Name: Eric Massa


Congress: New York, District: 29, Democrat


Cumulative Freedom Index Score: 28%


Status: Former Member of the House

Score Breakdown:
28% (111th Congress: 2009-2010)

Key Votes:



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: AYEBad 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: NAYGood 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: AYEBad 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: NAYGood 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: AYEBad 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: NAYGood 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: NAYGood 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: AYEBad 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: AYEGood 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.