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National votes

March 11, 2007

By Thomas Voting Reports

WASHINGTON - Here's how area members of Congress voted on major roll calls in the week ending March 9.

HOUSE



Global warming, committee budgets

The House on March 9 voted, 269 for and 150 against, to approve 110th Congress operating budgets for its standing committees and establish a special committee on global warming and energy independence. The new panel is empowered to conduct hearings and put a spotlight on global warming, but lacks authority to produce legislation. The overall measure (H Res 202) increases committee budgets by 2.4 percent over 109th Congress levels, to about $280 million. Committees receive additional funding from other congressional accounts.

A yes vote was to approve the resolution.

Maryland

Roscoe Bartlett, R-6, no

Pennsylvania

Bill Shuster, R-9, no

West Virginia

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Shelley Moore Capito, R-2, no

Reclaimed, recycled water

The House on March 8 passed, 368 for and 59 against, a bill (HR 700) authorizing $125 million in grants to municipalities for developing alternate sources of water for homes, farms and industry. The grants would fund technologies such as those for reclaiming wastewater and desalinating seawater, and would promote water-conservation technologies. The bill now is before the Senate.

A yes vote was to send the bill to the Senate.

Maryland

Bartlett, no

Pennsylvania

Shuster, yes

West Virginia

Capito, yes

Sewage overflow grants

Members on March 7 authorized, 367 for and 58 against, $1.8 billion over five years in federal grants to repair and replace those antiquated municipal sewage systems that combine waste and storm water in the same conduits. The bill (HR 569) potentially would benefit about 770 U.S. cities with a total population of 40 million that have combined disposal systems.

A yes vote was to send the bill to the Senate.

Maryland

Bartlett, no

Pennsylvania

Shuster, yes

West Virginia

Capito, yes

Pay as you go

Voting 166 for and 260 against, members on March 7 refused to subject the $1.8 billion in discretionary spending in HR 569 to the pay-as-you-go budget rule. Opponents noted that the newly adopted pay-go rule applies to mandatory rather than discretionary spending. But amendment backers said their measure would instill budget discipline.

A yes vote backed the amendment.

Maryland

Bartlett, yes

Pennsylvania

Shuster, yes

West Virginia

Capito, yes




SENATE



Collective bargaining rights

Voting 51 for and 48 against, the Senate on March 6 authorized collective bargaining rights for the 40,000-plus Transportation Security Administration (TSA) workers who screen passengers and cargo at U.S. airports. The amendment to a pending homeland-security bill (S 4) would grant screeners the same bargaining rights now available to FEMA, immigration and border patrol civil servants, but would prohibit them from going on strike or bargaining for higher pay. The House has approved a similar measure.

A yes vote backed collective bargaining for TSA workers.

Maryland

Barbara Mikulski, D, yes

Benjamin Cardin, D, yes

Pennsylvania

Arlen Specter, R, yes

Robert Casey Jr., D, yes

West Virginia

Robert Byrd, D, yes

John Rockefeller, D, yes

Republican alternative

Voting 47 for and 52 against, the Senate on March 7 defeated a Republican amendment to S 4 to provide additional job protections short of collective bargaining rights for TSA airport screeners. The measure sought to extend Whistleblower Act protection to the screeners and empower them to appeal hiring, firing and transfer decisions to the civil service's Merit Systems Protection Board.

A yes vote backed the Republican plan.

Maryland

Mikulski, no

Cardin, no

Pennsylvania

Specter, no

Casey, no

West Virginia

Byrd, no

Rockefeller, no

Key votes ahead

In the week of March 12, the House will debate the Freedom of Information Act and public access to presidential archives, while the Senate will vote on 9/11 Commission recommendations and possibly Iraq troop levels.

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