Name: Christopher Carney


Congress: Pennsylvania, District: 10, Democrat


Cumulative Freedom Index Score: 14%


Status: Former Member of the House

Score Breakdown:
11% (111th Congress: 2009-2010); 17% (110th Congress: 2007-2008)

Key Votes:



Motion: Table the Appeal of the Ruling of the Chair
Vote Date: September 23, 2010Vote: AYEBad Vote.
Lame-duck Session. We are used to Congress convening "lame-duck" sessions of Congress in even-numbered years between the general elections in early November and the beginning of the new Congress on January 3 of the next year. We've had an unbroken string of lame-duck sessions every even-numbered year since 1998. Although these post-election sessions include many lawmakers who were either defeated or didn't run for reelection, what we call lame-duck sessions of Congress were actually business as usual for the first 140 years of our nation's history. However, the 20th Amendment to the Constitution in 1933 included two provisions to greatly reduce the time available to convene such sessions by moving the beginning date for new terms of Senators and Representatives from March 4 to January 3 of odd-numbered years and mandating that Congress begin meeting on January 3 each year.

Even though the time during which lame-duck sessions can be convened has been greatly shortened by the 20th Amendment, they are once again business as usual for Congress. Although lame-duck sessions are prohibited in 39 state legislatures, public sentiment so far has not been sufficiently mobilized to prohibit such sessions for Congress. The heart of the problem, of course, is that recently defeated and retired Senators and Representatives are still voting on legislation in these sessions, even though the voters have already elected their replacements. This problem is greatly heightened when a massive swing in voter sentiment leads to a change in which party controls one or both houses of Congress, which appears likely in November 2010.

The House agreed to a motion to table (kill) a draft resolution which would pledge that the House would not convene a lame-duck session between November 2, 2010 and January 3, 2011 on September 23, 2010 by a vote of 236-172 (Roll Call 534). We have assigned pluses to the nays because even though a lame-duck session is not unconstitutional, it undermines the representative government established by the Constitution.



H R 1586: To modernize the air traffic control system, improve the safety, reliability, and availability of transportation by air in the United States, provide for modernization of the air traffic control system, reauthorize the Federal Aviation Administration, and for other purposes.
Vote Date: August 10, 2010Vote: AYEBad Vote.
Medicaid and Education Assistance. This legislation (H.R. 1586) would provide $26.1 billion in state aid for Medicaid ($16.1 billion of the total) and education ($10 billion). The latter is for the purpose of creating or retaining education-related jobs.

The House agreed to this legislation on August 10, 2010 by a vote of 247-161 (Roll Call 518). We have assigned pluses to the nays because the federal government has no constitutional authority to pay for healthcare for the poor or to fund education. Also, there is no statistical evidence showing that federal involvement in education has increased learning -- though it certainly has increased federal bureaucracy and control.



H.Amdt. 17 to H. R. 5850: On Agreeing to the Amendment 17 to H R 5850
Vote Date: July 29, 2010Vote: NONE No Vote.
Transportation-HUD Appropriations (Spending Cut). This bill (H.R. 5850) would appropriate $126.3 billion in fiscal 2011 for the Transportation Department, HUD, and related agencies. During consideration of the bill, Rep. Jim Jordan (Ohio) offered an amendment to cut the spending in the bill by $18.6 billion -- about 15 percent of the total.

The House rejected Rep. Jordan's amendment on July 29, 2010 by a vote of 159-265 (Roll Call 493). We have assigned pluses to the yeas not only because federal spending needs to be cut back, but also because of the unconstitutionality of the appropriations.



H R 5850: Making appropriations for the Departments of Transportation, and Housing and Urban Development, and related agencies for the fiscal year ending September 30, 2011, and for other purposes
Vote Date: July 29, 2010Vote: NONE No Vote.
Transportation-HUD Appropriations. This legislation (H.R. 5850) would appropriate a whopping $126.3 billion in fiscal 2011 for the Departments of Transportation and Housing and Urban Development (HUD) and related agencies. The bill would provide $79.4 billion for the Transportation Department, including $11.3 billion for transit programs; and $46.6 billion for HUD, including $19.4 billion for the Section 8 rental-assistance program.

The House passed the bill on July 29, 2010 by a vote of 251-167 (Roll Call 499). We have assigned pluses to the nays because the bill is unaffordable and most of the spending is unconstitutional.



H R 4899: Making emergency supplemental appropriations for disaster relief and summer jobs for the fiscal year ending September 30, 2010, and for other purposes
Vote Date: July 27, 2010Vote: 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 House passed the bill on July 27, 2010 by a vote of 308-114 (Roll Call 474). We have assigned pluses to the nays because the spending is over and above what the federal government already budgeted, Congress never declared war against Iraq and Afghanistan, and some of the spending (e.g., foreign aid) is unconstitutional.



H R 5618: Restoration of Emergency Unemployment Compensation Act
Vote Date: July 1, 2010Vote: AYEBad Vote.
Unemployment Benefits Extension. This bill (H.R. 5618) would extend unemployment insurance benefits through November 30, 2010 (retroactive to June 2, 2010) and provide 100 percent federal funding for the extended benefits. The unemployment insurance program is run by the states and overseen by the U.S. Department of Labor. The program allows for up to 26 weeks of benefits, but Congress has extended it several times as a response to the recession and high unemployment rates.

The House passed the bill on July 1, 2010 by a vote of 270-153 (Roll Call 423). We have assigned pluses to the nays because extending unemployment benefits provides a disincentive for finding work while adding to the cost of government and doing nothing to create jobs. Indeed, if unemployment benefits were a good solution to the unemployment problem, then why not make unemployment benefits permanent? The solution, instead, is to end government and Fed intervention in the market so the market can create more and better jobs.



H R 4173: Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act of 2009
Vote Date: June 30, 2010Vote: AYEBad Vote.
Financial Regulatory Reform. This sweeping legislation (H.R. 4173) would tighten federal control of the financial sector on the false premise that the financial crisis was driven by free-market forces, as opposed to government and Fed policies (e.g., artificially low interest rates) that encouraged excessive borrowing and risk-taking. The legislation would create a new Financial Stability Oversight Council that would monitor the financial sector for system-wide risks, and could (by a two-thirds majority vote) subject non-bank entities to Fed regulatory powers and approve Fed decisions to break up large companies. It would also create a new Bureau of Consumer Financial Protection run by the Federal Reserve.

According to the American Bankers Association, the legislation would subject traditional banks to 5,000 pages of new regulations.

The House adopted the final version (conference report) of H.R. 4173 on June 30, 2010 by a vote of 237-192 (Roll Call 413). We have assigned pluses to the nays because ramping up regulatory control of the financial sector by the Fed and the federal government is not only unconstitutional but will make it exceedingly more difficult for the economy to recover.



H R 5175: Democracy is Strengthened by Casting Light on Spending in Elections Act or the DISCLOSE Act
Vote Date: June 24, 2010Vote: AYEBad Vote.
Campaign Finance Disclosure. The DISCLOSE Act ("Democracy Is Strengthened by Casting Light on Spending in Elections"), H.R. 5175, was introduced in response to the Supreme Court's 5-4 decision in Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission (January 21, 2010) that unexpectedly upheld the Constitution and free speech. The court ruled that corporations have the same free-speech rights as individuals in regard to spending their funds to broadcast "electioneering communications"; however, the case did not affect the federal prohibition on direct contributions from corporations or unions to candidate campaigns or political parties.

President Obama and certain special interest groups along with liberals in general wanted to curb the effects of that Supreme Court decision, so Rep. Christopher Van Hollen (D-Md.), who called the Supreme Court's ruling "radical," and 114 cosponsors acquiesced by introducing H.R. 5175, the DISCLOSE Act. This act would establish new regulations for corporations, unions, and advocacy and lobbying groups for campaign-related activities. Conservative advocacy groups, as well as the liberal ACLU, are opposed to this bill on the basis that it infringes on their freedom of speech.

The House passed H.R. 5175 on June 24, 2010 by a vote of 219-206 (Roll Call 391). We have assigned pluses to the nays because the federal government should not infringe on the right to free speech of corporations, unions, and other interest groups.



H R 5486: Small Business Jobs Tax Relief Act of 2010
Vote Date: June 15, 2010Vote: NAYBad Vote.
ObamaCare (Repealing the Individual Mandate to Purchase Health Insurance). On June 15 the Republicans lost the first vote in their efforts to repeal either the entire healthcare bill or at least important parts of the overhaul bill commonly known as ObamaCare. They were trying to repeal the ObamaCare individual mandate that will require virtually all Americans to purchase health insurance by 2014 or else pay a penalty. This individual mandate is so widely considered to be unconstitutional that 20 states and the National Federation of Independent Businesses have filed a lawsuit based on the unconstitutionality of this provision and over 30 states have introduced legislation to nullify the individual mandate.

Although the best solution would be for Congress to repeal the entire ObamaCare law (Public Laws 111-148 and 111-152) on the basis of its unconstitutionality, repeal of the individual mandate would be a good first step toward full repeal later. On June 15 Rep. Dave Camp (R-Mich.) took this first step by making a motion to recommit the Small Business Jobs Tax Relief Act of 2010, H.R. 5486, to the Ways and Means Committee with instructions that it be immediately reported back with language that would repeal the individual mandate to purchase health insurance in the 2010 healthcare overhaul law.

The House rejected the Camp motion on June 15, 2010 by a vote of 187-230 (Roll Call 362). We have assigned pluses to the yeas because of the unconstitutionality and wrongness of requiring anyone to purchase a product or service -- in this case health insurance.



H R 5116: America COMPETES Reauthorization Act
Vote Date: May 28, 2010Vote: AYEBad Vote.
Science and Technology Programs. This legislation (H.R. 5116) would authorize $85.6 billion over five years for science and technology research and education programs. The funding includes $44 billion for the National Science Foundation and $30.2 billion for the Energy Department's Office of Science. The bill would also create a new loan-guarantee program to help manufacturers invest in innovative technologies.

The House passed the bill on May 28, 2010 by a vote of 262-150 (Roll Call 332). We have assigned pluses to the nays because entrepreneurs and not government should decide which technologies to invest in and to what extent.



H R 5325: America COMPETES Reauthorization Act
Vote Date: May 19, 2010Vote: AYEBad Vote.
Science and Technology Programs. This legislation would authorize $48 billion over three years for science and technology research and education programs. The funding includes $24.4 billion for the National Science Foundation and $16.9 billion for the Energy Department's Office of Science. The bill would also create new programs such as loan guarantees to help small- and medium-sized businesses invest in innovative technologies.

The House failed to pass the bill on May 19, 2010 under a suspension of the rules that requires a two-thirds majority vote for passage (Roll Call 277). The vote tally was 261-148, but 273 were needed to obtain the two-thirds majority. We have assigned pluses to the nays because entrepreneurs and not government should decide which technologies to invest in and to what extent.



H R 4872: Reconciliation Act of 2010
Vote Date: March 25, 2010Vote: AYEBad Vote.
ObamaCare Reconciliation. This bill (H.R. 4872), officially titled the "Health Care and Education Reconciliation Act of 2010," was passed to amend the ObamaCare bill at the insistence of disaffected House Democrats. Among other things, it increases subsidies to help uninsured individuals buy health insurance and increases some taxes and fees to help pay for the expanded coverage provided by ObamaCare. This bill also makes the federal government the sole provider of student loans after July 1, which is just one more example of a complete government takeover of a significant sector of our economy.

The House agreed to the motion on March 25, 2010 by a vote of 220-207 (Roll Call 194). We have assigned pluses to the nays because the federal government has no constitutional authority to manage the healthcare industry or the student-loan industry.



H R 4899: Making emergency supplemental appropriations for disaster relief and summer jobs for fiscal year ending September 30, 2010, and for other purposes
Vote Date: March 24, 2010Vote: AYEBad Vote.
Supplemental Funding for FEMA and Youth Summer Jobs. This bill (H.R. 4899) would provide an additional $5.7 billion in emergency supplemental funding over and above regular appropriations. Most of the money ($5.1 billion) would be for the Federal Emergency Management Agency Disaster Relief Fund and another $600 million would be used to fund youth summer jobs programs.

The House passed H.R. 4899 on March 24, 2010 by a vote of 239-175 (Roll Call 186). We have assigned pluses to the nays because the federal government cannot afford to add to existing spending and because the federal government has no constitutional authority to provide disaster relief or jobs funding.



H R 3590: Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act
Vote Date: March 21, 2010Vote: AYEBad Vote.
ObamaCare. ObamaCare. This historic bill (H.R. 3590), officially titled the "Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act," went on to be signed into law (Public Law 111-148) by President Obama on March 23, 2010. Popularly known as "ObamaCare," this bill essentially completed the government takeover of the American healthcare system that was begun with Medicare and Medicaid in 1965. The ObamaCare law creates 159 new government agencies, which will inevitably drive private healthcare insurers out of the market, just as its pilot program, RomneyCare, is already beginning to do in Massachusetts. Although its official cost estimate was $1 trillion for the first 10 years, ObamaCare will soon join Medicare and Medicaid in the list of unfunded healthcare liabilities of the federal government, which together add up to tens of trillions of dollars.

ObamaCare would create an exchange in each state for the purchase of government-approved health insurance, mandate that most individuals purchase health insurance, fine individuals who don't purchase health insurance, subsidize the purchase of health insurance for individuals earning up to 400 percent of the poverty level, require employers with 50 or more employees to provide healthcare coverage or pay a fine if any employee gets a subsidized healthcare plan from the exchange, and prohibit insurance companies from denying coverage based on pre-existing conditions.

The House agreed to a motion to concur with the Senate version of H.R. 3590 on March 21, 2010 by a vote of 219-212 (Roll Call 165). We have assigned pluses to the nays because the federal government has no constitutional authority to require individuals to purchase health insurance or to manage the healthcare industry.



H CON RES 248: Directing the President, pursuant to section 5(c) of the War Powers Resolution, to remove the United States Armed Forces from Afghanistan
Vote Date: March 10, 2010Vote: NAYBad Vote.
Withdrawing U.S. Soldiers From Afghanistan. This legislation (House Concurrent Resolution 248) would direct the President to remove the U.S. Armed Forces from Afghanistan within 30 days of enactment, or by the end of the year if the President determines they cannot be safely removed sooner.

The House rejected H. Con. Res. 248 on March 10, 2010 by a vote of 65 to 356 (Roll Call 98). We have assigned pluses to the yeas because the U.S. military presence in Afghanistan cannot be justified on the basis of defending the United States, there has been no declaration of war, and Congress needs to assert constitutional authority to decide when we do go to war.



H R 3961: Medicare Physician Payment Reform Act
Vote Date: February 25, 2010Vote: AYEBad Vote.
Patriot Act. This bill (H.R. 3961) would extend by one year three Patriot Act provisions that were set to expire on February 28, 2010. The provisions allow the federal government to exercise wide-ranging surveillance and seizure powers with few limitations. For instance, the records provision allows the government to obtain "any tangible thing" that, it says, has "relevance" to a terrorism investigation. "Relevance" is a much lower standard -- if it can even be called a standard at all -- than the "probable cause" and a court warrant standard explicitly required by the Fourth Amendment.

The House agreed to extend the provisions on February 25, 2010 by a vote of 315-97 (Roll Call 67). We have assigned pluses to the nays because the provisions violate the right of the people to (in the words of the Fourth Amendment) "be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures."



H J RES 45: Statutory Pay-As-You-Go Act
Vote Date: February 4, 2010Vote: AYEBad Vote.
Debt Limit Increase. This bill (House Joint Resolution 45) would raise the national debt limit from $12.4 trillion to $14.29 trillion -- a $1.9 trillion increase. This increase, reported Congressional Quarterly, "should be large enough to cover borrowing into early next year." Really? To put this astronomical $1.9 trillion increase in perspective, consider that the total national debt did not top $1 trillion until 1981.

The House approved the debt limit increase on February 4, 2010 by a vote of 233-187 (Roll Call 48). We have assigned pluses to the nays because raising the national debt allows the federal government to borrow more money and continue its gross fiscal irresponsibility.



H R 2847: Making Appropriations for the Departments of Commerce and Justice, and Science, and Related Agencies for the fiscal year ending September 30, 2010, and for other purposes
Vote Date: December 16, 2009Vote: AYEBad Vote.
Jobs Funding. This legislation (H.R. 2847) would appropriate $154.4 billion for infrastructure and jobs programs to aid state and local governments. Nearly half of the money would be redirected from the Troubled Asset Relief Program (TARP). The money for the jobs programs would have to be siphoned out of the economy in the first place and so would result in a loss of jobs in the economy as a whole in order to create other jobs in government-favored sectors, based on the premise that government can allocate resources better than the private sector. As Rep. Jeb Hensarling (R-Texas) noted during floor debate on this bill, "You cannot spend your way into more jobs, you cannot borrow your way into more jobs."

The House agreed to the jobs funding on December 16, 2009 by a vote of 217-212 (Roll Call 991). We have assigned pluses to the nays because spending federal dollars to create jobs is unsustainable and unconstitutional.



H R 4173: The Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act of 2009
Vote Date: December 11, 2009Vote: AYEBad Vote.
Financial Regulatory Reform. This legislation (H.R. 4173), described by the Washington Times as "the most sweeping regulatory overhaul of the nation's financial sector since the new Deal," would create a Consumer Financial Protection Agency, and in general tighten federal control of the financial sector on the false premise that the financial crisis was driven by free-market forces, as opposed to government and Fed policies (e.g., artificially low interest rates) that encouraged excessive borrowing and risk-taking.

The House passed H.R. 4173 on December 11, 2009 by a vote of 223-202 (Roll Call 968). We have assigned pluses to the nays because more government control of the economy will do more harm than good.



H R 3288: Making appropriations for the Departments of Transportation, HUD, and related agencies for FY 2010
Vote Date: December 10, 2009Vote: NAYGood Vote.
Omnibus Appropriations. This catch-all legislative package (H.R. 3288) is comprised of six appropriations bills for fiscal 2010 that Congress failed to complete separately -- Commerce-Justice-Science; Financial Services; Labor-HHS-Education; Military Construction-VA; State-Foreign Operations; and Transportation-HUD. The total price tag in the final version (conference report) of H.R. 3288 is about $1.1 trillion, including $447 billion in discretionary spending.

The House adopted the conference report on H.R. 3288 on December 10, 2009 by a vote of 221-202 (Roll Call 949). We have assigned pluses to the nays because many of the bill's spending programs -- e.g., education, housing, foreign aid, etc. -- are unconstitutional. Moreover, lawmakers should have been able to vote on component parts of the total package.



H R 3962: Affordable Health Care for America Act
Vote Date: November 7, 2009Vote: AYEBad Vote.
Healthcare "Reform." The provisions in this bill (H.R. 3962) would cost about a trillion dollars (although such estimates are notoriously unreliable) over the next 10 years and complete the government takeover of our healthcare industry that was started with congressional passage of the original Medicare bill in 1965. This bill would overhaul the nation's health insurance system and require most individuals to buy health insurance by 2013. A Health Choices Administration would be created that would be tasked with establishing a federal health insurance exchange, including a government-run public health insurance option to allow individuals without coverage to obtain insurance. A federal excise tax would be levied on those that do not obtain coverage. Employers would be required to offer health insurance to employees or contribute to a fund for coverage. Failure to provide coverage would subject businesses to penalties of up to eight percent of their payroll. This bill would also bar insurance companies from denying or reducing coverage based on pre-existing medical conditions.

The House passed H.R. 3962 on November 7, 2009 by a vote of 220-215 (Roll Call 887). We have assigned pluses to the nays because a federal government takeover of our healthcare system is not authorized by the Constitution and will cost most Americans more for healthcare.



H R 2996: Department of Interior and Related Agencies Appropriations, 2010
Vote Date: October 29, 2009Vote: AYEBad Vote.
Interior-Environment Appropriations. This appropriations bill (H.R. 2996) would authorize $32.3 billion in fiscal 2010 for the Interior Department, the EPA, and related agencies. The bill would provide $11 billion for the Interior Department, $10.3 billion for the EPA, $3.5 billion for the Forest Service, and $4.1 billion for the Indian Health Service. Additionally, H.R. 2996 would authorize $168 million each for the National Endowment for the Arts and the National Endowment for the Humanities, and provide $761 million to the Smithsonian Institution.

The spending in H.R. 2996 is about $4.7 billion, or roughly 17 percent, more than what was received in fiscal 2009 for the same programs. Representative Jerry Lewis (R-Calif.) argued that the increased spending is "irresponsible, especially in light of the fact Congress must soon consider legislation to increase our national debt limit."

The House adopted the conference report for H.R. 2996 on October 29, 2009 by a vote of 247-178 (Roll Call 826). We have assigned pluses to the nays because the majority of funding in the bill is unconstitutional and wasteful.



H R 2997: Making appropriations for Agriculture, Rural Development, Food and Drug Administration, and Related Agencies programs for the fiscal year ending September 30, 2010, and for other purposes
Vote Date: October 7, 2009Vote: NONE No Vote.
Agriculture Appropriations. The final version (conference report) of the Agriculture appropriations bill (H.R. 2997) would authorize $121.2 billion in fiscal 2010 for the Agriculture Department and related agencies. This social-welfare bill would include $21 billion for the Agriculture Department, $2.4 billion for the Food and Drug Administration, $58.3 billion to fund the food stamp program, $17 billion for the child nutrition program, $7.3 billion for the Women, Infants, and Children program, and $1.7 billion for the Food for Peace program.

Excluding emergency spending, H.R. 2997 would represent a $2.7 billion increase from the 2009 appropriations level. More than 80 percent of the funds for H.R. 2997 would be reserved for mandatory programs such as food stamps and crop support.

The House passed the final version of H.R. 2997 on October 7, 2009 by a vote of 263-162 (Roll Call 761). We have assigned pluses to the nays because federal aid to farmers and federal food aid to individuals are not authorized by the Constitution.



H R 3183: Making appropriations for energy and water development and related agencies, FY 2010
Vote Date: October 1, 2009Vote: NONE No Vote.
Energy-Water Appropriations. The final version (conference report) of H.R. 3183 would appropriate $34 billion in fiscal 2010 for energy and water projects. The funds would provide $27.1 billion for the Energy Department, $5.4 billion for the Army Corps of Engineers, and $1.1 billion for the Interior Department's Bureau of Reclamation.

The House passed the final version of H.R. 3183 on October 1, 2009 by a vote of 308-114 (Roll Call 752). We have assigned pluses to the nays because the Department of Energy is not authorized by the Constitution.



H R 3435: Making supplemental appropriations for fiscal year 2009 for the Consumer Assistance to Recycle and Save Program
Vote Date: July 31, 2009Vote: AYEBad Vote.
Cash for Clunkers Funding. After running out of funds almost immediately, Congress quickly introduced yet another bill (H.R. 3435) that would provide an additional $2 billion for the "Cash for Clunkers" program.

The "Consumer Assistance to Recycle and Save Act" (H.R. 2751) would authorize $4 billion for an auto trade-in program that's also known as "cash for clunkers." Under the program consumers were offered rebates of up to $4,500 if they traded in their old cars for more fuel-efficient ones. The vehicles traded in were destroyed, meaning cars not ready for the junkyard would be taken off the road, reducing the stock of used vehicles and inflating the prices of used cars.

The House passed H.R. 3435 on July 31, 2009 by a vote of 316-109 (Roll Call 682). We have assigned pluses to the nays because the federal government should not be subsidizing the car industry and because it is unconstitutional and wasteful.



H R 3293: Making appropriations for the Departments of Labor, Health and Human Services, and Education, and related agencies for the fiscal year ending September 30, 2010, and for other purposes
Vote Date: July 24, 2009Vote: AYEBad Vote.
Labor-HHS-Education Appropriations. This fiscal 2010 spending bill (H.R. 3293) would appropriate a massive $730.5 billion for the Departments of Labor, Health and Human Services, and Education. This bill, which is the largest of all the annual appropriations bills, includes $67.8 billion for the Department of Education and $603.5 billion for the Department of Health and Human Services, including $518.8 billion in "mandatory" spending for Medicare and Medicaid.

The House passed H.R. 3293 on July 24, 2009 by a vote of 264-153 (Roll Call 646). We have assigned pluses to the nays because the array of social welfare programs funded by this bill is unconstitutional and has failed historically.



H R 3288: Making appropriations for the Departments of Transportation, HUD, and related agencies for FY 2010
Vote Date: July 23, 2009Vote: AYEBad Vote.
Transportation-HUD Appropriations. The fiscal 2010 Transportation-HUD appropriations (H.R. 3288) would authorize a whopping $123.1 billion for the Departments of Transportation and Housing and Urban Development. This includes $68.8 billion for discretionary spending for the two departments and their related agencies, a 25-percent increase from fiscal 2009 levels. The bill would provide $1.5 billion in federal grants for Amtrak and $18.2 billion for the Section 8 Tenant-based Rental Assistance program.

The House passed H.R. 3288 on July 23, 2009 by a vote of 256-168 (Roll Call 637). We have assigned pluses to the nays because virtually every dollar assigned to this bill, whether it is for transportation or housing assistance, is unconstitutional and unaffordable.



H R 3081: Making appropriations for the Department of State, foreign operations, and related programs for the fiscal year ending September 30, 2010, and for other purposes
Vote Date: July 9, 2009Vote: AYEBad Vote.
State-Foreign Aid Appropriations. This fiscal 2010 spending bill (H.R. 3081) would appropriate $49 billion for the State Department and various foreign-assistance and international activities. The foreign assistance in the bill includes $5.8 billion to help combat HIV/AIDS, $2.7 billion for Afghanistan, $2.2 billion for Israel, $1.5 billion for Pakistan, $1.4 billion for the Millennium Challenge Corporation (a United Nations-inspired entity), and $1.3 billion for Egypt.

Though foreign aid is supposed to help the poor and suffering in foreign countries, ultimately it transfers the wealth from American taxpayers to Third World elites who have become deficient in running their socialist regimes.

The House passed H.R. 3081 on July 9, 2009 by a vote of 318-106 (Roll Call 525). We have assigned pluses to the nays because foreign aid is unconstitutional and unworkable.



H R 2454: American Clean Energy and Security Act
Vote Date: June 26, 2009Vote: NAYGood Vote.
Cap and Trade. The American Clean Energy and Security Act (H.R. 2454), also known as the cap-and-trade bill, would not merely "cap" carbon dioxide and other "greenhouse" gas emissions, ostensibly to fight global warming, but would reduce the amount of allowable emissions over time -- to 17 percent below 2005 levels by 2020, 42 percent by 2030, and 83 percent by 2050. The government would auction or freely distribute a limited number of emission allowances, which companies would be able to buy or sell. Of course, as the total amount of allowable emissions is reduced, the price of the allowances would skyrocket -- and with them the price of electricity and whatever else is produced from burning fossil fuel. The Congressional Budget Office estimated that the effect of the House committee version of the bill would be to raise federal taxes by $846 billion and direct federal spending by $821 billion over the 2010-2019 period.

The House passed the cap-and-trade bill on June 26, 2009 by a vote of 219-212 (Roll Call 477). We have assigned pluses to the nays because this legislation would be devastating to the economy if enacted and the federal government has no constitutional authority to limit greenhouse-gas emissions.



H R 2346: Supplemental Appropriations, FY 2009
Vote Date: June 16, 2009Vote: 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 House adopted H.R. 2346 on June 16, 2009 by a vote of 226-202 (Roll Call 348). We have assigned pluses to the nays because the spending is over and above what the federal government had already budgeted, the United States never declared war against Iraq and Afghanistan, and some of the spending (e.g., Cash for Clunkers and foreign aid) is unconstitutional.



H R 2751: Consumer Assistance to Recycle and Save Act
Vote Date: June 9, 2009Vote: AYEBad Vote.
Cash for Clunkers. The "Consumer Assistance to Recycle and Save Act" (H.R. 2751) would authorize $4 billion for an auto trade-in program that's also known as "cash for clunkers." Under the program, consumers would be offered rebates of up to $4,500 if they trade in their old cars for more fuel-efficient ones. The vehicles traded-in would have to be destroyed, meaning that cars not yet ready for the junkyard would be taken off the road, reducing the stock of used vehicles and inflating the price of used cars.

The House passed H.R. 2751 on June 9, 2009, by a vote of 298-119 (Roll Call 314). We have assigned pluses to the nays because the federal government should not be subsidizing the automotive companies via vouchers to customers. Besides, it's unconstitutional.



H R 2200: On Agreeing to the Amendment 10 to H R 2200
Vote Date: June 4, 2009Vote: NAYBad Vote.
Body Imaging Screening. During consideration of the Transportation Security Administration Authorization bill (H.R. 2200), Rep. Jason Chaffetz (R-Utah) offered an amendment that would prohibit the use of Whole-Body Imaging (WBI) as the primary method of screening at airports. The amendment would allow passengers the option of a pat-down search rather than being subjected to a WBI search that shows extremely intimate details of one's body. The Chaffetz amendment would also prohibit TSA from storing, copying, or transferring any images that are produced by WBI machines.

Since its creation, TSA has become infamous for its meddlesome searches and disregard for an individual's right of privacy. Evidence shows that corruption and mismanagement have been commonplace within the relatively new federal department for years. The Chaffetz amendment would do very little to scale back the power held by the TSA, but it does offer some hope that our representatives are not wholly unaware of how the TSA and its policies would threaten the privacy of American citizens through a process that has been called a "virtual strip-search."

The House adopted the Chaffetz amendment by a "Committee of the Whole" on June 4, 2009, by a vote of 310-118 (Roll Call 305). We have assigned pluses to the yeas because such technology is obtrusive for American citizens and violates our right of protection against unwarranted searches and seizures.



H R 2346: Supplemental Appropriations, FY 2009
Vote Date: May 14, 2009Vote: AYEBad Vote.
Supplemental Appropriations. The Fiscal 2009 Supplemental Appropriations bill (H.R. 2346) would provide an additional $96.7 billion in "emergency" funding for the current fiscal year over and above the regular appropriations. Included in the funds for H.R. 2346 is $84.5 billion for the ongoing operations in Afghanistan and Iraq, $10 billion for foreign aid programs, and $2 billion for flu pandemic preparation.

The House passed H.R. 2346 on May 14, 2009, by a vote of 368-60 (Roll Call 265). We have assigned pluses to the nays because the spending is over and above what the federal government had already budgeted, the United States never declared war against Iraq and Afghanistan, and some of the spending (e.g., foreign aid) is unconstitutional.



S CON RES 13: Congressional Budget for Fiscal Year 2010
Vote Date: April 29, 2009Vote: AYEBad Vote.
Budget Resolution. The final version of the Fiscal 2010 Budget Resolution (Senate Concurrent Resolution 13) calls for $3.56 trillion in federal spending for the fiscal year beginning on September 1, 2009. This level of spending would be significantly less than the $4.0 trillion the Obama administration forecast in May that the federal government would spend in the current fiscal year (which includes the $700 billion TARP program), but significantly more than the $3.0 trillion the federal government spent in fiscal 2008. And the deficit for fiscal 2010 would be more than $1 trillion.

The House passed the final version (conference report) of the budget resolution on April 29, 2009, by a vote of 233-193 (Roll Call 216). We have assigned pluses to the nays because much of the budget is unconstitutional (e.g., foreign aid, education, healthcare, etc.), and the federal government should end deficit spending and live within its means.



H R 1913: Local Law Enforcement Hate Crimes Prevention Act
Vote Date: April 29, 2009Vote: NAYGood Vote.
Hate Crimes. The passage of the Hate Crimes Prevention Act (H.R. 1913) would expand the federal hate crimes law to include crimes that are based on sexual orientation, gender, or physical or mental disability. (Current law covers crimes based on race, color, religion, or national origin.) This bill would allow for harsher sentencing for individuals who commit violent crimes because of politically incorrect hateful motives. This legislation begs the question, are not all violent crimes committed with some hateful motive? If so, H.R. 1913 would ensure that some victims will receive more "equal protection under the law" than others. In a guest commentary in the Denver Post editorial, criminal defense lawyer Robert J. Corry, Jr. opined: "The 'hate crime' law does not apply equally, instead criminalizing only politically incorrect thoughts directed against politically incorrect victim categories."

The House passed H.R. 1913 on April 29, 2009, by a vote of 249-175 (Roll Call 223). We have assigned pluses to the nays because this legislation would further federalize the criminal code as well as punish not only criminal acts, but the thoughts behind them.



H R 1139: COPS Improvements Act of 2009
Vote Date: April 23, 2009Vote: AYEBad Vote.
COPS Funding. The Community Oriented Policing Services bill (H.R. 1139) would authorize $1.8 billion a year from fiscal 2009 through 2014 for the Justice Department's COPS program. This is up from the $1.05 billion that was authorized for the COPS program for fiscal years 2006 through 2009. The funds authorized for H.R. 1139 would aid in the hiring of law-enforcement officers.

The House passed H.R. 1139 on April 23, 2009, by a vote of 342-78 (Roll Call 206). We have assigned pluses to the nays because providing federal aid to local law-enforcement programs is not only unconstitutional, but also further federalizes the police system.



H R 1388: Generations Invigorating Volunteerism and Education (GIVE) Act
Vote Date: March 18, 2009Vote: AYEBad Vote.
National Service. The Serve America Act (H.R. 1388) would reauthorize Corporation for National and Community Service programs through 2014, and expand the number of "volunteer" positions (which are actually paid positions) in national-service programs such as AmeriCorps from 75,000 to 250,000. The Congressional Budget Office estimates that the House version of this legislation would cost $6 billion and the Senate version would cost $5 billion over five years.

The House passed H.R. 1388 on March 18, 2009, by a vote of 321-105 (Roll Call 140). We have assigned pluses to the nays because national-service programs are not authorized by the Constitution.



H R 1: Making supplemental appropriations for fiscal year ending 2009
Vote Date: February 13, 2009Vote: AYEBad Vote.
Economic Stimulus. The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (H.R. 1) would provide $787 billion -- $575 billion in new spending and $212 billion in tax cuts -- to stimulate the economy. The "stimulus" spending is supposed to create jobs, yet the money that the government spends for this purpose would have to be drained from the economy in the first place, thereby destroying jobs throughout the economy in order to give the government the means to create jobs in selected sectors. Even the tax cuts, which constitute less than a third of the stimulus package, would not reduce the burden that government spending places on the economy, since there are no corresponding spending cuts. Since the federal government is already operating in the red, the entire $787-billion "stimulus" would translate into another $787 billion in federal debt, as well as inflation when the money to finance the debt is created out of thin air by the Fed and pumped into the economy. In fact, the legislation would increase the national debt ceiling by $789 billion, a little more than the bill's price tag.

The House passed the final version (conference report) for H.R. 1 on February 13, 2009, by a vote of 246-183 (Roll Call 70). We have assigned pluses to the nays because most of the spending would be unconstitutional and government cannot stimulate the economy by draining money from the private sector.



H R 2: Children's Health Insurance Program Reauthorization Act of 2009
Vote Date: February 4, 2009Vote: AYEBad Vote.
SCHIP. H.R. 2 would reauthorize the State Children's Health Insurance Program, commonly referred to as SCHIP, for over four and a half years and increase the funding for the program by $32.8 billion. SCHIP is designed to provide health insurance to children of families whose incomes are up to four times above the poverty level (and therefore would have too much income to qualify for Medicaid), yet would have little income to buy private insurance. Often SCHIP crowds out private insurance: the Congressional Budget Office found that between 25 and 50 percent of children who enroll in SCHIP dropped their private insurance to get "free care." Because SCHIP, like Medicaid and Medicare, pays doctors and hospitals only a fraction of the actual cost of care, the unfunded costs get passed to holders of private insurance. Additionally, SCHIP would apply to 400,000 to 600,000 children of legal immigrants whose sponsors had agreed to cover the children's healthcare needs for at least five years after arriving to the United States.

The House passed H.R. 2 on February 4, 2009, by a vote of 290-135 (Roll Call 50). We have assigned pluses to the nays because federal healthcare programs are unconstitutional and would likely lower the quality of healthcare.



H J RES 3: Relating to the disapproval of obligations under the Emergency Economic Stabilization Act of 2008
Vote Date: January 22, 2009Vote: AYEGood Vote.
TARP Funding. House Joint Resolution 3 would have prevented the release of the remaining $350 billion of the Troubled Asset Relief Program (TARP) to bail out banks and other institutions. The Emergency Economic Stabilization Act of 2008 had authorized a total of $700 billion, only half of which was initially released, for TARP. The act was written so that the Treasury Department, which administers the program, could start spending the second $350 billion unless both chambers of Congress disapproved.

This joint resolution to disapprove the release of the second $350 billion was passed on January 22, 2009, by a vote of 270-155 (Roll Call 27). We have assigned pluses to the yeas because the Constitution does not authorize Congress to grant financial aid or loans to private companies, e.g., banks and automakers.



H R 1424: Emergency Economic Stabilization Act of 2008
Vote Date: October 3, 2008Vote: NAYGood Vote.
Bailout Bill. The Emergency Economic Stabilization Act of 2008 (H.R. 1424) passed 263-171 (Roll Call 681) on October 3, 2008. This bill authorizes the Treasury Department to use $700 billion of taxpayer money to purchase troubled mortgage-related securities from banks and other financial-related institutions, on terms set by the Treasury Secretary, who now has authority to manage and sell those assets. The bailout plan also expands FDIC protection from $100,000 to $250,000 per bank account, extends dozens of expiring tax provisions, expands incentives for renewable energy, provides a one-year adjustment to exempt millions of Americans from the alternative minimum tax, and requires health insurers who provide mental-health coverage to put mental-health benefits on par with other medical benefits.

We have assigned pluses to the nays because the bill establishes an unconstitutional merger of government with banks and businesses -- in other words, corporate fascism -- and greatly increases the national debt and monetary inflation by forcing taxpayers to pay the price for the failures of private financial institutions.



H R 6899: Comprehensive American Energy Security and Consumer Protection Act
Vote Date: September 16, 2008Vote: AYEBad Vote.
Bogus Offshore Drilling Compromise. The Comprehensive American Energy Security and Consumer Protection Act (H.R. 6899) passed 236-189 (Roll Call 599) on September 16, 2008. The plan would allow limited offshore drilling for oil and gas in some areas previously banned by Congress since 1981. Public pressure for action to reduce energy prices motivated the Democrat majority to push through an energy bill before the election, a plan purported to increase offshore drilling, but with overwhelming disincentives.

The measure would permit drilling no nearer to the coast than 100 miles, unless states choose to reduce that to 50 miles. However, it is the first 50 miles that has been exceedingly productive and where infrastructure is ready to expedite drilling in some areas. All royalties from new oil and gas leases permitted under the bill would go to the federal government. States are thus deprived of a revenue incentive for granting the 50-mile privilege. A better alternative to this phony compromise is to let the moratorium on offshore drilling expire and not renew it. That expiration did occur on October 1.

We have assigned pluses to the nays because the Constitution does not authorize the federal government to assume regulation, much less micromanagement, of the energy industry.



H R 6633: Employee Verification Amendment Act of 2008
Vote Date: July 31, 2008Vote: AYEBad Vote.
Employee Verification Program. H.R. 6633 would reauthorize the E-Verify (Internet-based) pilot employment eligibility verification program allowing employers to verify employment eligibility of new hires. The program is administered by the Department of Homeland Security, which would be required to provide funding to the Social Security Administration for checking Social Security numbers submitted by employers under the program.

The House passed the bill on July 31, 2008 by a vote of 407-2 (Roll Call 557). We have assigned pluses to the nays because Social Security numbers were not intended to be used and should not be used as the basis for a national ID database. An alternative measure (H.R. 5515) would have the screening for employment eligibility verification provided by state-administered private companies that already track employee verification for child-support enforcement.



H R 5501: Tom Lantos and Henry J. Hyde United States Global Leadership Against HIV/AIDS, Tuberculosis, and Malaria Reauthorization Act
Vote Date: July 24, 2008Vote: AYEBad Vote.
Global HIV/AIDS Program. This version of H.R. 5501, as modified by the Senate, was agreed to 303-115 (Roll Call 531) on July 24, 2008. The bill would authorize $48 billion for fiscal 2009 through 2013 to combat AIDS, malaria, and tuberculosis overseas. Currently one-third of the funding for HIV prevention is required to go to abstinence education. The bill would change that allocation to balance funding between condom, fidelity, and abstinence programs. It would also authorize $2 billion to fund programs for American Indian health, clean water, and law enforcement.

We have assigned pluses to the nays because foreign aid is unconstitutional.



H R 3221: Foreclosure Prevention Act of 2008
Vote Date: July 23, 2008Vote: AYEBad Vote.
Mortgage Relief. This legislation (H.R. 3221) would grant authority to the Treasury Department to extend new credit and buy stock in the Federal National Mortgage Association (Fannie Mae) and the Federal Home Loan Mortgage Corporation (Freddie Mac). As described by Congressional Quarterly, "It also would create an independent regulator for the two mortgage giants and the Federal Home Loan Bank System. It would overhaul the Federal Housing Administration and allow it to insure up to $300 billion worth of new, refinanced loans for struggling mortgage borrowers. It also includes a $7,500 tax credit to some first-time homebuyers, higher loan limits for FHA-backed loans, a standard tax deduction for property taxes and revenue-raisers to offset part of the costs. It also would authorize $3.92 billion in grants to states and localities to purchase and rehabilitate foreclosed properties, and increase the federal debt limit to $10.6 trillion."

The House passed H.R. 3221 on July 23, 2008 by a vote of 272-152 (Roll Call 519). We have assigned pluses to the nays because the federal government acting as an insurer, a micromanager of markets, and a wealth redistributor is unconstitutional and will undoubtedly affect market behavior, leading to more and worse market strife.



H R 6346: Federal Price Gouging Prevention Act
Vote Date: June 24, 2008Vote: AYEBad Vote.
Energy Price Gouging. A motion to suspend the rules and pass H.R. 6346, the Federal Price Gouging Prevention Act, was rejected 276-146 (Roll Call 448) on June 24, 2008. Under suspension of the rules, a two-thirds majority would have been required for passage. The bill would have permitted states to sue retailers believed to have been price gouging for fuels sold in areas where there was an energy emergency. The bill also would have set civil and criminal penalties for price gouging.

We have assigned pluses to the nays because no federal or state government investigation (and there have been many over the years) has ever found broad market manipulation in the oil industry. Furthermore, there is no clear definition of "price gouging." Hence, this bill would likely have been counterproductive, as it would have created an incentive for retailers to close, rather than risk penalties for simply following the economic laws of supply and demand. Besides, the federal government has no business trying to dictate prices in the private sector, under any circumstances.



H R 6304: FISA Amendments Act of 2008
Vote Date: June 20, 2008Vote: AYEBad Vote.
Warrantless Searches. H.R. 6304, the bill to revamp the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA), would allow warrantless electronic surveillance, including monitoring telephone conversations and e-mails, of foreign targets, including those communicating with American citizens in the United States. The final version of the bill would not explicitly grant immunity to telecommunications companies that have assisted President Bush's warrantless surveillance program. But it would require courts to dismiss lawsuits against such companies if there is "substantial evidence" they were insured in writing the program was legal and authorized by the president. The provision would almost certainly result in the dismissal of the lawsuits.

The House passed H.R. 6304 on June 20, 2008 by a vote of 293-129 (Roll Call 437). We have assigned pluses to the nays because warrantless searches are a violation of the Fourth Amendment, which protects Americans against unreasonable searches and seizures, and requires that any searches be conducted only upon issuance of a warrant under conditions of probable cause. Moreover, Article I, Section 9 of the Constitution forbids "ex post facto laws" -- laws having a retroactive effect.



H R 6124: To provide for the continuation of agricultural and other programs of the Department of Agriculture through the fiscal year 2012, and for other purposes
Vote Date: June 18, 2008Vote: AYEBad Vote.
Farm Bill (Veto Override). H.R. 6124 would authorize the nation's farm programs for the next five years, including crop subsidies and nutrition programs. The final version of the legislation provides $289 billion for these programs, including a $10.4 billion boost in spending for nutrition programs such as food stamps.

After this legislation was vetoed by President Bush, the House passed the bill over the president's veto on June 18, 2008 by a vote of 317-109 (Roll Call 417). A two-thirds majority vote is required to override a presidential veto. We have assigned pluses to the nays because federal aid to farmers and federal food aid to individuals are not authorized by the Constitution.



H R 6028: Merida Initiative to Combat Illicit Narcotics and Reduce Organized Crime Authorization Act
Vote Date: June 10, 2008Vote: NAYGood Vote.
Aid to Mexican Military. H.R. 6028 would authorize $1.1 billion in fiscal years 2008-10 to train and equip the Mexican military and law-enforcement agencies for the stated purpose of combating drug trafficking and organized crime. The Mexican government is rife with corruption, and there is no guarantee the expenditure would have the intended effect. "It is inexcusable, it is intolerable to send one dime to the Mexican government when they can afford to pay for this equipment themselves," Rep. John Culberson (R-Texas) said. "But more importantly, our southern border is not secure." H.R. 6028 would also authorize $405 million during the same period for aid to Central American countries.

The House passed H.R. 6028 on June 10, 2008 by a vote of 311-106 (Roll Call 393). We have assigned pluses to the nays because foreign aid is not authorized by the Constitution.



S CON RES 70: The Congressional Budget Resolution
Vote Date: June 5, 2008Vote: AYEBad Vote.
Budget Resolution. The final version of the Fiscal 2009 Budget Resolution (Senate Concurrent Resolution 70) was adopted 214-210 on June 5, 2008 (Roll Call 382). Drafted by the Democrats, this $3.03 trillion budget sets nonbinding limits for the 12 annual appropriations bills. Last year's $2.9 trillion budget allowed $145.2 billion for operations in Iraq and Afghanistan. The new budget included only $70 billion for the two wars in 2009 and nothing thereafter, an unrealistic notion that understates true spending intent and necessitates more war funding in a supplemental bill. The budget would be significantly higher if war funding were not largely off-budget. The plan predicts a hypothetical budget surplus by 2012, which is meaningless.

All spending bills would be increased over 2008. The budget assumes that revenue will be stable or increase and that some tax cuts will expire. An increase was called for in the statutory debt ceiling by $800 billion to $10.6 trillion. That promptly occurred in the Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac bailout. We have assigned pluses to the nays because inflation and the national debt are skyrocketing as Congress persists at disregarding constitutional limits on spending.



H R 2419: Farm, Nutrition, and Bioenergy Act
Vote Date: May 14, 2008Vote: AYEBad Vote.
Farm Bill. H.R. 2419 would authorize the nation's farm programs for the next five years, including crop subsidies and nutrition programs. The final version of this legislation worked out by House and Senate conferees (known as a conference report) provides $289 billion for these programs, including a $10.4 billion boost in spending for nutrition programs such as food stamps.

The House passed the conference report on H.R. 2419 by a vote of 318-106 (Roll Call 315) on May 14, 2008. We have assigned pluses to the nays because federal aid to farmers and federal food aid to individuals are not authorized by the Constitution.



H R 3221: Foreclosure Prevention Act of 2008
Vote Date: May 8, 2008Vote: AYEBad Vote.
Mortgage Relief. Amendment No. 1 to H.R. 3221 was passed 266-154 on May 8, 2008 (Roll Call 301). It would provide $300 billion in new authority for the Federal Housing Administration (FHA) to help borrowers facing foreclosure refinance into FHA-insured, fixed-rate mortgages, provided that mortgage loan holders are willing to take a write-down on the original value of a loan to allow refinancing to be on an amount not to exceed 90 percent of the current appraised value of the property.

Thus lenders who made unwise loans can do partial write-downs in order to offload to the government the risk associated with their loans most likely to be defaulted on. The plan is a bailout of both troubled lenders and borrowers, ultimately sticking taxpayers with the default risk. Moreover, the program would unfairly make a gift of partial home equity to borrowers facing foreclosure, a gift not offered to those who are managing to make their mortgage payments on time, have no mortgage, or who rent.

We have assigned pluses to the nays because the federal government acting as an insurer, micro-manager of markets, and wealth redistributor is unconstitutional. Also, the morphing of H.R. 3221 from an energy bill into a foreclosure prevention bill was a procedural travesty.



H R 5036: Emergency Assistance for Secure Elections Act of 2008
Vote Date: April 15, 2008Vote: AYEBad Vote.
State Voting Assistance. H.R. 5036, The Emergency Assistance for Secure Elections Act, was rejected 239-178 on April 15, 2008 (Roll Call 188). The act purportedly would increase the security of U.S. elections by reimbursing jurisdictions that voluntarily replace Direct Recording Electronic voting systems with voter-verifiable paper ballot systems in time for the 2008 elections. The bill would grant the Election Administration Commission (EAC) new audit regulatory powers and funding to pay for random vote count audits and hand counts of paper ballots cast in the 2008 elections. The cost could be as high as $685 million.

We have assigned pluses to the nays because the act would expand an unconstitutional federal power grab to control elections that was initiated through the disastrous Help America Vote Act of 2002 with its establishing of the EAC. That act fostered and financed a huge increase in the use of electronic voting equipment which can be hacked, lacks credible auditing, and vastly increases the potential for wholesale voter fraud. Politicians who caused that problem now seek its remedy through even more federal control and tax dollars. It is better (and constitutional!) for each state to manage and pay for its own elections.



H R 5501: Tom Lantos and Henry J. Hyde United States Global Leadership Against HIV/AIDS, Tuberculosis, and Malaria Reauthorization Act
Vote Date: April 2, 2008Vote: AYEBad Vote.
Global HIV/AIDS Foreign Aid Program. H.R. 5501 would authorize $50 billion over five years to provide assistance to foreign countries for the stated purpose of combating HIV/AIDS, tuberculosis, and malaria. The program was established five years earlier to fill an "emergency" function, but this legislation shifts the purpose (in the words of Congressional Quarterly) "toward a long-term, sustainable plan" including (for example) training 140,000 new healthcare workers. Prior to voting on the bill itself, the House rejected a motion to recommit the bill to lower the cost to $30 billion -- the funding level President Bush had requested.

The House passed H.R. 5501 on April 2, 2008 by a vote of 308-116 (Roll Call 158). We have assigned pluses to the nays because foreign aid is unconstitutional.



H CON RES 312: Revising the congressional Budget for the United States Government for fiscal year 2008, establishing the congressional budget for the United States Government for fiscal year 2009, and setting forth appropriate budgetary levels for fiscal years 2010 through 2013.
Vote Date: March 13, 2008Vote: AYEBad Vote.
2009 Federal Budget. House Concurrent Resolution 312, the House plan for the fiscal 2009 budget, was adopted 212-207 on March 13, 2008 (Roll Call 141). This Democrat-drafted, nonbinding budget recommends outlays of about $2.6 trillion for FY2009, with a deficit of $536 billion. The budget would allow some Bush tax cuts to expire or sunset in 2010, thus increasing federal revenues without overtly raising taxes.

The House Republican Conference, in opposition to the plan, points out that taxes would increase $683 billion over the next five years, the child tax credit would be cut, the marriage penalty would come back, small business tax credits would be reduced, and dividends and capital gains taxes would be raised.

We have assigned pluses to the nays because the American welfare state this budget expands is unconstitutional. It should initially be frozen at least and then reduced.



H R 5351: Renewable Energy and Energy Conservation Tax Act of 2008
Vote Date: February 27, 2008Vote: AYEBad Vote.
Targeting American Oil Companies. H.R. 5351, the $18.1 billion Renewable Energy and Energy Conservation Tax Act, passed 236-182 on February 27, 2008 (Roll Call 84). It would provide tax deductions and incentives for the production of renewable energy (including wind, solar, and ethanol) and for energy conservation. To offset $13.7 billion of the bill's cost, the domestic manufacturing tax deduction would be taken away from the five largest integrated oil companies operating in the United States. Specifically targeted were ExxonMobil, Chevron, ConocoPhillips, and foreign-headquartered Shell and BP. Citgo Petroleum Corp., a subsidiary of the government-owned oil company of Venezuela, would not lose its six-percent deduction.

We have assigned pluses to the nays because increasing taxes for the largest U.S. oil producers would drive gasoline prices higher and because Congress should not be subsidizing energy development, including renewable energy. The increased tax expense to corporations would simply be passed on to consumers. Targeting the top U.S. oil companies for making record profits is a disincentive to increasing exploration and production; undermines the exceedingly large capital base required to rebuild when Katrina-type hurricanes devastate the oil patch; and is unfair. Other companies and sectors with record profits would be untouched, not to mention foreign oil producers larger than Exxon.



H R 5140: Recovery Rebates and Economic Stimulus for the American People Act of 2008
Vote Date: January 29, 2008Vote: AYEBad Vote.
Economic Stimulus. H.R. 5140, the Economic Stimulus Act of 2008, passed 385-35 on January 29, 2008 (Roll Call 25). It would provide about $150 billion in economic stimulus, including $101.1 billion in direct payments of rebate checks (typically $600) to most taxpayers in 2008 and temporary tax breaks for businesses.

We have assigned pluses to the nays because creating money out of thin air and then spending the newly created money cannot improve the economy, at least not in the long term. (If it could, why not create even more money for rebates and make every American a millionaire?) The stimulus has no offset and thus increases the federal deficit by the amount of the stimulus because the government must borrow the rebate money. A realistic long-term stimulus can only be achieved by lowering taxes through less government and by reducing regulatory burdens.



H R 3963: Children's Health Insurance Program Reauthorization Act of 2007
Vote Date: January 23, 2008Vote: AYEBad Vote.
Children's Health Insurance. H.R. 3963, a bill to reauthorize the Children's Health Insurance Program, was rejected 260-152 on January 23, 2008 (Roll Call 22) when the House failed to get the necessary two-thirds majority of those present to override President Bush's veto. The bill would have authorized the State Children's Health Insurance Program (SCHIP) at nearly $60 billion over five years, expanding the program by $35 billion. It also would have put an additional tax on cigarette manufacturers, would have undermined private insurance plans, and would have pushed us further down the slippery slope to socialized medicine.

We have assigned pluses to the nays, because federal healthcare programs are unconstitutional.





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





H R 3043: Making appropriations for the Department of Labor, Health and Human Services, and Education, and related agencies for fiscal year ending September 30, 2008, and for other purposes
Vote Date: November 15, 2007Vote: AYEBad Vote.
Labor-HHS-Education Appropriations. H.R. 3043, a bill to appropriate funding for fiscal 2008 labor, health, human services, and education programs, was rejected 227-141 on November 15, 2007 (Roll Call 1122) in a failed veto override requiring a two-thirds majority. Total appropriations would have been $606 billion. The bill included $150.7 billion -- $6.2 billion more than for fiscal 2007 -- in "discretionary" spending, that is spending the government has not deemed mandatory, such as the big entitlement programs. It also contained more than 2,200 earmarks totaling about $1 billion.

We have assigned pluses to the nays because social-welfare programs are unconstitutional.



H R 1429: Improving Head Start Act
Vote Date: November 14, 2007Vote: AYEBad Vote.
Head Start. The final version (conference report) of H.R. 1429, a bill to reauthorize the Head Start program through 2012, was adopted 381-36 on November 14, 2007 (Roll Call 1090). Head Start provides educational activities and social services for children up to age five from low-income families. The program received $6.9 billion in fiscal year 2007. $7 billion was authorized in the fiscal 2008 omnibus bill, but H.R. 1429 increased funding to $7.4 billion for fiscal 2008, $7.7 billion for 2009, and $8 billion for 2010. The income level at which families are eligible to participate was raised from 100 percent of the poverty level to 130 percent ($26,728 for a family of four). Some members opposed the bill because Head Start grants will not be allowed to faith-based organizations that hire employees on the basis of religious preference.

We have assigned pluses to the nays because the bill advances the federalizing of the educational system, and federal involvement in education is unconstitutional.



H R 3688: United States-Peru Trade Promotion Agreement
Vote Date: November 8, 2007Vote: NAYGood Vote.
Peru Free Trade Agreement. The Peru Free Trade Agreement (H.R. 3688) is another in a series of free-trade agreements to transfer the power to regulate trade (and other powers as well) to regional arrangements. Other examples include the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) and Central American Free Trade Agreement (CAFTA). However, the Committee on Ways and Means Report accompanying H.R. 3688 noted that "the Peru FTA has become the first U.S. free trade agreement to include, in its core text fully enforceable commitments by the Parties to adopt, maintain, and enforce basic international labor standards, as stated in the 1988 ILO Declaration on Fundamental Principles and Rights at Work." The ILO, or International Labor Organization, is a UN agency.

The House passed the bill by a vote of 285-132 (Roll Call 1060) on November 8, 2007. We have assigned pluses to the nays because the Peru FTA and other so-called free-trade arrangements threaten our national independence and (as we've seen with NAFTA) harm our economy.



H R 1955: Violent Radicalization and Homegrown Terrorism Prevention Act of 2007
Vote Date: October 23, 2007Vote: AYEBad Vote.
Thought Crimes. This bill (H.R. 1955), known as the "Violent Radicalization and Homegrown Terrorism Prevention Act of 2007," could more aptly be titled the "Thought Crimes Act." The bill would establish a National Commission on the Prevention of Violent Radicalization and Homegrown Terrorism and establish a grant program to prevent radicalization in the United States. However, critics charge that the bill is a thinly disguised attempt to criminalize dissent, based on the bill's vague and open-ended language that could be used to trample basic rights to free speech and assembly, and turn legitimate dissent into thought crimes. For instance, the bill defines "violent radicalization" as "the process of adopting or promoting an extremist belief system for the purpose of facilitating ideologically based violence to advance political, religious, or social change." The bill does not define either "extremist belief system" or "facilitating ideologically based violence." The bill also states that "the Internet has aided in facilitating violent radicalization, ideologically based violence, and the homegrown terrorism process in the United States by providing access to broad and constant streams of terrorist-related propaganda to United States citizens."

The House passed H.R. 1955 by a vote of 404-6 (Roll Call 993) on October 23, 2007. We have assigned pluses to the nays because the bill threatens legitimate dissent.



S 1927: Protect America Act
Vote Date: August 4, 2007Vote: AYEBad Vote.
Foreign Intelligence Surveillance. This bill (S. 1927) would allow warrantless electronic surveillance (eavesdropping) of targets outside the United States regardless of whether they are communicating with someone within the United States. This surveillance had been conducted illegally by the CIA. Under this legislation, communications companies would be required to comply with surveillance requests and would be provided lawsuit protections.

The House passed S. 1927 by a vote of 227-183 (Roll Call 836) on August 4, 2007. We have assigned pluses to the nays because warrantless surveillance of American citizens is a violation of the Fourth Amendment provision against "unreasonable searches and seizures." Although the bill includes a sunset provision causing it to expire after six months, President Bush has already called for making the bill permanent.



H R 3161: Making appropriations for Agriculture, Rural Development, Food and Drug Administration, and Related Agencies programs for the fiscal year ending September 30, 2008, and for other purposes.
Vote Date: August 2, 2007Vote: AYEBad Vote.
Agriculture Appropriations. The 2008 Agriculture appropriations bill would provide $90.7 billion for the Agriculture department, the Food and Drug Administration, and related agencies. It would include funding for the food-stamp ($39.8 billion) and child-nutrition programs ($13.9 billion), farm subsidies and crop insurance, conservation programs, rural development programs, etc.

The House passed the bill by a vote of 237-18 (Roll Call 816) on August 2, 2007. We have assigned pluses to the nays because federal aid to farmers and federal food aid to individuals are not authorized in the Constitution.



H R 3162: Children's Health and Medicare Protection Act of 2007
Vote Date: August 1, 2007Vote: AYEBad Vote.
SCHIP. This bill (H.R. 3162) would authorize about $86 billion over five years for the State Children's Health Insurance Program (SCHIP). The federal funds are given to state governments to provide healthcare for low-income, uninsured children. However, this expansion would extend the program to others from higher-income families who are already covered by private insurance plans.

The House passed the bill by a vote of 225-204 (Roll Call 787) on August 1, 2007. We have assigned pluses to the nays because federal healthcare funding is unconstitutional.



H R 3074: On Agreeing to the Amendment 32 to H R 3074
Vote Date: July 24, 2007Vote: AYEGood Vote.
NAFTA Superhighway. During consideration of the fiscal 2008 Transportation-HUD appropriations bill, Representative Duncan Hunter (R-Calif.) offered an amendment to prohibit the use of the funds in the bill for participation in "a working group under the Security and Prosperity Partnership," including the NAFTA Superhighway. A news release issued by Hunter's congressional office explained that "SPP working groups are advancing a plan to build the NAFTA Super Highway -- an international corridor extending between the U.S., Mexico and Canada." The NAFTA Superhighway is part of a broader plan to gradually integrate the three countries in a North American Union.

The House adopted the Hunter amendment by a vote of 362-63 (Roll Call 707) on July 24, 2007. We have assigned pluses to the yeas because the NAFTA Superhighway threatens our national security and economy.



H R 1851: Section 8 Voucher Reform Act
Vote Date: July 12, 2007Vote: AYEGood Vote.
Proof of Legal Residency for Federal Housing Vouchers. During consideration of the bill to authorize the Section 8 housing voucher program through 2012, Representative Shelley Moore Capito (R-W.Va.) offered a motion to recommit the bill back to committee to add language requiring that all occupants of Section 8 low-income housing establish proof of legal residency. The proof could consist of one of the following: a Social Security card along with a state or federal photo ID card; a U.S. passport; a driver's license; or a U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services photo ID card. The intent of Capito's motion is to prevent illegal aliens from receiving federally subsidized housing.

The House agreed to Capito's motion by a vote of 233-186 (Roll Call 628) on July 12, 2007. We have assigned pluses to the yeas because the federal government should not subsidize the housing of illegal aliens. (Of course, it should end housing subsidies to American citizens as well since such aid is unconstitutional.)



H R 2643: On Agreeing to the Amendment 22 to H R 2643
Vote Date: June 26, 2007Vote: NAYBad Vote.
Global Climate Change. During consideration of the fiscal 2008 Interior appropriations bill (H.R. 2643), Representative Joe Barton (R-Texas) introduced an amendment to strike from the bill nonbinding language calling for a mandatory program to combat global warming. Specifically, this provision of H.R. 2643 expresses "the sense of the Congress that there should be enacted a comprehensive and effective national program of mandatory, market-based limits and incentives" to reduce global greenhouse-gas emissions. An example of so-called "market-based limits" would be to allow companies that want to exceed their allowable emissions output to buy permits or allowances from companies that choose not to use their full allotment.

The House rejected the Barton amendment, and thereby kept the global-warming language in the bill, by a vote of 153-274 (Roll Call 555) on June 26, 2007. We have assigned pluses to the yeas because mandatory limits on greenhouse-gas emissions would harm the economy.



H R 2764: Department of State, Foreign Operations, and Related Programs Appropriations for FY 2008
Vote Date: June 22, 2007Vote: AYEBad Vote.
Foreign Aid. The fiscal 2008 foreign-aid appropriations bill (H.R. 2764) would authorize $34.4 billion for foreign operations and economic assistance. This amount represents another huge increase over similar House-passed appropriations for previous fiscal years -- $21.3 billion for 2007, $20.3 billion for 2006, and $19.4 billion for 2005.

The House passed the bill by a vote of 241-178 (Roll Call 542) on June 22, 2007. We have assigned pluses to the nays because foreign aid is unconstitutional.



H R 2638: On Agreeing to the Amendment 29 to H R 2638
Vote Date: June 15, 2007Vote: AYEBad Vote.
Funding the REAL ID Act (National ID). During consideration of the Homeland Security appropriations bill, Representative Brian Bilbray (R-Calif.) offered an amendment to reallocate $150 million of the bill's funding to provide grant money for assisting states in conforming to the REAL ID Act of 2005. The REAL ID Act requires all states to issue standardized driver's licenses that would serve as national ID cards. It was supposed to go into effect three years after the enactment of the act, but because of resistance from the states, the deadline has been extended to 2010 for states that request an extension. Once enacted, a federal agency would not be allowed to accept for any official purpose a driver's license or ID card issued by a state that fails to meet the act's requirements.

The House rejected the Bilbray amendment by a vote of 155-268 (Roll Call 479) on June 15, 2007. We have assigned pluses to the nays because the act would effectively create a national ID card.



H R 1585: On Agreeing to the Amendment 5 to H R 1585
Vote Date: May 16, 2007Vote: NAYBad Vote.
Iran Military Operations. During consideration for the fiscal 2008 defense authorization bill (H.R. 1585), Representative Peter DeFazio (D-Ore.) offered this amendment that would require President Bush to get specific congressional authorization before engaging in military operations in Iran.

The House rejected the DeFazio amendment in a Committee of the Whole on May 16, 2007, by a vote of 136-288. We have assigned pluses to the yeas because the power to declare war belongs solely to Congress, not the president. Under Article I, Section 8 of the U.S. Constitution, Congress alone has the power to declare war.



H R 1700: COPS Improvement Act
Vote Date: May 15, 2007Vote: AYEBad Vote.
COPS Funding. This bill (H.R. 1700) would provide the annual funds for the Community-Oriented Policing Services (COPS) program for fiscal 2008 through 2013. The bill would authorize $1.15 billion per fiscal year to aid in the hiring of law enforcement officers. The funding would include up to $600 million each year for "officers hired to perform intelligence, anti-terror or homeland security duties."

The House passed H.R. 1700 on May 15, 2007, by a vote of 381-34 (Roll Call 348). We have assigned pluses to the nays because providing federal aid to local law enforcement programs is not only unconstitutional, but it also further federalizes the police system.



H R 1773: Safe American Roads Act
Vote Date: May 15, 2007Vote: AYEGood Vote.
Mexican Trucks. This bill (H.R. 1773) would subject President Bush's pilot program to allow Mexican trucks to travel freely on U.S. highways to microscopic scrutiny. Current law requires cross-border traffic to unload their cargo onto American trucks within 20-25 miles of the border. This new bill would place certain conditions on Bush's pilot program, including the establishment of an independent review panel to uncover any problems with the program that would require the government to abort the program for good.

The Transportation Department has opposed this legislation, claiming NAFTA established the framework for open roadways for U.S. and Mexican truckers.

The House passed this bill on May 15, 2007, by a vote of 411-3 (Roll Call 349). We have assigned pluses to the yeas because allowing Mexican truckers to travel freely on U.S. roads would not only threaten U.S. security, but would also displace numerous American truckers who would lose their jobs to Mexican drivers who are willing to work for a much lower wage.



H R 2237: To provide for the redeployment of United States Armed Forces and defense contractors from Iraq
Vote Date: May 10, 2007Vote: NAYBad Vote.
Iraq Troop Withdrawal. This bill to withdraw U.S. troops and Defense Department contractors from Iraq (H.R. 2237) was purely a symbolic bill with little chance of passage by the House. The bill would require the withdrawal of troops and contractors to begin within 90 days of the bill's enactment, and to be completed within 180 days from the beginning date of the withdrawal.

The House rejected this bill on May 10, 2007, by a vote of 171-255 (Roll Call 330). We have assigned pluses to the yeas because, according to Article I, Section 8 of the Constitution, only Congress can declare war, and consequently our soldiers are not fighting under a constitutional mandate.



H R 1592: Local Law Enforcement Hate Crimes Prevention Act of 2007
Vote Date: May 3, 2007Vote: NAYGood Vote.
Hate Crimes. The Hate Crimes Prevention Act of 2007 (H.R. 1592) would expand the federal hate-crimes law to make certain crimes stand-alone offenses. The legislation would make it a federal offense to commit a crime against an individual based on gender, sexual orientation, gender identity, or disability. Current hate-crime laws extend to sentencing but do not provide for additional charges to be brought against an individual. Opponents of this legislation argue that H.R. 1592 would punish an individual for not only the crime, but the thoughts behind it. During floor debate on H.R. 1592 Minority Leader John A. Boehner (R-Ohio) said, "This unconstitutional bill would effectively give the federal government authority to punish American citizens for 'thought crimes' -- a concept that has Big Brother written all over it."

The House passed this bill on May 3, 2007, by a vote of 237-180 (Roll Call 299). We have assigned pluses to the nays because this legislation would further federalize the criminal code as well as punish not only the criminal and his actions, but the presumed thoughts behind them.



H R 1429: Improving Head Start Act
Vote Date: May 2, 2007Vote: AYEBad Vote.
Head Start Funding. The Head Start reauthorization bill (H.R. 1429) would authorize $7.4 billion for the Head Start program in fiscal 2008. The bill would also disburse "such sums as may be necessary" for fiscal years 2009-2012. The bill would also place more strict requirements on Head Start teachers, such as requiring them to have completed a bachelor's degree by 2013. The funding for the Head Start program is up from the $6.9 billion that it received in fiscal 2007.

The House passed this bill on May 2, 2007, by a vote of 365-48 (Roll Call 285). We have assigned pluses to the nays because the bill perpetuates a federally funded educational program, and federal aid to education is unconstitutional.



H R 1591: Making emergency supplemental appropriations for fiscal year ending September 30, 2007, and for other purposes
Vote Date: April 25, 2007Vote: AYEBad Vote.
Supplemental Spending -- Conference Report. The final version (conference report) of this supplemental appropriations bill (H.R. 1591) would provide an additional $124.2 billion for the previous fiscal year (fiscal 2007), over and above previous appropriations.

Although the bill would set a timetable for the withdrawal of American troops in Iraq, it would also authorize an additional $95.5 billion to carry out military operations in Iraq and Afghanistan. Additionally, this seemingly catchall bill also would raise the federal minimum wage to $7.25 an hour and provide nearly $5 billion in small-business incentives. Even if the spending in this supplemental bill were constitutional, it should have been added to the federal budget in the annual appropriations process.

The House passed H.R. 1591 on April 25, 2007, by a vote of 218-208 (Roll Call 265). We have assigned pluses to the nays for several reasons: it contained an enormous amount of unconstitutional spending, raised the federal minimum wage, and authorized money for the Iraq War, which itself was never authorized by Congress under Article I, Section 8, of the Constitution.



H CON RES 99: Congressional Budget for the U.S. Government for Fiscal Year 2008
Vote Date: March 29, 2007Vote: AYEBad Vote.
Budget Resolution. The 2008 budget resolution (House Concurrent Resolution 99) would increase the fiscal 2008 budget to approximately $2.9 trillion, an almost $150 billion increase from fiscal 2007. The bill's spending would include an astronomical $955.8 billion in discretionary spending, including $145.2 billion for military operations in Iraq and Afghanistan.

The House passed H. Con. Res. 99 by a vote of 216-210 (Roll Call 212) on March 29, 2007. We have assigned pluses to the nays because Congress must not continue to support massive amounts of irresponsible and unconstitutional spending.



H R 3: Stem Cell Research Enhancement Act
Vote Date: January 11, 2007Vote: AYEBad Vote.
Embryonic Stem-cell Research. The stem-cell research bill (H.R. 3) would allow federal funds to be used for research on embryos donated by in vitro fertility clinics. Embryonic stem-cell research is both immoral and unethical because it cannibalizes and destroys human embryos in the name of science. Supporters of embryonic stem-cell research argue that the cell lines could cure diseases such as cancer and diabetes. But rather than destroying human life, science should focus on cures from stem-cell lines derived from other sources, such as amniotic fluids.

Under threat of a presidential veto, the House passed this stem-cell research bill on January 11, 2007, by a vote of 253-174 (Roll Call 20). We have assigned pluses to the nays because it violates the right to life for millions of unborn babies and unconstitutionally mandates federal funds for scientific research.



H R 2: Fair Minimum Wage Act
Vote Date: January 10, 2007Vote: AYEBad Vote.
Minimum Wage. The minimum-wage increase bill (H.R. 2) would increase the federal minimum wage by $2.10 over two years to $7.25 an hour. Senator Ted Kennedy (D-Mass.) had repeatedly attempted to pass a minimum-wage increase in recent years, but the Republican-led Congress had always rejected his minimum-wage amendments. The minimum-wage increase represents one of the first major pushes of the newly elected Democratic Congress and was high up on the 100-hour legislative agenda pushed by House leaders at the beginning of the congressional year.

In 1996, the federal minimum wage was increased by 90 cents to the current $5.15 an hour. Though many people believe that raising the federal minimum wage is a solution to national poverty, allowing the market to dictate wages allows entry-level workers to get the experience and job training they need to get higher paying jobs.

The House passed H.R. 2 on January 10, 2007, by a vote of 315-116 (Roll Call 18). We have assigned pluses to the nays because it is unconstitutional for the government to prohibit citizens from working for less than a government-set wage.



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