Here is how members of Maryland's delegation on Capitol...

VOTES IN CONGRESS

July 18, 1999|By Roll Call Report Syndicate

Here is how members of Maryland's delegation on Capitol Hill were recorded on important roll-call votes last week: Y: Yes N: No X: Not voting

House: Religious expression

Voting 306 for and 118 against, the House passed on Thursday a bill (HR 1691) making it more difficult for state or local governments to infringe upon expressions of religion or the actions of religious groups. The bill requires governments to meet a higher standard of evidence to justify interfering with the free expression of religion. For example, in using zoning ordinances to ban houses of worship from certain neighborhoods, governments that receive federal funding would have to show that the policy serves a "compelling" public interest, not just a "rational" interest as is now the case.

A yes vote was to pass the bill.

Y....N.....X Member

Y....*.......* Ehrlich, Robert, R-2nd

Y....*.......* Hoyer, Steny H. D-5th

* ....N......* Bartlett, Roscoe G., R-6th

Y....*.......* Wynn, Albert R., D-4th

Y....*.......* Cardin, Benjamin L., D-3rd

* ....N......* Cummings, Elijah, D-7th

*.....*.......X Gilchrest, Wayne T., R-1st

Y....*.......* Morella, Constance A., R-8th

House: Presidential pay

Voting 82 for and 334 against, the House refused on Thursday to block a plan to raise presidential pay from $200,000 to $400,000 in 2001. It will be the first presidential pay raise since 1969. The vote occurred as the House passed a bill (HR 2490) funding the Treasury Department and other agencies in fiscal 2000. During debate on the same bill, the House conducted a 276-147 procedural vote that was interpreted by some as approving a cost-of- living increase for members of Congress. In the absence of any future vote to block the increase, rank-and-file members of Congress will see their pay rise by 3.4 percent to $141,300 next January.

A yes vote was to block a presidential pay raise in 2001.

Y....N.....X Member

* ....N.....* Ehrlich, Robert, R-2nd

*.....N.....* Hoyer, Steny H. D-5th

Y....*......* Bartlett, Roscoe G., R-6th

*.....N.....* Wynn, Albert R., D-4th

*.....N.....* Cardin, Benjamin L., D-3rd

*.....N.....* Cummings, Elijah, D-7th

*.....*......X Gilchrest, Wayne T., R-1st

*.....N.....* Morella, Constance A., R-8th

House: 1872 Mining law

The House voted on Wednesday, , 273 for and 151 against, to uphold waste disposal limits in the Mining Law of 1872. The law allows hardrock minerals on public lands in the West to be commercially mined with little or no payment of royalties to the government. While companies can receive up to 5 additional acres for waste disposal, critics say they are despoiling much larger tracts.This amendment requires adherence to a limit of 5 acres per operation. The vote occurred during debate on a fiscal 2000 appropriations bill (HR 2466) for the Department of Interior and related agencies.

A yes vote backed the amendment.

Y....N.....X Member

Y....*......* Ehrlich, Robert, R-2nd

*.....*......X Hoyer, Steny H. D-5th

Y....*.......* Bartlett, Roscoe G., R-6th

*.....*.......X Wynn, Albert R., D-4th

Y....*.......* Cardin, Benjamin L., D-3rd

Y....*.......* Cummings, Elijah, D-7th

Y....*.......* Gilchrest, Wayne T., R-1st

Y....*.......* Morella, Constance A., R-8th

Senate: Health care

Voting 53 for and 47 against, the Senate passed on Thursday a Republican bill (S 1344) to expand patients' rights within health care plans. The bill is designed mainly for the 48 million Americans in employer-operated, self-funded plans not regulated by states. Some provisions would benefit as many as 125 million insured people, and two apply to all 161 million Americans covered by private health insurance. The bill is narrower in scope than a defeated Democratic bill that applied to all 161 million Americans with private medical coverage. Democrats sought to give patients the right to sue HMOs and other insurers in state court over wrongful denial of treatment, and to give doctors rather than HMOs final say on treatment.

A yes vote was to pass the bill.

Y....N.....X Member

*.....N.....* Mikulski, Barbara A., D

*.....N.....* Sarbanes Paul S., D

Senate: Right to sue

The Senate blocked on Thursday, 53 for and 47 against, a Democratic plan to give patients the right to bring suits in state court against health insurance providers based on wrongful denial of care. Democrats sought to extend the right to about 125 million Americans in employer-sponsored health plans who are prevented by federal law from filing such suits. As later passed, the GOP bill (S 1344) creates an internal and external review process by which patients can appeal an insurer's decision not to cover a specific treatment. The process assures prompt review of denials, with the final decision to be made by a medical expert who is independent of the insurance plan.

A yes vote opposed giving patients the right to sue health insurers in state court.

Y....N.....X Member

*.....N.....* Mikulski, Barbara A., D

*.....N.....* Sarbanes, Paul S., D

Senate: Scope of coverage

Voting 48 for and 52 against, the Senate on Wednesday rejected a Democratic plan to apply new health insurance regulations to all residents covered by private medical insurance. The vote left intact a GOP plan to apply the underlying bill (S 1344) primarily to the 48 million individuals enrolled in employer-sponsored, self-funded health plans. Under the GOP approach, states would continue to oversee health insurance in areas not covered by federal regulators.

A yes vote backed the Democratic amendment.

Y....N.....X Member

Y....*......* Mikulski, Barbara A., D

Y....*......* Sarbanes, Paul S., D

Pub Date: 7/18/99

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