How your lawmakers voted

August 02, 2006

Issues before Congress last week

To find out the district in which you live or contact your lawmakers, go to:

Minors' Abortions

Senators voted, 65-34, to make it a U.S. crime to transport a minor across state lines for an abortion in order to evade a home-state law requiring parental notification in advance of the procedure. A yes vote was to send S 403 to conference with House.

Sex Education

Senators defeated, 48-51, an amendment to S 403 authorizing federal grants to promote sex education as a deterrent to teen pregnancies. A yes vote backed an amendment to fund instruction on the use of contraceptives and the pill.

Judge Jerome Holmes

Senators confirmed, 67-30, Jerome A. Holmes, a lawyer in private practice and former assistant U.S. attorney, to sit on the 10th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals. A yes vote backed Holmes, 44, over criticism of his opposition to affirmative action policies.

Gulf of Mexico Drilling

Senators advanced, 86-12, a bill to open about 8.34 million acres in the eastern Gulf of Mexico to oil and gas extraction while setting a 125- mile buffer zone between Florida and the drilling area. A yes vote was to advance the measure toward a final vote.

Nuclear Deal

Members approved, 359-68, an administration plan to sell U.S. civilian nuclear supplies to India despite its refusal to sign the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty. A yes vote was to send HR 5682 to the Senate over arguments it could fuel the South Asian arms race.

Nuclear Containment

Members rejected, 192-235, an amendment to block a new U.S.- India nuclear deal (HR 5682) until such time as India declares full support of U.S. efforts in the United Nations to contain Iran's nuclear-arms program. A yes vote backed the amendment.

Gun Confiscation

Members sent to conference with the Senate, 322- 99, legislation to prohibit police, the National Guard and other public safety personnel from seizing legal firearms in official disaster zones such as post-Katrina New Orleans. A yes vote was to pass HR 5013.

Electronic Medical Records

Members approved, 270- 148, federal guidelines to help the U.S. healthcare industry convert its paper to electronic files that could be shared over the Internet by doctors, hospitals and insurers. A yes vote was to pass HR 4157 over privacy concerns.

Medical Privacy

Members defeated, 198- 222, a Democratic alternative to HR 4157 containing stricter privacy controls over the release of medical records. A yes vote backed a measure giving patients the right of consent over the electronic distribution of their medical files.

Minimum Wage Estate Tax

Members passed, 230-180, a Republican bill raising the hourly minimum wage from $5.15 to $7.25 over 3 years, exempting all but the super-rich from U.S. estate taxes and providing targeted tax cuts. A yes vote was to send HR 5970 to the Senate.

Democrats' Wage Plan

Members defeated, 190-220, a Democratic bid for an up-or-down vote on whether to raise the U.S. minimum wage for the first time since 1997. A yes vote backed this measure over a GOP bill (HR 5970), linking the wage hike to an estate-tax rollback.

Pension Changes

Members sent the Senate, 279-131, a bill to bolster defined-benefit pension plans by requiring some 30,000 companies to fully fund pension liabilities over 7 years. A yes vote backed a bill (HR 4) that also changes definedcontribution plans such as 401(k) plans.

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