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National votes

March 14, 2009

By Thomas Voting Reports

WASHINGTON - Here's how area members of Congress voted on major roll call votes in the week ending March 13.

HOUSE

Public lands conservation

Voting 282 for and 144 against, the House on March 11 failed to reach a two-thirds majority for passing a bill (S 22) that would conserve tens of millions of acres of public land, mostly in the West. The bill would designate as wilderness 2.1 million acres in California, Colorado, Idaho, Michigan, New Mexico, Oregon, Utah, Virginia and West Virginia, while adding 26 million federally owned acres to the National Landscape Conservation System.

A yes vote was to pass the bill.

Maryland

Roscoe Bartlett, R-6, no

Pennsylvania

Bill Shuster, R-9, no

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West Virginia

Shelley Moore Capito, R-2, yes

Water and sewer programs

Voting 317 for and 101 against, the House on March 12 sent the Senate a bill (HR 1262) authorizing $13.8 billion over five years in grants and loans to help communities build and maintain sewage-treatment systems and $1.8 billion in federal funding over five years for programs to control sewage overflows.

A yes vote was to pass the bill.

Maryland

Bartlett, no

Pennsylvania

Shuster, yes

West Virginia

Capito, yes

Davis-Bacon Act

Voting 140 for and 284 against, the House on March 12 refused to strip HR 1262 of its requirement that the Davis-Bacon Act be applied to the bill. Davis-Bacon requires workers on federally funded projects be paid at prevailing, or union-equivalent, wage levels for the particular region.

A yes vote was to remove Davis-Bacon rules from the bill.

Maryland

Bartlett, yes

Pennsylvania

Shuster, yes

West Virginia

Capito, no

SENATE

Ogden confirmation

The Senate on March 12 confirmed, 65 for and 28 against, David W. Ogden as deputy attorney general. Critics based their opposition mainly on his litigation of child pornography cases while in private practice.

A yes vote was to confirm Ogden.

Maryland

Barbara Mikulski, D, yes

Benjamin Cardin, D, yes

Pennsylvania

Arlen Specter, R, yes

Robert Casey Jr., D, no

West Virginia

Robert Byrd, D, not voting

John Rockefeller, D, yes

$410 billion budget

Voting 62 for and 35 against, the Senate on March 10 ended GOP delay of a $410 billion appropriations bill (HR 1105) to fund agencies that have been on stopgap budgets since October. Later sent to President Obama on a nonrecord vote, the bill raises spending by 8 percent over comparable 2008 levels, with major increases in areas such as Securities and Exchange Commission regulation, K-12 education, health-care access, scientific research, renewable energy and energy efficiency, clean air and water, work-force retraining, and food and drug safety. The bill contains 8,570 Democratic and Republican earmarks totaling $7.7 billion.

A yes vote was to advance the bill.

Maryland

Mikulski, yes

Cardin, yes

Pennsylvania

Specter, yes

Casey, yes

West Virginia

Byrd, yes

Rockefeller, yes

Congressional pay raises

The Senate on March 10 upheld, 52 for and 45 against, existing rules by which members of Congress automatically receive a cost-of-living raise each January unless both chambers vote to deny it. This tabled an amendment to HR 1105 requiring debate and votes on congressional pay raises.

A yes vote was to keep congressional pay raises on autopilot.

Maryland

Mikulski, yes

Cardin, yes

Pennsylvania

Specter, no

Casey, yes

West Virginia

Byrd, yes

Rockefeller, yes

School vouchers

The Senate on March 10 refused, 39 for and 58 against, to strip a pending budget bill (HR 1105) of language that could end the District of Columbia's school voucher system, in which 1,700 poor students receive $7,500 grants to pay their private school tuition.

A yes vote backed amendment.

Maryland

Mikulski, no

Cardin, no

Pennsylvania

Specter, no

Casey, no

West Virginia

Byrd, yes

Rockefeller, no

Key votes ahead

In the week of March 16, the House will take up a bill on volunteerism and national service, while the Senate will debate bills to preserve Revolutionary War and War of 1812 sites and protect certain public lands in their natural state.

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