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National votes

November 21, 2009

By Votes in Congress Service

WASHINGTON - Here's how area members of Congress voted on major roll call votes in the week ending Nov. 20.

HOUSE



Medicare doctor payments

Voting 243 for and 183 against, the House on Nov. 19 passed a bill (HR 3961) that would avert a 21 percent cut next year in Medicare payments to doctors. The bill was opposed mainly because its cost of $210 billion over 10 years would be deficit spending. The bill would permanently change the Medicare formula for paying doctors. It would increase payments by nearly $20 billion per year over 10 years and cause slight annual increases in Medicare premiums.

A yes vote was to pass the bill.

Maryland

Roscoe Bartlett, R-6, no

Pennsylvania

Bill Shuster, R-9, no

West Virginia

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Shelley Moore Capito, R-2, no

GOP Medicare plan

Voting 177 for and 252 against, the House on Nov. 19 defeated a Republican motion to restructure HR 3961 as a two-year rather than permanent fix of Medicare's system for paying doctors. The motion also identified a revenue source to pay for the proposed two-year remedy.

A yes vote backed the motion.

Maryland

Bartlett, yes

Pennsylvania

Shuster, yes

West Virginia

Capito, yes

Cruise ship safety

Voting 416 for and four against, the House on Nov. 17 sent the Senate a bill (HR 3360) to address sexual assaults and other crimes on cruise vessels carrying American passengers.

The bill requires cruise ship operators to promptly report 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.

A yes vote was to pass the bill.

Maryland

Bartlett, yes

Pennsylvania

Shuster, yes

West Virginia

Capito, yes

SENATE



Guantanamo prisoners

Voting 57 for and 43 against, the Senate on Nov. 17 allowed funds in the 2010 military construction budget (HR 3082) to be used for securing U.S. prisons to hold terrorist suspects transferred from overseas. The vote tabled an amendment designed mainly to prevent detainee transfers from the Guantanamo Bay military prison.

A yes vote was to kill the amendment,

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

Hamilton confirmation

Voting 59 for and 39 against, the Senate on Nov. 19 confirmed federal Judge David Hamilton of the Southern District of Indiana for a seat on the 7th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals.

A yes vote was to confirm Hamilton.

Maryland

Mikulski, yes

Cardin, yes

Pennsylvania

Specter, yes

Casey, yes

West Virginia

Byrd, not voting

Rockefeller, yes

Veterans' caregivers

Voting 98 for and none against, the Senate on Nov. 19 passed a bill (S 1963) to provide monthly stipends and health care to family members who stay home to care for veterans severely injured in Afghanistan or Iraq. The stipend would equal what an outside agency would pay an employee to provide similar care. The new program is projected to cost $3.9 billion over five years in deficit spending.

A yes vote was to pass the bill.

Maryland

Mikulski, yes

Cardin, yes

Pennsylvania

Specter, yes

Casey, yes

West Virginia

Byrd, not voting

Rockefeller, yes

United Nations dues

The Senate on Nov. 19 refused, 32 for and 66 against, to reduce U.S. payments to the United Nations and other international organizations by $3.9 billion over five years to pay the projected cost of S 1963.

A yes vote backed the amendment.

Maryland

Mikulski, no

Cardin, no

Pennsylvania

Specter, no

Casey, no

West Virginia

Byrd, not voting

Rockefeller, no

Key votes ahead

The House and Senate are in Thanksgiving recess until the week of Nov. 30.

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