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National votes

July 21, 2008|By Thomas Voting Reports

WASHINGTON - Here's how area members of Congress voted on major roll call votes in the week ending July 18:

HOUSE



'Use it or lose it'



Voting 244 for and 173 against, the House on July 17 failed to reach a two-thirds majority needed to pass a bill (HR 6515) giving oil companies a "use it or lose it" mandate to either drill on federal land they have leased or give up the right to do so. The bill was directed at dormant leases covering 68 million acres, including 33 million offshore acres. The bill also required expanded drilling in the National Petroleum Reserve in Alaska and called upon President Bush to gradually put on the market 10 percent of the Strategic Petroleum Reserve's 700 million barrels. The bill also urged the president to expedite construction of a proposed pipeline to deliver natural gas from Alaska to the lower 48 states.

A yes vote was to pass the bill.

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Maryland

Roscoe Bartlett, R-6, no

Pennsylvania

Bill Shuster, R-9, no

West Virginia

Shelley Moore Capito, R-2, no

Intelligence budget, energy



Voting 200 for and 225 against, the House on July 16 refused to send the 2009 intelligence budget (HR 5959) back to committee, where it would be changed to require a National Intelligence Estimate of the impact of global energy conditions on U.S. security. The Republican motion called for "promptly" adding the estimate. Democrats said they would accept the motion if it set a "forthwith," or immediate, timetable that did not delay the bill. The budget for the 16 U.S. intelligence agencies then was passed on a nonrecord vote. The classified sum unofficially is reported at $50 billion or higher.

A yes vote backed the GOP motion.

Maryland

Bartlett, yes

Pennsylvania

Shuster, yes

West Virginia

Capito, yes

Bush Medicare veto



Voting 383 for and 41 against, the House on July 15 overrode President Bush's veto of a bill (HR 6331) that would cancel the administration's 10.6 percent cut in Medicare payments to doctors. The bill's projected cost of $19.8 billion over six years would be offset mainly by cuts in the privately run, federally subsidized Medicare Advantage program. The bill would increase doctor payments by 1.1 percent in January, require equal co-payment rates under Medicare for mental and physical coverage and delay a competitive bidding process for durable medical equipment, among other provisions.

A yes vote was to override the veto.

Maryland

Bartlett, yes

Pennsylvania

Shuster, yes

West Virginia

Capito, yes

Bush impeachment bid



Members on July 15 voted, 238 for and 180 against, to send to the Judiciary Committee one article of impeachment against President Bush related to the reasons he presented to the public for his decision to invade Iraq. Sponsored by Rep. Dennis Kucinich, D-Ohio, the privileged resolution (H Res 1345) was not debatable. Democratic leaders said they will not seek to impeach Bush, but might conduct broader committee hearings on his presidency.

A yes vote was to send the measure to committee.

Maryland

Bartlett, no

Pennsylvania

Shuster, no

West Virginia

Capito, no

Backup paper ballots



Voting 248 for and 170 against, the House on July 15 failed to reach a two-thirds majority needed to pass a bill (HR 5803) authorizing $75 million in grants to help states and localities purchase backup paper ballots for use in this year's elections if electronic systems break down.

A yes vote was to pass the bill.

Maryland

Bartlett, yes

Pennsylvania

Shuster, no

West Virginia

Capito, no




SENATE



Bush Medicare veto



Voting 70 for and 26 against, the Senate on July 15 joined the House in overriding President Bush's veto of a bill (HR 6331) to continue Medicare reimbursement rates to doctors at their current level this year and raise them by 1.1 percent in January. The bill then became law.

A yes vote was to enact the bill.

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

Global AIDS funds



Voting 80 for and 16 against, the Senate on July 16 passed a bill (HR 5501) authorizing $50 billion over five years for U.S. support of global programs to combat HIV/AIDS, malaria and tuberculosis, mainly in sub-Saharan Africa and the Caribbean.

A yes vote was to pass 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 21, the House will take up bills on the U.S. housing crisis and highway and bridge inspections, while the Senate will debate the 2009 intelligence budget and a bill to better regulate energy futures speculation.

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