Name: John Chafee


Senate: Rhode Island, Republican


Cumulative Freedom Index Score: 38%


Status: Former Member of the Senate

Score Breakdown:
38% (106th Congress: 1999-2000)

Key Votes:





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





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: NAYGood 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: AYEGood 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: NONE No 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: AYEGood 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: AYEGood 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: NAYGood 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: NAYGood 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: NAYGood 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.



Affiliates and Friends

Social Media