Contact: 202-224-5244
Website: http://www.wyden.senate.gov

Name: Ron Wyden


Senate: Oregon, Democrat


Cumulative Freedom Index Score: 16%


Status: Active Member of the Senate

Score Breakdown:
6% (113th Congress: 2013-2014); 17% (112th Congress: 2011-2012); 10% (111th Congress: 2009-2010); 15% (110th Congress: 2007-2008); 30% (109th Congress: 2005-2006); 28% (108th Congress: 2003-2004); 18% (107th Congress: 2001-2002); 8% (106th Congress: 1999-2000)

Key Votes:



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

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

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



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

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

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



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

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

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



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

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

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



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

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

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



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

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

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

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



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

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

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

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



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

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

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

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



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

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

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



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

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

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

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



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

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



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

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

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



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

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

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



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

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

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



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

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

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

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



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

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



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

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

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



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

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



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

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



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

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



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

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



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

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

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



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

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



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

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

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



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

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

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



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

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



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

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

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

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

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

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



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

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

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



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

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



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

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



On the Joint Resolution H.J.Res. 117: A joint resolution making continuing appropriations for fiscal year 2013, and for other purposes.
Vote Date: September 22, 2012Vote: AYEBad Vote.
Continuing Resolution. House Joint Resolution 117 would provide continuing appropriations for the federal government from October 1, 2012 through March 27, 2013. This would amount to an annualized rate of $1.047 trillion in "discretionary" spending for regular appropriations, and would include a 0.6 percent increase in funding for most federal programs and agencies. This continuing resolution would also provide nearly $100 billion in war funding and $6.4 billion in advance disaster relief funds.

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

The Senate passed H. J. Res. 117 on September 22, 2012 by a vote of 62 to 30 (Roll Call 199). 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.



On the Cloture Motion S. 3414: A bill to enhance the security and resiliency of the cyber and communications infrastructure of the United States.
Vote Date: August 2, 2012Vote: NAYGood Vote.
Cybersecurity. The Cybersecurity Act of 2012 (S. 3414) would create a National Cybersecurity Council under the chairmanship of the secretary of Homeland Security. The council would impose "voluntary" standards -- with incentives for compliance -- for owners of critical computer networks.

The Senate rejected a motion to invoke cloture -- and thus end a filibuster so the bill could come up for a vote -- on August 2, 2012 by a vote of 52 to 46 (Roll Call 187; a three-fifths majority vote of the entire Senate -- 60 votes -- was needed to invoke cloture.) We have assigned pluses to the nays because the private owners of critical infrastructure are already heavily regulated and don't need to be further burdened with additional supposedly voluntary regulations in the name of cybersecurity.



On the Amendment S.Amdt. 2573 to S. 3412 (Middle Class Tax Cut Act): In the nature of a substitute.
Vote Date: July 25, 2012Vote: NAYBad Vote.
Tax Cut Extension. In view of the looming "fiscal cliff" of expiring tax cuts, tax increases, and automatic spending cuts set to take place January 1, 2013, Sen. Harry Reid (D-Nev.) offered a bill (S. 3412) to extend the expiring Bush-era tax rates for one year only for individuals earning less than $200,000 or families earning less than $250,000. Prior to a vote on the bill, Sen. Orrin Hatch (RUtah) offered a substitute amendment to extend the Bush-era tax cuts for all income levels for one year. Hatch's substitute would also extend the current estate tax levels, with a 35-percent tax on estates worth more than $5 million. Without congressional action, this tax will jump next year to as high as 55 percent on estates worth more than $1 million.

The Senate rejected Hatch's substitute amendment on July 25, 2012 by a vote of 45 to 54 (Roll Call 183). We have assigned pluses to the yeas because extending the tax cuts keeps more money in the hands of citizens, where it can be invested into the economy, thus spurring economic growth. Of course, the deficits need to be eliminated, but the way to accomplish this is to cut spending, not increase taxes. (After the substitute amendment was rejected, the Senate passed Reid's bill to raise taxes for the "rich.")



On Cloture on the Motion to Proceed S. 3369: A bill to amend the Federal Election Campaign Act of 1971 to provide for additional disclosure requirements for corporations, labor organizations, Super PACs and other entities, and for other purposes.
Vote Date: July 17, 2012Vote: AYEBad Vote.
DISCLOSE Act. The Democracy Is Strengthened by Casting Light On Spending in Elections (DISCLOSE) Act of 2012 (S. 3369) would require independent and corporate donors to disclose campaign related disbursements totaling more than $10,000 in an election cycle.

The Senate rejected a motion to invoke cloture (and thus end a filibuster so the bill could be voted on) on July 17, 2012 by a vote of 53 to 45 (Roll Call 180; a three-fifths majority vote of the entire Senate -- 60 votes -- was needed to invoke cloture).

We have assigned pluses to the nays because the legislation would have a chilling effect on political free speech by exposing donors to threats and intimidation. Free speech is protected by the First Amendment, which makes no exceptions for anonymous political donors, stating simply: "Congress shall make no law ... abridging the freedom of speech." In fact, some of the Founding Fathers engaged in anonymous free speech at times, such as when Madison, Jay, and Hamilton wrote The Federalist Papers under the pseudonym "Publius."



On the Conference Report H.R. 4348: Amended during conference: "An act to authorize funds for Federal-aid highways, highway safety programs, and transit programs, and for other purposes."
Vote Date: June 29, 2012Vote: AYEBad Vote.
Surface Transportation. This legislation (H.R. 4348) provides federal funds for interstate highway infrastructure, highway safety programs, and transit programs through fiscal 2014. The authorizations in the bill include $21.2 billion for the Highway Trust Fund, $80 billion for Federal Highway Administration contracts, and $21.3 billion for Federal Transit Administration programs. It also extends the 3.4 percent, federally subsidized student-loan interest rate through July 1, 2013, reauthorizes the National Flood Insurance Program, and distributes penalties paid by those responsible for the BP oil spill to Gulf Coast states.

The Senate adopted the final version of the bill (known as a conference report) on June 29, 2012 by a vote of 74-19 (Roll Call 172). We have assigned pluses to the nays because much of the spending is unconstitutional.



On the Amendment S.Amdt. 2372 to S. 3240 (Agriculture Reform, Food, and Jobs Act of 2012): To prohibit the Administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency from conducting aerial surveillance to inspect agricultural operations or to record images of agricultural operations.
Vote Date: June 21, 2012Vote: NAYBad Vote.
Aerial Inspection. During consideration of the Agriculture Reform, Food and Jobs Act of 2012 (S. 3240), Sen. Mike Johanns (R-Neb.) offered an amendment to prohibit the Environmental Protection Agency from conducting aerial surveillance to inspect and/or record images of agricultural operations.

The Senate rejected Johanns' amendment on June 21, 2012 by a vote of 56 to 43 (Roll Call 159; by unanimous consent, the Senate had agreed to require 60 votes for adoption of the amendment). We have assigned pluses to the yeas because the EPA is an unconstitutional agency created by executive order. It should not even exist, let alone engage in aerial surveillance for the purpose of detecting supposed violations of its regulations. Furthermore, while the surveillance is conducted from "public" airspace, so to speak, the air is not the subject of the surveillance. The use of the air is not unconstitutional, but the purpose of that use is unconstitutional, since it violates the Fourth Amendment protection against search of one's person, house, papers, and effects without probable cause and a warrant "particularly describing ... the persons or things to be seized."



On Passage of the Bill S. 3240: An original bill to reauthorize agricultural programs through 2017, and for other purposes.
Vote Date: June 21, 2012Vote: AYEBad Vote.
Farm Bill. The Agriculture Reform, Food, and Jobs Act of 2012 (S. 3240) would authorize federal farm and food assistance programs for five years. The programs include crop subsidies, food stamps, and foreign food aid. The Congressional Budget Office estimates that the programs authorized by the bill would cost $969 billion if implemented over the next 10 years.

The Senate passed S. 3240 on June 21, 2012 by a vote of 64 to 35 (Roll Call 164). We have assigned pluses to the nays because federal agricultural subsidies and food aid are unconstitutional.



On the Motion to Proceed S.J.Res. 37: A joint resolution to disapprove a rule promulgated by the Administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency relating to emission standards for certain steam generating units.
Vote Date: June 20, 2012Vote: NAYBad Vote.
EPA Regulations. After the Environmental Protection Agency established the Mercury and Air Toxics Standards that cap toxin emissions from coal-fired power plants, Sen. James Inhofe (R-Okla.) sponsored a joint resolution (S. J. Res. 37) to nullify the regulations. Sen. Inhofe said the "EPA's Utility MACT (Maximum Achievable Control Technology) is designed to destroy jobs by killing off the coal industry. EPA admits itself that the Utility MACT rule would cost an unprecedented $11 billion to implement. Of course these costs will come in the form of higher electricity rates for every American.... The Utility MACT would destroy over 1 million jobs and cost the American economy billions of dollars."

A motion to proceed to consideration of the measure was defeated on June 20, 2012 by a vote of 46 to 53 (Roll Call 139). We have assigned pluses to the yeas because the EPA is an unconstitutional agency created by executive order, and while the Commerce Clause allows Congress to regulate trade between states, federal agencies do not have constitutional authority to impose environmental regulations on industry. Moreover, the regulations will lead to the premature closure of many power plants, leading to more expensive, less reliable electricity for consumers.



On the Amendment S.Amdt. 2354 to S. 3240 (Agriculture Reform, Food, and Jobs Act of 2012): To prohibit assistance to North Korea under title II of the Food for Peace Act.
Vote Date: June 20, 2012Vote: NAYBad Vote.
Aid to North Korea. During consideration of the Agriculture Reform, Food and Jobs Act of 2012 (S. 3240), Sen. Jon Kyl (R-Ariz.) offered an amendment to prohibit federal food assistance to North Korea.

The Senate rejected Kyl's amendment on June 20, 2012 by a vote of 43 to 56 (Roll Call 145). We have assigned pluses to the yeas not only because North Korea is a totalitarian regime, but also because foreign aid is unconstitutional.



On the Amendment S.Amdt. 2313 to S. 3240 (Agriculture Reform, Food, and Jobs Act of 2012): To repeal the forest legacy program.
Vote Date: June 20, 2012Vote: NAYBad Vote.
Forest Legacy Program. During consideration of the Agriculture Reform, Food and Jobs Act of 2012 (S. 3240), Sen. Mike Lee (R-Utah) offered an amendment to repeal the Forest Service's Forest Legacy Program.

Regarding the need for his amendment, Sen. Lee stated: "The Federal Government owns about two-thirds of the land in my own State. It owns nearly 30 percent of the land mass within the territorial boundaries of the United States. We do a lot to conserve that land. But when we use this money -- money estimated to amount to about $200 million a year in authorization, about $1 billion over a 5-year period -- we are using that money to take land out of use. We are using that money to pay people not to use their land for anything. Whenever we look for areas in which we can save money, one area is to not pay people not to use their land."

According to the Forest Service's website: "The Forest Legacy Program (FLP), a Federal program in partnership with States, supports State efforts to protect environmentally sensitive forest lands.... To maximize the public benefits it achieves, the program focuses on the acquisition of partial interests in privately owned forest lands. FLP helps the States develop and carry out their forest conservation plans. It encourages and supports acquisition of conservation easements, legally binding agreements transferring a negotiated set of property rights from one party to another, without removing the property from private ownership. Most FLP conservation easements restrict development, require sustainable forestry practices, and protect other values."

The Senate rejected Senator Lee's amendment to S. 3240 on June 20, 2012 by a vote of 21 to 77 (Roll Call 147). We have assigned pluses to the yeas because the Constitution does not grant Congress the legislative power to acquire ownership of or conservation easement rights over large tracts of land within the states.



Motion to Table S.Amdt.2143: To amend the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act concerning claims about the effects of foods and dietary supplements on health-related conditions and disease, to prohibit employees of the Food and Drug Administration from carrying firearms and making arrests without warrants, and to adjust the mens rea of certain prohibited acts under the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act to knowing and willful.
Vote Date: May 24, 2012Vote: AYEBad Vote.
FDA Regulation of Food & Dietary Supplements. During consideration of the FDA user-fee authorization bill (S. 3187), Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) offered an amendment to prohibit FDA from regulating food or dietary supplements as drugs and censoring product health claims. Paul's amendment would also "prohibit employees of the Food and Drug Administration from carrying firearms and making arrests without warrants."

The Senate tabled (killed) Paul's amendment on May 24, 2012 by a vote of 78 to 15 (Roll Call 107). We have assigned pluses to the nays because the FDA censorship of health claims is a violation of the right to free speech protected by the First Amendment, and because the federal government is using armed agents to enforce unconstitutional regulations -- e.g., against the selling of raw milk.



H.R. 2072: Export-Import Bank Reauthorization Act of 2012
Vote Date: May 15, 2012Vote: AYEBad Vote.
Export-Import Bank. This legislation (H.R. 2072) reauthorized the U.S. Export-Import Bank for two years and increased the agency's lending cap from $100 billion to $140 billion. The bank issues loans and loan guarantees to foreign governments or companies for the purchase of U.S. products.

The Senate passed H.R. 2072 on May 15, 2012 by a vote of 78 to 20 (Roll Call 96). We have assigned pluses to the nays because the federal government has no constitutional authority risking taxpayers' money to provide loans the private sector considers too risky to provide. Indeed, U.S. government backed export financing is a form of corporate welfare, and if the Ex-Im Bank goes bust (as happened to Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae), the taxpayers will get stuck holding the bag.



S.Amdt.1826 to S.1813: Of a perfecting nature
Vote Date: March 13, 2012Vote: NAYBad Vote.
Oil and Gas Development; Keystone XL Pipeline. During consideration of S. 1813, Sen. Pat Roberts (R-Kan.) offered an amendment to open up part of the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge to oil and natural-gas development, expand lease sales for offshore drilling, and approve the Keystone oil pipeline.

The Senate rejected Roberts' amendment on March 13, 2012 by a vote of 41 to 57 (Roll Call 38). We have assigned pluses to the yeas because the federal government should allow entrepreneurs to develop energy resource, rather than deny access to the resources.



S.Amdt.1812 to S.1813: To prevent a tax increase on American businesses and to provide certainty to job creators by extending certain expiring tax credits relating to energy.
Vote Date: March 13, 2012Vote: AYEBad Vote.
Energy Tax Extensions. During consideration of S. 1813, Sen. Debbie Stabenow (D-Mich.) offered an amendment to extend already-lapsed and soon-to-expire programs intended to promote renewable energy -- including a lapsed stimulus program that allowed businesses to receive grants (as opposed to tax credits) for renewable-energy projects, and a production tax credit for wind energy producers set to sunset at the end of the year.

The Senate rejected Stabenow's amendment on March 13, 2012 by a vote of 49 to 49, under an agreement requiring 60 votes for passage (Roll Call 39). We have assigned pluses to the nays because the government has no constitutional business rewarding government-favored business interests. Instead, the market should decide "winners" and "losers" in the energy sector, as in other sectors of the economy, to ensure that wasteful, harmful, or inefficient entities are kept to a minimum.



S.Amdt.1535 to S.1813: To provide for an extension of the Draft Proposed Outer Continental Shelf Oil and Gas Leasing Program 2010-2015.
Vote Date: March 8, 2012Vote: NAYBad Vote.
Offshore Oil and Gas Development. During consideration of S. 1813, Sen. David Vitter (R-La.) proposed an amendment that would have allowed for more leases for offshore drilling than does the current plan. As explained by Vitter on the House floor, his amendment "would allow us to go back to the previous lease plan for the Outer Continental Shelf, replacing the current Obama administration lease plan which cuts that previous plan in half and moves us in the wrong direction in terms of producing our abundance of domestic energy, including oil and natural gas."

The Senate rejected Vitter's amendment on March 8, 2012 by a vote of 43 to 55 (Roll Call 28). 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.



S.Amdt.1660 to S.1813: To provide additional time for the Administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency to issue achievable standards for industrial, commercial, and institutional boilers, process heaters, and incinerators.
Vote Date: March 8, 2012Vote: NAYBad Vote.
EPA Boiler Emission Regulations. During consideration of S. 1813, Sen. Susan Collins (R-Maine) offered an amendment intended to provide regulatory relief from the EPA's new emission standards for industrial boilers. Collins warned that the "rules have an estimated cost of $14 billion, and 200,000 jobs would be lost." Her amendment would require the EPA to propose revised, supposedly less-burdensome, rules 15 months after enactment of her measure. It would also allow manufacturers at least five years after the effective date of the finalized rules to bring their facilities into compliance.

The Senate rejected Collins' amendment on March 8, 2012 by a vote of 52 to 46, under an agreement requiring 60 votes for passage (Roll Call 30). We have assigned pluses to the yeas because the EPA is unconstitutional and EPA regulations harm the economy. Though Collins' amendment would not have killed the boiler regulations, it would at least have delayed them.



Motion to Table Blunt S.Amdt.1520: To amend the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act to protect rights of conscience with regard to requirements for coverage of specific items and services.
Vote Date: March 1, 2012Vote: AYEBad Vote.
Religious Exemptions for Healthcare. During consideration of the surface transportation authorization bill (S. 1813), Sen. Roy Blunt (R-Mo.) offered an amendment to "protect rights of conscience with regard to requirements for coverage of specific items and services." The Obama administration insists that under ObamaCare all employers must provide contraceptive coverage, even if they oppose such coverage for religious reasons. Blunt's amendment would have enabled health insurance plans to exclude coverage that the plan's sponsors or employers oppose as a matter of conscience.

The Senate tabled (killed) Blunt's amendment on March 1, 2012 by a vote of 51 to 48 (Roll Call 24). We have assigned pluses to the nays because, to quote Thomas Jefferson, "No provision in our Constitution ought to be dearer to man than that which protects the rights of conscience against the enterprises of the civil authority."



S.Amdt.1488 to S.Amdt.1470: To express the sense of the Senate that the Senate should pass a joint resolution proposing an amendment to the Constitution that limits the number of terms a Member of Congress may serve.
Vote Date: February 2, 2012Vote: NAYGood Vote.
Congressional Term Limits. During consideration of a bill to ban congressional insider trading (S. 2038), Sen. Jim DeMint (R-S.C.) offered an amendment "To express the sense of the Senate that the Senate should pass a joint resolution proposing an amendment to the Constitution that limits the number of terms a Member of Congress may serve." However, Roger Sherman stated at the 1787 Constitutional Convention: "Frequent elections are necessary to preserve the good behavior of rulers. They also tend to give permanency to the Government, by preserving that good behavior, because it ensures their re-election." Sherman's statement contains the essence of the argument against term limits, which is that the best incentive for an elected official to represent the interests of his constituents is the possibility of reelection.

The Senate rejected DeMint's amendment on February 2, 2012 by a vote of 24 to 75 (Roll Call 11). We have assigned pluses to the nays because congressional term limits would decrease the accountability of Congressmen to their constituents by increasing the number of lame-duck Congressmen serving in each congressional session.



Motion to Consider H.J. Res. 98: Relating to the disapproval of the President's exercise of authority to increase the debt limit, as submitted under section 3101A of title 31, United States Code, on January 12, 2012.
Vote Date: January 26, 2012Vote: NAYBad Vote.
Debt Limit Disapproval. House Joint Resolution 98 would have disapproved of President Obama's request to raise the national debt limit by an additional $1.2 trillion, to $16.4 trillion. Under the debt deal of August 2011, enactment of a resolution of disapproval was needed to prevent this increase from going into effect. The House passed the resolution, but the Senate failed to do so.

Sen. Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) moved to proceed to H. J. Res. 98, but his motion was rejected on January 26, 2012 by a vote of 44 to 52 (Roll Call 2). We have assigned pluses to the yeas because the federal government should live within its means and because most of the spending responsible for the ballooning national debt is unconstitutional.



H.R. 2055: Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2012
Vote Date: December 17, 2011Vote: AYEBad Vote.
Omnibus Appropriations. This catch-all legislative package (H.R. 2055), which would provide $915 billion in discretionary appropriations for fiscal 2012, is comprised of nine appropriations bills for fiscal 2012 that Congress failed to complete separately -- Defense ($518.8 billion), Energy-Water ($32.1 billion), Financial Services ($21.5 billion), Homeland Security ($41.3 billion), Interior-Environment ($29.2 billion), Labor-HHS-Education ($156.3 billion), Legislative Branch ($4.3 billion), State-Foreign Operations ($33.5 billion), and Military Construction-VA ($73.7 billion).

The Senate adopted the final version of this legislation (known as a conference report) on December 17, 2011 by a vote of 67 to 32 (Roll Call 235). We have assigned pluses to the nays because many of the bill's spending programs -- e.g., education, housing, foreign aid, etc. -- are unconstitutional, and the country is running trillion-dollar annual deficits.



S.Amdt. 1126 to S. 1867: To limit the authority of the Armed Forces to detain citizens of the United States under section 1031.
Vote Date: December 1, 2011Vote: AYEGood Vote.
Indefinite Detention. Detaineerelated language in the Defense authorization bill (S. 1867) was written in such a sweeping way that even the United States can be considered part of the battlefield in the global war against terror -- and even American citizens accused of being terrorists can be apprehended by the U.S. military and detained indefinitely without habeas corpus and without even being tried and found guilty in a court of law. Several attempts were made to revise the language, including an amendment offered by Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) to prohibit U.S. citizens from being held indefinitely without being charged or given a trial.

The Senate rejected this amendment on December 1 by a vote of 45 to 55 (Roll Call 214). We have assigned pluses to the yeas because the War on Terror must not be allowed to destroy legal protections stretching back to the Magna Carta.



Conference Report S7684 to H.R. 2112: Consolidated and Further Continuing Appropriations Act, 2012
Vote Date: November 17, 2011Vote: AYEBad Vote.
Agriculture-Commerce-Justice-Science-Transportation-HUD Appropriations. This so-called "minibus" bill (H.R. 2112) combined into a single package three of the regular appropriations bills -- Agriculture, Commerce-Justice-Science, and Transportation-Housing and Urban Development (HUD) -- for fiscal 2012. Just the "discretionary" spending in the minibus for the three-bill package totaled $128.1 billion. In addition, there is the spending that the government deems "mandatory." In the case of the Agriculture bill that was incorporated into the minibus, for instance, the appropriations include $116.8 billion in mandatory spending in addition to $19.8 billion in discretionary spending. The so-called mandatory spending in the Agriculture bill includes nearly $99 billion for food and nutrition programs.

The Senate passed the final version (conference report) of this legislation on November 17, 2011 by a vote of 70 to 30 (Roll Call 208). We have assigned pluses to the nays because Congress has no constitutional authority to fund many of the programs in the bill, including the farm programs, food programs, and housing (under HUD).



S.J.Res. 6: A joint resolution disapproving the rule submitted by the Federal Communications Commission with respect to regulating the Internet and broadband industry practices.
Vote Date: November 10, 2011Vote: NAYBad Vote.
Net Neutrality. Senate Joint Resolution 6 would have nullified the "net neutrality" rules issued by the Federal Communications Commission in December 2010 and scheduled to become effective November 20, 2011. The new rules give the federal government more control over the Internet. "The FCC reversed its successful hands-off approach ... by passing net neutrality rules where the FCC has essentially granted itself power over all forms of communication including the Internet," warned Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison (R-Texas), who spearheaded S. J. Res. 6. She added that the "regulations on broadband providers" in the net neutrality rules "establish the FCC as the Internet's gatekeeper, a role for which government is not really suited when innovation could be stifled."

Senator Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) moved to proceed to the resolution, but the Senate rejected his resolution on November 10 by a vote of 46 to 52 -- thereby thwarting the attempt to nullify the net neutrality rules (Roll Call 200). We have assigned pluses to the yeas because the federal government has no business serving as a gatekeeper for the Internet, and such a role could eventually threaten what has become an important public square for circulating ideas and information.



S.J.Res. 27: A joint resolution disapproving a rule submitted by the Environmental Protection Agency relating to the mitigation by States of cross-border air pollution under the Clean Air Act.
Vote Date: November 10, 2011Vote: NAYBad Vote.
Cross-state Pollution. Senate Joint Resolution 27 would nullify the EPA's cross-state pollution rules targeting sulfur dioxide and nitrogen oxide power plant emissions. The House had already passed related legislation that would delay implementation of the EPA rules but not actually eliminate them.

Senator Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) moved to proceed to the resolution, but the Senate rejected his motion November 10 by a vote of 41 to 56 -- thereby thwarting the attempt to stop the EPA cross-state pollution rules (Roll Call 201). We have assigned pluses to the yeas because these rules will further damage the economy and also because the federal government has no constitutional authority to regulate power plant emissions.



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

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

The Senate passed H.R. 3080 on October 12, 2011 by a vote of 83 to 15 (Roll Call 161). We have assigned pluses to the nays because agreements such as this one are intended to transfer trade (and other) powers to super-national arrangements, despite the fact that under the Constitution only Congress has the power "to regulate commerce with foreign nations."



Invoke Cloture on S. 1660: American Jobs Act of 2011
Vote Date: October 11, 2011Vote: AYEBad Vote.
Jobs Program. The Obama-Democrat jobs bill (S. 1660) would provide $175 billion in spending for transportation infrastructure projects, extending long-term unemployment benefits, preventing lay-offs of teachers and first responders, and upgrading public schools and community colleges. It would also extend and expand the current employee payroll tax cut. But it would offset the costs of the bill by imposing a 5.6 percent surtax on household income above $1 million.

The Senate rejected a motion to invoke cloture (and thus end debate so the bill could come up for a vote) on October 11, 2011 by a vote of 50 to 49 (Roll Call 160; a three-fifths majority vote of the full Senate -- 60 votes -- was needed to invoke cloture). We have assigned pluses to the nays because the way to create jobs is not to provide them via government financing of certain sectors of the economy, but to reduce the government's burden on the economy.



S.Amdt. 626 to S.Amdt. 633 to H.R. 2832: To provide trade promotion authority for the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement and for other trade agreements.
Vote Date: September 20, 2011Vote: NAYGood Vote.
Trade Promotion Authority. During consideration of the trade-preferences bill, Sen. Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) introduced an amendment to reinstitute trade promotion authority through 2013 for the purpose of expediting approval of trade bills. The authority, which was called "fast track" when initially instituted, had expired in 2007. The fast-track procedure requires that Congress must not amend or filibuster trade agreements submitted to them by the President, and must either approve or disapprove of the agreements within 90 days of submission. Renewing trade promotion authority is considered crucial for picking up the pace for approving future free-trade agreements such as the South Korea trade agreement.

The Senate rejected McConnell's amendment on September 20, 2011 by a vote of 45 to 55 (Roll Call 141). We have assigned pluses to the nays because trade promotion authority limits the ability of Congress to deliberate and legislate. Moreover, treaties should need a two-thirds majority vote in the Senate for approval.



S.J.Res. 25: A joint resolution relating to the disapproval of the President\'s exercise of authority to increase the debt limit, as submitted under section 3101A of title 31, United States Code, on August 2, 2011.
Vote Date: September 8, 2011Vote: NAYBad Vote.
Joint Resolution 25 would disapprove of President Obama\'s intent to raise the national debt ceiling by an additional $500 billion on top of the immediate $400 billion increase under last August\'s budget deal (Senate vote #12 above). If the motion of disapproval were enacted, the additional $500 billion increase would not go into effect. S. J. Res. 25 is similar to H. J. Res. 77.

The Senate rejected a motion to proceed to the resolution of disapproval on September 8 by a vote of 45 to 52 (Roll Call 130). We have assigned pluses to the yeas because piling on more and more debt is devastating to the economy.



S. 365: Budget Control Act of 2011
Vote Date: August 2, 2011Vote: AYEBad Vote.
Debt Deal. This legislation (S. 365) provided for an immediate $400 billion increase in the national debt limit, while allowing the President to raise the ceiling an additional $500 billion unless Congress passes a resolution of disapproval on September 14, 2011 by a vote of 232 to 186 (Roll Call 706).

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

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

The Senate agreed to the House-passed version of the bill on August 2, 2011 by a vote of 74 to 26 (Roll Call 123). We have assigned pluses to the nays because the debt deal allows both the national debt and spending to continue their upward trajectories.



S.Amdt.501 to S.679: To repeal the authority to provide certain loans to the International Monetary Fund, the increase in the United States quota to the Fund, and certain other related authorities, and to rescind related appropriated amounts.
Vote Date: June 29, 2011Vote: NAYBad Vote.
IMF Loans. During consideration of a bill on executive branch nominations (S. 679), Sen. Jim DeMint (R-S.C.) introduced an amendment to repeal the authority to provide certain loans to the International Monetary Fund, and to rescind up to $108 billion previously appropriated for the IMF. The IMF is an adjunct of the United Nations and grants foreign aid to qualifying countries.

The Senate rejected the DeMint amendment on June 29, 2011 by a vote of 44 to 55 (Roll Call 99). We have assigned pluses to the yeas because there is no authority in the U.S. Constitution for redistributing American wealth to other countries.



S.Amdt. 476: To repeal the Volumetric Ethanol Excise Tax Credit
Vote Date: June 16, 2011Vote: AYEGood Vote.
Ethanol Subsidies Repeal. During consideration of the economic development bill (S. 782), Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) introduced an amendment that would end the 45-cents per-gallon tax credit that refiners get for blending ethanol with gasoline and the 54-cents-per-gallon tariff on imported ethanol. These federal energy subsidies currently cost about $6 billion per year. Critics of the ethanol subsidy say ethanol production for use in fuels hurts the environment, gums up engines, and raises food prices. According to DesMoinesRegister.com, "About 40 percent of last year's U.S. corn crop went toward ethanol production."

The Senate adopted Feinstein's amendment on June 16, 2011 by a vote of 73 to 27 (Roll Call 90). We have assigned pluses to the yeas because the Constitution does not authorize the federal government to subsidize alternative energy sources.



Motion to Table S.Amdt. 363: Motion to Table S.Amdt. 363
Vote Date: May 26, 2011Vote: AYEBad Vote.
Patriot Act (Firearms Purchase Records). During consideration of the Patriot Act extension bill (S. 990), Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.), who opposes the Patriot Act on constitutional grounds, offered an amendment that would have banned the use of Patriot Act searches for American citizens' firearms records without the Fourth Amendment's protections of probable cause, warrants, and particularity. Gun Owners of America, which supported this amendment, warned: "Without Paul's exemption, it is possible that the BATFE could go to a secret (FISA) court, and, in a one-party (ex parte) proceeding, obtain an order to produce every 4473 [firearms transaction record] in the country, ostensibly because a 'terrorism investigation' requires it. If such an action were taken, the government would have a list of every gun buyer in the country going back decades."

The Senate tabled (killed) Rand Paul's amendment on May 26, 2011 by a vote of 85 to 10 (Roll Call 82). We have assigned pluses to the nays because Paul's amendment would have prevented the Patriot Act from being used to violate the rights of gun owners.



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

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

The Senate passed S. 990 on May 26, 2011 by a vote of 72 to 23 (Roll Call 84). We have assigned pluses to the nays because the extended provisions, and the Patriot Act as a whole, violate the Fourth Amendment of the U.S. Constitution.



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

The Senate rejected H. Con. Res. 35 on April 14, 2011 by a vote of 47 to 53 (Roll Call 59). We have assigned pluses to the yeas because there is no constitutional authority for the federal government to require individuals to purchase health insurance or to manage the healthcare industry.



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

The House adopted H. Con. Res. 36 on April 14, 2011, but the Senate rejected it the same day by a vote of 42 to 58 (Roll Call 60). We have assigned pluses to the yeas because Planned Parenthood is the nation's largest abortion provider and government should not subsidize the killing of innocent human life. Moreover, under the Constitution, the federal government should not be subsidizing any private entity in the marketplace.



S.Amdt. 183: To prohibit the Administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency from promulgating any regulation concerning, taking action relating to, or taking into consideration the emission of a greenhouse gas to address climate change
Vote Date: April 6, 2011Vote: NAYBad Vote.
Greenhouse-gas Regulation. During consideration of a small-business bill (S. 493), Sen. Mitch McConnell (RKy.) offered an amendment to prohibit the EPA from regulating greenhouse-gas emissions from stationary sources for the purpose of addressing climate change.

The Senate rejected McConnell's amendment on April 6, 2011 by a vote of 50 to 50 (Roll Call 54). We have assigned pluses to the yeas because restricting greenhouse-gas emissions would be harmful to the economy, carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases are not pollutants, and the federal government has no constitutional authority to limit such emissions.



H.R. 4: Comprehensive 1099 Taxpayer Protection and Repayment of Exchange Subsidy Overpayments Act of 2011
Vote Date: April 5, 2011Vote: AYEGood Vote.
ObamaCare (1099 Reporting Requirement Repeal). This bill (H.R. 4) stripped the very unpopular 1099 reporting requirement out of ObamaCare. This was significant because it was the first component of ObamaCare to be repealed by Congress. This reporting requirement for businesses and real estate owners to file a 1099 form with the IRS for every vendor to whom they paid more than $600 a year had been added to the ObamaCare legislation as a way to raise $19 billion by reducing tax fraud; however, business organizations protested that the 1099 requirement would bury businesses in additional, costly paperwork.

The Senate passed H.R. 4 on April 5, 2011 by a vote of 87 to 12 (Roll Call 49). We have assigned pluses to the yeas because the burdensome 1099 reporting requirement was added to the ObamaCare legislation as a way to help pay for this unconstitutional program.



Motion to Table S.Amdt. 276: Motion to Table Paul Motion to Commit S. 493 to Committee on Foreign Relations, with Instructions
Vote Date: April 5, 2011Vote: AYEBad Vote.
Authority for Military Action. During consideration of a small-business bill (S. 493), Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) moved to send the bill to the Foreign Relations Committee with instructions to insert his amendment expressing the sense of the Senate that "the President does not have power under the Constitution to unilaterally authorize a military attack in a situation that does not involve stopping an actual or imminent threat to the nation." Paul's amendment was in response to President Obama undertaking U.S. military action in Libya without congressional authorization.

The Senate tabled (killed) Rand Paul's motion on April 5, 2011 by a vote of 90 to 10 (Roll Call 50). We have assigned pluses to the nays because the U.S. Constitution assigns to Congress the power "to declare war."



Motion to Table S.Amdt. 4: Motion to Table S.Amdt. 4
Vote Date: February 17, 2011Vote: AYEBad Vote.
Subsidized Airline Service. During consideration of the FAA reauthorization bill (S. 223), Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) offered an amendment to end the Essential Air Service program, which provides subsidies to airlines to maintain otherwise unprofitable commercial airline service to certain small communities.

The Senate tabled (killed) the McCain amendment on February 17, 2011 by a vote of 61 to 38 (Roll Call 21). We have assigned pluses to the nays because the federal government has no constitutional authority to subsidize private airlines, and the free market should be allowed to determine which communities commercial airlines service, as well as the cost and extent of that service.



S.Amdt. 13: To repeal the job-killing health care law and health care-related provisions in the Health Care and Education Reconciliation Act of 2010
Vote Date: February 2, 2011Vote: NAYBad Vote.
ObamaCare Repeal. Since widespread opposition to ObamaCare propelled the Republicans to a substantial majority in the House in the 2010 elections, it was appropriate that the Republicans arranged for a vote on repealing ObamaCare very early in the first session of the 112th Congress. Dubbed the "Repealing the Job-Killing Health Care Law Act," H.R. 2 would repeal both the "Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act" (PL 111-148) and the "Health Care and Education Reconciliation Act of 2010" (PL 111-152), known collectively as ObamaCare. Passage of this repeal bill would be the best solution to the ObamaCare problem because it is worded to be effective as of the original date of enactment of PL 111-148 and 152 and would repeal both laws, as well as restore and revive the provisions of law that had been amended or repealed by ObamaCare, as if ObamaCare had never been enacted.

The essential text of the House's bill (H.R. 2) "Repealing the Job-Killing Health Care Law Act" was brought to a vote in the Senate by Senator Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) as an amendment to S. 223, the FAA reauthorization bill. The Senate rejected Senator McConnell's amendment on February 2, 2011 by a vote of 47-51 (Roll Call 9). We have assigned pluses to the yeas because the 2010 healthcare overhaul law (PL 111-148 and 111-152), popularly known as ObamaCare, is unconstitutional. There is no constitutional authority for the federal government to require individuals to purchase health insurance or to manage the healthcare industry.



On the Cloture Motion S. 3628: A bill to amend the Federal Election Campaign Act of 1971 to prohibit foreign influence in Federal elections, to prohibit government contractors from making expenditures with respect to such elections, and to establish additional disclosure requirements with respect to spending in such elections, and for other purposes.
Vote Date: September 23, 2010Vote: AYEBad Vote.
Campaign Finance Disclosure. Back on June 24, 2010, the House passed the DISCLOSE Act ("Campaign Finance Disclosure"), H.R. 5175, which would establish new regulations for corporations, unions, and advocacy and lobbying groups for campaign-related activities.

A companion DISCLOSE bill, S. 3628, was introduced in the Senate on July 21, 2010.

The Senate failed to invoke cloture (limiting debate and allowing for a vote) on the motion to proceed to the DISCLOSE Act, S. 3628, on September 23, 2010 by a vote of 59-39 (Roll Call 240). Sixty votes are required to invoke cloture. We have assigned pluses to the nays because invoking cloture would have permitted a vote on, and certain passage of, the unconstitutional DISCLOSE Act to restrict the free speech rights of corporations, unions, and special interest groups.



On the Cloture Motion S. 3454: An original bill to authorize appropriations for fiscal year 2011 for military activities of the Department of Defense, for military construction, and for defense activities of the Department of Energy, to prescribe military personnel strengths for such fiscal year, and for other purposes.
Vote Date: September 21, 2010Vote: AYEBad Vote.
DREAM Act. The Development, Relief, and Education for Alien Minors (DREAM) Act of 2009 would, as described by Congressional Quarterly, "provide a pathway to citizenship for children of illegal immigrants who attend college or join the military." This act would provide amnesty for up to 2.1 million children of illegal immigrants. It would also permit states to offer them in-state tuition rates.

The DREAM Act was first introduced in the Senate in 2001. Although it was voted down as a stand-alone measure in the Senate in 2007, pro-amnesty forces have continued to promote its passage. Since the DREAM Act had not been brought up for a stand-alone vote in this session, Democratic leaders attempted to add it as an amendment to the fiscal 2011 defense authorization bill (S. 3454) by scheduling a pre-election cloture vote on proceeding to the defense bill with a limitation that only three amendments could be considered: (1) the DREAM Act; (2) a limitation on Senators' use of secret holds on bills or nominations; and (3) striking the defense bill's repeal of the 1993 "don't ask, don't tell" law. Although the DREAM Act shared billing with two other amendments, it was clear that the DREAM Act, with its obvious implications for wooing the Hispanic vote, was the centerpiece of this pre-election cloture vote.

The Senate failed to invoke cloture (limiting debate and allowing a vote) on the motion to proceed to the defense authorization bill on September 21, 2010 by a vote of 56-43 (Roll Call 238). Sixty votes are required to invoke cloture. We have assigned pluses to the nays because invoking cloture would have permitted a vote on, and likely approval of, the DREAM Act amendment to provide amnesty to certain groups of illegal immigrants.



On the Cloture Motion S.Amdt. 4596 to S.Amdt. 4595 to S.Amdt. 4594 to H.R. 5297: To repeal the expansion of information reporting requirements for payments of $600 or more to corporations, and for other purposes.
Vote Date: September 14, 2010Vote: NAYBad Vote.
ObamaCare 1099 Requirement. One of the most unpopular provisions in the massively unconstitutional ObamaCare law is the requirement for businesses to file 1099 forms with their vendors and the IRS for any purchases totaling more than $600 per year with a vendor. This will force 40 million business entities to file untold billions of new reports with their vendors and the IRS each year.

Pressure has been building on Congress to repeal the 1099 reporting requirement. On September 14 the Senate considered an amendment by Senator Mike Johanns (Neb.) to repeal this requirement.

The Senate failed to invoke cloture (limiting debate and allowing a vote) on the Johanns amendment on September 14, 2010 by a vote of 46-52 (Roll Call 231). We have assigned pluses to the yeas because invoking cloture would have permitted a vote on an amendment to repeal the highly unpopular 1099 IRS reporting provision of the unconstitutional ObamaCare law.



On the Motion (Motion to Concur in the House Amendment to the Senate Amendment to H.R. 1586 with Amendment No. 4575.): An act 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 5, 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 Senate agreed to this legislation on August 5, 2010 by a vote of 61-39 (Roll Call 228). 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.



On the Nomination PN1768: Elena Kagan, of Massachusetts, to be an Associate Justice of the Supreme Court of the United States
Vote Date: August 5, 2010Vote: AYEBad Vote.
Kagan Confirmation. The Senate confirmed President Obama's nomination of Elena Kagan to be an Associate Justice of the U.S. Supreme Court on August 5, 2010 by a vote of 63-37 (Roll Call 229).

We have assigned pluses to the nays because Kagan is not committed to adhering to the original intent of the Constitution in her judicial decisions. Instead, her public record indicates that she is a legal positivist who will interpret law based on her own ideological bent and effectively revise and rewrite law by judicial fiat.



On the Motion (DeMint Motion to Suspend Rule 22 Re: Motion to Refer House Message on H.R. 4213 to the Committee on Finance): A bill to amend the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 to extend certain expiring provisions, and for other purposes.
Vote Date: July 21, 2010Vote: NAYBad Vote.
Estate Tax. During consideration of a bill to extend unemployment benefits (H.R. 4213), Sen. Jim DeMint (S.C.) offered a measure to submit the bill to the Finance Committee with instructions to include language to permanently repeal the estate tax. Under current law, the estate tax, which expired at the end of 2009 after being incrementally reduced, will rise to 55 percent next year with an exemption of $1 million. The estate tax often forces the sale of family farms and other businesses that owners want to bequeath to their children.

A motion to allow for a vote on DeMint's measure was rejected on July 21, 2010 by a vote of 39-59 (Roll Call 213). We have assigned pluses to the yeas because the estate tax should be permanently eliminated.



On the Motion (DeMint Motion to Suspend Rule 22 Re: DeMint Amdt. No. 4464): A bill to amend the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 to extend certain expiring provisions, and for other purposes.
Vote Date: July 21, 2010Vote: NAYBad Vote.
Arizona Immigration Law. During consideration of the bill to extend unemployment benefits (H.R. 4213), Sen. Jim DeMint (S.C.) offered a measure to recommit the bill to the Judiciary Committee with instructions to include language that no funds in any provision of law may be used to participate in a lawsuit against Arizona's immigration law. The Obama administration opposes the Arizona law (S.B. 1070) despite the fact that it does not actually create new powers of government but instead makes illegal under state law the illegal immigration that is already illegal under federal law.

A motion to allow for a vote on DeMint's measure was rejected on July 21, 2010 by a vote of 43-55 (Roll Call 214). We have assigned pluses to the yeas because Arizona (like any other state) has the right to stem the tide of illegal immigration into the state.



On the Conference Report H.R. 4173: A bill to promote the financial stability of the United States by improving accountability and transparency in the financial system, to end "too big to fail", to protect the American taxpayer by ending bailouts, to protect consumers from abusive financial services practices, and for other purposes.
Vote Date: July 15, 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 Senate adopted the final version (conference report) of H.R. 4173 on July 15, 2010 by a vote of 60-39 (Roll Call 208). 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.



On the Motion to Proceed S.J.Res. 26: A joint resolution disapproving a rule submitted by the Environmental Protection Agency relating to the endangerment finding and the cause or contribute findings for greenhouse gases under section 202(a) of the Clean Air Act.
Vote Date: June 10, 2010Vote: NAYBad Vote.
Greenhouse Gas Regulation. This legislative measure (Senate Joint Resolution 26) would disapprove an Environmental Protection Agency endangerment finding that greenhouse gases may be regulated as pollutants under the Clean Air Act. The EPA had issued the finding in December 2009, claiming that "six greenhouse gases taken in combination endanger both the public health and the public welfare of current and future generations." The supposedly dangerous pollutants include carbon dioxide, even though this natural substance is necessary for the existence of plant life.

A motion to consider Senate Joint Resolution 26 was rejected by the Senate on June 10, 2010 by a vote of 47-53 (Roll Call 184). 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.



On Passage of the Bill H.R. 4899: Making supplemental appropriations for the fiscal year ending September 30, 2010, and for other purposes.
Vote Date: May 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 Senate passed the bill on May 27, 2010 by a vote of 67-28 (Roll Call 176). We have assigned pluses to the nays because the spending is over and above what the federal government already budgeted for the current fiscal year, Congress never declared war against Iraq and Afghanistan, and some of the spending (e.g., foreign aid) is unconstitutional.



On Passage of the Bill H.R. 4173: A bill to promote the financial stability of the United States by improving accountability and transparency in the financial system, to end "too big to fail", to protect the American taxpayer by ending bailouts, to protect consumers from abusive financial services practices, and for other purposes.
Vote Date: May 20, 2010Vote: AYEBad Vote.
Financial Regulatory Reform. The Senate version of this legislation (which has the same bill number as the House version, H.R. 4173) would create a new consumer financial watchdog (a "Consumer Financial Protection Agency") run by the Federal Reserve and in general give the Fed more power to intervene in and regulate the financial sector.

The Senate passed H.R. 4173 on May 20, 2010 by a vote of 59-39 (Roll Call 162). We have assigned pluses to the nays because more government control of the economy will do more harm than good.



On the Amendment S.Amdt. 3760 to S.Amdt. 3739 to S. 3217 (Restoring American Financial Stability Act of 2010): To address availability of information concerning the meetings of the Federal Open Market Committee, and for other purposes.
Vote Date: May 11, 2010Vote: AYEGood Vote.
Audit the Fed. During consideration of the financial regulatory reform bill (S. 3217), Sen. David Vitter (R-La.) offered an amendment to audit the Federal Reserve. The Senate rejected the Vitter amendment on May 11, 2010 by a vote of 37-62 (Roll Call 138), after unanimously adopting a watered-down audit-the-Fed amendment offered by Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.)

Sanders had much earlier introduced legislation in the Senate that mirrored the audit-the-Fed legislation in the House championed by Rep. Ron Paul (R-Texas). When Sanders caved and offered his watered-down amendment, Vitter stepped in and offered an amendment for a full Fed audit along the lines of Paul's (and Sanders' earlier) proposal. The Sanders amendment allows for a onetime audit of the Fed's emergency actions taken in response to the 2008 financial crisis. However, unlike the Vitter amendment, the Sanders amendment (in Paul's words) "exempts monetary policy decisions, discount window operations, and agreements with foreign central banks from [GAO] audit."

The vote on the Vitter amendment is used here to rate Senators on their position on auditing the Fed. We have assigned pluses to the yeas because the American people need to know what the Fed is doing and because this may represent a first step in eliminating the unconstitutional Federal Reserve.



On Passage of the Bill H.R. 4872: An Act to provide for reconciliation pursuant to Title II of the concurrent resolution on the budget for fiscal year 2010 (S. Con. Res. 13).
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 Senate passed H.R. 4872 on March 25, 2010 by a vote of 56-43 (Roll Call 105). We have assigned pluses to the nays because the federal government has no constitutional authority to manage the healthcare industry



On the Joint Resolution H.J.Res. 45: A joint resolution increasing the statutory limit on the public debt.
Vote Date: January 28, 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 Senate passed H. J. Res. 45 on January 28, 2010 by a vote of 60 to 39 (Roll Call 14). We have assigned pluses to the nays because raising the national debt limit allows the federal government to borrow more money and continue its gross fiscal irresponsibility.



On the Nomination PN959: Ben S. Bernanke, of New Jersey, to be Chairman of the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System for a term of four years
Vote Date: January 28, 2010Vote: AYEBad Vote.
Bernanke Confirmation. On January 28, 2010, the Senate voted 70 to 30 to confirm Ben Bernanke to a second four-year term as Federal Reserve Chairman (Roll Call 16). With Bernanke at the helm, the Fed, which can create money out of thin air, has pumped trillions of newly created fiat (unbacked) dollars into the economy, even though this reckless expansion of the money supply (inflation) will diminish the value of the dollar and further hurt the economy in the long run. Bernanke's Fed has also kept interest rates artificially low, encouraging excessive borrowing and malinvestments. And Bernanke has called for the Fed -- which already possesses the power to create booms and busts through its control of the money supply and interest rates -- to be given new powers to manage the financial sector.

We have assigned pluses to the nays because of the economic havoc Bernanke is accountable for at the Fed, a central bank that should not even exist.



On Passage of the Bill H.R. 3590: An act entitled The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act.
Vote Date: December 24, 2009Vote: AYEBad Vote.
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 Senate passed H.R. 3590 on December 24, 2009 by a vote of 60-39 (Roll Call 396). 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.



On the Point of Order S.Amdt. 2786 to H.R. 3590 (Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act): In the nature of a substitute.
Vote Date: December 23, 2009Vote: NAYBad Vote.
Constitutional Point of Order Against the Healthcare Bill. During consideration of the healthcare bill (H.R. 3590), Sen. John Ensign (R-Nev.) raised a point of order that the mandate that individuals purchase health insurance is unconstitutional because it falls outside the scope of the enumerated powers in Article I, Section 8, of the Constitution, and because it violates the Fifth Amendment's ban on taking private property for public use "without just compensation."

The Senate rejected Ensign's constitutional point of order against the healthcare legislation on December 23, 2009 by a vote of 39-60 (Roll Call 389). We have assigned pluses to the yeas because requiring Americans to buy a particular product -- health insurance in this instance -- is both unconstitutional and an abridgment of economic freedom. The same day, the Senate also rejected by 39-60 a point of order raised by Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison that the legislation violates the 10th Amendment.



On the Conference Report H.R. 3288: A bill making appropriations for the Departments of Transportation, and Housing and Urban Development, and related agencies for the fiscal year ending September 30, 2010, and for other purposes.
Vote Date: December 13, 2009Vote: AYEBad Vote.
Omnibus Appropriations. The final version (Conference Report) of this catch-all $1.1 trillion bill (H.R. 3288) -- consisting 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 Senate passed the conference report on December 13, 2009 by a vote of 57-35 (Roll Call 374). 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.



On the Motion to Table S.Amdt. 2962 to S.Amdt. 2786 to H.R. 3590 (Service Members Home Ownership Tax Act of 2009): To prohibit the use of Federal funds for abortions.
Vote Date: December 8, 2009Vote: AYEBad Vote.
Abortion. During consideration of healthcare "reform" legislation (H.R. 3590), Sen. Ben Nelson (D-Neb.) offered an amendment to prohibit the use of any funding authorized by the bill to pay for abortions or for health plans that cover abortions, except in cases of rape or incest or when the life of the mother is endangered.

The Senate voted to table (kill) the pro-life Nelson amendment on December 8, 2009 by a vote of 54-45 (Roll Call 369). We have assigned pluses to the nays because government should not subsidize the killing of innocent human life.



On Passage of the Bill H.R. 2847: A bill 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: November 5, 2009Vote: AYEBad Vote.
Commerce, Justice, and Science Appropriations. This legislation (H.R. 2847) would appropriate $65.1 billion in fiscal 2010 for the Commerce and Justice Departments,
and agencies including NASA, the National Science Foundation, and the Census Bureau. Congressional Quarterly reported that the bill's $64.9 billion in discretionary funding is "nearly 13 percent more than was appropriated for such programs in fiscal 2009."

The Senate passed H.R. 2847 on November 5, 2009 by a vote of 71-28 (Roll Call 340). We have assigned pluses to the nays because spending needs to be cut, not increased.



On the Conference Report H.R. 2996: A bill making appropriations for the Department of the Interior, environment, and related agencies for the fiscal year ending September 30, 2010, and for other purposes.
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 Senate adopted the conference report (thus sending it to the President) on October 29, 2009 by a vote of 72-28 (Roll Call 331). We have assigned pluses to the nays because the majority of funding in the bill is unconstitutional and wasteful.



On the Conference Report H.R. 3183: A bill making appropriations for energy and water development and related agencies for the fiscal year ending September 30, 2010, and for other purposes.
Vote Date: October 15, 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 Senate adopted the conference report (thus sending it to the President) on October 15, 2009 by a vote of 80-17 (Roll Call 322). We have assigned pluses to the nays because the Department of Energy is not authorized by the Constitution.



On the Conference Report H.R. 2997: A bill 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 8, 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 Senate adopted the conference report (thus sending it to the President) on October 8, 2009 by a vote of 76-22 (Roll Call 318). We have assigned pluses to the nays because federal aid to farmers and federal food aid to individuals are not authorized by the Constitution.



On Passage of the Bill H.R. 3288: A bill making appropriations for the Departments of Transportation, and Housing and Urban Development, and related agencies for the fiscal year ending September 30, 2010, and for other purposes.
Vote Date: September 17, 2009Vote: AYEBad Vote.
Transportation-HUD Appropriations. The Senate version of H.R. 3288 is similar to the House-passed version. [ House: 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 Senate version would authorize $122 billion, including $67.7 billion in discretionary spending, for the Departments of Transportation and Housing and Urban Development and related agencies.

The Senate passed H.R. 3288 on September 17, 2009 by a vote of 73-25 (Roll Call 287). 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.



On the Amendment S.Amdt. 2355 to H.R. 3288 (Transportation, Housing and Urban Development, and Related Agencies Appropriations Act, 2010): Prohibiting use of funds to fund the Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now (ACORN).
Vote Date: September 14, 2009Vote: AYEGood Vote.
ACORN Funding. Senator Mike Johanns (R-Neb.) offered an amendment to the fiscal 2010 Transportation-HUD appropriations bill (H.R. 3288) stating: "None of the funds made available under this Act may be directly or indirectly distributed to the Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now (ACORN)." According to a September 15 AP story, Johanns "said that ACORN has received $53 million in taxpayer funds since 1994 and that the group was eligible for a wider set of funding in the pending legislation, which funds housing and transportation programs." ACORN has come under intense scrutiny since the release of videos on September 9 by two conservatives, who posed as a prostitute and her pimp, in which ACORN employees in Baltimore gave advice on buying a home with illicit funds and how to account on tax forms for the woman's income. Over the next few days, the pair released several other videos depicting similar situations in ACORN offices around the nation.

The Senate passed the ACORN Funding Ban amendment to H.R. 3288 on September 14, 2009 by a vote of 83-7 (Roll Call 275). We have assigned pluses to the yeas because federal government funding of community organizations is not authorized by the Constitution.



On the Nomination PN506: Sonia Sotomayor, of New York, to be an Associate Justice of the Supreme Court of the United States
Vote Date: August 6, 2009Vote: AYEBad Vote.
Sotomayor Confirmation. Judge Sonia Sotomayor revealed her view on our God-given right to keep and bear arms while on the Second Circuit Court in the case of United States v. Sanchez-Villar (2004). In a footnote to their decision on this case, Sotomayor and two colleagues dismissed a Second Amendment claim by holding that "the right to possess a gun is clearly not a fundamental right." Her widely quoted remarks that the "court of appeals is where policy is made" and "I would hope that a wise Latina woman with the richness of her experiences would, more often than not, reach a better conclusion than a white male who hasn't lived that life" provide further evidence that Sotomayor does not base her judicial decisions on the original intent of the Constitution.

The Senate confirmed Sonia Sotomayor to be an Associate Justice of the U.S. Supreme Court on August 6, 2009 by a vote of 68-31 (Roll Call 262). We have assigned pluses to the nays because Judge Sotomayor is not committed to adhering to the original intent of the Constitution in her judicial decisions.



On Passage of the Bill H.R. 3435: A bill making supplemental appropriations for fiscal year 2009 for the Consumer Assistance to Recycle and Save Program.
Vote Date: August 6, 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. 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 Senate passed H.R. 3435 on August 6, 2009 by a vote of 60-37 (Roll Call 270). 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.



On the Cloture Motion S.Amdt. 1511 to S. 1390 (National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2010): To provide Federal assistance to States, local jurisdictions, and Indian tribes to prosecute hate crimes, and for other purposes.
Vote Date: July 16, 2009Vote: AYEBad Vote.
Hate Crimes. Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) attached an amendment to the Fiscal 2010 Defense Authorization bill (H.R. 1390) that would expand the federal hate-crimes law. Attaching such an amendment to a "must-pass" appropriations bill further ensured passage of the legislation by preventing nay votes from Senators who supported the annual appropriations bill. The expanded hate-crimes law would cover victims of crimes based on one's sexual orientation, gender identity, or disability. (Current law covers crimes based on race, color, religion, or national origin.)

The Senate agreed to invoke cloture on the Leahy amendment (thus limiting debate so that the amendment itself could be voted on) on July 16, 2009 by a vote of 63-28 (Roll Call 233). The amendment was subsequently adopted by unanimous consent. 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.



On the Nomination PN225: Harold Hongju Koh, of Connecticut, to be Legal Adviser of the Department of State
Vote Date: June 25, 2009Vote: AYEBad Vote.
Koh Confirmation. On March 23, 2009, President Obama announced his intent to nominate Harold Hongju Koh to be the Legal Adviser of the U.S. State Department. During Senate floor debate on Koh's confirmation on June 23, Senator Jim DeMint provided evidence of Koh's positions regarding international law and the U.S. Constitution, and then concluded that "Mr. Koh believes that if our President and Congress, empowered by our Constitution, decide military action is needed to defend our Nation from harm, we must get United Nations approval or our actions are illegal." As further evidence of Koh's troubling beliefs regarding the Constitution and international law, Senator DeMint quoted from a 2004 law review article entitled "International Law as Part of Our Law," in which Koh states: "U.S. domestic courts must play a key role in coordinating U.S. domestic constitutional rules with rules of foreign and international law, not simply to promote American aims but to advance the broader development of a well-functioning international judicial system."

The Senate confirmed Harold Koh to be State Department Legal Adviser on June 25, 2009 by a vote of 62-35 (Roll Call 213). We have assigned pluses to the nays because subordination of U.S. sovereignty to international law and international organizations would undermine the Constitution.



On the Conference Report H.R. 2346: A bill making supplemental appropriations for the fiscal year ending September 30, 2009, and for other purposes.
Vote Date: June 18, 2009Vote: AYEBad Vote.
Supplemental Appropriations. This final version (conference report) of the fiscal 2009 supplemental appropriations bill (H.R. 2346) would provide an additional $105.9 billion in so-called emergency funds over and above the regular appropriations for 2009. This outrageous supplemental package would include $79.9 billion for defense funding (including for the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan), $10.4 billion for foreign aid programs, $7.7 billion to address the national flu scare, and $5 billion for International Monetary Fund activities. This supplemental bill would also include $1 billion for the Cash for Clunkers program.

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

The Senate adopted the conference report (thus sending it to the President) on June 18, 2009 by a vote of 91-5 (Roll Call 210). 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.



On the Amendment S.Amdt. 1138 to H.R. 2346 (Supplemental Appropriations Act, 2009): To strike the provisions relating to increased funding for the International Monetary Fund.
Vote Date: May 21, 2009Vote: NAYBad Vote.
IMF Funding. During consideration of the Fiscal 2009 Supplemental bill (H.R. 2346), Senator Jim DeMint (R-S.C.) offered an amendment to delete $5 billion provided by the bill for the International Monetary Fund (IMF). The IMF is an adjunct of the United Nations and grants foreign aid to qualifying countries.

The Senate rejected the DeMint amendment on May 21, 2009, by a vote of 30-64 (Roll Call 201). We have assigned pluses to the yeas because foreign aid is unconstitutional, and this is deficit spending.



On Passage of the Bill H.R. 2346: A bill making supplemental appropriations for the fiscal year ending September 30, 2009, and for other purposes.
Vote Date: May 21, 2009Vote: AYEBad Vote.
Fiscal 2009 Supplemental Appropriations. The Senate version of the Fiscal 2009 Supplemental Appropriations bill (H.R. 2346) would provide an additional $91.3 billion in "emergency" funding for the current fiscal year over and above the regular appropriations. The spending would include $73 billion for the Defense Department (including the ongoing operations in Iraq and Afghanistan), $1.5 billion to address potential pandemic flu, and $5 billion for the International Monetary Fund, a UN agency that lends to qualifying countries.

The Senate passed H.R. 2346 on May 21, 2009, by a vote of 86-3 (Roll Call 202). We have assigned pluses to the nays because the spending is over and above what the federal government had already budgeted, Congress never declared war against Iraq and Afghanistan, and some of the spending (e.g., foreign aid) is unconstitutional.



On the Conference Report S.Con.Res. 13: An original concurrent resolution setting forth the congressional budget for the United States Government for fiscal year 2010, revising the appropriate budgetary levels for fiscal year 2009, and setting forth the appropriate budgetary levels for fiscal years 2011 through 2014.
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 Senate passed the final version (conference report) of the budget resolution on April 29, 2009, by a vote of 53-43 (Roll Call 173). 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.



On Passage of the Bill H.R. 1388: A bill entitled "The Edward M. Kennedy Serve America Act, an Act to reauthorize and reform the national service laws."
Vote Date: March 26, 2009Vote: AYEBad Vote.
National-service Programs. 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 Senate passed H.R. 1388 on March 26, 2009, by a vote of 79-19 (Roll Call 115). We have assigned pluses to the nays because national-service programs are not authorized by the Constitution.



On the Amendment S.Amdt. 662 to H.R. 1105 (Omnibus Appropriations Act, 2009): To prohibit the use of funds by the Federal Communications Commission to repromulgate the Fairness Doctrine.
Vote Date: March 10, 2009Vote: NAYBad Vote.
Fairness Doctrine. During consideration of the omnibus appropriations bill (H.R. 1105), Sen. John Thune (R-S.D.) offered an amendment to prohibit the use of funding in the bill to reinstitute a Federal Communications Commission rule known as the "Fairness Doctrine." Under this doctrine, which the FCC itself abolished in 1987, radio and television broadcasters were required to air opposing viewpoints on controversial issues. The rule had the effect of encouraging broadcasters to minimize controversial programming so as to avoid providing free air time for opposing viewpoints. And it inhibited free speech in the same way that an extension of the Fairness Doctrine to magazines or newspapers would have inhibited the ability of publishers to express their beliefs.

The Senate rejected Thune's amendment on March 10, 2009, by a vote of 47-50 (Roll Call 92). We have assigned pluses to the yeas because reinstituting the Fairness Doctrine would be an unconstitutional infringement on the right to free speech.



On Passage of the Bill S. 160: A bill to provide the District of Columbia a voting seat and the State of Utah an additional seat in the House of Representatives.
Vote Date: February 26, 2009Vote: AYEBad Vote.
District of Columbia Voting Rights. The District of Columbia Voting Rights bill (S. 160) would add two seats to the United States House of Representatives, bringing the total number of representatives to 437. Specifically, the bill would create an additional seat in Utah beginning with the 112th Congress and a permanent seat in the District of Columbia beginning with the 113th Congress. The bill would also increase the size of the Electoral College to accommodate the changes.

The Senate passed S. 160 on February 26, 2009, by a vote of 61-37 (Roll Call 73). We have assigned pluses to the nays because Article 1 Section 2 of the U.S. Constitution states, "The House of Representatives shall be composed of members chosen every second year by the people of the several states." The District of Columbia is not a state, and can only become a state (and be entitled to representation in Congress) via a constitutional amendment.



On the Conference Report H.R. 1: A bill making supplemental appropriations for job preservation and creation, infrastructure investment, energy efficiency and science, assistance to the unemployed, and State and local fiscal stabilization, for fiscal year ending September 30, 2009, and for other purposes.
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 Senate adopted H.R. 1 (thus clearing it for the president to sign) on February 13, 2009, by a vote of 60-38 (Roll Call 64). We have assigned pluses to the nays because much of the spending would be unconstitutional and government cannot stimulate the economy by draining money from the private sector.



On Passage of the Bill H.R. 2: A bill to amend title XXI of the Social Security Act to extend and improve the Children
Vote Date: January 29, 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 Senate passed H.R. 2 on January 29, 2009, by a vote of 66-32 (Roll Call 31). We have assigned pluses to the nays because federal healthcare programs are unconstitutional and would likely lower the quality of healthcare.



On the Amendment S.Amdt. 65 to H.R. 2 (Children: To restore the prohibition on funding of nongovernmental organizations that promote abortion as a method of birth control (the "Mexico City Policy").
Vote Date: January 28, 2009Vote: NAYBad Vote.
Mexico City Policy. Senator Mel Martinez (R-Fla.) offered an amendment to the Children's Health Insurance bill to reinstate the so-called Mexico City Policy, which newly inaugurated President Barack Obama had overturned on January 23, 2009 via executive order. The overturned policy barred the distribution of U.S. foreign aid to organizations that "perform or actively promote abortion as a method of family planning."

The Senate rejected the Martinez amendment by a vote of 37-60 on January 28, 2009 (Roll Call 19). We have assigned pluses to the yeas not only because foreign aid is unconstitutional, but because the amendment would have helped to protect the right to life.



On the Joint Resolution S.J.Res. 5: A joint resolution relating to the disapproval of obligations under the Emergency Economic Stabilization Act of 2008.
Vote Date: January 15, 2009Vote: AYEGood Vote.
TARP Funding. Senate Joint Resolution 5 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.

The Senate rejected this resolution on January 15, 2009, by a vote of 42-52 (Roll Call 5). We have assigned pluses to the yeas because the Constitution does not authorize Congress to grant financial aid or loans to private companies, i.e., banks and automakers.



On Passage of the Bill H.R. 1424: A bill to provide authority for the Federal Government to purchase and insure certain types of troubled assets for the purposes of providing stability to and preventing disruption in the economy and financial system and protecting taxpayers, to amend the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 to provide incentives for energy production and conservation, to extend certain expiring provisions, to provide individual income tax relief, and for other purposes.
Vote Date: October 1, 2008Vote: NAYGood Vote.
Bailout Bill. The Emergency Economic Stabilization Act of 2008 (H.R. 1424) passed 74-25 (Roll Call 213) on October 1, 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 big business -- in other words, fascism -- and greatly increases the national debt and monetary inflation by forcing taxpayers to pay the price for the failures of private financial institutions.



On the Conference Report H.R. 4137: A bill to amend and extend the Higher Education Act of 1965, and for other purposes.
Vote Date: July 31, 2008Vote: AYEBad Vote.
Higher Education Aid. H.R. 4137 would reauthorize the Higher Education Act through fiscal 2012. It would increase the maximum authorized level of Pell Grants for low-income students from $5,800 per year to $6,000 for the 2009-10 academic year, and to $8,000 for the 2014-15 academic year. It would also create a $10,000 student-aid forgiveness program ($2,000 per year for five years) for graduates who work in high-need fields such as nursing and early childhood education.

The Senate passed the final version of this legislation (known as the conference report) on July 31, 2008 by a vote of 83-8 (Roll Call 194). We have assigned pluses to the nays because education aid is not authorized by the Constitution.



On the Motion (Motion to Concur in the House Amendment to Senate Amendment to the House Amendments to the Senate Amendment to HR 3221): A bill to provide needed housing reform and for other purposes.
Vote Date: July 26, 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 Senate passed H.R. 3221 on July 26, 2008 by a vote of 72-13 (Roll Call 186). 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.



On the Cloture Motion S. 3186: A bill to provide funding for the Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program.
Vote Date: July 26, 2008Vote: AYEBad Vote.
Low-income Energy Assistance. Bill S. 3186 would provide emergency funds of $2.5 billion, nearly doubling the funding, for the Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program. A motion to limit debate on the motion to proceed to the bill was rejected 50-35 (Roll Call 187) on July 26, 2008 in a vote that required the approval of three-fifths of the Senate. Proponents of the funding said it was needed to help people with low income pay for rapidly rising heating and cooling costs.

The funding would have an emergency designation, meaning it is neither paid for from existing funds nor offset by spending reductions in other programs. Thus the cost would be added to the national debt and passed on to future generations. The program still had a $100 million surplus and was expected to be refunded in a continuing resolution, therefore the bill was unnecessary. The bill ignored demands for increasing domestic energy production as a means to restrain rising energy prices.

We have assigned pluses to the nays because the federal government should stop over-regulating and interfering with the energy industry and get out of the unconstitutional welfare business.



On Passage of the Bill H.R. 5501: A bill to authorize appropriations for fiscal years 2009 through 2013 to provide assistance to foreign countries to combat HIV AIDS, tuberculosis, and malaria, and for other purposes.
Vote Date: July 16, 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.

The Senate passed H.R. 5501 on July 16, 2008 by a vote of 80-16 (Roll Call 182). We have assigned pluses to the nays because foreign aid is unconstitutional.



On Passage of the Bill H.R. 6304: A bill to amend the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act of 1978 to establish a procedure for authorizing certain acquisitions of foreign intelligence, and for other purposes.
Vote Date: July 9, 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 Senate passed H.R. 6304 on July 9, 2008 by a vote of 69-28 (Roll Call 168). 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.



On the Motion (Motion To Concur In House Amdts To Senate Amdt To House Amdt To Senate Amdt To H.R. 2642): A bill making appropriations for military construction, the Department of Veterans Affairs, and related agencies for the fiscal year ending September 30, 2008, and for other purposes.
Vote Date: June 26, 2008Vote: AYEBad Vote.
Funds for War, Welfare, Etc. The Supplemental Appropriations bill (H.R. 2642) was agreed to 92-2 (Roll Call 162) on June 26, 2008. Such bills fund unforeseen needs after an annual budget has been approved. However, regular use of emergency supplemental bills to pay for never-ending wars, domestic welfare, and infrastructure programs has made the annual budget a misleading indicator of spending intentions.

This $186.5 billion measure includes $161.8 billion of additional funding for operations in Iraq and Afghanistan. The remaining $24.7 billion is for domestic programs including tornado, flood, and hurricane relief efforts. It would also expand veterans' education benefits, expand unemployment benefits, and delay shifting some Medicaid costs to the states.

We have assigned pluses to the nays because Congress continues to fund a war it never authorized under Article I, Section 8, of the Constitution. Also, the federal government is unconstitutionally involved as an individual and corporate insurer at taxpayer expense.



On Overriding the Veto H.R. 6124: A bill to provide for the continuation of agricultural and other programs of the Department of Agriculture through 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 five-year, $289 billion farm bill was vetoed by President Bush, the Senate passed the bill over the president's veto on June 18, 2008 by a vote of 80-14 (Roll Call 151). 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.



On the Cloture Motion S. 3044: A bill to provide energy price relief and hold oil companies and other entities accountable for their actions with regard to high energy prices, and for other purposes.
Vote Date: June 10, 2008Vote: AYEBad Vote.
Energy Prices. A motion to limit debate and proceed to the Consumer-First Energy Act of 2008 (S. 3044) was rejected 51-43 (Roll Call 146) on June 10, 2008, in a vote that required three-fifths of the Senate to succeed. The bill would repeal $17 billion in tax breaks for oil companies over 10 years and redirect that revenue to the benefit of renewable energy. A windfall profits tax would also be imposed on the largest oil companies.

We have assigned pluses to the nays because increasing taxes on the profits of U.S. oil producers would drive gasoline, heating oil, and natural gas prices higher, as the increased tax expense would simply be passed on to consumers. Targeting the largest U.S. oil companies for making higher profits creates a disincentive to increasing exploration and production, and undermines the exceedingly large capital base required to rebuild after hurricanes devastate the oil patch. Moreover, it is unfair because other companies and sectors with even higher profit margins are ignored. Finally, the government should not be subsidizing energy development.



On the Cloture Motion S.Amdt. 4825 to S. 3036 (Lieberman-Warner Climate Security Act of 2008): In the nature of a substitute.
Vote Date: June 6, 2008Vote: AYEBad Vote.
Global Warming. The substitute amendment offered by Rep. Barbara Boxer (D-Calif.) to S. 3036 would have created a cap-and-trade system for reducing carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases. The system would have forced utilities, factories, etc., to collectively reduce their greenhouse-gas emissions by 71 percent by 2050, though individual companies could emit more by purchasing allowances from companies that emit less. The cost to the economy would be in the trillions.

The legislation was likely derailed for the remainder of 2008 when on June 6 proponents failed to invoke cloture on the Boxer substitute amendment. Invoking cloture would have limited debate so that the bill could come up for a vote. The cloture vote failed 48-36 (Roll Call 145), a dozen short of the 60 needed under Senate rules.

We have assigned pluses to the nays because mandates on greenhouse-gas emissions are not constitutionally authorized and would harm the economy.



On the Conference Report S.Con.Res. 70: An original concurrent resolution setting forth the congressional budget for the United States Government for fiscal year 2009 and including the appropriate budgetary levels for fiscal years 2008 and 2010 through 2013.
Vote Date: June 4, 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.

The Senate adopted Senate Con. Res. 70 on June 4, 2008 by a vote of 48-45 (Roll Call 142). We have assigned pluses to the nays because inflation and the national debt are skyrocketing as Congress persistently disregards constitutional limits on spending.



On the Conference Report H.R. 2419: A bill to provide for the continuation of agricultural programs through fiscal year 2012, and for other purposes.
Vote Date: May 15, 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 Senate passed the final version of H.R. 2419 by a vote of 81-15 (Roll Call 130) on May 15, 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.



On the Amendment S.Amdt. 4720 to S. 2284 (Flood Insurance Reform and Modernization Act of 2007): Of a perfecting nature.
Vote Date: May 13, 2008Vote: NAYBad Vote.
Oil Security via Domestic Production. Sen. Mitch McConnell (Ky.) offered an amendment (No. 4720) to S. 2284 that was rejected 42-56 on May 13, 2008 (Roll Call 123). This amendment to the Flood Insurance Reform bill would increase America's supply of energy and generate jobs by ending the moratorium on offshore oil and gas leasing for the Outer Continental Shelf off the Atlantic and Pacific coasts and part of the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge; open the oil shale reserves in Colorado, Utah, and Wyoming; encourage coal-to-liquid fuels; and seek to increase refinery capacity. Filling of the Strategic Petroleum Reserve would also be suspended for 180 days in an attempt to lower gas prices short-term.

We have assigned pluses to the yeas because America is dangerously dependent on foreign oil and we should increase domestic oil production to mitigate an expected decline in foreign oil exports to America. Time is fleeting for preparing for a supply crisis.



On Passage of the Bill H.R. 3221: A bill to provide needed housing reform and for other purposes.
Vote Date: April 10, 2008Vote: AYEBad Vote.
Mortgage Relief. H.R. 3221, the Foreclosure Prevention Act of 2008, passed 84-12 on April 10, 2008 (Roll Call 96). It was originally introduced in the House as an energy bill under another title and was passed as such in 2007. The Senate substituted a very different text, turning the bill into a vehicle for foreclosure prevention and returned it to the House for approval as three Senate amendments.

Among the overall bill's many aspects, it reforms the Federal Housing Administration, providing it liquidity and changing its insurance program to help homeowners facing foreclosure to refinance; it includes a net operating loss proposal that Sen. Judd Gregg (R-N.H.) described as a multi-billion dollar bailout of the home-builders industry; it appropriates funding to states to redevelop foreclosed properties; and it would provide renewable-energy tax breaks.

We have assigned pluses to the nays because it is unconstitutional for the federal government to be an insurer, and wealth redistributor.



On the Concurrent Resolution S.Con.Res. 70: An original concurrent resolution setting forth the congressional budget for the United States Government for fiscal year 2009 and including the appropriate budgetary levels for fiscal years 2008 and 2010 through 2013.
Vote Date: March 14, 2008Vote: AYEBad Vote.
2009 Budget Resolution. Senate Concurrent Resolution 70, the Senate plan for a fiscal 2009 budget, was adopted 51-44 on March 14, 2008 (Roll Call 85). This non-binding budget recommends outlays of about $2.6 trillion for fiscal year 2009, with a deficit of $564 billion. A one year moratorium on earmarks was rejected. A $35 billion economic stimulus package would be provided for, with no fiscal offset. Tax breaks aimed at low-income households would be extended, such as the 10-percent tax bracket, marriage penalty relief, and the child tax credit. However, an extension for other tax cuts, including reduced tax rates for capital gains and dividends, was rejected.

We have assigned pluses to the nays because Congress must discontinue unconstitutional and deficit spending. Otherwise the dollar could collapse.



On Passage of the Bill S. 2248: An original bill to amend the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act of 1978, to modernize and streamline the provisions of that Act, and for other purposes.
Vote Date: February 12, 2008Vote: NAYGood Vote.
Warrantless Searches. S. 2248, the FISA Amendments Act of 2008, passed 68-29 on February 12, 2008 (Roll Call 20). The bill would amend the 1978 Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act to effectively give the executive branch of the federal government a blank check to eavesdrop on telephone calls and e-mail messages between people in foreign countries and those in the United States. The bill includes retroactive immunity for telecommunications companies that have collaborated with federal agencies in the warrantless surveillance of American citizens.

We have assigned pluses to the nays because warrantless wiretaps 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.



On Passage of the Bill H.R. 5140: A bill to provide economic stimulus through recovery rebates to individuals, incentives for business investment, and an increase in conforming and FHA loan limits.
Vote Date: February 7, 2008Vote: AYEBad Vote.
Economic Stimulus. H.R. 5140, the Economic Stimulus package, whereby rebate checks were mailed to taxpayers, passed 81-16 on February 7, 2008 (Roll Call 10). 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.

After the House resolved its differences with the Senate, the bill was cleared for President Bush, who signed it into law. We have assigned pluses to the nays because creating money out of thin air (which was what was done for the rebate checks) cannot improve the economy.





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





On Passage of the Bill H.R. 3688: A bill to implement the United States-Peru Trade Promotion Agreement.
Vote Date: December 4, 2007Vote: AYEBad 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. A prime example is the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA). However, as noted by the House Ways and Means Committee report on H.R. 3688, the Peru Free Trade Agreement is the first U.S. FTA 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 Senate passed the Peru Free Trade Agreement on December 4, 2007 by a vote of 77-18 (Roll Call 413). We have assigned pluses to the nays because so-called free-trade arrangements threaten our national independence and harm our economy.



On the Conference Report H.R. 1429: A bill to reauthorize the Head Start Act, to improve program quality, to expand access, and for other purposes.
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 minuses to the yeas (there were no nays) because a federalized educational system is an unconstitutional and wasteful bureaucracy.



On the Nomination PN958: Michael B. Mukasey, of New York, to be Attorney General
Vote Date: November 8, 2007Vote: NAYGood Vote.
Mukasey Confirmation. When Michael Mukasey testified at his confirmation hearings for attorney general, he repeatedly refused to say that waterboarding and other harsh interrogation techniques reportedly practiced by the CIA constituted torture and were therefore illegal. (Waterboarding is a form of controlled drowning.) He also stated, incredibly, that the president could operate outside laws passed by Congress if "what goes outside the statute lies within the authority of the president to defend the country."

The Senate confirmed Michael Mukasey as U.S. attorney general on November 8, 2007, by a vote of 53-40 (Roll Call 407). In so doing, the U.S. Senate demonstrated its willingness to tolerate torture -- which is anathema to American values -- and its willingness to allow the president to trump laws passed by Congress in the name of national security. We have therefore assigned pluses to the nays.



On Passage of the Bill H.R. 3963: A bill to amend title XXI of the Social Security Act to extend and improve the Children
Vote Date: November 1, 2007Vote: NONE No Vote.
Children's Health Insurance. H.R. 3963, the five-year, $60 billion SCHIP Extension bill, passed 64-30 on November 1, 2007 (Roll Call 403) and then went to the president, who vetoed it. This legislation is identical to that described under House vote #23, which occurred after the presidential veto.

We have assigned pluses to the nays, because the Constitution does not authorize federal involvement in healthcare, even for children.



On Passage of the Bill S. 294: A bill to reauthorize Amtrak, and for other purposes.
Vote Date: October 30, 2007Vote: NONE No Vote.
Amtrak Reauthorization. This bill (S. 294) would authorize $11.4 billion for Amtrak funding over the next six years. That amount would include monies for operating subsidies ($3.3 billion) and capital grants ($4.9 billion). If passed, states would be required to provide a 20-percent match of funds.

Senator Jim DeMint (R-S.C.) opposed the reauthorization of federal funds to Amtrak. According to DeMint, Amtrak routes are so unprofitable that each ticket is federally subsidized by hundreds of dollars. Amtrak was created in 1970 and has been operating under annual federal appropriation funds since 2002.

The Senate passed S. 294 on October 30, 2007, by a vote of 70-22 (Roll Call 400). We have assigned pluses to the nays because spending billions of tax dollars for federal grants and subsidies for Amtrak transportation is unconstitutional.



On the Cloture Motion S. 2205: A bill to authorize the cancellation of removal and adjustment of status of certain alien students who are long-term United States residents and who entered the United States as children, and for other purposes.
Vote Date: October 24, 2007Vote: AYEBad Vote.
DREAM Act. After a number of failed attempts to pass the DREAM Act (S. 2205) as an amendment to larger bills, Senator Richard Durbin (D-Ill.) introduced this amnesty bill as a standalone piece of legislation. The DREAM Act would allow children who illegally entered the country before the age of 16 to remain in the United States and attend a college or university, taking advantage of government benefits.

The Senate failed to invoke cloture on S. 2205 on October 24, 2007, by a vote of 52-44 (Roll Call 394). We have assigned pluses to the nays because the DREAM Act would implement an amnesty program by placing millions of illegal immigrants on a path toward citizenship.



On Passage of the Bill H.R. 3043: A bill making appropriations for the Departments of Labor, Health and Human Services, and Education, and related agencies for the fiscal year ending September 30, 2008, and for other purposes.
Vote Date: October 23, 2007Vote: AYEBad Vote.
Labor-HHS-Education Appropriations. This massive appropriations bill (H.R. 3043) would appropriate $605.5 billion in fiscal 2008 for the Departments of Labor, Health and Human Services, and Education. This spending bill represents the largest domestic spending bill the Senate has passed in the 110th Congress. H.R. 3043 would provide monies for the Education Department ($63 billion), the Labor Department ($14.9 billion), the Department of Health and Human Services ($479.1 billion), and related agencies.

The Senate passed H.R. 3043 on October 23, 2007, by a vote of 75-19 (Roll Call 391). We have assigned pluses to the nays because social-welfare programs and federal involvement in education are unconstitutional.



On the Joint Resolution H.J.Res. 43: A joint resolution increasing the statutory limit on the public debt.
Vote Date: September 27, 2007Vote: AYEBad Vote.
Debt Limit Increase. This bill (House Joint Resolution 43) would increase the national debt limit to an astronomical $9.8 trillion, an $850 billion increase. This increase would be the fifth time the national debt was raised since 2002, representing about a $3 trillion increase in just the last five years.

The Senate passed House Joint Resolution 43 on September 27, 2007, by a vote of 53-42 (Roll Call 354). We have assigned pluses to the nays because raising the public debt limit by $850 billion facilitates continued, gross fiscal irresponsibility.



On the Amendment S.Amdt. 2797 to H.R. 3074 (Transportation, Housing and Urban Development, and Related Agencies Appropriations Act, 2008): To prohibit the establishment of a program that allows Mexican truck drivers to operate beyond the commercial zones near the Mexican border.
Vote Date: September 11, 2007Vote: AYEGood Vote.
Mexican Trucking. During consideration of the fiscal 2008 Transportation-HUD appropriations bill (H.R. 3074), Senator Byron Dorgan (D-N.D.) introduced an amendment to "prohibit the establishment of a program that allows Mexican truck drivers to operate beyond the commercial zones near the Mexican border." This amendment was introduced in response to a new pilot program that was launched in September that allows Mexican truckers to operate beyond the 25-mile radius of the Mexican border as previously limited. Opponents of the Mexican trucks argue that the newly launched program sponsored by the Department of Transportation would pose a threat to U.S. security and displace American workers.

The Senate passed the Dorgan amendment to H.R. 3074 on September 11, 2007, by a vote of 75-23 (Roll Call 331). We have assigned pluses to the yeas because allowing Mexican trucks to travel freely across U.S. highways presents a threat to our national security and displaces American truckers whose jobs would be lost to Mexican workers.



On the Amendment S.Amdt. 2700 to H.R. 2764 (Department of State, Foreign Operations, and Related Programs Appropriations Act, 2008): To strike the provision in section 113 that increases the limit on the United States
Vote Date: September 6, 2007Vote: NAYBad Vote.
UN "Peacekeeping" Increase. During consideration of the foreign-aid appropriations bill (H.R. 2764), Senator John Ensign (R-Nev.) introduced an amendment to strike a provision in H.R. 2764 that would increase the limit on the U.S. share of UN "peacekeeping" operations from 25 percent to 27.1 percent.

The Senate rejected the Ensign amendment to H.R. 2764 on September 6, 2007, by a vote of 30-63 (Roll Call 317). We have assigned pluses to the yeas because the United States should not be funding UN "peacekeeping" period -- let alone increasing the amount.



On Passage of the Bill H.R. 2764: A bill making appropriations for the Department of State, foreign operations, and related programs for the fiscal year ending September 30, 2008, and for other purposes.
Vote Date: September 6, 2007Vote: AYEBad Vote.
Foreign-aid Contributions. The fiscal 2008 foreign-aid appropriations bill (H.R. 2764) would authorize $34.4 billion for foreign-aid operations and economic assistance programs. In part, the bill would appropriate $9.1 billion for the U.S. Agency for International Development, $5.1 billion to combat HIV/AIDS and other diseases, and $1.2 billion for the Millennium Challenge Account.

The Senate passed H.R. 2764 on September 6, 2007, by a vote of 81-12 (Roll Call 325). We have assigned pluses to the nays because foreign aid is unconstitutional.



On Passage of the Bill S. 1927: A bill to amend the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act of 1978 to provide additional procedures for authorizing certain acquisitions of foreign intelligence information and for other purposes.
Vote Date: August 3, 2007Vote: NAYGood Vote.
Protect America Act. The Protect America Act (S. 1927) would amend the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) to 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 Senate passed S. 1927 on August 3, 2007, by a vote of 60-28 (Roll Call 309). We have assigned pluses to the nays because warrantless surveillance of American citizens is a violation of the Fourth Amendment's prohibition "against unreasonable searches and seizures."



On Passage of the Bill H.R. 976: A bill to amend title XXI of the Social Security Act to reauthorize the State Children
Vote Date: August 2, 2007Vote: AYEBad Vote.
SCHIP. H.R. 976 would reauthorize the State Children's Health Insurance Program (SCHIP) to the amount of $60.2 billion for five years. The proposed amount would expand the program by $35.2 billion and cover an addition 6.1 million children.

The Senate passed H.R. 976 on August 2, 2007, by a vote of 68-31 (Roll Call 307). We have assigned pluses to the nays because taxpayer-financed federal health insurance is unconstitutional.

After successful passage of H.R. 976 in both the House and Senate, President Bush vetoed the measure on October 3, 2007.



On the Cloture Motion S. 1639: A bill to provide for comprehensive immigration reform and for other purposes.
Vote Date: June 28, 2007Vote: AYEBad Vote.
Immigration Reform -- Cloture. Attempting to end debate and force a final vote on so-called immigration reform, Senator Harry Reid (D-Nev.) invoked a motion for cloture on Ted Kennedy's Comprehensive Immigration Reform Act of 2007 (S. 1639). Kennedy's bill, also known as the "grand compromise" on immigration reform, was arrived at through negotiation between the Bush administration and Senate leaders. The Kennedy bill would, among other things, create an enhanced guest-worker program, call for the acceleration of the Security and Prosperity Partnership of North America, and establish the Z visa, which would grant amnesty by placing illegal immigrants on a path toward citizenship. The vote on cloture would reveal whether or not the Senate had enough votes to force a vote on final passage of S. 1639.

The Senate rejected the motion to invoke cloture by a vote of 46-53 (Roll Call 235) on June 28, 2007 (60 votes are required to invoke cloture). We have assigned pluses to the nays because cloture would have ended floor debate on the Kennedy bill and enabled a vote by the full Senate on this dangerous piece of legislation.



On the Amendment S.Amdt. 1157 to S.Amdt. 1150 to S. 1348 (Comprehensive Immigration Reform Act of 2007): To strike title VI (related to Nonimmigrants in the United States Previously in Unlawful Status).
Vote Date: May 24, 2007Vote: NAYBad Vote.
Amnesty for Illegal Immigrants. David Vitter (R-La.) offered this amendment to Ted Kennedy's substitute amendment (S. Amdt. 1150) for the immigration reform bill of 2007 (S. 1348). The Vitter amendment would drastically alter the scope of the immigration bill by striking an amnesty provision from the bill that would establish the Z visa, which would be issued to millions of illegal immigrants, placing them on a path toward citizenship.

The Senate rejected the Vitter amendment by a vote of 29-66 (Roll Call 180) on May 24, 2007. We have assigned pluses to the yeas because the Vitter amendment would prevent those who have entered the United States unlawfully from gaining legal status, also known as amnesty.



On the Amendment S.Amdt. 1153 to S.Amdt. 1150 to S. 1348 (Comprehensive Immigration Reform Act of 2007): To strike the Y nonimmigrant guestworker program.
Vote Date: May 22, 2007Vote: NAYBad Vote.
Guest-worker Program. Senator Byron L. Dorgan (D-N.D.) introduced an amendment to strike the guest-worker provision of Ted Kennedy's substitute amendment (S. Amdt. 1150) for the immigration reform bill of 2007 (S. 1348). Kennedy's so-called guest-worker provision would create a renewable two-year guest-worker program, issue a guest-worker visa, and set an adjustable annual cap on the number of guest workers permitted in this country.

The Dorgan amendment was rejected by a vote of 31-64 (Roll Call 174) on May 22, 2007. We have assigned pluses to the yeas because the guest-worker program would constitute a large increase in legal immigration for our country, which would ultimately displace more American workers from their jobs and depress wages.



On the Conference Report H.R. 1591: A bill making emergency supplemental appropriations for the fiscal year ending September 30, 2007, and for other purposes.
Vote Date: April 26, 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 Senate passed the final version of H.R. 1591 by a vote of 51-46 (Roll Call 147) on April 26, 2007. We have assigned pluses to the nays for several reasons: it contains an enormous amount of unconstitutional spending, would raise the federal minimum wage, and would authorize money for the Iraq War.



On Passage of the Bill S. 5: A bill to amend the Public Health Service Act to provide for human embryonic stem cell research.
Vote Date: April 11, 2007Vote: AYEBad Vote.
Embryonic Stem-cell Research. The stem-cell research bill (S. 5), introduced by Senator Harry Reid (D-Nev.), would overturn the 2001 ban on federally funding embryonic stem-cell research with federal dollars. S. 5 would fund the research, experimentation, and destruction of human embryos donated from in vitro fertilization clinics.

The Senate passed Reid's stem-cell research bill by a vote of 63-34 (Roll Call 127) on April 11, 2007. We have assigned pluses to the nays because the bill violates the right to life for millions of unborn babies.



On the Amendment S.Amdt. 578 to S.Con.Res. 21: To repeal the death tax.
Vote Date: March 23, 2007Vote: NAYBad Vote.
Repeal Estate Tax. During consideration of the fiscal 2008 budget resolution (Senate Concurrent Resolution 21), Senator Jim DeMint (R-S.C.) offered an amendment that would make the phased-out repeal of the estate tax (also known as the "death tax") permanent. Under current law, the death tax will be phased out by 2010, but because of a "sunset" provision the tax will only be eliminated for a single year before being reinstituted.

The tax has forced many asset-rich but cash-poor individuals to liquidate family farms, small businesses, and private property rather than bequeath those assets to loved ones.

The Senate rejected the DeMint amendment by a vote of 44-55 (Roll Call 109) on March 23, 2007. We have assigned pluses to the yeas because repealing the estate tax would be a constitutional tax cut that would benefit all Americans who would be subject to estate taxes again in 2011 and all subsequent years according to current tax law.



On the Amendment S.Amdt. 529 to S.Con.Res. 21: To increase funding for the COPS Program to $1.15 billion for FY 2008 to provide state and local law enforcement with critical resources necessary to prevent and respond to violent crime and acts of terrorism and is offset by an unallocated reduction to non-defense discretionary spending and/or reduction to administrative expenses.
Vote Date: March 23, 2007Vote: AYEBad Vote.
COPS Funding. Joseph Biden (D-Del.) offered an amendment to the fiscal 2008 budget resolution (Senate Concurrent Resolution 21) that would authorize a $1.2 billion increase in federal funds to support the Community-Oriented Policing Services (COPS) program.

The Senate passed the Biden amendment by a vote of 65-33 (Roll Call 110) on March 23, 2007. 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.



On the Resolution S.Con.Res. 21: An original concurrent resolution setting forth the congressional budget for the United States Government for fiscal year 2008 and including the appropriate budgetary levels for fiscal years 2007 and 2009 through 2012.
Vote Date: March 23, 2007Vote: AYEBad Vote.
Budget Resolution. The 2008 budget resolution (House Concurrent Resolution 21) would authorize nearly $2.9 trillion for fiscal 2008, a nearly $150 billion increase from fiscal 2007.

The Senate adopted the fiscal 2008 budget resolution by a vote of 52-47 (Roll Call 114) on March 23, 2007. We have assigned pluses to the nays because Congress must not continue to support massive amounts of irresponsible and unconstitutional spending.



On Passage of the Bill H.R. 2: A bill to amend the Fair Labor Standards Act of 1938 to provide for an increase in the Federal minimum wage.
Vote Date: February 1, 2007Vote: AYEBad Vote.
Minimum Wage. The minimum-wage bill (H.R. 2) would raise the federal minimum wage from $5.15 to $7.25 an hour over the course of two years. The bill would also provide $8.3 billion in small-business tax incentives.

The Senate passed the minimum-wage increase by a vote of 94-3 (Roll Call 42) on February 1, 2007. We have assigned pluses to the nays because it is unconstitutional to prohibit citizens from working for less than a government-set wage.



On the Amendment S.Amdt. 20 to S.Amdt. 3 to S. 1: To strike a provision relating to paid efforts to stimulate grassroots lobbying.
Vote Date: January 18, 2007Vote: NAYBad Vote.
Grass-roots Lobbying. During consideration of the ethics and lobbying overhaul bill (S. 1), Senator Robert Bennett (R-Utah) offered this amendment that would strike Section 220, a provision that would subject grass-roots lobbying groups to strict disclosure requirements, from the bill. The bill caused a firestorm of controversy from grass-roots activists who saw this bill as a threat to the freedom of speech. Commenting on Section 220, LifeNews.com reported, "If this provision is enacted, many ordinary citizens will get less and less information from pro-life groups and other issue-oriented organizations about what is going on in Congress."

The Senate adopted the Bennett amendment by a vote of 55-43 (Roll Call 17) on January 18, 2007. We have assigned pluses to the yeas because it would preserve the right of free speech for grass-roots organizations to inform the public about events on Capitol Hill without subjecting them to repressive regulatory controls.



On Passage of the Bill H.R. 6061: A bill to establish operational control over the international land and maritime borders of the United States.
Vote Date: September 29, 2006Vote: AYEGood Vote.
Border Fence. In the final hours because adjourning for their October recess, the Senate passed a Border Fencing bill (H.R. 6061) that would authorize the construction of nearly 700 miles of security fencing along the U.S.-Mexican border. The border fence is just the first of a series of border security initiatives that House Republicans intend to merge into the Homeland Security spending bill. If implemented, the 700 miles of fencing along the border would be a good first step toward protecting our borders from the massive influx of illegal immigration facing our country today.

The Senate passed H.R. 6061 by a wide margin of 80-19 on September 29, 2006 (Roll Call 262). We have assigned pluses to the yeas because such a border fence would help prevent illegal immigration and further protect our borders.



On Passage of the Bill S. 3930: A bill to authorize trial by military commission for violations of the law of war, and for other purposes.
Vote Date: September 28, 2006Vote: NAYGood Vote.
Military Tribunals. This bill (S. 3930) would authorize a new system of military tribunals to try persons designated "unlawful enemy combatants" by the president. The bill defines an unlawful enemy combatant to include a person who "has purposely and materially supported hostilities against the United States or its co-belligerents." Once designated an unlawful enemy combatant, a defendant's rights would be curtailed: he would be denied the right of habeas corpus; he could be detained indefinitely; and evidence obtained through coercion could be used against him -- so long as the coercion falls outside the administration's definition of torture.

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

The Senate passed S. 3930 by a vote of 65-34 on September 28, 2006 (Roll Call 259). We have assigned pluses to the nays because the bill would curtail defendant rights.



On Passage of the Bill H.R. 5684: A bill to implement the United States-Oman Free Trade Agreement.
Vote Date: September 19, 2006Vote: NAYGood Vote.
Oman Trade Agreement. The Oman Free Trade Agreement (H.R. 5684) would reduce most tariffs and duties between Oman and the United States. H.R. 5684 was considered under fast-track authority, which requires Congress to expedite consideration of presidentially negotiated trade pacts without offering amendments.

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

The Senate passed H.R. 5684 on September 19, 2006 by a vote of 62-32 (Roll Call 250). We have assigned pluses to the nays because such trade agreements damage the U.S. economy and threaten U.S. sovereignty by the imposition of international regulations.



On Passage of the Bill S. 3711: A bill to enhance the energy independence and security of the United States by providing for exploration, development, and production activities for mineral resources in the Gulf of Mexico, and for other purposes.
Vote Date: August 1, 2006Vote: NAYBad Vote.
Offshore Drilling. Sen. Pete Domenici (R-N.M.) sponsored a bill (S. 3711) that would authorize oil drilling in the 8.3 million acres of the eastern Gulf of Mexico. The Senate would allow much less offshore drilling than the House-passed legislation (see House bill below); however, it would still be a step in the right direction.

[ H.R. 4761 would end the federal moratorium on most offshore oil and gas drilling. It would continue the ban within 50 miles of shore, while allowing the states the option of extending that ban out to 100 miles. It would also allow states to share in the drilling proceeds. ]

The Senate passed S. 3711 on August 1, 2006 by a vote of 71-25. (Roll Call 219). We have assigned pluses to the yeas because the United States should reduce its dependency on foreign oil and utilize it own energy resources.



On Passage of the Bill S. 403: A bill to amend title 18, United States Code, to prohibit taking minors across State lines in circumvention of laws requiring the involvement of parents in abortion decisions.
Vote Date: July 25, 2006Vote: NAYBad Vote.
Parental Notification. The Child Custody Protection Act (S. 403) would make it a federal crime for a person to transport a minor across state lines for an abortion in order to bypass state laws requiring parental notification.

The Senate passed S. 403 by a vote of 65-34 on July 25, 2006 (Roll Call 216). We have assigned pluses to the yeas because Congress can and should use its power to regulate interstate commerce to restrict abortion.



On Passage of the Bill H.R. 810: A bill to amend the Public Health Service Act to provide for human embryonic stem cell research.
Vote Date: July 18, 2006Vote: AYEBad Vote.
Stem-cell Research. The embryonic stem-cell research bill (H.R. 810) would allow federal funds to be used for research on embryonic stem-cell lines derived from surplus embryos at in vitro fertilization clinics. Such research would be done only by cannibalizing and destroying human embryos. Proponents contend that the research is needed to combat various diseases, but stem cells derived from sources other than embryos may be used to achieve the same results.

The Senate passed H.R. 810 by a vote of 63-37 on July 18, 2006 (Roll Call 206). It prompted President Bush to use his veto power for the first time in his presidency. We have assigned pluses to the nays because such research would violate the right to life for millions of unborn children.



On the Motion (Motion to Waive CBA Re: Dodd Amdt. No. 4641): To fund urgent priorities for our Nation's firefighters, law enforcement personnel, emergency medical personnel, and all Americans by reducing the tax breaks for individuals with annual incomes in excess of $1,000,000.
Vote Date: July 13, 2006Vote: AYEBad Vote.
First Responder Grants. During consideration for the Homeland Security Appropriations bill (H.R. 5441) Sen. Chris Dodd (D-Conn.) proposed an amendment to increase funding for police, firefighters, and other local and state personnel by $16.5 billion.

A point of order was raised against Dodd's amendment based on the Budget Act, and the Senate effectively killed the amendment when it rejected the motion to wave the Budget Act. The vote was 38-62 on July 13, 2006 (Roll Call 197). We have assigned pluses to the nays because federal funding of local law enforcement will lead to more federal control of law enforcement.



On the Amendment S.Amdt. 4615 to H.R. 5441 (Department of Homeland Security Appropriations Act, 2007): To prohibit the confiscation of a firearm during an emergency or major disaster if the possession of such firearm is not prohibited under Federal or State law.
Vote Date: July 13, 2006Vote: AYEGood Vote.
Firearm Seizure. During consideration for the Homeland Security appropriations bill (H.R. 5441) Sen. David Vitter (R-La.) offered an amendment that would prohibit any funds in the bill from being used to seize lawfully owned firearms during a state of emergency. Vitter said this amendment was prompted by the confiscation of over 1,000 firearms by law enforcement officials in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina.

The Senate overwhelmingly passed the Vitter amendment by a vote of 84-16 on July 13, 2006 (Roll Call 202). We have assigned pluses to the yeas because gun confiscation violates the Second Amendment.



On the Amendment S.Amdt. 4442 to S. 2766 (John Warner National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2007): To require the redeployment of United States Armed Forces from Iraq in order to further a political solution in Iraq, encourage the people of Iraq to provide for their own security, and achieve victory in the war on terror.
Vote Date: June 22, 2006Vote: AYEGood Vote.
Iraq Troop Withdrawal. Senator John Kerry (D-Mass.) attached this amendment to the Defense authorization bill (S. 2766) that would require the president to have a complete withdrawal of U.S. troops by July 2007, with the exception of those needed to train Iraqi troops, target terrorists, and protect American citizens.

The Senate rejected Kerry's amendment on June 22, 2006 by a vote of 13-86 (Roll Call 181). We have assigned pluses to the yeas because our troops should only be sent to war when necessary to defend the United States and her citizens, and only when declared by Congress.



On the Amendment S.Amdt. 4322 to S. 2766 (John Warner National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2007): To amend the Fair Labor Standards Act of 1938 to provide for an increase in the Federal minimum wage.
Vote Date: June 21, 2006Vote: AYEBad Vote.
Minimum Wage. Senator Ted Kennedy (D-Mass.) offered this amendment to the Defense authorization bill (S. 2766). If implemented, the amendment would increase the national minimum wage from $5.15 to $7.25/hour within the next two years. Although a minimum wage increase sounds like an easy way to alleviate poverty in this country, it actually raises poverty. This is true because companies can not afford to hire entry-level workers and train them for careers; companies are forced to lay off workers they presently have on staff; and additional people are added to the welfare roles.

The Senate rejected Kennedy's amendment on June 21, 2006 by a vote of 52-46 (Roll Call 179). 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 price.



On the Nomination PN1552: General Michael V. Hayden, United States Air Force, to be Director of the Central Intelligence Agency
Vote Date: May 26, 2006Vote: NAYGood Vote.
Hayden Nomination. This measure would confirm Gen. Michael V. Hayden as the director of the Central Intelligence Agency, making him the first member of the military to hold the position. There are many concerns about Hayden leading the CIA, including Hayden's involvement in secret programs targeting unknowing U.S. citizens while principal deputy director of National Intelligence. The general was also the chief architect and defender of the controversial domestic surveillance program that President Bush has so adamantly supported.

The Senate confirmed General Hayden on May 26, 2006 by a vote of 78-15 (Roll Call 160). We have assigned pluses to the nays because Hayden has been in the forefront of governmental programs threatening the privacy of American citizens and should not be trusted to lead an organization such as the CIA.



On Passage of the Bill S. 2611: A bill to provide for comprehensive immigration reform and for other purposes.
Vote Date: May 25, 2006Vote: AYEBad Vote.
Guest-worker/Amnesty Immigration "Reform." The Senate version of immigration "reform" (S. 2611) would effectively grant amnesty to the 12 million illegal immigrants who already reside in the United States and create a guest-worker program for up to 200,000 immigrants a year. Although S. 2611 may provide additional security at the border, it would also reward those who have broken the law by granting them legal status and establish an immigrant verification system managed by the Department of Homeland Security.

The Senate passed S. 2611 on May 25, 2006 by a vote of 62-36 (Roll Call 157). We have assigned pluses to the nays because the bill would reward those who have unlawfully entered the country with legal status and greatly increase the level of legal immigration through guest-worker programs.



On the Amendment S.Amdt. 3961 to S. 2611 (Comprehensive Immigration Reform Act of 2006): To prohibit the granting of legal status, or adjustment of current status, to any individual who enters or entered the United States in violation of Federal law unless the border security measures authorized under Title I and section 233 are fully completed and fully operational.
Vote Date: May 16, 2006Vote: AYEGood Vote.
Secure Borders Certification. During consideration of the immigration "reform" legislation (S. 2611), Sen. Johnny Isakson (R-Ga.) introduced this amendment that would require the Department of Homeland Security to certify that the U.S. borders are secure and additional detention facilities for illegal aliens are functional before any guest-worker and legalization programs can take effect.

The Senate rejected Isakson's amendment on May 16, 2006 by a vote of 40-55 (Roll Call 121). We have assigned pluses to the yeas because this amendment would make border security a higher priority than amnesty, but would make it more difficult for the administration to implement amnesty.



On Passage of the Bill H.R. 4939: A bill making emergency supplemental appropriations for the fiscal year ending September 30, 2006, and for other purposes.
Vote Date: May 4, 2006Vote: AYEBad Vote.
Supplemental Appropriations. The Senate version of H.R. 4939 would appropriate $108.9 billion in emergency supplemental funding in fiscal 2006, about $17 billion more than the House-passed version (see House bill below). Most of this funding difference is due to the additional Katrina aid the Senate version would provide, $28.9 billion as opposed to $19.2 billion.

[ The House Version of H.R. 4939 would appropriate a whopping $91.9 billion for emergency supplemental funding in fiscal 2006, including $67.6 billion for the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, $4.3 billion for foreign aid, and $19.2 billion for Hurricane Katrina relief. Congressional Quarterly noted that the funding in the bill "for the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan would push to more than $390 billion the war-related supplemental funds appropriated since Sept. 11. It would be the sixth major emergency spending measure for the Bush administration." ]

The Senate passed its version of H.R. 4939 by a vote of 77-21 on May 4, 2006 (Roll Call 112). We have assigned pluses to the nays because -- even if the spending were constitutional -- the funding should be attached to the regular appropriations process and not introduced after the fact as "emergency" spending, ignoring fiscal responsibility.



On the Joint Resolution H.J.Res. 47: A joint resolution increasing the statutory limit on the public debt.
Vote Date: March 16, 2006Vote: NAYGood Vote.
National Debt Limit. This legislation (House Joint Resolution 47) would increase the national debt limit, also known as the federal debt limit, to $8.97 trillion, a $781 billion increase in what the federal government is allowed to borrow.

The Senate adopted the measure to increase the national debt limit on March 16, 2006 by a vote of 52-48 (Roll Call 54). We have assigned pluses to the nays because raising the public debt limit by $781 billion facilitates a steady increase of gross fiscal irresponsibility.



On the Amendment S.Amdt. 3048 to S.Con.Res. 83: To increase the advance appropriations allowance in order to fund health, education and training, and low-income programs.
Vote Date: March 16, 2006Vote: AYEBad Vote.
Health and Education Programs. During consideration of the Fiscal 2007 Budget Resolution, Sen. Arlen Specter (R-Pa.) introduced this amendment that would provide for a $7 billion increase in funding for health, education and training, and poverty programs.

The Senate passed Specter's amendment on March 16, 2006 by a vote 73-27 (Roll Call 58). We have assigned pluses to the nays because federal social-welfare programs are unconstitutional.



On the Conference Report H.R. 3199: A bill to extend and modify authorities needed to combat terrorism, and for other purposes.
Vote Date: March 2, 2006Vote: NAYGood Vote.
Patriot Act Reauthorization. This is the final version (conference report) of the Patriot Act reauthorization (H.R. 3199). In the weeks following the 9/11 terrorist attacks, Congress quickly passed the so-called Patriot Act, which gave law enforcement and intelligence agencies vast new powers to combat terrorism. The act increased the ability of law enforcement to secretly search home and business records, expanded the FBI's wiretapping and surveillance authority, and expanded the list of crimes deemed terrorist acts. When passed in 2001 the bill included a "sunset" provision under which the new surveillance powers "shall cease to have effect on December 21, 2005." The Patriot Act reauthorization bill (H.R. 3199) considered by Congress last year would make permanent 14 of the 16 provisions included in the bill, and extend for four years the two remaining provisions.

The Senate adopted the conference report for H.R. 3199 on March 2, 2006 by a vote of 89-10 (Roll Call 29). We have assigned pluses to the nays because the Patriot Act tramples on the constitutionally protected rights of U.S. citizens.



On the Amendment S.Amdt. 2519 to S. 1042 (National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2006): To clarify and recommend changes to the policy of the United States on Iraq and to require reports on certain matters relating to Iraq.
Vote Date: November 15, 2005Vote: AYEGood Vote.
Iraq Withdrawal. During consideration of the defense authorization bill (S. 1042), Rep. Carl Levin (D-Mich.) introduced this amendment requiring the president to provide Congress with a timetable for the withdrawal of American troops from Iraq within 30 days of the bill's implementation.

The Senate rejected the Levin amendment on November 15, 2005 by a vote of 40-58 (Roll Call 322). We have assigned pluses to the yeas because our troops should be sent to war only when necessary to defend the United States and her citizens, and when Congress declares war.



On the Conference Report H.R. 3057: An act making appropriations for the Department of State, foreign operations, and related programs for the fiscal year ending September 30, 2006, and for other purposes.
Vote Date: November 10, 2005Vote: AYEBad Vote.
Foreign Aid. The final version (conference report) of this appropriations bill (H.R. 3057) would provide $21 billion for U.S. foreign aid programs in fiscal 2006.

The Senate passed this appropriations bill on November 10, 2005 by a unanimous vote of 91-0 (Roll Call 320). We have assigned minuses to the yeas because foreign aid programs are not authorized by the Constitution.



On the Conference Report H.R. 2744: A bill making appropriations for Agriculture, Rural Development, Food and Drug Administration, and Related Agencies for the fiscal year ending September 30, 2006, and for other purposes.
Vote Date: November 3, 2005Vote: AYEBad Vote.
Agriculture Appropriations. The final version (conference report) of this bill (H.R. 2744) would provide $101 billion in fiscal 2006 for the Department of Agriculture, the Food and Drug Administration, and related agencies. The funding includes $40.7 billion for the food-stamp program and $25.7 billion for the Commodity Credit Corporation, a federally funded program that aids farmers.

The Senate passed the final version of H.R. 2744 on November 3, 2005 by a vote of 81-18 (Roll Call 282). We have assigned pluses to the nays because federal aid to farmers and federal food aid to individuals are not authorized by the Constitution.



On the Amendment S.Amdt. 2358 to S. 1932 (Deficit Reduction Act of 2005): To strike the title relating to the establishment of an oil and gas leasing program in the Coastal Plain.
Vote Date: November 3, 2005Vote: AYEBad Vote.
ANWR Oil and Gas Leasing. During consideration of the budget reconciliation bill (S. 1932), Sen. Maria Cantwell (D-Wash.) offered an amendment that would delete from the underlying bill language allowing for "the establishment of an oil and gas leasing program in the Coastal Plain" of the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge (ANWR) in Alaska. Cantwell's intent was to keep in place the present ban against drilling for oil and natural gas in the energy-rich ANWR.

The Senate rejected the Cantwell amendment on November 3, 2005 by a vote of 48-51 (Roll Call 288). We have assigned pluses for the nays because the United States should reduce its dependence on foreign oil and develop its own energy resources.



On Passage of the Bill H.R. 3010: A bill making appropriations for the Departments of Labor, Health and Human Services, and Education, and Related Agencies for the fiscal year ending September 30, 2006, and for other purposes.
Vote Date: October 27, 2005Vote: AYEBad Vote.
Labor-HHS-Education. The Senate version of this mammoth social-welfare appropriations bill (H.R. 3010) would provide a total of $604.4 billion in fiscal 2006 for the Labor Department ($15 billion), the Education Department ($63.7 billion), the Health and Human Services Department ($476.2 billion), and related agencies.

The Senate passed this massive social-welfare bill on October 27, 2005 by a vote of 94-3 (Roll Call 281). We have assigned pluses to the nays because social-welfare programs are unconstitutional.



On the Motion (Motion to Waive CBA Kenedy Amdt. No. 2063 As Modified Further): To provide for an increase in the Federal minimum wage.
Vote Date: October 19, 2005Vote: AYEBad Vote.
Minimum Wage Increase. During consideration of the Transportation-Treasury-Housing appropriations bill (H.R. 3058), Sen. Ted Kennedy (D-Mass.) offered an amendment to raise the minimum wage from $5.15 an hour to $5.70 an hour six months after the bill's enactment, and then to $6.25 an hour one year after the bill's enactment. While raising the minimum wage may sound appealing to some unskilled workers, it would actually make many of them too expensive to hire, and it would also make starting up new companies more expensive.

The Senate rejected Kennedy's amendment on October 19, 2005 by a vote of 47-51 (Roll Call 257). We have assigned pluses to the nays because it is unconstitutional for the government to prohibit American citizens from working for less than a federally mandated minimum wage.



On Passage of the Bill H.R. 2744: A bill making appropriations for Agriculture, Rural Development, Food and Drug Administration, and Related Agencies for the fiscal year ending September 30, 2006, and for other purposes.
Vote Date: September 22, 2005Vote: AYEBad Vote.
Agriculture Appropriations. This bill (H.R. 2744) would provide $100.7 billion in fiscal 2006 for the Agriculture Department, the Food and Drug Administration, and related agencies. The funding includes $40.7 billion for the food stamp program, $12.4 billion for school meal programs, and $25.7 billion for the Commodity Credit Corporation, which aids farmers.

The Senate passed the Agriculture appropriations bill on September 22, 2005 by a vote of 97-2 (Roll Call 241). We have assigned pluses to the nays because federal aid to farmers and federal food aid to individuals are not authorized in the Constitution.



On the Amendment S.Amdt. 1661 to H.R. 2862 (Science, State, Justice, Commerce, and Related Agencies Appropriations Act, 2006): To provide emergency funding for victims of Hurricane Katrina.
Vote Date: September 13, 2005Vote: AYEBad Vote.
Funding Law Enforcement. During consideration of the Fiscal 2006 Commerce-Justice-Science appropriations bill (H.R. 2862), Sen. Joseph Biden (D-Del.) offered this amendment to increase funding for the Community Oriented Policing Services program by $1 billion, to increase funding for the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children by $10 million, to increase funding for the Office of Violence Against Women by $9 million, and to designate these increases as emergency spending.

A point of order was made against the emergency designation based on the Budget Act, and the Senate effectively killed the Biden amendment when it rejected a motion to waive the Budget Act. The vote was 41-56 on September 13, 2005 (Roll Call 226). We have assigned pluses to the nays because providing federal aid to law enforcement programs is not only unconstitutional, but it also further federalizes the police system.



On Passage of the Bill H.R. 3673: A bill making further emergency supplemental appropriations to meet immediate needs arising from the consequences of Hurricane Katrina, for the fiscal year ending September 30, 2005, and for other purposes.
Vote Date: September 8, 2005Vote: AYEBad Vote.
Katrina Hurricane-relief Appropriations. In the wake of the devastating hurricane disaster in the Gulf Coast, Congress quickly passed legislation that would appropriate $51.8 billion in emergency supplemental funding for fiscal 2005 (H.R. 3673) to be used for relief in the areas affected by Hurricane Katrina. Commenting on how the tragic images of Katrina were used to justify more federal welfare and interventionism, as opposed to private charity and initiatives, Rep. Ron Paul (R-Texas) noted on September 15, after the House and Senate votes: "These scenes prompted two emotional reactions. One side claims Katrina proved there was not enough government welfare.... The other side claims we need to pump billions of new dollars into the very federal agency that failed (FEMA).... Both sides support more authoritarianism, more centralization, and even the imposition of martial law in times of natural disasters."

The Senate passed this supplemental appropriations bill on September 8, 2005 by a vote of 97-0 (Roll Call 223). We have assigned minuses to the yeas because federally financing disaster relief is unconstitutional.



On the Conference Report H.R. 2361: A bill making appropriations for the Department of the Interior, environment, and related agencies for the fiscal year ending September 30, 2006, and for other purposes.
Vote Date: July 29, 2005Vote: AYEBad Vote.
Interior-Environment Appropriations. The final version (conference report) of this appropriations bill (H.R. 2361) would provide $26.2 billion in fiscal 2006 for the Interior Department, the Environmental Protection Agency, and related agencies, including $7.7 billion for the EPA. All but roughly $50 million provided in H.R. 2361 is deemed "discretionary" funds.

The Senate passed this appropriations bill on July 29, 2005 by a vote of 99-1 (Roll Call 210). We have assigned a plus to the lone nay because the bill's provisions include both unnecessary and unconstitutional spending.



On the Conference Report H.R. 3: A bill to authorize funds for Federal-aid highways, highway safety programs, and transit programs, and for other purposes.
Vote Date: July 29, 2005Vote: AYEBad Vote.
Surface Transportation. The final version (conference report) of this bill (H.R. 3) would authorize $286.5 billion for federal highway, mass transit, and safety and research programs through fiscal 2009. The bill is laden with thousands of "pork barrel" transportation projects requested by individual lawmakers.

The Senate adopted the conference report on July 29, 2005 by a vote of 91-4 (Roll Call 220). We have assigned pluses to the nays because the bill increases transportation spending and is fiscally irresponsible.



On Passage of the Bill H.R. 3057: An act making appropriations for the Department of State, foreign operations, and related programs for the fiscal year ending September 30, 2006, and for other purposes.
Vote Date: July 20, 2005Vote: AYEBad Vote.
Foreign Aid. The Senate version of the foreign aid appropriations bill (H.R. 3057) would provide $31.8 billion in fiscal 2006 for U.S. foreign aid programs.

The Senate passed this appropriations bill on July 20, 2005 by a vote of 98-1 (Roll Call 197). We have assigned a plus to the lone nay because foreign aid is unconstitutional.



On the Amendment S.Amdt. 1242 to H.R. 3057 (Foreign Operations, Export Financing, and Related Programs Appropriations Act, 2006): To prohibit any funds from being used by the Export-Import Bank of the United States to approve a loan or a loan guarantee related to a nuclear project in China.
Vote Date: July 19, 2005Vote: AYEGood Vote.
Nuclear Power Plants in China. During consideration of the foreign aid appropriations bill, Sen. Tom Coburn (R-Okla.) introduced this amendment to prohibit the Export-Import Bank, a U.S. government agency, from providing federal loans or loan guarantees for the construction of nuclear power plants in China. The amendment would block federal assistance to the British-owned nuclear division of Westinghouse to build such plants.

The Senate rejected Coburn's amendment on July 19, 2005 by a vote of 37-62 (Roll Call 192). We have assigned pluses to the yeas because foreign aid programs are unconstitutional.



On Passage of the Bill S. 1307: A bill to implement the Dominican Republic-Central America-United States Free Trade Agreement.
Vote Date: June 30, 2005Vote: AYEBad Vote.
CAFTA. This bill (S. 1307) would implement the proposed Central American Free Trade Agreement (CAFTA), thereby expanding both the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) and the job losses wrought by NAFTA. CAFTA is intended by the Power Elite to be a steppingstone from NAFTA to the proposed Free Trade Area of the Americas (FTAA), which would include all of the countries of the Western Hemisphere except (for now) Cuba. Like NAFTA, which has already begun imposing its trade rulings on America, CAFTA and the FTAA would not be genuine free trade arrangements; they would instead manage trade and would gradually exercise more powers on the road to a supranational government modeled after the EU.

The Senate passed the CAFTA bill on June 30, 2005 by a vote of 54-45 (Roll Call 170). We have assigned pluses to the nays because CAFTA would further damage the U.S. economy and threaten U.S. sovereignty.



On the Conference Report H.R. 1268: An act making Emergency Supplemental Appropriations for Defense, the Global War on Terror, and Tsunami Relief, for the fiscal year ending September 30, 2005, and for other purposes.
Vote Date: May 10, 2005Vote: AYEBad Vote.
Supplemental Appropriations. The final version (conference report) of this supplemental appropriations bill (H.R. 1268) would add another $82 billion to the federal budget for fiscal 2005. The supplemental spending, even if needed and constitutional, should not have been added on to the annual federal budget after the fact, but should have been included as part of the regular appropriations process. The supplemental spending in this bill includes $75.9 billion for defense-related purposes, most of it for the military occupation of Iraq, and $907 million for tsunami victims, the latter clearly unconstitutional.

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

The Senate adopted the conference report on May 10, 2005 by a vote of 100-0 (Roll Call 117). We assigned minuses to the yeas because the bill contains both unconstitutional spending and the REAL ID Act.



On the Cloture Motion S.Amdt. 375 to H.R. 1268 (Emergency Supplemental Appropriations Act for Defense, the Global War on Terror, and Tsunami Relief, 2005): To provide for the adjustment of status of certain foreign agricultural workers, to amend the Immigration and Nationality Act to reform the H-2A worker program under that Act, to provide a stable, legal agricultural workforce, to extend basic legal protections and better working conditions to more workers, and for other purposes.
Vote Date: April 19, 2005Vote: AYEBad Vote.
AgJOBS (Amnesty). Sen. Larry Craig (R-Idaho) tried to get the so-called AgJOBS bill through the Senate by attaching it as an amendment to the supplemental appropriations bill (H.R. 1268). The AgJOBS measure would grant agricultural workers who are in this country illegally temporary residence status, thereby granting them amnesty and putting them on a path toward U.S. citizenship. If adopted, AgJOBS would be an open invitation for other non-citizens to cross our borders illegally with the expectation that they too would receive amnesty.

AgJOBS supporters attempted to push their measure forward by invoking "cloture," thereby limiting the debate that has stalled the measure, bringing it up for a vote. A three-fifths majority vote of the entire Senate (60 votes) is needed to invoke cloture. The Senate rejected the motion to invoke cloture on April 19, 2005 by a vote of 53-45 (Roll Call 98). We have assigned pluses to the nays because the AgJOBS measure would provide amnesty to many illegal aliens.



On the Amendment S.Amdt. 464 to H.R. 1268 (Emergency Supplemental Appropriations Act for Defense, the Global War on Terror, and Tsunami Relief, 2005): To express the sense of the Senate on future requests for funding for military operations in Afghanistan and Iraq.
Vote Date: April 18, 2005Vote: AYEGood Vote.
Budgeting for Overseas Military Operations. During consideration of the supplemental appropriations bill (H.R. 1268), Senator Robert Byrd (D-W.Va.) proposed a nonbinding amendment stating that "any request for funds ... for an ongoing military operation overseas, including operations in Afghanistan and Iraq, should be included in the annual budget of the President." Arguing for his amendment on the Senate floor, Byrd expressed frustration that funding for the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan has been provided by "stopgap spending" and "emergency supplemental spending bills," when this funding should instead be accounted for in the annual budget.

The Senate adopted this amendment on April 18, 2005 by a vote of 61-31 (Roll Call 96). We have assigned pluses to the yeas because the amendment would encourage fiscal responsibility.



On the Amendment S.Amdt. 278 to S. 600 (Foreign Affairs Authorization Act, Fiscal Years 2006 and 2007): To prohibit the application of certain restrictive eligibility requirements to foreign nongovernmental organizations with respect to the provision of assistance under part I of the Foreign Assistance Act of 1961.
Vote Date: April 5, 2005Vote: AYEBad Vote.
Abortion. During consideration of the State Department authorization bill (S. 600), Sen. Barbara Boxer (D-Calif.) offered an amendment to repeal the rule prohibiting U.S. foreign aid from going to organizations that provide or promote abortions. Known as the "Mexico City" policy, this rule was imposed by President Reagan, lifted by President Clinton, and then reinstated by the second President Bush.

The Senate adopted Boxer's amendment on April 5, 2005 by a vote of 52-46 (Roll Call 83). We have assigned pluses to the nays because any federal aid to provide or promote abortions violates the right to life.



On the Amendment S.Amdt. 239 to S.Con.Res. 18: Relative to funding to the Office of Community Oriented Policing Services.
Vote Date: March 17, 2005Vote: AYEBad Vote.
Funding Local Law Enforcement. During consideration of the budget resolution (S. Con. Res. 18), Sen. Joseph Biden (D-Del.) offered an amendment to increase funding for the COPS (Community Oriented Policing Services) program by $1 billion. (As described in the amendment's "Purpose," this additional funding will be "fully off-set by closing corporate loopholes and will generate $2 billion in revenue" -- that is, additional taxes.)

The Senate rejected Biden's amendment on March 17, 2005 by a vote of 45-55 (Roll Call 70). We have assigned pluses to the nays because federal aid to local police forces is unconstitutional and invites federal control.



On the Amendment S.Amdt. 202 to S.Con.Res. 18: No Statement of Purpose on File.
Vote Date: March 17, 2005Vote: AYEBad Vote.
Funding Special Education. During consideration of the budget resolution (S. Con. Res. 18), Sen. Mark Dayton (D-Minn.) offered an amendment to provide a fund of $71.3 billion for special education programs under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA).

The Senate rejected this amendment on March 17, 2005 by a vote of 37-63 (Roll Call 79). We have assigned pluses to the nays because federal funding of education is unconstitutional.



On the Amendment S.Amdt. 168 to S.Con.Res. 18: To strike section 201(a)(4) relative to the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge.
Vote Date: March 16, 2005Vote: AYEBad Vote.
Alaskan Drilling. During consideration of the budget resolution (S. Con. Res. 18), Senator Maria Cantwell (D-Wash.) offered an amendment to delete language in the resolution that would allow leases for oil and gas exploration and development in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge (ANWR). Like a similar House amendment (see House bill below), the intent behind this amendment is to continue the ban against drilling for oil and gas in the ANWR.

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

The Senate rejected Cantwell's amendment on March 16, 2005 by a vote of 49-51 (Roll Call 52). We have assigned pluses to the nays because the United States should develop its own energy resources and reduce its dependence on foreign oil.



On Passage of the Bill S. 250: A bill to amend the Carl D. Perkins Vocational and Technical Education Act of 1998 to improve the Act.
Vote Date: March 10, 2005Vote: AYEBad Vote.
Vocational/Technical Training. This legislation, like the House version (see House bill below), would reauthorize the Carl D. Perkins Vocational and Technical Education Act. The Senate version (S. 250) would authorize $1.3 billion for vocational and job training programs.

[ H.R. 366 would reauthorize the Carl D. Perkins Vocational and Technical Education Act, which funds vocational and technical education programs. The bill would authorize $1.3 billion in fiscal 2006 and "such funds as necessary" in fiscal 2007-11. It would also merge Perkins funding with "Tech-Prep," a program that provides certain math and science courses to high school students to "ease the transition" from high school to a vocational or community college. ]

The Senate passed S. 250 on March 10, 2005 by a vote of 99-0 (Roll Call 43). We have assigned minuses to the yeas because federal aid to education and job-training programs is unconstitutional.



On the Amendment S.Amdt. 44 to S. 256 (Bankruptcy Abuse Prevention and Consumer Protection Act of 2005): To amend the Fair Labor Standards Act of 1938 to provide for an increase in the Federal minimum wage.
Vote Date: March 7, 2005Vote: AYEBad Vote.
Minimum Wage. During consideration of the bankruptcy overhaul bill (S. 256), Sen. Ted Kennedy (D-Mass.) offered an amendment to raise the minimum wage from $5.15 an hour to $7.25 an hour. The minimum wage was last raised in 1996 by 90 cents, a far less ambitious amount than Kennedy's $2.10 proposed increase. While this proposal may look tempting to many unskilled workers, it would actually make many of them too expensive to hire.

The Senate rejected Kennedy's amendment on March 7, 2005 by a vote of 46-49 (Roll Call 26). 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 minimum wage.



On the Conference Report H.R. 1308: An act to amend the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 to provide tax relief for working families, and for other purposes.
Vote Date: September 23, 2004Vote: AYEGood Vote.
Extending Tax Cuts. The final version (conference report) of this tax-cut legislation (H.R. 1308) would benefit most Americans by extending the life of several middle-class tax breaks set to expire at the end of this year. It would extend provisions providing relief from the "marriage penalty" through 2008, extend the $1,000 per child income tax credit through 2009, and keep a greater number of taxpayers in the 10 percent income tax bracket through 2010. It would also revive some expired business tax incentives.

The Senate adopted the conference report on H.R. 1308 on September 23, 2004 by a vote of 92 to 3 (Roll Call 188). We have assigned pluses to the yeas because the bill would extend the life of tax cuts, benefiting a large number of Americans.



On the Motion (Motion to Waive CBA Re: Dodd Amdt. No. 3604): To increase the among provided for first responder programs, and to provide offsets.
Vote Date: September 9, 2004Vote: AYEBad Vote.
Federal Funding of First Responders. During consideration of the Homeland Security appropriations bill (H.R. 4567), Sen. Chris Dodd (D-Conn.) proposed an amendment to increase funding by $15.8 billion for police, fire fighters, and other local and state emergency personnel. It would also require the Secretary of the Treasury to "take such action as is necessary" to offset this additional expense by reducing tax savings under the 2001 tax law for individuals making $1 million or more.

A point of order was raised against Dodd's amendment based on Budget Act requirements, and that, in turn, led to a motion to waive the point of order. The Senate rejected the motion -- thereby killing the amendment -- on September 9, 2004 by a vote of 41 to 53 (Roll Call 170). We have assigned pluses to the nays because federal funding of local law enforcement will lead to more federal control, and the federal government should not be funding local law enforcement in the first place.



On the Motion (DeWine Amdt. No. 3563): To protect the public health by providing the Food and Drug Administration with certain authority to regulate tobacco products, to eliminate the Federal quota and price support programs for tobacco, and to provide assistance to quota holders, tobacco producers, and tobacco-dependent communities.
Vote Date: July 15, 2004Vote: AYEBad Vote.
FDA Regulation of Tobacco. During consideration of a corporate tax bill (H.R. 4520), Sen. Mike DeWine (R-Ohio) offered an amendment to authorize the FDA to regulate tobacco for the first time and to couple this new regulation with a $12 billion, 10-year buyout to pay tobacco farmers for relinquishing government quotas governing how much tobacco they can grow. The FDA would be authorized to ban many ingredients in cigarettes, but Congress would retain veto power over any regulatory attempt to ban nicotine in cigarettes or to ban cigarettes completely.

The Senate adopted DeWine's amendment on July 15, 2004 by a vote of 78 to 15 (Roll Call 157). We have assigned pluses to the nays because the FDA should not be regulating tobacco like a pharmaceutical drug.



On the Amendment S.Amdt. 3502 to H.R. 4613 (Department of Defense Appropriations Act, 2005): To express the sense of the Senate on budgeting and funding of ongoing military operations overseas.
Vote Date: June 24, 2004Vote: AYEGood Vote.
Budgeting for Overseas Military Operations. During consideration of the Defense appropriations bill (H.R. 4613), Sen. Robert Byrd (D-W.Va.) proposed a nonbinding amendment urging that the president include in his annual budget "any request for funds ... for an ongoing military operation overseas, including operations in Afghanistan and Iraq," and that such funding should be appropriated in regular accounts. In remarks on the Senate floor, Byrd expressed frustration that the administration has failed to estimate war costs and has made "stop-gap" and "emergency supplemental" spending requests that have caused mistakes in materiel requisitions -- the failure to request sufficient funds for body armor, for instance. Byrd described his amendment as "a simple, common-sense approach that promotes fiscal responsibility."

The Senate adopted Byrd's amendment on June 24, 2004 by a vote of 89 to 9 (Roll Call 147). We have assigned pluses to the yeas because his amendment would encourage fiscal responsibility.



On the Motion to Table S.Amdt. 3520 to H.R. 4613 (Department of Defense Appropriations Act, 2005): To appropriate funds for bilateral economic assistance.
Vote Date: June 24, 2004Vote: NAYBad Vote.
Foreign Aid. During consideration of the Defense appropriations bill (H.R. 4613), Sen. Joe Biden (D-Del.) proposed an amendment to add $118 million in emergency funding "to respond to the humanitarian crisis in the Darfur region of Sudan and in Chad." The $118 million would be on top of $95 million already provided by the bill for that purpose.

The Senate agreed to a motion to table (kill) Biden's amendment on June 24, 2004 by a vote of 53 to 45 (Roll Call 148). We have assigned pluses to the yeas -- that is, those who voted to kill the amendment -- because foreign aid is unconstitutional.



On the Amendment S.Amdt. 3338 to S. 2400 (Ronald W. Reagan National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2005): To reallocate for Ground-based Midcourse interceptors to homeland defense and combatting terrorism.
Vote Date: June 22, 2004Vote: AYEBad Vote.
Missile Defense. Sen. Carl Levin (D-Mich.) offered an amendment to shift $515.5 million in the Defense authorization bill (S. 2400) from ground-based missile interceptors to nuclear nonproliferation programs and homeland security.

The Senate rejected Levin's amendment on June 22, 2004 by a vote of 44 to 56 (Roll Call 133). We have assigned pluses to the nays because the U.S. needs a means of protecting the homeland against incoming ballistic missiles.



On the Amendment S.Amdt. 3368 to S. 2400 (Ronald W. Reagan National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2005): To allow deployment of the ground-based midcourse defense element of the national ballistic missile defense system only after the mission-related capabilities of the system have been confirmed by operationally realistic testing.
Vote Date: June 17, 2004Vote: AYEBad Vote.
Missile Defense. During consideration of the Defense authorization bill (S. 2400), Sen. Barbara Boxer (D-Calif.) offered an amendment that would prohibit deployment of a ground-based system of missile interceptors until "the Secretary of Defense certifies ... that the capabilities of the system ... have been confirmed by operationally realistic testing of the system." The problem with Boxer's amendment is that the system cannot be operationally tested without initial deployment, scheduled for later in the year in Alaska. "If you prohibit this 'deployment,' you prohibit operationally realistic testing -- and prevent the very basis for the certification that the amendment requires," noted Senate Armed Services Committee Chairman John Warner (R-Va.).

The Senate rejected Boxer's amendment on June 17, 2004 by a vote of 42 to 57 (Roll Call 124). We have assigned pluses to the nays because national defense is a constitutional function of the federal government.



On the Amendment S.Amdt. 3379 to S. 2400 (Ronald W. Reagan National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2005): To provide funds for the security and stabilization of Iraq by suspending a portion of the reduction in the highest income tax rate for individual taxpayers.
Vote Date: June 17, 2004Vote: AYEBad Vote.
Tax Rate Increase. Sen. Joe Biden (D-Del.) proposed a measure, in the form of an amendment to the Defense authorization bill (S. 2400), to increase the top income tax rate from 35 percent to 36 percent, starting in 2005 and lasting until 2010. The additional revenue would be earmarked for security and stabilization operations in Iraq.

The Senate rejected Biden's amendment on June 17, 2004 by a vote of 44 to 53 (Roll Call 130). We have assigned pluses to the nays because the amendment would increase taxes.



On the Amendment S.Amdt. 3263 to S. 2400 (Ronald W. Reagan National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2005): To prohibit the use of funds for the support of new nuclear weapons development under the Stockpile Services Advanced Concepts Initiative or for the Robust Nuclear Earth Penetrator (RNEP).
Vote Date: June 15, 2004Vote: AYEBad Vote.
Nuclear Weapons Study. Sen. Ted Kennedy (D-Mass.) sponsored this amendment to prohibit the use of $36.6 million authorized by the Defense authorization bill (S. 2400) for two feasibility studies into options for modernizing our nuclear stockpile -- one pertaining to "bunker buster" weapons that would explode deep underground, and the other an Advanced Concepts Initiative including research into a "low yield" nuclear weapon. Sen. Wayne Allard (R-Colo.), who opposed Kennedy's amendment, noted that our existing nuclear stockpile "was developed for a massive nuclear exchange with one nation. Today, these weapons are too powerful and may result in greater damage than necessary to neutralize a target."

The Senate rejected Kennedy's amendment on June 15, 2004 by a vote of 42 to 55 (Roll Call 113). We have assigned pluses to the nays because national defense is a constitutional function of the federal government.



On the Amendment S.Amdt. 3183 to S. 2400 (Ronald W. Reagan National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2005): To provide Federal assistance to States and local jurisdictions to prosecute hate crimes.
Vote Date: June 15, 2004Vote: AYEBad Vote.
Hate Crimes. Sen. Gordon Smith (R-Ore.) proposed a measure, in the form of an amendment to the Defense authorization bill (S. 2400), to expand the definition of "hate crimes" to include assaults based on sexual orientation, gender, or disability. Current federal hate crimes law imposes stricter sentences when assaults are based on race, ethnicity, or religion.

The Senate adopted Smith's amendment on June 15, 2004 by a vote of 65 to 33 (Roll Call 114). We have assigned pluses to the nays because Smith's amendment would further federalize the criminal code, and because "hate crimes" measures are intended to punish not just criminal acts but the thoughts behind them.



On Passage of the Bill H.R. 1350: A bill to reauthorize the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act, and for other purposes.
Vote Date: May 13, 2004Vote: AYEBad Vote.
IDEA Reauthorization. This bill (H.R. 1350) would reauthorize the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA). It would provide for full federal funding by 2011 of 40 percent of the average per pupil costs for certain programs under IDEA by authorizing discretionary spending increases of $2.3 billion per year. For fiscal 2005, H.R. 1350 would authorize a total of $12.4 billion for IDEA grants.

The Senate passed H.R. 1350 on May 13, 2004 by a vote of 95 to 3 (Roll Call 94). We have assigned pluses to the nays because federal aid to education is unconstitutional.



On the Motion (Motion to Waive CBA Re: Cantwell Amdt. No. 3114): To extend the Temporary Extended Unemployment Compensation Act of 2002, and for other purposes.
Vote Date: May 11, 2004Vote: AYEBad Vote.
Unemployment Insurance. This amendment by Senator Maria Cantwell (D-Wash.) to S. 1637 (Corporate Tax Overhaul) would authorize a six-month federal program to provide an additional 13 weeks of unemployment benefits for people who have exhausted their 26 weeks of state jobless benefits.

Senator Don Nickles (R-Okla.) raised a point of order against the Cantwell amendment on the basis of Budget Act restrictions. Senator Cantwell moved to waive the Budget Act with respect to the Cantwell amendment, but the Senate rejected her motion on May 11, 2004 by a vote of 59 to 40 (Roll Call 88), thereby effectively killing the Cantwell amendment.

We have assigned pluses to the nays because payment of unemployment benefits is an unconstitutional activity of the federal government. A three-fifths majority (60) of the total Senate is required to waive the Budget Act.



On Passage of the Bill S. 150: A bill to make permanent the moratorium on taxes on Internet access and multiple and discriminatory taxes on electronic commerce imposed by the Internet Tax Freedom Act.
Vote Date: April 29, 2004Vote: AYEGood Vote.
Internet Tax Moratorium. This bill (S. 150), as amended, would extend the Internet tax moratorium for four years. The Senate passed S. 150 on April 29, 2004 by a vote of 93 to 3 (Roll Call 77).

We have assigned pluses to the yeas because this bill would prevent some forms of taxation on Internet users for an additional four years.



On the Amendment S.Amdt. 2937 to H.R. 4 (PRIDE Act): To provide additional funding for child care.
Vote Date: March 30, 2004Vote: AYEBad Vote.
Child-care Funding. This amendment to H.R. 4 (Welfare Reauthorization) would increase "mandatory" child-care funding by $6 billion over the next five years (fiscal 2005 to 2009). The federal government currently provides $4.8 billion annually for child care through a combination of "mandatory" and "discretionary" programs.

The Senate adopted this amendment to H.R. 4 on March 30, 2004 by a vote of 78 to 20 (Roll Call 64). We have assigned pluses to the nays because child care funding is an unconstitutional activity of the federal government.



On the Concurrent Resolution S.Con.Res. 95: An original concurrent resolution setting forth the congressional budget for the United States Government for fiscal year 2005 and including the appropriate budgetary levels for fiscal years 2006 through 2009.
Vote Date: March 12, 2004Vote: NAYGood Vote.
Fiscal 2005 Budget Resolution. This resolution (Senate Concurrent Resolution 95) would establish broad spending and revenue targets over the next five years. It calls for $851 billion in "discretionary" spending (including $30 billion for supplemental funding of operations in Iraq and Afghanistan) and another $1.5 trillion in "mandatory" spending for fiscal 2005. Based on these targets, the "mandatory" spending portion of the budget would increase by 5 percent over last year, and the total budget -- a whopping $2.4 trillion -- would increase by 3 percent.

The Senate adopted S. Con. Res. 95 on March 12, 2004 by a vote of 51 to 45 (Roll Call 58). We have assigned pluses to the nays because this budget perpetuates the fiscally irresponsible, largely unconstitutional federal spending with its attendant record-breaking deficits of recent years.



On the Amendment S.Amdt. 2637 to S. 1805 (Protection of Lawful Commerce in Arms Act): To provide for a 10-year extension of the assault weapons ban.
Vote Date: March 2, 2004Vote: AYEBad Vote.
Assault Weapons Ban. This amendment to S. 1805 (Firearms Manufacturers Protection) would provide for a 10-year reauthorization of the so-called assault weapons ban. If Congress doesn't vote to reauthorize the ban, it will expire in September 2004.

The Senate adopted this amendment to S. 1805 on March 2, 2004 by a vote of 52 to 47 (Roll Call 24). We have assigned pluses to the nays because this so-called assault weapons ban is an unconstitutional infringement on the Second Amendment.

Senate Republicans had introduced S. 1805 to help protect firearms manufacturers from industry-threatening lawsuits. However, they withdrew their support after gun control advocates won adoption of two "poison pill" amendments -- this amendment and a requirement for criminal background checks for all firearms purchases at gun shows (see S.Amdt. 2636 below) -- and S. 1805 was rejected.

[ Gun Show Checks. S.Amdt. 2636 to S. 1805 (Firearms Manufacturers Protection) would require criminal background checks on all firearms purchases at gun shows where at least 75 guns are sold. ]



On the Amendment S.Amdt. 2636 to S. 1805 (Protection of Lawful Commerce in Arms Act): To require criminal background checks on all firearms transactions occurring at events that provide a venue for the sale, offer for sale, transfer, or exchange of firearms, and for other purposes.
Vote Date: March 2, 2004Vote: AYEBad Vote.
Gun Show Checks. This amendment to S. 1805 (Firearms Manufacturers Protection) would require criminal background checks on all firearms purchases at gun shows where at least 75 guns are sold.

The Senate adopted this amendment to S. 1805 on March 2, 2004 by a vote of 53 to 46 (Roll Call 25). We have assigned pluses to the nays because these restrictions on firearm transactions at gun shows would be an unconstitutional infringement on the Second Amendment. Subsequently, the Senate rejected S. 1805 by a vote of 8 to 90.



On Passage of the Bill S. 1072: A bill to authorize funds for Federal-aid highways, highway safety programs, and transit programs, and for other purposes.
Vote Date: February 12, 2004Vote: AYEBad Vote.
Surface Transportation. This bill (S. 1072) would authorize $318 billion in federal aid over six years (fiscal 2004-2009) for highways ($255 billion), mass transit ($56.5 billion), and highway safety programs ($6 billion). This bill also promises that states would receive at least a 95 percent return on their highway trust fund "contributions" by 2009.

The Bush administration had wanted to limit the spending in the bill to $256 billion, which, noted White House spokesman Scott McClellan, would still increase
spending by 21 percent. But the Senate added an additional $62 billion to the bill (24 percent more than the president had requested).

The Senate passed S. 1072 on February 12, 2004 by a vote of 76 to 21 (Roll Call 14). We have assigned pluses to the nays because this double-digit increase in spending on surface transportation is fiscally irresponsible, particularly during a time of record-breaking federal deficits.



On the Conference Report H.R. 2673: A bill making appropriations for Agriculture, Rural Development, Food and Drug Administration, and Related Agencies for the fiscal year ending September 30, 2004, and for other purposes.
Vote Date: January 22, 2004Vote: NAYGood Vote.
Fiscal 2004 Omnibus Appropriations. Adoption of this conference report on H.R. 2673 (Fiscal 2004 Omnibus Appropriations) would provide a total of $820 billion in fiscal 2004, including $328.1 billion in "discretionary" spending, for a whole laundry list of federal departments and agencies. On January 22, Congressional Quarterly described this bill as "among the biggest appropriations packages ever written by Congress." Total fiscal year 2004 spending (both "mandatory" and "discretionary") in this bill includes $80.6 billion (up 8.0 percent) for the Agriculture Department, Food and Drug Administration, Commodity Futures Trading Commission and related agencies; $38.4 billion (up 1.3 percent) for the Commerce, Justice and State departments and judicial agencies; $545 million (up 7.1 percent) for the District of Columbia; $17.3 billion (down 27 percent) for foreign aid and export assistance; $471.8 billion (up 11.5 percent) for the Labor, Health and Human Services, and Education Departments; $89.8 billion (up 3.7 percent) for the Transportation and Treasury Departments and related independent agencies; and $124.0 billion (up 4.4 percent) for the Veterans Affairs and Housing and Urban Development Departments.

The Senate adopted the conference report on H.R. 2673 on January 22, 2004 by a vote of 65 to 28 (Roll Call 3). We have assigned pluses to the nays because this bill not only perpetuates huge amounts of unconstitutional federal spending, it also contains many spending increases for various federal agencies despite the fact that annual federal deficits have mushroomed to record levels.



On the Conference Report H.R. 1: An act to amend title XVIII of the Social Security Act to provide for a voluntary prescription drug benefit under the medicare program and to strengthen and improve the medicare program, and for other purposes.
Vote Date: November 25, 2003Vote: AYEBad Vote.
Prescription Drug Benefit. The final version (conference report) of H.R. 1 would create a prescription drug benefit for Medicare recipients. Beginning in 2006, prescription coverage would be available to seniors through private insurers for a monthly premium estimated at $35. There would be a $250 annual deductible, then 75 percent of drug costs up to $2,250 would be reimbursed. Drug costs greater than $2,250 would not be covered until out-of-pocket expenses exceeded $3,600, after which 95 percent of drug costs would be reimbursed. Low-income recipients would receive more subsidies than other seniors by paying lower premiums, having smaller deductibles, and making lower co-payments for each prescription. The total cost of the new prescription drug benefit would be limited to the $400 billion that Congress had budgeted earlier this year for the first 10 years of this new entitlement program.

The Senate adopted the conference report on H.R. 1 on November 25, 2003 by a vote of 54 to 44 (Roll Call 459). We have assigned pluses to the nays because this landmark legislation establishes a major new, unconstitutional entitlement program.



On the Motion (Motion To Table Daschle Amdt. No. 2078): Expressing the sense of the Senate regarding country of origin labeling requirements.
Vote Date: November 6, 2003Vote: NAYGood Vote.
Country of Origin Labeling. The House version of H.R. 2673 (Fiscal 2004 Omnibus Appropriations) included a provision stating: "None of the funds appropriated or otherwise made available by this Act shall be used for the implementation of Country of Origin Labeling for meat or meat products." The intent of this provision, of course, is to end country of origin labeling requirements for meat by denying the funding for enforcement. During Senate consideration of this legislation, Senator Tom Daschle (D-S.D.) offered an amendment expressing the "sense of the Senate" that the Senate conferees insist that no such restriction on the use of funding appear in the final version of the bill.

The Senate rejected a motion to table (kill) this amendment to H.R. 2673 on November 6, 2003 by a vote of 36 to 58 (Roll Call 443). We have assigned pluses to the "nays" -- that is, those who opposed killing the amendment -- because country of origin labeling is a useful tool for (to quote the Constitution) "regulating commerce with foreign nations." The Daschle amendment was adopted by voice vote later the same day.



On Passage of the Bill H.R. 2673: A bill making appropriations for Agriculture, Rural Development, Food and Drug Administration, and Related Agencies for the fiscal year ending September 30, 2004, and for other purposes.
Vote Date: November 6, 2003Vote: AYEBad Vote.
Agriculture Appropriations. The Senate version of H.R. 2673 would appropriate $79.7 billion for agriculture, rural development, and nutrition programs in fiscal 2004. Over half of the money appropriated by this "agriculture" bill is earmarked for so-called mandatory spending on nutrition programs, including $30 billion for food stamps and $16 billion for school lunch and other nutrition programs. (See House version below.)

[ House Version: H.R. 2673 would appropriate $77.5 billion for agriculture, rural development and nutrition programs in fiscal 2004. Over half of the money appropriated by this "agriculture" bill is earmarked for so-called mandatory spending on nutrition programs, including $28 billion for food stamps and $16 billion for school lunch and other nutrition programs. Total spending for traditional agricultural programs is $26.8 billion, a 5 percent increase. ]

The Senate passed H.R. 2673 on November 6, 2003 by a vote of 93 to 1 (Roll Call 444). We have assigned a plus to the nays because federal aid to farmers and federal food aid to individuals are unconstitutional activities of the federal government.



On the Motion to Table S.Amdt. 2065 to S. 1753 (National Consumer Credit Reporting System Improvement Act of 2003): To provide for data-mining reports to Congress.
Vote Date: November 4, 2003Vote: NAYGood Vote.
Data Mining. This amendment to S. 1753 (National Consumer Credit Reporting System Improvement Act of 2003) would require each federal agency or department engaged in data mining to submit a public report to Congress. Data mining involves the use of computer systems to scan through vast amounts of electronic information to detect patterns and trends. Sen. Russell Feingold (D-Wis.) introduced this amendment because of his concerns about Total Information Awareness-type programs being developed at various federal agencies. His amendment would require the reports to Congress to assess "the likely impact of the implementation of the data-mining technology on privacy and civil liberties...."

The Senate agreed to a motion to table (kill) this amendment to S. 1753 on November 4, 2003 by a vote of 61 to 32 (Roll Call 435). We have assigned pluses to the "nays" -- that is, those who opposed killing the amendment -- because federal data mining activity is clearly a threat to the Fourth Amendment, which guarantees "the right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures."



On the Amendment S.Amdt. 2028 to S. 139 (Climate Stewardship Act of 2003): To provide for a program of scientific research on abrupt climate change, to accelerate the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions in the United States by establishing a market-driven system of greenhouse gas tradeable allowances, to limit greenhouse gas emissions in the United States and reduce dependence upon foreign oil, and ensure benefits to consumers from the trading in such allowances.
Vote Date: October 30, 2003Vote: AYEBad Vote.
Global Warming. This substitute amendment to S. 139 (Climate Stewardship Act of 2003) by Joseph Lieberman (D-Conn.) would mandate that so-called greenhouse gas emissions be reduced to 2000 levels by 2010. Greenhouse gases would be defined as carbon dioxide, methane, nitrous oxide, hydrofluorocarbons, perfluorocarbons and sulfur hexafluoride. Other provisions of the substitute amendment include a program of scientific research on climate change, a national greenhouse database, and a market driven system of greenhouse gas tradable allowances.

The Senate rejected this substitute amendment to S. 139 on October 30, 2003 by a vote of 43 to 55 (Roll Call 420). We have assigned pluses to the nays because this amendment would have established restrictions on so-called greenhouse gas emissions based on the myth of catastrophic global warming.



On the Conference Report S. 3: A bill to prohibit the procedure commonly known as partial-birth abortion.
Vote Date: October 21, 2003Vote: NAYBad Vote.
Partial-birth Abortion Ban. The final version (conference report) of S. 3 would ban partial-birth abortions. Although on March 12 the Senate had amended their version of S. 3 to include a reaffirmation of Roe v. Wade, on September 30 a 10-member House-Senate conference committee agreed to report out a final version of the bill identical to one (H.R. 760) that passed the House earlier this year without any reaffirmation of Roe v. Wade. Of course, all abortion procedures should be banned. But this bill is still a step in the right direction in that it is better to ban one abortion procedure than to ban none at all.

The Senate adopted the conference report on S. 3 on October 21, 2003 by a vote of 64 to 34 (Roll Call 402). We have assigned pluses to the yeas because all forms of abortion constitute the murder of preborn children, and the Supreme Court, in its Roe v. Wade decision, overstepped its proper authority by "legalizing" abortion in the first place.



On Passage of the Bill S. 1689: An original bill making emergency supplemental appropriations for Iraq and Afghanistan security and reconstruction for the fiscal year ending September 30, 2004, and for other purposes.
Vote Date: October 17, 2003Vote: AYEBad Vote.
Supplemental Spending for Iraq & Afghanistan. The Senate version of this bill (S. 1689) would appropriate $86.5 billion in fiscal 2004 supplemental spending for military operations and reconstruction in Iraq and Afghanistan. Unlike the House version (H.R. 3289), S. 1689 also included an amendment requiring that $10 billion of the approximately $20 billion in Iraqi reconstruction aid be initially offered as a loan -- and be converted into a grant only if 90 percent of Iraq's bilateral debts, estimated at $130 billion, are forgiven by its creditors. (This amendment was deleted from the final version of this legislation, known as the conference report. The conference report was approved by voice vote in the Senate and roll call vote in the House.)

The Senate passed S. 1689 on October 17, 2003 by a vote of 87 to 12 (Roll Call 400). We have assigned pluses to the nays because the U.S. military was sent into Iraq to enforce UN resolutions, when the only proper use of our nation's armed forces is to protect the lives and property of American citizens, and the huge U.S.-funded infrastructure rebuilding program in Iraq and Afghanistan is another example of unconstitutional foreign aid.



On Passage of the Bill H.R. 2660: A bill making appropriations for the Departments of Labor, Health and Human Services, and Education, and related agencies for the fiscal year ending September 30, 2004, and for other purposes.
Vote Date: September 10, 2003Vote: AYEBad Vote.
Labor-HHS-Education Appropriations. The Senate version of this bill (H.R. 2660) would appropriate $472 billion for the Labor, Health and Human Services, and Education Departments for fiscal 2004, a 10 percent increase over fiscal 2003. This bill, the biggest of the fiscal 2004 domestic spending bills, includes $138 billion for discretionary spending. (Since the Senate version of H.R. 2660 is virtually identical to the House version, see House version below for additional details.)

[ House Version H.R. 2660 would appropriate $470 billion for the Labor, Health and Human Services, and Education Departments for fiscal 2004, a 10 percent increase over fiscal 2003. This bill, the biggest of the fiscal 2004 domestic spending bills, includes $138 billion for discretionary spending, including $55.4 billion for education and $22.7 billion for the National Institutes of Health. That leaves $332 billion for so-called mandatory spending on entitlement programs such as Medicare, Medicaid, and unemployment insurance. ]

The Senate passed H.R. 2660 on September 10, 2003 by a vote of 94 to 0 (Roll Call 347). We have assigned minuses to the yeas because this bill represents a significant increase in spending, and these departments are not authorized by the Constitution.



On Passage of the Bill H.R. 2739: A bill to implement the United States-Singapore Free Trade Agreement.
Vote Date: July 31, 2003Vote: NAYGood Vote.
U.S.-Singapore Trade. This bill (H.R. 2739) would implement a trade agreement to reduce tariffs and trade barriers between the United States and Singapore. A similar bill, the U.S.-Chile Trade Agreement (H.R. 2738), was presented to Congress at the same time as the U.S.-Singapore Trade Agreement. These are the first in a series of bilateral and regional free trade agreements (FTAs) that the Bush administration is negotiating, which will culminate in 2005 in the largest and most significant FTA of them all, the Free Trade Area of the Americas (FTAA).

The model for the FTAA is the European Union (EU), formerly the "Common Market," which has grown by design from a supposed free trade agreement into a supranational government for Europe. The world order architects intend for the FTAA to follow the same trajectory for the Americas.

The Senate passed H.R. 2739 on July 31, 2003 by a vote of 66 to 32 (Roll Call 318). We have assigned pluses to the nays because these bilateral "free trade" agreements are intended to be stepping-stones to the FTAA, which would set trade (and eventually other) policies for the member nations. However, under the U.S. Constitution only Congress has the power "to regulate commerce with foreign nations, and among the several states...."



On Passage of the Bill H.R. 2738: A bill to implement the United States-Chile Free Trade Agreement.
Vote Date: July 31, 2003Vote: NAYGood Vote.
U.S.-Chile Trade. This bill (H.R. 2738) would implement a trade agreement to reduce tariffs and trade barriers between the United States and Chile. (The significance of this trade agreement, like that of the U.S.-Singapore Trade Agreement, is described below.)

[ U.S.-Singapore Trade. This bill (H.R. 2739) would implement a trade agreement to reduce tariffs and trade barriers between the United States and Singapore. A similar bill, the U.S.-Chile Trade Agreement (H.R. 2738), was presented to Congress at the same time as the U.S.-Singapore Trade Agreement. These are the first in a series of bilateral and regional free trade agreements (FTAs) that the Bush administration is negotiating, which will culminate in 2005 in the largest and most significant FTA of them all, the Free Trade Area of the Americas (FTAA).

The model for the FTAA is the European Union (EU), formerly the "Common Market," which has grown by design from a supposed free trade agreement into a supranational government for Europe. The world order architects intend for the FTAA to follow the same trajectory for the Americas. ]


The Senate passed H.R. 2738 on July 31, 2003 by a vote of 65 to 32 (Roll Call 319). We have assigned pluses to the nays because these bilateral "free trade" agreements are intended to be stepping-stones to the FTAA, which would set trade (and eventually other) policies for the member nations. However, under the U.S. Constitution only Congress has the power "to regulate commerce with foreign nations, and among the several states...."



On the Amendment S.Amdt. 1384 to S. 14 (Energy Policy Act of 2003): To amend title 49, United States Code, to improve the system for enhancing automobile fuel efficiency.
Vote Date: July 29, 2003Vote: AYEBad Vote.
Fuel Economy Standards. This amendment to S. 14 (Energy Policy Act of 2003) by Richard Durbin (D-Ill.) would mandate an increase in the Corporate Average Fuel Economy (CAFE) standards. The CAFE standard for passenger vehicles made before 2006 would be 25 miles per gallon. From model years 2006 to 2015 the CAFE standard would gradually increase to 40 miles per gallon. This new standard would initially be less than the current 27.5 miles per gallon, but only because "passenger automobile" would be redefined to include the previously exempted SUVs and passenger vans.

Since neither legislators nor manufacturers have a magic wand to reduce the amount of gas required to move a certain mass a certain distance, this radical legislation -- akin to ordering the sun never to set -- would effectively force manufacturers to reduce vehicle size, thereby limiting consumer choices and making vehicles less safe.

The Senate rejected this amendment to S. 14 on July 29, 2003 by a vote of 32 to 65 (Roll Call 309). We have assigned pluses to the nays because this amendment would have authorized unconstitutional regulation of consumer choice of vehicle size.



On the Conference Report H.R. 2: To provide for reconciliation pursuant to section 201 of the concurrent resolution on the budget for fiscal year 2004.
Vote Date: May 23, 2003Vote: NAYBad Vote.
Tax Reductions. The final version of the $350 billion tax-cut package (the conference report on H.R. 2) would provide tax breaks over 11 years. Dividends, currently taxed the same as other earned income, would instead be taxed at 15 percent for most taxpayers through 2008. Lower-income dividend recipients would be taxed at 5 percent through 2007 and nothing in 2008. The current 20 percent top rate on capital gains on investments held at least one year would drop to 15 percent, with lower-income investors paying 5 percent through 2007 and nothing in 2008. Both dividend and capital gains tax reductions would expire after 2008. Among other tax reductions, income tax cuts enacted in 2001 for individuals and scheduled to be effective in 2006 would be accelerated; parents would receive refunds of up to $400 per child this summer.

The Senate adopted the conference report on H.R. 2 on May 23, 2003 with Vice President Cheney casting a yea vote to break a 50 to 50 tie (Roll Call 196). We have assigned pluses to the yeas because this bill will cut taxes for large numbers of Americans, both individuals and businesses.



On Passage of the Bill H.J.Res. 51: A joint resolution increasing the statutory limit on the public debt.
Vote Date: May 23, 2003Vote: NAYGood Vote.
Debt Limit Increase. This resolution (House Joint Resolution 51) would raise the public debt ceiling by $984 billion. Last year the public debt ceiling was increased by $450 billion. These huge increases in the public debt ceiling are necessitated by the fact that federal spending is increasing -- and so are the annual deficits. The solution is not to allow the federal government to borrow more money but to cut spending.

The Senate passed H. J. Res. 51 on May 23, 2003 by a vote of 53 to 44 (Roll Call 202). We have assigned pluses to the nays because raising the public debt limit by $984 billion facilitates continued, gross fiscal irresponsibility.



On the Motion (Motion To Waive C.B.A. Kennedy Amdt No. 544): To provide for additional weeks of temporary extended unemployment compensation and to provide for a program of temporary enhanced regular unemployment compensation, and for other purposes.
Vote Date: May 15, 2003Vote: AYEBad Vote.
Budget Resolution -- Final Version. The final version (conference report) of the budget resolution (House Concurrent Resolution 95) would authorize federal spending for fiscal 2004 of $1,861 billion dollars with a deficit of $558 billion and an increase in the public debt ceiling of $984 billion. This planned deficit of $558 billion dwarfs the previous record federal deficit of $290 billion in 1992. The $984 billion increase in the public debt ceiling authorized in this bill constituted, under Rule XXVII of the House, approval of the debt limit increase bill (House Joint Resolution 51) without having to cast a separate vote just on increasing the debt ceiling. Subsequently the Senate passed H. J. Res. 51 and President Bush signed it into law, increasing the public debt ceiling by $984 billion (for a new total of $7.4 trillion) and giving Congress a green light to continue its fiscally irresponsible ways. This resolution also includes $400 billion for a Medicare prescription drug benefit for 2004-2013.

The Senate adopted the conference is similar to H.R. 2185. It would extend the Temporary Extended Unemployment Compensation Act of 2002 through November; however, it would provide 26 weeks of federal aid, compared to 13 weeks in H.R. 2185, to workers in all states who have exhausted their 26 weeks of state unemployment benefits. There would be an additional seven weeks of federal aid for workers in the states with the highest unemployment.

A point of order was raised against Kennedy's amendment on the basis of Budget Act restrictions. The Senate failed to waive the Budget Act with respect to Kennedy's amendment on May 15, 2003 by a vote of 50 to 49 (Roll Call 152). A three-fifths majority vote (60) of the total Senate is needed to waive the Budget Act. We have assigned pluses to the nays because federal aid to unemployed workers is unconstitutional.



On the Motion (Motion to Waive C.B.A. re: Murray Amdt. No. 564): To provide temporary State fiscal relief.
Vote Date: May 15, 2003Vote: AYEBad Vote.
State Aid. This proposed amendment to the Senate version of the tax reductions bill (S. 1054) would provide $40 billion in aid to states. Half of this would be for general revenue sharing with states and their local governments. The other half would be used to increase federal Medicaid assistance to states for the last two quarters of fiscal 2003 and all of fiscal 2004.

A point of order was raised against this amendment on the basis of Budget Act restrictions. The Senate failed to waive the Budget Act with respect to the amendment on May 15, 2003 by a vote of 47 to 52 (Roll Call 158). A three-fifths majority vote (60) of the total Senate is needed to waive the Budget Act. We have assigned pluses to the nays because federal aid to the states for revenue sharing and medical assistance is unconstitutional.



On the Amendment S.Amdt. 409 to S.Con.Res. 23: To provide full and mandatory funding for IDEA beginning in FY2004.
Vote Date: March 26, 2003Vote: NAYGood Vote.
IDEA (Individuals with Disabilities Education Act) Funding. This proposed amendment to the Senate version of the budget resolution (Senate Concurrent Resolution 23) resembles H.R. 1350 as considered by the House (see House bill below). However, whereas the House bill would gradually increase the federal government's share of aid for educating special education students from 18 percent to 40 percent by 2010, this amendment would immediately increase the federal government's share to 40 percent in fiscal 2004 and maintain this level over the next 10 years -- increasing federal IDEA spending by $229 billion over that same period.

[ H.R. 1350 would reauthorize the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act. One of its provisions would authorize increasing federal grants to defray more of the state cost of educating special education students, from the current 18 percent to 40 percent by 2010. Other provisions would allow school personnel to discipline special education students the same as non-disabled students, reduce paperwork requirements for special education teachers, and limit parents’ ability to sue school districts. The Congressional Budget Office estimates that H.R. 1350 would cost $50 billion over the 2004-2009 period. ]

The Senate rejected this amendment on March 26, 2003 by a vote of 28 to 70 (Roll Call 103). We have assigned pluses to the nays because federal aid to education is unconstitutional.



On the Amendment S.Amdt. 278 to S.Con.Res. 23: To make available funds for the COPS program.
Vote Date: March 21, 2003Vote: AYEBad Vote.
COPS (Community Oriented Policing Services) Funding. This proposed amendment to the Senate version of the budget resolution (Senate Concurrent Resolution 23) states: "It is the sense of the Senate that the levels in this resolution assume that an increase of $1,000,000,000 for fiscal year 2004 for the Department of Justice's community oriented policing program will be provided without reduction and consistent with previous appropriated and authorized levels." This amendment was introduced because the president had only requested $164 million for the COPS program for fiscal 2004. Adoption of this amendment would express the sense of the Senate that funding for the COPS program should be continued at the same level as for fiscal years 2002 and 2003, $1 billion per year.

The Senate rejected this amendment on March 21, 2003 by a vote of 48 to 52 (Roll Call 78). We have assigned pluses to the nays because federal aid to local police forces invites federal control and is unconstitutional.



On the Amendment S.Amdt. 260 to S. 3 (Partial-Birth Abortion Ban Act of 2003): To express the sense of the Senate concerning the decision of the Supreme Court in Roe v. Wade.
Vote Date: March 12, 2003Vote: AYEBad Vote.
Roe v. Wade Support. This proposed amendment to the Partial-Birth Abortion Ban (S. 3) states: "It is the sense of the Senate that -- (1) the decision of the Supreme Court in Roe v. Wade (410 U.S. 113 (1973)) was appropriate and secures an important constitutional right; and (2) such a decision should not be overturned." Since this amendment supporting Roe v. Wade was adopted, we have opted to score the vote on this amendment rather than the vote on the resulting, severely compromised, Senate bill to ban partial-birth abortion.

The Senate adopted this amendment on March 12, 2003 by a vote of 52 to 46 (Roll Call 48). We have assigned pluses to the nays because Roe v. Wade should be overturned on the basis that all forms of abortion constitute the murder of unborn children -- and that the Supreme Court was overstepping its proper authority by "legalizing" abortion in the first place.



On the Resolution of Ratification Treaty Doc. 107-8: The Treaty Between the United States of America and the Russian Federation on Strategic Offensive Reductions, Signed at Moscow on May 24, 2002
Vote Date: March 6, 2003Vote: AYEBad Vote.
Moscow Treaty. This treaty, known as the "Moscow Treaty," would require both the United States and Russia to reduce their respective nuclear stockpiles to between 1,700 and 2,200 warheads by 2012. This treaty is a continuation of the decades-old U.S. program for "general and complete disarmament" originally proposed in the 1961 State Department document Freedom From War. Under that plan, the goal is to disarm all countries, including the U.S., to "a point where no state would have the military power to challenge the progressively strengthened U.N. Peace Force."

The Senate ratified the Moscow Treaty on March 6, 2003 by a vote of 95 to 0 (Roll Call 43). We have assigned minuses to the yeas because the Moscow Treaty is just one more step in a UN disarmament process that would culminate in the complete loss of our national sovereignty.



On the Conference Report H.J.Res. 2: Joint Resolution making consolidated appropriations for the fiscal year ending September 30, 2003, and for other purposes.
Vote Date: February 13, 2003Vote: AYEBad Vote.
Fiscal 2003 Omnibus Appropriations. The final version (conference report) of House Joint Resolution 2 would provide $397 billion in fiscal 2003 for all Cabinet departments and government agencies covered in 11 unfinished spending bills from the 107th Congress. The bills included are: Agriculture, Commerce-Justice-State, District of Columbia, Energy and Water Development, Foreign Operations, Interior, Labor-HHS-Education, Legislative Branch, Transportation, Treasury-Postal Service, and VA-HUD. The problem with the omnibus approach is that thousands of unconstitutional activities are lumped together with legitimate legislation in one massive bill. Thus, big government is perpetuated with a minimum of accountability.

The Senate adopted the conference report on H. J. Res. 2 on February 13, 2003 by a vote of 76 to 20 (Roll Call 34). We have assigned pluses to the nays because this bill perpetuates huge amounts of unconstitutional federal spending.



On the Joint Resolution H.J.Res. 114: A joint resolution to authorize the use of United States Armed Forces against Iraq.
Vote Date: October 11, 2002Vote: NAYGood Vote.
War Authorization Against Iraq. This joint resolution (House Joint Resolution 114) authorizes the president "to use the Armed Forces of the United States as he determines to be necessary and appropriate in order to — (1) defend the national security of the United States against the continuing threat posed by Iraq; and (2) enforce all relevant United Nations Security Council resolutions regarding Iraq." However, since the Constitution gives Congress the sole responsibility for declaring war, this resolution represents congressional abdication of its responsibility.

Furthermore, the main thrust of the joint resolution is that the president is authorized to use the Armed Forces of the United States to "strictly enforce through the United Nations Security Council all relevant Security Council resolutions regarding Iraq." That is, the purpose of the resolution is to enforce UN Security Council dictates.

The Senate passed the resolution on October 11, 2002 by a vote of 77 to 23 (Roll Call 237). Because the Senate adopted the identical measure the House had passed the previous day, the Senate vote completed congressional action. We have assigned pluses to the nays.



On the Motion (Motion to Waive CBA re: Daschle Amdt No. 4481): To provide emergency disaster assistance to agricultural producers.
Vote Date: September 10, 2002Vote: AYEBad Vote.
Agriculture Disaster Aid. During consideration of the appropriations bill for the Interior Department (H.R. 5093), Sen. Tom Daschle (D-S.D.) offered an amendment to provide almost $6 billion in "disaster" aid to farmers affected by drought. This new aid would be in addition to the money provided by the 10-year farm bill enacted last May. That bill will cost $781 billion according to Congressional Budget Office estimates.

Sen. Phil Gramm (R-Texas) raised a point of order against Daschle's amendment on the basis of Budget Act restrictions. Daschle moved to waive the Budget Act with respect to his amendment, and his motion was agreed to on September 10, 2002 by a vote of 79 to 16 (Roll Call 212). We have assigned pluses to the nays. The Senate subsequently agreed to Daschle's amendment by voice vote.



On the Amendment S.Amdt. 4492 to S.Amdt. 4491 to S.Amdt. 4471 to H.R. 5005: To amend title 49, United States Code, to improve flight and cabin security on passenger aircraft.
Vote Date: September 5, 2002Vote: AYEGood Vote.
Arming Commercial Pilots. During consideration of the bill to establish a cabinet-level Homeland Security Department (H.R. 5005), Sen. Barbara Boxer (D-Calif.) offered an amendment that would establish a voluntary program to deputize qualified commercial pilots, who would then be allowed to be armed.

The Senate adopted the amendment on September 5, 2002 by a vote of 87 to 6 (Roll Call 210). We have assigned pluses to the yeas.



On the Conference Report H.R. 3009: A bill to extend the Andean Trade Preference Act, to grant additional trade benefits under that Act, and for other purposes.
Vote Date: August 1, 2002Vote: AYEBad Vote.
Trade Promotion Authority. The final version (conference report) of H.R. 3009 would give President Bush Trade Promotion Authority (TPA) for congressional consideration of trade agreements reached before June 1, 2005. President Bush has made it abundantly clear that he intends to use TPA to complete negotiations on the Free Trade Area of the Americas (FTAA) by early 2005. The FTAA could be modeled after the EU, but is designed to evolve toward a full-blown regional government at a greatly accelerated pace.

The Senate adopted the conference report on August 1, 2002 by a vote of 64 to 34 (Roll Call 207). We have assigned pluses to the nays.



On the Motion (Motion to Waive CBA re: Graham Amdt. No. 4345): To amend title XVIII of the Social Security Act to provide protection for all medicare beneficiaries against the costs of prescription drugs.
Vote Date: July 31, 2002Vote: AYEBad Vote.
Prescription Drug Plan. After the Senate rejected Sen. Bob Graham's (D-Fla.) Democratic proposal to establish a prescription drug plan (see Senate bill below), Graham worked out a scaled-down, "compromise" version of his plan with Republican Sen. Gordon Smith (R-Ore.)

[ During consideration of the drug patents bill (S. 812), Sen. Bob Graham (D-Fla.) offered an amendment "to provide coverage of outpatient prescription drugs under the Medicare program." As summarized by Congressional Quarterly, the drug prescription plan "would cover the vast majority of drug costs for low-income elderly and those who spend $4,000 or more a year on prescription drugs. But all seniors would receive at least a 5 percent discount." The total cost would be an estimated $400 billion over 10 years.

Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) raised a point of order against Graham's amendment on the basis of Budget Act restrictions. Sen. Ted Kennedy (D-Mass.) moved to waive the Budget Act with respect to Graham's amendment, but Kennedy's motion was rejected on July 23, 2002 by a vote of 52 to 47 (Roll Call 186). ]

Sen. William Frist (R-Tenn.) raised a point of order against the Graham/Smith compromise amendment on the basis of Budget Act restrictions. Graham moved to waive the Budget Act with respect to the Graham/Smith amendment, but his motion was rejected on July 31, 2002 by a vote of 49 to 50 (Roll Call 199). We have assigned pluses to the nays.



On the Motion (Motion to Waive CBA re: Rockefeller Amdt. No. 4316): To provide temporary State fiscal relief.
Vote Date: July 25, 2002Vote: AYEBad Vote.
Medical Assistance. Sen. John Rockefeller IV (D-W.V.) offered an amendment to another amendment to the drug patents bill to increase Medicaid and social service funding by $9 billion.

Sen. Phil Gramm (R-Texas) raised a point of order against Rockefeller's amendment on the basis of Budget Act restrictions. Sen. Harry Reid (D-Nev.) moved to waive the Budget Act with respect to Rockefeller's amendment, and Reid's motion was agreed to on July 25, 2002 by a vote of 75 to 24 (Roll Call 190). We have assigned pluses to the nays.



On the Motion (Motion to Waive CBA re: Graham Amdt. No. 4309): To amend title XVIII of the Social Security Act to provide coverage of outpatient prescription drugs under the medicare program.
Vote Date: July 23, 2002Vote: AYEBad Vote.
Prescription Drug Plan. During consideration of the drug patents bill (S. 812), Sen. Bob Graham (D-Fla.) offered an amendment "to provide coverage of outpatient prescription drugs under the Medicare program." As summarized by Congressional Quarterly, the drug prescription plan "would cover the vast majority of drug costs for low-income elderly and those who spend $4,000 or more a year on prescription drugs. But all seniors would receive at least a 5 percent discount." The total cost would be an estimated $400 billion over 10 years.

Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) raised a point of order against Graham's amendment on the basis of Budget Act restrictions. Sen. Ted Kennedy (D-Mass.) moved to waive the Budget Act with respect to Graham's amendment, but Kennedy's motion was rejected on July 23, 2002 by a vote of 52 to 47 (Roll Call 186). A three-fifths majority vote of the total Senate is needed to waive the Budget Act. We have assigned pluses to the nays.



On the Motion to Proceed S.J.Res. 34: A joint resolution approving the site at Yucca Mountain, Nevada, for the development of a repository for the disposal of high-level radioactive waste and spent nuclear fuel, pursuant to the Nuclear Waste Policy Act of 1982.
Vote Date: July 9, 2002Vote: NAYBad Vote.
Nuclear Waste Storage. This measure (Senate Joint Resolution 34) would approve the federal site at Yucca Mountain, Nevada, for developing a national repository for disposing high-level radioactive waste and spent nuclear fuel. The amount of waste produced by nuclear energy is so small compared to the amount of energy generated that nuclear power plants have been able to store decades worth of spent fuel on-site. Yet a national repository is needed for the accumulating spent fuel.

The Senate on July 9, 2002 voted 60 to 39 for a motion to consider the measure (Roll Call 167). We have assigned pluses to the yeas.



On the Amendment S.Amdt. 3927 to S. 2514 (National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2003): To restore a previous policy regarding restrictions on use of Department of Defense facilities.
Vote Date: June 21, 2002Vote: AYEBad Vote.
Military Abortions. During consideration of the defense authorization bill (S. 2514), Sen. Patty Murray (D-Wash.) offered an amendment to allow U.S. servicewomen and military dependents to obtain abortions at overseas U.S. military hospitals.

The Senate adopted the amendment on June 21, 2002 by a vote of 52 to 40 (Roll Call 160). We have assigned pluses to the nays.



On Passage of the Bill S. 2600: A bill to ensure the continued financial capacity of insurers to provide coverage for risks from terrorism.
Vote Date: June 18, 2002Vote: AYEBad Vote.
Terrorism Insurance. This bill (S. 2600) would create a new federal program for assuming much of the recovery costs from future, catastrophic terrorist attacks. The federal program would cover "80 percent of that portion of the amount of aggregate insured losses that ... exceeds the participating insurance company deductible required to be paid for those insured losses" up to $10 billion, and 90 percent of such losses between $10 billion and $100 billion. The program would terminate one year after the bill's enactment, unless the treasury secretary decides to extend it for an additional year. The Senate passed the bill on June 18, 2002 by a vote of 84 to 14 (Roll Call 157).

We have assigned pluses to the nays.



On the Motion (Motion to Waive CBA re: Gramm Amdt. No. 3833): To permanently repeal the death tax.
Vote Date: June 12, 2002Vote: AYEGood Vote.
Estate Tax Elimination. Last year's $1.35 trillion, 10-year tax-reduction package phases out the estate tax (a.k.a. the death tax), finally ending it in 2010. But this and other cuts in the bill are sunset after 2010, meaning that the cuts will be reversed in 2011 unless Congress makes the cuts permanent. This year, Sen. Phil Gramm (R-Texas) offered an amendment to H.R. 8 to eliminate permanently the estate tax.

Sen. Kent Conrad (D-N.D.) raised a point of order against Gramm's amendment on the basis of Budget Act restrictions. Gramm moved to waive the Budget Act with respect to his amendment, but his motion was rejected on June 12, 2002 by a vote of 54 to 44 (Roll Call 151). A three-fifths majority vote of the total Senate is needed to waive the Budget Act. We have assigned pluses to the yeas.



On Passage of the Bill S. 2578: A bill to amend title 31 of the United States Code to increase the public debt limit.
Vote Date: June 11, 2002Vote: AYEBad Vote.
Debt Limit Increase. This bill (S. 2578) would increase the legal limit on the national debt by $450 billion, from $5.95 trillion to $6.4 trillion. The Senate passed S. 2578 on June 11, 2002 by a vote of 68 to 29 (Roll Call 148).

We have assigned pluses to the nays.



On Passage of the Bill H.R. 4775: A bill making supplemental appropriations for the fiscal year ending September 30, 2002, and for other purposes.
Vote Date: June 7, 2002Vote: AYEBad Vote.
Supplemental Appropriations. The fiscal 2002 supplemental appropriations bill (H.R. 4775) would provide $31.5 billion for "further recovery from and response to terrorist attacks" for the fiscal year ending September 30th, including $14 billion for the Defense Department, $5.8 billion for homeland security programs, and $5.5 billion for New York City post-September 11th recovery efforts. The bill, which is $1.4 billion more expensive than the House-passed version according to the budget committees, would also fund programs unrelated to the terrorist attacks, such as $2.5 million for mapping Hawaiian Coral Reefs. Supplemental appropriations are in addition to the funding already provided through the regular appropriations process.

The Senate passed the bill on June 7, 2002 by a vote of 71 to 22 (Roll Call 145). We have assigned pluses to the nays.



On the Motion to Table S.Amdt. 3635 to H.R. 4775 (2002 Supplemental Appropriations Act for Further Recovery From and Response to Terrorist Attacks on the United States): To strike the amount provided for the National Defense Center of Excellence for Research in Ocean Sciences.
Vote Date: June 6, 2002Vote: AYEBad Vote.
Coral Reef Mapping. Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) offered an amendment to the supplemental appropriations bill to strike provisions earmarking $2.5 million for mapping the coral reefs in Hawaii. Noting the bill's title ("Making supplemental appropriations for further recovery from and response to terrorist attacks..."), McCain argued: "I knew of many devastating effects of the terrorist attacks on our homeland. I did not know of any disruption of the coral reefs in Hawaii associated with the terrorist attacks...."

A motion to table (kill) McCain's amendment was agreed to on June 6, 2002 by a vote of 65 to 31 (Roll Call 137). We have assigned pluses to the nays.



On the Motion to Table S.Amdt. 3704 to H.R. 4775 (2002 Supplemental Appropriations Act for Further Recovery From and Response to Terrorist Attacks on the United States): To strike the appropriation for Agricultural Research Service buildings and facilities.
Vote Date: June 6, 2002Vote: AYEBad Vote.
Agricultural Research Service. Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) introduced an amendment to the fiscal 2002 supplemental appropriations bill to strike a provision that would provide $50 million for Agricultural Research Service (ARS) buildings and facilities at the National Animal Disease Laboratory in Ames, Iowa. McCain said that his amendment "would remove extraneous items from the supplemental and emergency appropriations bill." He also pointed out that the additional $50 million was not needed since $90 million had already been provided for the same purpose for fiscal 2002.

A motion to table (kill) McCain's amendment was agreed to on June 6, 2002 by a vote of 72 to 24 (Roll Call 138). We have assigned pluses to the nays.



On the Amendment S.Amdt. 3597 to H.R. 4775 (2002 Supplemental Appropriations Act for Further Recovery From and Response to Terrorist Attacks on the United States): To add the American Servicemembers' Protection Act of 2002.
Vote Date: June 6, 2002Vote: AYEGood Vote.
International Criminal Court. Sen. John Warner (R-Va.) proposed an amendment to add the "American Servicemembers' Protection Act" to the supplemental appropriations bill. Warner argued that his amendment "would protect U.S. military personnel and other elected and appointed officials of the U.S. Government against potential criminal prosecution" by the International Criminal Court, a tribunal to which the U.S. is not a party. The amendment would authorize the president to "use all means necessary and proper" to release U.S. servicemen or officials detained by the court.

The Senate adopted Warner's amendment on June 6, 2002 by a vote of 75 to 19 (Roll Call 140). We have assigned pluses to the yeas.



On the Motion (Motion to Waive CBA re: Durbin Amdt. No. 3729): To increase the amount of supplemental appropriations for the Child Survival and Health Programs Fund.
Vote Date: June 6, 2002Vote: AYEBad Vote.
AIDS Funding. The fiscal 2002 supplemental appropriations bill would provide $100 million for an additional U.S. contribution to the Global Fund to Combat AIDS, Tuberculosis, and Malaria. Sen. Richard Durbin (D-Ill.) introduced an amendment to increase the new contribution from $100 million to $500 million. Sen. Ted Stevens (R-Alaska), who opposed the amendment, noted that "we have in this year's budget alone $12.5 billion committed to AIDS."

Sen. Robert Byrd (D-W.V.) raised a point of order against Durbin's amendment on the basis of Budget Act restrictions. Durbin moved to waive the Budget Act with respect to his amendment, but his motion was rejected on June 6, 2002 by a vote of 46 to 49 (Roll Call 141). We have assigned pluses to the nays.



On the Amendment S.Amdt. 3725 to H.R. 4775 (2002 Supplemental Appropriations Act for Further Recovery From and Response to Terrorist Attacks on the United States): To increase the amount provided for the Child Survival and Health Programs Fund, and to impose conditions.
Vote Date: June 6, 2002Vote: AYEBad Vote.
AIDS Funding. After rejecting Durbin's amendment to provide $500 million instead of $100 million in new funding for the Global Fund to Combat AIDS, Tuberculosis, and Malaria (see Senate Amendment below), the Senate considered an amendment by Sen. Jesse Helms (R-N.C.) to make $200 million available for that purpose.

[ Durbin's amendment: The fiscal 2002 supplemental appropriations bill would provide $100 million for an additional U.S. contribution to the Global Fund to Combat AIDS, Tuberculosis, and Malaria. Sen. Richard Durbin (D-Ill.) introduced an amendment to increase the new contribution from $100 million to $500 million. Sen. Ted Stevens (R-Alaska), who opposed the amendment, noted that "we have in this year's budget alone $12.5 billion committed to AIDS." ]

The Senate adopted Helms' amendment on June 6, 2002 by a vote of 79 to 14 (Roll Call 142). We have assigned pluses to the nays.



On the Motion (Motion to Waive CBA re: Kennedy Amdt. No. 3608, as modified): To provide emergency school funding.
Vote Date: June 5, 2002Vote: AYEBad Vote.
Summer School Programs. Sen. Ted Kennedy (D-Mass.) offered an amendment to the supplemental appropriations bill to provide $150 million in "emergency summer school funding" for the fiscal year ending September 30th. This funding would be in addition to the education funding already made available for the fiscal year.

Sen. Robert Byrd (D-W.V.) raised a point of order against Kennedy's amendment on the basis of Budget Act restrictions. Kennedy moved to waive the Budget Act with respect to his amendment, but his motion was rejected on June 5, 2002 by a vote of 38 to 60 (Roll Call 132). We have assigned pluses to the nays.



On the Amendment S.Amdt. 3557 to H.R. 4775 (2002 Supplemental Appropriations Act for Further Recovery From and Response to Terrorist Attacks on the United States): To strike section 1004 of the bill.
Vote Date: June 4, 2002Vote: AYEBad Vote.
Airline Bailout. The supplemental appropriations bill for fiscal 2002 (H.R. 4775) contained a provision that would have capped the amount of federal loan guarantees available to airlines for the remainder of the fiscal year. The Congressional Budget Office estimated that this provision would have lowered the total cost of the bill by $393 million in fiscal 2002.

Sen. Robert Byrd (D-W.V.) introduced an amendment to strike this provision of the bill. The Senate adopted his amendment on June 4, 2002 by a vote of 91 to 4 (Roll Call 131). We have assigned pluses to the nays.



On Passage of the Bill H.R. 3009: A bill to extend the Andean Trade Preference Act, to grant additional trade benefits under that Act, and for other purposes.
Vote Date: May 23, 2002Vote: AYEBad Vote.
Trade Promotion Authority. This bill would authorize Trade Promotion Authority (TPA), formerly known as fast-track authority, for President Bush. (See description below for a summary of TPA).

[ Trade Promotion Authority. This bill (H.R. 3005) would give President Bush Trade Promotion Authority (TPA), formerly known as fast-track authority, to negotiate so-called free trade agreements. Under the TPA rules, Congress would only be allowed to vote yes or no on any free trade agreements presented to it by the Bush administration. President Bush has repeatedly stated that he would use TPA to complete negotiations for a Free Trade Area of the Americas (FTAA) by the end of his first term. Under the guise of "free trade," the FTAA would put us on the path to loss of sovereignty in a regional government of the Western Hemisphere, in the same manner that European nations are now losing sovereignty to the EU. ]

The Senate-passed version of the bill (H.R. 3009) was broader than the House-passed bill by not only including TPA but extending trade preferences for four Andean nations and substantially expanding federal Trade Adjustment Assistance (TAA), including new medical insurance subsidies for workers who lose their jobs to foreign competition. The TAA benefits expansion would cost an estimated $12 billion over 10 years.

The Senate passed H.R. 3009 on May 23, 2002 by a vote of 66 to 30 (Roll Call 130). We have assigned pluses to the nays.



On Passage of the Bill H.R. 3167: A bill to endorse the vision of further enlargement of the NATO Alliance articulated by President George W. Bush on June 15, 2001, and by former President William J. Clinton on October 22, 1996, and for other purposes.
Vote Date: May 17, 2002Vote: AYEBad Vote.
NATO Expansion. This bill (H.R. 3167) supports President Bush's plans to further expand NATO and authorizes military assistance to several countries in the former Soviet bloc. NATO (the North Atlantic Treaty Organization) was established as a regional arrangement under the United Nations for the ostensible purpose of containing Communism. Now that "post-Soviet" Russia is a partner in NATO, that rationale no longer applies. But NATO is still useful to the world order architects by providing the means to deploy troops for UN missions without placing those troops directly under the UN. It also commits the U.S. to defend any NATO member that is attacked.

The Senate passed H.R. 3167 on May 17, 2002 by a vote of 85 to6 (Roll Call 116). We have assigned pluses to the nays.



On the Motion to Table S.Amdt. 3408 to S.Amdt. 3401 to H.R. 3009 (Trade Act of 2002): To limit the application of trade authorities procedures.
Vote Date: May 14, 2002Vote: NAYGood Vote.
Trade Promotion Authority. During consideration of the Trade Promotion Authority bill (H.R. 3009), Senator Mark Dayton (D-Minn.), in an effort to retain congressional power and preserve sovereignty, offered an amendment to enable a simple majority of senators to remove from fast-track authority any trade agreement provisions limiting U.S. trade remedy laws (e.g., anti-dumping measures). Under fast-track procedures, now called Trade Promotion Authority, senators must accept or reject entire trade agreements (without amendment) presented by the president.

The Senate rejected a motion to table (kill) Dayton's amendment on May 14, 2002 by a vote of 38 to 61 (Roll Call 110). We have assigned pluses to the nays.



On the Conference Report H.R. 2646: To provide for the continuation of agricultural programs through fiscal year 2007, and for other purposes.
Vote Date: May 8, 2002Vote: AYEBad Vote.
Farm Bill. The final version (conference report) of H.R. 2646 amends and extends the major farm income support, land conservation, food assistance, trade promotion, rural development, research, forestry, and energy programs administered by the U.S. Department of Agriculture. When combined with estimated spending already authorized prior to enactment of this law, the Congressional Budget Office estimates that "H.R. 2646 will bring total spending for the above programs to $73.7 billion in 2002 ... and $869.3 billion over the 2002-2012 period. Of these totals, food assistance programs account for $51.3 billion in 2002 ... and $626.8 billion over the 2002-2012 period." Constitutionalists have denounced H.R. 2646 because it repudiates free-market principles and authorizes vast amounts of unconstitutional spending.

The Senate passed the final version (conference report) of the farm bill (H.R. 2646) May 8, 2002 by a vote of 64 to 35 (Roll Call 103). We have assigned pluses to the nays.



On the Motion to Table S.Amdt. 3198 to S.Amdt. 2917 to S. 517 (National Laboratories Partnership Improvement Act of 2001): To decrease the United States dependence on imported oil by the year 2015.
Vote Date: April 25, 2002Vote: NAYBad Vote.
Automobile Fuel Consumption. During consideration of the energy bill (S. 517), Senator Tom Carper (D-Del.) offered an amendment to require new regulations for automobiles manufactured after model year 2006 to reduce oil consumption by at least one million barrels per day by 2015. Carper's amendment didn't specify how this objective would be achieved; possibilities include raising the Corporate Average Fuel Economy (CAFE) standards or requiring alternative fuels.

The Senate tabled (killed) the Carper amendment on April 25, 2002 by a vote of 57 to 42 (Roll Call 90). We have assigned pluses to the yeas.



On the Motion to Table S.Amdt. 3333 to S.Amdt. 2917 to S. 517 (National Laboratories Partnership Improvement Act of 2001): To strike the provisions relating to alternative vehicles and fuels incentives.
Vote Date: April 25, 2002Vote: AYEBad Vote.
Alternative Vehicles. During consideration of the energy bill (S. 517), Senator Jon Kyl (R-Ariz.) offered an amendment to "strike the provisions relating to alternative vehicles and fuels incentives." Those provisions would provide $2.1 billion in credits for Americans who buy fuel cell, hybrid, and alternative fuel vehicles. The credit would vary depending on the vehicle; the average credit for an alternative fuel vehicle would be about $5,000.

The Senate tabled (killed) the Kyl amendment on April 25, 2002 by a vote of 91 to 8 (Roll Call 91). We have assigned pluses to the nays.



On Passage of the Bill S. 565: A bill to require States and localities to meet uniform and nondiscriminatory election technology and administration requirements applicable to Federal elections, to establish grant programs to provide assistance to States and localities to met those requirements and to improve election technology and the administration of Federal elections, to establish the Election Administration Commission, and for other purposes.
Vote Date: April 11, 2002Vote: AYEBad Vote.
Elections. The Senate-passed version of this legislation (S. 565) -- like the House-passed version would overhaul the nation's election procedures, including authorizing $400 million in one-time payments for states and counties to replace or upgrade punch card voting machines. The bill would also authorize $2.25 billion for states over three years to improve the administration of elections and mandate "minimum" federal election standards. This intervention by Congress in state elections threatens our federal system. According to Article 1, Section 4 of the Constitution, Congress is authorized to alter state election procedures for federal offices: "The times, places and manner of holding elections, for Senators and Representatives, shall be prescribed in each State by the legislature thereof, but the Congress may at any time by law make or alter such regulations...." However, Founder Alexander Hamilton asserted that Congress should only use this authority to "make or alter such regulations" in "extraordinary circumstances."

The Senate passed S. 565 on April 11, 2002 by a vote of 99 to 1 (Roll Call 65). We have assigned a plus to the lone nay.



On Passage of the Bill H.R. 2356: A bill to amend the Federal Election Campaign Act of 1971 to provide bipartisan campaign reform.
Vote Date: March 20, 2002Vote: AYEBad Vote.
Campaign Financing. This bill (H.R. 2356) would restrict our God-given right of free speech through banning "soft money" donations to national political parties and preventing issue ads from mentioning specific candidates within 60 days of a general election or 30 days of a primary. In contrast, the First Amendment to the Constitution states: "Congress shall make no law ... abridging the freedom of speech...."

The Senate passed H.R. 2356 on March 20, 2002 by a vote of 60 to 40 (Roll Call 54). We have assigned pluses to the nays.



On the Amendment S.Amdt. 2980 to S.Amdt. 2917 to S. 517 (National Laboratories Partnership Improvement Act of 2001): To prohibit the issuance of any permit which would authorize the transport of Alaska North Slope natural gas via a pipeline running offshore in the Beaufort Sea between Alaska and Canada.
Vote Date: March 6, 2002Vote: AYEBad Vote.
Alaskan Pipeline. During consideration of the energy bill (S. 517), Senator Tom Daschle (D-S.D.) offered an amendment to prohibit constructing a natural gas pipeline eastward from the Prudhoe Bay area through the adjacent coastal area of the energy-rich Alaska National Wildlife Refuge and on into Canada and the lower forty-eight states. This amendment would in effect mandate that the already-proposed natural gas pipeline from Prudhoe Bay to the lower forty-eight be constructed south from Prudhoe Bay through the Fairbanks area before entering Canada. Daschle argued that the southern route through Fairbanks would "avoid the environmental pitfalls that construction could have on the fragile northern Alaska environment." Senator Don Nickles (R-Okla.) opposed this Daschle amendment: "I would like to think we believe in the free market system enough to where we would let the marketplace decide what is the best route, what is the most economical route, what is the route that will do the least environmental damage ."

The Senate adopted Daschle's amendment on March 6, 2002 by a vote of 93 to 5 (Roll Call 41). We have assigned pluses to the nays.



On the Amendment S.Amdt. 2850 to S.Amdt. 2471 to S. 1731 (Agriculture, Conservation, and Rural Enhancement Act of 2001): To express the sense of the Senate that the repeal of the estate tax should be made permanent by eliminating the sunset provision's applicability to the estate tax.
Vote Date: February 13, 2002Vote: AYEGood Vote.
Estate Tax. The tax-cut reconciliation bill enacted in 2001 phases out the estate tax, finally abolishing it in 2010. Unfortunately, this and the other tax-cut provisions in the bill are sunset after 2010, meaning that the tax cuts will be reversed in 2011 unless Congress acts to make the cuts permanent. During consideration of the farm bill (S. 1731), Senator Jon Kyl (R-Ariz.) offered an amendment to express the sense of the Senate that the estate tax's repeal be made permanent. The farm bill is an appropriate vehicle for this "sense of the Senate" amendment since the estate tax, aka the death tax, has been responsible for liquidating family farms and other small privately owned businesses asset "rich" but cash poor.

The Senate adopted Kyl's amendment on February 13, 2002 by a vote of 56 to 42 (Roll Call 28). We have assigned pluses to the yeas.



On Passage of the Bill H.R. 2646: To provide for the continuation of agricultural programs through fiscal year 2007, and for other purposes.
Vote Date: February 13, 2002Vote: AYEBad Vote.
Farm Bill. The Senate version of the farm bill (S. 1731) would authorize $578.5 billion over 10 years for federal agriculture programs, including $73.4 billion in new spending above the Congressional Budget Office baseline.

Prior to voting on final passage, the Senate effectively adopted the House bill number (H.R. 2646) for the farm bill. The Senate passed its version of the legislation on February 13, 2002 by a vote of 58 to 40 (Roll Call 30). We have assigned pluses to the nays.



On the Motion (Motion to Waive CBA re: Baucus Amdt No. 2839): To provide emergency agriculture assistance.
Vote Date: February 12, 2002Vote: AYEBad Vote.
Agriculture Emergency Assistance. During consideration of the farm bill (S. 1731), Senator Max Baucus (D-Mont.) offered an amendment to add an additional $2.4 billion to the bill for emergency agriculture assistance for (in Baucus' words) "farmers who suffered disasters in 2001."

A point of order was raised against Baucus' amendment on the basis of Budget Act restrictions. The Senate waived the Budget Act with respect to Baucus' amendment on February 12, 2002 by a vote of 69 to 30 (Roll Call 251). We have assigned pluses to the nays.



On the Conference Report H.R. 3061: A bill making appropriations for the Departments of Labor, Health and Human Services, and Education, and related agencies for the fiscal year ending September 30, 2002, and for other purposes.
Vote Date: December 20, 2001Vote: AYEBad Vote.
Labor-HHS-Education Appropriations. The final version (conference report) of H.R. 3061 would appropriate $407.7 billion for fiscal 2002 for the Labor, Health and Human Services (HHS), and Education departments, including $123.4 billion in "discretionary" spending. This bill would provide more than $51 billion for federal aid to education, including funding for the education overhaul bill (H.R. 1) with its new annual state testing program. Total spending for HHS would increase by nearly 14 percent over fiscal 2001. The Education department would receive 15 percent more than last year.

The Senate adopted the conference report on December 20, 2001 by a vote of 90 to 7 (Roll Call 378). We have assigned pluses to the nays.



On the Conference Report H.R. 1: A bill to close the achievement gap with accountability, flexibility, and choice, so that no child is left behind.
Vote Date: December 18, 2001Vote: AYEBad Vote.
Education. Education. The final version (conference report) of H.R. 1 would overhaul education proposals to increase school accountability and reauthorize the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA) for six years. This bill would require states to test students in reading and math in grades three through eight annually, provide new accountability measures for schools that fail to make adequate yearly progress, and give schools greater flexibility to spend federal funds. It would include about $26.3 billion for federal elementary and secondary education programs and $13.5 billion for Title I programs for disadvantaged children in fiscal 2002. According to Rep. Ron Paul (R-Texas): "H.R. I will lead to de facto, if not de jure, national testing.... Under the United States Constitution, the federal government has no authority to hold states 'accountable' for their education performance. In the free society envisioned by the founders, schools are held accountable to parents, not federal bureaucrats...."

The Senate adopted the conference report on December 18, 2001 by a vote of 87 to 10 (Roll Call 371). We have assigned pluses to the nays.



On the Motion to Table S.Amdt. 2472 to S.Amdt. 2471 to S. 1731 (Agriculture, Conservation, and Rural Enhancement Act of 2001): To replace the provision relating to the national dairy program with the provision from the bill passed by the House of Representatives.
Vote Date: December 11, 2001Vote: AYEBad Vote.
Dairy Subsidies. During consideration of the farm bill (S. 1731), Senator Michael Crapo (R-Idaho) offered an amendment that would have eliminated the bill's $2 billion subsidy program for dairy farmers.

The Senate tabled (killed) Crapo's amendment on December 11, 2001 by a vote of 51 to 47 (Roll Call 362). We have assigned pluses to the nays.



On the Amendment S.Amdt. 2337 to H.R. 3338 (Department of Defense and Emergency Supplemental Appropriations for Recovery from and Response to Terrorist Attacks on the United States Act, 2002): With respect to the protection of United States interests and the interest of American citizens and service members as it relates to the establishment of an International Criminal Court.
Vote Date: December 7, 2001Vote: AYEBad Vote.
International Criminal Court. During consideration of the Defense appropriations bill (H.R. 3338), Senator Jesse Helms (R-N.C.) offered an amendment to protect U.S. military personnel and officials against prosecution "by an international criminal court to which the United States is not a party." His amendment would prohibit U.S. cooperation with the ICC and restrict U.S. involvement in peacekeeping missions unless the UN exempts U.S. soldiers from ICC prosecution. It would also authorize the president to rescue U.S. soldiers improperly handed over to the ICC.

Prior to voting on this amendment, the Senate considered an amendment by Christopher Dodd (D-Conn.) that would have gutted Helms' amendment. Dodd's amendment stated that anyone who "commits crimes against humanity should be brought to justice" and that the president should have "the ability to cooperate with foreign tribunals and other international legal entities...."

The Senate rejected Dodd's amendment on December 7, 2001 by a vote of 48 to 51 (Roll Call 358). We have assigned pluses to the nays.



On the Amendment S.Amdt. 2336 to H.R. 3338 (Department of Defense and Emergency Supplemental Appropriations for Recovery from and Response to Terrorist Attacks on the United States Act, 2002): To protect United States military personnel and other elected appointed officials of the United States Government against criminal prosecution by an international criminal court to which the United States is not a party.
Vote Date: December 7, 2001Vote: AYEGood Vote.
International Criminal Court. The Helms amendment offered an amendment to protect U.S. military personnel and officials against prosecution "by an international criminal court to which the United States is not a party." His amendment would prohibit U.S. cooperation with the ICC and restrict U.S. involvement in peacekeeping missions unless the UN exempts U.S. soldiers from ICC prosecution. It would also authorize the president to rescue U.S. soldiers improperly handed over to the ICC.

The Helms amendment was adopted on December 7, 2001 by a vote of 78 to 21 (Roll Call 359). We have assigned pluses to the yeas.



On the Conference Report H.R. 2330: A bill making appropriations for Agriculture, Rural Development, Food and Drug Administration, and Related Agencies programs for the fiscal year ending September 30, 2002, and for other purposes.
Vote Date: November 15, 2001Vote: AYEBad Vote.
Agriculture Appropriations. The final version (conference report) of H.R. 2330 would appropriate $75.9 billion for agriculture programs in fiscal 2002. This unconstitutional spending includes $31.9 billion for agricultural programs including crop subsidies, $23 billion for the food stamp program, $10.1 billion for child nutrition programs, and $1.1 billion for foreign food aid and export assistance.

The Senate adopted the conference report on November 15, 2001 by a vote of 92 to 7 (Roll Call 339). We have assigned pluses to the nays.



On the Conference Report H.R. 2620: A bill making appropriations for the Departments of Veterans Affairs and Housing and Urban Development, and for sundry independent agencies, boards, commissions, corporations, and offices for the fiscal year ending September 30, 2002, and for other purposes.
Vote Date: November 8, 2001Vote: AYEBad Vote.
VA-HUD Appropriations. The final version (conference report) of H.R. 2620 would appropriate $112.7 billion for the Departments of Veterans Affairs and Housing and Urban Development and 20 independent agencies in fiscal 2002. HUD's portion is $30 billion. The agencies include NASA, the EPA, and FEMA. Congressmen arguing that they voted for this legislation to preserve VA programs should have voted against it, insisting that the myriad (and often unconstitutional) spending programs it contains be divided into separate parts, allowing for a vote on each.

The Senate adopted the conference report on November 8, 2001 by a vote of 87 to 7 (Roll Call 334). We have assigned pluses to the nays.



On Passage of the Bill H.R. 3061: A bill making appropriations for the Departments of Labor, Health and Human Services, and Education, and related agencies for the fiscal year ending September 30, 2002, and for other purposes.
Vote Date: November 6, 2001Vote: AYEBad Vote.
Labor-HHS-Education Appropriations. The Senate version of this mammoth spending bill (H.R. 3061) would appropriate $407.6 billion in fiscal 2002, including $123.1 billion in "discretionary spending," for the Labor, Health and Human Services, and Education Departments, and related agencies. The spending includes $302.7 billion for HHS and $51.2 billion for the Education Department. Total spending would increase by nearly 12 percent over the previous fiscal year ($365 billion).

The Senate passed H.R. 3061 on November 6, 2001 by a vote of 89 to 10 (Roll Call 324). We have assigned pluses to the nays.



On Passage of the Bill H.R. 3162: A bill to deter and punish terrorist acts in the United States and around the world, to enhance law enforcement investigatory tools, and for other purposes.
Vote Date: October 25, 2001Vote: AYEBad Vote.
Anti-Terrorism Authority. The Senate adopted the House version of the anti-terrorism bill (H.R. 3162) without amendment on October 25, 2001.

H.R. 3162, known as the "USA Patriot Act," was passed by the House on October 24th, passed by the Senate the next day, and signed into law the day after that. The Act, introduced in response to the September 11th terrorist attacks, gives law enforcement and intelligence agencies vast new powers to combat terrorism. It expands the list of crimes deemed terrorist acts; increases the ability of law enforcement to secretly search homes and business records; expands the FBI's wiretapping and surveillance authority; and provides for nationwide jurisdiction for search warrants and electronic surveillance devices, including the legal extension of those devices to e-mail and the Internet. The bill includes a "sunset" provision under which the new surveillance powers "shall cease to have effect on December 31, 2005." The very presence of that provision underscores the justifiable concern of some lawmakers that those new powers could be abused.

The vote was 98 to 1 (Roll Call 313). We have assigned a plus to the nay.



On Passage of the Bill H.R. 2330: A bill making appropriations for Agriculture, Rural Development, Food and Drug Administration, and Related Agencies programs for the fiscal year ending September 30, 2002, and for other purposes.
Vote Date: October 25, 2001Vote: AYEBad Vote.
Agriculture Appropriations. The Senate version of H.R. 2330 would appropriate $23 billion for the food stamp program, $1 billion more than in the House bill (see House version below).

[ House Version: H.R. 2330 would appropriate $74.4 billion for agriculture programs in fiscal 2002. The spending includes $31.8 billion for agricultural programs including crop subsidies, $22 billion for the food stamp program, $10.1 billion for child nutrition programs, and $1.1 billion for foreign food aid and export assistance. ]


The Senate passed H.R. 2330 on October 25, 2001 by a vote of 91 to 5 (Roll Call 315). We have assigned pluses to the nays.



On Passage of the Bill H.R. 2506: A bill making appropriations for foreign operations, export financing, and related programs for the fiscal year ending September 30, 2002, and for other purposes.
Vote Date: October 24, 2001Vote: AYEBad Vote.
Foreign Aid. The Senate version of H.R. 2506 would appropriate $15.5 billion for foreign aid programs in fiscal 2002.

The Senate passed H.R. 2506 on October 24, 2001 by a vote of 96 to 2 (Roll Call 312). We have assigned pluses to the nays.



On the Conference Report H.R. 2217: A bill making appropriations for the Department of the Interior and related agencies for the fiscal year ending September 30, 2002, and for other purposes.
Vote Date: October 17, 2001Vote: AYEBad Vote.
Interior Appropriations. The final version (conference report) of H.R. 2217 would appropriate $19.1 billion in fiscal 2002 for the Interior Department and related agencies. The total spending in the bill was slightly higher than that of either the House- or Senate-passed versions of the legislation ($18.9 and $18.7 billion respectively). The Interior appropriations included $1.9 billion for the anti-private property Bureau of Land Management. It also included $125 million for the National Endowment for the Humanities and $115 million for the National Endowment for the Arts.

The Senate adopted the conference report on October 17, 2001 by a vote of 95 to 3 (Roll Call 304). We have assigned pluses to the nays.



On Passage of the Bill S. 1447: A bill to improve aviation security, and for other purposes.
Vote Date: October 11, 2001Vote: AYEBad Vote.
Aviation Security. The Aviation Security Act (S. 1447) would federalize security at airports and make baggage and passenger screeners at the nation's 142 largest airports federal employees. (The attorney general could allow smaller, non-hub airports to use state or local law enforcement personnel.) S. 1447 would also provide for more air marshals on commercial flights and require the strengthening of the cockpit door and locks. And it would impose a $2.50 per passenger surcharge for each flight leg.

The Senate passed S. 1447 on October 11, 2001 by a vote of 100 to 0 (Roll Call 295). We have assigned minuses to the yeas.



On Passage of the Bill S. 1510: A bill to deter and punish terrorist acts in the United States and around the world, to enhance law enforcement investigatory tools, and for other purposes.
Vote Date: October 11, 2001Vote: AYEBad Vote.
Anti-Terrorism Authority. The Senate passed two versions of the antiterrorism bill: S. 1510 and H.R. 3162. The latter became law (see House bill below for a summary of the legislation in its final form) Russ Feingold (D-Wis.), who warned that the bill's new police and surveillance provisions threatened civil liberties, was the only senator to vote against S. 1510 and H.R. 3162.

[ Anti-Terrorism Authority. H.R. 3162, known as the "USA Patriot Act," was passed by the House on October 24th, passed by the Senate the next day, and signed into law the day after that. The Act, introduced in response to the September 11th terrorist attacks, gives law enforcement and intelligence agencies vast new powers to combat terrorism. It expands the list of crimes deemed terrorist acts; increases the ability of law enforcement to secretly search homes and business records; expands the FBI's wiretapping and surveillance authority; and provides for nationwide jurisdiction for search warrants and electronic surveillance devices, including the legal extension of those devices to e-mail and the Internet. The bill includes a "sunset" provision under which the new surveillance powers "shall cease to have effect on December 31, 2005." The very presence of that provision underscores the justifiable concern of some lawmakers that those new powers could be abused. ]

The Senate passed S. 1510 on October 11, 2001 by a vote of 96 to 1 (Roll Call 302). We have assigned a plus to the lone nay.



On Passage of the Bill H.J.Res. 51: A joint resolution approving the extension of nondiscriminatory treatment with respect to the products of the Socialist Republic of Vietnam.
Vote Date: October 3, 2001Vote: AYEBad Vote.
Vietnam Trade. House Joint Resolution 51 would allow the president to grant Normal Trade Relations (formerly Most Favored Nation trade status) to Vietnam on an annual basis. This status would reduce the tariffs on imports from the despotic Communist regime.

The Senate passed H. J. Res. 51 on October 3, 2001 by a vote of 88 to 12 (Roll Call 291). We have assigned pluses to the nays.



On Passage of the Bill S. 1450: A bill to preserve the continued viability of the United States air transportation system.
Vote Date: September 21, 2001Vote: AYEBad Vote.
Airline Bailout. After the September 11th terrorist attacks, the House voted on a bailout for the airline industry known as the Air Transportation Safety and System Stabilization Act (H.R. 2926). This Act would provide $5 billion in cash, and up to $10 billion in loan guarantees, for air carriers.

The Senate passed S. 1450 on September 21, 2001 by a vote of 96 to 1 (Roll Call 284). We have assigned pluses to the nays.



On Passage of the Bill S. 149: A bill to provide authority to control exports, and for other purposes.
Vote Date: September 6, 2001Vote: AYEBad Vote.
Export Administration Act Reauthorization. The Senate version of the export-control bill (S. 149) would give the Commerce Department the role of determining which dual-use technologies should be subject to export restrictions. In the House version of the bill the Commerce Department's role would be shared with the State and Defense Departments, which would presumably be more sensitive to America's foreign policy and national security interests. But both bills would eliminate current restrictions on the export of technology that is mass-marketed or readily available abroad.

The Senate passed 5. 149 on September 6, 2001 by a vote of 85 to 14 (Roll Call 275). We have assigned pluses to the nays.



On the Motion to Table S.Amdt. 1231 to S.Amdt. 1214 to H.R. 2620 (Departments of Veterans Affairs and Housing and Urban Development, and Independent Agencies Appropriations Act, 2002): To make drug elimination grants for low-income housing available for the BuyBack America program.
Vote Date: August 2, 2001Vote: NAYBad Vote.
Gun Buyback Programs. Sen. Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.) offered an amendment to make available $15 million from the Housing Drug Elimination Program section of the VA-HUD appropriations bill "for the BuyBack America program, enabling gun buyback initiatives undertaken by public housing authorities and their local police departments."

The Senate voted 65 to 33 on August 2, 2001 to table (kill) the Schumer amendment (Roll Call 267). We have assigned pluses to the yeas.



On Passage of the Bill H.R. 2620: A bill making appropriations for the Departments of Veterans Affairs and Housing and Urban Development, and for sundry independent agencies, boards, commissions, corporations, and offices for the fiscal year ending September 30, 2002, and for other purposes.
Vote Date: August 2, 2001Vote: AYEBad Vote.
VA-HUD Appropriations. The Senate version of H.R. 2620 would appropriate $113.4 billion for the Departments of Veteran Affairs and Housing and Urban Development and 20 independent agencies in fiscal 2002. The total appropriation is slightly more than that of the House version.

The Senate passed H.R. 2620 on August 2,2001 by a vote of 94 to 5 (Roll Call 269). We have assigned pluses to the nays.



On the Amendment S.Amdt. 1219 to S.Amdt. 1214 to H.R. 2620 (Departments of Veterans Affairs and Housing and Urban Development, and Independent Agencies Appropriations Act, 2002): To provide for a new national primary drinking water regulation for arsenic.
Vote Date: August 1, 2001Vote: AYEBad Vote.
Arsenic Standard for Drinking Water. During consideration of the VA-HUD appropriations bill (H.R. 2620), Sen. Barbara Boxer (D-Calif.) offered an amendment intended to force the EPA to establish a stricter standard for arsenic in drinking water. Boxer argued that the current standard of 50 parts per billion was "way too high."

The Senate adopted the Boxer amendment on August 1, 2001 by a vote of 97 to 1 (Roll Call 265). We have assigned a plus to the lone nay.

In an October 31st letter to Congress, EPA Administrator Christie Whitman said the agency would adopt a standard, which must be met by 2006, of just 10 parts per billion. That's "the equivalent of one teaspoon per 1.3 million gallons of water" according to the New York Times! Compliance will be costly for rural communities that will have to spend heavily on water treatment facilities.




On the Motion to Table S.Amdt. 1190 to S. 1246 (Emergency Agricultural Assistance Act of 2001.): In the nature of a substitute.
Vote Date: July 31, 2001Vote: AYEBad Vote.
Supplemental Agriculture Assistance. Sen. Richard Lugar (R-Ind.) offered a substitute amendment that would have replaced the provisions of the bill to provide additional subsidies to farmers (S. 1246). Adopting the substitute amendment would have reduced the cost of the bill from $7.4 billion to $5.5 billion.

The Senate voted 52 to 48 on July 31st to table (kill) the substitute amendment (Roll Call 261). We have assigned pluses to the nays.



On the Motion to Table S.Amdt. 1065 to S.Amdt. 1030 to S.Amdt. 1025 to H.R. 2299: To prevent discrimination, in the application of truck safety standards, against Mexico by imposing any requirements on a Mexican motor carrier that seeks to operate in the United States that do not exist with regard to United States and Canadian motor carriers.
Vote Date: July 25, 2001Vote: AYEGood Vote.
Mexican Trucks. During consideration of the Transportation appropriations bill, Sen. Phil Gramm (R-Texas) offered an amendment to prohibit the imposition of safety requirements on Mexican trucks traveling in the U.S. that did not also apply to American and Canadian trucks. The intent behind the Gramm amendment was to open up American highways to Mexican long-haul trucks in support of the North American Free Trade (NAFTA) Agreement.

The Senate tabled (killed) the Gramm amendment on July 25, 2001 by a vote of 65 to 35 (Roll Call 250). We have assigned pluses to the yeas.



On Passage of the Bill H.R. 2311: A bill making appropriations for energy and water development for the fiscal year ending September 30, 2002, and for other purposes.
Vote Date: July 19, 2001Vote: AYEBad Vote.
Energy and Water Appropriations. H.R. 2311 would appropriate $25.1 billion for the Department of Energy, the Army Corps of Engineers, water projects, and related agencies in fiscal 2002. The lion's share of the money in the bill is for the Energy Department. The Senate version of H.R. 2311 would appropriate $1.4 billion more than that of the House version.

The Senate passed H.R. 2311 on July 19, 2001 by a vote of 97 to 2 (Roll Call 240). We have assigned pluses to the nays.



On the Motion to Table S.Amdt. 893 to H.R. 2217 (Department of the Interior and Related Agencies Appropriations Act, 2002): To prohibit the use of funds to execute a final lease agreement for oil and gas development in the area of the Gulf of Mexico known as "Lease Sale 181".
Vote Date: July 12, 2001Vote: NAYBad Vote.
Oil and Gas Development in the Gulf of Mexico. Sen. Bill Nelson (D-Fla.) offered an amendment to prohibit the use of funds in H.R. 2217 "to execute a final lease agreement for oil and gas development in the area of the Gulf of Mexico known as 'Lease Sale 181.'" The amendment would have blocked all new leases off Florida's Gulf coast.

The Senate voted 67 to 33 on July 12, 2001 to table (kill) the Nelson amendment (Roll Call 231). We have assigned pluses to the yeas.



On the Motion to Table S.Amdt. 899 to H.R. 2217 (Department of the Interior and Related Agencies Appropriations Act, 2002): To direct the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to take certain actions for the recovery of the lost river sucker and the shortnose sucker, and to clarify the operations of the Klamath Project in Oregon and California, and for other purposes.
Vote Date: July 12, 2001Vote: NAYGood Vote.
Klamath Basin. During consideration of H.R. 2217, Sen. Gordon Smith (R-Ore.) offered an amendment aimed at ending the federal policy that has denied water to, and devastated the livelihoods of, farmers in the Kiamath Basin of southern Oregon and northern California. The water was ostensibly withheld so that endangered suckerfish could survive a drought. Smith explained that his intent was "to go back to a biological opinion ... that would have permitted this drought to be managed as were the droughts in 1992 and 1994, in which the suckerfish survived, as did the agricultural community around it."

The Senate voted 52 to 48 on July 12, 2001 to table (kill) the Smith amendment (Roll Call 232). We have assigned pluses to the nays.



On the Motion to Table S.Amdt. 229 to H.Con.Res. 83: No Statement of Purpose on File.
Vote Date: July 11, 2001Vote: NAYBad Vote.
Oil and Gas Exploration in National Monuments. During consideration of the Interior Department appropriations bill (H.R. 2217), Sen. Richard Durbin (D-Ill.) offered an amendment to prohibit the use of funds in the bill "to conduct any preleasing, leasing, or other related activity under the Mineral Leasing Act ... or the Outer Continental Shelf Lands Act" in areas designated as national monuments. "The purpose of my amendment is to stop oil and gas drilling on national monuments across the United States," Durbin explained. During his presidency, Bill Clinton expanded national monuments markedly through executive orders.

The Senate rejected a motion to table (kill) the Durbin amendment on July 11, 2001 by a vote of 42 to 57 (Roll Call 229). We have assigned pluses to the yeas.



On the Amendment S.Amdt. 873 to S. 1077 (Supplemental Appropriations Act, 2001): Ensuring funding for defense and education and the supplemental appropriation by repealing tax cuts for 2001.
Vote Date: July 10, 2001Vote: NAYGood Vote.
Eliminating the Tax Rebates. During consideration of S. 1077, a supplemental appropriations bill, Sen. Ernest Hollings (D-S.C.) offered an amendment that would have repealed the rebates taxpayers received in the mail later in the year. Hollings argued that the federal government's "surplus" had disappeared and that the money for the rebate was needed for various programs -- citing specifically defense, education, and prescription drugs. "[D]on't throw the money around and then cry the rest of the year we don't have the money," he complained to his colleagues.

The Senate rejected the Hollings amendment on July 10, 2001 by a vote of 3 to 94 (Roll Call 223). We have assigned pluses to the nays.



On the Motion to Table S.Amdt. 863 to S. 1077 (Supplemental Appropriations Act, 2001): To increase the amount provided to combat HIV/AIDS, malaria, and tuberculosis, and to offset that increase by rescinding amounts appropriated to the Navy for the V-22 Osprey aircraft program.
Vote Date: July 10, 2001Vote: NAYBad Vote.
Global AIDS Funding vs. National Defense. Sen. Russell Feingold (D-Wis.) offered an amendment to S. 1077 to increase funding for a global fund to combat AIDS, malaria, and tuberculosis by $593 million, and to offset this increase by rescinding funds for the Navy's V-22 Osprey aircraft procurement account. Feingold claimed that his amendment offered a "clear choice" between allocating the funds "somewhat irrationally" (by which he meant the procurement account) and redirecting them towards "an unquestionably worthwhile purpose."

The Senate voted 79 to 20 on July 10, 2001 to table (kill) the Feingold amendment (Roll Call 225). We have assigned pluses to the yeas.



On Passage of the Bill H.R. 1: A bill to close the achievement gap with accountability, flexibility, and choice, so that no child is left behind.
Vote Date: June 14, 2001Vote: AYEBad Vote.
Education Spending Bill. This vote is similar to that described under House bill (below), except that it spends even more money in fiscal 2002 ($27.7 billion) and would authorize spending for an even longer period of time (through fiscal 2008).

[ Education Reauthorization. The "No Child Left Behind Act of 2001," the main elementary and secondary educational authorization bill for fiscal 2002, would increase spending for fiscal 2002 by an unbelievable 28 percent over fiscal 2001. The Congressional Budget Office estimated that the total cost of this bill (which, by the way, is only a portion of federal education spending) "would total approximately $23 billion in 2002 and about $135 billion over the 2002-2006 period...." ]

The Senate passed H.R. 1 on June 14, 2001 by a vote of 91-8 (Roll Call 192). We have assigned pluses to the nays.



On the Conference Report H.R. 1836: A bill to provide for reconciliation pursuant to section 104 of the concurrent resolution on the budget for fiscal year 2002.
Vote Date: May 26, 2001Vote: NAYBad Vote.
Tax Cut Reconciliation Conference Report. This conference report is similar to H.R. 1836, in that it would cut all income tax rates slightly, double the per child tax credit from $500 to $1,000, alleviate the marriage penalty, phase out and finally abolish the estate tax in 2010, and increase income tax exemptions for IRAs and Educational Savings Accounts. Unfortunately, all provisions of the bill are sunset after 2010, meaning that the estate tax and current high income tax rates would be restored in 2011 unless Congress acts to make the cuts permanent. Despite this flaw, the bill would nevertheless give beleaguered taxpayers several much needed breaks in their tax bills.


The Senate adopted the conference report on May 26, 2001 by a vote of 58-33 (Roll Call 170). We have assigned pluses to the yeas.



On the Amendment S.Amdt. 781 to H.R. 1836 (Economic Growth and Tax Relief Reconciliation Act of 2001): To reduce debt by eliminating the repeal of the estate tax.
Vote Date: May 22, 2001Vote: NAYGood Vote.
Death Tax Repeal. This vote is analogous to that described under House version (below), except that this amendment by Senator Kent Conrad (D-N.D.) would eliminate the estate tax repeal in the underlying tax cut bill.

[ House version: Death Tax Repeal. This legislation would phase out and completely repeal the Marxist federal inheritance tax that has been on the statute books since 1916. While opponents of the legislation painted the bill as a means of helping the rich, the truth is that this tax traditionally has put poor people out of work by liquidating family farms and small privately owned businesses that are asset "rich" but cash poor. No other tax contributes more to the trend toward the amalgamation of business into huge corporate empires than the death tax; the only way many small businesses and farms can stay in operation after the death of the owner is either through incorporation or through the sale of the private firm to a large corporation. ]

The Senate rejected the Conrad amendment to H.R. 1836 on May 22, 2001 by a vote of 42-57 (Roll Call 158). We have assigned pluses to the nays.



On the Motion (Motion to Waive Wellstone Motion to Commit to the Committee on Finance): To establish a reserve account to provide funds for Federal education programs.
Vote Date: May 21, 2001Vote: AYEBad Vote.
Education Spending Increase ($120 Billion). During consideration of the income tax cut bill, Senator Paul Wellstone (D-Minn.) made this motion to recommit the bill to committee with instructions that the committee send the bill back with $120 billion less in income tax relief and $120 billion more in spending for federal education programs.

The Senate rejected a motion to waive the Budget Act point of order against the Wellstone amendment on May 21, 2001 by a vote of 41-58 (Roll Call 121). We have assigned pluses to the nays.



On the Motion (Motion to Waive CBA re: Byrd Amdt. No. 703): To strike all marginal rate tax cuts except for the establishment of the 10 percent rate and strike all estate and gift tax provisions taking effect after 2006 in order to provide funds to strengthen social security, extend the solvency of the Social Security Trust Funds, maintain progressivity in the social security benefit system, continue to lift more seniors out of poverty, extend the solvency of the Medicare Trust Funds, and provide prescription drug benefits.
Vote Date: May 21, 2001Vote: NAYGood Vote.
Eliminate Income Tax Cuts. This amendment by Senator Robert Byrd (D-W.Va.) would eliminate repeal of the estate tax and most of the income tax cuts in the bill and devote the additional tax revenue towards Social Security and a new Medicare prescription drug benefit.

The Senate rejected a move to waive the Budget Act point of order against the Byrd amendment on May 21, 2001 by a vote of 39-60 (Roll Call 122). We have assigned pluses to the nays.



On the Amendment S.Amdt. 659 to H.R. 1836 (Economic Growth and Tax Relief Reconciliation Act of 2001): To begin the phase-in of the elimination of the marriage penalty in the standard deduction in 2002 and to offset the revenue loss.
Vote Date: May 17, 2001Vote: NAYBad Vote.
Marriage Penalty Elimination. This amendment by Senator Kay Bailey Hutchison (R-Texas) to the tax cut bill would eliminate the "marriage penalty" in the income tax laws by the year 2008 and substantially increase the standard deduction for married couples beginning in 2002.

The Senate rejected the Hutchison amendment to H.R. 1836 on May 17, 2001 by a vote of 27-73 (Roll Call 113). We have assigned pluses to the yeas.



On the Amendment S.Amdt. 375 to S.Amdt. 358 to S. 1 (Better Education for Students and Teachers Act): To express the sense of the Senate regarding, and to authorize appropriations for, title II, part A of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1965, with respect to the development of high-qualified teachers.
Vote Date: May 8, 2001Vote: AYEBad Vote.
Federal Teacher Funding Increase. Senator Edward Kennedy (D-Mass.) offered this amendment which would express the sense of the Senate that Congress should appropriate $3 billion in fiscal 2002 for the hiring of teachers. Under the Kennedy amendment, appropriations for such purposes would reach $6 billion by 2008. "This amendment says that we should fully fund the $3 billion which is in the authorization to make sure all the teachers who are going to be teaching poor children are qualified," Kennedy remarked. "It says we ought to add $500 million each additional year, so that in the last year there will be a total of $6 billion a year in funding..."

The Senate adopted the Kennedy amendment to S. 1 on May 8, 2001 by a vote of 69-31 (Roll Call 94). We have assigned pluses to the nays.



On the Amendment S.Amdt. 257 to S.Amdt. 170 to H.Con.Res. 83: To increase natural resources, environment, energy and other spending to ensure full funding of the Land Conservation, Preservation, and Infrastructure Improvement Program; to help preserve the core operating budgets of the major environmental agencies to provide appropriate funding for activities related to enforcement of environmental statutes and setting of standards that protect natural resources and the public's health; to address contaminated brownfield sites and urban sprawl and promote s
Vote Date: April 5, 2001Vote: AYEBad Vote.
Increase Environmental Spending by $50 billion. This amendment by Senator Jon Corzine (D-N.J.) would eliminate nearly $100 billion from the proposed tax cut and apply half the money toward federal environmental program increases (the other half would go toward debt reduction).

The Senate rejected the Corzine amendment to H. Con. Res. 83 on April 5, 2001 by a vote of 46-54 (Roll Call 77). We have assigned pluses to the nays.



On the Amendment S.Amdt. 176 to S.Amdt. 170 to H.Con.Res. 83: To provide emergency assistance to producers of agricultural commodities in fiscal year 2001, and additional funds for farm and conservation programs during fiscal years 2002 through 2001.
Vote Date: April 4, 2001Vote: AYEBad Vote.
Massive Agriculture Spending I Increase. Senator Pete Domenici (R-N.M.) explained that "this amendment would increase the spending on agriculture to a total of $98 billion, all of which will come out of the taxes we intend to give back to the American people."

The Senate rejected the amendment to H. Con. Res. 83 on April 4, 2001 by a vote of 47-53 (Roll Call 68). We have assigned pluses to the nays.



On the Amendment S.Amdt. 185 to S.Amdt. 170 to H.Con.Res. 83: To make certain that no child is left behind and to maintain fiscal discipline by making a major investment in education and a commensurate reduction in the share of tax relief given to the wealthiest one percent of Americans.
Vote Date: April 4, 2001Vote: AYEBad Vote.
Billions from Tax Cut to Education. This amendment by Senator Tom Harkin (D-Iowa) would eliminate $448 billion of the proposed tax cut and allot half the amount ($224 billion!) to increase education spending. The remainder would be applied to debt reduction, until the big spenders in Congress find some other way to spend it.

The Senate agreed to the Harkin amendment to H. Con. Res. 83 on April 4, 2001 by a vote of 53-47 (Roll Call 69). We have assigned pluses to the nays.



On the Amendment S.Amdt. 172 to S.Amdt. 170 to H.Con.Res. 83: To establish a prescription drug benefit under Title XVIII of the Social Security Act, without using funds generated from either the Medicare or Social Security surpluses, that is voluntary; accessible to all beneficiaries; designed to assist beneficiaries with the high cost of prescription drugs, protect them from excessive out of pocket costs, and give them bargaining power in the marketplace; affordable to all beneficiaries and the program; administered using private sector entities and compe
Vote Date: April 3, 2001Vote: AYEBad Vote.
New $311 Billion Medicare Prescription Drug Boondoggle. Senator Max Baucus (D-Mont.) offered this amendment to double the funds for a new prescription drug benefit under Medicare. "It basically doubles the amount that is available from $153 billion to $311 billion.... To offset the cost, our amendment reduces the size of the tax cut by $158 billion."

The Senate rejected the amendment on April 3, 2001 by a vote of 50-50 (Roll Call 66). We have assigned pluses to the nays.



On Passage of the Bill S. 27: A bill to amend the Federal Election Campaign Act of 1971 to provide bipartisan campaign reform.
Vote Date: April 2, 2001Vote: AYEBad Vote.
McCain-Feingold Campaign Finance. The intent behind the McCain-Feingold Campaign Finance bill is to squelch criticism of government and elected officials. The bill would further limit contributions by organizations and corporations to political parties and require most organizations criticizing federal elected officials to file financial reports with the FEC. Regulations under McCain-Feingold and Shays-Meehan (the corresponding House version of the bill) would essentially require disclosure of the names and political finances of political activists. The bill would not abolish or directly restrict free speech and free press. But requiring disclosure is a measure of political control by intimidation.

The Senate passed S. 27 on April 2, 2001 by a vote of 59-41 (Roll Call 64). We have assigned pluses to the nays.



On the Motion to Table S.Amdt. 158 to S. 27 (Bipartisan Campaign Reform Act of 2001): To provide candidates for election to Federal office with the opportunity to respond to negative political advertisements sponsored by noncandidates.
Vote Date: March 29, 2001Vote: AYEGood Vote.
Require Broadcasting Stations to Give Free Airtime to Federal Candidates. This amendment to the McCain-Feingold campaign finance bill would require broadcasting stations airing criticisms of political candidates to give those candidates free airtime in the same time slots to respond to the criticisms. The amendment is a clear violation of the First Amendment protection of freedom of the press, but the extent to which it protects political incumbents is not discernable until one notices that the amendment includes no exemption if the media organ is doing the criticism itself (rather than running paid advertisements from a citizen group). As such, under this amendment conservative talk radio would be virtually co-hosted by far-left political candidates.

The Senate tabled (killed) this amendment to S. 27 on March 29, 2001 by a vote of 72-28 (Roll Call 60). We have assigned pluses to the yeas.



On the Amendment S.Amdt. 148 to S. 27 (Bipartisan Campaign Reform Act of 2001): To amend the Federal Election Campaign Act of 1971 to provide partial public financing for Senate candidates who abide by voluntary spending limits.
Vote Date: March 27, 2001Vote: NAYGood Vote.
Partial Federal Financing of Congressional Elections. This amendment would set up the same unnecessary and constitutionally unauthorized taxpayer campaign subsidy system for congressmen as already exists for presidential candidates. Noting that only 12 percent of taxpayers checked the box on their income tax forms last year to fund presidential elections, Senator Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) stated: "Clearly, this is an idea that is overwhelmingly unpopular with the American people."

The Senate rejected the amendment to S. 27 on March 27, 2001 by a vote of 30-70 (Roll Call 52). We have assigned pluses to the nays.



On the Joint Resolution S.J.Res. 4: A joint resolution proposing an amendment to the Constitution of the United States relating to contributions and expenditures intended to affect elections.
Vote Date: March 26, 2001Vote: AYEBad Vote.
Constitutional Amendment to Allow LP Federal Regulation of Political Speech. This vote was on the adoption of a constitutional amendment to give Congress "power to set reasonable limits on the amount of contributions that may be accepted by, and the amount of expenditures that may be made by, in support of, or in opposition to, a candidate for nomination for election to, or for election to, Federal office." The amendment is an outright attack on the First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution. Senator Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) explained that "the Hollings constitutional amendment [sums] up the reformers' agenda for the past quarter century as they have sought to root out of American political life any speech or activity which could conceivably affect an election or be of value to a politician."

The Senate rejected S. J. Res 4 on March 26, 2001 by a vote of 40-56 (Roll Call 47). We have assigned pluses to the nays.



On Passage of the Bill S. 420: An original bill to amend title 11, United States Code, and for other purposes.
Vote Date: March 15, 2001Vote: AYEGood Vote.
Bankruptcy Overhaul. As the National Chamber of Commerce noted in its analysis of the bankruptcy reform bill, this legislation was aimed at the "more than 100,000 bankruptcy filers [who] are abusing the system every year by discharging debts that they have the ability to repay." Under this underlying bipartisan bill, "Abusers of the bankruptcy system, those median income who earn more than the and can afford to repay a significant portion of their debts, will be required to pay back what they can afford." This legislation would allow persons saddled with unexpected medical bills or other hardships a fresh start through bankruptcy while generally preventing the abusive or habitual use of bankruptcy by sheltering fewer assets from seizure under bankruptcy proceedings.

The Senate passed S. 420 on March 15, 2001 by a vote of 83-15 (Roll Call 36). We have assigned pluses to the yeas.



On the Motion to Table S.Amdt. 93 to S. 420 (Bankruptcy Reform Act of 2001): To provide a complete substitute.
Vote Date: March 14, 2001Vote: NAYBad Vote.
A Bankruptcy Overhaul -- Democratic Substitute. Senator Orrin Hatch (R-Utah) explained that this Democratic substitute amendment would gut the provisions of the underlying bill (S. 420 -- Bankruptcy Reform Act of 2001): "Frankly, it is just an amendment that would substitute the current legislation with the bankruptcy reform bill that passed the Senate in the 105th Congress."

The Senate tabled (killed) the amendment to S. 420 on March 14, 2001 by a vote of 64-35 (Roll Call 27). We have as signed pluses to the yeas.



On the Joint Resolution S.J.Res. 6: A joint resolution providing for congressional disapproval of the rule submitted by the Department of Labor under chapter 8 of title 5, United States Code, relating to ergonomics.
Vote Date: March 6, 2001Vote: NAYBad Vote.
Ergonomics Regulation Repeal. Congress had long demonstrated a complete lack of interest in enacting ex-pensive and unconstitutional national ergonomics standards. So President Bill Clinton dumped onerous OSHA-instituted ergonomics rules on the American people in the closing days of his administration, and arranged for those rules to take effect a mere four days before the inauguration of George W. Bush. "Ergonomics" is the design of equipment and work environments to best suit a worker's health and productivity, and ergonomic regulations are generally federal rules mandating standards of worker comfort in the workplace. Representative Tom Davis (R-Va.) described the expansive scope of the OSHA regulations: "By OSHA's own estimates, this ergonomic rule will cover over 102 million employees, 18 million jobs, and 6.1 million businesses and cost almost $100 billion a year to implement." Passage of S. J. Res. 6 would provide congressional disapproval of the OSHA ergonomics rule and declare that the "rule shall have no force or effect."

The Senate adopted the joint resolution on March 6, 2001 by a vote of 56-44 (Roll Call 15). We have assigned pluses to the yeas.



On Passage of the Bill S. 248: A bill to amend the Admiral James W. Nance and Meg Donovan Foreign Relations Authorization Act, Fiscal Years 2000 and 2001, to adjust a condition on the payment of arrearages to the United Nations that sets the maximum share of any United Nations peacekeeping operation's budget that may be assessed of any country.
Vote Date: February 7, 2001Vote: AYEBad Vote.
Release of $582 million in UN "Dues." This bill would release $582 million to the United Nations as a second of three payments to the world body for "back dues" allegedly owed by the United States. The UN -- in accordance with the intent of the new world order elite -- has become more aggressive in recent years in its pursuit of the powers of a world tyranny. The world body is seeking, through its International Criminal Court treaty, the power to bring any person in the world to trial. The UN is also seeking a global tax power and has proposed a global ban of private ownership of firearms. The Senate passed the bill on February 7, 2001 by a vote of 99-0 (Roll Call 10).

We have assigned minuses to the yeas.



On the Nomination PN107: John Ashcroft, of Missouri, to be Attorney General
Vote Date: February 1, 2001Vote: NAYBad Vote.
Ashcroft Nomination. The nomination of former Senator John Ashcroft to be U.S. attorney general was a key vote because he had aroused the ire of the Left. Although Ashcroft had compiled one of the more conservative voting records during his six years in the Senate, earning a cumulative "Conservative Index" rating of 76 percent, during the confirmation hearings he pledged to consolidate the Clinton-era gains of the Left on abortion, gun control, and other issues. As a result, only the more radical leftists opposed Ashcroft's nomination.

The Senate approved the Ashcroft nomination on February 1, 2001 by a vote of 58-42 (Roll Call 8). We have assigned pluses to the yeas.



On Passage of the Bill H.R. 4444: To authorize extension of nondiscriminatory treatment (normal trade relations treatment) to the People's Republic of China, and to establish a framework for relations between the United States and the People's Republic of China.
Vote Date: September 19, 2000Vote: AYEBad Vote.
China PNTR. This bill, H.R. 4444, would grant Communist China Permanent Normal Trade Relations (PNTR), and thereby abolish the annual review process of Chinese NTR. It would also pave the way for Chinese entry into the World Trade Organization. The bill would all but guarantee that the tyrannical Chinese government will continue to receive billions of dollars in U.S. taxpayer-subsidized trade annually through export subsidy programs such as the Export-Import Bank and multilateral organs such as the Asian Development Bank and the World Bank. Although many of those promoting PNTR for China have claimed to be doing so on the basis of "free trade," just five days earlier the Senate had voted down -- by voice vote -- an amendment by Senator Ernest Hollings (D-SC) that would have allowed PNTR but abolished U.S. export subsidies to China.

The Senate passed H.R. 4444 on September 19, 2000 by a vote of 83-15 (Roll Call 251). We have assigned pluses to the nays.



On the Amendment S.Amdt. 4125 to H.R. 4444: To require the President certify to Congress that the People's Republic of China has taken certain actions with respect to ensuring human rights protection.
Vote Date: September 12, 2000Vote: NAYBad Vote.
Helms Amendment to China Trade. Senator Jesse Helms (R-NC) explained that his amendment "directs the President to certify that China has met a series of human rights conditions prior to granting PNTR to Communist China." The Helms amendment would prohibit the granting of "free trade" privileges to China under Permanent Normal Trade Relations (PNTR) until China has abolished the Laogai prison-labor system and released all religious prisoners and labor leaders. In essence, the Helms amendment affirms the self-evident truth that free trade with slaves is a contradiction, and that only when China is at least partly free should trade relations be normal.

The Senate rejected the Helms amendment to H.R. 4444 on September 12, 2000 by a vote of 32-63 (Roll Call 239). We have assigned pluses to the yeas.



On the Conference Report H.R. 4810: A bill to provide for reconciliation pursuant to section 103(a)(1) of the concurrent resolution on the budget for fiscal year 2001.
Vote Date: July 21, 2000Vote: NAYBad Vote.
Marriage Penalty Repeal Conference Report. This measure would phase out over five years the marriage penalty in the income tax code. The marriage penalty taxes dual-income married families at a higher rate than couples who live together but are not married. Representative Jerry Weller (R-IL) explained that this vote was about "a very basic, fundamental question," namely: "Is it right that 25 million married working couples, 50 million taxpayers, pay on average $1,400 more in higher taxes just because they are married?"

The Senate adopted the conference re-port on H.R. 4810 on July 21, 2000 by a vote of 60-34 (Roll Call 226). We have assigned pluses to the yeas.



On the Motion to Table S.Amdt. 3917 to H.R. 4461 (Trade Sanctions Reform and Export Enhancement Act of 2000): To prohibit the use of appropriated funds for the sugar program.
Vote Date: July 20, 2000Vote: AYEBad Vote.
Abolish Sugar Subsidy. Senator John McCain (R-AZ) offered this amendment to ban funds from being used for the federal sugar subsidy program, which is largely a corporate welfare program for a few huge sugar plantation owners. "I do not quite understand how my free-enterprise, free-market, less-government-intervention, less-government-regulation colleagues will come here to the floor and argue that somehow this program is good for American citizens. It is not," McCain argued. "Clearly, the facts state that it is a subsidy paid to a privileged few and it costs American taxpayers and American families a great deal of additional money."

The Senate tabled (killed) the McCain amendment on July 20, 2000 by a vote of 65-32 (Roll Call 219). We have assigned pluses to the nays.



On Passage of the Bill H.R. 4461: A bill making appropriations for Agriculture, Rural Development, Food and Drug Administration and Related Agencies programs for the fiscal year ending September 30, 2001, and for other purposes.
Vote Date: July 20, 2000Vote: AYEBad Vote.
Fiscal 2001 Agriculture Appropriations. This massive $77.4 billion appropriations bill would fund federal agricultural subsidy programs -- as well as the federal Food Stamp program, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, and several other programs -- throughout fiscal 2001. Although this bill represents about an 8 percent cut from fiscal 2000, none of the programs funded by this bill are authorized by the U.S. Constitution.

The Senate passed H.R. 4461 on July 20, 2000 by a vote of 79-13 (Roll Call 225). We have assigned pluses to the nays.



On the Amendment S.Amdt. 3884 to H.R. 4578 (Department of the Interior and Related Agencies Appropriations Act, 2001): To defend the Constitutional system of checks and balances between the Legislative and Executive branches.
Vote Date: July 18, 2000Vote: NAYBad Vote.
Ban New National Monuments. Introduced by Senator Don Nickles (R-OK), this amendment is similar to that described in House bill (below), except that it is not retroactive to 1999.

[ Ban New National Monuments. This amendment by Representative James Hansen (R-UT) would ban the use of funds for the implementation of "National Monuments" designated by the president since 1999. President Clinton has used a loophole in the 1906 Antiquities Act to lock up millions of acres of land from human usage. Representative Don Young (R-AK) explained that "this President is using this act ... to designate and to dictate the use of lands. Under the Constitution, it says only the Congress shall have that responsibility.... I swore to uphold the Constitution of the United States of America. Yet, we sit in this body and allow this act to be misused by this administration and say, oh, it is to protect those lands.... This is against the Constitution. He is not protecting what should be protected. He, in fact, is running this as a fiefdom and a kingdom." ]

The Senate rejected the Nickles amendment to H.R. 4578 on July 18, 2000 by a vote of 49-50 (Roll Call 208). We have assigned pluses to the yeas.



On Passage of the Bill H.R. 4810: A bill to provide for reconciliation pursuant to section 103(a)(1) of the concurrent resolution on the budget for fiscal year 2001.
Vote Date: July 18, 2000Vote: NAYBad Vote.
Marriage Penalty Repeal. This measure would phase out over five years the marriage penalty in the income tax code. The marriage penalty taxes dual-income married families at a higher rate than couples who live together but are not married. Representative Jerry Weller (R-IL) explained that this vote was about "a very basic, fundamental question," namely: "Is it right that 25 million married working couples, 50 million taxpayers, pay on average $1,400 more in higher taxes just because they are married?"

The Senate passed H.R. 4810 on July 18, 2000 by a vote of 61-38 (Roll Call 215). We have assigned pluses to the yeas. Because this version of the bill had to be reconciled with that of the House, the Senate had another opportunity to vote on this important issue.



On Passage of the Bill H.R. 8: A bill to amend the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 to phaseout the estate and gift taxes over a 10-year period.
Vote Date: July 14, 2000Vote: AYEGood Vote.
Estate Tax Repeal. The "Death Tax Elimination Act" would phase out over 10 years the Marxist inheritance tax that is decimating family farms across the United States. While the federal inheritance tax does not go as far as the third plank in Marx's Communist Manifesto, which called for "abolition of all rights of inheritance," it does tax up to 60 percent of the value of inheritances.

The Senate passed H.R. 8 on July 14, 2000 by a vote of 59-39 (Roll Call 197). We have assigned pluses to the yeas.



On the Amendment S.Amdt. 3836 to H.R. 8 (A bill to amend the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 to phaseout the estate and gift taxes over a 10-year period.Death Tax Elimination Act): To repeal the increase in tax on Social Security benefits.
Vote Date: July 13, 2000Vote: NAYBad Vote.
Social Security Earnings Tax Hike Repeal. This amendment by Senator Rod Grams (R-MN) is identical to the bill described in House bill H.R. 4865.

[ House Bill: Social Security Earnings Tax Hike Repeal. This bill, H.R. 4865, would repeal the 1993 Clinton-Gore tax increase on Social Security benefits. Under the provisions of the 1993 law, seniors still in the work force making more than $34,000 per year had income taxes assessed against 85 percent of their Social Security checks, up from 50 percent in years prior. This bill would bring the proportion of benefits taxed back down to 50 percent. ]


The Senate adopted the Grams amendment to H.R. 8 on July 13, 2000 by a vote of 58-41 (Roll Call 188). We have assigned pluses to the yeas.



On the Motion to Table S.Amdt. 3697 to H.R. 4577 (Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2001): To prohibit the expenditure of certain appropriated funds for the distribution or provision of, or the provision of a prescription for, postcoital emergency contraception.
Vote Date: June 30, 2000Vote: AYEBad Vote.
Federal Funds for Distributing "Morning-After" Pill on School Grounds. Senator Jesse Helms (R-NC) offered this amendment to ban the use of federal funds in the fiscal 2001 Labor/HHS/Education appropriations bill from being used to distribute the "morning-after" pill on school grounds to minors.

An attempt to table (kill) the Helms amendment to H.R. 4577 was defeated on June 30, 2000 by a vote of 41-54 (Roll Call 169). We have assigned pluses to the nays. The tabling motion having failed, the Helms amendment was then adopted by voice vote.



On the Motion (Motion To Waive CBA Harkin Amdt. No. 3699): To fully fund the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA).
Vote Date: June 30, 2000Vote: AYEBad Vote.
$8.4 Billion in New Education Spending. Senator Tom Harkin (D-IA) offered this amendment to increase spending on the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) from the $7.4 billion in the pending bill ($6.0 billion in fiscal 2000) to $15.8 billion. More than doubling the cost of this huge program prompted even big spenders like Senator Arlen Specter (R-PA) to remark that "I want to see a lot more funding in a lot more places,... but this is just over the top."

The Senate rejected a motion to waive the Budget Act on the Harkin amendment to H.R 4577 on June 30, 2000 by a vote of 40-55 (Roll Call 170). Failing to receive the three-fifths vote needed to waive the Budget Act, the Harkin amendment died. We have assigned pluses to the nays.



On Passage of the Bill H.R. 4577: A bill making appropriations for the Departments of Labor, Health and Human Services, and Education, and related agencies for the fiscal year ending September 30, 2001, and for other purposes.
Vote Date: June 30, 2000Vote: NAYGood Vote.
Welfare State Mother Lode. This legislation is similar to that described in House bill (below), except that at $354.6 billion it is several billion dollars more expensive than the House version.

[ Welfare State Mother Lode. This U colossal $351.8 billion fiscal 2001 Labor/HHS/Education appropriations bill represents a spending increase of more than seven percent over fiscal 2000. Representative David Obey (D-WI) crowed that Republicans and Democrats were in a bidding war for welfare state spending: "This is ironic given the fact that all day long we were told by the majority that we could not get a vote on the amendments that we were offering on our side of the aisle because they exceeded the numbers in the budget resolution?" ]

The Senate passed H.R. 4577 on June 30, 2000 by a vote of 52-43 (Roll Call 171). We have assigned pluses to the nays.



On the Amendment S.Amdt. 3693 to H.R. 4577 (Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2001): To require a Federal floor with respect to protections for individuals enrolled in health plans.
Vote Date: June 29, 2000Vote: AYEBad Vote.
Total Federal Control Over Health Insurance Industry. Senator Byron Dorgan (D-ND) introduced this amendment to mandate that all state and private health insurance plans cover operations and procedures dictated by the federal government. The amendment would dictate to states what benefits they ought to pay their employees by decreeing "a floor of federal protection that is applicable to all individuals enrolled in private health plans or private health insurance coverage, including individuals enrolled in health insurance coverage purchased in the individual market; and ... individuals enrolled in health plans offered to State and local government employees." Senator Don Nickles (R-OK) summarized the amendment this way: "We want the Federal Government to set standards, and, oh, States, you have to meet these standards. If not, the Federal Government is going to take over."

The Senate rejected the Dorgan amendment to H.R. 4577 on June 29, 2000 by a vote of 47-51 (Roll Call 167). We have assigned pluses to the nays.



On the Motion (Motion To Waive CBA RE: Dodd Amdt. No.3672): To provide $1,000,000,000 for 21st Century Community Learning Centers.
Vote Date: June 28, 2000Vote: AYEBad Vote.
$400 Million More for 21st Century Community Learning Centers. Senator Christopher Dodd (D-CT) offered this amendment to increase to $1 billion the fiscal 2001 appropriation for the 21st Century Community Learning Centers federal after-school program. The bill already contained an appropriation of $600 million, which was itself an increase from $453 million in fiscal 2000.

The Senate rejected a motion to waive the Budget Act on the Dodd amendment to H.R. 4577 on June 28, 2000 by a vote of 48-51 (Roll Call 154). Having failed to get the three-fifths vote needed to waive the Budget Act, the point of order against the Dodd amendment was upheld and the amendment fell. We have assigned pluses to the nays.



On the Motion (Motion To Waive CBA Wellstone Amdt. No. 3631): To increase funding for part A of title I of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1965.
Vote Date: June 27, 2000Vote: AYEBad Vote.
Increased Education Spending. "This amendment just simply says," according to author Senator Paul Wellstone (D-MN), that "we should go from $8.36 billion to $10 billion -- a slight increase." Only a profligate socialist who is generous with someone else's money -- in this case, money owned by U.S. taxpayers -- could term a $1.64 billion increase "slight." The pending fiscal 2001 appropriation of $8.36 billion for Title I education spending already represented a five percent increase over fiscal 2000.

The Senate rejected a motion to waive the Budget Act on the Wellstone amendment to H.R. 4577 on June 27, 2000 by a vote of 47-52 (Roll Call 146). Having failed to get the three-fifths vote needed to waive the Budget Act, the point of order against the Wellstone amendment was upheld and the amendment fell. We have assigned pluses to the nays.



On the Amendment S.Amdt. 3593 to H.R. 4577 (Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2001): To limit the use of funds for standards relating to ergonomic protection.
Vote Date: June 22, 2000Vote: NAYBad Vote.
Federal Regulations on Ergonomics. This amendment would prohibit OSHA from using any funds in the underlying bill to promulgate, issue, administer, implement, or enforce ergonomic standards.

The Senate adopted this amendment to H.R. 4577 on June 22, 2000 by a vote of 57-41 (Roll Call 143). We have assigned pluses to the yeas.



On the Amendment S.Amdt. 3598 to H.R. 4577 (Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2001): To amend title XVIII of the Social Security Act to provide coverage of outpatient prescription drugs under the medicare program.
Vote Date: June 22, 2000Vote: AYEBad Vote.
Create Medicare Prescription Drug Benefit. Senator Chuck Robb (D-VA) introduced this amendment to require the federal government to provide "a universal, comprehensive, dependable prescription drug benefit for Medicare beneficiaries." This wealth-draining welfare benefit would cost an estimated $75 billion over the first five years alone.

The Senate rejected the Robb amendment to H.R. 4577 on June 22, 2000 by a vote of 44-53 (Roll Call 144). We have assigned pluses to the nays.



On the Amendment S.Amdt. 3517 to S. 2522 (Foreign Operations, Export Financing, and Related Programs Appropriations Act, 2001): To reduce the amount of funds made available for South American and Caribbean counternarcotics activities, and for other purposes.
Vote Date: June 21, 2000Vote: NAYBad Vote.
Cut Anti-Drug Foreign Aid Increase by $734 Million. Senator Slade Gorton (R-WA) introduced this amendment to cut the anti-drug foreign foreign aid allotment for South and Central America from $934 million down to $200 million. Although Gorton's amendment represents a sizable cut in the amount budgeted for the program in the fiscal 2001 foreign aid appropriations bill, the remaining $200 million is still quadruple the $50 million appropriated during fiscal 2000.

The Senate rejected the Gorton amendment to S. 2522 on June 21, 2000 by a vote of 19-79 (Roll Call 139). We have assigned pluses to the yeas.



On the Motion to Table S.Amdt. 3252 to S. 2549 (National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2001): To repeal the restriction on the use of Department of Defense facilities for privately funded abortions.
Vote Date: June 20, 2000Vote: NAYBad Vote.
Tax Subsidized Abortions on Military Bases. Senator Patty Murray (D-WA) offered this amendment to lift the ban on abortions at military base hospitals abroad, if military personnel pay the cost of the operation themselves. Senator Mike Enzi (R-WY) explained that despite the requirement that military personnel would be required to pay the cost of the operation, the Murray amendment "would essentially require tax funds to be used to aid in elective abortions. Military hospitals and medical clinics are built with American tax dollars. Military physicians, nurses, and other support personnel are paid by federal tax dollars.... Even if the abortion procedure itself was not directly paid for by federal funds, federal tax dollars would have to be used to train military physicians to perform abortions."

The Senate tabled (killed) the Murray amendment to S. 2549 on June 20, 2000 by a vote of 50-49 (Roll Call 134). We have assigned pluses to those who voted yea to table the amendment.



On the Amendment S.Amdt. 3473 to S. 2549 (National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2001): To enhance Federal enforcement of hate crimes and for other purposes.
Vote Date: June 20, 2000Vote: AYEBad Vote.
Federalizing "Hate Crimes" Related to Gender and "Sexual Orientation." Senator Ted Kennedy (D-MA) offered this amendment to add "gender," "sexual orientation" and "disability" to the list of federally designated victim groups protected under "Hate Crimes" law, thereby dramatically expanding federal jurisdiction. Senator Orrin Hatch (R-UT) explained that the Kennedy amendment "would make a federal case out of every single hate-motivated crime that occurs in this country -- including all rapes and sexual assaults, which currently are prosecuted under State law."

The Senate adopted the Kennedy amendment to S. 2549 on June 20, 2000 by a vote of 57-42 (Roll Call 136). We have assigned pluses to the nays.



On the Amendment S.Amdt. 3184 to S.Amdt. 3183 to S. 2549 (National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2001): To provide for correction of scope of waiver authority for limitation on retirement or dismantlement of strategic nuclear delivery systems and authority to waive limitation.
Vote Date: June 7, 2000Vote: NAYBad Vote.
Presidential Nuclear Disarmament Waiver. This amendment offered by Senator John Warner (R-VA) would replace language in an amendment by Senator Bob Kerrey (D-NE) to the 2001 Defense authorization bill. Kerrey's amendment would have given the president the power to unilaterally reduce nuclear arms without the approval of Congress. Currently the president must get congressional approval to do so. Warner's amendment would give the president the ability to waive the limitation only after the Department of Defense did a nuclear overview study to be completed by December 2001. Although congressional approval should not be circumvented under any circumstances, this late date means that President Clinton would be unable to reduce the number of nuclear weapons on his own, restricting him in his negotiations of an arms deal with Russia.

The Warner amendment to S. 2549 passed the Senate on June 7, 2000 by a vote of 51-47 (Roll Call 119). We have assigned pluses to the yeas.



On the Conference Report H.R. 2559: A bill to amend the Federal Crop Insurance Act to strengthen the safety net for agricultural producers by providing greater access to more affordable risk management tools and improved protection from production and income loss, to improve the efficiency and integrity of the Federal crop insurance program, and for other purposes.
Vote Date: May 25, 2000Vote: AYEBad Vote.
Farm Subsidies. This vote was to adopt the final version (conference report) of the bill that would provide $8.2 billion over the next five years for increased crop insurance subsidies. Currently, the federal government pays 13 to 57 percent of crop insurance premiums, but this bill would increase that portion to a range of 38 to 67 percent of the premiums. The aim of the increase is to curtail large emergency payments. This bill also would provide for $7.1 billion in economic assistance to farmers affected by low prices. All of this aid is especially irksome since the 1996 "Freedom to Farm" law passed by Congress was supposed to wean farmers off of harmful government subsidies.

The conference report on the farm subsidies bill, H.R. 2559, passed the Senate on May 25, 2000 by a vote of 91-4 (Roll Call 115). We have assigned pluses to the nays.



On the Amendment S.Amdt. 3154 to S. 2521 (Military Construction Appropriations Act, 2001): To strike certain provisions which requires ground troops be withdrawn from Kosovo by a fixed date.
Vote Date: May 18, 2000Vote: AYEBad Vote.
Troops in Kosovo. This amendment would strike the provision in the military construction appropriations bill that would terminate funding for continued troop deployment in Kosovo unless Congress authorized the deployment. The provision also declared that no more than 75 percent of year 2000 supplemental spending for Kosovo could be obligated until the president certified that the European allies were paying specific percentages of the costs involved. If the administration did not certify those requirements by July 15, 2000, then the remaining money could be used only to withdraw the troops.

The amendment to strike the Kosovo provision of S. 2521 passed the Senate on May 18, 2000 by a vote of 53-47 (Roll Call 105). We have assigned pluses to the nays.



On the Amendment S.Amdt. 3148 to S. 2521 (Military Construction Appropriations Act, 2001): To express the sense of the Senate with regard to the Million Mom March and gun safety legislation.
Vote Date: May 17, 2000Vote: AYEBad Vote.
Gun Control. This sense of the Senate vote was offered by Senator Tom Daschle (D-SD) to commend the organizers of the Million Mom March and urge Congress to give swift approval to H.R. 1501, the "Juvenile Justice Reform Act," which would increase federal control of local police through new federal programs that employ federal funds.

This sense of the Senate measure, S. 2521, passed the Senate on May 17, 2000 by a vote of 50-49 (Roll Call 104). We have assigned pluses to the nays.



On the Amendment S.Amdt. 3127 to S. 2 (Educational Opportunities Act): To improve the bill.
Vote Date: May 9, 2000Vote: NAYGood Vote.
"Centrist" Democrat Substitute for ESEA. This proposed substitute to the reauthorization of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA) would increase spending on this program by $35 billion over five years. Yet this Democratic alternative was referred to by its supporters as "centrist" since it would entail block grants to the states (a GOP-favored approach), which would then allocate the money for the public schools, as opposed to allocating the money directly.

The Democrat substitute for S. 2 was rejected on May 9, 2000 by a vote of 13-84 (Roll Call 95). We have assigned pluses to the nays.



On the Amendment S.Amdt. 3122 to S. 2 (Educational Opportunities Act): To provide for class size reduction programs.
Vote Date: May 4, 2000Vote: AYEBad Vote.
Class Size Reduction. This amendment proposed by Senator Patty Murray (D-WA) would provide $1.75 billion in 2001 for measures to reduce class size. These measures would include recruiting and hiring new teachers, testing new teachers, and providing professional development. Yet, as Senator Tim Hutchinson (R-AR) pointed out in debate, the teacher-pupil ratio has been falling for a half century, and test scores have been falling as well. Hutchinson also voiced concerns about the amendment being a step toward nationalizing education and that it would have the unintended consequence of teachers leaving the "worst schools ... to fill newly created affluent slots."

The class size reduction amendment to S. 2 was rejected by the Senate on May 4, 2000 by a vote of 44-53 (Roll Call 93). We have assigned pluses to the nays.



On the Amendment S.Amdt. 3111 to S. 2 (Educational Opportunities Act): To improve the bill.
Vote Date: May 3, 2000Vote: AYEBad Vote.
Democrat Substitute for ESEA. This Democrat version of the reauthorization of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA) would provide money for many programs, including $2 billion for teacher recruitment and training, $1.75 billion to hire 100,000 new teachers, and $1.3 billion in grants and loans for emergency school repairs and renovations. States would also be required to come up with accountability plans and would be held accountable for student performance.

The Democrat substitute for S. 2 was rejected on May 3, 2000 by a vote of 45-54 (Roll Call 90). We have assigned pluses to the nays.



On the Amendment S.Amdt. 2939 to S.Con.Res. 101: To reduce the GOP tax cut by less than 1 percent in FY2001, and 1.8 percent over 5 years, to increase the Pell grant maximum by a total of $400- raising the basic Pell grant from the current $3,300 to $3,700.
Vote Date: April 7, 2000Vote: AYEBad Vote.
Increase in Pell Grants. Senator Edward Kennedy (D-MA) offered this amendment to increase by $400 the maximum individual grant through the Pell program. Currently the maximum allowable grant is $3,300. The proposed increase would mean that the program would cost a total of $1.4 billion a year.

The amendment to Senate Concurrent Resolution 101 increasing Pell grants was adopted on April 7, 2000 by a vote of 51-49 (Roll Call 69). We have assigned pluses to the nays.



On the Amendment S.Amdt. 2957 to S.Con.Res. 101: To provide a substitute.
Vote Date: April 7, 2000Vote: AYEBad Vote.
Democrat Budget Alternative. The Democrats' proposed substitute for the 2001 Budget Resolution would provide for $616 billion in discretionary spending in 2001, create a reserve fund of $40 billion over five years for Medicare prescription drug benefits, and allot $58.9 billion over five years for tax cuts. (The Republican version calls for $600.5 billion in discretionary spending, $40 billion over five years for Medicare prescription drug benefits, and $147.1 billion over five years for tax cuts.) Senator Pete Domenici (R-NM) summed up what he saw as the major difference between the two versions saying, "We think this is not the time to grow Government that much, but, rather, leave a little more ... for tax relief for the American people." This is not to say, as Domenici would argue, that the GOP version was worthy of support either; it simply was not as bad as the Democrat alternative.

The Democrats' budget substitute for Senate Concurrent Resolution 101 was rejected on April 7, 2000 by a vote of 45-55 (Roll Call 71). We have assigned pluses to the nays.



On the Amendment S.Amdt. 3079 to S.Amdt. 2951 to S.Con.Res. 101: To express the sense of the Senate concerning an increase in the Federal minimum wage.
Vote Date: April 7, 2000Vote: AYEBad Vote.
Minimum Wage Increase. This amendment would express the sense of the Senate that the minimum wage should be increased by $1 over one year.

The minimum wage amendment to Senate Concurrent Resolution 101 passed on April 7, 2000 by a vote of 51-48 (Roll Call 76). We have assigned pluses to the nays.



On the Amendment S.Amdt. 2962 to S.Con.Res. 101: To expand medicaid and S. CHIP coverage to low income families.
Vote Date: April 7, 2000Vote: AYEBad Vote.
Medicaid Expansion. Senator Edward Kennedy (D-MA) offered this amendment to the budget resolution to eliminate $11.2 billion in tax cuts and use what he termed as "savings" to provide health insurance to the parents of children covered by Medicaid and CHIP (Children's Health Insurance Plan). Children are eligible for CHIP when their families' earnings are above the cut-off for Medicaid eligibility. Making clear that this expansion of the welfare state is "for the children," Kennedy insisted: "Parents are much more likely to enroll their children in health insurance programs, if the parents themselves can obtain coverage."

The Medicaid and CHIP expansion amendment to Senate Concurrent Resolution 101 was rejected by the Senate on April, 7, 2000 by a vote of 49-49 (Roll Call 78). We have assigned pluses to the nays.



On the Motion to Table S.Amdt. 2926 to S.Con.Res. 101: To provide funding for certain education programs.
Vote Date: April 5, 2000Vote: NAYBad Vote.
Education Funding Instead of Tax Cuts. This motion by Senator Pete Domenici (R-NM) would table (kill) Senator Jeff Bingaman's (D-NM) amendment to the 2001 Budget Resolution. Bingaman's amendment would "redirect" $28.1 billion of the tax cut provision in the bill toward a plethora of federal education programs and would eventually increase the total amount for education over five years by $34.7 billion.

The motion to kill the education amendment to Senate Concurrent Resolution 101 was passed by the Senate on April 5, 2000 by a vote of 54-46 (Roll Call 54). We have assigned pluses to the yeas.



On Passage of the Bill S. 2097: A bill to authorize loan guarantees in order to facilitate access to local television broadcast signals in unserved and underserved areas, and for other purposes.
Vote Date: March 30, 2000Vote: AYEBad Vote.
Television for "Underserved" Areas. This bill proposing a $1.25 billion loan guarantee program for local television in "underserved" areas is similar to House Vote (below).

[ Television for "Underserved" Areas. As a way of providing local television to 30 million households in areas of the country that cannot receive over-the-air signals or do not have local television through a satellite provider, this bill would create a new program that would provide $1.25 billion in loan guarantees to telecommunication providers. The loans would offer a competitive edge to satellite providers since cable companies cannot apply for the loans to expand their service. The loans would be administered by the Department of Agriculture's Rural Utilities Service. Representative Christopher Cox (R-CA) in floor debate asserted that the Rural Utilities Service is "writing off billions of dollars in their existing loan portfolio left and right, at taxpayer expense, and ... about 30 to 40 percent of the loans that are going to get made under this program are likely to be written off. So one can look at the cost of this program [and see that] right up front [it] is about $400 million." ]

The bill, S. 2097, passed the Senate on March 30, 2000 by a vote of 97-0 (Roll Call 50). We did not assign any pluses, since there weren't any nays.



On the Joint Resolution S.J.Res. 14: A joint resolution proposing an amendment to the Constitution of the United States authorizing Congress to prohibit the physical desecration of the flag of the United States.
Vote Date: March 29, 2000Vote: NAYGood Vote.
Flag Desecration Constitutional Amendment. This joint resolution proposes a constitutional amendment to grant Congress the power to prohibit the physical desecration of the U.S. flag. Senator Strom Thurmond (R-SC), who argued for the amendment, stated that it would "once again give Congress the authority to protect the flag from physical desecration.... It would simply overturn a few very recent judicial decisions that rejected America's traditional approach to the flag under the law." However, if Congress truly wishes to rein in the Supreme Court with regard to flag burning, it can simply exercise its constitutional power to limit the Court's appellate jurisdiction (Article III, Section 2).

The proposed flag desecration constitutional amendment, Senate Joint Resolution 14, failed to attain the two-thirds majority required and was rejected on March 29, 2000 by a vote of 63-37 (Roll Call 48). We have assigned pluses to the nays.



On the Amendment S.Amdt. 2872 to S. 1134 (Affordable Education Act of 2000): To establish programs to enable States and local educational agencies to place a qualified teacher in every classroom.
Vote Date: March 2, 2000Vote: AYEBad Vote.
Teacher Training. Another amendment to S. 1134, this one offered by Senator Edward Kennedy (D-MA), would eliminate the education savings accounts increase provided by the bill, and would use the resulting $1.2 billion in revenue to train and recruit teachers. Under this amendment, states would be held accountable for having qualified teachers in classrooms within four years of enacting the legislation.

The teacher training/recruitment amendment to S. 1134 was rejected by the Senate on March 2, 2000 by a vote of 39-60 (Roll Call 25). We have assigned pluses to the nays.



On the Amendment S.Amdt. 2878 to S.Amdt. 2876 to S. 1134 (Affordable Education Act of 2000): To provide a limitation regarding the policy of prohibiting social promotion.
Vote Date: March 2, 2000Vote: NAYGood Vote.
Exemptions to Achievement Standards. Senator Paul Wellstone (D-MN) offered this amendment to exempt students from proposed achievement standards if they had not been "afforded ... an opportunity to learn the material necessary to meet the State achievement standards." Vaguely worded definitions of "opportunity" would allow a multitude of exceptions to an already meddlesome proposed federal requirement for states and local school districts receiving funds to implement achievement standards.

The Wellstone amendment was rejected by the Senate on March 2, 2000 by a vote of 29-69 (Roll Call 30). We have assigned pluses to the nays.



On the Amendment S.Amdt. 2879 to S. 1134 (Affordable Education Act of 2000): To reduce violence in schools.
Vote Date: March 2, 2000Vote: AYEBad Vote.
"Educating" about Gun Violence. The February 29, 2000 shooting of a first-grader by her classmate in Flint, Michigan, was used as fodder for this amendment proposed by Senator Richard Durbin (D-IL). The amendment would authorize up to $7 million in grants in 2001 and additional sums for the next four years to develop programs to reduce violence in schools, to indoctrinate children about the dangers of guns, and to provide violence-prevention information to children and parents.

The Durbin gun-violence amendment to S. 1134 passed the Senate on March 2, 2000 by a vote of 91-7 (Roll Call 32). We have assigned pluses to the nays.



On the Motion to Table S.Amdt. 2861 to S. 1134 (Affordable Education Act of 2000): To eliminate the use of education individual retirement accounts for elementary and secondary school expenses and to expand the incentives for the construction and renovation of public schools.
Vote Date: March 1, 2000Vote: NAYBad Vote.
School Construction. This vote concerns Senator William Roth's (R-DE) motion to kill Senator Charles Robb's (D-VA) amendment to the education savings accounts bill. Robb's amendment would provide $25 billion in federal tax credits to holders of "qualified school modernization bonds." It would also authorize $1.3 billion annually for five years in grants and zero-interest loans for school repairs. Of course, with federal money there is always a catch. As Roth stated in floor debate, "This program involves a dramatic increase in bureaucracy, while at the same time striking at the heart of local control of education...." State or local school districts would need to get the approval of the Department of Education in order to qualify for the bonds. The Department of Education then would make sure the district had completed all the surveys and studies required, and, in Roth's words, "Washington would be micromanaging a local school district's renovation plans ... second guessing the decision of state and local officials."

A motion to table (kill) the Robb amendment to S. 1134 passed the Senate on March 1, 2000 by a vote of 57-42 (Roll Call 17). We have assigned pluses to the yeas.



On the Amendment S.Amdt. 2821 to S. 1134 (Affordable Education Act of 2000): To provide for class size reduction programs.
Vote Date: March 1, 2000Vote: AYEBad Vote.
Class Size Reduction. This amendment proposed by Senator Patty Murray (D-WA) would authorize $1.2 billion in fiscal 2001 for measures to reduce class size, mainly through hiring more teachers.

The class reduction amendment to S. 1134 was rejected by the Senate on March 1, 2000 by a vote of 42-56 (Roll Call 21). We have assigned pluses to the nays.



On the Motion (Motion to Waive CBA re: Dodd Amdt No 2857): To increase funding for part B of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act.
Vote Date: February 29, 2000Vote: AYEBad Vote.
Special Education Funding. Currently, families can save $500 per year in tax-preferred accounts for education. A bill before the Senate would have allowed for an increase in that amount to $2,000 per year. However, Senator Christopher Dodd (D-CT) offered an amendment to the education savings account bill that would have disallowed that proposed increase and instead would have authorized the distribution to states over the next five years the sum of $1.2 billion for special education programs. Under the Dodd amendment, spending decisions would be made by the federal government rather than by parents who would otherwise have been able to decide for themselves how to spend the money accumulated in education savings accounts.

The Dodd special education amendment to S. 1134 was rejected by the Senate on February 29, 2000 by a vote of 44-54 (Roll Call 15). We have assigned pluses to the nays.



On the Conference Report H.R. 3194: An act making consolidated appropriations for the fiscal year ending September 30, 2000, and for other purposes.
Vote Date: November 19, 1999Vote: AYEBad Vote.
Expanding the Welfare State. This legislation is identical to the legislation described in House Vote (below).

[ House - Welfare State Expansion. This $385 billion monstrosity constitutes a complete sellout of conservative principles to the demands of the welfare-staters at the White House. This measure would fund five regular annual appropriations bills (District of Columbia, Labor/HHS/Education, Foreign Operations, Commerce/Justice/State/Judiciary, and Interior), often at higher levels than were originally requested by the Clinton administration.

The Health and Human Services Department - the key welfare agency of the federal government - received an 11.4 percent increase in funding, more than Mr. Clinton originally requested. The Department of Education received a 6.8 percent increase in funding, also more than Mr. Clinton originally sought. Foreign aid spending was also funded at a higher level than originally sought by the President. President Clinton's federal teacher hiring initiative was granted $1.325 billion, the COPS program of federally paid law enforcement officers was awarded $595 million, and alleged "arrears" payments to the United Nations were authorized to the tune of $926 million.

Some Republicans falsely sold the bill to conservatives on the grounds that it contained a strong pro-life provision in the foreign aid section. But the bill allows President Clinton to waive the provision, a prohibition against funding international family-planning organizations, if he is willing to subtract a mere $12.5 million penalty from the $385 million population control budget. (Subsequently, this is exactly what Mr. Clinton did.) ]

The bill, the final version of H.R. 3194, was adopted by the Senate on November 19, 1999 by a vote of 74-24 (Roll Call 374). We have assigned pluses to the nays.



On the Amendment S.Amdt. 2321 to S.Amdt. 2320 to S.Amdt. 2319 to S. 1692: To express the sense of Congress in support of the Supreme Court's decision in Roe v. Wade.
Vote Date: October 21, 1999Vote: AYEBad Vote.
Validating Roe v. Wade. This non-binding, "sense of Congress" measure would put Congress on record as stating that "Roe v. Wade was an appropriate decision," that giving mothers the ability to kill their babies in utero "secures an important constitutional right," and that Roe "should not be overturned." The 1973 Supreme Court Roe v. Wade decision was a landmark in judicial activism; it single-handedly nullified the long-standing abortion laws in 50 states without citing a single precedent for High Court jurisdiction over abortion laws. Since the Roe decision, more than 38 million unborn children have been slaughtered with legalized abortion.

This measure, a second-degree amendment to the partial birth abortion ban bill (S. 1692), was adopted by the Senate on October 21, 1999 by a vote of 51-47 (Roll Call 337). We have assigned pluses to the nays. After the second-degree Roe amendment was added to the underlying amendment, the Roe amendment was added to the bill by voice vote.



On the Conference Report H.R. 1906: A bill making appropriations for Agriculture, Rural Development, Food and Drug Administration, and Related Agencies for the fiscal year ending September 30, 2000, and for other purposes.
Vote Date: October 13, 1999Vote: AYEBad Vote.
Agricultural Appropriations. This legislation is described under House Vote (below).

[ House - Agricultural Appropriations. This measure would appropriate $69 billion for agricultural programs, food stamps, and foreign aid programs for fiscal year 2000. The legislation represents an irresponsible 11 percent increase in spending over fiscal 1999. ]

The bill, the final version of H.R. 1906, was adopted by the Senate on October 13, 1999 by a vote of 74-26 (Roll Call 323). We have assigned pluses to the nays.



On the Resolution of Ratification Treaty Doc. 105-28: Comprehensive Nuclear Test-Ban Treaty, opened for signature and signed by the United States at New York on September 24, 1996. Treaty includes two Annexes, a Protocol, and two Annexes to the Protocol
Vote Date: October 13, 1999Vote: AYEBad Vote.
Nuclear Test Ban Treaty. This vote is on ratification of the Comprehensive Nuclear Test Ban Treaty (CTBT), which would ban the testing of nuclear weapons by the United States. "The CTBT is a dangerous treaty which, if ratified, would do enormous harm to our national security," explained Senator Jesse Helms (R-NC). "It will not and cannot accomplish its highly exaggerated goal of halting the spread of nuclear weapons, because the CIA has repeatedly made clear that the CTBT cannot be verified. Moreover, at the same time, it would undermine America's security by undermining confidence in the safety and reliability of our nuclear arsenal."

The Senate rejected the treaty on October 13, 1999 by a vote of 48-51 (Roll Call 325). We have assigned pluses to the nays.



On Passage of the Bill S. 1650: An original bill making appropriations for the Departments of Labor, Health and Human Services, and Education, and related agencies for the fiscal year ending September 30, 2000, and for other purposes.
Vote Date: October 7, 1999Vote: AYEBad Vote.
Labor/HHS/Education Funding. This $318 billion bill is the main funding measure for the federal welfare state during fiscal 2000. The Senate big spenders not only increased the amount over fiscal 1999 by more than nine percent, they actually gave President Clinton $5.8 billion more than he requested.

The measure, S. 1650, was passed by the Senate on October 7, 1999 by a vote of 73-25 (Roll Call 321). We have assigned pluses to the nays.



On the Motion to Table S.Amdt. 1809 to S. 1650 (Departments of Labor, Health and Human Services, and Education, and Related Agencies Appropriations Act, 2000): To increase funds for the 21st century community learning centers program.
Vote Date: September 30, 1999Vote: NAYBad Vote.
After-School Child Care. This legislation would increase by $200 million the funding for federal after-school programs. This is yet another example of a legislative initiative by senators who propose to take money from people who earned it and distribute it to people who neither earned it nor have a moral claim to the funds.
Senator Edward Kennedy (D-MA), who could almost fund the entire amendment out of his family's vast wealth, supported instead a taxpayer expenditure. He suggested that Congress eliminate the one percent rate cut on the lowest income tax bracket: "If we were able to have that amount of money that would be used in the tax cut, why not take $200 million of that $792 billion and put it in after-school programs to service 370,000 children?"

The Senate voted to table the after-school funding increase, an amendment to S. 1650, on September 30, 1999 by a vote of 54-45 (Roll Call 299). We have assigned pluses to the yeas.



On the Motion to Table S.Amdt. 1813 to S. 1650 (Departments of Labor, Health and Human Services, and Education, and Related Agencies Appropriations Act, 2000): To increase funding for activities carried out under the Child Care and Development Block Grant Act of 1990.
Vote Date: September 30, 1999Vote: NAYBad Vote.
More Money for Federal Day Care. Senator Christopher Dodd (D-CT) proposed a measure to increase the federal day care block grant program by $817 million, raising the total to $2 billion. Like the federal after-school programs described in Senate Vote (After-School Child Care), this amendment is yet another robbery clothed in parliamentary legalese. This proposal would take $817 million from the hard-working taxpayers who earned it and distribute it to needy people who have no moral claim on the funds.

The Senate rejected a motion to table (kill) the measure, an amendment on S. 1650, on September 30, 1999 by a vote of 41-54 (Roll Call 303). We have assigned pluses to the yeas. After the tabling motion failed, the amendment was adopted by voice vote.



On the Motion to Table S.Amdt. 1804 to S. 1650 (Departments of Labor, Health and Human Services, and Education, and Related Agencies Appropriations Act, 2000): To specify that $1.4 billion be made available for class size reduction programs consistent with the provisions of Section 307 of Public Law 105-277.
Vote Date: September 29, 1999Vote: NAYBad Vote.
Nationalizing Education. This vote was on a measure that would allocate $1.4 billion in the pending Labor/HHS/Education appropriations bill toward President Clinton's latest socialist fancy: Hiring 100,000 teachers for local school districts from the federal till. The sickening part of the congressional debate was that both parties endorsed the erroneous notion that federal funding of education is both constitutional and a good thing, as if federal funds for education appear miraculously like manna from Heaven without first having been taken from American citizens by confiscatory taxation.

The Senate tabled (killed) the measure, an amendment to S. 1650, on September 29, 1999 by a vote of 54-44 (Roll Call 298). We have assigned pluses to the yeas.



On the Nomination PN135: 7 nominations in the Army beginning with Wesley D. Collier and ending with Thomas L. Musselman
Vote Date: August 5, 1999Vote: AYEBad Vote.
Holbrooke Nomination. This vote was on the nomination of Richard Holbrooke to be U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations. Holbrooke is the author of the disastrous Dayton Accords, which sealed the fate of thousands of Serbs and produced the current, indefinite U.S. intervention in the Balkans. "I am voting against him," Senator Tim Hutchinson (R-AR) declared, "because I disagree with the policy that he has put forward in the Balkans. I just can't, in good conscience, vote for someone who I think is taking our country in the wrong direction. This is his policy: that the United States should spend billions of dollars, wear and tear on our equipment and our troops, stretching our military for a goal that I believe is not achievable."

The Senate confirmed the nomination of Richard Holbrooke on August 5, 1999 by a vote of 81-16 (Roll Call 259). We have assigned pluses to the nays.



On the Motion to Table H.R. 2466: A bill making appropriations for the Department of the Interior and related agencies for the fiscal year ending September 30, 2000, and for other purposes.
Vote Date: August 5, 1999Vote: AYEBad Vote.
National Endowment for the Arts. This vote was on a measure proposed by Senator Robert Smith (R-NH) to eliminate $99 million slated for the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA), effectively abolishing the agency.

The U.S. Constitution does not grant to any branch of the federal government the power to fund art. Smith therefore reminded his colleagues of their oath of office. "We came here to pass laws that support the Constitution of the United States," Smith stated. "Whatever you may feel about this issue, we did not come here to pass laws about our personal beliefs.... When we swear to uphold that document, we agree to live by that vision whether we like it or not."

Sen. Smith's legislation, an amendment to H.R. 2466, was tabled (killed) by the Senate on August 5, 1999 by a vote of 80-16 (Roll Call 260). We have assigned pluses to the nays.



On the Conference Report H.R. 2488: A bill to amend the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 to reduce individual income tax rates, to provide marriage penalty relief, to reduce taxes on savings and investments, to provide estate and gift tax relief, to provide incentives for education savings and health care, and for other purposes.
Vote Date: August 5, 1999Vote: NAYBad Vote.
Republican Tax Cut Package. This legislation is identical that described in House Vote (below).

[ House - Republican Tax Cut Package. The Republican tax plan would implement several tax cuts over a 10-year period. The legislation would cut the income tax rate by one percent beginning in 2005, but the tax cut would sunset by 2009. The measure would also cut the capital gains rate immediately by two percentage points, eliminate the marriage penalty under income taxes (starting in 2001), and phase out estate taxes until 2009 (after which the tax would be higher than current law).

The Republican Party trumpeted this bill as being a $792 billion tax cut, and the White House lobbied furiously against it claiming that the cuts were irresponsible. But the $792 billion figure is mere political posturing, since it is not only the projected total for a 10-year period but is based on projected costs in future years. Nevertheless, the bill was better than no tax cut at all and was deserving of support. ]

The measure, the final version of H.R. 2488, was adopted by the Senate on August 5, 1999 by a vote of 50-49 (Roll Call 261). We have assigned pluses to the yeas.



On the Motion to Table S.Amdt. 1510 to S.Amdt. 1499 to S. 1233 (Agriculture, Rural Development, Food and Drug Administration, and Related Agencies Appropriations Act, 2000): To prohibit the use of appropriated funds for the sugar program, other than the marketing assessment.
Vote Date: August 4, 1999Vote: AYEBad Vote.
Eliminate Sugar Subsidy. This amendment would eliminate the federal sugar subsidy program, which creates import quotas, price supports, and loans to growers. Noting that the cost of this program to consumers is $1.4 billion in higher prices and higher taxes, Senator Judd Gregg (R-NH) explained that "the sugar program stifles competition. Seventeen growers get 38 percent of the benefit of this program...."

The measure, an amendment to S. 1233, was tabled (killed) by the Senate on August 4, 1999 by a vote of 66-33 (Roll Call 254). We have assigned pluses to the nays.



On the Motion (Motion to Waive CBA Re: Bingaman Amendment No.1462): To express the sense of the Senate regarding investment in education.
Vote Date: July 30, 1999Vote: AYEBad Vote.
More Federal Education Spending. This amendment would simply express the "sense of the Senate" that $132 million of the proposed 10-year tax cut should be shifted to wasteful federal education programs. The proposal untruthfully states that the tax cut it would abolish, a one percent reduction in the rate of the lowest income tax bracket, would "disproportionately benefit upper income taxpayers." Senator Tim Hutchinson (R-AR) argued against the amendment, noting that "If we do not pass the $792 billion tax relief, that money will not go toward paying down the national debt. It will, as already suggested in the speeches on the other side in the last few minutes, immediately go into more spending."

The Senate killed the measure, an amendment to S. 1429, defeating by a 48-52 vote on July 30, 1999 a waiver of a Budget Act point of order against the measure (Roll Call 232). We have assigned pluses to the nays.



On the Motion (Motion to Waive the CBA Re: Kennedy Amendment No.1383): To increase the Federal minimum wage.
Vote Date: July 30, 1999Vote: AYEBad Vote.
Minimum Wage Increase. A proposal by Senator Edward Kennedy (D-MA) would increase the national minimum wage by one dollar, from $5.15 per hour to $6.15 per hour. Senator Don Nickles (R-OK) opposed the amendment, observing that "we should not be passing a law in a tax cut bill to say it is against the law anywhere in the country to work for $6.10 an hour, that the federal government, in its infinite wisdom, decided if you don't have a job that pays at least $6.15 an hour you should be unemployed."

Sen. Kennedy's measure, an amendment to S. 1429, was rejected by the Senate on July 30, 1999 by a vote of 46-54 (Roll Call 239). We have assigned pluses to the nays.



On the Motion to Discharge S.J.Res. 27: A joint resolution disapproving the extension of nondiscriminatory treatment (normal trade relations treatment) to the products of the People's Republic of China.
Vote Date: July 20, 1999Vote: NAYBad Vote.
MFN/NTR Trade with Red China. This legislation is identical to the House Vote in that it would reverse President Clinton's decision to grant China "Normal Trade Relations" (formerly Most Favored Nation status). But the Senate dispensed with the measure in a different manner, voting on whether to discharge the resolution from the Senate Finance Committee for a vote on passage instead of voting on the resolution itself.

The Senate rejected the discharge motion on the bill, S.J. Res. 27, on July 20, 1999, by a vote of 12-87 (Roll Call 213). We have assigned pluses to the yeas.



On the Motion to Discharge S.J.Res. 28: A joint resolution disapproving the extension of the waiver authority contained in section 402(c) of the Trade Act of 1974 with respect to Vietnam.
Vote Date: July 20, 1999Vote: NAYBad Vote.
Subsidized Trade with Vietnam. "Vietnam has historically not been eligible to take advantage of American taxpayer-funded programs which subsidize business deals between American companies and the Communist Government agencies in Hanoi," explained Senator Robert Smith (R-NH). "That is, until last year."

In 1998 President Clinton issued a waiver of the Jackson-Vanik law for Communist Vietnam, giving a green light to federal corporate subsidy programs beneficial to the Red regime. Sen. Smith's legislation would overturn Clinton's waiver and ban taxpayer subsidies from going to the butchers in Hanoi through programs such as the Overseas Private Investment Corporation, Export-Import Bank, and U.S. Department of Agriculture subsidy programs.

A discharge motion on Sen. Smith's bill (S. J. Res 28) would have brought the measure from the Finance Committee to the floor for a vote on passage. The Senate rejected the motion on July 20, 1999 by a vote of 5-94 (Roll Call 214). We have assigned pluses to the yeas.



On the Motion to Table S.Amdt. 1200 to S. 1282 (Federal Employees Child Care Act): To prohibit the use of funds the pay for an abortion or to pay for the administrative expenses in connection with certain health plans that provide coverage for abortions.
Vote Date: July 1, 1999Vote: AYEBad Vote.
Subsidizing Abortions. This measure, an amendment to ban federal financing of employee abortions, is identical to House Vote (below). It was adopted by voice vote after a tabling motion failed.

[ House - Subsidizing Abortions. Representative Rosa DeLauro (D-CT) proposed a measure that would allow abortions to be included as medical expenses in the health care coverage the federal government subsidizes for its employees. Representative Curt Weldon (R-PA), opposing DeLauro's proposal, explained that "the unborn baby in the womb is not a potential life. It meets all of the criteria of a life, the criteria that I used to use as a practicing physician to determine whether somebody is alive or dead: a beating heart, active brain waves." ]

The tabling (killing) motion on the measure, an amendment to S. 1282, was rejected by the Senate on July 1, 1999 by a vote of 47-51 (Roll Call 197). We have assigned pluses to the nays.



On Passage of the Bill S. 1234: An original bill making appropriations for foreign operations, export financing, and related programs for the fiscal year ending September 30, 2000, and for other purposes.
Vote Date: June 30, 1999Vote: AYEBad Vote.
Foreign Aid Appropriations. This $12.7 billion foreign aid appropriations bill is similar to House Vote (below).

[ House - Foreign Aid Appropriations. This legislation would appropriate $12.7 billion during fiscal 2000 for wasteful and unconstitutional foreign aid programs abroad. ]

This bill, S. 1234, was adopted by the Senate on June 30, 1999 by a vote of 97-2 (Roll Call 192). We have assigned pluses to the nays.



On the Motion to Table S.Amdt. 406 to S. 1059 (National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2000): To prohibit, effective October 1, 1999, the use of funds for military operations in the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia (Serbia and Montenegro) unless Congress enacts speific authorization in law for the conduct of those operations.
Vote Date: May 26, 1999Vote: AYEBad Vote.
End Aggression Against Yugoslavia. Senator Robert Smith (R-NH) proposed a measure to prohibit military aggression by the U.S. government against Yugoslavia after October 1, 1999. Unlike Senator Specter's amendment (below), this measure would require an end to the air war as well. Sen. Smith noted: "Every single person out there who has a son or daughter old enough to serve in the military should ask themselves: Is it worth my son's or daughter's life to die in Yugoslavia for a humanitarian crisis that does not involve the national security of the United States?"

[ Specter's amendment - Combat Troops to Yugoslavia. A proposal by Senator Arlen Specter (R-PA) would prohibit any funds in the Defense Department authorization bill from being used to introduce combat troops into Yugoslavia, including Kosovo. The measure would exempt "peacekeeping" police forces from the prohibition, and would therefore act mainly as a prohibition against a military invasion. Sen. Specter explained that the measure "is designed to uphold the Constitution of the United States, which grants the exclusive authority to declare war to the Congress of the United States." ]

Senator Smith's proposal, an amendment to S. 1059, was tabled (killed) by the Senate on May 26, 1999 by a vote of 77-21 (Roll Call 151). We have assigned pluses to the nays.



On the Motion to Table S.Amdt. 383 to S. 1059 (National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2000): To direct the President, pursuant to the United States Constitution and the War Powers Resolution, to seek approval from Congress prior to the introduction of ground troops from the United States Armed Forces in connection with present operations against the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia or funding for that operations will not be authorized.
Vote Date: May 25, 1999Vote: AYEBad Vote.
Combat Troops to Yugoslavia. A proposal by Senator Arlen Specter (R-PA) would prohibit any funds in the Defense Department authorization bill from being used to introduce combat troops into Yugoslavia, including Kosovo. The measure would exempt "peacekeeping" police forces from the prohibition, and would therefore act mainly as a prohibition against a military invasion. Sen. Specter explained that the measure "is designed to uphold the Constitution of the United States, which grants the exclusive authority to declare war to the Congress of the United States."

Senator Specter's proposal, an amendment to S. 1059, was tabled (killed) by the Senate on May 25, 1999 by a vote of 52-48 (Roll Call 145). We have assigned pluses to the nays.