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National votes

June 23, 2008|By Thomas Voting Reports

WASHINGTON - Here's how area members of Congress voted on major roll call votes in the week ending June 20:

HOUSE



$162.5 billion war funding



Voting 268 for and 155 against, the House on June 19 approved an amendment to HR 2642 that would appropriate $162.5 billion to pay Iraq-Afghanistan war costs well into 2009. Now before the Senate, the bill prohibits the construction of permanent U.S. bases in Iraq and requires the Iraqi government to match U.S.-taxpayer funding of Iraq reconstruction projects. The cost of the bill would be added to the national debt.

A yes vote backed the war funding.

Maryland

Roscoe Bartlett, R-6, yes

Pennsylvania

Bill Shuster, R-9, yes

West Virginia

Shelley Moore Capito, R-2, yes

Government spy powers



Voting 293 for and 129 against, the House on June 20 sent the Senate a bill (HR 6304) to renew the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) through 2012 and grant conditional immunity to certain telecommunications firms that helped the government spy on Americans after Sept. 11 outside the limits of FISA. The bill would permit surveillance without specific warrants on totally foreign communications passing through U.S. switching points; authorize the secret FISA court to issue blanket warrants for surveillance of communications between U.S. and foreign locations; and continue the existing requirement that strictly domestic spying targeting Americans be authorized by the FISA court on a case-by-case basis.

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The bill establishes FISA as the exclusive basis for intelligence spying, debunking the Bush administration doctrine that presidents have inherent executive authority to conduct surveillance.

A yes vote was to pass the bill.

Maryland

Bartlett, yes

Pennsylvania

Shuster, yes

West Virginia

Capito, yes

New GI bill, jobless checks



Voting 416 for and 12 against, the House on June 19 approved an amendment to HR 2642 to establish a new GI Bill for veterans with at least three years' duty who enlisted after Sept. 11, which would pay four years' college tuition at a level up to the top public tuition in their state. The bill also would fund 13 more weeks of jobless checks for the long-term unemployed along with programs such as flood relief in the Midwest, levee reconstruction in New Orleans and global food aid. The bill's $95 billion cost, including $62 billion over 10 years for the GI benefit and $8.2 billion for jobless checks, would be added to the national debt. The bill now is before the Senate.

A yes vote backed the amendment.

Maryland

Bartlett, yes

Pennsylvania

Shuster, yes

West Virginia

Capito, yes

2009 space budget



Voting 409 for and 15 against, the House on June 18 passed a bill (HR 6063) authorizing a $20.2 billion budget for the NASA in fiscal 2009, up from $17.3 billion in 2008. In part, the bill funds U.S. support of the International Space Station, climate research, Mars exploration, space shuttle missions through 2010 and the development of a new manned-space vehicle scheduled for launch in 2015. The bill now is before the Senate.

A yes vote was to pass the bill.

Maryland

Bartlett, yes

Pennsylvania

Shuster, yes

West Virginia

Capito, yes

Federal employees' family leave



Voting 278 for and 146 against, the House on June 19 passed a bill (HR 5781) establishing a new benefit for federal civil servants and congressional employees under the 1993 Family and Medical Leave Act. The benefit would consist of four weeks' leave with pay following the birth, adoption or fostering of a child. These workers now can take such leave, but without pay unless they tap into unused annual-leave or sick-pay allotments. The new leave is projected to benefit about 1 percent of the federal work force at a cost of $190 million annually.

A yes vote was to pass the bill.

Maryland

Bartlett, no

Pennsylvania

Shuster, no

West Virginia

Capito, yes

Farm bill veto



By a tally of 317 for and 109 against, the House on June 18 voted to override President Bush's veto of a $289 billion, five-year farm bill (HR 6124) that renews subsidies for growers of major crops while also funding conservation and nutrition programs and taxpayer support for fruit and vegetable growers, among hundreds of other programs. The bill also requires country-of-origin labeling of food on grocery shelves. This vote followed a House vote last month that overrode a presidential veto of essentially the same bill.

A yes vote was to override the veto.

Maryland

Bartlett, yes

Pennsylvania

Shuster, yes

West Virginia

Capito, yes

Primates trafficking ban



Voting 302 for and 96 against, the House on June 17 passed a bill (HR 2964) making it a federal crime to import, export, buy, sell or otherwise deal in interstate commerce with nonhuman primates such as monkeys and chimpanzees. Federal regulations and the laws of many states already outlaw such trafficking. The bill, which awaits Senate action, would exempt those with federal permits or licenses to handle primates.

A yes vote was to pass the bill.

Maryland

Bartlett, yes

Pennsylvania

Shuster, yes

West Virginia

Capito, yes




SENATE



Subprime mortgage foreclosures



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