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Roll call

November 13, 2005|By Thomas Voting Reports

HOUSE



Mandatory sentences



Voting 375 for and 45 against, members on Nov. 9 passed a bill (HR 1751) increasing penalties for a range of crimes, including ones against federal judges and court personnel.

The bill adds 16 mandatory minimum sentences to the criminal code.

The Judicial Conference of the United States, the policy body of the federal judiciary, objected to the bill's expansion of mandatory sentences, saying they deprive judges of flexibility they need to "provide proportionality and fairness in punishment."

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

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SENATE



Enemy combatants



Senators on Nov. 10 voted, 49 for and 42 against, to deny U.S. court access to enemy combatants held by the U.S. military without charges at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba. The amendment to a military spending bill (S 1042) would negate a 2004 Supreme Court ruling that permits these prisoners to file habeas corpus petitions as well as suits challenging the terms of their incarceration. The measure would void pending challenges and prohibit new ones. Enemy combatants are soldiers who do not fight for a specific nation.

A yes vote backed the amendment.

Maryland

Paul Sarbanes, D, no

Barbara Mikulski, D, no

Pennsylvania

Arlen Specter, R, no

Rick Santorum, R, not voting

West Virginia

Robert Byrd, D, no

John Rockefeller, D, no

Secret CIA prisons



Voting 82 for and nine against, the Senate on Nov. 10 required the administration to provide its Intelligence Committee with a classified briefing on a secret network of CIA prisons, reportedly centered in Eastern Europe, that was the subject of a recent Washington Post article. The amendment was added to S 1042.

A yes vote backed the amendment.

Maryland

Sarbanes, yes

Mikulski, yes

Pennsylvania

Specter, yes

Santorum, not voting

West Virginia

Byrd, yes

Rockefeller, yes

Prisoner treatment



Senators on Nov. 8 defeated, 43 for and 55 against, an amendment to S 1042 to establish an independent commission on U.S. treatment of detainees since Sept. 11. The panel would examine areas such as any past or present administration policies that sanction prisoner abuse, the reported network of secret CIA prisons overseas, the role of private contractors in handling prisoners and the military's rendition of detainees to Middle East allies known to torture prisoners.

A yes vote backed an independent commission on prisoner abuse.

Maryland

Sarbanes, yes

Mikulski, yes

Pennsylvania

Specter, no

Santorum, no

West Virginia

Byrd, yes

Rockefeller, yes

Armed forces broadcast



Voting 44 for and 54 against, senators on Nov. 8 defeated a measure requiring the American Forces Network (AFN), which broadcasts to service personnel and dependents worldwide, to be balanced in its political commentary. The amendment to S 1042 addressed the fact that the network airs no commentators on the left to balance its lineup of conservatives such as Rush Limbaugh and Dr. James Dobson. The amendment also sought to establish an ombudsman to monitor the fairness of AFN programming.

A yes vote backed the amendment.

Maryland

Sarbanes, yes

Mikulski, yes

Pennsylvania

Specter, no

Santorum, no

West Virginia

Byrd, yes

Rockefeller, yes

Loose nuclear materials



Voting 37 for and 60 against, senators on Nov. 8 defeated an amendment to transfer $50 million in S 1042 from the National Missile Defense to the Cooperative Threat Reduction program, which secures loose nuclear weapons and materials against terrorists, mainly in the former Soviet Union.

A yes vote backed the amendment.

Maryland

Sarbanes, yes

Mikulski, yes

Pennsylvania

Specter, no

Santorum, no

West Virginia

Byrd, yes

Rockefeller, yes

Guard, Reserve pay



Voting 40 for and 59 against, senators on Nov. 9 refused to provide up to $3,000 per month in extra pay to Guard and Reserve members mobilized for at least six months. The amendment to S 1042 would offset pay losses resulting from the loss of civilian paychecks. The added pay would be available to those with a pay gap of at least $50 per month.

A yes vote backed the amendment.

Maryland

Sarbanes, yes

Mikulski, yes

Pennsylvania

Specter, no

Santorum, no

West Virginia

Byrd, yes

Rockefeller, yes

Key votes ahead



The House will resume work on a $53 billion deficit reduction package, while the Senate will continue to debate the fiscal 2006 defense budget. Congress is to begin a two-week recess at week's end.

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