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National votes

July 14, 2008|By Thomas Voting Reports

WASHINGTON - Here's how area members of Congress voted on major roll call votes in the week ending July 11:

HOUSE



Electronic records preservation



Voting 286 for and 137 against, the House on July 9 passed a bill (HR 5811) requiring federal agencies, including the White House, to preserve all e-mail messages and other electronic records under the purview of the National Archives. Now awaiting Senate action, the bill is a response, in part, to White House admissions that it cannot account for hundreds of e-mails sought by congressional investigators. The bill awaits Senate action.

A yes vote was to pass the bill.

Maryland

Roscoe Bartlett, R-6, no

Pennsylvania

Bill Shuster, R-9, no

West Virginia

Shelley Moore Capito, R-2, yes




SENATE



Government spy powers



Voting 69 for and 28 against, the Senate on July 9 sent President Bush a bill (HR 6304) to renew the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) through 2012 and grant retroactive immunity to telecommunications firms that helped the government spy on Americans after Sept. 11 without court warrants. 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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By establishing FISA as the exclusive basis for intelligence spying, the bill debunks the Bush administration doctrine that presidents have inherent executive authority to conduct surveillance as they see fit.

A yes vote was to pass the bill.

Maryland

Barbara Mikulski, D, yes

Benjamin Cardin, D, no

Pennsylvania

Arlen Specter, R, yes

Robert Casey Jr., D, yes

West Virginia

Robert Byrd, D, no

John Rockefeller, D, yes

Telecoms' retroactive immunity



Voting 32 for and 66 against, the Senate on July 9 refused to strip HR 6304 of retroactive immunity for companies such as AT&T, Sprint Nextel and Verizon that have been sued over their helping the administration spy on Americans without court warrants for several years after 9/11.

A yes vote was to deny telecom immunity.

Maryland

Mikulski, no

Cardin, yes

Pennsylvania

Specter, no

Casey, yes

West Virginia

Byrd, yes

Rockefeller, no

Petraeus confirmation



Voting 95 for and two against, the Senate on July 10 approved the appointment of Army Gen. David H. Petraeus as commander of the U.S. Central Command, which conducts U.S. military operations in the Middle East, East Africa and Central Asia. Petraeus has been commander of the Multi-National Force-Iraq.

A yes vote was to confirm Petraeus.

Maryland

Mikulski, yes

Cardin, yes

Pennsylvania

Specter, yes

Casey, yes

West Virginia

Byrd, no

Rockefeller, yes

Medicare doctor payments



Voting 69 for and 30 against, the Senate on July 9 advanced a bill (HR 6331) to rescind the administration's 10.6 percent cut in Medicare payments to doctors that took effect July 1, with the $20 billion multiyear cost offset mainly by cuts in the privately run, federally subsidized Medicare Advantage program. The bill then was sent to President Bush on a nonrecord vote. The bill would increase Medicare payments to doctors by 1.1 percent in January and establish equal co-payment levels for mental and physical ailments.

A yes vote was to pass the bill.

Maryland

Mikulski, yes

Cardin, yes

Pennsylvania

Specter, yes

Casey, yes

West Virginia

Byrd, yes

Rockefeller, yes

Housing bill advance



The Senate on July 10 voted, 84 for and 12 against, to advance a housing recovery bill (HR 3221) that, in part, would enable lenders to refinance hundreds of thousands of at-risk mortgages in return for government backing of the reworked loans. This moved the bill toward Senate passage expected the following week.

A yes vote was to advance the bill.

Maryland

Mikulski, yes

Cardin, yes

Pennsylvania

Specter, yes

Casey, yes

West Virginia

Byrd, yes

Rockefeller, yes




Key votes ahead



In the week of July 14, the House will take up the 2009 intelligence budget and a bill on highway and bridge inspections, while the Senate will debate housing relief and possibly global AIDS funding.

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