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National votes

January 21, 2008|By Thomas Voting Reports

WASHINGTON - Here's how area House members voted on major roll call votes in the week ending Jan. 18. The Senate was not in session.

HOUSE



2008 defense budget



Voting 369 for and 46 against, the House on Jan. 16 sent the Senate a bill (HR 4986) authorizing a $649 billion military budget for fiscal 2008, including nearly $190 billion for war in Iraq and Afghanistan. The bill funds a 3.5 percent military pay raise retroactive to Jan. 1. The bill replaces an earlier version that was vetoed last December by President Bush over language that could have subjected the post-invasion Iraqi government to claims resulting from terrorist acts by the Saddam Hussein regime. The House and Senate accepted the veto without dispute.

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




Mining health and safety



Voting 214 for and 199 against, the House on Jan. 16 passed a bill (HR 2768) that would impose new health and safety regulations on the U.S. mining industry, launch a study into whether the federal government should begin licensing mines and their operators and set the stage for the possible drug testing of miners.

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The bill, which awaits Senate action, requires operators to install pre-manufactured underground rescue chambers; install or upgrade systems for monitoring air quality; situate ambulances close to mines; and implement more effective methods of sustaining and communicating with trapped miners.

The bill also upgrades standards for sealing abandoned chambers; requires sturdier ventilation systems; and mandates less flammable conveyer belts.

A yes vote was to pass the bill.

Maryland


Bartlett, no

Pennsylvania


Shuster, no

West Virginia


Capito, yes




Mandatory drug testing



Voting 197 for and 217 against, the House on Jan. 16 defeated a Republican bid for mandatory, random drug testing of miners that would begin within 180 days of enactment of HR 2768. After being listed in a Department of Labor registry, those testing positive for substance abuse would receive treatment opportunities, but also faced the possible loss of employment.

This measure went beyond a softer approach in the bill, one that authorized a Department of Labor study that eventually could result in the mandatory testing of miners for drug and alcohol abuse.

A yes vote backed the Republican motion.

Maryland


Bartlett, yes

Pennsylvania


Shuster, yes

West Virginia


Capito, yes




Republican mining bill



Voting 188 for and 229 against, the House on Jan. 16 defeated a Republican bid to strip HR 2768 of its new regulations on the mining industry. The measure sought to implement mandatory drug testing of miners; authorize studies to improve the safety of deep-mining and pillar-removal techniques; require the Bureau of Land Management to regularly share information from its mine inspections with the Mine Safety and Health Administration (MSHA); and give the MSHA sole control over the release of information to the public during mining disasters.

A yes vote backed the GOP substitute.

Maryland


Bartlett, yes

Pennsylvania


Shuster, yes

West Virginia


Capito, yes




Public housing



Voting 271 for and 130 against, the House on Jan. 17 passed a bill (HR 3524) to extend the HOPE VI public housing program through fiscal 2015 at a budget of up to $800 million annually. The program provides municipal housing authorities with grants for purposes such as rehabilitating or demolishing units, building new units and issuing vouchers to enable residents to move to private rental housing. The bill, which awaits Senate action, requires demolished units to be replaced on a one-for-one basis amid mixed-income housing.

A yes vote was to pass the bill.

Maryland


Bartlett, no

Pennsylvania


Shuster, no

West Virginia


Capito, yes




Housing demolition



Voting 186 for and 221 against, the House on Jan. 17 refused to strip HR 3524 of its requirement that each unit of public housing demolished under the HOPE VI program be replaced by one new unit. The amendment sought to remove the bill's ban on demolition-only grants.

A yes vote backed the amendment.

Maryland


Bartlett, yes

Pennsylvania


Shuster, yes

West Virginia


Capito, yes




Key votes ahead



In the week of Jan. 21, the House will vote on President Bush's veto of a bill expanding the State Children's Health Insurance Program (SCHIP), while the Senate will debate changes in the Federal Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA).

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