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Votes in Congress

October 26, 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. 23:

HOUSE



Coast Guard budget



Voting 385 for and 11 against, the House on Oct. 23 passed a bill (HR 3619) authorizing $10 billion for the Coast Guard in fiscal 2010, about two-thirds of which would fund core missions such as conducting searches and rescues, combating drug smugglers and defending the U.S. coast against terrorist threats. The bill, which increases Coast Guard personnel by 1,500 positions to a force of 47,000, awaits Senate action.

The bill requires the 125 to 150 cruise ships that enter U.S. ports to do a better job of preventing or responding to sexual assaults on passengers. Cruise operators would be required to report alleged crimes to the FBI and Coast Guard, publish crime data online, establish procedures to assist victims and have at least one crew member trained to investigate crime scenes.

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A yes vote was to pass the bill.

Maryland

Roscoe Bartlett, R-6, yes

Pennsylvania

Bill Shuster, R-9, yes

West Virginia

Shelley Moore Capito, R-2, yes

Solar energy



Voting 310 for and 106 against, the House on Oct. 22 authorized $2.18 billion between fiscal 2011 and 2015 for Department of Energy programs to develop solar energy technologies. The bill (HR 3585) establishes a long-term partnership among the federal government, the private sector and universities to develop and market solar technologies, in the same way that federal funds and policies have been used to nurture the U.S. semiconductor industry in recent decades.

A yes vote was to pass the bill.

Maryland

Bartlett, yes

Pennsylvania

Shuster, no

West Virginia

Capito, yes




SENATE



Medicare doctor payments



Voting 47 for and 53 against, the Senate on Oct. 21 failed to reach 60 votes for advancing a bill (S 1776) that would avert a 21 percent cut next year in Medicare payments to doctors and 5 percent cuts in following years. The bill was opposed mainly because its cost of $247 billion over 10 years would be added to the national debt. The bill also sought to permanently change the formula for calculating Medicare payments to doctors.

A yes vote was to advance 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, no

John Rockefeller, D, yes

2010 military budget



Voting 68 for and 29 against, the Senate on Oct. 22 sent President Obama the final version of a $680 billion defense budget (HR 2647) for fiscal 2010 that includes $130 billion for war in Iraq and Afghanistan and $27.9 billion for military health care. The bill was opposed mainly over its expansion of the federal hate crimes law to cover offenses based on sexual orientation, gender or disability. The bill recommends a 3.4 percent military pay raise, increases active-duty personnel by 40,200 troops to 1.41 million troops, caps procurement of F-22 Raptor fighter jets and ends the overbudget VH-71 White House helicopter program.

A yes vote was to adopt the conference report.

Maryland

Mikulski, yes

Cardin, yes

Pennsylvania

Specter, yes

Casey, yes

West Virginia

Byrd, not voting

Rockefeller, yes

Homeland Security budget



Voting 79 for 19 against, the Senate on Oct. 20 sent President Obama the conference report on a $44.1 billion Department of Homeland Security budget for fiscal 2010. 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.

The bill appropriates $16 billion for combating illegal immigration, including $800 million for physical and electronic fencing on the Mexican border and funding for 41,000 Border Patrol and Customs agents and 33,400 detention beds.

A yes vote was to approve the conference report.

Maryland

Mikulski, yes

Cardin, yes

Pennsylvania

Specter, yes

Casey, yes

West Virginia

Byrd, yes

Rockefeller, yes




Key votes ahead



In the week of Oct. 26, the House will take up the conference report on the Interior Department's 2010 budget, while the Senate will debate an extension of jobless benefits and fiscal 2010 appropriations.

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