Roscoe Bartlett, R-6, yes
Bill Shuster, R-9, yes
Shelley Moore Capito, R-2, yes
Voting 406 for and 18 against, the House on Sept. 24 sent the Senate a bill (HR 3631) to freeze Medicare premiums in 2010 at the current level of about $96 per month. Medicare premiums are deducted from Social Security checks, and the rationale of this bill is since there will be no Social Security inflation adjustment in 2010, there should be no rise in Medicare premiums. About three-fourths of the 42 million Medicare recipients automatically will have their 2010 premiums frozen because there is no inflation this year. The bill covers the 11 Medicare participants who lack such automatic protection.
Medicare Part B covers doctor visits and other outpatient services. Medicare Part A (hospital costs) carries no premium for most participants. Seniors who opt for Part C (Medicare Advantage) and Part D (prescription drugs) pay premiums to insurance firms.
A yes vote was to pass the bill.
National park system
Voting 79 for and 19 against, the Senate on Sept. 24 tabled an amendment to shift $420 million in the 2010 Interior Department budget (HR 2996) from land acquisition to maintenance in the National Park System. The $32.2 billion appropriations bill later was sent to conference with the House.
A yes vote was to kill the amendment.
Barbara Mikulski, D, yes
Benjamin Cardin, D, yes
Arlen Specter, D, yes
Robert Casey Jr., D, yes
Robert Byrd, D, not voting
Jay Rockefeller, D, yes
Voting 56 for and 42 against, the Senate on Sept. 23 tabled a Republican bid to speed implementation of a new law to expand offshore oil and gas drilling. Although approved last year, the new drilling cannot begin until 2012 for contractual reasons. In part, the expansion authorizes Outer Continental Shelf drilling 100 miles off the Atlantic and Pacific shorelines and beyond. Interior Secretary Ken Salazar rejected a Bush administration drilling plan and ordered a slower pace for planning the new drilling.
A yes vote was to kill the GOP motion.
Byrd, not voting
Key votes ahead
In the week of Sept. 28, the House will take up nonmilitary aid to Pakistan and energy and water spending, while the Senate will debate the 2010 defense budget.