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Roll call

April 09, 2006|By Thomas Voting Reports

HOUSE



Campaign fund-raising

Voting 218 for and 209 against, the House on April 5 passed a bill (HR 513) to limit the political contributions that tax-exempt advocacy groups organized under Section 527 of the tax code can receive from wealthy individuals. Now awaiting Senate action, the Republican bill would cap donations at $5,000 for direct spending on federal elections and $25,000 for partisan

get-out-the-vote drives. By a wide margin, "527s" have aided

Democrats more than Republicans in recent years. The bill also removes a cap on spending by political parties in coordination with state and federal candidates.

A yes vote was to pass the bill.

Maryland

Roscoe Bartlett, R-6, no

Pennsylvania

Bill Shuster, R-9, yes

West Virginia

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Shelley Moore Capito, R-2, yes

Darfur genocide

The House on April 5 voted, 416 for and three against, to impose economic sanctions and visa restrictions on Sudanese officials, both civilian and military, seen as responsible for what Congress has declared a campaign of genocide by Arab militias against non-Arabs in the Darfur region of Sudan. The bill (HR 3127), which awaits Senate action, authorizes U.S. logistical support of African Union peacekeepers but rules out U.S. troop deployments to Sudan.

A yes vote was to pass the bill.

Maryland

Bartlett, yes

Pennsylvania

Shuster, yes

West Virginia

Capito, yes

House ethics committee

Voting 218 for and 198 against, the House on April 5 blocked a Democratic bid for the Committee on Standards of Official Conduct, or ethics committee, to "immediately initiate an investigation of the misconduct by members of Congress and their staff implicated in the scandals associated with Mr. Jack Abramoff's criminal activity."

As a privileged resolution, the measure (H Res 762) was not debatable. The resolution cited a recent guilty plea by Tony Rudy, formerly a top aide to the House GOP leadership, "to charges that he conspired with Republican lobbyist Jack Abramoff to bribe public officials...." The ethics panel has begun no probes of members since 2004.

A yes vote was to block the resolution.

Maryland

Bartlett, yes

Pennsylvania

Shuster, yes

West Virginia

Capito, yes

Democrat's ethics bill

Voting 226 for and 198 against, the House on April 5 blocked a bid by Democrats to force immediate debate on their bill (HR 4682) to tighten congressional ethics. The bill, in part, would make it a felony for lawmakers to use their position to influence hiring decisions by lobbyists and would require House-Senate conference committees to open some of their secret actions to public view. Republicans plan to call up their ethics bill soon after the Easter-Passover recess.

A yes vote was to block immediate debate on the Democratic bill.

Maryland

Bartlett, yes

Pennsylvania

Shuster, yes

West Virginia

Capito, yes

Cash-balance pensions

Voting 248 for and 178 against, the House on April 6 approved non-binding instructions to House conferees negotiating the final wording of a pension-reform bill (HR 2830) with senators. The motion urged that older workers' defined-benefit pensions not be devalued in conversions to cash-balance plans.

Conversions from defined-benefit plans to cash-balance plans typically reduce the pensions of workers above age 46 or 47. That is because pension levels under the former are based on pay scales at the end of long careers, while cash-balance payouts are based on average pay throughout one's career.

A yes vote backed the motion.

Maryland

Bartlett, no

Pennsylvania

Shuster, no

West Virginia

Capito, yes

Tax debate

Voting 196 for and 232 against, the House on April 6 defeated a non-binding Democratic motion to strip lower dividend and capital gains rates from a tax-cut bill (HR 4297) nearing a final vote in a House-Senate conference committee. The lower investors' rates, now set to expire at the end of 2008, would be extended by the bill through 2010 at a cost of $20 billion annually. The motion also urged that the bill be kept deficit-neutral, rather than add $80 billion to deficits over five years, as the Congressional Budget Office has projected.

A yes vote backed the Democratic motion.

Maryland

Bartlett, no

Pennsylvania

Shuster, no

West Virginia

Capito, no

SENATE



Immigration overhaul

Voting 38 for and 60 against, the Senate on April 7 failed to invoke cloture on - and thus advance - a bill (S 2454) to tighten border controls while accommodating a large share of the 11 million to 12 million illegal residents now in the United States and the employers who depend on immigrant labor.

Republicans voted unanimously against the motion, on grounds that Democrats were using parliamentary tactics to keep them from proposing amendments to the bill.

A yes vote was to advance the bill.

Maryland

Paul Sarbanes, D, yes

Barbara Mikulski, D, yes

Pennsylvania

Arlen Specter, R, no

Rick Santorum, R, no

West Virginia

Robert Byrd, D, no

John Rockefeller, D, not voting

Inclusive immigration policy

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