Name: Bobby Jindal


Congress: Louisiana, District: 1, Republican


Cumulative Freedom Index Score: 45%


Status: Former Member of the House

Score Breakdown:
60% (110th Congress: 2007-2008); 40% (109th Congress: 2005-2006)

Key Votes:





*** 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: NONE No 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: NONE No 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: NONE No 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: NONE No 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: NONE No 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: NONE No 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: NONE No 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: NAYGood 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: NAYGood 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: NAYGood 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.



H R 5825: Electronic Surveillance Modernization Act
Vote Date: September 28, 2006Vote: AYEBad Vote.
Electronic Surveillance. The warrantless electronic surveillance bill (H.R. 5825) would allow electronic surveillance of communications with suspected terrorists without first obtaining approval from the secret courts established by the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act of 1978. Furthermore, the bill would authorize unwarranted surveillance for up to 90 days in some instances if a threat was considered "imminent." Intelligence agencies would be allowed to conduct warrantless surveillance for seven days prior to gaining court approval if the threat was considered an "emergency situation." This controversial bill had full support of the Bush administration as a means to provide greater national security in a post-9/11 world.

The House passed H.R. 5825 on September 28, 2006 by a vote of 232-191 (Roll Call 502). We have assigned pluses to the nays because such a law would violate the Fourth Amendment by subjecting U.S. citizens to unreasonable searches and seizures.



H R 6166: Military Commissions Act
Vote Date: September 27, 2006Vote: AYEBad Vote.
Military Tribunals. This bill (H.R. 6166) would authorize a new system of military tribunals to try persons designated "unlawful enemy combatants" by the president. The bill defines an unlawful enemy combatant to include a person who "has purposely and materially supported hostilities against the United States or its co-belligerents." Once designated an unlawful enemy combatant, a defendant's rights would be curtailed: he would be denied the right of habeas corpus; he could be detained indefinitely; and evidence obtained through coercion could be used against him--so long as the coercion falls outside the administration's definition of torture.

Critics of the tribunals bill are planning to file suit in order to test the constitutionality of the legislation. This legislation was in response to the U.S. Supreme Court's June 29 ruling on the case of Hamdan v. Rumsfeld, which declared that the administration's current system for trying military detainees was unconstitutional.

The House passed the military tribunals bill on September 27, 2006 by a vote of 253-168 (Roll Call 491). We have assigned pluses to the nays because the bill would curtail defendant rights.



H R 6061: Secure Fence Act of 2006
Vote Date: September 14, 2006Vote: AYEGood Vote.
Border Fence. The Secure Fence Act of 2006 (H.R. 6061) would authorize the construction of nearly 700 miles of fencing along the U.S.-Mexico border. The border fence is just the first of a series of border security initiatives that House Republicans intend to merge into the Homeland Security spending bill. If implemented, the 700 miles of fencing along the border would be a good first step toward protecting our borders from the massive influx of illegal immigration facing our country today.

The House passed H.R. 6061 on September 14, 2006 by a vote of 283-138 (Roll Call 446). We have assigned pluses to the yeas because such a border fence would help prevent illegal immigration and further protect our borders.



H R 5013: Disaster Recovery Personal Protection Act of 2006
Vote Date: July 25, 2006Vote: AYEGood Vote.
Gun Seizure. The Disaster Recovery Personal Protection Act of 2006 (H.R. 5013) would prohibit the confiscation of firearms in the wake of a natural disaster. This bill is a response to the illegal confiscating of firearms from the victims of Hurricane Katrina in August 2005.

H.R. 5013 was passed by the House on July 25, 2006 by a vote of 322-99 (Roll Call 401). We have assigned pluses to the yeas because confiscating 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."



H R 5684: To implement the United States-Oman Free Trade Agreement
Vote Date: July 20, 2006Vote: AYEBad Vote.
Oman Trade Agreement. The Oman Free Trade Agreement (H.R. 5684) would reduce most tariffs and duties between Oman and the United States. H.R. 5684 was considered under fast-track authority, which requires Congress to expedite consideration of presidentially negotiated trade pacts without offering amendments.

The Oman agreement is just one steppingstone in the White House's effort to form a Middle Eastern Free Trade Area (MEFTA) by 2013. These so-called free- trade agreements have historically failed because they encourage the relocation of U.S. jobs to foreign countries so that the companies can get cheap labor. Meanwhile, they don't provide the United States with trade benefits -- largely because the people in those countries cannot afford to buy our products -- thereby harming the U.S. economy. The agreements also put our economic destiny in the hands of unelected foreign bureaucrats, such as those at the World Trade Organization.

The House passed H.R. 5684 by a vote of 221-205 on July 20, 2006 (Roll Call 392). We have assigned pluses to the nays because such trade agreements damage the U.S. economy and threaten U.S. sovereignty by the imposition of international regulations.



H R 2389: Pledge Protection Act
Vote Date: July 19, 2006Vote: AYEGood Vote.
Pledge Protection Act. The Pledge Protection Act of 2005 (H.R. 2389) would counter judicial activism to prevent the removal of the words "under God" from the pledge by restricting federal courts from hearing cases on this matter, as opposed to protecting the pledge by amending the Constitution.

The House passed H.R. 2389 on July 19, 2006 by a vote of 260-167. (Roll Call 385). We have assigned pluses to the yeas because H.R. 2389 would protect the Pledge of Allegiance from federal court activism.



H R 4761: Deep Ocean Energy Resources Act
Vote Date: June 29, 2006Vote: AYEGood Vote.
Offshore Drilling. This bill (H.R. 4761) would end the federal moratorium on most offshore oil and gas drilling. It would continue the ban within 50 miles of shore, while allowing the states the option of extending that ban out to 100 miles. It would also allow states to share in the drilling proceeds.

The House passed H.R. 4761 on June 29, 2006 by a vote of 232-187 (Roll Call 356). We have assigned pluses to the yeas because the United States should reduce its dependency on foreign oil and utilize its own energy resources.



H R 4890: Legislative Line Item Veto Act
Vote Date: June 22, 2006Vote: AYEBad Vote.
Line-item Rescission. The legislative line-item rescission bill (H.R. 4890) would allow the president to propose cuts in spending bills already enacted by Congress. The cuts would then receive an up-or-down vote with no opportunity to filibuster or add amendments.

The House passed H.R. 4890 by a vote of 247-172 on June 22, 2006 (Roll Call 317). We have assigned pluses to the nays because the rescission bill, though not a full-fledged line-item veto, would still shift some legislative power from Congress to the president, disrupting the U.S. system of checks and balances.



H R 5631: On Agreeing to the Amendment 17 to H R 5631
Vote Date: June 20, 2006Vote: NAYBad Vote.
Iran Military Operations. Representative Maurice Hinchey (D-N.Y.) offered this amendment to the 2007 Defense appropriations bill (H.R. 5631). The amendment would bar any funds to initiate military operations in Iran unless it is in accordance with Article I, Section 8 of the Constitution, which delegates to Congress alone the power to declare war.

The House rejected Hinchey's amendment by a vote of 158-262 on June 20, 2006 (Roll Call 300). We have assigned pluses to the yeas because the power to declare war belongs to Congress, not to the president, and that much power should not be in the hands of one man.



H R 5522: Making appropriations for foreign operations, export financing, and related programs for the fiscal year ending September 30, 2007, and for other purposes
Vote Date: June 9, 2006Vote: AYEBad Vote.
Foreign Aid. The fiscal 2007 foreign aid appropriations bill (H.R. 5522) would authorize $21.3 billion for foreign operations and economic assistance in fiscal 2007. Though foreign aid is supposed to help the poor and suffering in other countries, it instead has served to prop up economically deficient socialist regimes and to transfer wealth from American taxpayers to third-world elites.

The House passed H.R. 5522 on June 9, 2006 by a vote of 373-34 (Roll Call 250). We have assigned pluses to the nays because foreign aid is unconstitutional and unworkable.



H R 5429: American-Made Energy and Good Jobs Act
Vote Date: May 25, 2006Vote: AYEGood Vote.
ANWR Oil and Gas Leasing. This bill (H.R. 5429) would authorize the Department of the Interior to grant leases for oil and gas development in a small portion of the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge (ANWR), along Alaska's northern coast. There are an estimated 10 billion barrels of oil in the targeted portion of ANWR that could bring tens of billions of dollars into the U.S. economy and reduce our dependence on foreign oil.

The House passed H.R. 5429 on May 25, 2006 by a vote of 225-201 (Roll Call 209). We have assigned pluses to the yeas because the United States should reduce its dependency on foreign oil and develop its own energy resources.



H R 5384: On Agreeing to the Amendment 15 to H R 5384
Vote Date: May 23, 2006Vote: NAYBad Vote.
Defunding the NAIS. Rep. Ron Paul (R-Texas) introduced this amendment to the fiscal 2007 agriculture appropriations (H.R. 5384). Paul's amendment would bar the use of funds in the bill to implement the National Animal Identification System (NAIS), a government program that would electronically track farm cattle and poultry in hopes of preventing the spread of disease. Writing about the program, Paul stated, "NAIS means more government, more regulations, more fees, more federal spending, less privacy, and diminished property rights."

The House rejected Paul's amendment on May 23, 2006, by a vote of 34-389 (Roll Call 184). We have assigned pluses to the yeas because the program would unconstitutionally allocate federal spending, place useless regulations on farmers, and threaten the privacy rights of American citizens.



H R 5384: Making appropriations for Agriculture, Rural Development, Food and Drug Administration, and Related Agencies for the fiscal year ending September 30, 2007, and for other purposes
Vote Date: May 23, 2006Vote: AYEBad Vote.
Agriculture Appropriations. This bill (H.R. 5384) would provide $93.6 billion in fiscal 2007 for the Department of Agriculture, the Food and Drug Administration, and related agencies. The funding includes $37.9 billion for the food-stamp program, $13.3 billion for the child-nutrition program, and $19.7 billion for the Commodity Credit Corporation, a federally funded program that aids farmers.

The House passed H.R. 5384 on May 23, 2006 by a vote of 378-46 (Roll Call 193). 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 4939: On Agreeing to the Amendment 34 to H R 4939
Vote Date: March 16, 2006Vote: NAYBad Vote.
Katrina Funding. During consideration of the 2006 supplemental appropriations bill (H.R. 4939), Rep. Randy Neugebauer (R-Texas) introduced this amendment to eliminate the $19.2 billion appropriated in the bill for Hurricane Katrina relief. Neugebauer argued that the supplemental Katrina aid, and the supplemental funding for the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan are separate issues and should be voted on separately.

The House rejected the Neugebauer amendment on March 16, 2006 by a vote of 89-332 (Roll Call 57). We have assigned pluses to the yeas because it would have significantly cut unconstitutional federally funded disaster relief.



H R 4939: Making emergency supplemental appropriations for the fiscal year ending September 30, 2006, and for other purposes
Vote Date: March 16, 2006Vote: AYEBad Vote.
Supplemental Appropriations. This legislation (H.R. 4939) would appropriate a whopping $91.9 billion for emergency supplemental funding in fiscal 2006, including $67.6 billion for the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, $4.3 billion for foreign aid, and $19.2 billion for Hurricane Katrina relief. Congressional Quarterly noted that the funding in the bill "for the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan would push to more than $390 billion the war-related supplemental funds appropriated since Sept. 11. It would be the sixth major emergency spending measure for the Bush administration."

The House passed H.R. 4939 on March 16, 2006 by a vote of 348-71 (Roll Call 65). We have assigned pluses to the nays because -- even if the spending were constitutional -- the funding should be voted on as part of the regular appropriations process and not introduced after the fact as "emergency" spending, ignoring fiscal responsibility.



H R 4939: On Agreeing to the Amendment 1 to H R 4939
Vote Date: March 15, 2006Vote: NAYGood Vote.
Ports Security -- DP World. Rep. Wayne T. Gilchrest (R-Md.) introduced this amendment to the 2006 supplemental appropriations bill (H.R. 4939) that would strike language from the bill to prohibit the sale of operations at several sea ports to DP World, a state-controlled company based in Dubai, United Arab Emirates.

The House rejected the Gilchrest amendment in March 15, 2006 by a vote of 38-377 (Roll Call 43). We have assigned pluses to the nays because, as a matter of national sovereignty, American personnel must manage, maintain, and monitor our own sea ports.



H R 4437: Border Protection, Antiterrorism, and Illegal Immigration Control Act
Vote Date: December 16, 2005Vote: AYEGood Vote.
Border Security. The House immigration bill (H.R. 4437) would improve border security by authorizing 700 miles of security fence to be built along parts of the U.S.-Mexican border, making unlawful entry into the United States a criminal rather than a civil offense, and increasing penalties for immigrant-related crimes. It would also require employers to verify immigrant status of new employees. It does not include the guest-worker/amnesty provisions found in the Senate bill.

The House passed H.R. 4437 on December 16, 2005 by a vote of 239-182 (Roll Call 661). We have assigned pluses to the yeas because the bill would improve border security. The House-passed bill is very different from the Senate-passed version. For immigration legislation to become law, the House and Senate versions would have to be reconciled and a final version sent back to both houses of Congress for their approval and then to the president for his signature.



H R 3199: USA PATRIOT and Terrorism Prevention Reauthorization Act
Vote Date: December 14, 2005Vote: AYEBad Vote.
Patriot Act Reauthorization. This is the final version (conference report) of the Patriot Act reauthorization (H.R. 3199). In the weeks following the 9/11 terrorist attacks, Congress quickly passed the so-called Patriot Act, which gave law enforcement and intelligence agencies vast new powers to combat terrorism. The act increased the ability of law enforcement to secretly search home and business records, expanded the FBI's wiretapping and surveillance authority, and expanded the list of crimes deemed terrorist acts. When passed in 2001 the bill included a "sunset" provision under which the new surveillance powers "shall cease to have effect on December 21, 2005." The Patriot Act reauthorization bill (H.R. 3199) considered by Congress last year would make permanent 14 of the 16 provisions included in the bill, and extend for four years the two remaining provisions.

The House passed the final version of the bill to reauthorize the Patriot Act on December 14, 2005 by a vote of 251-174 (Roll Call 627). We have assigned pluses to the nays because the Patriot Act tramples on the constitutionally protected rights of U.S. citizens.



H R 3010: Departments of Labor, Health and Human Services, and Education, and Related Agencies Appropriations Act, 2006
Vote Date: December 14, 2005Vote: AYEBad Vote.
Labor-HHS-Education Appropriations. This massive social-welfare appropriations bill (H.R. 3010) would provide $601.6 billion in fiscal 2006 for the Labor Department ($14.8 billion), the Education Department ($63.5 billion), the Health and Human Services Department ($474.1 billion), and related agencies. H.R. 3010 is the largest of the appropriations bills considered by Congress this year. In total, H.R. 3010 would provide a 21 percent increase over a similar appropriations bill for fiscal 2005.

The House passed the bill on December 14, 2005 by a vote of 215-213 (Roll Call 628). We have assigned pluses to the nays because the bill would provide an increase in spending, and social-welfare programs are unconstitutional.



H R 3057: Making appropriations for foreign operations, export financing, and related programs for the fiscal year ending September 30, 2006, and for other purposes
Vote Date: November 4, 2005Vote: AYEBad Vote.
Foreign Aid. The final version (conference report) of this appropriations bill (H.R. 3057) would provide $21 billion for U.S. foreign aid programs in fiscal 2006.

The House passed the final version of this legislation on November 4, 2005 by a vote of 358-39 (Roll Call 569). We have assigned pluses to the nays because foreign aid is unconstitutional.



H R 1606: Online Freedom of Speech Act
Vote Date: November 2, 2005Vote: AYEGood Vote.
Online Freedom of Speech. The Online Freedom of Speech Act (H.R. 1606) would exempt the Internet -- including blogs, e-mail, and other online speech -- from being subject to campaign finance laws and Federal Election Commission regulation.

Because supporters attempted to pass the bill under a suspension of the rules, a two-thirds majority of those present and voting was required for passage. Supporters got a solid majority but not the necessary two-thirds, and the legislation was rejected on November 2, 2005 by a vote of 225-182 (Roll Call 559). We have assigned pluses to the yeas because the bill would protect free speech.



H R 1461: On Agreeing to the Amendment 6 to H R 1461
Vote Date: October 26, 2005Vote: NAYBad Vote.
U.S. Treasury Borrowing. During consideration of a bill to overhaul the regulation of government-sponsored enterprises, Rep. Ron Paul (R-Texas) offered this amendment to "eliminate the ability of Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac and the Federal Home Loan Bank Board to borrow from the Treasury." During floor debate on his amendment, Paul stated, "I hope my colleagues join me in protecting taxpayers from having to bail out Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac when the housing bubble bursts."

The House rejected Paul's amendment on October 26, 2005 by a vote of 47-371 (Roll Call 544). We have assigned pluses to the yeas because Paul's amendment would (in Paul's words) seek to end a "massive unconstitutional and immoral" transfer of income from working Americans to government-sponsored enterprises.



H R 2123: School Readiness Act
Vote Date: September 22, 2005Vote: AYEBad Vote.
Head Start Funding. This legislation (H.R. 2123) would reauthorize the Head Start program through fiscal 2011 and provide $6.8 billion for the program in 2006. The bill would also increase educational standards for Head Start teachers.

The House passed the Head Start bill on September 22, 2005 by a vote of 231-184 (Roll Call 493). We have assigned pluses to the nays because the bill would further federalize the educational system, and federal aid to education is unconstitutional.



H R 3132: On Agreeing to the Amendment 25 to H R 3132
Vote Date: September 14, 2005Vote: NAYGood Vote.
Hate Crimes. During consideration of the Children's Safety Act of 2005 (H.R. 3132), Rep. John Conyers (D-Mich.) introduced this amendment to add a separate federal criminal charge for committing an act of violence based on race, color, religion, or national origin; and to broaden the category of hate crimes to include sexual orientation, gender, or disability. Current hate-crime laws extend only to sentencing and do not provide for additional charges to be brought against an individual.

The Conyers amendment was passed by a vote of 223-199 on September 14, 2005 (Roll Call 469). 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 3673: Further Emergency Supplemental Appropriations, Hurricane Katrina, 2005
Vote Date: September 8, 2005Vote: AYEBad Vote.
Katrina Hurricane-relief Appropriations. In the wake of the devastating hurricane disaster in the Gulf Coast, Congress quickly passed legislation that would appropriate $51.8 billion in emergency supplemental funding for fiscal 2005 (H.R. 3673) to be used for relief in the areas affected by Hurricane Katrina. Commenting on how the tragic images of Katrina were used to justify more federal welfare and interventionism, as opposed to private charity and initiatives, Rep. Ron Paul (R-Texas) noted on September 15, after the House and Senate votes: "These scenes prompted two emotional reactions. One side claims Katrina proved there was not enough government welfare.... The other side claims we need to pump billions of new dollars into the very federal agency that failed (FEMA).... Both sides support more authoritarianism, more centralization, and even the imposition of martial law in times of natural disasters."

The House passed the Katrina appropriations bill on September 8, 2005 by a vote of 410-11 (Roll Call 460). We have assigned pluses to the nays because federally financing disaster relief is unconstitutional.



H R 3: Transportation Equity Act: A Legacy for Users
Vote Date: July 29, 2005Vote: AYEBad Vote.
Surface Transportation. The final version (conference report) of this bill (H.R. 3) would authorize $286.5 billion for federal highway, mass transit, and safety and research programs through fiscal 2009. The bill is laden with thousands of "pork barrel" transportation projects requested by individual lawmakers.

The House adopted the final version of this legislation on July 29, 2005 by a vote of 412-8 (Roll Call 453). We have assigned pluses to the nays because the bill increases transportation spending and is fiscally irresponsible.



H R 3045: Dominican Republic-Central America-United States Free Trade Agreement Implementation Act
Vote Date: July 28, 2005Vote: NAYGood Vote.
CAFTA. This bill (H.R. 3045) would implement the proposed Central American Free Trade Agreement (CAFTA), thereby expanding the devastating consequences of the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), including the job losses wrought by NAFTA. CAFTA is intended by the Power Elite to be a steppingstone from NAFTA to the proposed Free Trade Area of the Americas (FTAA), which would include all of the countries of the Western Hemisphere except (for now) Cuba. Like NAFTA, which has already begun imposing its trade rulings on America, CAFTA and the FTAA would not be genuine free trade arrangements; they would instead manage trade and would gradually exercise more powers on the road to a supranational government modeled after the European Union.

The House passed CAFTA on July 28, 2005 by a vote of 217-215 (Roll Call 443). We have assigned pluses to the nays because CAFTA would further damage the U.S. economy and threaten U.S. sovereignty.



H R 3199: USA PATRIOT and Terrorism Prevention Reauthorization Act
Vote Date: July 21, 2005Vote: AYEBad Vote.
Patriot Act Reauthorization. In the wake of the 9/11 terrorist attacks, Congress passed the so-called Patriot Act, which gave law enforcement and intelligence agencies vast new powers to combat terrorism. The act expanded the list of crimes deemed terrorist acts; increased the ability of law enforcement to secretly search homes and business records; expanded the FBI's wiretapping and surveillance authority; and provided for nationwide jurisdiction for search warrants and electronic surveillance devices, including the legal extension of those devices to e-mail and the Internet. The bill included a "sunset" provision under which the new surveillance powers "shall cease to have effect on December 31, 2005."

The Patriot Act reauthorization bill (H.R. 3199) considered by the current Congress would make permanent 14 of the 16 provisions set to expire at the end of this year and extend for 10 years the remaining two provisions. The House passed the reauthorization on July 21, 2005 by a vote of 257-171 (Roll Call 414). We have assigned pluses to the nays because the Patriot Act tramples on the constitutionally protected rights of U.S. citizens.



H R 3057: Making appropriations for foreign operations, export financing, and related programs for the fiscal year ending September 30, 2006, and for other purposes
Vote Date: June 28, 2005Vote: AYEBad Vote.
Foreign Aid. This appropriations bill (H.R. 3057) would provide $20.3 billion for U.S. foreign aid programs in fiscal 2006.

The House passed the foreign aid bill on June 28, 2005 by a vote of 393-32 (Roll Call 335). We have assigned pluses to the nays because foreign aid is unconstitutional.



H R 3010: Departments of Labor, Health and Human Services, and Education, and Related Agencies Appropriations Act, 2006
Vote Date: June 24, 2005Vote: AYEBad Vote.
Labor-HHS-Education Appropriations. This mammoth social-welfare appropriations bill (H.R. 3010) would provide a total of $601.6 billion in fiscal 2006 for the Labor Department ($14.8 billion), the Education Department ($63.7 billion), the Health and Human Services Department ($473.8 billion), and related agencies. The bill is by far the largest of the 11 appropriations bills written by the House this year. In total, H.R. 3010 would provide a 21 percent increase over a similar appropriations bill for the previous year.

The House passed this bill on June 24, 2005 by a vote of 250-151 (Roll Call 321). We have assigned pluses to the nays because this bill represents a significant increase in spending, and social-welfare programs are unconstitutional.



H R 3010: On Agreeing to the Amendment 24 to H R 3010
Vote Date: June 24, 2005Vote: AYEGood Vote.
Mental Health Screening. During consideration of the Labor-HHS-Education appropriations bill (H.R. 3010), Rep. Ron Paul (R-Texas) offered an amendment to "prohibit the use of funds in the bill to create or implement any universal mental health screening program."

The House rejected Paul's amendment on June 24, 2005 by a vote of 97-304 (Roll Call 317). We have assigned pluses to the yeas because federally funding such programs is unconstitutional.



H R 2745: Henry J. Hyde United Nations Reform Act
Vote Date: June 17, 2005Vote: AYEBad Vote.
UN "Reforms." On the surface, this United Nations "reform" bill (H.R. 2745) appears to be a "conservative" get-tough response to UN corruption. It would withhold up to 50 percent of U.S. dues to the UN unless the UN makes certain operational changes, and many "conservatives" voted for it. In reality, the legislation calls for strengthening the UN in the name of "reform." Rep. Ron Paul (R-Texas) warned in his June 13 Texas Straight Talk column that the "reform" bill supports creation of a "Peace-building Commission," which "will serve as the implementing force for the internationalization of what were formerly internal affairs of sovereign nations."

The House passed the UN "reform" bill on June 17, 2005 by a vote of 221-184 (Roll Call 282). We have assigned pluses to the nays because the reform bill is a trap, and the solution to the UN threat is not to reform the world body but to get the U.S. out.



H R 2862: On Agreeing to the Amendment 19 to H R 2862
Vote Date: June 15, 2005Vote: AYEGood Vote.
UN Dues Decrease. During consideration of the Commerce-Justice appropriations bill (H.R. 2862), Rep. J.D. Hayworth (R-Ariz.) offered an amendment to cut the U.S. "contribution" to the United Nations by $218 million.

The House rejected Hayworth's amendment on June 15, 2005 by a vote of 124-304 (Roll Call 253). We have assigned pluses to the yeas because reducing U.S. dues to the UN is a step toward defunding it and getting the U.S. out.



H J RES 27: Withdrawing approval of the United States from the Agreement establishing the World Trade Organization
Vote Date: June 9, 2005Vote: NAYBad Vote.
WTO Withdrawal. Representatives Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) and Ron Paul (R-Texas) sponsored this measure (House Joint Resolution 27) to withdraw the United States from the World Trade Organization. The WTO is often portrayed as a "free trade" arrangement by its supporters, but it is actually an international bureaucracy that manages trade and imposes its rulings on member nations including the United States -- even when those rulings are contrary to U.S. laws. In fact, U.S. membership in the WTO is unconstitutional, since under our Constitution, Congress -- not an international body -- "shall have the power ... to regulate foreign commerce." That power cannot be transferred short of a constitutional amendment.

The House rejected the WTO withdrawal measure on June 9, 2005 by a vote of 86-338 (Roll Call 239). We have assigned pluses to the yeas because our participation in the WTO is unconstitutional and threatens our sovereignty.



H R 810: Stem Cell Research Enhancement Act
Vote Date: May 24, 2005Vote: NAYGood Vote.
Embryonic Stem-cell Research. This bill (H.R. 810) would allow federal funds to be used for research on embryonic stem-cell lines, which can be created only by cannibalizing and destroying human embryos -- innocent human life. Proponents contend that the research is needed to combat various diseases, but stem cells from sources other than embryos may provide more promising results, without killing some human beings for the supposed benefit of others.

The House passed the bill on May 24, 2005 by a vote of 238-194 (Roll Call 204). We have assigned pluses to the nays because the research would violate the right to life.



H R 1268: Making emergency supplemental appropriations for the fiscal year ending September 30, 2005, and for other purposes
Vote Date: May 5, 2005Vote: AYEBad Vote.
Supplemental Appropriations. The final version (conference report) of this supplemental appropriations bill (H.R. 1268) would add another $82 billion to the federal budget for fiscal 2005. The supplemental spending, even if needed and constitutional, should not have been added on to the annual federal budget after the fact, but should have been included as part of the regular appropriations process. The supplemental spending in this bill includes $75.9 billion for defense-related purposes, most of it for the military occupation of Iraq, and $907 million for tsunami victims, the latter clearly unconstitutional.

One particularly objectionable element of this legislation is the REAL ID Act, which was added to the supplemental appropriations bill by the conference committee. The REAL ID Act would authorize the federal government to impose national standards for driver's licenses and thereby develop a national ID system.

The House adopted the final version of H.R. 1268 on May 5, 2005 by a vote of 368-58 (Roll Call 161). We have assigned pluses to the nays because the bill contains both unconstitutional spending and the REAL ID Act.



H R 366: Vocational and Technical Education for the Future Act
Vote Date: May 4, 2005Vote: AYEBad Vote.
Vocational/Technical Training. This bill (H.R. 366) would reauthorize the Carl D. Perkins Vocational and Technical Education Act, which funds vocational and technical education programs. The bill would authorize $1.3 billion in fiscal 2006 and "such funds as necessary" in fiscal 2007-11. It would also merge Perkins funding with "Tech-Prep," a program that provides certain math and science courses to high school students to "ease the transition" from high school to a vocational or community college.

The House passed this bill on May 4, 2005 by a vote of 416-9 (Roll Call 154). We have assigned pluses to the nays because federal aid to education and job-training programs is unconstitutional.



H R 6: On Agreeing to the Amendment 4 to H R 6
Vote Date: April 20, 2005Vote: NAYGood Vote.
Fuel Efficiency Regulations. During consideration of the energy policy bill (H.R. 6), Rep. Sherwood Boehlert (R-N.Y.) introduced an amendment to increase the Corporate Average Fuel Economy (CAFE) standards to at least 33 miles per gallon by model year 2015 for automobiles. The standard is now set at an average of 25 miles per gallon. Since neither legislators nor manufacturers have a magic wand to reduce the amount of gas required to move a certain mass a certain distance, this legislation would effectively force manufacturers to reduce vehicle size and weight, thereby limiting consumer choices and making vehicles less safe.

The House rejected Boehlert's amendment by a vote of 177-254 on April 20, 2005 (Roll Call 121). We have assigned pluses to the nays because federal regulations limiting consumer choices are unconstitutional.



H R 6: On Agreeing to the Amendment 3 to H R 6
Vote Date: April 20, 2005Vote: NAYGood Vote.
Alaskan Drilling. Rep. Edward Markey (D-Mass.) offered an amendment to delete language in the energy policy bill (H.R. 6) that would allow leases for oil and gas exploration and development in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge (ANWR) in Alaska. Drilling in ANWR is now banned, and Markey wants to keep it that way despite the fact that ANWR likely contains billions of barrels of oil and could be on a par with Prudhoe Bay, North America's largest oil field.

The House rejected Markey's amendment on April 20, 2005 by a vote of 200-231 (Roll Call 122). We have assigned pluses to the nays because the United States should develop its own energy resources and reduce its dependence on foreign oil.



H R 8: Death Tax Repeal Permanency Act
Vote Date: April 13, 2005Vote: AYEGood Vote.
Permanent Repeal of Estate Tax. Rep. Kenny Hulshof (R-Mo.) sponsored this bill (H.R. 8) to permanently repeal the estate tax, commonly known as the "death tax." Under current law, the estate tax will be phased out by 2010, but because of a "sunset" provision the tax will be fully eliminated for only one year before being reinstituted. Hulshof's bill would eliminate the sunset clause, making the repeal permanent. The estate tax has forced many cash-poor but asset-rich individuals to liquidate their family farms and other small private businesses rather than bequeath those assets to their loved ones.

The House passed this bill on April 13, 2005 by a vote of 272-162 (Roll Call 102). We have assigned pluses to the yeas because permanently repealing the estate tax would be a constitutional tax cut that would benefit the elderly and their families.