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Roll call

March 19, 2006|By Thomas Voting Reports

HOUSE



U.S. Port operations

Voting 38 for and 377 against, the House on March 15 refused to strip a pending appropriations bill (HR 4939) of language that would prevent Dubai Ports World, a company owned by Dubai of the United Arab Emirates, from operating any U.S. port.

The ban was added to the bill before the company's announcement March 9 that it would shed ownership of an entity that operates terminals at six major U.S. ports.

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

Maryland

Roscoe Bartlett, R-6, yes

Pennsylvania

Bill Shuster, R-9, no

West Virginia

Shelley Moore Capito, R-2, no

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War, Katrina spending

Voting 348 for and 71 against, the House on March 16 approved $91.1 billion in deficit spending for the current fiscal year, including $67.6 billion for operations in Iraq and Afghanistan, $19 billion for Gulf Coast hurricane recovery and $4.1 billion in foreign aid. The emergency appropriations bill (HR 4939), which awaits Senate debate, would raise total Iraq-Afghanistan outlays to about $400 billion since 9/11.

The bill's war items include $2 billion for countering roadside bombs; $850 million for upgraded armor for Abrams tanks and Bradley Fighting Vehicles; $480 million for better Humvee armor; $485 million for training Iraqi and Afghan forces, and $423 million for small-scale Iraq reconstruction projects ordered by U.S. field commanders.

A yes vote was to pass the bill.

Maryland

Bartlett, yes

Pennsylvania

Shuster, yes

West Virginia

Capito, yes

Deficit dispute

Voting 89 for and 332 against, the House on March 16 defeated an amendment to strip HR 4939 of its $19 billion for Gulf Coast hurricane recovery, on grounds that the sum is not emergency spending.

A yes vote backed a separate bill for hurricane recovery.

Maryland

Bartlett, yes

Pennsylvania

Shuster, yes

West Virginia

Capito, no

U.S. port security

Voting 208 for and 210 against, the House on March 16 defeated an amendment to HR 4939 to increase spending for U.S. port security by $1.2 billion in fiscal 2006. In part, the amendment sought to expand overseas container inspections to all 140 ports that ship directly to the United States, more than tripling the number of ports doing such inspections.

A yes vote backed the amendment.

Maryland

Bartlett, no

Pennsylvania

Shuster, no

West Virginia

Capito, no

SENATE



U.S. port security

Voting 43 for and 53 against, senators on March 15 refused to increase port-security spending in the fiscal 2007 budget resolution (S Con Res 83) by $965 million. The funds were to be obtained by closing unspecified corporate tax loopholes. The budget already authorized $4 billion for border and port security in 2007. About $600 million of the $965 million add-on was to be granted directly to U.S. ports; $155 million was for installing container-screening technology at home and abroad; $100 million for hiring 400 additional port inspectors, and $100 million for research and development.

A yes vote backed the amendment.

Maryland

Paul Sarbanes, D, yes

Barbara Mikulski, D, yes

Pennsylvania

Rick Santorum, R, no

Arlen Specter, R, not voting

West Virginia

Robert Byrd, D, yes

John Rockefeller, D, yes

'Pay as you go'

On a tie vote of 50-50, senators on March 14 refused to reinstate "pay as you go" fiscal discipline to S Con Res 83. Under "pay-go," cuts in taxes or increases in mandatory spending programs, such as Medicare and Social Security, must be offset elsewhere in the budget so that they don't add to annual deficits. If not offset, they need 60 votes for approval. Pay-go was a congressional budgeting tool from 1991-2002, and then dropped to facilitate Bush administration tax cuts, among other reasons.

A yes vote was to reinstate pay-go.

Maryland

Sarbanes, yes

Mikulski, yes

Pennsylvania

Specter, no

Santorum, no

West Virginia

Byrd, yes

Rockefeller, yes

Medicare drug plan

On a tie vote of 49-49, the Senate on March 15 refused to extend the sign-up deadline for the new Medicare prescription-drug benefit from May 15, 2006, to Dec. 31, 2006. The amendment to S Con Res 83 also allowed participants to change plans once during 2006 without penalty. In a separate vote, senators gave the secretary of Health and Human Services discretion to extend the May 15 deadline, allow a penalty-free, one-time change in plans during the extended period, and waive any other penalties incurred during the extension.

A yes vote was to set a Dec. 31, 2006, sign-up deadline.

Maryland

Sarbanes, yes

Mikulski, yes

Pennsylvania

Specter, yes

Santorum, no

West Virginia

Byrd, yes

Rockefeller, yes

Amtrak budget

Voting 44 for and 53 against, senators on March 15 defeated an amendment to increase the Amtrak budget in S Con Res 58 by $550 million, to the $1.45 billion level needed to fully operate the rail passenger agency. The $550 million was to have been raised by closing unspecified corporate tax loopholes.

A yes vote was to fully fund Amtrak.

Maryland

Sarbanes, yes

Mikulski, not voting

Pennsylvania

Specter, no

Santorum, no

West Virginia

Byrd, yes

Rockefeller, yes

Debt ceiling increase

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