Name: Scott Brown


Senate: Massachusetts, Republican


Cumulative Freedom Index Score: 37%


Status: Former Member of the Senate

Score Breakdown:
27% (112th Congress: 2011-2012); 69% (111th Congress: 2009-2010)

Key Votes:



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

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

The 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: AYEGood 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: AYEGood 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: AYEGood 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: NAYGood 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: NAYGood 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: AYEGood 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: NAYGood 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: NAYGood 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: AYEGood 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: AYEGood 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: AYEGood 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: AYEBad Vote.
Supplemental Appropriations. The supplemental appropriations bill (H.R. 4899) would provide an additional $58.8 billion in "emergency" funding for the current fiscal year (2010). The supplemental appropriations in the bill include $37.1 billion for military operations in Iraq and Afghanistan, $5.1 billion for the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), and $2.9 for earthquake relief in Haiti.

The 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: NAYBad 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: NAYGood 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



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