Name: Carol Shea-Porter


Congress: New Hampshire, District: 1, Democrat


Cumulative Freedom Index Score: 20%


Status: Former Member of the House

Score Breakdown:
26% (113th Congress: 2013-2014); 15% (111th Congress: 2009-2010); 20% (110th Congress: 2007-2008)

Key Votes:



H R 83: An Act to require the Secretary of the Interior to assemble a team of experts to address the energy needs of the insular areas of the United States and Freely Associated States through the development of energy action plans aimed at promoting access to energy
Vote Date: December 11, 2014Vote: NAYGood Vote.
Omnibus Appropriations.
According to Congressional Quarterly, 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. Included in that total is: $20.6 billion for Agriculture; $61.1 billion for Commerce-Justice-Science; $554.2 billion for Defense, including $64 billion for overseas contingency operations associated with the war in Afghanistan, the fight against ISIS and other counterterrorism operations; $34.2 billion for Energy-Water; $43.2 billion for Financial Services; $30 billion for Interior-Environment; $158.2 billion for Labor-HHS-Education; $4.3 billion for the Legislative Branch; $71.8 billion for Military Construction-VA; $52 billion for State-Foreign Operations; and $53.5 billion for Transportation-HUD. The measure contains full fiscal year funding for all departments except for Homeland Security, which would be funded at current levels until Feb. 27, 2015."

The House concurred with the Senate version of the bill on December 11, 2014 by a vote of 219 to 206 (Roll Call 563). 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.



H R 5759: To establish a rule of construction clarifying the limitations on executive authority to provide certain forms of immigration relief
Vote Date: December 4, 2014Vote: NAYBad Vote.
Executive Action on Immigration.
H.R. 5759 would prohibit the executive branch of the federal government from: (1) exempting or deferring, by executive order, regulation, or any other means, categories of aliens considered under the existing immigration laws to be unlawfully present in the United States from removal under such laws; (2) treating such aliens as if they were lawfully present or had a lawful immigration status; or (3) treating such aliens other than as unauthorized aliens as defined in current immigration laws.

The House passed H.R. 5759 on December 4, 2014 by a vote of 219 to 197 (Roll Call 550). We have assigned pluses to the yeas because "President Obama's grant of deferred action to more than four million unlawfully present aliens, as directed in a November 20, 2014, memorandum issued by Secretary of Homeland Security Jeh Charles Johnson, is without any constitutional or statutory basis," as correctly stated in the bill.



H R 5682: To approve the Keystone XL Pipeline
Vote Date: November 14, 2014Vote: NAYBad Vote.
Keystone XL Pipeline.
H.R. 5682 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 House passed H.R. 5682 on November 14, 2014 by a vote of 252 to 161 (Roll Call 519). 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 roadblocks against the pipeline project.



H R 24: 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, and for other purposes
Vote Date: September 17, 2014Vote: AYEGood Vote.
Federal Reserve Audit.
Representative Paul Broun (R-Ga.) introduced a bill (H.R. 24) to require the Government Accountability Office (GAO) to conduct a full audit of both the Federal Reserve System and the Federal Reserve banks' activities within one year of enactment and report its findings to Congress within 90 days of having the audit completed.

The House passed H.R. 24 on September 17, 2014 by a vote of 333 to 92 (Roll Call 504). 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.



H R 5078: Waters of the United States Regulatory Overreach Protection Act
Vote Date: September 9, 2014Vote: NAYBad Vote.
Water Regulation.
H.R. 5078 would block the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and Army Corps of Engineers from finalizing a proposed rule, supported by the Obama administration to expand the scope of the federal government's authority over "waters of the United States." During debate on the bill, Representative Steve Southerland (R-Fla.), sponsor of the bill, explained: "Under its proposed rules, 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 House passed H.R. 5078 on September 9, 2014 by a vote of 262 to 152 (Roll Call 489). We have assigned pluses to the yeas because both federal water regulations and the EPA are unconstitutional, and if the rule were to pass, activities such as farming would become nearly unfeasible, since farmers would have to get federal permits to do many farm activities, such as cleaning out ditches.



H R 4899: Lowering Gasoline Prices to Fuel an America That Works Act
Vote Date: June 26, 2014Vote: NAYBad Vote.
Oil and Gas Exploration.
H.R. 4899, the Lowering Gasoline Prices to Fuel an America That Works Act of 2014, would establish a five-year program for oil and gas leasing. Title I, Subtitle A of the bill would require at least 25 percent of eligible federal land be made available each year to lease for oil and gas exploration. Furthermore, the Interior Department would be required to make available for oil and gas exploration and development at least 50 percent of the unleased coastal areas that have the most potential for energy production.

The House passed H.R. 4899 on June 26, 2014 by a vote of 229 to 185 (Roll Call 368). We have assigned pluses to the yeas because the federal government should not hinder the development and utilization of the nation's natural resources, including oil and gas. Encouraging and allowing such development is in line with the Constitution and should therefore be supported. Additionally, such a move would place America further along the road to energy self-sufficiency, which is important for national security and insulation from various global political crises.



H R 4870: On Agreeing to the Amendment 69 to H R 4870
Vote Date: June 19, 2014Vote: AYEGood Vote.
Surveillance.
During consideration of the Defense Appropriations bill, Representative Thomas Massie (R-Ky.) introduced an amendment to prevent defense funds from being used to allow U.S. intelligence agencies to sift through electronic metadata that contains the personal information of U.S. citizens or legal residents. Massie's amendment would also prohibit funds from being used by the NSA for "backdoor" surveillance - requiring or requesting the redesign of a product to facilitate the electronic surveillance of a person who uses it.

As Massie said during debate on his amendment, "The American people are sick of being spied on. Our Founding Fathers wrote an important provision into the Bill of Rights - the Fourth Amendment - and that requires probable cause and a warrant before the government and government agents can snoop on any American."

The House adopted Massie's amendment on June 19, 2014 by a vote of 293-123 (Roll Call 327). We have assigned pluses to the yeas because Massie's amendment seeks to uphold the Constitution and its protection of privacy rights. Any attempt to curtail the surveillance state and restore constitutional protections to Americans is good.



H R 4870: On Agreeing to the Amendment 51 to H R 4870
Vote Date: June 19, 2014Vote: NAYBad Vote.
Weapons to Syrian Rebels.
During consideration of the Defense Appropriations bill, Representative Jeff Fortenberry (R-Neb.) introduced an amendment that would have prohibited any funding in the bill from being used to provide weapons to Syrian rebels. Fortenberry noted on the House floor that "the rebel movement is a battleground of shifting alliances and bloody conflicts between groups that now include multinational terrorist organizations," that "sending our weapons into this chaotic war zone could inadvertently help these extremists," and that "it has already happened." He added: "The naive notion that we can deliver weapons to vetted, moderate opposition groups at war with other rebel militias gives no guarantee that our weaponry won't be seized or diverted."

The House rejected Fortenberry's amendment on June 19, 2014 by a vote of 167 to 244 (Roll Call 328). We have assigned pluses to the yeas because arming "moderate" rebels in a foreign country is tantamount to going to war, which would require a declaration of war by Congress. Also, the United States should follow the Founders' advice not to become involved in foreign quarrels.



H R 4870: On Agreeing to the Amendment 52 to H R 4870
Vote Date: June 19, 2014Vote: NAYBad Vote.
Militarizing Local Police.
During consideration of the Defense Appropriations bill, Representative Alan Grayson (D-Fla.) introduced an amendment that would have prohibited any funding in the bill from being used to transfer excess military equipment, such as aircraft (including drones), armored vehicles, grenade launchers, and bombs, to local police departments. "Those weapons have no place in our streets, regardless of who may be deploying them," Grayson said in remarks supporting his amendment.

The House rejected Grayson's amendment on June 19, 2014 by a vote of 62 to 355 (Roll Call 329). We have assigned pluses to the yeas because the proper role of local police is undermined by converting them into militarized units more suitable for occupying hostile territory than for protecting their local communities from the criminal element. Providing local police with "free" U.S. military equipment also greases the skids for more federal control, leading ultimately to nationalized police beholden to Washington as opposed to independent police departments beholden to local citizens acting through their elected officials.



H R 4870: On Agreeing to the Amendment 56 to H R 4870
Vote Date: June 19, 2014Vote: AYEGood Vote.
Military Operations in Afghanistan.
During consideration of the Defense Appropriations bill, Representative Barbara Lee (D-Calif.) introduced an amendment that would have barred any funding in the bill from being used "pursuant to the Authorization for Use of Military Force [AUMF] ... after December 31, 2014," the date that was set as the official end of U.S. combat operations in Afghanistan. Enacted in 2001 in the wake of 9/11, the AUMF has been invoked numerous times by the executive branch for U.S. military intervention not only in Afghanistan but elsewhere.

The House rejected Lee's amendment on June 19, 2014 by a vote of 157 to 260 (Roll Call 330). We have assigned pluses to the yeas because presidents have been able to claim broad authority to go to war whenever or wherever they choose under the AUMF, despite the fact that the Founding Fathers never intended for one man to make this decision and under the Constitution only Congress may "declare war."



H R 4435: On Agreeing to the Amendment 13 to H R 4435
Vote Date: May 22, 2014Vote: AYEGood Vote.
Indefinite Military Detention.

During consideration of the National Defense Authorization Act for fiscal 2015 (NDAA, H.R. 4435), Rep. Adam Smith (D-Wash.) introduced an amendment to prohibit the indefinite military detention of any person detained under the Authorization for the Use of Military Force authority in the United States, its territories, or possessions by providing immediate transfer to a trial and proceedings by a court. It also would strike language that would provide for mandatory military custody of covered parties.

The House rejected Smith's amendment on May 22, 2014 by a vote of 191 to 230 (Roll Call 234). We have assigned pluses to the yeas because any attempt to limit or prohibit indefinite military detention is desirable, especially since persons detained may include U.S. citizens. Indefinite military detention is a blatant violation of the Sixth Amendment, and an executive who can wield such powers is akin to a monarch or dictator. As Rep. Smith said during consideration of the amendment: "That is an enormous amount of power to give the Executive: to take someone and lock them up without due process. It is not necessary. This President has not used the authority. President George W. Bush did not use it after about 2002 and then only in a couple of instances. It is not necessary. It is an enormous amount of power to grant the Executive, and I believe places liberty and freedom at risk in this country."



H R 4435: On Agreeing to the Amendment 17 to H R 4435
Vote Date: May 22, 2014Vote: AYEGood Vote.
Use of Military Force.

During consideration of the National Defense Authorization Act for fiscal 2015 (NDAA, H.R. 4435), Rep. Adam Schiff (D-Calif.) introduced an amendment to sunset the 2001 Authorization for the Use of Military Force 12 months after the enactment of the 2015 NDAA.

The House rejected Schiff's amendment on May 22, 2014 by a vote of 191 to 233 (Roll Call 237). We have assigned pluses to the yeas because the Authorization for the Use of Military Force, while granted by Congress, gives the president almost unlimited powers to invade countries, overthrow governments, and assassinate people under the pretext of waging the "war on terror." Congress essentially handed over its constitutional authority to declare war to the executive branch, thus giving the executive unconstitutional abilities. Any attempt to end the Authorization for the Use of Military Force is a step in the right direction.



H R 4152: To provide for the costs of loan guarantees for Ukraine
Vote Date: April 1, 2014Vote: AYEBad Vote.
Ukraine Aid.

This bill (H.R. 4152), as amended by the Senate (see Senate vote below), would provide $150 million for direct aid to Ukraine. It would also provide for loan guarantees (meaning that 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 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 House voted for this legislation on April 1, 2014 by a vote of 378 to 34 (Roll Call 149). 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.



H R 4138: Executive Needs to Faithfully Observe and Respect Congressional Enactments of the Law Act of 2014
Vote Date: March 12, 2014Vote: NAYBad Vote.
Enforcing Existing Laws.

This bill (H.R. 4138) would authorize either the House or Senate, upon adoption of a resolution, to bring civil action charges against the president, the head of any department or agency of the United States, or any other employee of the United States who has failed to enforce an existing law, policy, program, regulation, rule, or statute, in violation of the president's constitutional obligation to faithfully execute the laws (Article II, Section 3). This bill provides that such a civil action shall be filed in a U.S. district court and shall be heard by a three-judge panel. The panel's decisions would be reviewable only by appeal directly to the Supreme Court.

The House passed H.R. 4138 on March 12, 2014 by a vote of 233 to 181 (Roll Call 124). We have assigned pluses to the yeas because Article II, Section 3 of the Constitution requires that the president "shall take Care that the Laws be faithfully executed." When instead the president picks and chooses which laws to enforce and which to ignore, he is usurping the powers of Congress, which under the Constitution possesses sole legislative powers.



H R 3826: Electricity Security and Affordability Act
Vote Date: March 6, 2014Vote: NAYBad Vote.
EPA Regulations.

This bill (H.R. 3826) would prohibit the Environmental Protection Agency from issuing, implementing, or enforcing any proposed rule under the Clean Air Act "that establishes a standard of performance for emissions of any greenhouse gas from any new source that is a fossil fuel-fired electric utility generating unit" unless such rule meets certain requirements as provided in this bill.

The House passed H.R. 3826 on March 6, 2014 by a vote of 229 to 183 (Roll Call 106). 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.



S 540: Temporary Debt Limit Extension Act
Vote Date: February 11, 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 House passed S. 540 on February 11, 2014 by a vote of 221 to 201(Roll Call 61). 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.



H R 2642: 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: January 29, 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 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.

The House passed the conference report on January 29, 2014 by a vote of 251 to 166 (Roll Call 31). 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.



H R 7: To prohibit taxpayer funded abortions
Vote Date: January 28, 2014Vote: NAYBad Vote.
Abortion Funding.

This bill (H.R. 7) would permanently prohibit any federal funding or resources to be used to facilitate the coverage or performance of an abortion, except in cases involving the endangerment of the mother's life, incest, or rape. It would also prohibit abortions from being performed at any federal or District of Columbia healthcare facility and by any physician in the employment of the federal government or D.C.

The House passed H.R. 7 on January 28, 2014 by a vote of 227 to 188 (Roll Call 30). 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 3547: To extend the application of certain space launch liability provisions through 2014
Vote Date: January 15, 2014Vote: AYEBad Vote.
Omnibus Appropriations.

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 House concurred with the Senate version of the omnibus appropriations bill on January 15, 2014 by a vote of 359 to 67 (Roll Call 21). 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.



H J RES 59: Making continuing appropriations for fiscal year 2014, and for other purposes
Vote Date: December 12, 2013Vote: AYEBad Vote.
Budget Agreement.

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 House concurred with the Senate version of the Budget Resolution on December 12, 2013 by a vote of 332 to 94 (Roll Call 640). 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.



H R 2775: To condition the provision of premium and cost-sharing subsidies under the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act upon a certification that a program to verify household income and other qualifications for such subsidies is operational, and for other purposes
Vote Date: October 16, 2013Vote: AYEBad Vote.
Continuing Resolution (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 October 16, 2013, Rep. Hal Rogers (R-Ky.) offered a motion to concur in the Senate amendment, and the House agreed to his motion by a vote of 285 to 144 (Roll Call 550). We have assigned pluses to the nays because the negotiated deal contained in this bill constituted a cave-in by 87 Republicans that ended the government shutdown as well as the Republican attempt to defund the unconstitutional ObamaCare law.



H J RES 59: Making continuing appropriations for fiscal year 2014, and for other purposes
Vote Date: September 20, 2013Vote: NAYBad Vote.
Continuing Resolution/Defunding ObamaCare.
This 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). Democrats, on the other hand, opposed any omnibus CR that did not also fund ObamaCare. The impasse led to the 16-day partial government shutdown at the start of the new fiscal year.

The House passed the CR on September 20, 2013 by a vote of 230 to 189 (Roll Call 478). We have assigned pluses to the yeas because, even though the bill contains appropriations for huge amounts of unconstitutional spending, it would completely defund unconstitutional ObamaCare in fiscal 2014.



H R 367: Regulations From the Executive in Need of Scrutiny Act
Vote Date: August 2, 2013Vote: NAYBad Vote.
Congressional Approval of Federal Regulations.
This bill (H.R. 367) would require agencies of the executive branch to obtain approval from Congress before enacting any proposals deemed to be "major rules." The definition of "major rules" includes proposals likely to cost more than $50 million, rules that would have an adverse effect on the economy, regulations pertaining to implementation of a carbon tax, and rules made under ObamaCare.

The House passed H.R. 367 on August 2, 2013 by a vote of 232 to 183 (Roll Call 445). We have assigned pluses to the yeas because in recent decades the executive branch, via various federal agencies and executive orders, has exercised a great deal of unconstitutional power. An executive who can write laws and regulations apart from the legislature is basically a king or a dictator, and this abuse of power is precisely what the Founding Fathers tried to prevent with the separation of powers.



H R 2397: On Agreeing to the Amendment 54 to H R 2397
Vote Date: July 24, 2013Vote: NAYBad Vote.
U.S.-China Joint Military Exercises.
During consideration of the defense appropriations bill (H.R. 2397), Rep. Steve Stockman (R-Texas) offered an amendment to prohibit funds to "be used for United States military exercises which include any participation by the People's Republic of China." On September 6, 2013, after this amendment was rejected, three Chinese warships arrived at Pearl Harbor to participate in a joint one-day search-and-rescue drill with the U.S. Navy guided-missile cruiser U.S.S. Lake Erie. The joint exercise was conducted on September 9, 2013. On November 12, 2013, for the first time in U.S. history, Chinese People's Liberation Army troops put boots on U.S. soil as they participated in a joint "Disaster Management Exchange" with the U.S. Army Pacific, the Hawaii Army National Guard, and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. The amendment to prohibit the use of funds for such ventures was intended to prevent the U.S. military from participating in them.

The House rejected Stockman's amendment on July 24, 2013 by a vote of 137 to 286 (Roll Call 404). We have assigned pluses to the yeas because communist China is a self-proclaimed enemy of the United States, responsible for the deaths of tens of millions of people in the 20th century; continues to persecute countless political dissenters, Christians, and other religious minorities; and has recently threatened to target and destroy U.S. cities with nuclear-tipped ICBMs. Military collaboration with the Chinese regime will not diminish the security threat it poses to the United States but, if anything, heighten it.



H R 2397: On Agreeing to the Amendment 64 to H R 2397
Vote Date: July 24, 2013Vote: NAYBad Vote.
Military Intervention.
During consideration of the defense appropriations bill (H.R. 2397), Rep. Adam Schiff (D-Calif.) offered an amendment to prohibit funding for military actions after December 31, 2014 that are carried out pursuant to the 2001 Authorization for Use of Military Force (AUMF). As Rep. Schiff noted: "The 2001 AUMF was never intended to authorize a war without end, and it now poorly defines those who pose a threat to our country. That authority and the funding that goes along with it should expire concurrent with the end of our combat role in Afghanistan."

Schiff also noted: "The Constitution vests the Congress with the power to declare war and the responsibility of appropriating funds to pay for it. It is our most awesome responsibility and central to our military efforts overseas. We owe it to the men and women we send into combat to properly define and authorize their mission, and my amendment will effectively give Congress the next 16 months to do so."

The House rejected Schiff's amendment on July 24, 2013 by a vote of 185 to 236 (Roll Call 410). We have assigned pluses to the yeas because only Congress has the constitutional authority to declare war and appropriate funds to pay for it. Authorizing the president to use military force without a declaration of war is a shifting of responsibility from Congress to the executive branch that essentially allows the president to exercise dictator-like powers and should be opposed.



H R 2397: On Agreeing to the Amendment 70 to H R 2397
Vote Date: July 24, 2013Vote: AYEGood Vote.
NSA Surveillance of Phone Records.
During consideration of the defense appropriations bill (H.R. 2397), Rep. Justin Amash (R-Mich.) offered an amendment to end the blanket collection of records under the Patriot Act. Amash's amendment would also prevent the NSA and other agencies from using provisions of the Patriot Act to collect records, including phone records, from persons who are not subject to an investigation. As Rep. Amash noted during the debate on his amendment, "My amendment ... limits the government's collection of the records to those records that pertain to a person who is the subject of an investigation pursuant to section 215 [of the Patriot Act]."

The House rejected Amash's amendment on July 24, 2013 by a vote of 205 to 217 (Roll Call 412). We have assigned pluses to the yeas because any effort to limit the collection of Americans' personal information by the surveillance state is a good thing. Blanket collection of electronic records of citizens who are not under investigation is a violation of the Fourth Amendment's prohibition on search and seizure without a warrant.



H R 2397: On Agreeing to the Amendment 30 to H R 2397
Vote Date: July 23, 2013Vote: AYEGood Vote.
Buying Russian Helicopters for Afghan Security Forces.
During consideration of the defense appropriations bill (H.R. 2397), Rep. Mike Coffman (R-Colo.) introduced an amendment to defund a Defense Department purchase of 30 Russian Mi-17 helicopters. Circumventing Congress, the Defense Department on June 13, 2013 awarded a $553.8 million contract to the Russian state-owned arms export firm Rosoboronexport for the purchase of the helicopters. Coffman's amendment would specifically strip that amount from the DOD's Afghanistan Security Forces Fund.

The House adopted Coffman's amendment on July 23, 2013 by a vote of 346 to 79 (Roll Call 390). We have assigned pluses to the yeas because it is preposterous that the United States would take U.S. taxpayer dollars to purchase helicopters for the new Afghan military from Rosoboronexport, a Russian state-owned export company that has manufactured and supplied arms to enemy states, such as Iran and Syria.



H R 2231: Offshore Energy and Jobs Act
Vote Date: June 28, 2013Vote: NAYBad Vote.
Offshore Oil and Gas.
This legislation (H.R. 2231), the Offshore Energy and Jobs Act, would allow for increased energy exploration and production on the Outer Continental Shelf and provide for equitable sharing of energy production revenue for all coastal states. The act also instructs the energy secretary to lease areas off the coast of South Carolina and Southern California that have geologically promising hydrocarbon resources.

The House passed H.R. 2231 on June 28, 2013 by a vote of 235 to 186 (Roll Call 304). We have assigned pluses to the yeas because increased exploration and utilization of the country's energy resources would greatly assist economic growth and energy independence for our nation.



H R 1947: Federal Agriculture Reform and Risk Management Act
Vote Date: June 20, 2013Vote: NAYGood Vote.
Farm and Food Programs.
This legislation (H.R. 1947) would authorize roughly $939 billion through fiscal 2018 for federal farm aid, nutrition assistance, rural development, etc. This bill would also institute programs to manage milk supplies and subsidies for farmers. Significantly, this proposed legislation would restrict eligibility for the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), known as food stamps, and allow states to conduct drug testing on SNAP applicants.

The House rejected H.R. 1947 on June 20, 2013 by a vote of 195 to 234 (Roll Call 286). We have assigned pluses to the nays because this legislation would call for nearly $1 trillion in unconstitutional spending. The constitution does not authorize the federal government to subsidize food, farmers, or poverty. These subsidies have resulted in large market distortions as the government essentially picks winners and losers in the food production industry, and the fact that the number of people enrolled in food stamp programs has grown consistently illustrates that these programs do little to lift people out of poverty.



H R 1960: On Agreeing to the Amendment 12 to H R 1960
Vote Date: June 13, 2013Vote: NONE No Vote.
Indefinite Military Detention.
During consideration of the defense authorization bill (H.R. 1960), Rep. Adam Smith (D-Wash.) offered an amendment to eliminate indefinite military detention of any person detained in the United States, its territories, or possessions, under the 2001 Authorization for Use of Military Force. Smith's amendment would call for the immediate transfer of such detained persons to trial in a civilian court. Furthermore, Smith's amendment would repeal a provision of the 2012 defense authorization law that requires mandatory military custody of members or associates of al-Qaeda who planned or carried out attacks against the United States or its coalition partners.

The House rejected Smith's amendment on June 13, 2013 by a vote of 200 to 226 (Roll Call 228). We have assigned pluses to the yeas because indefinite detention without trial is a serious violation of long-cherished legal protections including the right to habeas corpus, the issuance of a warrant based on probable cause (Fourth Amendment), and the right to a "speedy and public" trial (Sixth Amendment). Under the National Defense Authorization Act, the president may abrogate these rights simply by designating terror suspects, including Americans, as "enemy combatants." A government that would lock up anyone indefinitely without trial is certainly moving toward tyranny, and legislation to prevent this abuse of power is needed.



H R 2217: On Agreeing to the Amendment 40 to H R 2217
Vote Date: June 6, 2013Vote: NAYBad Vote.
Illegal Immigration. During consideration of the Homeland Security appropriations bill (H.R. 2217), Rep. Steve King (R-Iowa) offered an amendment to "prohibit the use of funds to finalize, implement, administer, or enforce" the Obama administration policies regarding illegal immigrants known as prosecutorial discretion, which "seek to implement an administrative amnesty policy."

Rep. King went on to remark: "This is an that prohibits the resources from being used to enforce [prosecutorial discretion], amendment and it conforms with the Founding Fathers' vision, and it conforms with the Constitution in that the President cannot defy his own oath of office. He can't defy the Constitution. The President can't take on Article I authority and legislate by executive order or edict or press conference. That's the job of this Congress. That's why we are Article I. He is Article II."

The House adopted King's amendment on June 6, 2013 by a vote of 224 to 201 (Roll Call 208). We have assigned pluses to the yeas because only Congress has the power under the Constitution "to establish an uniform Rule of Naturalization."



H R 2217: On Agreeing to the Amendment 27 to H R 2217
Vote Date: June 5, 2013Vote: NAYBad Vote.
Homeland Security Ammunition Purchases. During consideration of the Homeland Security appropriations bill (H.R. 2217), Rep. Mark Meadows (R-N.C.) offered an amendment specifying that "none of the funds made available by this Act may be used for entering into a new contract for the purposes of purchasing ammunition" until the Department of Homeland Security submits a report to Congress about its purchase and use of ammunition. Meadows explained on the floor of the House that a recent large ammunition purchase by DHS was a cause for concern. "Earlier this year, it was reported that DHS solicited bids for some 1.1 billion rounds of ammunition," he noted. "This was more than 10 times the amount that the Department purchased in fiscal year 2012." Meadows added that the current inventory of ammunition for the 62,618 DHS employees certified in firearms amounts to nearly 4,000 rounds per person.

The House adopted Meadows' amendment on June 5, 2013 by a vote of 234 to 192 (Roll Call 204). We have assigned pluses to the yeas because the size of DHS ammunition purchases is alarming - particularly considering that under our constitutional system domestic law enforcement is a local and state responsibility.



H R 3: To approve the construction, operation, and maintenance of the Keystone XL pipeline, and for other purposes
Vote Date: May 22, 2013Vote: NAYBad Vote.
Keystone XL Pipeline. This bill (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 House passed H.R. 3 on May 22, 2013 by a vote of 241 to 175 (Roll Call 179). 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 45: To repeal the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act and health care-related provisions in the Health Care and Education Reconciliation Act of 2010
Vote Date: May 16, 2013Vote: NAYBad Vote.
ObamaCare Repeal. This legislation (H.R. 45) would repeal the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (Public Law 111-148) and healthcare-related provisions in the Health Care and Education Reconciliation Act of 2010 (Public Law 111-152), which together are known as "ObamaCare." This bill would also restore or revive the provisions of healthcare law amended or repealed by Public Laws 111-148 and 111-152 as if these two laws had never been enacted. Although this vote could be viewed as merely symbolic because it stood no chance of passage in the Senate, the upcoming ObamaCare-implementation train-wreck could still lead to the ultimate repeal of ObamaCare.

The House passed H.R. 45 on May 16, 2013 by a vote of 229 to 195 (Roll Call 154). We have assigned pluses to the yeas because ObamaCare is obviously unconstitutional, and it is causing healthcare costs to rise dramatically.



H R 624: Cyber Intelligence Sharing and Protection (CISPA) Act
Vote Date: April 18, 2013Vote: NONE No Vote.
Cyber Intelligence Sharing and Protection Act (CISPA). This legislation (H.R. 624) would further legalize the massive sharing of private-user online data by Internet companies with federal government agencies, such as the National Security Agency (NSA), that has already been happening for years. As Robert X. Cringely posted in his article "The CISPA Circus: Send in the Clowns" on InfoWorld.com on April 19, the day after the CISPA bill passed in the House: "The problem with CISPA is that in its current form it's still vague and ripe for abuse. It absolves corporations of being responsible for what happens to the data they've collected. It allows data sharing with the entire federal government, not just the parts responsible for ensuring our safety. It circumvents other laws designed to limit governmental access to private information. And it can be deployed for a wide range of perceived threats that have nothing to do with attacks on our nation's infrastructure."

The House passed CISPA on April 18, 2013 by a vote of 288 to 127 (Roll Call 117). We have assigned pluses to the nays because the massive sharing of private citizens' online data by Internet companies with federal government agencies authorized by this bill violates "the right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures" as set forth in the Fourth Amendment of the Constitution.



H R 933: Department of Defense, Military Construction and Veterans Affairs, and Full-Year Continuing Appropriations Act, 2013
Vote Date: March 21, 2013Vote: AYEBad Vote.
Continuing Appropriations for Fiscal 2013. This appropriations bill (H.R. 933) would finance the federal government through the end of fiscal 2013. Its provisions include five full-year appropriations bills - Agriculture, Commerce-Justice-Science, Defense, Homeland Security, and Military Construction-VA. It would also continue appropriations for the remainder of the federal government at 2012 levels, with certain adjustments. The spending includes $1.043 trillion in "discretionary" (non-mandatory) spending before sequestration.

In general, this appropriations bill perpetuates the Washington spendathon without making the needed decisions to slash government spending and eliminate deficit spending - projected to be $973 billion for fiscal 2013 in the budget Obama submitted in April.

The House agreed to this legislation on March 21, 2013 by a vote of 318 to 109 (Roll Call 89). 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 803: Supporting Knowledge and Investing in Lifelong Skills Act
Vote Date: March 15, 2013Vote: AYEBad Vote.
Minimum Wage. During consideration of a bill to consolidate job-training programs (H.R. 803), Rep. George Miller (D-Calif.) offered a motion to recommit the bill to the House Education and the Workforce Committee and report it back immediately with an amendment that, among other things, would incrementally increase the federal minimum wage by a total $2.85 over two years to $10.10 an hour. In 2007, the federal minimum wage was increased by $2.10 to the current $7.25 an hour. Though many people believe that raising the federal minimum wage is a solution to national poverty, mandating higher wages causes employers to limit hiring of entry-level workers, causing more unemployment. On the other hand, when the market is allowed to dictate wages, entry-level workers are able to get the experience and job training they need to get higher paying jobs.

The House rejected Miller's motion on March 15, 2013 by a vote of 184 to 233 (Roll Call 74). 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 933: Department of Defense, Military Construction and Veterans Affairs, and Full-Year Continuing Appropriations Act, 2013
Vote Date: March 6, 2013Vote: AYEBad Vote.
Sequestration Caps. During consideration of the continuing appropriations bill for fiscal 2013 (H.R. 933), Rep. Scott Peters (D-Calif.) moved to send the bill back to the House Appropriations Committee with instructions to report it back with an amendment striking the automatic sequestration cuts from the bill. Those cuts total $85 billion in fiscal 2013 - a relatively small amount compared to a total federal budget estimated at $3.68 trillion for fiscal 2013 in the budget Obama submitted to Congress in April.

The House rejected Peters' motion on March 6, 2013 by a vote of 188 to 231 (Roll Call 61). We have assigned pluses to the nays because the runaway federal spending needs to be reined in. Though the sequestration cuts are too small to solve the fiscal crisis, they are better than no cuts at all.



H R 325: 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 23, 2013Vote: NAYGood 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 House passed H.R. 325 on January 23, 2013 by a vote of 285 to 144 (Roll Call 30). 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.



H R 152: Making supplemental appropriations for the fiscal year ending September 30, 2013, and for other purposes
Vote Date: January 15, 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 House passed H.R. 152 on January 15, 2013 by a vote of 241 to 180. (Roll Call 23). We have assigned pluses to the nays because disaster relief - which should be provided through private charitable efforts - is not a federal responsibility.



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



H R 1424: Emergency Economic Stabilization Act of 2008
Vote Date: October 3, 2008Vote: NAYGood 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: NAYGood 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: AYEBad 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: AYEBad 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: NAYGood 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: AYEBad 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: NAYBad 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: 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: AYEGood 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: AYEBad 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: AYEBad 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: AYEBad 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.