How your lawmakers voted

The Sun brings you a weekly report of key votes in Congress

June 14, 2006

IN THE SENATE

Same-sex marriage

Senators failed, 49-48, to reach 60 votes for ending a filibuster against a constitutional amendment outlawing samesex marriage. A yes vote backed a measure stating in part: "Marriage in the United States shall consist only of the union of a man and a woman."

Estate tax repeal

Senators failed, 57-41, to reach 60 votes for ending a filibuster and advancing a Republican bill to permanently repeal the estate tax in 2011. A yes vote backed repeal over arguments that due to exclusions, the tax affects only a minuscule percentage of Americans.

IN THE HOUSE

Homeland security

Members blocked, 207-191, a bid by Democrats to add $750 million for Department of Homeland Security grants to cities at high risk of being attacked. The money was to be raised by scaling back tax cuts for the wealthy. A yes vote was to block the amendment.

Sanctuary policies

Members voted, 218-179, to deny Department of Homeland Security funds to states or cities with a "sanctuary policy" under which illegal immigrants can report crimes without fear of being turned in to the U.S. government. A yes vote backed the denial of funds.

Border Minutemen

Members voted, 293-107, to prevent the Department of Homeland Security from disclosing information about Minutemen operations to Mexico except when disclosure is required by treaty. The group is a civilian border patrol. A yes vote was to add the ban to HR 5441.

Oil refinery construction

Members passed, 238-179, a bill expanding federal power to speed approval of federal and non-federal permits for building oil refineries and pipelines. A yes vote was to send the bill to the Senate over objections it would override environmental laws.

Democratic plan

Members defeated, 195-223, a Democratic alternative to an oil refinery construction bill that sought to establish an Oil Refinery Reserve. A yes vote backed a plan to build government-run refineries that would be brought to full capacity during emergencies to stabilize commercial markets.

Egypt aid

Members refused, 198-225, to cut aid to Egypt by $100 million. The amendment was proposed to a $21.3 billion foreign aid bill for fiscal 2007 that includes $1.7 billion for Egypt. A yes vote backed the cut in response to Egypt's suppression of dissent.

Broadcast indecency

Members voted, 379-35, for a tenfold increase in Federal Communications Commission fines on over-the-air broadcasters who air indecent material. The bill does not define indecency. A yes vote was to raise FCC fines from $32,500 to $325,000 per incident.

Mine safety

Members passed, 381-37, a bill that sets new rules to give trapped coal miners a better chance of survival and increase financial penalties on operators who violate U.S. safety rules. A yes vote was to send the bill to President Bush over arguments it is too weak.

Internet services

Members passed, 321-101, a bill enabling the Federal Communications Commission to supercede local authority in the award of franchises for delivering video, voice, broadband and other Internet services to the public. A yes vote was to send the bill to the Senate.

Network neutrality

Members rejected, 152-269, an amendment to the Internet services bill to prevent telecommunications firms from setting varying service levels that would result in a two-tiered Internet. A yes vote backed an amendment to preserve the egalitarian nature of the Internet.

Key votes ahead

This week, the House will take up 2007 spending bills and the Senate will debate the fiscal 2007 defense budget.

Both chambers plan final votes on a bill providing $94.5 billion for war and hurricane recovery.

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