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National votes

December 24, 2007|By Thomas Voting Reports

WASHINGTON - Here's how area members of Congress voted on major roll calls in the week ending Dec. 21.

HOUSE



New energy policies



Voting 314 for and 100 against, the House on Dec. 18 sent President Bush a bill (HR 6) that would raise vehicle mileage requirements by 40 percent by 2020; boost residential and industrial energy-efficiency standards; phase out the incandescent light bulbs now used in most U.S. homes and increase production of ethanol and other biofuels sixfold by 2022.

The bill would increase Corporate Average Fuel Economy (CAFE) standards for cars, SUVs and light trucks to a fleet average of 35 miles per gallon by 2020, up from current 27 mpg for cars and 22.2 mpg for SUVS and light trucks. This would be the first increase in mileage standards in 32 years.

A yes vote was to pass the bill.

Maryland


Roscoe Bartlett, R-6, no

Pennsylvania


Bill Shuster, R-9, yes

West Virginia


Shelley Moore Capito, R-2, yes

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Catchall 2008 budget



Voting 272 for and 142 against, the House on Dec. 19 sent President Bush a fiscal 2008 budget bill (HR 2764) that appropriates $473.5 billion in non-defense discretionary spending, $70 billion for war in Iraq and Afghanistan and $11.2 billion in emergency domestic spending. Congress previously appropriated $459.3 billion for Department of Defense operations in 2008 other than those in Iraq and Afghanistan. Congress next year will address the remaining $120 billion requested by President Bush for Iraq-Afghanistan operations in the current budget year.

A yes vote was to pass the bill.

Maryland


Bartlett, yes

Pennsylvania


Shuster, yes

West Virginia


Capito, yes




Alternative minimum tax



Voting 352 for and 64 against, the House on Dec. 19 sent President Bush a bill (HR 3996) to exempt about 21 million middle-income households from the Alternative Minimum Tax (AMT) this year. The bill will add $50 billion to the national debt as a result of Senate Republicans' refusal to accept House-passed tax increases and loophole closers designed to offset its cost.

The AMT, which sets a minimum rate, was enacted in 1969 to prevent a small number of wealthy filers from using deductions, exemptions and shelters to avoid income taxes. Not indexed for inflation, the AMT has crept into middle-income brackets, and even with this fix it will add a projected $2,000 per return to the tax bills of four million middle-income households.

A yes vote was to pass the bill.

Maryland


Bartlett, yes

Pennsylvania


Shuster, yes

West Virginia


Capito, yes




SENATE



Catchall 208 budget



Voting 76 for and 17 against, the Senate on Dec. 18 sent the House a bill (HR 2764) appropriating $555 billion in discretionary spending for fiscal 2008, including $70 billion to finance war in Iraq and Afghanistan through May. The House then sent the bill to President Bush, completing congressional work on the 12 spending bills that fund the federal government.

A yes vote was to pass the bill.

Maryland


Benjamin Cardin, D, yes

Barbara Mikulski, D, yes

Pennsylvania


Arlen Specter, R, yes

Robert Casey Jr., D, yes

West Virginia


Robert Byrd, D, yes

John Rockefeller, D, yes




Iraq-Afghanistan funds



Voting 70 for and 25 against, the Senate on Dec. 18 added $70 billion to HR 2764 to fund U.S. military operations in Iraq and Afghanistan through May 2008 without conditions set by Congress. The House and Senate next year will consider the remainder of President Bush's $190 billion request to pay for U.S. combat in Iraq and Afghanistan in the fiscal year ending Sept. 30.

A yes vote backed unconditional war funding.

Maryland


Mikulski, yes

Cardin, no

Pennsylvania


Specter, yes

Casey Jr., yes

West Virginia


Rockefeller, yes

Byrd, no




Iraq withdrawal mandate



Voting 24 for and 71 against, the Senate on Dec. 18 rejected a bid to require President Bush to begin withdrawing U.S. troops from Iraq within 90 days of enactment, leaving behind a small force to protect American interests, train Iraqi security forces and conduct strikes against foes such as Al Qaeda. The amendment was offered to HR 2764.

A yes vote backed the amendment.

Maryland


Cardin, yes

Mikulski, no

Pennsylvania


Specter, no

Casey Jr., no

West Virginia


Byrd, yes

Rockefeller, yes




Key votes ahead



Congress has adjourned for the year. The House will resume legislative business on Jan. 15 and the Senate on Jan. 22.

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