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Roll call

February 19, 2006|By Thomas Voting Reports

HOUSE


Hurricane recovery



Voting 410 for and five against, the House on Feb. 15 sent the Senate a bill (HR 4745) expanding by $4.8 billion the Small Business Administration's authority to make loans for recovery from last year's Gulf Coast hurricanes. The new authority is in addition to $4.3 billion already loaned by the SBA to businesses victimized by hurricanes Katrina and Wilma. The average loan has been for $60,000.

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




Palestinian aid cutoff



Voting 418 for and one against, the House on Feb. 15 approved a nonbinding measure (S Con Res 79) urging a cutoff of direct U.S. aid to the Palestinian Authority until such time as Hamas, the authority's new ruling party, renounces its call for the destruction of Israel. Rep. Neil Abercrombie, D-Hawaii, cast the negative vote. The Senate has not acted on the measure.

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A yes vote backed the resolution.

Maryland

Bartlett, yes

Pennsylvania

Shuster, yes

West Virginia

Capito, yes




SENATE


Asbestos trust fund



Voting 58 for and 41 against, the Senate on Feb. 14 failed to reach the 60 votes needed to waive the Congressional Budget Act and advance a bill establishing a $140 billion trust fund for paying claims based on asbestos exposure. This shelved the bill (S 852). Privately financed by insurers and companies, the fund would pay claims over 50 years. Senators disagreed over whether U.S. taxpayers would be obligated to cover claims if the Department of Labor-administered fund runs deficits or goes broke.

A yes vote was to advance 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




USA Patriot Act



Senators on Feb. 16 voted, 96 for and three against, to begin debate on a bill (S 2271) designed to remedy concerns over civil liberties that have been holding up renewal of the USA Patriot Act. Both the Senate and House are expected to pass this bill in early March, and to pass by March 10 a separate measure giving permanency to most major sections of the post-9/11 Patriot Act. In part, this bill gives libraries, medical offices, businesses and other targets of secret government subpoenas standing to challenge "gag orders" that prevent them from discussing the investigations.

A yes vote was to pass the bill.

Maryland

Sarbanes, yes

Mikulski, yes

Pennsylvania

Specter, yes

Santorum, yes

West Virginia

Byrd, no

Rockefeller, yes




Tax cuts vs. military



Voting 45 for and 55 against, senators on Feb. 14 rejected a Democratic recommendation that a pending tax-cut bill (HR 4297) not extend lower capital gains and dividend rates beyond the end of 2008. Under the nonbinding motion, the resulting savings of about $21 billion over two years were to be spent on U.S. military operations in Iraq and veterans' health care. The tax bill now is subject to House-Senate negotiations. The House version would extend the 15 percent rate on capital gains and dividends beyond 2008.

A yes vote backed the Democratic motion.

Maryland

Sarbanes, yes

Mikulski, yes

Pennsylvania

Specter, no

Santorum, no

West Virginia

Byrd, yes

Rockefeller, yes




Key votes ahead



Congress is in recess the week of Feb. 20.

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