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National votes

June 08, 2009

WASHINGTON - Here's how area members of Congress voted on major roll call votes in the week ending June 5:

HOUSE



Family leave



Voting 258 for and 154 against, the House on June 4 passed a bill (HR 626) providing federal employees with additional benefits under the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA). The bill would entitle civil servants to four to eight weeks of paid leave to care for a newly born, adopted or fostered child. Such leave now is available to civil servants without pay.

Enacted in 1993, the FMLA provides private-sector, federal and other government workers with 12 weeks of unpaid leave for personal medical reasons; to attend to an ailing spouse, child or parent; or to care for a newly born, adopted or fostered child. The law also provides family members with 26 weeks of unpaid leave to care for an injured or seriously ill member of the armed forces. In all cases, workers are entitled to the same job or its equivalent when they return from leave.

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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

GOP leave plan



Voting 157 for and 258 against, the House on June 4 defeated a Republican amendment to strip HR 626 of its new category of paid leave. Instead, federal workers could use accrued sick leave to care for new family members. New federal workers could receive advances against future accruals of sick leave.

A yes vote backed the GOP plan.

Maryland

Bartlett, yes

Pennsylvania

Shuster, yes

West Virginia

Capito, yes

Transportation security



Voting 397 for and 25 against, the House on June 4 approved a two-year budget of $15.7 billion for the Transportation Security Administration, the majority of which is for screening airline passengers, baggage and cargo and securing airport buildings and boundaries. The bill (HR 2200) awaits Senate action.

In part, the bill improves security for seaports and trains as well as airports; adds the office of ombudsman to check the work of federal air marshals; authorizes demonstration programs in the use of full-body biometric screening of transportation personnel; and requires self-defense training for airline workers.

A yes vote was to pass the bill.

Maryland

Bartlett, yes

Pennsylvania

Shuster, no

West Virginia

Capito, yes

Ethics dispute



Voting 270 for and 134 against, the House on June 3 directed its ethics committee to report within 45 days on any action it has taken regarding "any misconduct" by House members in dealing with a former lobbying firm known as the PMA Group. The resolution (H Res 500) does not name any person. Rep. Peter Visclosky, D-Ind., a member of the Appropriations Committee, has sponsored earmarks for the benefit of PMA, and federal investigators have issued subpoenas to obtain some of his files.

A yes vote backed the resolution.

Maryland

Bartlett, no

Pennsylvania

Shuster, yes

West Virginia

Capito, no




SENATE



Tobacco regulation



Voting 84 for and 11 against, the Senate on June 2 agreed to take up a House-passed bill (HR 1256) that would begin federal regulation of tobacco products. Under the bill, the Food and Drug Administration would regulate cigarette ingredients, require public disclosure of those ingredients, restrain cigarette marketing to children, require health warnings to cover at least half of each side of a cigarette package and require manufacturers to verify health claims. The bill remained in debate.

A yes vote was to begin debate on the bill.

Maryland

Barbara Mikulski, D, yes

Benjamin Cardin, D, yes

Pennsylvania

Arlen Specter, D, yes

Robert Casey Jr., D, yes

West Virginia

Robert Byrd, D, not voting

John Rockefeller, D, yes




Key votes ahead



In the week of June 8, the House will debate foreign policy and special aid to Pakistan, while the Senate will resume debate on tobacco regulation. Both chambers will vote on a $91.3 billion bill to fund war and foreign affairs through Sept. 30.

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