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National votes

August 01, 2009

By Votes in Congress Service

WASHINGTON - Here's how area members of Congress voted on major roll call votes in the week ending July 31.

HOUSE



Food safety regulation

Voting 283 for and 142 against, the House on July 30 passed a bill greatly expanding the Food and Drug Administration's authority over firms that handle raw and processed foods, including certain farms. The bill (HR 2749) would require an estimated hundreds of thousands of domestic and foreign facilities to pay $500 annual registration fees to the FDA, subject them to periodic inspections and require measures to prevent contamination. The bill gives the FDA power to recall contaminated foods and quarantine areas that produced them. The bill would be financed by registration and inspection fees along with congressional appropriations projected at $2 billion over five years.

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

Republican food motion

Voting 186 for and 240 against, the House on July 30 rejected a Republican motion to HR 2749. The measure required half of the funds raised from the food processing industry to be spent on food inspections and half on indemnifying companies against government errors such as erroneous product recalls.

A yes vote backed the GOP motion.

Maryland

Bartlett, yes

Pennsylvania

Shuster, yes

West Virginia

Capito, yes

Obama's birthplace

Voting 378 for and none against, the House on July 27 adopted a measure (H Res 593) recognizing Aug. 21 as Hawaii's 50th anniversary of statehood and noting President Obama was born in Hawaii on Aug. 4, 1961. The vote drew attention because at least 10 House Republicans have sponsored a bill (HR 1503) casting doubt on Obama's U.S. citizenship. Seven of them, including chief sponsor Bill Posey, R-Fla., voted for the resolution, while three were absent from the vote.

A yes vote backed the resolution.

Maryland

Bartlett, yes

Pennsylvania

Shuster, yes

West Virginia

Capito, yes

Military appropriations

Voting 400 for and 30 against, the House on July 30 approved $636.3 billion in military appropriations for fiscal 2010, including $128.2 billion for war in Iraq and Afghanistan and $29.9 billion for service members' health care. The bill (HR 3326) funds a 3.4 percent military pay raise; bars the military's use of torture, and prohibits permanent U.S. bases in Iraq and Afghanistan, while omitting the administration's request for funds to close the U.S. prison at Guantanamo Bay.

The bill grants the administration's request to cap production of the F-22 Raptor fighter jets at 187 planes, but funds other large weapons programs targeted by Defense Secretary Robert Gates, such as a new VH-71 presidential helicopter fleet, an alternative engine for the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter and production of three more C-17 cargo jets.

A yes vote was to pass the bill.

Maryland

Bartlett, yes

Pennsylvania

Shuster, yes

West Virginia

Capito, yes

Highway trust fund

Voting 363 for and 68 against, the House on July 29 passed a bill (HR 3357) shifting $7 billion from general revenue to keep the Highway Trust Fund solvent for the next few months. Supported by the federal gasoline tax, the fund pays for congressionally approved road projects, but it is running low as Americans drive less to cope with recession and high fuel prices. The bill also expands Federal Housing Administration lending authority and authorizes federal unemployment funds to borrow from the Treasury to meet U.S. and state obligations to pay jobless benefits.

A yes vote was to pass the bill.

Maryland

Bartlett, no

Pennsylvania

Shuster, yes

West Virginia

Capito, yes

Executive compensation

Voting 237 for and 185 against, the House on July 31 passed a bill (HR 3269) giving federal regulators power to curb the payment of lucrative executive bonuses by financial institutions. The bill also requires public corporations to give shareholders a nonbinding vote on executive compensation, including "golden parachute" packages, and stipulates corporate directors who set executive compensation levels cannot be employed by the company.

A yes vote was to pass the bill.

Maryland

Bartlett, no

Pennsylvania

Shuster, no

West Virginia

Capito, no

SENATE



Energy, water appropriations

Voting 85 for and nine against, the Senate on July 29 passed a bill (HR 3183) to appropriate $34.3 billion for energy, water and nuclear programs in fiscal 2010. In part, the bill would provide $6.5 billion for maintaining the U.S. nuclear stockpile; $5.4 billion for the Army Corps of Engineers; $4.9 billion for the Department of Energy's scientific research; $2.2 billion for developing renewable energy and energy efficiencies; $1.1 billion for the Bureau of Reclamation; and $160 million for the Nuclear Regulatory Commission.

A yes vote was to pass the bill

Maryland

Barbara Mikulski, D, not voting

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

GM, Chrysler ownership

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