Contact: 202-224-4814
Website: http://www.donnelly.senate.gov

Name: Joe Donnelly


Senate: Indiana, Democrat


Cumulative Freedom Index Score: 22%


Status: Active Member of the Senate

Score Breakdown:
27% (114th Congress: 2015-2016); 12% (113th Congress: 2013-2014); 31% (112th Congress: 2011-2012); 17% (111th Congress: 2009-2010); 25% (110th Congress: 2007-2008)

Key Votes:



On the Motion (Motion to Concur in the House Amendment to S. 612): Water Projects
Vote Date: December 10, 2016Vote: AYEBad Vote.
This bill (S. 612) would authorize approximately $10 billion for construction of 30 Army Corps of Engineers water projects, including navigation, flood control, and environmental restoration projects. It would authorize $170 million in response to the lead-contaminated water system in Flint, Michigan.

The Senate agreed to S. 612 on December 10, 2016 by a vote of 78 to 21 (Roll Call 163). We have assigned pluses to the nays because Army Corps of Engineers water projects are unconstitutional. Nowhere does the Constitution give the federal government authority to “restore” or “improve” the environment or guarantee safe drinking water. Such projects, if needed, should be handled by the states and cities. Further, many of the Army Corps of Engineers projects actually have disastrous results, far from what was originally intended.



On the Motion (Motion to Concur in the House Amendment to the Senate Amendment to H.R. 2028): Continuing Appropriations
Vote Date: December 9, 2016Vote: AYEBad Vote.
This bill (H.R. 2028) perpetuates Congress’ growing habit of avoiding hard decisions about the level of federal spending by kicking the can down the road into the middle of the new fiscal year, with a continuing resolution that would provide funding for federal government operations at the fiscal year 2016 level through April 28, 2017 at an annualized discretionary rate of $1.07 trillion.

The Senate agreed to H.R. 2028 on December 9, 2016 by a vote of 63 to 36 (Roll Call 161). We have assigned pluses to the nays because with this Continuing Appropriations bill Congress is failing to address its fiscally and constitutionally irresponsible budgeting and appropriating process that is currently yielding annual federal deficits measured in the hundreds of billions of dollars that contribute directly to the dramatic growth of our $20 trillion national debt.



On the Conference Report S. 2943: National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA)
Vote Date: December 8, 2016Vote: AYEBad Vote.
This bill (S. 2943) authorizes $611.2 billion for military programs in fiscal year 2017, including $59.5 billion for foreign operations in Afghanistan, Iraq, and Syria. Among its many provisions, the massive bill creates a “Global Engagement Center” to counter “foreign state and non-state propaganda and disinformation efforts.” Dubbed an Orwellian “Ministry of Truth” by critics including THE NEW AMERICAN, this new government propaganda center is authorized to “provide financial support” to (among others) “media content providers,” including “local independent media who are best placed to refute foreign disinformation and manipulation in their own communities.”

The Senate passed the final version (conference report) of S. 2943 on December 8, 2016 by a vote of 92 to 7 (Roll Call 159). We have assigned pluses to the nays because the authorizations in this bill go way beyond providing for our national defense. Our foreign military interventions in the Middle East in particular have exacerbated terrorism and undermined U.S. security. The creation of the Orwellian “Global Engagement Center,” which was added to the NDAA without Congress being able to vote on it as a stand-alone bill, also falls outside the scope of legitimate national defense. Rather than agreeing to the version of NDAA they did, our lawmakers should have rejected it and passed instead a constitutionally sound version.



On the Motion to Table S.J.Res. 39: Saudi Arabia
Vote Date: September 21, 2016Vote: AYEBad Vote.
This legislation (Senate Joint Resolution 39) would block the proposed $1.15 billion sale of tanks and other military equipment to Saudi Arabia. Senator Rand Paul (R-Ky.), who sponsored S. J. Res. 39, said prior to the vote that the debate should not just be about whether to “sell arms to Saudi Arabia,” but whether to “sell arms to Saudi Arabia for the war in Yemen,” where presumably the tanks would be used.

The Senate did not vote directly on S. J. Res. 39; it voted instead to table (kill) a motion to discharge S. J. Res. 39 from committee, thereby effectively killing the bill. The vote, on September 21, 2016, was 71 to 27 (Roll Call 145). We have assigned pluses to the nays because the United States should not interject itself in foreign conflicts such as the civil war in Yemen, and should not take steps tantamount to going to war without congressional debate and a declaration of war by Congress.



On the Conference Report S. 524: Opioid Abuse Treatment and Prevention
Vote Date: July 13, 2016Vote: AYEBad Vote.
This bill (S. 524) would authorize $103 million annually through fiscal 2021 for the Department of Justice to award grants to state, local, and tribal governments to provide services relating to opioid abuse, including first-responder training for opioid overdose reversal drugs and treatment alternatives to incarceration programs. It also would establish a Health and Human Services Department grant program for states to encourage pharmacists to dispense opioid overdose reversal drugs pursuant to a “standing order,” which permits pharmacists to dispense medication without a person-specific prescription.

The Senate passed the final version (conference report) of S. 524 on July 13, 2016 by a vote of 92 to 2 (Roll Call 129). We have assigned pluses to the nays because attempting to help citizens deal with drug overdose and addiction is not a responsibility of the U.S. government under the Constitution. While it is arguably better to treat addicts as people having a medical problem rather than as criminals needing incarceration, this is not a constitutional use of taxpayer money. Such programs, if handled by government, should be handled by local or state governments rather than the federal government.



On the Motion (Motion to Concur in the House Amendment to S. 764 with Further Amendment (Amdt. No. 4935)): GMO Labeling
Vote Date: July 7, 2016Vote: AYEBad Vote.
This substitute amendment to S. 764 would require the Department of Agriculture to establish a national mandatory disclosure standard for genetically modified organism (GMO) food within two years of the bill’s enactment. This bill as amended “prohibits states or political subdivisions of states from establishing or continuing requirements for labeling or disclosure of bioengineered or genetically engineered food that are not identical to the mandatory disclosure standard established by this bill.” Companies could choose to provide GMO disclosure through a symbol or by electronic bar codes that could be scanned by smart phones.

The Senate passed this amended version of S. 764 on July 7, 2016 by a vote of 63 to 30 (Roll Call 123). We have assigned pluses to the nays because the power to pass legislation regarding agriculture in general and the labeling of agricultural products in particular was not granted to Congress by the Constitution. Therefore, this amended version of S. 764 usurps the power of the states to pass laws regarding GMO labeling of food products.



On Cloture on the Motion to Proceed S. 3100: Sanctuary Cities
Vote Date: July 6, 2016Vote: AYEGood Vote.
This bill (S. 3100) would make states and cities ineligible for certain federal grants if they place restrictions on sharing information about the immigration status of individuals with the federal government or on fulfilling Homeland Security Department (DHS) requests to comply with “detainers,” or requests to keep an immigrant in custody.

The Senate did not vote directly on S. 3100 but on a motion to invoke cloture (and thus limit debate) so the bill could come up for a vote. The motion to invoke cloture was rejected on July 6, 2016 by a vote of 53 to 44 (Roll Call 119; a three-fifths majority of the entire Senate is required to invoke cloture). We have assigned pluses to the yeas because the presence of “sanctuary cities,” in which cities and states harbor illegal immigrants and protect them from deportation, is a violation of federal immigration law. Saying such cities and states are ineligible for federal grants, while imperfect in that it essentially uses federal (and likely unconstitutional) grant money as a “bribe,” is still a step in the right direction.



On the Motion to Table H.R. 2578: No-fly List
Vote Date: June 23, 2016Vote: NAYBad Vote.


The Senate did not vote directly on Collins’ amendment but on a motion to table (kill) another motion to send H.R. 2578 back to committee with instructions to add Collins’ amendment to the bill. The motion to table was rejected on June 23, 2016 by a vote of 46 to 52 (Roll Call 109). We have assigned pluses to the yeas because restricting non-criminals from flying is a violation of the Fifth Amendment’s guarantee of “due process of law,” and linking firearm ownership to a federal no-fly list is a violation of the Second Amendment’s protection of the right of the people to keep and bear arms. The federal no-fly list includes many people with no criminal record, and some people with identical or similar names to convicted criminals are erroneously placed on the list.



On the Motion to Table H.R. 2578: Firearm Sales Background Checks
Vote Date: June 20, 2016Vote: NAYBad Vote.
During consideration of the Commerce, Justice, Science Appropriations bill (H.R. 2578), Senator Chris Murphy (D-Conn.) offered an amendment to require that a background check be conducted for every U.S. firearm sale.

The Senate did not vote directly on Murphy’s amendment but on a motion to table (kill) another motion to send H.R. 2578 back to committee with instructions to add Murphy’s amendment to the bill. The motion to table was agreed to on June 20, 2016 by a vote of 56 to 42 (Roll Call 107). We have assigned pluses to the yeas because federally mandated background checks for all firearm purchases have long been a goal of gun-control advocates, as they could easily be used to restrict firearm ownership by setting arbitrary requirements for passing the background checks. Murphy’s amendment is a blatant violation of the Second Amendment, which prohibits the federal government from infringing upon the people’s right to keep and bear arms.



On the Cloture Motion S.Amdt. 4549 to S.Amdt. 4229 to S. 2943 (National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2017): Overseas Domestic Programs
Vote Date: June 9, 2016Vote: AYEBad Vote.
During consideration of the National Defense Authorization Act (S. 2943), Senator Jack Reed (D-R.I.) introduced an amendment that would authorize an additional $18 billion in overseas contingency operations for domestic programs. Part of the $18 billion includes $1.1 billion to combat heroin and opioid addiction, $1.9 billion to implement an integrated campaign plan to counter ISIS, and $1.9 billion to treat the Zika virus and prevent Zika outbreaks.

The Senate did not vote directly on Reed’s amendment but on a motion to invoke cloture (and thus limit debate) so the amendment could come up for a vote. The motion to invoke cloture was rejected on June 9, 2016 by a vote of 43 to 55 (Roll Call 95). We have assigned pluses to the nays because funding overseas contingency operations for domestic programs is not “defense” spending and does not belong in the NDAA. The federal government has no constitutional authority to engage in such spending for operations in other countries, and using American taxpayer dollars in an attempt to fight drugs and disease is inappropriate.



On the Motion to Table S.Amdt. 3897 to S.Amdt. 3896 to H.R. 2577 (Transportation, Housing and Urban Development, and Related Agencies Appropriations Act, 2016): Affirmatively Furthering Fair Housing
Vote Date: May 19, 2016Vote: AYEBad Vote.
During consideration of the THUD (Transportation, Housing and Urban Development)-VA appropriations bill (H.R. 2577), Senator Mike Lee (R-Utah) introduced an amendment that would prohibit the use of funds to carry out the Affirmatively Furthering Fair Housing (AFFH) rule and notice of the Department of Housing and Urban Development.According to Tom DeWeese, a nationally known property rights activist, “AFFH requires communities that apply for HUD grants to strip search every neighborhood, detailing income level, religion, race, and national origin of every single person living there. HUD has created specific guidelines dictating specific numbers of each for a proper ‘balance.’ If there are any shortages in any of the categories, then the neighborhood is deemed to be ‘out of balance.’ HUD then requires that the community correct the situation…. The result is social engineering that is leading to the destruction of property values and property rights of neighborhoods.”

The Senate agreed to a motion to table (kill) Lee’s amendment on May 19, 2016 by a vote of 60 to 37 (Roll Call 81). We have assigned pluses to the nays because there is no authorization in the Constitution for Congress to establish and fund the Department of Housing and Urban Development in the first place, let alone fund the radical AFFH rule that imposes unconstitutional federal controls on local zoning and planning authorities.



On Passage of the Bill H.R. 2577: THUD-Milcon/VA Appropriations
Vote Date: May 19, 2016Vote: AYEBad Vote.
This bill (H.R. 2577) would provide $56.5 billion in discretionary funding for transportation and housing and urban development-related agencies, and $83 billion in discretionary funding for military construction and veteran’s affairs
projects. Additionally, as amended, the bill would provide $1.1 billion in funding to combat the Zika virus for the remainder of fiscal 2016 and for fiscal 2017.

The Senate passed H.R. 2577 on May 19,2016 by a vote of 89 to 8 (Roll Call 82). We
have assigned pluses to the nays because any federal involvement in the transportation or housing markets via regulations or subsidies is an overstepping of constitutional boundaries. Government involvement in the housing market can cause market distortions, and subsidizing housing for those who cannot afford it is a form of wealth redistribution.While helping veterans is arguably constitutional,
the Department of Veterans affairs,and the Veterans Health Administration in
particular, is a bloated, inefficient bureaucracy and a perfect example of the failures of socialized medicine. The federal government ought to cover veterans’ healthcare costs but allow them to use the same private sector healthcare services that non-veterans use. This would be cheaper, offer better care,and be more efficient than the current VA boondoggle, and be constitutional.



On Passage of the Bill H.R. 2028: Energy-Water Appropriations
Vote Date: May 12, 2016Vote: AYEBad Vote.
This bill (H.R. 2028) would provide $37.5 billion in fiscal 2017 for the Energy Department, the Army Corps of Engineers, and the Interior Department’s Bureau of Reclamation. It would provide approximately $30.7 billion for the Energy Department and $6 billion for the Army Corps of Engineers. Additionally, as amended, the bill would provide $95 million for wind energy from within the Energy Department’s energy efficiency and renewable energy funding.

The Senate passed H.R. 2028 on May 12,2016 by a vote of 90 to 8 (Roll Call 71). We
have assigned pluses to the nays because the U.S. Constitution does not authorize
the federal government to regulate or otherwise get involved in energy production.
Particularly troubling is the $95 million subsidy for wind energy, which is an intermittent energy source that will not replace any conventional energy utilities. While chump change when compared to most federal spending, it is still unconstitutional and a crony-capitalist venture whereby the government is rigging the market by picking winners and losers. The federal government should stay out of energy production,period, and leave it up to a free market to
decide what type of and how much energy should be produced.



On Passage of the Bill H.R. 636: FAA Reauthorization
Vote Date: April 19, 2016Vote: AYEBad Vote.
This bill (H.R. 636) would reauthorize federal aviation programs through fiscal 2017, to the tune of $7.1 billion for the airport improvement program, $5.7 billion for air navigation facilities and equipment, $19.9 billion for Federal Aviation Administration operations, $335 million for research and development, and $310 million for the Essential Air Service. The bill would include new regulations and safety standards for small, private-sector drones, including those used for business purposes.

The Senate passed H.R. 636 on April 19,2016 by a vote of 95 to 3 (Roll Call 47). We
have assigned pluses to the nays because the U.S. Constitution does not authorize
the federal government to regulate and/or manage segments of the economy, such as
aviation. Airplane manufacturers, airlines, and airports should all be privately run, and not subsidized by the federal government.

Regarding the private-sector use of drones, this is another area the federal government should stay out of. Local ordinances or, at most, state laws would be
sufficient to manage any problems that might arise from this new technology.



On the Amendment S.Amdt. 3482 to S.Amdt. 3464 to H.R. 636 (America's Small Business Tax Relief Act of 2015): TSA
Vote Date: April 7, 2016Vote: AYEBad Vote.
During consideration of the FAA reauthorization bill (H.R. 636), Senator Martin Heinrich (D-N.M.) introduced an amendment that would authorize funding for additional Transportation Security Administration (TSA) teams for fiscal 2016 and 2017. Heinrich’s amendment would also expand the definition of law-enforcement terrorism-prevention activities to include mass shooting preparedness exercises.

The Senate adopted Heinrich’s amendment on April 7, 2016 by a vote of 91 to 5 (Roll Call 42). We have assigned pluses to the nays because the TSA is a classic example of federal overreach and should be abolished, not given additional funding. The TSA is known for its rude, inept employees who grope and otherwise violate air travelers, in the name of providing security. But rather than an inefficient,
bloated, unaccountable federal bureaucracy, security should be provided by the
airlines, which have a vested interest in keeping their customers safe. Regarding
the expansion of terrorism-prevention activities to include mass-shooting preparedness exercises, this is another transparent attempt to federalize law enforcement and expand the police state. Constitutionally speaking, local law enforcement should handle shootings, not the federal government, even if the feds are working in conjunction with local law enforcement.



On the Nomination PN1152: King Nomination.
Vote Date: March 14, 2016Vote: AYEBad Vote.
On February 11, 2016, President Obama nominated John B. King to succeed Arne Duncan as secretary of education. Immediately prior to assuming leadership of the Department of Education, King served as deputy secretary of education. Before that, he served as commissioner of education of the state of New York, overseeing the New York State Education Department, from 2011 to 2015. The liberal Huffington Post describes King as a “fierce supporter of Common Core.” As commissioner, he supervised the implementation of the Common Core State Standards in New York. Senator Mike Lee (R-Utah) said about King, “He forced on an unwilling school system an unpopular Common Core curriculum and standards, inflexible testing regimes and
a flawed teacher evaluation system.”

The Senate confirmed the nomination on March 14, 2016 by a vote of 49 to 40 (Roll Call 36). We have assigned pluses to the nays because of King’s adamant support
for Common Core and its universal one-size fits all approach to local education.
Moreover, the Department of Education is unconstitutional.



On the Amendment S.Amdt. 3023 to S.Amdt. 2953 to S. 2012 (Energy Policy Modernization Act of 2015): National Monuments
Vote Date: February 2, 2016Vote: NAYBad Vote.
During consideration of an energy policy bill (S. 2012), Senator Mike Lee (R-Utah)
introduced an amendment specifying that national monuments declared by the president
after the enactment of this amendment would expire after three years, except when the monuments are approved by federal and state law.

The Senate rejected Lee’s amendment on February 2, 2016 by a vote of 47 to 48
(Roll Call 10). We have assigned pluses to the yeas because U.S. presidents, including Obama, have established these national monuments through executive orders, thereby placing huge tracts of land off-limits to development, without the approval of either Congress or the states where the land is located.



On the Cloture Motion S.J.Res. 22: Waters of the United States
Vote Date: January 21, 2016Vote: AYEGood Vote.
This measure (Senate Joint Resolution 22) would provide for congressional disapproval of the “waters of the United States” (WOTUS) rule submitted by the
Corps of Engineers and the EPA. See House Vote 21 for more information on this bill.

The Senate did not vote on S. J. Res. 22 itself but on a motion to invoke cloture
(and thus limit debate) so the measure could come up for a vote. The motion to
invoke cloture was rejected on January 21, 2016 by a vote of 52 to 40 (Roll Call 5; a
three-fifths majority of the entire Senate is required to invoke cloture). We have assigned pluses to the yeas. See House Vote 21 for the reason why.



On the Cloture Motion H.R. 4038: Iraqi and Syrian Refugees
Vote Date: January 20, 2016Vote: NAYBad Vote.
This bill (H.R. 4038) would require that before a Syrian or Iraqi refugee could be
permitted to enter the United States the FBI director would have to certify that
a background check had been performed that was sufficient to ascertain whether
the refugee would be a security threat,and that the Homeland Security secretary,
with the agreement of the FBI director and the director of national intelligence, would have to certify that the refugee would not be a security threat.

The Senate did not vote on H.R. 4038 itself but on a motion to invoke cloture (and
thus limit debate) so the bill could come up for a vote. The motion to invoke cloture
was rejected on January 20, 2016 by a vote of 55 to 43 (Roll Call 4; a three-fifths
majority of the entire Senate is required to invoke cloture). We have assigned pluses
to the yeas because Congress is authorized to protect each state against invasion.



On Cloture on the Motion to Proceed S. 2232: Federal Reserve Audit
Vote Date: January 12, 2016Vote: NAYBad Vote.
The Federal Reserve Transparency Act (S. 2232) would “require a full audit of the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System and the Federal Reserve banks by the Comptroller General of the United States,” according to the text of the bill. “I think that it’s about time we pull back the curtain to uncover this cloak of secrecy once and for all,” Senator Rand Paul (R-Ky.), the bill’s sponsor, noted.

The Senate did not vote on S. 2232 itself but on a motion to invoke cloture (and thus limit debate) so the bill could come up for a vote. The motion to invoke
cloture was rejected on January 12, 2016 by a vote of 53 to 44 (Roll Call 2; a
three-fifths majority of the entire Senate is required to invoke cloture). We have
assigned pluses to the yeas because the Federal Reserve system, essentially a
cartel of private banks functioning as a central bank, is unconstitutional and is
responsible for much of the nation’s current financial problems via its control of
money and credit. An audit of the Fed would shed light on its otherwise secretive
practices and perhaps lead to its eventual abolishment.



On the Motion (Motion to Concur in the House Amendments to the Senate Amendment to H.R. 2029): Omnibus Appropriations
Vote Date: December 18, 2015Vote: AYEBad Vote.
The omnibus appropriations bill (H.R.2029) would provide $1.15 trillion in discretionary appropriations in fiscal 2016 for federal departments and agencies covered by the 12 unfinished fiscal 2016 spending bills. This represents an overall increase in discretionary spending of five percent over 2015 levels. See House Vote 20 for more details.

The Senate agreed to the omnibus appropriations bill on December 18, 2015 by a vote of 65 to 33 (Roll Call 339). We have assigned pluses to the nays because with
this omnibus bill members of Congress are failing to address their fiscally and
constitutionally irresponsible budgeting and appropriating process that is currently
yielding annual federal deficits measured in the hundreds of billions of dollars, as
well as minimizing their accountability to the voters by combining all discretionary
federal spending for fiscal 2016 into one gigantic “take it or leave it” bill.



On the Conference Report S. 1177: Education
Vote Date: December 9, 2015Vote: AYEBad Vote.
This bill (S. 1177), the Every Student Succeeds Act (first introduced as the Every Child Achieves Act), would reauthorize the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESAA) for four years, through fiscal 2020. Total authorizations would be $24.5 billion for fiscal 2017, increasing to $26.1 billion in fiscal 2020. The bill would replace the No Child Left Behind Act, and continue the requirement for regular standardized testing in core subject areas such as math, reading, and science. Scores for the standardized tests are to be separated by categories such as race and income to determine if any “subgroup” is lagging academically. The bill would also require states to develop plans to help low-performing public schools.

The Senate passed S. 1177 on December 9, 2015 by a vote of 85 to 12 (Roll Call 334). We have assigned pluses to the nays because, as explained in House vote
19, the federal government has no constitutional authority to be involved with education; nowhere in the U.S. Constitution is education listed as one of the government’s enumerated powers. K-12 education, if publicly funded, should be run primarily by parents coordinating with local school districts rather than by a centralized bureaucracy out of Washington, D.C



On the Joint Resolution S.J.Res. 24: Power Plant Emissions
Vote Date: November 17, 2015Vote: AYEGood Vote.
This legislation (Senate Joint Resolution 24) would disapprove and nullify the
Environmental Protection Agency’s rule relating to “Carbon Pollution Emission
Guidelines for Existing Stationary Sources: Electric Utility Generating Units,”
published on October 23, 2015. According to Congressional Quarterly, the EPA
rule “sets different emissions targets for 49 states based on their existing energy
profile and requires each state to reduce emissions by a certain amount by 2030.”
Upon passage of the bill by the House of Representatives, Senator Shelley Moore
Capito (R-W.Va.), the original Senate sponsor, said in a statement, “Hardworking
families cannot afford these crushing regulations that threaten jobs and affordable
energy while doing little to actually improve the environment.”

The Senate passed S. J. Res. 24 on November 17, 2015 by a vote of 52 to 46
(Roll Call 306). We have assigned pluses to the yeas because the federal government
should not hinder existing power plants with regulations that stifle energy
production and increase rates, there is no authorization in the Constitution for the
federal government to interfere in the energy sector, and CO2 is not a pollutant.



On the Joint Resolution S.J.Res. 22: Waters of the United States
Vote Date: November 4, 2015Vote: AYEGood Vote.
This legislation (Senate Joint Resolution 22) would provide for congressional
disapproval of the “waters of the United States” (WOTUS) rule submitted by the
Corps of Engineers and the EPA. According to Representative Steve Southerland
(R-Fla.), sponsor of a similar bill in the House in September 2014, under this proposed WOTUS rule, “Federal agencies like the EPA and the Army Corps of Engineers
would see their regulatory authority under the Clean Water Act drastically
expanded, to the point of covering almost any body of water throughout America,
from ditches to culverts to pipes to watersheds to farmland ponds.”

The Senate passed S. J. Res. 22 on November 4, 2015 by a vote of 53 to 44 (Roll
Call 297). We have assigned pluses to the yeas because both federal water regulations and the EPA are unconstitutional, and if the rule were to be allowed to go into effect, activities such as farming and real estate development would be greatly hampered, since farmers and developers would be subject to increased unconstitutional permit requirements and fines concerning their treatment of almost any “body of water,” no matter how small.



On the Motion (Motion to Concur in the House Amendment to the Senate Amendment to H.R. 1314): Raising the Spending Cap and Suspending the National Debt Limit
Vote Date: October 30, 2015Vote: AYEBad Vote.
This bill (H.R. 1314) would suspend the national debt limit until March 15, 2017, at which time the ceiling on how much money the federal government is allowed
to borrow would be re-established at the size of the federal debt at that time.
The bill would also raise caps intended to limit “discretionary” federal spending by
$50 billion for fiscal 2016 and $30 billion for fiscal 2017.

The Senate agreed to this legislation on October 30, 2015 by a vote of 64 to 35 (Roll
Call 294). We have assigned pluses to the nays because the federal government should
live within its means, suspending the debt limit is even worse than raising it, and most of the spending responsible for the ballooning national debt is unconstitutional.



On Cloture on the Motion to Proceed S. 1881: Defunding Planned Parenthood (Cloture)
Vote Date: August 3, 2015Vote: AYEGood Vote.
This bill (S. 1881) would cut off federal funding of Planned Parenthood and its affiliates and clinics. Overall federal funding would not be reduced, since the funding “no longer available to Planned Parenthood will continue to be made available to other eligible entities to provide women’s health care services.”

The Senate did not vote directly on S. 1881 but instead on a motion intended to
advance the bill. That motion, to invoke cloture and limit debate on a motion to
proceed to the bill, was rejected on August 3, 2015 by a vote of 53 to 46 (Roll
Call 262; the motion failed because a three-fifths majority of the entire Senate
is required to invoke cloture). We have assigned pluses to the yeas because the federal government should not, and has no constitutional authority to, subsidize the
killing of innocent human life.



On the Amendment S.Amdt. 2327 to S.Amdt. 2266 to H.R. 22 (Hire More Heroes Act of 2015): Export-Import Bank
Vote Date: July 27, 2015Vote: AYEBad Vote.
During consideration of the surface transportation bill (H.R. 22), Senator Mark Kirk
(R-Ill.) introduced an amendment to reauthorize the Export-Import Bank’s charter,
which expired July 1, 2015, through fiscal 2019. As Senator Kirk said during debate
on his amendment, “Unfortunately, as of July 1, the Ex-Im Bank has been unable
to process any new transactions — and this poses a real threat to our economy.
Business deals that are months or years in the making are now on hold, and may fall
through, unless we reauthorize the Ex-Im Bank immediately.”

The Senate adopted Kirk’s amendment on July 27, 2015 by a vote of 64 to 29 (Roll
Call 256). We have assigned pluses to the nays because the Export-Import Bank, as
explained in House vote 16, is a poster boy for corporate cronyism. The government
finances or insures foreign purchases from U.S. companies that commercial banks are
unwilling or unable to finance owing to the political or commercial risks inherent
in the deals, leaving taxpayers on the hook in the event of default.



On the Motion (Motion to Concur in the House Amendment to the Senate Amendment to H.R. 2146): Trade Promotion Authority
Vote Date: June 24, 2015Vote: NAYGood Vote.
During consideration of an otherwise relatively innocuous bill about public
safety employee withdrawals, Senator Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) made a motion
to concur with a House amendment to the bill that would grant Trade Promotion Authority(TPA) to the executive branch. See House Vote 11 for further information.

The Senate agreed to TPA on June 24,2015 by a vote of 60 to 38 (Roll Call 219).We have assigned pluses to the nays because TPA would facilitate the subordination
of the national independence of the United States to regional blocs of nations
in a process that is leading toward a world government.



On the Amendment S.Amdt. 1889 to S.Amdt. 1463 to H.R. 1735 (Military Construction Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2016): Torture
Vote Date: June 16, 2015Vote: AYEGood Vote.
During consideration of the National Defense Authorization bill (H.R. 1735), Senator John McCain (RAriz.)introduced an amendment to ensure that the entire U.S. government complies with interrogation techniques permitted by Army Field Manual 2-22.3. Specifically,any individual in the custody of any U.S.
government agent or detained at any U.S. government facility shall not be subjected
to any interrogation technique, such as waterboarding,not authorized by Army Field
Manual 2-22.3, entitled “Human Intelligence Collector Operations.” The amendment
would also require that the Red Cross be allowed access to any detained individual. McCain’s amendment would require the U.S. secretary of defense to review Army Field Manual 2-22.3 every three years and revise it, if necessary, to ensure compliance with legal obligations of the United States, such as those contained within the Geneva Convention.

The Senate adopted McCain’s amendment on June 16, 2015 by a vote of 78 to 21
(Roll Call 209). We have assigned pluses to the yeas because any form of torture is
a violation of a person’s God-given rights, regardless of whether or not the person is a U.S. citizen. In fact, the Eighth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution prohibits
“cruel and unusual punishment.” The U.S. government is not above the rule of law,
and any government agency or agent must be held accountable to a standard that respects human rights and dignity.



On the Amendment S.Amdt. 1549 to S.Amdt. 1463 to H.R. 1735 (Military Construction Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2016): Arming Iraqi Kurds
Vote Date: June 16, 2015Vote: NAYGood Vote.
During consideration of the National Defense Authorization bill (H.R. 1735), Senator
Joni Ernst (R-Iowa) introduced an amendment to authorize the president to “provide
for a temporary, emergency authorization of defense articles, defense services, and
related training directly to the Kurdistan Regional Government,” according to the
text of the amendment. On June 15, 2015,speaking in support of her amendment on
the Senate floor, Senator Ernst said, “This bipartisan amendment … provides temporary authority for the president ... to provide weapons directly to Iraqi Kurdish Peshmerga forces in the fight against ISIS should the administration choose to do so.”

The Senate rejected Senator Ernst’s amendment on June 16, 2015 by a vote of 54 to 45 (Roll Call 210; a 60-vote threshold was required for passage pursuant to a
unanimous consent agreement). We have assigned pluses to the nays because arming
foreign fighters would be an act of war, and under the U.S. Constitution, only
Congress may declare war. Moreover, our interventionist policy in the Middle East
has exacerbated terrorism. In Syria, for example, arming the so-called moderate
rebels helped create the ISIS threat. And regarding Iraq, arms sent to the Kurdish
Regional Government (KRG) could also fall into the hands of the rival Kurdistan
Workers’ Party (PKK), a communist terrorist group dedicated to the creation of a
Marxist-Leninist state of Kurdistan. The KRG is divided between the more conservative Kurdistan Democratic Party (PDK) of Iraq and the left-wing Patriotic Union of Kurdistan (PUK), which is affiliated with the Socialist International.



On the Motion to Table S.Amdt. 1986 to H.R. 1735 (Military Construction Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2016): To reauthorize and reform the Export-Import Bank of the United States.
Vote Date: June 10, 2015Vote: NAYBad Vote.
Export-Import Bank.
During consideration of the defense authorization bill (H.R. 1735), Senator Mark Kirk (R-Ill.) introduced an amendment to reauthorize the U.S. Export-Import Bank through 2019. The bank issued loans and loan guarantees to foreign governments or companies for the purchase of U.S. products.

The Senate rejected a motion to table (kill) Kirk's amendment on June 10, 2015 by a vote of 31 to 65 (Roll Call 206). We have assigned pluses to the yeas because the federal government has no constitutional authority risking taxpayers' money to provide loans and terms that the private sector considers too risky to provide. Indeed, U.S. government-backed export financing is a form of corporate welfare, and if the Ex-Im Bank went bust (as happened to Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae), the taxpayers would have been stuck holding the bag. The bank's charter was not reauthorized, and it expired on June 30, 2015.



On the Amendment S.Amdt. 1243 to S.Amdt. 1221 to H.R. 1314 (Ensuring Tax Exempt Organizations the Right to Appeal Act): To strike the extension of the trade adjustment assistance program.
Vote Date: May 22, 2015Vote: NAYBad Vote.
Trade Adjustment Assistance.
During consideration of the Trade Promotion Authority bill (H.R. 1314), Senator Jeff Flake (R-Ariz.) introduced an amendment to strike the Trade Adjustment Assistance (TAA) provisions in the bill. Those provisions would extend the TAA program through June 30, 2021.

The TPA (see the next vote) is needed, its proponents acknowledge, to facilitate enactment of trade agreements negotiated by the Obama administration and supported by the GOP congressional leadership. Those agreements - the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP), and Trade in Services Agreement (TiSA) - collectively dubbed ObamaTrade, would, proponents boast, create jobs and prosperity for Americans. But the TAA, which ObamaTrade proponents also support, provides assistance to help American workers who lose their jobs because of the trade agreements.

The Senate rejected Flake's amendment on May 22, 2015 by a vote of 35 to 63 (Roll Call 190). We have assigned pluses to the yeas because federal jobs programs are unconstitutional. Moreover, it makes no sense to claim that the federal government must cough up federal funds to help workers who will lose their jobs to supposedly jobs-creating trade agreements.



On Passage of the Bill H.R. 1314: A bill to amend the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 to provide for a right to an administrative appeal relating to adverse determinations of tax-exempt status of certain organizations.
Vote Date: May 22, 2015Vote: NAYGood Vote.
Trade Promotion Authority.
The Trade Promotion Authority (TPA) section of H.R. 1314 would renew the on-again-off-again "fast track authority" that Congress has often awarded to the president over the past several decades. The essential features of TPA are: (1) Congress unconstitutionally delegates authority "to regulate commerce with foreign nations" to the Executive Branch; and (2) Congress dramatically increases the probability of approval of trade agreements by restricting itself to an up-or-down vote with no amendments or filibusters allowed. See also House Vote 10.

The Senate passed H.R. 1314 on May 22, 2015 by a vote of 62 to 37 (Roll Call 193). We have assigned pluses to the nays because TPA would facilitate the subordination of the national independence of the United States to regional trading blocs, a power that is not granted to any branch of government in the Constitution.



On the Nomination PN4: Loretta E. Lynch, of New York, to be Attorney General
Vote Date: April 23, 2015Vote: AYEBad Vote.
Loretta Lynch Nomination.
The Senate confirmed the nomination of Loretta Lynch for U.S. attorney general on April 23, 2015 by a vote of 56 to 43 (Roll Call 165). We have assigned pluses to the nays because Lynch is supportive of blatantly unconstitutional actions on the part of the executive branch.

Lynch supported President Obama's use of an executive order to offer de facto amnesty to millions of illegal immigrants, and promised to implement such amnesty as attorney general. Lynch also supports civil forfeiture, which is certainly an unconstitutional violation of private property rights, and deems it an "important tool of the Department of Justice." As Senator Rand Paul (R-Ky.) stated in early February when explaining his opposition to Lynch's nomination, "She remains non-committal on the legality of drone strikes against American citizens, while I believe such strikes unequivocally violate rights granted to us by the Sixth Amendment.... Mrs. Lynch also supports President Obama's calls for executive amnesty, which I vehemently oppose. The Attorney General must operate independent of politics, independent of the president and under the direction of the Constitution. I cannot support a nominee, like Mrs. Lynch, who rides roughshod on our Constitutional rights."



On the Amendment S.Amdt. 1114 to H.R. 2 (Medicare Access and CHIP Reauthorization Act of 2015): To repeal the individual mandate.
Vote Date: April 14, 2015Vote: NAYBad Vote.
Individual Mandate Repeal.
During consideration of a bill regarding Medicare payments to physicians (H.R. 2), Senator John Cornyn (R-Texas) introduced an amendment entitled "Restoring Individual Liberty" that would repeal the individual mandate of the ObamaCare law.

The Senate rejected Cornyn's amendment on April 14, 2015 by a vote of 54 to 45 (Roll Call 137). We have assigned pluses to the yeas because no branch of government has been empowered by the Constitution to force Americans to buy health insurance.



On the Amendment S.Amdt. 432 to S.Con.Res. 11: To provide additional resources to create the opportunity for more Americans to obtain a higher education and advanced job skills by supporting two free years of community college paid for by raising revenue through requiring millionaires and billionaires to pay their fair share.
Vote Date: March 26, 2015Vote: AYEBad Vote.
Free Community College.
During consideration of the budget resolution (Senate Concurrent Resolution 11), Senator Tammy Baldwin (D-Wis.) introduced an amendment to raise spending by $60.3 billion for social services education and jobs training in order to facilitate "two free years of community college paid for by raising revenue through requiring millionaires and billionaires to pay their fair share."

The Senate rejected Baldwin's amendment on March 26, 2015 by a vote of 45 to 55 (Roll Call 100). We have assigned pluses to the nays because this resolution would steal wealth from some to give to others, cause an overabundance of workers in certain job fields (meaning grossly wasted funds), and expand unconstitutional federal involvement in education.



On the Amendment S.Amdt. 515 to S.Con.Res. 11: To establish a spending-neutral reserve fund relating to requiring the Federal Government to allow states to opt out of Common Core without penalty.
Vote Date: March 26, 2015Vote: NAYBad Vote.
Common Core.
During consideration of the budget resolution (Senate Concurrent Resolution 11), Senator David Vitter (R-La.) introduced an amendment to create a spending-neutral reserve fund to prohibit the federal government from mandating, incentivizing, or coercing states to adopt Common Core standards or any other similar standards. This amendment would also allow states that have already adopted Common Core to opt out without penalty.

The Senate adopted Vitter's amendment on March 26, 2015 by a vote of 54 to 46 (Roll Call 105). We have assigned pluses to the yeas because the federal government has no constitutional authority to interject itself in the education sector, and Common Core is intended to create a national curriculum leading to nationalizing education.



On the Amendment S.Amdt. 649 to S.Con.Res. 11: To establish a spending-neutral reserve fund relating to prohibiting funding of international organizations during the implementation of the United Nations Arms Trade Treaty prior to Senate ratification and adoption of implementing legislation.
Vote Date: March 26, 2015Vote: AYEGood Vote.
UN Arms Treaty.
During consideration of the budget resolution (Senate Concurrent Resolution 11), Senator James Inhofe (R-Okla.) introduced an amendment "to establish a spending-neutral reserve fund relating to prohibiting funding of international organizations during the implementation of the United Nations Arms Trade Treaty prior to Senate ratification and adoption of implementing legislation." The amendment essentially allows the chairman of the Committee on the Budget of the Senate to reallocate spending to prevent implementation of the Arms Trade Treaty, provided such action does not raise new revenue or increase the deficit.

During debate on the amendment, Senator Inhofe remarked, "President Obama has signed the treaty but has not submitted it for ratification; for one reason, he knows the votes are not there. Two years ago, at 5 a.m. in the morning, 53 Senators, from both parties, voted for my amendment very similar to this. My amendment would prevent funds from going to the treaty Secretariat or any other organization that is working to implement this treaty."

The Senate adopted Inhofe's amendment on March 26, 2015 by a vote of 59 to 41 (Roll Call 108). We have assigned pluses to the yeas because the UN Arms Trade Treaty is an attempt by a global governance body, the United Nations, to regulate weapons. Such regulation is at odds with the American ideals of national sovereignty and freedom to bear arms without infringement by government. While the UN likely wouldn't march into American neighborhoods to confiscate guns the moment the treaty was ratified, ratification of the treaty would be a step in the wrong direction. Any opposition to the UN Arms Trade Treaty is to be commended.



On the Amendment S.Amdt. 255 to H.R. 240 (Department of Homeland Security Appropriations Act, 2015): Of a perfecting nature.
Vote Date: February 27, 2015Vote: AYEBad Vote.
Executive Action on Immigration.
Senator Thad Cochran (R-Miss.) introduced a new version of the Homeland Security appropriations bill (H.R. 240), in the form of a substitute amendment, that would eliminate the bill's provisions prohibiting the use of funds for carrying out President Obama’s unconstitutional executive actions on illegal immigration. The provisions targeted for elimination would defund the Obama administration’s executive actions announced on November 20, 2014 to grant deferred action for an estimated four million illegal immigrants in the United States.

The Senate adopted Cochran's substitute amendment on February 27, 2015 by a vote of 66 to 33 (Roll Call 61). We have assigned pluses to the nays because the president is not a "king" or "dictator" who may make his own law. Under the U.S. Constitution, "all legislative powers herein granted" are delegated to Congress, and it is the responsibility of the president to faithfully execute the law.



On the Amendment S.Amdt. 48 to S.Amdt. 2 to S. 1 (Keystone XL Pipeline Act): To modify the definition of underground injection.
Vote Date: January 28, 2015Vote: NAYGood Vote.
Fracking.
During consideration of the Keystone XL pipeline bill (S. 1), Senator Kirsten Gillibrand (D-N.Y.) introduced an amendment to remove exemptions of fracking and natural gas storage from regulation under the Safe Drinking Water Act.

Senator Maria Cantwell (D-Wash.) offered the amendment on Senator Gillibrand's behalf, noting: "This amendment amends the Safe Drinking Water Act to protect clean drinking water sources from hydraulic fracturing, commonly known as fracking, and from underground storage of natural gas. The Safe Drinking Water Act currently exempts underground injection of fracking fluids and underground storage of natural gas from regulation under the act. The Gillibrand amendment repeals those exemptions and makes underground injection of fracking fluids and underground storage of natural gas subject to those regulations."

The Senate rejected Gillibrand’s amendment on January 28, 2015 by a vote of 35 to 63 (Roll Call 41). We have assigned pluses to the nays because the federal government has no constitutional authority to regulate industry practices or set drinking water standards. These standards are monitored and enforced by the Environmental Protection Agency, which is itself an unconstitutional agency created by executive order. The Obama administration, particularly the EPA, is known to be an opponent of fracking, so this is likely a backdoor attack on the industry. State and local governments should be setting drinking water standards and monitoring for pollutants, not unaccountable bureaucrats in Washington, D.C.



On the Point of Order H.R. 83: To require the Secretary of the Interior to assemble a team of technical, policy, and financial experts to address the energy needs of the insular areas of the United States and the Freely Associated States through the development of energy action plans aimed at promoting access to affordable, reliable energy, including increasing use of indigenous clean-energy resources, and for other purposes.
Vote Date: December 13, 2014Vote: NAYBad Vote.
Executive Action on Immigration.
During consideration of the omnibus appropriations bill (H.R. 83), Senator Ted Cruz (R-Texas) raised a constitutional point of order that the bill violates the Constitution's separation of powers, its enumerated powers, and its requirement that the president faithfully execute the laws because the bill would fund activities related to President Obama's executive action on amnesty. During debate on his point of order, Cruz said, "If you believe President Obama's amnesty is unconstitutional, vote yes. If you believe President Obama's amnesty is consistent with the Constitution, then vote no."

The Senate rejected Cruz's point of order on December 13, 2014 by a vote of 22 to 74 (Roll Call 353). We have assigned pluses to the yeas because President Obama's executive amnesty was unconstitutional for the reasons listed above.



On the Motion (Motion to Concur in the House Amendment to the Senate Amendment to H.R. 83): To require the Secretary of the Interior to assemble a team of technical, policy, and financial experts to address the energy needs of the insular areas of the United States and the Freely Associated States through the development of energy action plans aimed at promoting access to affordable, reliable energy, including increasing use of indigenous clean-energy resources, and for other purposes.
Vote Date: December 13, 2014Vote: AYEBad Vote.
Omnibus Appropriations.
According to Congressional Quarterly, appropriations bill H.R. 83, dubbed the "CRomnibus bill" (combination of Continuing Resolution and Omnibus),"would provide $1.013 trillion in discretionary appropriations in fiscal 2015 for federal departments and agencies covered by the 12 unfinished fiscal 2015 spending bills."

The Senate agreed with the House version of this appropriations bill on December 13, 2014 by a vote of 56 to 40 (Roll Call 354). We have assigned pluses to the nays because with this fiscal 2015 omnibus appropriations bill, Congress is failing to address its fiscally and constitutionally irresponsible budgeting and appropriating process that is currently yielding annual federal deficits measured in the hundreds of billions of dollars that contribute directly to the dramatic growth of our already $18 trillion national debt.



On Passage of the Bill S. 2280: A bill to approve the Keystone XL Pipeline.
Vote Date: November 18, 2014Vote: AYEGood Vote.
Keystone XL Pipeline.
S. 2280 would immediately allow TransCanada to construct, connect, operate, and maintain the Keystone XL pipeline, including any revision to the pipeline route within Nebraska as required or authorized by the state. It also would consider the January 2014 environmental impact statement issued by the State Department sufficient to satisfy all requirements of the National Environmental Policy Act and the Endangered Species Act. The bill would grant the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia exclusive jurisdiction regarding legal disputes over the pipeline or the constitutionality of the bill.

The Senate rejected S. 2280 on November 18, 2014 by a vote of 59 to 41, after having agreed by unanimous consent to raise the majority requirement for passage to 60 (Roll Call 280). We have assigned pluses to the yeas because this bill essentially gets the federal government out of the way of economic development. While one could correctly argue that the federal government should not have been involved in this issue in the first place, and that from a constitutional standpoint it should be left up to the states, private property owners, and TransCanada to work out an arrangement, this bill is definitely a step in the right direction since it would remove unconstitutional federal regulatory road blocks against the pipeline project.



On the Cloture Motion S. 2199: A bill to amend the Fair Labor Standards Act of 1938 to provide more effective remedies to victims of discrimination in the payment of wages on the basis of sex, and for other purposes.
Vote Date: September 15, 2014Vote: NONE No Vote.
Equal Pay.
The "Paycheck Fairness Act" (S. 2199) was intended to ensure that men and women receive equal pay for equal work by, for example, requiring businesses to demonstrate that pay-gaps between men and women with similar jobs and qualifications are "job-related with respect to the position in question; and ... consistent with business necessity." The bill also authorizes enhanced penalties for sex discrimination.

The Senate did not vote on the underlying bill itself but on a procedural motion to invoke cloture, and thus limit debate, so that the bill could come up for a vote. The motion to invoke cloture was rejected on September 15, 2014 by a vote of 52 to 40 (60 votes, three-fifths of the full Senate, are needed to invoke cloture; Roll Call 262). We have assigned pluses to the nays because the federal government has no constitutional authorization to determine the value of employees' labor in the private sector, whether in the absolute sense or relative to other wages. Wages instead should be determined by the market.



On the Cloture Motion S.J.Res. 19: A joint resolution proposing an amendment to the Constitution of the United States relating to contributions and expenditures intended to affect elections.
Vote Date: September 11, 2014Vote: AYEBad Vote.
Campaign Finance Constitutional Amendment.
Senate Joint Resolution 19 would propose an amendment to the Constitution granting Congress and state lawmakers the "power to regulate the raising and spending of money and in-kind equivalents with respect to federal and state elections." The resolution's proposed amendment would also prohibit "corporations or other artificial entities" created by law "from spending money to influence elections."

The Senate did not vote on S. J. Res. 19 itself but on a motion to invoke cloture, and thus limit debate, on the joint resolution so that it could come up for a vote. The Senate rejected this motion on September 11, 2014 by a vote of 54 to 42 (60 votes, three-fifths of the full Senate, are needed to invoke cloture; Roll Call 261). We have assigned pluses to the nays because this proposed constitutional amendment would effectively repeal the free speech provision of the First Amendment, since restricting the amount of money that may be spent on political speech would restrict political speech.



On the Motion (Motion to Waive All Applicable Budgetary Discipline Re: S.2648): A bill making emergency supplemental appropriations for the fiscal year ending September 30, 2014, and for other purposes.
Vote Date: July 31, 2014Vote: AYEBad Vote.
Illegal Immigrant Children Supplemental Appropriations.
S. 2648 would authorize $3.6 billion in supplemental appropriations, including $2.73 billion "to cover necessary expenses to respond to the significant rise in unaccompanied children and adults with children at the southwest border," $615 million for wildfire suppression activities of the Forest Service, and $225 million that would be provided "to the Government of Israel for the procurement of the Iron Dome defense system to counter short-range rocket threats."

During the floor debate, Senator Charles Grassley (R-Iowa) commented that this bill is "a blank check that does not solve the crisis along our southern border.... Well, today we are exercising our constitutional right in cutting off funding for the President to expand his administrative amnesties."

The Senate did not vote on the underlying bill itself but on a motion to waive all applicable budget laws with respect to a point of order against the bill so that the bill could move forward. The Senate rejected this motion on July 31, 2014 by a vote of 50 to 44 (60 votes, three-fifths of the full Senate, are needed to waive the applicable budget laws; Roll Call 252). We have assigned pluses to the nays because most of the $3.6 billion requested by President Obama would be used to expand his amnesty program of deferred action for childhood arrivals, an unconstitutional usurpation of Congress' power to "to establish an uniform Rule of Naturalization."



On the Amendment S.Amdt. 3584 to H.R. 5021 (Highway and Transportation Funding Act of 2014): To empower States with authority for most taxing and spending for highway programs and mass transit programs.
Vote Date: July 29, 2014Vote: NAYBad Vote.
Gas Tax.
During consideration of the Highway Trust Fund re-authorization bill (H.R. 5021), Senator Mike Lee (R-Utah) introduced an amendment to transfer local transportation infrastructure projects to the states, rather than having the federal government fund and oversee the spending on such projects. Part of this would be accomplished by lowering the federal gasoline tax from the current 18.4 cents per gallon to 3.7 cents per gallon by 2019, and allowing the states to use that money for their own projects as they see fit.

Lee noted that his amendment "would empower States and communities to customize their own infrastructure according to their own needs, their own values, and their own imagination," and the amendment "would, over 5 years, gradually transfer funding and spending authority over local transportation infrastructure projects to the States."

The Senate rejected Lee's amendment on July 29, 2014 by a vote of 28 to 69 (Roll Call 246). We have assigned pluses to the yeas because the federal government has no constitutional authority to interject itself into local and state highway infrastructure projects in the first place. Constitutionally, the states should fund their own transportation projects, without the money for such projects being routed through Washington.



On Cloture on the Motion to Proceed S. 2578: A bill to ensure that employers cannot interfere in their employees' birth control and other health care decisions.
Vote Date: July 16, 2014Vote: AYEBad Vote.
Contraception.
S. 2578 would force employers to pay for contraceptives (including abortifacients) even when they object on religious grounds. This legislation was introduced in response to the Supreme Court's June 2014 decision that Hobby Lobby could not be forced to cover employees' contraception because the owners had religious objections.

The Senate did not vote on the underlying bill itself but on a procedural motion to invoke cloture, and thus limit debate so that the bill could be advanced. The motion to invoke cloture was rejected on July 16, 2014 by a vote of 56 to 43 (60 votes, three-fifths of the full Senate, are needed to invoke cloture; Roll Call 228). We have assigned pluses to the nays not only because the federal government has no constitutional authority to determine what healthcare coverage employers provide but also because requiring anyone to pay for practices violating their religious convictions is immoral and un-American.



On Passage of the Bill H.R. 803: An act to amend the Workforce Investment Act of 1998 to strengthen the United States workforce development system through innovation in, and alignment and improvement of, employment, training, and education programs in the United States, and to promote individual and national economic growth, and for other purposes.
Vote Date: June 25, 2014Vote: AYEBad Vote.
Workforce Training.
H.R. 803 would consolidate workforce training programs under the Workforce Investment Act of 1998, reauthorize adult-education programs, and reauthorize other workforce-related programs under the Rehabilitation Act of 1973.

The Senate passed H.R. 803 on June 25, 2014 by a vote of 95 to 3 (Roll Call 214). We have assigned pluses to the nays because there is no constitutional authorization for federal workforce-training programs. This is not to say that workforce training is a bad thing, but such programs are best handled by the private sector, which would surely provide more and better jobs if the federal government were to siphon less money out of the economy for programs to improve the economy.



On the Nomination PN1342: Stanley Fischer, of New York, to be Vice Chairman of the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System for a term of four years
Vote Date: June 12, 2014Vote: AYEBad Vote.
Fischer Nomination.
On January 10, 2014, President Obama nominated Stanley Fischer to be vice chairman of the Federal Reserve System Board of Governors. Before being tapped for the number two position at the Federal Reserve, Fischer had a notable career within globalist elitist ranks, previously serving as governor of the Bank of Israel from 2005 to 2013, first deputy managing director of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) from 1994 to 2001, a distinguished fellow at the Council on Foreign Relations, and a participant of the 2011 Bilderberg meeting. Fischer is also a frequent speaker at the Peterson Institute for International Economics, which is one of the premier global think tanks and which has played an especially important role in promoting the WTO, IMF, United Nations, and supposed "free trade" agreements.

The Senate confirmed the nomination on June 12, 2014 by a vote of 63 to 24 (Roll Call 191). We have assigned pluses to the nays because Fischer's record indicates that he is supportive of central bank inflationary policies that create economic havoc. Moreover, the Federal Reserve, America's central bank that creates money out of thin air, is unconstitutional.



On the Nomination of Sylvia Burwell: Sylvia Mathews Burwell, of West Virginia, to be Secretary of Health and Human Services
Vote Date: June 5, 2014Vote: AYEBad Vote.
Burwell Nomination.

On April 11, 2014, President Obama nominated Sylvia Mathews Burwell to succeed Kathleen Sebelius as secretary of Health and Human Services. One of the most remarkable things about Burwell's resume is that she has served in so many high-level positions in government and the non-profit sector. For example, while serving for eight years in the Clinton administration, she rose to become deputy chief of staff to the president. During her decade serving in the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation (2001-2011), she was executive vice president, chief operating officer, and president of the Global Development Program. Of course, the Gates Foundation is a huge financial supporter of pro-abortion organizations, such as Planned Parenthood Federation of America and International Planned Parenthood Federation, and has funded the creation of the Common Core educational standards. She is also a member of the globalist-minded Council on Foreign Relations (CFR), serving on its Board of Directors from 2007 to 2013, and the Trilateral Commission. With this network of establishment elite connections, Burwell is especially well suited to implement the unconstitutional, socialistic ObamaCare legislation.

The Senate confirmed the nomination on June 5, 2014 by a vote of 78 to 17 (Roll Call 175). We have assigned pluses to the nays because opposing the nomination of such a high-ranking establishment operative to be point person for implementing the unconstitutional ObamaCare law should be a no-brainer for Constitution-supporting senators.



On Cloture on the Motion to Proceed S. 2223: A bill to provide for an increase in the Federal minimum wage and to amend the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 to extend increased expensing limitations and the treatment of certain real property as section 179 property.
Vote Date: April 30, 2014Vote: AYEBad Vote.
Minimum Wage.

During consideration of the bill to increase the federal minimum wage from $7.25 to $10.10 (S. 2223), Sen. Harry Reid (D-Nev.) offered a motion to invoke cloture, and thus limit debate, so the bill could come up for a vote.

The Senate rejected Reid's motion to invoke cloture on April 30, 2014 by a vote of 54 to 42 (60 votes, three-fifths of the full Senate, are needed to invoke cloture; Roll Call 117). We have assigned pluses to the nays because any debate on the Senate floor that could prevent a federal minimum wage increase is a good thing. A federal minimum wage is unconstitutional, since nowhere in the Constitution is the federal government authorized to dictate how much private businesses pay their employees for services performed as part of a private, voluntary contract. Furthermore, many studies have demonstrated that minimum wage increases always lead to more unemployment among the poor and unskilled workers, the very people whom the wage increase is ostensibly intended to help.



On Passage of the Bill H.R. 3979: A bill to amend the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 to ensure that emergency services volunteers are not taken into account as employees under the shared responsibility requirements contained in the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act.
Vote Date: April 7, 2014Vote: AYEBad Vote.
Unemployment Benefits Extension.

This bill (H.R. 3979) was for the extension of unemployment benefits through May 31 of 2014. These extended benefits were to be paid for by adjustments to employers' pension contributions and by extending U.S. Customs and Border Protection user fees through 2024.

The Senate passed H.R. 3979 on April 7, 2014 by a vote of 59 to 38 (Roll Call 101). We have assigned pluses to the nays because, by paying people unemployment benefits, the federal government is essentially subsidizing unemployment. That the federal government does this in the first place is bad enough, but any extension of said benefits is even worse. At a time when government debt is nearly $17 trillion, paying unemployment benefits is fiscally irresponsible. Furthermore, the U.S. Constitution nowhere authorizes the federal government to provide unemployment benefits to workers. This type of welfare should be handled on the state or local level, if handled by the government at all.



On the Amendment S.Amdt. 2867 to H.R. 4152 (Support for the Sovereignty, Integrity, Democracy, and Economic Stability of Ukraine Act of 2014): In the nature of a substitute.
Vote Date: March 27, 2014Vote: AYEBad Vote.
Ukraine Aid.

The Senate version of this legislation - offered in the form of a substitute amendment to the House version, H.R. 4152 — would provide $150 million for direct aid to Ukraine. It would also provide for loan guarantees (meaning that the U.S. taxpayers would be stuck holding the bag if the loans are not paid). And it would impose sanctions on Russian and ex-Ukrainian officials deemed responsible for the crisis in the Ukraine.

The Senate adopted the substitute amendment to H.R. 4152 on March 27, 2014 by a vote of 98 to 2 (Roll Call 88). We have assigned pluses to the nays because foreign aid is unconstitutional. The rationale for providing U.S. aid to Ukraine is that the country needs our assistance to resist Russian hegemony and build "democracy." Yet the oligarchs wielding power in Ukraine are hardly "democrats," and (because money is fungible) U.S. assistance could effectively be funneled to Russia in the form of Ukrainian energy and debt payments.



On Passage of the Bill S. 1086: A bill to reauthorize and improve the Child Care and Development Block Grant Act of 1990, and for other purposes.
Vote Date: March 13, 2014Vote: AYEBad Vote.
Child Care.

This bill (S. 1086) would reauthorize the Child Care and Development Block Grant program through fiscal 2020 and would further institute new standards for education, health, and safety on child care providers that receive funds under this program. It would also expand the information required from states regarding how they will make use of the funds, as well as require that the states develop plans that include guidelines for training and teaching children from the time they are born until they enroll in kindergarten. The CBO has estimated that implementing this bill would cost $16.8 billion over the 2015-2020 period.

The Senate passed S. 1086 on March 13, 2014 by a vote of 96 to 2 (Roll Call 77). We have assigned pluses to the nays because childcare funding is an unconstitutional activity of the federal government. Just based on the brief description of S. 1086 in the above paragraph, it is clear that this bill would increase federal oversight of child care and impose national standards reminiscent of what the widely reviled Common Core State (read National) Standards are doing to K-12 education.



On the Motion (Motion to Concur in the House Amendment to S.540): An act to temporarily extend the public debt limit, and for other purposes.
Vote Date: February 12, 2014Vote: AYEBad Vote.
Debt Limit Suspension.

This bill (S. 540), entitled the "Temporary Debt Limit Extension Act," would suspend the national debt limit on federal debt through March 15, 2015 - the temporary aspect of the legislation. But the additional debt accumulated between enactment of this bill and March 15, 2015 would not be "temporary," since on the following day the legislation would automatically re-establish the debt limit at a higher level, reflecting the additional debt.

The Senate passed S. 540 on February 12, 2014 by a vote of 55 to 43 (Roll Call 34). We have assigned pluses to the nays because the federal government should live within its means, suspending the debt limit is even worse than raising it, and most of the spending responsible for the ballooning national debt is unconstitutional. (The House passed this bill on February 11; see House vote below.)

[ This bill (S. 540), entitled the "Temporary Debt Limit Extension Act," would suspend the national debt limit on federal debt through March 15, 2015 - the temporary aspect of the legislation. But the additional debt accumulated between enactment of this bill and March 15, 2015 would not be "temporary," since on the following day the legislation would automatically re-establish the debt limit at a higher level, reflecting the additional debt. ]



On the Conference Report H.R. 2642: A bill to provide for the reform and continuation of agricultural and other programs of the Department of Agriculture through fiscal year 2018, and for other purposes.
Vote Date: February 4, 2014Vote: AYEBad Vote.
Farm and Food Programs.

This bill (H.R. 2642) would reauthorize federal farm and nutrition programs through fiscal 2018, including crop subsidies and the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, or SNAP, formerly known as food stamps. Though this legislation is entitled the Agriculture Act of 2014, most of the funding in the bill is not for agricultural programs but for food programs. The Congressional Budget Office estimated that the final version of this legislation (conference report) would cost $956 billion over 10 years, of which $756 billion would be for nutrition programs.

The Senate passed the conference report on February 4, 2014 by a vote of 68 to 32 (Roll Call 21). We have assigned pluses to the nays because both farm aid and food aid are unconstitutional. The food subsidy programs are supposed to help the poor, but in practice they have done little to lift people out of poverty, as evidenced by the growing number of recipients of these programs. (The House passed the conference report on January 29, 2014; see House vote below.)

[ This bill (H.R. 2642) would reauthorize federal farm and nutrition programs through fiscal 2018, including crop subsidies and the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, or SNAP, formerly known as food stamps. Though this bill is entitled the Agriculture Act of 2014, most of the funding in the bill is not for agricultural programs but for food programs. The Congressional Budget Office estimated that the final version of this legislation (conference report) would cost $956 billion over 10 years, of which $756 billion would be for nutrition programs. ]



On the Motion (Motion to Concur in the House Amendment to the Senate Amendment to H.R. 3547): Making consolidated appropriations for the fiscal year ending September 30, 2014, and for other purposes.
Vote Date: January 16, 2014Vote: AYEBad Vote.
Omnibus Appropriations.

On January 16, 2014, the Senate accepted the House concurrence in the Senate version of the omnibus appropriations bill (H.R. 3547), completing congressional action. H.R. 3547 provides about $1.1 trillion in discretionary appropriations in fiscal 2014 for numerous federal departments and agencies. The legislation satisfies the $1.012 trillion cap on discretionary spending established by the December budget deal, which had repealed a portion of sequestration cuts provided by the 2011 debt limit law. This amounts to a 2.6 percent increase in discretionary spending compared to the sequester-reduced level for fiscal 2013. See House vote below for more information.

[During consideration of the omnibus appropriations bill (H.R. 3547), Rep. Hal Rogers (R-Ky.) moved that the House concur with the Senate version of the bill that would provide about $1.1 trillion in discretionary spending in fiscal 2014 for the following federal departments and agencies: Agriculture ($20.9 billion), Commerce-Justice-Science ($51.6 billion), Defense ($572 billion), overseas contingency operations associated with the war in Afghanistan and other counterterrorism operations ($85.2 billion), Energy-Water ($34.1 billion), Financial Services ($21.9 billion), Homeland Security ($39.3 billion), Interior-Environment ($30.1 billion), Labor-HHS-Education ($156.8 billion), Legislative Branch ($4.3 billion), Military Construction-VA ($73.3 billion), State-Foreign Affairs ($49 billion), and Transportation-HUD ($50.9 billion). The legislation satisfies the $1.012 trillion cap on discretionary spending established by the December budget deal, which had repealed a portion of sequestration cuts provided by the 2011 debt limit law. This amounts to a 2.6 percent increase in discretionary spending compared to the sequester-reduced level for fiscal 2013. The bill also includes $98 billion not subject to the budget cap, including funding for war-related and anti-terrorism programs, as well as disaster relief.]

The Senate agreed to the final version of H.R. 3547 on January 16, 2014 by a vote of 72 to 26 (Roll Call 13). We have assigned pluses to the nays because with this budget agreement Congress is failing to address its fiscally and constitutionally irresponsible budgeting and appropriating process that is currently yielding annual federal deficits measured in the hundreds of billions of dollars that contribute directly to the dramatic growth of our $17 trillion national debt.



On the Nomination of Janet Yellen: Janet L. Yellen, of California, to be Chairman of the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System for a term of four years
Vote Date: January 6, 2014Vote: AYEBad Vote.
Yellen Nomination.

On October 9, 2013, President Obama nominated Janet Yellen to succeed Ben Bernanke as chair of the Federal Reserve. Having served as vice-chair of the Fed since October 2010, Yellen is closely associated with Bernanke's decision to proceed with "QE (Quantitative Easing) unlimited," the Fed's unlimited purchasing of bonds until the market "substantially" improves. Yellen's promotion to chair is a clear indication that the Fed will continue to recklessly pump trillions of newly created fiat (unbacked) dollars into the economy, in turn radically expanding the money supply and further diminishing the purchasing power of the dollar to buy goods and services, which is especially burdensome to the poor and elderly. Furthermore, Yellen's policy of keeping interest rates artificially low will encourage additional irresponsible and excessive borrowing, as well as malinvestments.

The Senate confirmed the nomination on January 6, 2014 by a vote of 56 to 26 (Roll Call 1). We have assigned pluses to the nays because of the economic havoc, caused by inflation, that Yellen contributed to as vice-chair and that she intends to continue as the new chair of the Fed. Furthermore, a central bank, such as the Fed, that creates money out of thin air is not authorized by the Constitution.



On the Motion (Motion to Concur in the House Amendment to the Senate Amendment to H.J.Res. 59): A joint resolution making continuing appropriations for fiscal year 2014, and for other purposes.
Vote Date: December 18, 2013Vote: AYEBad Vote.
Budget Agreement.

On December 18, 2013, the Senate accepted the House concurrence in the Senate version of H. J. Res. 59, the budget agreement. See House vote below for more information.

[ During consideration of the Budget Agreement for fiscal 2014 (House Joint Resolution 59), Rep. Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) moved that the House concur with the Senate version of the fiscal 2014 continuing resolution (H. J. Res 59) that would increase the discretionary spending caps for fiscal 2014 and 2015 to $1.012 trillion and $1.014 trillion, respectively. This represents an increase of $26 billion for 2014 and $19 billion for 2015. Furthermore, this amounts to the elimination of $63 billion in sequester cuts for 2014 and 2015. Rep. Justin Amash (R-Mich.) explained his no vote on this budget agreement in a Facebook post for December 24, 2013: "Instead of real compromise to reform the biggest budget items contributing to our $17 trillion debt — Social Security, military spending, and Medicare - the bill increases federal spending for special interests by tens of billions of dollars and pays for it by raising taxes on millions of Americans." ]

The Senate agreed to the final version of H. J. Res. 59 on December 18, 2013 by a vote of 64 to 36 (Roll Call 281). We have assigned pluses to the nays because with this budget agreement Congress is failing to address its fiscally and constitutionally irresponsible budgeting and appropriating process that is currently yielding annual federal deficits measured in the hundreds of billions of dollars that contribute directly to the dramatic growth of our $17 trillion national debt.



On Passage of the Bill S. 815: A bill to prohibit employment discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation or gender identity.
Vote Date: November 7, 2013Vote: AYEBad Vote.
Employment Nondiscrimination.
This bill (S. 815) would prohibit employers, employment agencies, and labor organizations from discriminating against employees, applicants, or members on the basis of perceived or actual sexual orientation or gender identity. This essentially gives homosexual and transgender persons a "protected status" where employment is concerned. Religious organizations are exempt from this bill, but organizations owned by or affiliated with religious organizations are not.

The Senate passed the bill on November 7, 2013 by a vote of 64 to 32 (Roll Call 232). We have assigned pluses to the nays because the federal government is overstepping its constitutional boundaries by dictating the hiring practices of private employers. While the exemption for religious organizations is a good thing, the bill is still a serious infringement on private property rights as it limits what a person can and cannot do on his or her private property, in this case a business.



On the Motion to Proceed S.J.Res. 26: A joint resolution relating to the disapproval of the President's exercise of authority to suspend the debt limit, as submitted under section 1002(b) of the Continuing Appropriations Act, 2014 on October 17, 2013.
Vote Date: October 29, 2013Vote: NAYBad Vote.
Debt Limit Increase Disapproval.
The legislation passed by Congress and signed into law by the president to fund the federal government including ObamaCare through January 15, 2014 (see below) also provided for the suspension of the national debt ceiling through February 7, 2014. By suspending this limit on how much money the federal government may borrow, the president can run up the national debt by whatever amount he deems necessary to meet government obligations, without having to ask Congress to once again increase federal borrowing authority. However, the legislation includes a procedure for Congress to disapprove of the president raising the national debt limit.

In accordance with this procedure, Senator Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) made a motion to consider a resolution (Senate Joint Resolution 26) to disapprove of President Obama suspending the national debt limit. His motion of disapproval was rejected on October 29, 2013 by a vote of 45 to 54 (Roll Call 220). We have assigned pluses to the yeas because the federal government should live within its means and because most of the spending responsible for the ballooning national debt is unconstitutional.

[ GOP Cave-in. The impasse over the continuing appropriations bill came to an end when, on the 16th day of the partial government shutdown, the House concurred in a Senate amendment that rewrote the House bill H.R. 2775, which had only contained a provision to prevent ObamaCare subsidies to individuals without verifying income, etc. As amended, the bill suspended the federal debt limit through February 7, 2014, and continued funding government operations through January 15, 2014 at the fiscal 2013 post-sequestration spending level. It did not include any provision to defund ObamaCare.]



On Passage of the Bill H.R. 2775: An act making continuing appropriations for the fiscal year ending September 30, 2014, and for other purposes.
Vote Date: October 16, 2013Vote: AYEBad Vote.
Continuing Resolution.
This bill (H.R. 2775), as amended by the Senate (see below), was the result of a negotiated deal that ended the partial government shutdown over the Republican attempt to defund ObamaCare. It continued funding government operations, including ObamaCare, through January 15, 2014. The amount of spending in the bill was based on the fiscal 2013 post-sequestration spending level. The legislation also suspended the federal debt limit through February 7, 2014.

The Senate passed the bill on October 16, 2013 by a vote of 81 to 18 (Roll Call 219). We have assigned pluses to the nays because the negotiated deal contained in this bill constituted a cave-in by congressional Republicans that ended the Republican attempt to defund the unconstitutional ObamaCare law.

[ GOP Cave-in. The impasse over the continuing appropriations bill came to an end when, on the 16th day of the partial government shutdown, the House concurred in a Senate amendment that rewrote the House bill H.R. 2775, which had only contained a provision to prevent ObamaCare subsidies to individuals without verifying income, etc. As amended, the bill suspended the federal debt limit through February 7, 2014, and continued funding government operations through January 15, 2014 at the fiscal 2013 post-sequestration spending level. It did not include any provision to defund ObamaCare.]



On the Amendment S.Amdt. 1974 to H.J.Res. 59 (Continuing Appropriations Resolution, 2014): Of a perfecting nature.
Vote Date: September 27, 2013Vote: AYEBad Vote.
Continuing Resolution/Defunding ObamaCare.
During consideration of the fiscal 2014 continuing appropriations bill (House Joint Resolution 59), Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) offered a perfecting amendment that replaces the text of the continuing resolution with language supported by Senate Democrats. The amendment would strip from the bill language supported by the House to defund ObamaCare. It would also provide continuing appropriations to fund government operations from the start of fiscal year 2014 on October 1, 2013 through November 15, 2013 that would reflect an annual "discretionary" spending level of about $986.3 billion - approximately the same amount of discretionary spending in fiscal 2013.

The Senate adopted Reid's amendment on September 27, 2013 by a vote of 54 to 44 (Roll Call 208). We have assigned pluses to the nays because the Senate used this amendment to reject the House's attempt to defund the unconstitutional ObamaCare law. The impasse between the House-passed CR that would have defunded ObamaCare (see below) and the Senate language that continued funding ObamaCare along with other government operations, led to the 16-day partial government shutdown.

[ House Bill: House Joint Resolution 59 would provide continuing appropriations to fund government operations from the beginning of fiscal year 2014 on October 1, 2013 until December 15, 2013 at approximately the same amount of "discretionary" spending as fiscal 2013, and it would defund ObamaCare. This bill represents the House Republicans' implementation of the strategy for defunding ObamaCare via a continuing resolution (CR). The bill contains appropriations for huge amounts of unconstitutional spending, it would completely defund unconstitutional ObamaCare in fiscal 2014. ]



On the Joint Resolution H.J.Res. 59: A joint resolution making continuing appropriations for fiscal year 2014, and for other purposes.
Vote Date: September 27, 2013Vote: AYEBad Vote.
Continuing Resolution.
This vote represents Senate passage of the continuing resolution (House Joint Resolution 59), as amended by the Reid perfecting amendment (described by Senate vote below) to continue funding the federal government, including ObamaCare, through November 15, 2013.

[ Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) offered a perfecting amendment that replaces the text of the continuing resolution with language supported by Senate Democrats. The amendment would strip from the bill language supported by the House to defund ObamaCare. ]

The Senate passed this version of the continuing resolution on September 27, 2013 by a vote of 54 to 44 (Roll Call 209). We have assigned pluses to the nays because this vote affirmed the Senate's rejection of the House's attempt to defund the unconstitutional ObamaCare law. At the time, however, the House was unwilling to back down, and a modified version of the continuing resolution - albeit one including the ObamaCare funding - was later passed by both the Senate and the House (see below).

[ GOP Cave-in. The impasse over the continuing appropriations bill came to an end when, on the 16th day of the partial government shutdown, the House concurred in a Senate amendment that rewrote the House bill H.R. 2775, which had only contained a provision to prevent ObamaCare subsidies to individuals without verifying income, etc. As amended, the bill suspended the federal debt limit through February 7, 2014, and continued funding government operations through January 15, 2014 at the fiscal 2013 post-sequestration spending level. It did not include any provision to defund ObamaCare.]



On the Cloture Motion S. 1243: An original bill making appropriations for the Departments of Transportation, and Housing and Urban Development, and related agencies for the fiscal year ending September 30, 2014, and for other purposes.
Vote Date: August 1, 2013Vote: AYEBad Vote.
Transportation-HUD Appropriations.
This appropriations bill (S. 1243) would provide $54 billion in fiscal 2014 for the Departments of Transportation and Housing and Urban Development (HUD). Total spending called for by the bill would be "about $5.6 billion more than the current level under the sequester," according to Congressional Quarterly. And much of the spending allocations — such as $19.6 billion for the Section 8 rental-assistance program — is unconstitutional.

Republicans filibustered against the bill because of the amount of spending it contained. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.), who favored the bill, offered a motion to invoke cloture, in order to break the filibuster and allow the bloated bill to come to a vote. But the Senate rejected Reid's motion on August 1, 2013 by a vote of 54 to 43 (60 votes - three-fifths of the full Senate - are needed to invoke cloture; Roll Call 199). We have assigned pluses to the nays not only because the bill called for more spending but also because much of the spending is unconstitutional.



On the Motion to Table S.Amdt. 1739 to S. 1243 (Transportation, Housing and Urban Development, and Related Agencies Appropriations): To redirect certain foreign assistance to the Government of Egypt as a result of the July 3, 2013, military coup d'etat.
Vote Date: July 31, 2013Vote: AYEBad Vote.
Aid to Egypt.
During consideration of the fiscal 2014 Transportation-HUD appropriations bill (S. 1243), Sen. Bob Corker (R-Tenn.) offered a motion to table (kill) an amendment by Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.). Paul's amendment would have established that the July 3, 2013 overthrow of the Mohammed Morsi government in Egypt was a military coup d'état, thus prohibiting the United States from providing military aid to Egypt until another "democratic" election occurs. As Paul noted in the text of the amendment, "The United States is legally prohibited from providing foreign assistance to any country whose duly elected head of government is deposed by a military coup d'état, or removed in such a way that the military plays a decisive role.... [Military aid] shall be halted until the President certifies to Congress that democratic national elections have taken place in Egypt followed by a peaceful transfer of power."

The money that would be used for military aid to Egypt would instead, under Paul’s amendment, be redirected for the repair of U.S. bridges and other critical national highways.

The Senate agreed to the motion and killed the Paul amendment on July 31, 2013 by a vote of 86 to 13 (Roll Call 195). We have assigned pluses to the nays because a reduction in foreign aid, particularly in the form of military assistance, is a good thing. The Constitution does not authorize the government to give foreign aid and meddle in other nations’ internal affairs, so while Paul's amendment would allow for the resumption of aid to Egypt, it would still be an improvement on the status quo.



On the Cloture Motion S. 1238: A bill to amend the Higher Education Act of 1965 to extend the current reduced interest rate for undergraduate Federal Direct Stafford Loans for 1 year, to modify required distribution rules for pension plans, and for other purposes.
Vote Date: July 10, 2013Vote: AYEBad Vote.
Student Loans.
During consideration of the Keep Student Loans Affordable Act of 2013 (S. 1238), Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) offered a motion to invoke cloture and thus end debate on the bill so it could be voted on. This act would serve to extend the 3.4-percent interest rate on undergraduate Stafford loans disbursed to students between July 1, 2011, and July 1, 2013 to between July 1, 2011, and July 1, 2014.

The Senate rejected Reid's motion, and thus did not invoke cloture, on July 10, 2013 by a vote of 51 to 49 (Roll Call 171). We have assigned pluses to the nays because forcing a vote on an unconstitutional action of the federal government is a bad thing. The U.S. government should not be in the business of subsidizing higher education to begin with, and continuing a low interest rate on student loans would merely encourage this unconstitutional activity. Additionally, owing to the ease of obtaining government loans for education and the sheer amount of unpaid student debt, the nation is now facing a colossal "student debt bubble" that could have severe negative economic consequences.



On Passage of the Bill S. 744: A bill to provide for comprehensive immigration reform and for other purposes.
Vote Date: June 27, 2013Vote: AYEBad Vote.
Immigration Reform.
This bill (S. 744) would provide an overhaul of U.S. immigration policy that features the granting of immediate legal status for most illegal immigrants in the United States (aka amnesty), new visa programs for a wide range of workers from low-skilled to high-skilled, and new border security measures (only reducing the illegal immigration rate by 25-50 percent according to the Congressional Budget Office). While the rate of legal immigration into the United States is currently about one million per year, this bill would raise the average legal immigration rate to several million per year.

The Senate passed the Immigration Overhaul on June 27, 2013 by a vote of 68 to 32 (Roll Call 168). We have assigned pluses to the nays because the large-scale amnesty and new visa programs coupled with a lack of effective border security would lead to both large increases in legal immigration and continuing large-scale illegal immigration, even though the U.S. government has the duty under Article IV, Section 4 of the Constitution to "protect [every state] against Invasion." Furthermore, we have assigned pluses to the nays because, by granting amnesty, increasing levels of legal immigration, and permitting continued large-scale illegal immigration, this bill provides a transition to the open borders sought by the advocates of a North American Union and other regional government schemes threatening our national sovereignty.



On the Motion to Table S.Amdt. 1200 to S. 744 (Border Security, Economic Opportunity, and Immigration Modernization Act): To provide for enhanced border security, including strong border security metrics and congressional votes on border security and for other purposes.
Vote Date: June 19, 2013Vote: AYEBad Vote.
Border Security.
During consideration of the Immigration Overhaul (S. 744), Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) offered a motion to table (kill) an amendment offered by Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) that would "not allow the processing of this new category called registered provisional immigrants until Congress votes that the border is secure." Paul's amendment featured a requirement that Congress certify every year for five years that the border is secure or at least making specific progress toward border security as defined in detail by the amendment. If Congress would vote in any of these five years that the border is not becoming more secure, then the processing of people as "registered provisional immigrants" as provided for in S. 744 would stop until Congress would vote that the border is becoming more secure.

The Senate agreed to Reid's motion and killed the Paul amendment on June 19, 2013 by a vote of 61 to 37 (Roll Call 154). We have assigned pluses to the nays because it is the constitutional duty of the United States to "protect [every state] against Invasion" (Article IV, Section 4).



On Passage of the Bill S. 954: An original bill to reauthorize agricultural programs through 2018.
Vote Date: June 10, 2013Vote: AYEBad Vote.
Food and Farm Programs. The farm bill (S. 954) would authorize federal farm and food programs through fiscal 2018. It would also replace direct payments to farmers with a new "adverse market payments" program that would provide subsidies when prices fall below a historic reference. The Congressional Budget Office estimates that the total cost of S. 954 would be $955 billion for the 10-year period 2014-2023. This legislation is generally referred to as the farm bill, but most of the spending is for SNAP (formerly known as food stamps) and other "nutrition" programs in the bill. CBO estimates that the nutrition programs would cost $760 billion over 10 years, compared to $41.4 billion for farm commodity programs.

The Senate passed the farm bill on June 10, 2013 by a vote of 66 to 27 (Roll Call 145). We have assigned pluses to the nays because both federal food and farm subsidies are unconstitutional. Though the CBO estimates that S. 954 would cost $18 billion less over 10 years than under current law, this reduction would only be 1.9 percent of projected spending.



On the Amendment S.Amdt. 965 to S. 954 (Agriculture Reform, Food, and Jobs Act of 2013): To permit States to require that any food, beverage, or other edible product offered for sale have a label on indicating that the food, beverage, or other edible product contains a genetically engineered ingredient.
Vote Date: May 23, 2013Vote: NAYBad Vote.
Product Labeling for Genetically Modified Food. During consideration of the Farm Bill (S. 954), Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) offered an amendment (Amendment 965) to allow states to require that any food, beverage, or other edible product have a label indicating that it contains a genetically engineered ingredient, such as pesticide-resistant plants.

Sen. Sanders remarked during consideration of his amendment: "This is a pretty simple issue, and the issue is do the American people have a right to know what they are eating, what is in the food they are ingesting and what their kids are eating.... What this amendment does is very simple. It basically says States that choose to go forward on this issue do have the right. It is not condemning GMOs or anything else. It is simply saying that States have the right to go forward."

The Senate rejected Sanders' amendment on May 23, 2013 by a vote of 27 to 71 (Roll Call 135). We have assigned pluses to the yeas because the federal government does not have the constitutional authority to prevent states from enacting their own product-labeling requirements.



On Passage of the Bill S. 743: A bill to restore States' sovereign rights to enforce State and local sales and use tax laws, and for other purposes.
Vote Date: May 6, 2013Vote: AYEBad Vote.
Internet Sales Tax. This bill (S. 743) would allow states to require out-of-state retailers with annual online sales that exceed $1 million to collect sales taxes on items delivered to the state. States would have to simplify how they collect and audit their sales taxes, and provide free software to retailers to calculate the taxes owed. States would not be allowed to impose different sales tax requirements on out-of-state online sellers from those required of in-state retailers.

The Senate passed S. 743 on May 6, 2013 by a vote of 69 to 27 (Roll Call 113). We have assigned pluses to the nays because the Internet sales tax would essentially be a tax on interstate commerce, which is unconstitutional according to Article I Section 9: "No Tax or Duty shall be laid on Articles exported from any State." Furthermore, requiring online retailers to collect sales taxes from numerous states would pose onerous burdens to small businesses and hinder economic growth.



On the Amendment S.Amdt. 711 to S. 649 (Safe Communities, Safe Schools Act of2013): To regulate assault weapons, to ensure that the right to keep and bear arms is not unlimited, and for other purposes.
Vote Date: April 17, 2013Vote: NAYGood Vote.
"Assault Weapons" Ban. During consideration of gun control legislation (S. 649), Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) offered an amendment that would ban the future manufacture, import, sale, transfer, or possession of certain semi-automatic firearms considered to be "assault weapons."

According to an article by Tim Brown entitled "Dianne Feinstein's Assault Weapons Ban Defeated," posted on freedomoutpost.com on April 17, 2013, "The legislation that would have banned the sale of 157 different semi-automatic weapons, including handguns and even shotguns, along with high capacity magazines has come to its much deserved end. This bill was similar but even more expansive than her previous gun ban bill that was passed in 1994 and signed into law by Bill Clinton."

The Senate rejected Feinstein's amendment on April 17, 2013 by a vote of 40 to 60 (Roll Call 101). We have assigned pluses to the nays because banning firearms from law-abiding citizens is a clear violation of the Constitution - the Second Amendment guarantees that our "right to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed."



On the Amendment S.Amdt. 714 to S. 649 (Safe Communities, Safe Schools Act of2013): To regulate large capacity ammunition feeding devices.
Vote Date: April 17, 2013Vote: NAYGood Vote.
High-capacity Clip Ban. During consideration of gun-control legislation (S. 649), Sen. Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.) offered an amendment on behalf of Sen. Frank Lautenberg that would ban the future manufacture, import, sale, transfer, or possession of ammunition clips holding more than 10 rounds, with exemptions for law-enforcement officials.

During the floor debate on this amendment, Senator Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) made these remarks, "Mr. President, I oppose the amendment. In 2004, we had a study by the Department of Justice, which is the last time we had the large-capacity magazine banned. It found no evidence banning such magazines has led to a reduction in gun violence. The study also concluded it is not clear how often the outcomes of the gun attack depend on the ability of offenders to fire more than 10 shots without reloading. The report found no evidence more people would be alive if a magazine over 10 rounds was banned. Secondly, there is no evidence banning these magazines has reduced the deaths from gun crimes. In fact, when the previous ban was in effect, a higher percentage of gun crime victims were killed or wounded than before it was adopted."

The Senate rejected Blumenthal's amendment on April 17, 2013 by a vote of 46 to 54 (Roll Call 103). We have assigned pluses to the nays because banning high-capacity ammunition clips for law-abiding citizens is a clear violation of the Constitution - the Second Amendment guarantees that our "right to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed."



On the Amendment S.Amdt. 139 to S.Con.Res. 8: To uphold Second Amendment rights and prevent the United States from entering into the United Nations Arms Trade Treaty.
Vote Date: March 23, 2013Vote: AYEGood Vote.
UN Arms Trade Treaty. During consideration of the budget resolution (Senate Concurrent Resolution 8), Sen. Jim Inhofe (R-Okla.) offered an amendment to "uphold Second Amendment rights and prevent the United States from entering into the United Nations Arms Trade Treaty." As firearms researcher John Lott pointed out in "Buyers, beware: UN Arms Trade Treaty will regulate individual gun ownership," posted on FoxNews.com: "Unsurprisingly, the U.N. treaty provisions are the long-time favorites of American gun control advocates: registration and licensing of guns and ammunition, along with restrictions on the private gun transfers." Although Inhofe's amendment is non-binding, it provides encouragement that if and when the UN Arms Trade Treaty is brought to the Senate floor for a vote, there will not be the necessary two-thirds majority required for ratification.

The Senate adopted Inhofe's amendment on March 23, 2013 by a vote of 53 to 46 (Roll Call 91). We have assigned pluses to the yeas because a UN treaty that infringes on the Second Amendment of the Constitution should not be ratified.



On the Amendment S.Amdt. 494 to S.Con.Res. 8: To establish a deficit-neutral reserve fund to promote investment and job growth in United States manufacturing, oil and gas production, and refining sectors through the construction of the Keystone XL Pipeline.
Vote Date: March 22, 2013Vote: AYEGood Vote.
Keystone XL Pipeline. During consideration of the budget resolution (Senate Concurrent Resolution 8), Sen. John Hoeven (R-N.D.) offered an amendment that would "establish a deficit-neutral reserve fund to promote investment and job growth in United States manufacturing, oil and gas production, and refining sectors through the construction of the Keystone XL Pipeline."

According to a Reuters story posted online on March 22, 2013, "The Senate easily passed on Friday a symbolic measure approving the Canada to Texas Keystone XL oil pipeline, a move backers said showed strong support for a bill that would give Congress power to green light the project later in the year.... It was symbolic because the budget is a blueprint that will not become law."

(See House Vote below for information on similar legislation.)

[[ H.R. 3 would declare that "no Presidential permit shall be required for the pipeline described in the application filed on May 4, 2012, by TransCanada Keystone Pipeline, L.P.," which includes the Nebraska reroute that was evaluated and approved in early 2013. This bill would also deem that the Keystone project has already satisfied all requirements of the National Environmental Policy Act of 1969 and of the National Historic Preservation Act.

According to a Reuters story posted online on May 22, 2013, "The project has been hailed by the energy industry as part of the U.S. push toward energy independence. It is also supported by many unions because it would provide thousands of construction jobs. Environmentalists have vociferously opposed the pipeline, saying it would raise greenhouse gas levels and lock the United States into long-term dependence on fossil fuels." ]]

The Senate adopted Hoeven's amendment on March 22, 2013 by a vote of 62 to 37 (Roll Call 61). We have assigned pluses to the yeas because the federal government should allow entrepreneurs to develop energy resources, rather than deny access.



On the Amendment S.Amdt. 263 to S.Con.Res. 8: In the nature of a substitute.
Vote Date: March 22, 2013Vote: NAYBad Vote.
Balanced Budget Resolution. Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) offered a substitute amendment with a replacement budget (Amendment 263) to the budget resolution (Senate Concurrent Resolution 8). The amendment called for a balanced budget in five years with no revenue increases. As Paul said, "This budget is called the Revitalize America Budget. It reforms and saves Social Security and Medicare, making them solvent for 75 years; it creates millions of jobs by letting taxpayers keep an additional $600 billion of their income; it repeals ObamaCare; and it requires Congress to vote to approve or disapprove all major regulations. Our ever-expanding debt is costing us millions of jobs a year. It is time to stop burying our kids in debt."

Paul's proposed budget would also have eliminated the Commerce, Housing and Urban Development, Education, and Energy departments. A tax code overhaul that would eliminate the estate and capital gains taxes and switch to a flat tax system was also included.

The Senate rejected Paul's substitute amendment on March 22, 2013 by a vote of 18 to 81 (Roll Call 69). We have assigned pluses to the yeas because any reduction of unconstitutional federal agencies and massive amounts of debt-laden, unconstitutional federal spending, without revenue increases, is desirable.



On Passage of the Bill H.R. 325: A bill to ensure the complete and timely payment of the obligations of the United States Government until May 19, 2013, and for other purposes.
Vote Date: January 31, 2013Vote: AYEBad Vote.
Short-term Debt Limit Increase. This bill (H.R. 325), voted on in January 2013, would suspend the public debt limit through May 18, 2013 and in effect allow the Treasury Department to borrow as much as it needs in order to pay its bills over the next four months: February, March, April, and May. Another provision in the bill would withhold pay for representatives or senators if either house fails to approve a budget by April 15. The pay would be withheld for each member of Congress until his or her house agrees to a concurrent resolution on the budget for fiscal 2014 or until the last day of the 113th Congress.

The Senate passed H.R. 325 on January 31, 2013 by a vote of 64 to 34 (Roll Call 11). We have assigned pluses to the nays because the federal government should live within its means and because most of the spending responsible for the ballooning national debt is unconstitutional.



On Passage of the Bill H.R. 152: A bill making supplemental appropriations for the fiscal year ending September 30, 2013, and for other purposes.
Vote Date: January 28, 2013Vote: AYEBad Vote.
Disaster Supplemental (Superstorm Sandy). This bill (H.R. 152) would appropriate $50.5 billion in emergency supplemental funding for communities hit by Superstorm Sandy. According to Congressional Quarterly, "The bill would include $11.5 billion for FEMA's Disaster Relief Fund, $10.9 billion for transit systems, $16 billion for Department of Housing and Urban Development community development programs, $5.4 billion for the Army Corps of Engineers, $708 million for repairs to national parks, wildlife refuges and facilities, $234 million for Veterans Affairs medical activities and construction projects, $274 million for Coast Guard projects, and $520 million for Small Business Administration disaster loans."

The Senate passed H.R. 152 on January 28, 2013 by a vote of 62 to 36 (Roll Call 4). We have assigned pluses to the nays because federally financing disaster relief is unconstitutional.



H.J.Res. 117: Continuing Appropriations Resolution, 2013
Vote Date: September 13, 2012Vote: AYEBad Vote.
Continuing Resolution. House Joint Resolution 117 would provide continuing appropriations for the federal government from October 1, 2012 through March 27, 2013. This would amount to an annualized rate of $1.047 trillion in "discretionary" spending for regular appropriations, and would include a 0.6 percent increase in funding for most federal programs and agencies. This continuing resolution would also provide nearly $100 billion in war funding and $6.4 billion in advance disaster relief funds.

To put this appropriations bill into perspective, consider what the Congressional Budget Office reported on August 22, 2012: "For fiscal year 2012 (which ends on September 30), the federal budget deficit will total $1.1 trillion, CBO estimates, marking the fourth year in a row with a deficit of more than $1 trillion." This deficit is based on the CBO's estimates of $2.435 trillion in federal revenue and $3.563 trillion in federal outlays for fiscal 2012. Therefore, 32 percent of every federal dollar spent in 2012 had to be borrowed. For 2011, 2010, and 2009 the shortfall has been 36, 37, and 40 percent respectively.

The House passed H. J. Res. 117 on September 13, 2012 by a vote of 329 to 91 (Roll Call 579). We have assigned pluses to the nays because passage of this mammoth continuing resolution provided a way for Congress to perpetuate its fiscally irresponsible, unconstitutional spending habits with a minimum of accountability to its constituents.



H.R. 5949: FISA Amendments Act Reauthorization Act of 2012
Vote Date: September 12, 2012Vote: AYEBad Vote.
FISA. The proposed FISA Amendments Act Reauthorization Act of 2012 (H.R. 5949) would reauthorize for five years, through 2017, the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA), which governs electronic surveillance of foreign terrorism suspects. The law allows warrantless surveillance of foreign targets who may be communicating with people in the United States, provided that the secret FISA court approves surveillance procedures.

The Senate passed H.R. 5949 on September 12, 2012 by a vote of 301 to 118 (Roll Call 569). We have assigned pluses to the nays because warrantless surveillance is unconstitutional and violates privacy and individual liberty. While ostensibly carried out only on "foreign suspects" communicating with U.S. citizens, it is difficult to imagine this surveillance not extending to U.S. citizens.



H.R. 8: American Taxpayer Relief Act of 2012
Vote Date: August 1, 2012Vote: AYEGood Vote.
Tax Cut Extension. In view of the looming "fiscal cliff" of expiring tax cuts, tax increases, and automatic spending cuts set to take place January 1, 2013, Rep. Dave Camp (R-Mich.) offered a bill (H.R. 8) to extend all of the expiring Bush-era tax rates for one year. The bill would effectively tie alternative minimum tax exemption amounts to inflation in 2012 and 2013; extend the so-called marriage penalty-tax relief, the $1,000 child tax credit, and the 15-percent top tax rate on dividends and capital gains; and keep the estate tax at its current levels.

The House passed the bill on August 1, 2012, by a vote of 256 to 171 (Roll Call 545). We have assigned pluses to the yeas because extending the tax cuts keeps more money in the hands of citizens, where it can be invested into the economy, thus spurring economic growth. Of course, the deficits need to be eliminated, but the way to accomplish this is to cut spending, not increase taxes.



On Motion to Suspend the Rules and Pass H.R. 459: Federal Reserve Transparency Act of 2012
Vote Date: July 25, 2012Vote: AYEGood Vote.
Federal Reserve Audit. Rep. Ron Paul (R-Texas) introduced a bill (H.R. 459) to require a full audit of the board of governors of the Federal Reserve System and the Federal Reserve banks by the comptroller general of the United States.

The House passed the bill on July 25, 2012 by a vote of 327 to 98 (Roll Call 513). We have assigned pluses to the yeas because the Federal Reserve System, essentially a cartel of private banks functioning as a central bank, is unconstitutional and is responsible for much of the nation's current financial problems via its control of money and credit. An audit of the Fed would shed light on its otherwise secretive practices and perhaps open the door for its eventual abolishment.



H.Amdt. 1416 to H.R. 5856: An amendment to prohibit the use of funds used in contravention of section 7 of title 1, United States Code.
Vote Date: July 19, 2012Vote: AYEGood Vote.
Defense of Marriage Act. Rep. Steve King (R-Iowa) introduced an amendment to the Department of Defense Appropriations Act (H.R. 5856) "to prohibit the use of funds used in contravention of section 7 of title 1, United States Code." Section 7 of title 1 of the U.S. Code is better known as the Defense of Marriage Act.

When Rep. King offered his amendment on the floor of the House on July 19, he explained: "What we've seen since the passage of the Defense of Marriage Act is an effort on the part of the executive branch to undermine, I believe, marriage between one man and one woman within our military ranks.... Congress directs and acts within the authority of article I of the Constitution, our legislative authority, and the President of the United States, or his executives who are empowered by him, seek to undermine the law of the United States, instead of coming here to this Congress and asking for the law to be changed, or simply accepting the idea that they've taken an oath to uphold the Constitution of the United States and the rule of law, and to take care, under article II, section 3, that the laws be faithfully executed."

The House adopted King's amendment on July 19, 2012 by a vote of 247 to 166 (Roll Call 487). We have assigned pluses to the yeas because the Constitution grants "all legislative powers" exclusively to Congress in Article I, Section 1 and requires the president to "take care that the laws be faithfully executed" in Article II, Section 3.



H.Amdt. 1414 to H.R. 5856: An amendment to reduce appropriations made in Title IX of the bill by $20,843,869,000. The reduction shall not apply to the following accounts 1) Defense Health Program; 2) Drug Interdiction and Counter-Drug Activities, Defense; 3) Joint Improvised Explosive Device Defeat Fund; and 4) Office of the Inspector General.
Vote Date: July 18, 2012Vote: NAYBad Vote.
Afghanistan Withdrawal (Defense Appropriations Reduction). During consideration of the Defense appropriations bill for fiscal 2013 (H.R. 5856), Rep. Barbara Lee (D-Calif.) proposed an amendment to cut overseas military spending by almost $21 billion. The intent behind the amendment was to allow enough funding for an orderly withdrawal from the unpopular war in Afghanistan but not enough to continue the conflict. According to Rep. Lee, the original bill includes over $85 billion for the war in Afghanistan.

The House rejected Lee's amendment on July 18, 2012 by a vote of 107 to 312 (Roll Call 485). We have assigned pluses to the yeas because the massive expenditure on undeclared foreign wars and nation building is unconstitutional and unaffordable.



On Motion to Suspend the Rules and Pass H.R. 6018: Foreign Relations Authorization Act, Fiscal Year 2013
Vote Date: July 17, 2012Vote: AYEBad Vote.
Foreign Relations Authorization. The Foreign Relations Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2013 (H.R. 6018) authorizes $9 billion for the State Department's diplomatic and consular programs, $1.6 billion for dues to international organizations (about $0.6 billion for UN regular budget dues and about $1 billion in contributions to 43 other UN-system, regional, and non-UN organizations), and $1.8 billion for contributions for UN peacekeeping activities. The United States is the largest contributor to UN dues and peacekeeping, paying 22 percent of total UN regular dues and 27 percent of UN peacekeeping operations.

When the U.S. Senate approved U.S. participation in the United Nations by a vote of 65 to 7 on December 4, 1945, it violated the Constitution by ceding our national sovereignty regarding engaging in wars to the United Nations. Whereas the Constitution grants the power "to declare war" exclusively to Congress in Article I, Section 8, the UN Charter grants this power to the UN's Security Council.

The House passed H.R. 6018 on July 17, 2012 by a vote of 333 to 61 (Roll Call 469). We have assigned pluses to the nays because U.S. participation in the United Nations involves an unconstitutional delegation of our national sovereignty to the UN.



H.R. 6079: Repeal of Obamacare Act
Vote Date: July 11, 2012Vote: NAYBad Vote.
ObamaCare Repeal. The Repeal of Obamacare Act (H.R. 6079) would repeal both the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (Public Law 111-148) and the Health Care and Education Reconciliation Act (Public Law 111-152), known collectively as ObamaCare, and the provisions of law amended or repealed by these two acts would be restored or revived as if such acts had not been enacted.

Despite the Supreme Court's June 28 decision upholding the constitutionality of the individual mandate of ObamaCare, a careful reading of the legislative powers granted to Congress in Article I, Section 8 of the Constitution does not reveal any legislative power to fund or regulate healthcare.

The House passed H.R. 6079 on July 11, 2012 by a vote of 244 to 185 (Roll Call 460). We have assigned pluses to the yeas because ObamaCare is an unconstitutional government takeover of nearly 20 percent of our nation's economy.



H.Res. 711: Recommending that the House of Representatives find Eric H. Holder, Jr., Attorney General, U.S. Department of Justice, in contempt of Congress for refusal to comply with a subpoena duly issued by the Committee on Oversight and Government Reform.
Vote Date: June 28, 2012Vote: AYEGood Vote.
Eric Holder Contempt Resolution. After Attorney General Eric Holder refused to comply with a subpoena issued by the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform to provide documents regarding the "Operation Fast and Furious" gun-walking scandal, Rep. Darrell Issa (R-Calif.) introduced a resolution (H. Res. 711) to hold him in contempt of Congress.

The House passed Rep. Issa's resolution on June 28, 2012 by a vote of 255 to 67 (Roll Call 441). We have assigned pluses to the yeas because Holder's refusal to comply with a subpoena issued by Congress is a clear violation of the constitutional principle of separation of powers, and as a member of the executive branch he essentially "thumbed his nose" at the legislative branch.



H.Amdt. 1266 to H.R. 5855: An amendment to prohibit the use of funds to be used to finalize, implement, administer, or enforce the "Morton Memos". The term "Morton Memos" refers to 1) Policy Number 10072.1, published on March 2, 2011; 2) Policy Number 10075.1, published on June 17, 2011; 3) Policy Number 10076.1, published on June 17, 2011.
Vote Date: June 7, 2012Vote: NAYBad Vote.
Immigration Enforcement. During consideration of the fiscal 2013 Homeland Security appropriations bill (H.R. 5855), Rep. Steve King (R-Iowa) introduced an amendment "to prohibit the use of funds to be used to finalize, implement, administer, or enforce" Immigration and Customs Enforcement memos (known as the Morton memos) regarding prosecutorial discretion to prioritize the removal of certain illegal immigrants.

A few weeks after the vote on this amendment, Rep. Lou Barletta (R-Pa.) sent U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder a letter demanding answers regarding the administration's use of prosecutorial discretion, often referred to as "administrative amnesty," to certain illegal aliens up to the age of 30. Barletta wrote: "When similar measures that would implement these same policies were presented to Congress, Congress rejected them. The implementation of the new immigration policy that is contrary to the expressed will of the Congress violates the Constitution."

The House adopted King's amendment on June 7, 2012 by a vote of 238 to 175 (Roll Call 363). We have assigned pluses to the yeas because the Obama administration's use of prosecutorial discretion to provide amnesty to illegal immigrants violates the constitutional principle of separation of powers. According to Article I, Section 1, "all legislative powers herein granted shall be vested in a Congress of the United States." In particular, Congress is granted the power "to establish a uniform rule of naturalization" in Article I, Section 8. In contrast, Article II, Section 3 states that the president "shall take care that the laws be faithfully executed."



H.Amdt.1127 to H.R.4310: An amendment numbered 46 printed in House Report 112-485 to strike section 1022 of the FY2012 NDAA and amend Section 1021 of same Act to eliminate indefinite military detention of any person detained under AUMF authority in U.S., territories or possessions by providing immediate transfer to trial and proceedings by a court established under Article III of the Constitution of the United states or by an appropriate State court.
Vote Date: May 18, 2012Vote: NAYBad Vote.
Indefinite Detention. Detainee-related language in the National Defense Authorization Act (H.R. 4310) is so sweeping that American citizens accused of being terrorists can be detained by the U.S. military and held indefinitely without habeas corpus and without even being tried and found guilty in a court of law.

Rep. Adam Smith (D-Wash.) offered an amendment to strike this language from the bill, but the House rejected Smith's amendment on May 18, 2012 by a vote of 182 to 238 (Roll Call 270). We have assigned pluses to the yeas because the War on Terror must not be allowed to destroy constitutional legal protections, including the issuance of a warrant based on probable cause (Fourth Amendment) and the right to a trial (Sixth Amendment).



H.R. 2072: Export-Import Bank Reauthorization Act of 2012
Vote Date: May 9, 2012Vote: NONE No Vote.
Export-Import Bank. This legislation (H.R. 2072) reauthorized the U.S. Export-Import Bank for two years and increased the agency's lending cap from $100 billion to $140 billion. The bank issues loans and loan guarantees to foreign governments or companies for the purchase of U.S. products.

The House passed H.R. 2072 on May 9, 2012 by a vote of 330 to 93 (Roll Call 224). We have assigned pluses to the nays because the federal government has no constitutional authority risking taxpayers' money to provide loans and terms that the private sector considers too risky to provide. Indeed, U.S. government-backed export financing is a form of corporate welfare, and if the Ex-Im Bank goes bust (as happened to Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae), the taxpayers will get stuck holding the bag.



H.Amdt.1078 to H.R.5326: An amendment to prohibit the use of funds to be used to enforce section 526 of the Energy Independence Security Act.
Vote Date: May 9, 2012Vote: NONE No Vote.
National Ocean Policy. During consideration of the Commerce-Justice-Science appropriations bill (H.R. 5326), Rep. Bill Flores (R-Texas) offered an amendment that would bar the use of funds in the bill to implement an executive order signed by President Obama in July 2010 calling for a national ocean policy. According to a press release on May 9 by the House Natural Resources Committee, Rep. Flores stated: "The National Ocean Policy was formed without congressional authority and would be run by unaccountable and unelected Washington bureaucrats. These proposed policy guidelines and processes have the potential to change the permitting criteria and requirements for a large number of economic sectors." Moreover, Obama's National Ocean Policy explicitly calls for "pursuing the United States' accession to the Law of the Sea Convention," also known as the Law of the Sea Treaty (LOST).

The House adopted Flores' amendment on May 9, 2012 by a vote of 246 to 174 (Roll Call 234). We have assigned pluses to the yeas because the Constitution does not empower the federal government to regulate the permitting criteria and other requirements of our nation's various economic sectors. Furthermore, ratifying the Law of the Sea Treaty would legitimize the UN's power grab over 70 percent of the Earth's surface and constitute a huge loss of our national sovereignty.



H.R. 3523: Cyber Intelligence Sharing and Protection Act (CISPA)
Vote Date: April 26, 2012Vote: AYEBad Vote.
Cyber Intelligence Sharing and Protection Act (CISPA). This bill (H.R. 3523) would foster information sharing about cyber threats between the federal government and private businesses. Businesses that would participate in this sharing would be protected from lawsuits regarding this sharing of their customers' private information with the government. According to Violet Blue in an article posted on ZDNet.com on June 8, "Most people familiar with CISPA believe it will wipe out decades of consumer privacy protections and is primarily to give the US government unprecedented access to individuals' online data and communications."

The House passed H.R. 3523 on April 26, 2012 by a vote of 248 to 168 (Roll Call 192). We have assigned pluses to the nays because the CISPA bill would permit government access to the private information of citizens, in violation of the Fourth Amendment "right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures."



H.R. 5: Protecting Access to Healthcare Act
Vote Date: March 22, 2012Vote: NAYBad Vote.
IPAB (Death Panel) Repeal. This legislation (H.R. 5) would repeal the provisions of the 2010 ObamaCare healthcare overhaul laws that established the Independent Payment Advisory Board (IPAB) responsible for curbing Medicare costs. It would restore previous law provisions to maintain the current Medicare spending review process. This bill is important because it would repeal the high-profile IPAB "death panel" provision of the unconstitutional ObamaCare law.

The IPAB Board would be made up of 15 unelected members chosen by the President. According to Tony Perkins of the Family Research Council, the IPAB "could deny payment for certain care or medications, change the service options doctors have, and drive expensive, life-saving treatments out. Instead of discussing the options with your doctor, IPAB will be sitting at the controls in Washington making health decisions for you."

The House passed H.R. 5 on March 22, 2012 by a vote of 223 to 181 (Roll Call 126). We have assigned pluses to the yeas because the IPAB provision of the ObamaCare law is clearly unconstitutional.



H.R. 3408: Alaskan Energy for American Jobs Act
Vote Date: February 16, 2012Vote: AYEGood Vote.
Oil and Gas Development; Keystone XL Pipeline. This bill (H.R. 3408) would open up part of Alaska's resource-rich Arctic National Wildlife Refuge to oil and gas development. It would also expand lease sales for drilling to include areas off the Southern California and mid-Atlantic coasts and in the Gulf of Mexico. And it would provide for approval of the Keystone XL oil pipeline, assigning the permitting authority to the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission and deeming the project approved if the FERC fails to act.

The House passed H.R. 3408 on February 16, 2012 by a vote of 237 to 187 (Roll Call 71). We have assigned pluses to the yeas because the federal government should allow entrepreneurs to develop energy resources, rather than deny access to the resources.



H.R. 3521: Expedited Legislative Line-Item Veto and Rescissions Act of 2012
Vote Date: February 8, 2012Vote: AYEBad Vote.
Line-item Veto. This bill (H.R. 3521) would allow the President to rescind all or part of any dollar amount of funding for discretionary spending items in enacted appropriations bills. Although both houses of Congress would have to approve any such rescissions, they would be forced to do so very quickly by the bill's expedited procedures, including a prohibition on amendments in both Houses and filibusters in the Senate.

This bill dramatically and unilaterally enhances the power of the executive branch. Note that Article I, Section 1 and Article I, Section 7, Clauses 2 and 3, of the U.S. Constitution vest Congress with all legislative powers. Any bill that shifts legislative power away from Congress and to the President is violating the constitutionally defined separation of powers for the legislative and executive branches. A similar line-item veto law was passed when Clinton was President. That one was found to be unconstitutional by the Supreme Court.

The House passed H.R. 3521 on February 8, 2012 by a vote of 254 to 173 (Roll Call 46). We have assigned pluses to the nays because providing any form of line-item veto power to the President violates the Constitution's separation of powers.



H.J.Res. 98: Relating to the disapproval of the President
Vote Date: January 18, 2012Vote: NAYBad Vote.
Debt Limit Disapproval. The debt deal passed by Congress in August 2011 immediately raised the national debt limit by $400 billion, while also allowing the President to raise the ceiling by an additional $500 billion unless a resolution of disapproval is enacted. Should these increases in borrowing authority prove insufficient, the debt deal even allowed the President to raise the debt ceiling by another $1.2 to $1.5 trillion subject to a resolution of disapproval.

Last year, President Obama requested the additional $500 billion debt-limit increase, and Congress failed to block the request. Though the resolution of disapproval was passed by the House, it was rejected by the Senate.

This year, Obama requested raising the debt ceiling an additional $1.2 trillion, and the House tried to block the increase via a resolution of disapproval (House Joint Resolution 98). The House passed H. J. Res. 98 on January 18, 2012 by a vote of 239 to 176 (Roll Call 4). We have assigned pluses to the yeas because the federal government should live within its means and because most of the spending responsible for the ballooning national debt is unconstitutional.



H.R. 2055: Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2012
Vote Date: December 16, 2011Vote: AYEBad Vote.
Omnibus Appropriations. This catch-all legislative package (H.R. 2055), which would provide $915 billion in discretionary appropriations for fiscal 2012, is comprised of nine appropriations bills for fiscal 2012 that Congress failed to complete separately - Defense ($518.8 billion), Energy-Water ($32.1 billion), Financial Services ($21.5 billion), Homeland Security ($41.3 billion), Interior-Environment ($29.2 billion), Labor-HHS-Education ($156.3 billion), Legislative Branch ($4.3 billion), State-Foreign Operations ($33.5 billion), and Military Construction-VA ($73.7 billion).

The House adopted the final version of this legislation (known as a conference report) on December 16, 2011 by a vote of 296 to 121 (Roll Call 941). We have assigned pluses to the nays because many of the bill's spending programs -- e.g., education, housing, foreign aid, etc. -- are unconstitutional. Moreover, passing this mammoth appropriations bill in light of the ongoing trillion-dollar annual deficits is grossly fiscally irresponsible. Furthermore, packaging the appropriations bills for so many large federal agencies into one mega-bill greatly reduces the accountability of the Congressmen to their constituents.



H.R. 1633: Farm Dust Regulation Prevention Act of 2011
Vote Date: December 8, 2011Vote: AYEGood Vote.
Farm Dust Regulation Prevention Act. This legislation (H.R. 1633) would prohibit the Environmental Protection Agency from "revising any national ambient air quality standard applicable to coarse particulate matter" for one year. The intent behind the legislation is to temporarily block the EPA from imposing tougher coarse-particulates regulations that could restrict farm dust from agricultural and livestock operations.

The House passed H.R. 1633 on December 8, 2011 by a vote of 268 to 150 (Roll Call 912). We have assigned pluses to the yeas not only because of the harm regulation of farm dust would do to the agricultural sector, but also because the federal government has no constitutional authority to impose such regulations.



H.R. 10: Regulations From the Executive in Need of Scrutiny Act of 2011
Vote Date: December 7, 2011Vote: NAYBad Vote.
Congressional Approval of Major Regulations. This legislation (H.R. 10) is entitled the "Regulations From the Executive in Need of Scrutiny Act" and is also known as the REINS Act. It would prohibit the executive branch from putting into effect major rules -- rules having an economic impact of at least $100 million per year - until those rules are approved by Congress. The intent of the bill is to rein in the executive from usurping legislative powers via executive fiat.

The House passed the REINS Act on December 7, 2011 by a vote of 241 to 184 (Roll Call 901). We have assigned pluses to the yeas because all legislative powers in the Constitution are vested in Congress, not the executive branch. Mandatory rules issued by the executive branch may not be called laws, but they have the same effect as laws, and what they are called does not change the reality.



H.R. 2112: Consolidated and Further Continuing Appropriations Act, 2012
Vote Date: November 17, 2011Vote: AYEBad Vote.
Agriculture-Commerce-Justice-Science-Transportation-HUD Appropriations. This so-called "minibus" bill (H.R. 2112) combined into a single package three of the regular appropriations bills -- Agriculture, Commerce-Justice-Science, and Transportation-Housing and Urban Development (HUD) - for fiscal 2012. Just the "discretionary" spending in the minibus for the three-bill package totaled $128.1 billion. In addition, there is the spending that the government deems "mandatory." In the case of the Agriculture bill that was incorporated into the minibus, for instance, the appropriations include $116.8 billion in mandatory spending in addition to $19.8 billion in discretionary spending. The so-called mandatory spending in the Agriculture bill includes nearly $99 billion for food and nutrition programs.

The House passed the final version of this bill (known as a conference report) on November 17, 2011 by a vote of 298 to 121 (Roll Call 857). We have assigned pluses to the nays because Congress has no constitutional authority to fund many of the programs in the bill, including the farm programs, food programs, and housing (under HUD).



H.R. 358: Protect Life Act
Vote Date: October 13, 2011Vote: AYEGood Vote.
Abortion Funding. H.R. 358 would prohibit any federal funding to be used to purchase health insurance plans covering abortion. It would also require that any insurance companies offering plans via the ObamaCare-created state exchanges that include abortion coverage offer identical plans minus the abortion coverage.

The House passed H.R. 358 on October 13, 2011 by a vote of 251 to 172 (Roll Call 789). We have assigned pluses to the yeas not only because the government should not be subsidizing the killing of innocent human life, but also because there is no constitutional authority for the government to manage or finance the healthcare sector.



H.R. 3080: United States-Korea Free Trade Agreement Implementation Act
Vote Date: October 12, 2011Vote: NAYGood Vote.
South Korea Trade Agreement. On a single day - October 12, 2011 - both the House and Senate approved three separate trade agreements with South Korea, Colombia, and Panama. These measures are three more in a series of "free-trade agreements" intended to transfer the power to regulate trade (and eventually other powers too) to super-national arrangements via a step-by-step process. NAFTA is a prime example of such an arrangement. So is the developing continental government now known as the European Union, which is an outgrowth of a free-trade arrangement once called the Common Market. In fact, the Common Market-EU trajectory to regional governance served as a model for the formation of NAFTA.

The South Korea agreement, to quote Congressional Quarterly, is "considered the most economically important trade deal since the 1994 North American Free Trade Agreement." For this reason, the "Freedom Index" editors selected this vote over the other two (Colombia and Panama) for inclusion in this index.

The House passed H.R. 3080, the measure to implement the South Korea trade agreement, on October 12, 2011 by a vote of 278 to 151 (Roll Call 783). We have assigned pluses to the nays because agreements such as this one are intended to transfer trade (and other) powers to super-national arrangements binding the United States, despite the fact that under the Constitution only Congress has the power "to regulate commerce with foreign nations."



H.R. 2401: Transparency in Regulatory Analysis of Impacts on the Nation Act of 2011
Vote Date: September 23, 2011Vote: NAYBad Vote.
Cross-state Air-pollution Rules. During consideration of legislation (H.R. 2401) regarding the regulatory impact of EPA regulations, Rep. Ed Whitfield (R-Ky.) proposed an amendment that would delay cross-state air-pollution rules until at least 2015. The amendment would delay by at least two years sulfur dioxide and nitrogen oxide emissions standards for power plants and allow the companies at least five years to comply after the rules are issued.

The House passed Whitfield's amendment on September 23, 2011 by a vote of 234 to 188 (Roll Call 737). We have assigned pluses to the yeas because the new EPA cross-state pollution rules will further damage the economy and also because the federal government has no constitutional authority to regulate power plant emissions.



H.R. 2587: Protecting Jobs From Government Interference Act
Vote Date: September 15, 2011Vote: NAYBad Vote.
National Labor Relations Board. Earlier this year Boeing, a longtime airplane manufacturer in the state of Washington, opened a production facility in South Carolina for its new 787 Dreamliner airplane. Although this development had been publicly announced in 2009, early this year the machinists union charged that Boeing's decision was unfair and asked the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) to take action against Boeing. The NLRB complied by issuing a formal complaint as described in its press release of April 20, 2011: "National Labor Relations Board issues complaint against Boeing Company for unlawfully transferring work to a non-union facility."

Representative Tim Scott (R-S.C.) responded to the NLRB complaint by introducing H.R. 2587, the Protecting Jobs From Government Interference Act, "To prohibit the National Labor Relations Board from ordering any employer to close, relocate, or transfer employment under any circumstance."

The House passed H.R. 2587 on September 15, 2011 by a vote of 238 to 186 (Roll Call 711). We have assigned pluses to the yeas because the federal government has no constitutional authority to order a company to reinstate production or make certain investments at a given location, or to block a company's decision to relocate production.



H.J.RES 77: Relating to the disapproval of the President
Vote Date: September 14, 2011Vote: NAYBad Vote.
Debt Limit Disapproval. Under the debt deal passed by Congress in August, the debt ceiling was raised by $400 billion, and the President can raise the ceiling by an additional $500 billion unless a resolution of disapproval is enacted. President Obama decided to raise the national debt the full $900 billion, and legislation was introduced (House Joint Resolution 77) to block the $500 billion increase.

The House passed the resolution of disapproval on September 14, 2011 by a vote of 232 to 186 (Roll Call 706). We have assigned pluses to the yeas because piling on more and more debt is devastating to the economy, and the bulk of the federal government's spending spree is for unconstitutional programs.



H.AMDT. 579: An amendment to prohibit the use of funds for military operations in or against Libya except under a declaration of war against Libya pursuant to clause 11 in section 8 of article I of the Constitution.
Vote Date: August 7, 2011Vote: NAYBad Vote.
Libya. During consideration of the Defense appropriations bill, Rep. Dennis Kucinich (D-Ohio) introduced an amendment to prohibit the use of funds in the bill to carry out military actions against Libya unless Congress declares war against Libya.

The Founding Fathers assigned this power to Congress because they did not want a single man deciding when to go to war. Yet President Obama usurped this congressional war-making authority by initiating offensive military actions against Libya without even asking advice from Congress, much less requesting the required declaration of war.

The House rejected the Kucinich amendment on July 8, 2011 by a vote of 169 to 251 (Roll Call 530). We have assigned pluses to the yeas because under Article I, Section 8 of the Constitution only Congress has the power "to declare war."



S. 365: Budget Control Act of 2011
Vote Date: August 1, 2011Vote: AYEBad Vote.
Debt Deal. This legislation (S. 365) provided for an immediate $400 billion increase in the national debt limit, while allowing the President to raise the ceiling an additional $500 billion unless Congress passes a resolution of disapproval.

This legislation also established a process for reducing future cumulative deficit projections by up to $2.4 trillion for fiscal years 2012 through 2021, including the establishment of a supercommittee tasked with recommending cuts totaling up to $1.5 trillion for the 10-year period. If the supercommittee were to fail in recommending at least $1.2 trillion in cuts (and, as we know, the supercommittee failed to recommend any cuts), then the legislation would trigger automatic cuts totaling up to $1.2 trillion over 10 years.

The debt-raising/deficit-cutting package created the appearance that Congress was doing something to rein in out-of-control spending. But in reality, the total national debt would still increase even if the entire dollar amount of cuts called for in the legislation were identified and enacted, since the cuts are not cuts in the absolute sense but cuts in future budget projections. The national debt would continue to go up, but not as fast as before, for the simple reason that cutting (say) $1.2 trillion over 10 years will not offset projected annual $1 trillion-plus deficits.

The House passed S. 365 on August 1, 2011 by a vote of 269 to 161 (Roll Call 690). We have assigned pluses to the nays because the debt deal allows both the national debt and spending to continue their upward trajectories. Moreover, the budget process established by the legislation is clearly unconstitutional since no Congress can bind the actions of future Congresses via the so-called automatic cuts.



H.R. 2417: Better Use of Light Bulbs Act
Vote Date: July 12, 2011Vote: NAYBad Vote.
Incandescent Light Bulbs. Incandescent light bulbs ranging from 40 to 100 watts will be phased out during 2012-2014 in accordance with the Energy Independence and Security Act of 2007 (Public Law 110-140). The first size to be phased out in 2012 will be the 100-watt incandescent light bulb. The energy efficiency standards in PL 110-140 that will effectively ban the ubiquitous incandescent light bulb will leave the environmentally questionable (due to mercury content) compact fluorescent light bulbs as the only economical light bulb in the marketplace. However, this ban on incandescent light bulbs led to the introduction of H.R. 2417, a bill that would repeal the relevant sections of PL 110-140 so that the familiar incandescent light bulbs would continue to be available for purchase in the United States.

The House rejected H.R. 2417 on July 12, 2011 by a vote of 233 to 193 (Roll Call 563). The bill was brought to a vote under suspension of the rules, which required a two-thirds majority of those present and voting (284 in this case) for passage. We have assigned pluses to the yeas because the federal government has no constitutional authority to establish energy efficiency standards that would prevent the production, distribution, and consumer purchase of a previously perfectly acceptable and universally used product, such as the incandescent light bulb.



H.Con.Res. 51: Directing the President, pursuant to section 5(c) of the War Powers Resolution, to remove the United States Armed Forces from Libya
Vote Date: June 3, 2011Vote: NAYBad Vote.
Libya Troop Withdrawal. House Concurrent Resolution 51 would have directed President Obama, "pursuant to ... the War Powers Resolution, to remove the United States Armed Forces from Libya." The War Powers Resolution bars the President from militarily engaging the armed forces for more than 60 days without congressional approval. Obama had not sought congressional approval for undertaking military action in Libya. Rep. Dennis Kucinich (D-Ohio), who sponsored H. Con. Res. 51, noted: "In the weeks leading up to the war, the administration had time to consult with the Arab League, the United Nations, the African Union, but apparently had no time to come to this Congress for approval."

The House rejected Kucinich's resolution on June 3, 2011 by a vote of 148 to 265 (Roll Call 412). We have assigned pluses to the yeas not merely because Obama's Libya deployment is now in violation of the War Powers Act's 60-day requirement for congressional authorization, but also because it violates the Constitution, which clearly assigns to Congress the power "to declare war."



S. 990: PATRIOT Sunsets Extension Act of 2011
Vote Date: May 26, 2011Vote: AYEBad Vote.
Patriot Act Extension. This legislation (S. 990) extended for four years three provisions of the Patriot Act that were set to expire: the "roving wiretap" provision that allows the federal government to wiretap any number of a suspect's telephone/ Internet connections without specifying what they will find or how many connections will be tapped; the "financial records" provision that allows the feds to seize "any tangible thing" that has "relevance" to an investigation; and the "lone wolf" provision that allows spying on non-U.S. citizens without a warrant. These provisions violate the Fourth Amendment of the U.S. Constitution, which requires that no warrants be issued "but upon probable cause" (a much higher standard than "relevance"), and that warrants must contain language "particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized."

The Patriot Act even allows the FBI to issue warrants called "National Security Letters" without going to a judge, though this provision was not set to expire and therefore was not part of this legislation.

The House passed the Patriot Act extension on May 26, 2011 by a vote of 250 to 153 (Roll Call 376). We have assigned pluses to the nays because the provisions that were extended, as well as the Patriot Act as a whole, violate the Fourth Amendment to the Constitution.



H.R. 1229: Putting the Gulf of Mexico Back to Work Act
Vote Date: May 11, 2011Vote: AYEGood Vote.
Offshore Drilling Leases. This bill (H.R. 1229) would modify the process for leasing permits for exploratory drilling in the Gulf of Mexico so as to remove bureaucratic foot-dragging impeding more offshore drilling. As summarized by Congressional Quarterly, H.R. 1229 "would require the Interior Department to decide on approval of an exploratory drilling permit application within 30 days, with the option of extending the review period up to 60 days. If the department fails to issue a ruling within 60 days, the application would be deemed approved."

The House passed H.R. 1229 on May 11, 2011 by a vote of 263 to 163 (Roll Call 309). We have assigned pluses to the yeas because the federal government should not be impeding the exploration for and development of natural resources by entrepreneurs.



H.Con.Res. 35: Directing the Clerk of the House of Representatives to make a correction in the enrollment of H.R. 1473
Vote Date: April 14, 2011Vote: NAYBad Vote.
ObamaCare Defunding. House Concurrent Resolution 35 would direct the House clerk to insert a section in the enrollment of H.R. 1473 (Department of Defense and Full-Year Continuing Appropriations Act, 2011) that would bar the use of funds made available in the bill to implement the provisions of the 2010 healthcare overhaul law. Since full repeal of the ObamaCare law had already been rejected in the Senate, this attempt to defund the implementation of ObamaCare for fiscal year 2011 was made.

The House adopted H. Con. Res. 35 on April 14, 2011 by a vote of 240 to 185 (Roll Call 270). We have assigned pluses to the yeas because there is no constitutional authority for the federal government to require individuals to purchase health insurance or to manage the healthcare industry.



H.Con.Res. 36: Directing the Clerk of the House of Representatives to make a correction in the enrollment of H.R. 1473
Vote Date: April 14, 2011Vote: AYEGood Vote.
Planned Parenthood Defunding. House Concurrent Resolution 36 would direct the House clerk to insert a section in the enrollment of H.R. 1473 (Department of Defense and Full-Year Continuing Appropriations Act, 2011) that would prohibit the use of any funding in the bill for Planned Parenthood.

The House adopted H. Con. Res. 36 on April 14, 2011 by a vote of 241 to 185 (Roll Call 271). We have assigned pluses to the yeas because Planned Parenthood is the nation's largest abortion provider, and government should not subsidize the killing of innocent human life. Moreover, under the Constitution, the federal government should not be subsidizing any private entity in the marketplace.



H.R. 910: Energy Tax Prevention Act of 2011
Vote Date: April 7, 2011Vote: AYEGood Vote.
Greenhouse-gas Regulation. This bill (H.R. 910) would prohibit the Environmental Protection Agency from regulating greenhouse-gas emissions from stationary sources for the purpose of addressing climate change. The EPA claims that carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases are pollutants, and that these gases can therefore be regulated under the Clean Air Act -- even without the enactment of any legislation restricting greenhouse-gas emissions. Global-warming alarmists have tried to push such legislation though Congress, but have thus far been unsuccessful. Carbon dioxide, one of the EPA-defined greenhouse-gas pollutants, not only occurs naturally but is necessary for the existence of plant life.

The House passed H.R. 910 on April 7, 2011 by a vote of 255 to 172 (Roll Call 249). We have assigned pluses to the yeas because restricting greenhouse-gas emissions would be harmful to the economy, carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases are not pollutants, and the federal government has no constitutional authority to limit such emissions.



H.R. 1076: To prohibit Federal funding of National Public Radio and the use of Federal funds to acquire radio content
Vote Date: March 17, 2011Vote: NAYBad Vote.
NPR Funding Ban. This bill (H.R. 1076) would prohibit federal funding of National Public Radio (NPR). Rep. Doug Lamborn (R-Colo.), the bill's sponsor, said that "NPR can survive on its own" without federal funding. NPR funding has become a contentious issue because of its left-wing bias. However, NPR funding should also be debated because there is no constitutional authorization for the federal government to create or fund "public broadcasting," any more than there is authorization for the feds to bankroll a "public newspaper" in competition with a free press.

The House passed this bill on March 17, 2011 by a vote of 228 to 192 (Roll Call 192). We have assigned pluses to the yeas because federal funding of public broadcasting is unconstitutional.



H.R. 4: Comprehensive 1099 Taxpayer Protection and Repayment of Exchange Subsidy Overpayments Act of 2011
Vote Date: March 3, 2011Vote: AYEGood Vote.
ObamaCare (1099 Reporting Requirement Repeal). This bill (H.R. 4) stripped the very unpopular 1099 reporting requirement out of ObamaCare. This was significant because it was the first component of ObamaCare to be repealed by Congress. This reporting requirement for businesses and real estate owners to file a 1099 form with the IRS for every vendor to whom they paid more than $600 a year had been added to the ObamaCare legislation as a way to raise $19 billion by reducing tax fraud; however, business organizations protested that the 1099 requirement would bury businesses in additional, costly paperwork.

The House passed H.R. 4 on March 3, 2011 by a vote of 314-112 (Roll Call 162). We have assigned pluses to the yeas because the burdensome 1099 reporting requirement was added to the ObamaCare legislation as a way to help pay for this unconstitutional program.



H.Amdt. 117: Prohibit funds to pay dues to the United Nations
Vote Date: February 18, 2011Vote: NAYBad Vote.
UN Dues. During consideration of a continuing appropriations bill (H.R. 1) to fund government operations through the rest of the fiscal year ending on September 2011, Rep. Paul Broun (R-Ga.) offered an amendment to prohibit any funding in the bill from being used to pay for any dues to the United Nations.

The House rejected Broun's amendment on February 18, 2011 by a vote of 177 to 243 (Roll Call 107). We have assigned pluses to the yeas because stopping U.S. dues payments to the United Nations is a step toward getting the United States out of the UN. Our membership in the UN undermines U.S. sovereignty -- e.g., when the Security Council passes various resolutions, including resolutions calling for military intervention, that the United States is expected to enforce, irrespective of the U.S. Constitution or congressional powers.



H.R. 2: Repealing the Job-Killing Health Care Law Act
Vote Date: January 19, 2011Vote: NAYBad Vote.
ObamaCare Repeal. Since widespread opposition to ObamaCare propelled the Republicans to a substantial majority in the House in the 2010 elections, it was appropriate that the Republicans arranged for a vote on repealing ObamaCare very early in the first session of the 112th Congress. Dubbed the "Repealing the Job-Killing Health Care Law Act," H.R. 2 would repeal both the "Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act" (PL 111-148) and the "Health Care and Education Reconciliation Act of 2010" (PL 111-152), known collectively as ObamaCare. Passage of this repeal bill would be the best solution to the ObamaCare problem because it is worded to be effective as of the original date of enactment of PL 111-148 and 152 and would repeal both laws, as well as restore and revive the provisions of law that had been amended or repealed by ObamaCare, as if ObamaCare had never been enacted.

The House passed H.R. 2 on January 19, 2011 by a vote of 245-189 (Roll Call 14). We have assigned pluses to the yeas because the 2010 healthcare overhaul law known as ObamaCare is thoroughly unconstitutional. There is no constitutional authority for the federal government to require individuals to purchase health insurance or to manage the healthcare industry.



Motion: Table the Appeal of the Ruling of the Chair
Vote Date: September 23, 2010Vote: AYEBad Vote.
Lame-duck Session. We are used to Congress convening "lame-duck" sessions of Congress in even-numbered years between the general elections in early November and the beginning of the new Congress on January 3 of the next year. We've had an unbroken string of lame-duck sessions every even-numbered year since 1998. Although these post-election sessions include many lawmakers who were either defeated or didn't run for reelection, what we call lame-duck sessions of Congress were actually business as usual for the first 140 years of our nation's history. However, the 20th Amendment to the Constitution in 1933 included two provisions to greatly reduce the time available to convene such sessions by moving the beginning date for new terms of Senators and Representatives from March 4 to January 3 of odd-numbered years and mandating that Congress begin meeting on January 3 each year.

Even though the time during which lame-duck sessions can be convened has been greatly shortened by the 20th Amendment, they are once again business as usual for Congress. Although lame-duck sessions are prohibited in 39 state legislatures, public sentiment so far has not been sufficiently mobilized to prohibit such sessions for Congress. The heart of the problem, of course, is that recently defeated and retired Senators and Representatives are still voting on legislation in these sessions, even though the voters have already elected their replacements. This problem is greatly heightened when a massive swing in voter sentiment leads to a change in which party controls one or both houses of Congress, which appears likely in November 2010.

The House agreed to a motion to table (kill) a draft resolution which would pledge that the House would not convene a lame-duck session between November 2, 2010 and January 3, 2011 on September 23, 2010 by a vote of 236-172 (Roll Call 534). We have assigned pluses to the nays because even though a lame-duck session is not unconstitutional, it undermines the representative government established by the Constitution.



H R 1586: To modernize the air traffic control system, improve the safety, reliability, and availability of transportation by air in the United States, provide for modernization of the air traffic control system, reauthorize the Federal Aviation Administration, and for other purposes.
Vote Date: August 10, 2010Vote: AYEBad Vote.
Medicaid and Education Assistance. This legislation (H.R. 1586) would provide $26.1 billion in state aid for Medicaid ($16.1 billion of the total) and education ($10 billion). The latter is for the purpose of creating or retaining education-related jobs.

The House agreed to this legislation on August 10, 2010 by a vote of 247-161 (Roll Call 518). We have assigned pluses to the nays because the federal government has no constitutional authority to pay for healthcare for the poor or to fund education. Also, there is no statistical evidence showing that federal involvement in education has increased learning -- though it certainly has increased federal bureaucracy and control.



H.Amdt. 17 to H. R. 5850: On Agreeing to the Amendment 17 to H R 5850
Vote Date: July 29, 2010Vote: NAYBad Vote.
Transportation-HUD Appropriations (Spending Cut). This bill (H.R. 5850) would appropriate $126.3 billion in fiscal 2011 for the Transportation Department, HUD, and related agencies. During consideration of the bill, Rep. Jim Jordan (Ohio) offered an amendment to cut the spending in the bill by $18.6 billion -- about 15 percent of the total.

The House rejected Rep. Jordan's amendment on July 29, 2010 by a vote of 159-265 (Roll Call 493). We have assigned pluses to the yeas not only because federal spending needs to be cut back, but also because of the unconstitutionality of the appropriations.



H R 5850: Making appropriations for the Departments of Transportation, and Housing and Urban Development, and related agencies for the fiscal year ending September 30, 2011, and for other purposes
Vote Date: July 29, 2010Vote: AYEBad Vote.
Transportation-HUD Appropriations. This legislation (H.R. 5850) would appropriate a whopping $126.3 billion in fiscal 2011 for the Departments of Transportation and Housing and Urban Development (HUD) and related agencies. The bill would provide $79.4 billion for the Transportation Department, including $11.3 billion for transit programs; and $46.6 billion for HUD, including $19.4 billion for the Section 8 rental-assistance program.

The House passed the bill on July 29, 2010 by a vote of 251-167 (Roll Call 499). We have assigned pluses to the nays because the bill is unaffordable and most of the spending is unconstitutional.



H R 4899: Making emergency supplemental appropriations for disaster relief and summer jobs for the fiscal year ending September 30, 2010, and for other purposes
Vote Date: July 27, 2010Vote: AYEBad Vote.
Supplemental Appropriations. The supplemental appropriations bill (H.R. 4899) would provide an additional $58.8 billion in "emergency" funding for the current fiscal year (2010). The supplemental appropriations in the bill include $37.1 billion for military operations in Iraq and Afghanistan, $5.1 billion for the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), and $2.9 for earthquake relief in Haiti.

The House passed the bill on July 27, 2010 by a vote of 308-114 (Roll Call 474). We have assigned pluses to the nays because the spending is over and above what the federal government already budgeted, Congress never declared war against Iraq and Afghanistan, and some of the spending (e.g., foreign aid) is unconstitutional.



H R 5618: Restoration of Emergency Unemployment Compensation Act
Vote Date: July 1, 2010Vote: AYEBad Vote.
Unemployment Benefits Extension. This bill (H.R. 5618) would extend unemployment insurance benefits through November 30, 2010 (retroactive to June 2, 2010) and provide 100 percent federal funding for the extended benefits. The unemployment insurance program is run by the states and overseen by the U.S. Department of Labor. The program allows for up to 26 weeks of benefits, but Congress has extended it several times as a response to the recession and high unemployment rates.

The House passed the bill on July 1, 2010 by a vote of 270-153 (Roll Call 423). We have assigned pluses to the nays because extending unemployment benefits provides a disincentive for finding work while adding to the cost of government and doing nothing to create jobs. Indeed, if unemployment benefits were a good solution to the unemployment problem, then why not make unemployment benefits permanent? The solution, instead, is to end government and Fed intervention in the market so the market can create more and better jobs.



H R 4173: Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act of 2009
Vote Date: June 30, 2010Vote: AYEBad Vote.
Financial Regulatory Reform. This sweeping legislation (H.R. 4173) would tighten federal control of the financial sector on the false premise that the financial crisis was driven by free-market forces, as opposed to government and Fed policies (e.g., artificially low interest rates) that encouraged excessive borrowing and risk-taking. The legislation would create a new Financial Stability Oversight Council that would monitor the financial sector for system-wide risks, and could (by a two-thirds majority vote) subject non-bank entities to Fed regulatory powers and approve Fed decisions to break up large companies. It would also create a new Bureau of Consumer Financial Protection run by the Federal Reserve.

According to the American Bankers Association, the legislation would subject traditional banks to 5,000 pages of new regulations.

The House adopted the final version (conference report) of H.R. 4173 on June 30, 2010 by a vote of 237-192 (Roll Call 413). We have assigned pluses to the nays because ramping up regulatory control of the financial sector by the Fed and the federal government is not only unconstitutional but will make it exceedingly more difficult for the economy to recover.



H R 5175: Democracy is Strengthened by Casting Light on Spending in Elections Act or the DISCLOSE Act
Vote Date: June 24, 2010Vote: NAYGood Vote.
Campaign Finance Disclosure. The DISCLOSE Act ("Democracy Is Strengthened by Casting Light on Spending in Elections"), H.R. 5175, was introduced in response to the Supreme Court's 5-4 decision in Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission (January 21, 2010) that unexpectedly upheld the Constitution and free speech. The court ruled that corporations have the same free-speech rights as individuals in regard to spending their funds to broadcast "electioneering communications"; however, the case did not affect the federal prohibition on direct contributions from corporations or unions to candidate campaigns or political parties.

President Obama and certain special interest groups along with liberals in general wanted to curb the effects of that Supreme Court decision, so Rep. Christopher Van Hollen (D-Md.), who called the Supreme Court's ruling "radical," and 114 cosponsors acquiesced by introducing H.R. 5175, the DISCLOSE Act. This act would establish new regulations for corporations, unions, and advocacy and lobbying groups for campaign-related activities. Conservative advocacy groups, as well as the liberal ACLU, are opposed to this bill on the basis that it infringes on their freedom of speech.

The House passed H.R. 5175 on June 24, 2010 by a vote of 219-206 (Roll Call 391). We have assigned pluses to the nays because the federal government should not infringe on the right to free speech of corporations, unions, and other interest groups.



H R 5486: Small Business Jobs Tax Relief Act of 2010
Vote Date: June 15, 2010Vote: NAYBad Vote.
ObamaCare (Repealing the Individual Mandate to Purchase Health Insurance). On June 15 the Republicans lost the first vote in their efforts to repeal either the entire healthcare bill or at least important parts of the overhaul bill commonly known as ObamaCare. They were trying to repeal the ObamaCare individual mandate that will require virtually all Americans to purchase health insurance by 2014 or else pay a penalty. This individual mandate is so widely considered to be unconstitutional that 20 states and the National Federation of Independent Businesses have filed a lawsuit based on the unconstitutionality of this provision and over 30 states have introduced legislation to nullify the individual mandate.

Although the best solution would be for Congress to repeal the entire ObamaCare law (Public Laws 111-148 and 111-152) on the basis of its unconstitutionality, repeal of the individual mandate would be a good first step toward full repeal later. On June 15 Rep. Dave Camp (R-Mich.) took this first step by making a motion to recommit the Small Business Jobs Tax Relief Act of 2010, H.R. 5486, to the Ways and Means Committee with instructions that it be immediately reported back with language that would repeal the individual mandate to purchase health insurance in the 2010 healthcare overhaul law.

The House rejected the Camp motion on June 15, 2010 by a vote of 187-230 (Roll Call 362). We have assigned pluses to the yeas because of the unconstitutionality and wrongness of requiring anyone to purchase a product or service -- in this case health insurance.



H R 5116: America COMPETES Reauthorization Act
Vote Date: May 28, 2010Vote: AYEBad Vote.
Science and Technology Programs. This legislation (H.R. 5116) would authorize $85.6 billion over five years for science and technology research and education programs. The funding includes $44 billion for the National Science Foundation and $30.2 billion for the Energy Department's Office of Science. The bill would also create a new loan-guarantee program to help manufacturers invest in innovative technologies.

The House passed the bill on May 28, 2010 by a vote of 262-150 (Roll Call 332). We have assigned pluses to the nays because entrepreneurs and not government should decide which technologies to invest in and to what extent.



H R 5325: America COMPETES Reauthorization Act
Vote Date: May 19, 2010Vote: AYEBad Vote.
Science and Technology Programs. This legislation would authorize $48 billion over three years for science and technology research and education programs. The funding includes $24.4 billion for the National Science Foundation and $16.9 billion for the Energy Department's Office of Science. The bill would also create new programs such as loan guarantees to help small- and medium-sized businesses invest in innovative technologies.

The House failed to pass the bill on May 19, 2010 under a suspension of the rules that requires a two-thirds majority vote for passage (Roll Call 277). The vote tally was 261-148, but 273 were needed to obtain the two-thirds majority. We have assigned pluses to the nays because entrepreneurs and not government should decide which technologies to invest in and to what extent.



H R 4872: Reconciliation Act of 2010
Vote Date: March 25, 2010Vote: AYEBad Vote.
ObamaCare Reconciliation. This bill (H.R. 4872), officially titled the "Health Care and Education Reconciliation Act of 2010," was passed to amend the ObamaCare bill at the insistence of disaffected House Democrats. Among other things, it increases subsidies to help uninsured individuals buy health insurance and increases some taxes and fees to help pay for the expanded coverage provided by ObamaCare. This bill also makes the federal government the sole provider of student loans after July 1, which is just one more example of a complete government takeover of a significant sector of our economy.

The House agreed to the motion on March 25, 2010 by a vote of 220-207 (Roll Call 194). We have assigned pluses to the nays because the federal government has no constitutional authority to manage the healthcare industry or the student-loan industry.



H R 4899: Making emergency supplemental appropriations for disaster relief and summer jobs for fiscal year ending September 30, 2010, and for other purposes
Vote Date: March 24, 2010Vote: AYEBad Vote.
Supplemental Funding for FEMA and Youth Summer Jobs. This bill (H.R. 4899) would provide an additional $5.7 billion in emergency supplemental funding over and above regular appropriations. Most of the money ($5.1 billion) would be for the Federal Emergency Management Agency Disaster Relief Fund and another $600 million would be used to fund youth summer jobs programs.

The House passed H.R. 4899 on March 24, 2010 by a vote of 239-175 (Roll Call 186). We have assigned pluses to the nays because the federal government cannot afford to add to existing spending and because the federal government has no constitutional authority to provide disaster relief or jobs funding.



H R 3590: Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act
Vote Date: March 21, 2010Vote: AYEBad Vote.
ObamaCare. ObamaCare. This historic bill (H.R. 3590), officially titled the "Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act," went on to be signed into law (Public Law 111-148) by President Obama on March 23, 2010. Popularly known as "ObamaCare," this bill essentially completed the government takeover of the American healthcare system that was begun with Medicare and Medicaid in 1965. The ObamaCare law creates 159 new government agencies, which will inevitably drive private healthcare insurers out of the market, just as its pilot program, RomneyCare, is already beginning to do in Massachusetts. Although its official cost estimate was $1 trillion for the first 10 years, ObamaCare will soon join Medicare and Medicaid in the list of unfunded healthcare liabilities of the federal government, which together add up to tens of trillions of dollars.

ObamaCare would create an exchange in each state for the purchase of government-approved health insurance, mandate that most individuals purchase health insurance, fine individuals who don't purchase health insurance, subsidize the purchase of health insurance for individuals earning up to 400 percent of the poverty level, require employers with 50 or more employees to provide healthcare coverage or pay a fine if any employee gets a subsidized healthcare plan from the exchange, and prohibit insurance companies from denying coverage based on pre-existing conditions.

The House agreed to a motion to concur with the Senate version of H.R. 3590 on March 21, 2010 by a vote of 219-212 (Roll Call 165). We have assigned pluses to the nays because the federal government has no constitutional authority to require individuals to purchase health insurance or to manage the healthcare industry.



H CON RES 248: Directing the President, pursuant to section 5(c) of the War Powers Resolution, to remove the United States Armed Forces from Afghanistan
Vote Date: March 10, 2010Vote: NAYBad Vote.
Withdrawing U.S. Soldiers From Afghanistan. This legislation (House Concurrent Resolution 248) would direct the President to remove the U.S. Armed Forces from Afghanistan within 30 days of enactment, or by the end of the year if the President determines they cannot be safely removed sooner.

The House rejected H. Con. Res. 248 on March 10, 2010 by a vote of 65 to 356 (Roll Call 98). We have assigned pluses to the yeas because the U.S. military presence in Afghanistan cannot be justified on the basis of defending the United States, there has been no declaration of war, and Congress needs to assert constitutional authority to decide when we do go to war.



H R 3961: Medicare Physician Payment Reform Act
Vote Date: February 25, 2010Vote: AYEBad Vote.
Patriot Act. This bill (H.R. 3961) would extend by one year three Patriot Act provisions that were set to expire on February 28, 2010. The provisions allow the federal government to exercise wide-ranging surveillance and seizure powers with few limitations. For instance, the records provision allows the government to obtain "any tangible thing" that, it says, has "relevance" to a terrorism investigation. "Relevance" is a much lower standard -- if it can even be called a standard at all -- than the "probable cause" and a court warrant standard explicitly required by the Fourth Amendment.

The House agreed to extend the provisions on February 25, 2010 by a vote of 315-97 (Roll Call 67). We have assigned pluses to the nays because the provisions violate the right of the people to (in the words of the Fourth Amendment) "be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures."



H J RES 45: Statutory Pay-As-You-Go Act
Vote Date: February 4, 2010Vote: AYEBad Vote.
Debt Limit Increase. This bill (House Joint Resolution 45) would raise the national debt limit from $12.4 trillion to $14.29 trillion -- a $1.9 trillion increase. This increase, reported Congressional Quarterly, "should be large enough to cover borrowing into early next year." Really? To put this astronomical $1.9 trillion increase in perspective, consider that the total national debt did not top $1 trillion until 1981.

The House approved the debt limit increase on February 4, 2010 by a vote of 233-187 (Roll Call 48). We have assigned pluses to the nays because raising the national debt allows the federal government to borrow more money and continue its gross fiscal irresponsibility.



H R 2847: Making Appropriations for the Departments of Commerce and Justice, and Science, and Related Agencies for the fiscal year ending September 30, 2010, and for other purposes
Vote Date: December 16, 2009Vote: NAYGood Vote.
Jobs Funding. This legislation (H.R. 2847) would appropriate $154.4 billion for infrastructure and jobs programs to aid state and local governments. Nearly half of the money would be redirected from the Troubled Asset Relief Program (TARP). The money for the jobs programs would have to be siphoned out of the economy in the first place and so would result in a loss of jobs in the economy as a whole in order to create other jobs in government-favored sectors, based on the premise that government can allocate resources better than the private sector. As Rep. Jeb Hensarling (R-Texas) noted during floor debate on this bill, "You cannot spend your way into more jobs, you cannot borrow your way into more jobs."

The House agreed to the jobs funding on December 16, 2009 by a vote of 217-212 (Roll Call 991). We have assigned pluses to the nays because spending federal dollars to create jobs is unsustainable and unconstitutional.



H R 4173: The Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act of 2009
Vote Date: December 11, 2009Vote: AYEBad Vote.
Financial Regulatory Reform. This legislation (H.R. 4173), described by the Washington Times as "the most sweeping regulatory overhaul of the nation's financial sector since the new Deal," would create a Consumer Financial Protection Agency, and in general tighten federal control of the financial sector on the false premise that the financial crisis was driven by free-market forces, as opposed to government and Fed policies (e.g., artificially low interest rates) that encouraged excessive borrowing and risk-taking.

The House passed H.R. 4173 on December 11, 2009 by a vote of 223-202 (Roll Call 968). We have assigned pluses to the nays because more government control of the economy will do more harm than good.



H R 3288: Making appropriations for the Departments of Transportation, HUD, and related agencies for FY 2010
Vote Date: December 10, 2009Vote: NAYGood Vote.
Omnibus Appropriations. This catch-all legislative package (H.R. 3288) is comprised of six appropriations bills for fiscal 2010 that Congress failed to complete separately -- Commerce-Justice-Science; Financial Services; Labor-HHS-Education; Military Construction-VA; State-Foreign Operations; and Transportation-HUD. The total price tag in the final version (conference report) of H.R. 3288 is about $1.1 trillion, including $447 billion in discretionary spending.

The House adopted the conference report on H.R. 3288 on December 10, 2009 by a vote of 221-202 (Roll Call 949). We have assigned pluses to the nays because many of the bill's spending programs -- e.g., education, housing, foreign aid, etc. -- are unconstitutional. Moreover, lawmakers should have been able to vote on component parts of the total package.



H R 3962: Affordable Health Care for America Act
Vote Date: November 7, 2009Vote: AYEBad Vote.
Healthcare "Reform." The provisions in this bill (H.R. 3962) would cost about a trillion dollars (although such estimates are notoriously unreliable) over the next 10 years and complete the government takeover of our healthcare industry that was started with congressional passage of the original Medicare bill in 1965. This bill would overhaul the nation's health insurance system and require most individuals to buy health insurance by 2013. A Health Choices Administration would be created that would be tasked with establishing a federal health insurance exchange, including a government-run public health insurance option to allow individuals without coverage to obtain insurance. A federal excise tax would be levied on those that do not obtain coverage. Employers would be required to offer health insurance to employees or contribute to a fund for coverage. Failure to provide coverage would subject businesses to penalties of up to eight percent of their payroll. This bill would also bar insurance companies from denying or reducing coverage based on pre-existing medical conditions.

The House passed H.R. 3962 on November 7, 2009 by a vote of 220-215 (Roll Call 887). We have assigned pluses to the nays because a federal government takeover of our healthcare system is not authorized by the Constitution and will cost most Americans more for healthcare.



H R 2996: Department of Interior and Related Agencies Appropriations, 2010
Vote Date: October 29, 2009Vote: NAYGood Vote.
Interior-Environment Appropriations. This appropriations bill (H.R. 2996) would authorize $32.3 billion in fiscal 2010 for the Interior Department, the EPA, and related agencies. The bill would provide $11 billion for the Interior Department, $10.3 billion for the EPA, $3.5 billion for the Forest Service, and $4.1 billion for the Indian Health Service. Additionally, H.R. 2996 would authorize $168 million each for the National Endowment for the Arts and the National Endowment for the Humanities, and provide $761 million to the Smithsonian Institution.

The spending in H.R. 2996 is about $4.7 billion, or roughly 17 percent, more than what was received in fiscal 2009 for the same programs. Representative Jerry Lewis (R-Calif.) argued that the increased spending is "irresponsible, especially in light of the fact Congress must soon consider legislation to increase our national debt limit."

The House adopted the conference report for H.R. 2996 on October 29, 2009 by a vote of 247-178 (Roll Call 826). We have assigned pluses to the nays because the majority of funding in the bill is unconstitutional and wasteful.



H R 2997: Making appropriations for Agriculture, Rural Development, Food and Drug Administration, and Related Agencies programs for the fiscal year ending September 30, 2010, and for other purposes
Vote Date: October 7, 2009Vote: AYEBad Vote.
Agriculture Appropriations. The final version (conference report) of the Agriculture appropriations bill (H.R. 2997) would authorize $121.2 billion in fiscal 2010 for the Agriculture Department and related agencies. This social-welfare bill would include $21 billion for the Agriculture Department, $2.4 billion for the Food and Drug Administration, $58.3 billion to fund the food stamp program, $17 billion for the child nutrition program, $7.3 billion for the Women, Infants, and Children program, and $1.7 billion for the Food for Peace program.

Excluding emergency spending, H.R. 2997 would represent a $2.7 billion increase from the 2009 appropriations level. More than 80 percent of the funds for H.R. 2997 would be reserved for mandatory programs such as food stamps and crop support.

The House passed the final version of H.R. 2997 on October 7, 2009 by a vote of 263-162 (Roll Call 761). We have assigned pluses to the nays because federal aid to farmers and federal food aid to individuals are not authorized by the Constitution.



H R 3183: Making appropriations for energy and water development and related agencies, FY 2010
Vote Date: October 1, 2009Vote: AYEBad Vote.
Energy-Water Appropriations. The final version (conference report) of H.R. 3183 would appropriate $34 billion in fiscal 2010 for energy and water projects. The funds would provide $27.1 billion for the Energy Department, $5.4 billion for the Army Corps of Engineers, and $1.1 billion for the Interior Department's Bureau of Reclamation.

The House passed the final version of H.R. 3183 on October 1, 2009 by a vote of 308-114 (Roll Call 752). We have assigned pluses to the nays because the Department of Energy is not authorized by the Constitution.



H R 3435: Making supplemental appropriations for fiscal year 2009 for the Consumer Assistance to Recycle and Save Program
Vote Date: July 31, 2009Vote: AYEBad Vote.
Cash for Clunkers Funding. After running out of funds almost immediately, Congress quickly introduced yet another bill (H.R. 3435) that would provide an additional $2 billion for the "Cash for Clunkers" program.

The "Consumer Assistance to Recycle and Save Act" (H.R. 2751) would authorize $4 billion for an auto trade-in program that's also known as "cash for clunkers." Under the program consumers were offered rebates of up to $4,500 if they traded in their old cars for more fuel-efficient ones. The vehicles traded in were destroyed, meaning cars not ready for the junkyard would be taken off the road, reducing the stock of used vehicles and inflating the prices of used cars.

The House passed H.R. 3435 on July 31, 2009 by a vote of 316-109 (Roll Call 682). We have assigned pluses to the nays because the federal government should not be subsidizing the car industry and because it is unconstitutional and wasteful.



H R 3293: Making appropriations for the Departments of Labor, Health and Human Services, and Education, and related agencies for the fiscal year ending September 30, 2010, and for other purposes
Vote Date: July 24, 2009Vote: AYEBad Vote.
Labor-HHS-Education Appropriations. This fiscal 2010 spending bill (H.R. 3293) would appropriate a massive $730.5 billion for the Departments of Labor, Health and Human Services, and Education. This bill, which is the largest of all the annual appropriations bills, includes $67.8 billion for the Department of Education and $603.5 billion for the Department of Health and Human Services, including $518.8 billion in "mandatory" spending for Medicare and Medicaid.

The House passed H.R. 3293 on July 24, 2009 by a vote of 264-153 (Roll Call 646). We have assigned pluses to the nays because the array of social welfare programs funded by this bill is unconstitutional and has failed historically.



H R 3288: Making appropriations for the Departments of Transportation, HUD, and related agencies for FY 2010
Vote Date: July 23, 2009Vote: AYEBad Vote.
Transportation-HUD Appropriations. The fiscal 2010 Transportation-HUD appropriations (H.R. 3288) would authorize a whopping $123.1 billion for the Departments of Transportation and Housing and Urban Development. This includes $68.8 billion for discretionary spending for the two departments and their related agencies, a 25-percent increase from fiscal 2009 levels. The bill would provide $1.5 billion in federal grants for Amtrak and $18.2 billion for the Section 8 Tenant-based Rental Assistance program.

The House passed H.R. 3288 on July 23, 2009 by a vote of 256-168 (Roll Call 637). We have assigned pluses to the nays because virtually every dollar assigned to this bill, whether it is for transportation or housing assistance, is unconstitutional and unaffordable.



H R 3081: Making appropriations for the Department of State, foreign operations, and related programs for the fiscal year ending September 30, 2010, and for other purposes
Vote Date: July 9, 2009Vote: AYEBad Vote.
State-Foreign Aid Appropriations. This fiscal 2010 spending bill (H.R. 3081) would appropriate $49 billion for the State Department and various foreign-assistance and international activities. The foreign assistance in the bill includes $5.8 billion to help combat HIV/AIDS, $2.7 billion for Afghanistan, $2.2 billion for Israel, $1.5 billion for Pakistan, $1.4 billion for the Millennium Challenge Corporation (a United Nations-inspired entity), and $1.3 billion for Egypt.

Though foreign aid is supposed to help the poor and suffering in foreign countries, ultimately it transfers the wealth from American taxpayers to Third World elites who have become deficient in running their socialist regimes.

The House passed H.R. 3081 on July 9, 2009 by a vote of 318-106 (Roll Call 525). We have assigned pluses to the nays because foreign aid is unconstitutional and unworkable.



H R 2454: American Clean Energy and Security Act
Vote Date: June 26, 2009Vote: NAYGood Vote.
Cap and Trade. The American Clean Energy and Security Act (H.R. 2454), also known as the cap-and-trade bill, would not merely "cap" carbon dioxide and other "greenhouse" gas emissions, ostensibly to fight global warming, but would reduce the amount of allowable emissions over time -- to 17 percent below 2005 levels by 2020, 42 percent by 2030, and 83 percent by 2050. The government would auction or freely distribute a limited number of emission allowances, which companies would be able to buy or sell. Of course, as the total amount of allowable emissions is reduced, the price of the allowances would skyrocket -- and with them the price of electricity and whatever else is produced from burning fossil fuel. The Congressional Budget Office estimated that the effect of the House committee version of the bill would be to raise federal taxes by $846 billion and direct federal spending by $821 billion over the 2010-2019 period.

The House passed the cap-and-trade bill on June 26, 2009 by a vote of 219-212 (Roll Call 477). We have assigned pluses to the nays because this legislation would be devastating to the economy if enacted and the federal government has no constitutional authority to limit greenhouse-gas emissions.



H R 2346: Supplemental Appropriations, FY 2009
Vote Date: June 16, 2009Vote: AYEBad Vote.
Supplemental Appropriations. This final version (conference report) of the fiscal 2009 supplemental appropriations bill (H.R. 2346) would provide an additional $105.9 billion in so-called emergency funds over and above the regular appropriations for 2009. This outrageous supplemental package would include $79.9 billion for defense funding (including for the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan), $10.4 billion for foreign aid programs, $7.7 billion to address the national flu scare, and $5 billion for International Monetary Fund activities. This supplemental bill would also include $1 billion for the Cash for Clunkers program.

A day prior to the House vote, Representative Ron Paul (R-Texas) urged his fellow lawmakers to reject the bill, stating, "I continue to believe that the best way to support our troops is to bring them home from Iraq and Afghanistan.... Our continued presence in Iraq and Afghanistan does not make us safer at home, but in fact it undermines our national security."

The House adopted H.R. 2346 on June 16, 2009 by a vote of 226-202 (Roll Call 348). We have assigned pluses to the nays because the spending is over and above what the federal government had already budgeted, the United States never declared war against Iraq and Afghanistan, and some of the spending (e.g., Cash for Clunkers and foreign aid) is unconstitutional.



H R 2751: Consumer Assistance to Recycle and Save Act
Vote Date: June 9, 2009Vote: AYEBad Vote.
Cash for Clunkers. The "Consumer Assistance to Recycle and Save Act" (H.R. 2751) would authorize $4 billion for an auto trade-in program that's also known as "cash for clunkers." Under the program, consumers would be offered rebates of up to $4,500 if they trade in their old cars for more fuel-efficient ones. The vehicles traded-in would have to be destroyed, meaning that cars not yet ready for the junkyard would be taken off the road, reducing the stock of used vehicles and inflating the price of used cars.

The House passed H.R. 2751 on June 9, 2009, by a vote of 298-119 (Roll Call 314). We have assigned pluses to the nays because the federal government should not be subsidizing the automotive companies via vouchers to customers. Besides, it's unconstitutional.



H R 2200: On Agreeing to the Amendment 10 to H R 2200
Vote Date: June 4, 2009Vote: AYEGood Vote.
Body Imaging Screening. During consideration of the Transportation Security Administration Authorization bill (H.R. 2200), Rep. Jason Chaffetz (R-Utah) offered an amendment that would prohibit the use of Whole-Body Imaging (WBI) as the primary method of screening at airports. The amendment would allow passengers the option of a pat-down search rather than being subjected to a WBI search that shows extremely intimate details of one's body. The Chaffetz amendment would also prohibit TSA from storing, copying, or transferring any images that are produced by WBI machines.

Since its creation, TSA has become infamous for its meddlesome searches and disregard for an individual's right of privacy. Evidence shows that corruption and mismanagement have been commonplace within the relatively new federal department for years. The Chaffetz amendment would do very little to scale back the power held by the TSA, but it does offer some hope that our representatives are not wholly unaware of how the TSA and its policies would threaten the privacy of American citizens through a process that has been called a "virtual strip-search."

The House adopted the Chaffetz amendment by a "Committee of the Whole" on June 4, 2009, by a vote of 310-118 (Roll Call 305). We have assigned pluses to the yeas because such technology is obtrusive for American citizens and violates our right of protection against unwarranted searches and seizures.



H R 2346: Supplemental Appropriations, FY 2009
Vote Date: May 14, 2009Vote: AYEBad Vote.
Supplemental Appropriations. The Fiscal 2009 Supplemental Appropriations bill (H.R. 2346) would provide an additional $96.7 billion in "emergency" funding for the current fiscal year over and above the regular appropriations. Included in the funds for H.R. 2346 is $84.5 billion for the ongoing operations in Afghanistan and Iraq, $10 billion for foreign aid programs, and $2 billion for flu pandemic preparation.

The House passed H.R. 2346 on May 14, 2009, by a vote of 368-60 (Roll Call 265). We have assigned pluses to the nays because the spending is over and above what the federal government had already budgeted, the United States never declared war against Iraq and Afghanistan, and some of the spending (e.g., foreign aid) is unconstitutional.



S CON RES 13: Congressional Budget for Fiscal Year 2010
Vote Date: April 29, 2009Vote: AYEBad Vote.
Budget Resolution. The final version of the Fiscal 2010 Budget Resolution (Senate Concurrent Resolution 13) calls for $3.56 trillion in federal spending for the fiscal year beginning on September 1, 2009. This level of spending would be significantly less than the $4.0 trillion the Obama administration forecast in May that the federal government would spend in the current fiscal year (which includes the $700 billion TARP program), but significantly more than the $3.0 trillion the federal government spent in fiscal 2008. And the deficit for fiscal 2010 would be more than $1 trillion.

The House passed the final version (conference report) of the budget resolution on April 29, 2009, by a vote of 233-193 (Roll Call 216). We have assigned pluses to the nays because much of the budget is unconstitutional (e.g., foreign aid, education, healthcare, etc.), and the federal government should end deficit spending and live within its means.



H R 1913: Local Law Enforcement Hate Crimes Prevention Act
Vote Date: April 29, 2009Vote: NAYGood Vote.
Hate Crimes. The passage of the Hate Crimes Prevention Act (H.R. 1913) would expand the federal hate crimes law to include crimes that are based on sexual orientation, gender, or physical or mental disability. (Current law covers crimes based on race, color, religion, or national origin.) This bill would allow for harsher sentencing for individuals who commit violent crimes because of politically incorrect hateful motives. This legislation begs the question, are not all violent crimes committed with some hateful motive? If so, H.R. 1913 would ensure that some victims will receive more "equal protection under the law" than others. In a guest commentary in the Denver Post editorial, criminal defense lawyer Robert J. Corry, Jr. opined: "The 'hate crime' law does not apply equally, instead criminalizing only politically incorrect thoughts directed against politically incorrect victim categories."

The House passed H.R. 1913 on April 29, 2009, by a vote of 249-175 (Roll Call 223). We have assigned pluses to the nays because this legislation would further federalize the criminal code as well as punish not only criminal acts, but the thoughts behind them.



H R 1139: COPS Improvements Act of 2009
Vote Date: April 23, 2009Vote: AYEBad Vote.
COPS Funding. The Community Oriented Policing Services bill (H.R. 1139) would authorize $1.8 billion a year from fiscal 2009 through 2014 for the Justice Department's COPS program. This is up from the $1.05 billion that was authorized for the COPS program for fiscal years 2006 through 2009. The funds authorized for H.R. 1139 would aid in the hiring of law-enforcement officers.

The House passed H.R. 1139 on April 23, 2009, by a vote of 342-78 (Roll Call 206). We have assigned pluses to the nays because providing federal aid to local law-enforcement programs is not only unconstitutional, but also further federalizes the police system.



H R 1388: Generations Invigorating Volunteerism and Education (GIVE) Act
Vote Date: March 18, 2009Vote: AYEBad Vote.
National Service. The Serve America Act (H.R. 1388) would reauthorize Corporation for National and Community Service programs through 2014, and expand the number of "volunteer" positions (which are actually paid positions) in national-service programs such as AmeriCorps from 75,000 to 250,000. The Congressional Budget Office estimates that the House version of this legislation would cost $6 billion and the Senate version would cost $5 billion over five years.

The House passed H.R. 1388 on March 18, 2009, by a vote of 321-105 (Roll Call 140). We have assigned pluses to the nays because national-service programs are not authorized by the Constitution.



H R 1: Making supplemental appropriations for fiscal year ending 2009
Vote Date: February 13, 2009Vote: AYEBad Vote.
Economic Stimulus. The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (H.R. 1) would provide $787 billion -- $575 billion in new spending and $212 billion in tax cuts -- to stimulate the economy. The "stimulus" spending is supposed to create jobs, yet the money that the government spends for this purpose would have to be drained from the economy in the first place, thereby destroying jobs throughout the economy in order to give the government the means to create jobs in selected sectors. Even the tax cuts, which constitute less than a third of the stimulus package, would not reduce the burden that government spending places on the economy, since there are no corresponding spending cuts. Since the federal government is already operating in the red, the entire $787-billion "stimulus" would translate into another $787 billion in federal debt, as well as inflation when the money to finance the debt is created out of thin air by the Fed and pumped into the economy. In fact, the legislation would increase the national debt ceiling by $789 billion, a little more than the bill's price tag.

The House passed the final version (conference report) for H.R. 1 on February 13, 2009, by a vote of 246-183 (Roll Call 70). We have assigned pluses to the nays because most of the spending would be unconstitutional and government cannot stimulate the economy by draining money from the private sector.



H R 2: Children's Health Insurance Program Reauthorization Act of 2009
Vote Date: February 4, 2009Vote: AYEBad Vote.
SCHIP. H.R. 2 would reauthorize the State Children's Health Insurance Program, commonly referred to as SCHIP, for over four and a half years and increase the funding for the program by $32.8 billion. SCHIP is designed to provide health insurance to children of families whose incomes are up to four times above the poverty level (and therefore would have too much income to qualify for Medicaid), yet would have little income to buy private insurance. Often SCHIP crowds out private insurance: the Congressional Budget Office found that between 25 and 50 percent of children who enroll in SCHIP dropped their private insurance to get "free care." Because SCHIP, like Medicaid and Medicare, pays doctors and hospitals only a fraction of the actual cost of care, the unfunded costs get passed to holders of private insurance. Additionally, SCHIP would apply to 400,000 to 600,000 children of legal immigrants whose sponsors had agreed to cover the children's healthcare needs for at least five years after arriving to the United States.

The House passed H.R. 2 on February 4, 2009, by a vote of 290-135 (Roll Call 50). We have assigned pluses to the nays because federal healthcare programs are unconstitutional and would likely lower the quality of healthcare.



H J RES 3: Relating to the disapproval of obligations under the Emergency Economic Stabilization Act of 2008
Vote Date: January 22, 2009Vote: NAYBad Vote.
TARP Funding. House Joint Resolution 3 would have prevented the release of the remaining $350 billion of the Troubled Asset Relief Program (TARP) to bail out banks and other institutions. The Emergency Economic Stabilization Act of 2008 had authorized a total of $700 billion, only half of which was initially released, for TARP. The act was written so that the Treasury Department, which administers the program, could start spending the second $350 billion unless both chambers of Congress disapproved.

This joint resolution to disapprove the release of the second $350 billion was passed on January 22, 2009, by a vote of 270-155 (Roll Call 27). We have assigned pluses to the yeas because the Constitution does not authorize Congress to grant financial aid or loans to private companies, e.g., banks and automakers.



H R 1424: Emergency Economic Stabilization Act of 2008
Vote Date: October 3, 2008Vote: AYEBad Vote.
Bailout Bill. The Emergency Economic Stabilization Act of 2008 (H.R. 1424) passed 263-171 (Roll Call 681) on October 3, 2008. This bill authorizes the Treasury Department to use $700 billion of taxpayer money to purchase troubled mortgage-related securities from banks and other financial-related institutions, on terms set by the Treasury Secretary, who now has authority to manage and sell those assets. The bailout plan also expands FDIC protection from $100,000 to $250,000 per bank account, extends dozens of expiring tax provisions, expands incentives for renewable energy, provides a one-year adjustment to exempt millions of Americans from the alternative minimum tax, and requires health insurers who provide mental-health coverage to put mental-health benefits on par with other medical benefits.

We have assigned pluses to the nays because the bill establishes an unconstitutional merger of government with banks and businesses -- in other words, corporate fascism -- and greatly increases the national debt and monetary inflation by forcing taxpayers to pay the price for the failures of private financial institutions.



H R 6899: Comprehensive American Energy Security and Consumer Protection Act
Vote Date: September 16, 2008Vote: AYEBad Vote.
Bogus Offshore Drilling Compromise. The Comprehensive American Energy Security and Consumer Protection Act (H.R. 6899) passed 236-189 (Roll Call 599) on September 16, 2008. The plan would allow limited offshore drilling for oil and gas in some areas previously banned by Congress since 1981. Public pressure for action to reduce energy prices motivated the Democrat majority to push through an energy bill before the election, a plan purported to increase offshore drilling, but with overwhelming disincentives.

The measure would permit drilling no nearer to the coast than 100 miles, unless states choose to reduce that to 50 miles. However, it is the first 50 miles that has been exceedingly productive and where infrastructure is ready to expedite drilling in some areas. All royalties from new oil and gas leases permitted under the bill would go to the federal government. States are thus deprived of a revenue incentive for granting the 50-mile privilege. A better alternative to this phony compromise is to let the moratorium on offshore drilling expire and not renew it. That expiration did occur on October 1.

We have assigned pluses to the nays because the Constitution does not authorize the federal government to assume regulation, much less micromanagement, of the energy industry.



H R 6633: Employee Verification Amendment Act of 2008
Vote Date: July 31, 2008Vote: AYEBad Vote.
Employee Verification Program. H.R. 6633 would reauthorize the E-Verify (Internet-based) pilot employment eligibility verification program allowing employers to verify employment eligibility of new hires. The program is administered by the Department of Homeland Security, which would be required to provide funding to the Social Security Administration for checking Social Security numbers submitted by employers under the program.

The House passed the bill on July 31, 2008 by a vote of 407-2 (Roll Call 557). We have assigned pluses to the nays because Social Security numbers were not intended to be used and should not be used as the basis for a national ID database. An alternative measure (H.R. 5515) would have the screening for employment eligibility verification provided by state-administered private companies that already track employee verification for child-support enforcement.



H R 5501: Tom Lantos and Henry J. Hyde United States Global Leadership Against HIV/AIDS, Tuberculosis, and Malaria Reauthorization Act
Vote Date: July 24, 2008Vote: AYEBad Vote.
Global HIV/AIDS Program. This version of H.R. 5501, as modified by the Senate, was agreed to 303-115 (Roll Call 531) on July 24, 2008. The bill would authorize $48 billion for fiscal 2009 through 2013 to combat AIDS, malaria, and tuberculosis overseas. Currently one-third of the funding for HIV prevention is required to go to abstinence education. The bill would change that allocation to balance funding between condom, fidelity, and abstinence programs. It would also authorize $2 billion to fund programs for American Indian health, clean water, and law enforcement.

We have assigned pluses to the nays because foreign aid is unconstitutional.



H R 3221: Foreclosure Prevention Act of 2008
Vote Date: July 23, 2008Vote: AYEBad Vote.
Mortgage Relief. This legislation (H.R. 3221) would grant authority to the Treasury Department to extend new credit and buy stock in the Federal National Mortgage Association (Fannie Mae) and the Federal Home Loan Mortgage Corporation (Freddie Mac). As described by Congressional Quarterly, "It also would create an independent regulator for the two mortgage giants and the Federal Home Loan Bank System. It would overhaul the Federal Housing Administration and allow it to insure up to $300 billion worth of new, refinanced loans for struggling mortgage borrowers. It also includes a $7,500 tax credit to some first-time homebuyers, higher loan limits for FHA-backed loans, a standard tax deduction for property taxes and revenue-raisers to offset part of the costs. It also would authorize $3.92 billion in grants to states and localities to purchase and rehabilitate foreclosed properties, and increase the federal debt limit to $10.6 trillion."

The House passed H.R. 3221 on July 23, 2008 by a vote of 272-152 (Roll Call 519). We have assigned pluses to the nays because the federal government acting as an insurer, a micromanager of markets, and a wealth redistributor is unconstitutional and will undoubtedly affect market behavior, leading to more and worse market strife.



H R 6346: Federal Price Gouging Prevention Act
Vote Date: June 24, 2008Vote: AYEBad Vote.
Energy Price Gouging. A motion to suspend the rules and pass H.R. 6346, the Federal Price Gouging Prevention Act, was rejected 276-146 (Roll Call 448) on June 24, 2008. Under suspension of the rules, a two-thirds majority would have been required for passage. The bill would have permitted states to sue retailers believed to have been price gouging for fuels sold in areas where there was an energy emergency. The bill also would have set civil and criminal penalties for price gouging.

We have assigned pluses to the nays because no federal or state government investigation (and there have been many over the years) has ever found broad market manipulation in the oil industry. Furthermore, there is no clear definition of "price gouging." Hence, this bill would likely have been counterproductive, as it would have created an incentive for retailers to close, rather than risk penalties for simply following the economic laws of supply and demand. Besides, the federal government has no business trying to dictate prices in the private sector, under any circumstances.



H R 6304: FISA Amendments Act of 2008
Vote Date: June 20, 2008Vote: AYEBad Vote.
Warrantless Searches. H.R. 6304, the bill to revamp the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA), would allow warrantless electronic surveillance, including monitoring telephone conversations and e-mails, of foreign targets, including those communicating with American citizens in the United States. The final version of the bill would not explicitly grant immunity to telecommunications companies that have assisted President Bush's warrantless surveillance program. But it would require courts to dismiss lawsuits against such companies if there is "substantial evidence" they were insured in writing the program was legal and authorized by the president. The provision would almost certainly result in the dismissal of the lawsuits.

The House passed H.R. 6304 on June 20, 2008 by a vote of 293-129 (Roll Call 437). We have assigned pluses to the nays because warrantless searches are a violation of the Fourth Amendment, which protects Americans against unreasonable searches and seizures, and requires that any searches be conducted only upon issuance of a warrant under conditions of probable cause. Moreover, Article I, Section 9 of the Constitution forbids "ex post facto laws" -- laws having a retroactive effect.



H R 6124: To provide for the continuation of agricultural and other programs of the Department of Agriculture through the fiscal year 2012, and for other purposes
Vote Date: June 18, 2008Vote: AYEBad Vote.
Farm Bill (Veto Override). H.R. 6124 would authorize the nation's farm programs for the next five years, including crop subsidies and nutrition programs. The final version of the legislation provides $289 billion for these programs, including a $10.4 billion boost in spending for nutrition programs such as food stamps.

After this legislation was vetoed by President Bush, the House passed the bill over the president's veto on June 18, 2008 by a vote of 317-109 (Roll Call 417). A two-thirds majority vote is required to override a presidential veto. We have assigned pluses to the nays because federal aid to farmers and federal food aid to individuals are not authorized by the Constitution.



H R 6028: Merida Initiative to Combat Illicit Narcotics and Reduce Organized Crime Authorization Act
Vote Date: June 10, 2008Vote: AYEBad Vote.
Aid to Mexican Military. H.R. 6028 would authorize $1.1 billion in fiscal years 2008-10 to train and equip the Mexican military and law-enforcement agencies for the stated purpose of combating drug trafficking and organized crime. The Mexican government is rife with corruption, and there is no guarantee the expenditure would have the intended effect. "It is inexcusable, it is intolerable to send one dime to the Mexican government when they can afford to pay for this equipment themselves," Rep. John Culberson (R-Texas) said. "But more importantly, our southern border is not secure." H.R. 6028 would also authorize $405 million during the same period for aid to Central American countries.

The House passed H.R. 6028 on June 10, 2008 by a vote of 311-106 (Roll Call 393). We have assigned pluses to the nays because foreign aid is not authorized by the Constitution.



S CON RES 70: The Congressional Budget Resolution
Vote Date: June 5, 2008Vote: NAYGood Vote.
Budget Resolution. The final version of the Fiscal 2009 Budget Resolution (Senate Concurrent Resolution 70) was adopted 214-210 on June 5, 2008 (Roll Call 382). Drafted by the Democrats, this $3.03 trillion budget sets nonbinding limits for the 12 annual appropriations bills. Last year's $2.9 trillion budget allowed $145.2 billion for operations in Iraq and Afghanistan. The new budget included only $70 billion for the two wars in 2009 and nothing thereafter, an unrealistic notion that understates true spending intent and necessitates more war funding in a supplemental bill. The budget would be significantly higher if war funding were not largely off-budget. The plan predicts a hypothetical budget surplus by 2012, which is meaningless.

All spending bills would be increased over 2008. The budget assumes that revenue will be stable or increase and that some tax cuts will expire. An increase was called for in the statutory debt ceiling by $800 billion to $10.6 trillion. That promptly occurred in the Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac bailout. We have assigned pluses to the nays because inflation and the national debt are skyrocketing as Congress persists at disregarding constitutional limits on spending.



H R 2419: Farm, Nutrition, and Bioenergy Act
Vote Date: May 14, 2008Vote: AYEBad Vote.
Farm Bill. H.R. 2419 would authorize the nation's farm programs for the next five years, including crop subsidies and nutrition programs. The final version of this legislation worked out by House and Senate conferees (known as a conference report) provides $289 billion for these programs, including a $10.4 billion boost in spending for nutrition programs such as food stamps.

The House passed the conference report on H.R. 2419 by a vote of 318-106 (Roll Call 315) on May 14, 2008. We have assigned pluses to the nays because federal aid to farmers and federal food aid to individuals are not authorized by the Constitution.



H R 3221: Foreclosure Prevention Act of 2008
Vote Date: May 8, 2008Vote: AYEBad Vote.
Mortgage Relief. Amendment No. 1 to H.R. 3221 was passed 266-154 on May 8, 2008 (Roll Call 301). It would provide $300 billion in new authority for the Federal Housing Administration (FHA) to help borrowers facing foreclosure refinance into FHA-insured, fixed-rate mortgages, provided that mortgage loan holders are willing to take a write-down on the original value of a loan to allow refinancing to be on an amount not to exceed 90 percent of the current appraised value of the property.

Thus lenders who made unwise loans can do partial write-downs in order to offload to the government the risk associated with their loans most likely to be defaulted on. The plan is a bailout of both troubled lenders and borrowers, ultimately sticking taxpayers with the default risk. Moreover, the program would unfairly make a gift of partial home equity to borrowers facing foreclosure, a gift not offered to those who are managing to make their mortgage payments on time, have no mortgage, or who rent.

We have assigned pluses to the nays because the federal government acting as an insurer, micro-manager of markets, and wealth redistributor is unconstitutional. Also, the morphing of H.R. 3221 from an energy bill into a foreclosure prevention bill was a procedural travesty.



H R 5036: Emergency Assistance for Secure Elections Act of 2008
Vote Date: April 15, 2008Vote: AYEBad Vote.
State Voting Assistance. H.R. 5036, The Emergency Assistance for Secure Elections Act, was rejected 239-178 on April 15, 2008 (Roll Call 188). The act purportedly would increase the security of U.S. elections by reimbursing jurisdictions that voluntarily replace Direct Recording Electronic voting systems with voter-verifiable paper ballot systems in time for the 2008 elections. The bill would grant the Election Administration Commission (EAC) new audit regulatory powers and funding to pay for random vote count audits and hand counts of paper ballots cast in the 2008 elections. The cost could be as high as $685 million.

We have assigned pluses to the nays because the act would expand an unconstitutional federal power grab to control elections that was initiated through the disastrous Help America Vote Act of 2002 with its establishing of the EAC. That act fostered and financed a huge increase in the use of electronic voting equipment which can be hacked, lacks credible auditing, and vastly increases the potential for wholesale voter fraud. Politicians who caused that problem now seek its remedy through even more federal control and tax dollars. It is better (and constitutional!) for each state to manage and pay for its own elections.



H R 5501: Tom Lantos and Henry J. Hyde United States Global Leadership Against HIV/AIDS, Tuberculosis, and Malaria Reauthorization Act
Vote Date: April 2, 2008Vote: AYEBad Vote.
Global HIV/AIDS Foreign Aid Program. H.R. 5501 would authorize $50 billion over five years to provide assistance to foreign countries for the stated purpose of combating HIV/AIDS, tuberculosis, and malaria. The program was established five years earlier to fill an "emergency" function, but this legislation shifts the purpose (in the words of Congressional Quarterly) "toward a long-term, sustainable plan" including (for example) training 140,000 new healthcare workers. Prior to voting on the bill itself, the House rejected a motion to recommit the bill to lower the cost to $30 billion -- the funding level President Bush had requested.

The House passed H.R. 5501 on April 2, 2008 by a vote of 308-116 (Roll Call 158). We have assigned pluses to the nays because foreign aid is unconstitutional.



H CON RES 312: Revising the congressional Budget for the United States Government for fiscal year 2008, establishing the congressional budget for the United States Government for fiscal year 2009, and setting forth appropriate budgetary levels for fiscal years 2010 through 2013.
Vote Date: March 13, 2008Vote: NAYGood Vote.
2009 Federal Budget. House Concurrent Resolution 312, the House plan for the fiscal 2009 budget, was adopted 212-207 on March 13, 2008 (Roll Call 141). This Democrat-drafted, nonbinding budget recommends outlays of about $2.6 trillion for FY2009, with a deficit of $536 billion. The budget would allow some Bush tax cuts to expire or sunset in 2010, thus increasing federal revenues without overtly raising taxes.

The House Republican Conference, in opposition to the plan, points out that taxes would increase $683 billion over the next five years, the child tax credit would be cut, the marriage penalty would come back, small business tax credits would be reduced, and dividends and capital gains taxes would be raised.

We have assigned pluses to the nays because the American welfare state this budget expands is unconstitutional. It should initially be frozen at least and then reduced.



H R 5351: Renewable Energy and Energy Conservation Tax Act of 2008
Vote Date: February 27, 2008Vote: AYEBad Vote.
Targeting American Oil Companies. H.R. 5351, the $18.1 billion Renewable Energy and Energy Conservation Tax Act, passed 236-182 on February 27, 2008 (Roll Call 84). It would provide tax deductions and incentives for the production of renewable energy (including wind, solar, and ethanol) and for energy conservation. To offset $13.7 billion of the bill's cost, the domestic manufacturing tax deduction would be taken away from the five largest integrated oil companies operating in the United States. Specifically targeted were ExxonMobil, Chevron, ConocoPhillips, and foreign-headquartered Shell and BP. Citgo Petroleum Corp., a subsidiary of the government-owned oil company of Venezuela, would not lose its six-percent deduction.

We have assigned pluses to the nays because increasing taxes for the largest U.S. oil producers would drive gasoline prices higher and because Congress should not be subsidizing energy development, including renewable energy. The increased tax expense to corporations would simply be passed on to consumers. Targeting the top U.S. oil companies for making record profits is a disincentive to increasing exploration and production; undermines the exceedingly large capital base required to rebuild when Katrina-type hurricanes devastate the oil patch; and is unfair. Other companies and sectors with record profits would be untouched, not to mention foreign oil producers larger than Exxon.



H R 5140: Recovery Rebates and Economic Stimulus for the American People Act of 2008
Vote Date: January 29, 2008Vote: AYEBad Vote.
Economic Stimulus. H.R. 5140, the Economic Stimulus Act of 2008, passed 385-35 on January 29, 2008 (Roll Call 25). It would provide about $150 billion in economic stimulus, including $101.1 billion in direct payments of rebate checks (typically $600) to most taxpayers in 2008 and temporary tax breaks for businesses.

We have assigned pluses to the nays because creating money out of thin air and then spending the newly created money cannot improve the economy, at least not in the long term. (If it could, why not create even more money for rebates and make every American a millionaire?) The stimulus has no offset and thus increases the federal deficit by the amount of the stimulus because the government must borrow the rebate money. A realistic long-term stimulus can only be achieved by lowering taxes through less government and by reducing regulatory burdens.



H R 3963: Children's Health Insurance Program Reauthorization Act of 2007
Vote Date: January 23, 2008Vote: AYEBad Vote.
Children's Health Insurance. H.R. 3963, a bill to reauthorize the Children's Health Insurance Program, was rejected 260-152 on January 23, 2008 (Roll Call 22) when the House failed to get the necessary two-thirds majority of those present to override President Bush's veto. The bill would have authorized the State Children's Health Insurance Program (SCHIP) at nearly $60 billion over five years, expanding the program by $35 billion. It also would have put an additional tax on cigarette manufacturers, would have undermined private insurance plans, and would have pushed us further down the slippery slope to socialized medicine.

We have assigned pluses to the nays, because federal healthcare programs are unconstitutional.





*** Prior to 2008, "The Freedom Index" was known as the "The Conservative Index." ***





H R 3043: Making appropriations for the Department of Labor, Health and Human Services, and Education, and related agencies for fiscal year ending September 30, 2008, and for other purposes
Vote Date: November 15, 2007Vote: AYEBad Vote.
Labor-HHS-Education Appropriations. H.R. 3043, a bill to appropriate funding for fiscal 2008 labor, health, human services, and education programs, was rejected 227-141 on November 15, 2007 (Roll Call 1122) in a failed veto override requiring a two-thirds majority. Total appropriations would have been $606 billion. The bill included $150.7 billion -- $6.2 billion more than for fiscal 2007 -- in "discretionary" spending, that is spending the government has not deemed mandatory, such as the big entitlement programs. It also contained more than 2,200 earmarks totaling about $1 billion.

We have assigned pluses to the nays because social-welfare programs are unconstitutional.



H R 1429: Improving Head Start Act
Vote Date: November 14, 2007Vote: AYEBad Vote.
Head Start. The final version (conference report) of H.R. 1429, a bill to reauthorize the Head Start program through 2012, was adopted 381-36 on November 14, 2007 (Roll Call 1090). Head Start provides educational activities and social services for children up to age five from low-income families. The program received $6.9 billion in fiscal year 2007. $7 billion was authorized in the fiscal 2008 omnibus bill, but H.R. 1429 increased funding to $7.4 billion for fiscal 2008, $7.7 billion for 2009, and $8 billion for 2010. The income level at which families are eligible to participate was raised from 100 percent of the poverty level to 130 percent ($26,728 for a family of four). Some members opposed the bill because Head Start grants will not be allowed to faith-based organizations that hire employees on the basis of religious preference.

We have assigned pluses to the nays because the bill advances the federalizing of the educational system, and federal involvement in education is unconstitutional.



H R 3688: United States-Peru Trade Promotion Agreement
Vote Date: November 8, 2007Vote: NAYGood Vote.
Peru Free Trade Agreement. The Peru Free Trade Agreement (H.R. 3688) is another in a series of free-trade agreements to transfer the power to regulate trade (and other powers as well) to regional arrangements. Other examples include the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) and Central American Free Trade Agreement (CAFTA). However, the Committee on Ways and Means Report accompanying H.R. 3688 noted that "the Peru FTA has become the first U.S. free trade agreement to include, in its core text fully enforceable commitments by the Parties to adopt, maintain, and enforce basic international labor standards, as stated in the 1988 ILO Declaration on Fundamental Principles and Rights at Work." The ILO, or International Labor Organization, is a UN agency.

The House passed the bill by a vote of 285-132 (Roll Call 1060) on November 8, 2007. We have assigned pluses to the nays because the Peru FTA and other so-called free-trade arrangements threaten our national independence and (as we've seen with NAFTA) harm our economy.



H R 1955: Violent Radicalization and Homegrown Terrorism Prevention Act of 2007
Vote Date: October 23, 2007Vote: AYEBad Vote.
Thought Crimes. This bill (H.R. 1955), known as the "Violent Radicalization and Homegrown Terrorism Prevention Act of 2007," could more aptly be titled the "Thought Crimes Act." The bill would establish a National Commission on the Prevention of Violent Radicalization and Homegrown Terrorism and establish a grant program to prevent radicalization in the United States. However, critics charge that the bill is a thinly disguised attempt to criminalize dissent, based on the bill's vague and open-ended language that could be used to trample basic rights to free speech and assembly, and turn legitimate dissent into thought crimes. For instance, the bill defines "violent radicalization" as "the process of adopting or promoting an extremist belief system for the purpose of facilitating ideologically based violence to advance political, religious, or social change." The bill does not define either "extremist belief system" or "facilitating ideologically based violence." The bill also states that "the Internet has aided in facilitating violent radicalization, ideologically based violence, and the homegrown terrorism process in the United States by providing access to broad and constant streams of terrorist-related propaganda to United States citizens."

The House passed H.R. 1955 by a vote of 404-6 (Roll Call 993) on October 23, 2007. We have assigned pluses to the nays because the bill threatens legitimate dissent.



S 1927: Protect America Act
Vote Date: August 4, 2007Vote: AYEBad Vote.
Foreign Intelligence Surveillance. This bill (S. 1927) would allow warrantless electronic surveillance (eavesdropping) of targets outside the United States regardless of whether they are communicating with someone within the United States. This surveillance had been conducted illegally by the CIA. Under this legislation, communications companies would be required to comply with surveillance requests and would be provided lawsuit protections.

The House passed S. 1927 by a vote of 227-183 (Roll Call 836) on August 4, 2007. We have assigned pluses to the nays because warrantless surveillance of American citizens is a violation of the Fourth Amendment provision against "unreasonable searches and seizures." Although the bill includes a sunset provision causing it to expire after six months, President Bush has already called for making the bill permanent.



H R 3161: Making appropriations for Agriculture, Rural Development, Food and Drug Administration, and Related Agencies programs for the fiscal year ending September 30, 2008, and for other purposes.
Vote Date: August 2, 2007Vote: AYEBad Vote.
Agriculture Appropriations. The 2008 Agriculture appropriations bill would provide $90.7 billion for the Agriculture department, the Food and Drug Administration, and related agencies. It would include funding for the food-stamp ($39.8 billion) and child-nutrition programs ($13.9 billion), farm subsidies and crop insurance, conservation programs, rural development programs, etc.

The House passed the bill by a vote of 237-18 (Roll Call 816) on August 2, 2007. We have assigned pluses to the nays because federal aid to farmers and federal food aid to individuals are not authorized in the Constitution.



H R 3162: Children's Health and Medicare Protection Act of 2007
Vote Date: August 1, 2007Vote: NAYGood Vote.
SCHIP. This bill (H.R. 3162) would authorize about $86 billion over five years for the State Children's Health Insurance Program (SCHIP). The federal funds are given to state governments to provide healthcare for low-income, uninsured children. However, this expansion would extend the program to others from higher-income families who are already covered by private insurance plans.

The House passed the bill by a vote of 225-204 (Roll Call 787) on August 1, 2007. We have assigned pluses to the nays because federal healthcare funding is unconstitutional.



H R 3074: On Agreeing to the Amendment 32 to H R 3074
Vote Date: July 24, 2007Vote: AYEGood Vote.
NAFTA Superhighway. During consideration of the fiscal 2008 Transportation-HUD appropriations bill, Representative Duncan Hunter (R-Calif.) offered an amendment to prohibit the use of the funds in the bill for participation in "a working group under the Security and Prosperity Partnership," including the NAFTA Superhighway. A news release issued by Hunter's congressional office explained that "SPP working groups are advancing a plan to build the NAFTA Super Highway -- an international corridor extending between the U.S., Mexico and Canada." The NAFTA Superhighway is part of a broader plan to gradually integrate the three countries in a North American Union.

The House adopted the Hunter amendment by a vote of 362-63 (Roll Call 707) on July 24, 2007. We have assigned pluses to the yeas because the NAFTA Superhighway threatens our national security and economy.



H R 1851: Section 8 Voucher Reform Act
Vote Date: July 12, 2007Vote: AYEGood Vote.
Proof of Legal Residency for Federal Housing Vouchers. During consideration of the bill to authorize the Section 8 housing voucher program through 2012, Representative Shelley Moore Capito (R-W.Va.) offered a motion to recommit the bill back to committee to add language requiring that all occupants of Section 8 low-income housing establish proof of legal residency. The proof could consist of one of the following: a Social Security card along with a state or federal photo ID card; a U.S. passport; a driver's license; or a U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services photo ID card. The intent of Capito's motion is to prevent illegal aliens from receiving federally subsidized housing.

The House agreed to Capito's motion by a vote of 233-186 (Roll Call 628) on July 12, 2007. We have assigned pluses to the yeas because the federal government should not subsidize the housing of illegal aliens. (Of course, it should end housing subsidies to American citizens as well since such aid is unconstitutional.)



H R 2643: On Agreeing to the Amendment 22 to H R 2643
Vote Date: June 26, 2007Vote: NAYBad Vote.
Global Climate Change. During consideration of the fiscal 2008 Interior appropriations bill (H.R. 2643), Representative Joe Barton (R-Texas) introduced an amendment to strike from the bill nonbinding language calling for a mandatory program to combat global warming. Specifically, this provision of H.R. 2643 expresses "the sense of the Congress that there should be enacted a comprehensive and effective national program of mandatory, market-based limits and incentives" to reduce global greenhouse-gas emissions. An example of so-called "market-based limits" would be to allow companies that want to exceed their allowable emissions output to buy permits or allowances from companies that choose not to use their full allotment.

The House rejected the Barton amendment, and thereby kept the global-warming language in the bill, by a vote of 153-274 (Roll Call 555) on June 26, 2007. We have assigned pluses to the yeas because mandatory limits on greenhouse-gas emissions would harm the economy.



H R 2764: Department of State, Foreign Operations, and Related Programs Appropriations for FY 2008
Vote Date: June 22, 2007Vote: AYEBad Vote.
Foreign Aid. The fiscal 2008 foreign-aid appropriations bill (H.R. 2764) would authorize $34.4 billion for foreign operations and economic assistance. This amount represents another huge increase over similar House-passed appropriations for previous fiscal years -- $21.3 billion for 2007, $20.3 billion for 2006, and $19.4 billion for 2005.

The House passed the bill by a vote of 241-178 (Roll Call 542) on June 22, 2007. We have assigned pluses to the nays because foreign aid is unconstitutional.



H R 2638: On Agreeing to the Amendment 29 to H R 2638
Vote Date: June 15, 2007Vote: AYEBad Vote.
Funding the REAL ID Act (National ID). During consideration of the Homeland Security appropriations bill, Representative Brian Bilbray (R-Calif.) offered an amendment to reallocate $150 million of the bill's funding to provide grant money for assisting states in conforming to the REAL ID Act of 2005. The REAL ID Act requires all states to issue standardized driver's licenses that would serve as national ID cards. It was supposed to go into effect three years after the enactment of the act, but because of resistance from the states, the deadline has been extended to 2010 for states that request an extension. Once enacted, a federal agency would not be allowed to accept for any official purpose a driver's license or ID card issued by a state that fails to meet the act's requirements.

The House rejected the Bilbray amendment by a vote of 155-268 (Roll Call 479) on June 15, 2007. We have assigned pluses to the nays because the act would effectively create a national ID card.



H R 1585: On Agreeing to the Amendment 5 to H R 1585
Vote Date: May 16, 2007Vote: NAYBad Vote.
Iran Military Operations. During consideration for the fiscal 2008 defense authorization bill (H.R. 1585), Representative Peter DeFazio (D-Ore.) offered this amendment that would require President Bush to get specific congressional authorization before engaging in military operations in Iran.

The House rejected the DeFazio amendment in a Committee of the Whole on May 16, 2007, by a vote of 136-288. We have assigned pluses to the yeas because the power to declare war belongs solely to Congress, not the president. Under Article I, Section 8 of the U.S. Constitution, Congress alone has the power to declare war.



H R 1700: COPS Improvement Act
Vote Date: May 15, 2007Vote: AYEBad Vote.
COPS Funding. This bill (H.R. 1700) would provide the annual funds for the Community-Oriented Policing Services (COPS) program for fiscal 2008 through 2013. The bill would authorize $1.15 billion per fiscal year to aid in the hiring of law enforcement officers. The funding would include up to $600 million each year for "officers hired to perform intelligence, anti-terror or homeland security duties."

The House passed H.R. 1700 on May 15, 2007, by a vote of 381-34 (Roll Call 348). We have assigned pluses to the nays because providing federal aid to local law enforcement programs is not only unconstitutional, but it also further federalizes the police system.



H R 1773: Safe American Roads Act
Vote Date: May 15, 2007Vote: AYEGood Vote.
Mexican Trucks. This bill (H.R. 1773) would subject President Bush's pilot program to allow Mexican trucks to travel freely on U.S. highways to microscopic scrutiny. Current law requires cross-border traffic to unload their cargo onto American trucks within 20-25 miles of the border. This new bill would place certain conditions on Bush's pilot program, including the establishment of an independent review panel to uncover any problems with the program that would require the government to abort the program for good.

The Transportation Department has opposed this legislation, claiming NAFTA established the framework for open roadways for U.S. and Mexican truckers.

The House passed this bill on May 15, 2007, by a vote of 411-3 (Roll Call 349). We have assigned pluses to the yeas because allowing Mexican truckers to travel freely on U.S. roads would not only threaten U.S. security, but would also displace numerous American truckers who would lose their jobs to Mexican drivers who are willing to work for a much lower wage.



H R 2237: To provide for the redeployment of United States Armed Forces and defense contractors from Iraq
Vote Date: May 10, 2007Vote: NAYBad Vote.
Iraq Troop Withdrawal. This bill to withdraw U.S. troops and Defense Department contractors from Iraq (H.R. 2237) was purely a symbolic bill with little chance of passage by the House. The bill would require the withdrawal of troops and contractors to begin within 90 days of the bill's enactment, and to be completed within 180 days from the beginning date of the withdrawal.

The House rejected this bill on May 10, 2007, by a vote of 171-255 (Roll Call 330). We have assigned pluses to the yeas because, according to Article I, Section 8 of the Constitution, only Congress can declare war, and consequently our soldiers are not fighting under a constitutional mandate.



H R 1592: Local Law Enforcement Hate Crimes Prevention Act of 2007
Vote Date: May 3, 2007Vote: NAYGood Vote.
Hate Crimes. The Hate Crimes Prevention Act of 2007 (H.R. 1592) would expand the federal hate-crimes law to make certain crimes stand-alone offenses. The legislation would make it a federal offense to commit a crime against an individual based on gender, sexual orientation, gender identity, or disability. Current hate-crime laws extend to sentencing but do not provide for additional charges to be brought against an individual. Opponents of this legislation argue that H.R. 1592 would punish an individual for not only the crime, but the thoughts behind it. During floor debate on H.R. 1592 Minority Leader John A. Boehner (R-Ohio) said, "This unconstitutional bill would effectively give the federal government authority to punish American citizens for 'thought crimes' -- a concept that has Big Brother written all over it."

The House passed this bill on May 3, 2007, by a vote of 237-180 (Roll Call 299). We have assigned pluses to the nays because this legislation would further federalize the criminal code as well as punish not only the criminal and his actions, but the presumed thoughts behind them.



H R 1429: Improving Head Start Act
Vote Date: May 2, 2007Vote: AYEBad Vote.
Head Start Funding. The Head Start reauthorization bill (H.R. 1429) would authorize $7.4 billion for the Head Start program in fiscal 2008. The bill would also disburse "such sums as may be necessary" for fiscal years 2009-2012. The bill would also place more strict requirements on Head Start teachers, such as requiring them to have completed a bachelor's degree by 2013. The funding for the Head Start program is up from the $6.9 billion that it received in fiscal 2007.

The House passed this bill on May 2, 2007, by a vote of 365-48 (Roll Call 285). We have assigned pluses to the nays because the bill perpetuates a federally funded educational program, and federal aid to education is unconstitutional.



H R 1591: Making emergency supplemental appropriations for fiscal year ending September 30, 2007, and for other purposes
Vote Date: April 25, 2007Vote: AYEBad Vote.
Supplemental Spending -- Conference Report. The final version (conference report) of this supplemental appropriations bill (H.R. 1591) would provide an additional $124.2 billion for the previous fiscal year (fiscal 2007), over and above previous appropriations.

Although the bill would set a timetable for the withdrawal of American troops in Iraq, it would also authorize an additional $95.5 billion to carry out military operations in Iraq and Afghanistan. Additionally, this seemingly catchall bill also would raise the federal minimum wage to $7.25 an hour and provide nearly $5 billion in small-business incentives. Even if the spending in this supplemental bill were constitutional, it should have been added to the federal budget in the annual appropriations process.

The House passed H.R. 1591 on April 25, 2007, by a vote of 218-208 (Roll Call 265). We have assigned pluses to the nays for several reasons: it contained an enormous amount of unconstitutional spending, raised the federal minimum wage, and authorized money for the Iraq War, which itself was never authorized by Congress under Article I, Section 8, of the Constitution.



H CON RES 99: Congressional Budget for the U.S. Government for Fiscal Year 2008
Vote Date: March 29, 2007Vote: NAYGood Vote.
Budget Resolution. The 2008 budget resolution (House Concurrent Resolution 99) would increase the fiscal 2008 budget to approximately $2.9 trillion, an almost $150 billion increase from fiscal 2007. The bill's spending would include an astronomical $955.8 billion in discretionary spending, including $145.2 billion for military operations in Iraq and Afghanistan.

The House passed H. Con. Res. 99 by a vote of 216-210 (Roll Call 212) on March 29, 2007. We have assigned pluses to the nays because Congress must not continue to support massive amounts of irresponsible and unconstitutional spending.



H R 3: Stem Cell Research Enhancement Act
Vote Date: January 11, 2007Vote: NAYGood Vote.
Embryonic Stem-cell Research. The stem-cell research bill (H.R. 3) would allow federal funds to be used for research on embryos donated by in vitro fertility clinics. Embryonic stem-cell research is both immoral and unethical because it cannibalizes and destroys human embryos in the name of science. Supporters of embryonic stem-cell research argue that the cell lines could cure diseases such as cancer and diabetes. But rather than destroying human life, science should focus on cures from stem-cell lines derived from other sources, such as amniotic fluids.

Under threat of a presidential veto, the House passed this stem-cell research bill on January 11, 2007, by a vote of 253-174 (Roll Call 20). We have assigned pluses to the nays because it violates the right to life for millions of unborn babies and unconstitutionally mandates federal funds for scientific research.



H R 2: Fair Minimum Wage Act
Vote Date: January 10, 2007Vote: AYEBad Vote.
Minimum Wage. The minimum-wage increase bill (H.R. 2) would increase the federal minimum wage by $2.10 over two years to $7.25 an hour. Senator Ted Kennedy (D-Mass.) had repeatedly attempted to pass a minimum-wage increase in recent years, but the Republican-led Congress had always rejected his minimum-wage amendments. The minimum-wage increase represents one of the first major pushes of the newly elected Democratic Congress and was high up on the 100-hour legislative agenda pushed by House leaders at the beginning of the congressional year.

In 1996, the federal minimum wage was increased by 90 cents to the current $5.15 an hour. Though many people believe that raising the federal minimum wage is a solution to national poverty, allowing the market to dictate wages allows entry-level workers to get the experience and job training they need to get higher paying jobs.

The House passed H.R. 2 on January 10, 2007, by a vote of 315-116 (Roll Call 18). We have assigned pluses to the nays because it is unconstitutional for the government to prohibit citizens from working for less than a government-set wage.