes

Pennsylvania

Shuster, yes

West Virginia

Capito, yes

Iraq war oversight



On a nearly party-line vote of 220 for and 191 against, members on Nov. 3 ruled out of order a bid by Democrats for the Republican-controlled House to begin conducting oversight hearings into a wide range of administration actions and policies relating to the war in Iraq.

Republicans said the motion lacked parliamentary standing.

A yes vote opposed the Democratic motion.

Maryland

Bartlett, yes

Pennsylvania

Shuster, yes

West Virginia

Capito, yes

SENATE



Deficit reduction



Voting 52 for and 47 against, senators on Nov. 3 passed a bill (S 1932) that increases revenue and slows entitlement spending in order to reduce annual deficits by a total of $35 billion over the next five years. Medicare would absorb at least $5.7 billion of the entitlement curbs, Medicaid $4.6 billion and farm commodity programs $1.3 billion.

The bill would raise tens of billions of dollars by trimming lenders' profits on student loans, increasing company premiums for federal pension insurance, auctioning off airwaves spectrum freed up by the advent of digital television and opening the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge to oil and gas extraction.

The Medicare curbs mainly affect a new prescription drug program and health-care providers. The Medicaid changes address areas such as fraud control and federal payments to drug companies, and the commodity restraints affect a range of crops, with cotton a major target.

This vote set the stage for the Senate to take up a bill later this year providing $70 billion in tax cuts.

A yes vote was to pass the bill.

Maryland

Paul Sarbanes, D, no

Barbara Mikulski, D, no

Pennsylvania

Arlen Specter, R, yes

Rick Santorum, R, yes

West Virginia

Robert Byrd, D, no

John Rockefeller, D, no

Arctic drilling



Voting 48 for and 51 against, senators on Nov. 3 refused to keep the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge off-limits to oil and gas drilling. The vote upheld language in S 1932 to permit drilling in about 2,000 acres of the 19 million-acre refuge on the coastal plain of northeastern Alaska. The provision is designed to raise $2.4 billion over five years for deficit reduction.

A yes vote opposed Arctic National Wildlife Refuge drilling.

Maryland

Sarbanes, yes

Mikulski, yes

Pennsylvania

Specter, no

Santorum, no

West Virginia

Byrd, yes

Rockefeller, yes

Arctic oil exports



Senators on Nov. 3 voted, 83 for and 16 against, to ban the export of Arctic National Wildlife Refuge oil. The underlying bill requires Arctic National Wildlife Refuge drilling rights to be sold to essentially the highest bidder. Amendment backers said this could result in the oil being shipped abroad rather than kept at home to bolster U.S. energy security.

A yes vote backed the amendment.

Maryland

Sarbanes, yes

Mikulski, yes

Pennsylvania

Specter, yes

Santorum, yes

West Virginia

Byrd, yes

Rockefeller, yes

Medicare drug plan



Voting 43 for and 56 against, senators on Nov. 3 defeated an amendment to S 1932 to delay for six months, until July 2006, the new Medicare prescription drug plan as it applies to 6.4 million low-income seniors known as "dual eligibles" because they qualify for both Medicaid and Medicare. When the Medicare program takes effect Jan. 1, these seniors will lose their Medicaid coverage and be subject to the higher co-payments and uncertainties of the new program.

Backers said they will need more time to adjust to the Medicare drug law, while foes said the new law will fully cover their pharmaceutical needs.

A yes vote was to pass the amendment.

Maryland

Sarbanes, yes

Mikulski, yes

Pennsylvania

Specter, no

Santorum, no

West Virginia

Byrd, yes

Rockefeller, yes




Key votes ahead



In the week of Nov. 7, the House might take up a bill to reduce deficit spending by $53.9 billion over five years and the Senate will debate the fiscal 2006 defense budget.

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