How your lawmakers voted

July 26, 2006

Issues before Congress last week

Embryonic Research

Senators voted, 63-37, to send President Bush a bill (HR 810) extending U.S. support of embryonic stemcell research beyond limits he set in 2001. A yes vote was to pass a bill allowing scientists to utilize thousands of embryos that fertility clinics plan to discard.

Voting Rights

Senators voted, 98-0, to renew the 1965 Voting Rights Act, which bans discrimination at the polls, mandates multilingual voting materials and requires some jurisdictions to get federal approval of voting changes. A yes vote was to send HR 9 to President Bush.

Corps of Engineers

Senators voted, 54-46, to require outside review of Army Corps of Engineers projects when the cost tops $40 million, a state governor seeks oversight or another U.S. agency challenges the project. A yes vote was to adopt the post-Katrina measure. (HR 2864)

Non-Embryonic Research

Senators passed, 100-0, a bill directing the Department of Health and Human Services to fund stem-cell research that does not involve human embryos. A yes vote was to send the House a bill (S2754) requiring a federal plan for research into adult stem cells.

"Fetus Farms" Ban

Senators voted, 100-0, to send the House a bill making it a federal crime to traffic in fetal tissue generated specifically for embryonic stemcell research. The bill was then passed by the House and signed by President Bush into law. A yes vote was to pass S 3504.

Embryonic Stem Cells

Members failed, 235-193, to reach the 2/3 majority needed to override President Bush's veto of a bill (HR 810) to expand U.S. financing of embryonic stemcell research beyond limits he set in 2001. A yes vote was to expand federal funding of research involving human embryos.

Adult Stem Cells

Members failed, 273-154, to reach the 2/3 majority needed to send President Bush a bill (S 2754) directing the federal government to fund stemcell research that excludes the use of human embryos. A yes vote was to mandate federally backed research on adult stem cells.

Same-Sex Marriage

Members failed, 236-187, to reach a 2/3 majority for advancing a constitutional amendment to ban same-sex 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." (HJR 88)

Pledge of Allegiance

Members passed, 260-167, a bill to strip federal courts of Pledge of Allegiance jurisdiction. A yes vote was to give state courts authority to decide whether the words "under God" in school pledge recitals violate church-state separation. (HR 2389)

Oman Trade Accord

Members approved, 221-205, a free-trade agreement with Oman. The pact would remove or lower tariffs and other barriers to U.S. trade with the Arab Gulf state. A yes vote backed HR 5684 over complaints it has weak labor and environmental standards.

Port Security

Members blocked, 227-196, a Democratic bid to strip the U.S.- Oman trade agreement (HR 5684) of language allowing Oman interests to perform work such as cargo handling and dock maintenance at U.S. ports. A yes vote was to kill the Democratic bid.

Israel Support

Members voted, 410-8, to support Israel in its military conflict with the Islamic movements Hezbollah and Hamas. A yes vote was to affirm Israel's right to selfdefense and urge holding Iran and Syria accountable for backing Hezbollah and Hamas. (H Res 921)

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