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Votes in Congress

October 19, 2009|By Votes in Congress Service

WASHINGTON - Here's how area members of Congress voted on major roll call votes in the week ending Oct. 16:

HOUSE



Homeland security budget



Voting 307 for 114 against, the House on Oct. 15 approved the conference report on a $44.1 billion Department of Homeland Security budget for fiscal 2010, up 6.5 percent from 2009. The bill (HR 2892) funds agencies such as the Federal Emergency Management Agency, Immigration and Customs Enforcement, Transportation Security Administration and the Coast Guard. The bill prevents Guantanamo Bay prisoners from being transferred to U.S. soil except for court proceedings, and bars the release of photos and videos showing U.S. mistreatment of prisoners overseas since Sept. 11.

In part, the bill provides $1 billion for installing explosive-detection units at airports; $950 for protecting cities against attacks; $810 million for firefighters; $800 million for physical and electronic fencing on the Mexican border; $400 million to protect government computer systems against cyber attacks; and $122 million for air-cargo screening.

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A yes vote was to approve the conference report.

Maryland

Roscoe Bartlett, R-6, no

Pennsylvania

Bill Shuster, R-9, no

West Virginia

Shelley Moore Capito, R-2, yes

Guantanamo prisoners



Voting 193 for and 224 against, the House on Oct. 15 defeated a GOP bid to prevent funds in HR 2892 from being used to release Guantanamo Bay prisoners into the United States for court appearances or any other purpose.

A yes vote backed the motion.

Maryland

Bartlett, yes

Pennsylvania

Shuster, yes

West Virginia

Capito, yes

Regional airline safety



Voting 409 for and 11 against, the House on Oct. 14 passed a bill (HR 3371) setting higher training and skill standards for pilots of the regional airlines that link smaller cities to hubs. The bill is a response to the 50-fatality crash last February of Continental Connection Flight 3407 near Buffalo, N.Y., in which investigators are focusing on pilot inexperience and fatigue.

The bill requires pilots to have at least 1,500 hours of flight time to fully qualify for airline jobs, up from today's 250-hour minimum. But a loophole allows hours spent in certain high-caliber flight-school training to be counted toward the threshold. The bill also raises federal standards for training in the operation of deicing and emergency equipment, addresses pilot fatigue and requires applicants to disclose failed flight tests to prospective employers. The bill, which awaits Senate action, also sets new safety and training rules for pilots of the largest airlines.

A yes vote was to pass the bill.

Maryland

Bartlett, yes

Pennsylvania

Shuster, not voting

West Virginia

Capito, yes

Iran investments



Voting 414 for and six against, the House on Oct. 14 removed federal hurdles that keep state and local governments from emptying their portfolios of stock in companies that are invested in or provide services to Iran's energy sector. The bill (HR 1327) discounts the Department of State's argument that such disinvestment hampers the conduct of U.S. foreign policy. The bill clears the way for nonfederal governments to disinvest from organizations that have at least $20 million invested in the Iranian energy sector or sell at least $20 million in services or equipment to that sector. The bill awaits Senate action.

A yes vote was to pass the bill.

Maryland

Bartlett, yes

Pennsylvania

Shuster, not voting

West Virginia

Capito, yes




SENATE



Energy, water appropriations



Voting 80 for and 17 against, the Senate on Oct. 15 sent President Obama the conference report on a bill (HR 3183) to appropriate $33.5 billion for energy, water and nuclear programs in fiscal 2010. In part, the bill provides $6.4 billion for maintaining the U.S. nuclear stockpile; $5.6 billion for environmental cleanup at nuclear sites; $5.4 billion for Army Corps of Engineers public works; $4.9 billion for research into long-term energy needs; $2.1 billion to counter the spread of nuclear arms overseas; $311 million for clean-vehicle technologies; $225 million for solar energy; and $172 million for upgrading the nation's electrical grid.

Additionally, the bill funds the administration's decision to permanently bar nuclear waste disposal at Yucca Mountain in Nevada and establishes a commission to evaluate alternatives for disposing of the nation's radioactive waste.

A yes vote was to pass 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, yes

John Rockefeller, D, yes




Key votes ahead



o In the week of Oct. 19, the House will take up the Coast Guard budget and solar energy, while the Senate will debate Medicare payments to doctors, fiscal 2010 appropriations and possibly an extension of jobless benefits.

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