How your lawmakers voted

May 03, 2006

Issues before Congress last week

IN THE SENATE

Spending dispute

Senators blocked, 68-28, a bid to trim $12 billion from an emergency spending bill designed mainly to pay for war in Iraq and Afghanistan and Gulf Coast hurricane recovery. A yes vote was to keep the bill at its committeeapproved level of $106.4 billion.

Military vs. border funds

Senators voted, 59-39, to shift $2 billion from military accounts for actions in Iraq and Afghanistan to equipment purchases to strengthen U.S. border security. The transfer occurred within HR 4939, which remained in debate. A yes vote backed the shift.

Mississippi railroad

Senators voted, 50-47, to retain $700 million in a bill to help Mississippi and the CSX Railroad move a Gulf Coast line to make way for a coastal highway. A yes vote backed the funding over arguments it does not meet the criteria for emergency spending.

Seafood promotion

Senators rejected, 44-51, a bid to keep $15 million for seafood promotion in a bill providing emergency spending for war in Iraq and Afghanistan and hurricane recovery. The vote removed the industry subsidy from HR 4939. A yes vote was to retain the funds.

Intelligence budget

Members passed, 327-96, a 2007 budget for U.S. intelligence agencies estimated at $44 billion. The bill permits warrantless arrests of intelligence staffers suspected of information leaks. A yes vote backed the bill over arguments it neglects Congress' oversight role.

Domestic spying

Members defeated, 195-230, a Democratic bid to curb the administration's domestic electronic surveillance in search of terrorists.

A yes vote backed a motion stating that Congress' post-9/11 force authorization did not authorize such warrantless surveillance of Americans.

Nuclear Iran

Members blocked, 228-194, a bid by Democrats to require administration reports to the House Intelligence Committee every 90 days on the status of Iran's nuclear-weapons program. A yes vote was to block the motion on grounds that the committee can request updates at any time.

Pressure on Iran

The House passed, 397-21, a bill authorizing U.S. financial backing of efforts by prodemocracy Groups inside and outside of Iran to undermine the current Islamic regime. A yes vote backed a bill that also would tighten economic sanctions on Iran.

Ethics, lobbying rules

Members advanced, 216-207, a bill in response to ethics and lobbying scandals afflicting Capitol Hill. The bill remained in debate. A yes vote backed legislation that requires the secretive

Appropriations known as earmarks to be identified to the public.

Oil company taxes

Members defeated, 190-232, a nonbinding Democratic bid to remove oilcompany tax breaks from a bill now in House-Senate negotiations. A yes vote was to strip the bill of breaks valued at $5 billion over five years. In part, they concern taxes on inventories.

Key votes ahead

The House will debate ethics and lobbying rules and may take up antitrust exemptions for telephone Companies providing cable service. The Senate will resume work on a $106.4 billion appropriations bill.

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