Name: J. Hastert
Congress: Illinois, District: 14, Republican
Cumulative Freedom Index Score: 53%
Status: Former Member of the House
60% (110th Congress: 2007-2008); 33% (109th Congress: 2005-2006); 50% (108th Congress: 2003-2004); 60% (107th Congress: 2001-2002); 55% (106th Congress: 1999-2000)
*** 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, 2007||Vote: NAY||Good 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, 2007||Vote: NONE||No 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, 2007||Vote: AYE||Bad 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, 2007||Vote: AYE||Bad 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, 2007||Vote: NONE||No 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, 2007||Vote: NONE||No 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, 2007||Vote: NAY||Good 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, 2007||Vote: AYE||Good 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, 2007||Vote: NONE||No 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, 2007||Vote: AYE||Good 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, 2007||Vote: NONE||No 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, 2007||Vote: NAY||Good 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, 2007||Vote: NAY||Bad 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, 2007||Vote: AYE||Bad 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, 2007||Vote: AYE||Good 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, 2007||Vote: NAY||Bad 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, 2007||Vote: NONE||No 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, 2007||Vote: AYE||Bad 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, 2007||Vote: NAY||Good 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, 2007||Vote: NAY||Good 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, 2007||Vote: NONE||No 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, 2007||Vote: NAY||Good 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.
|H R 6166: Military Commissions Act|
|Vote Date: September 27, 2006||Vote: AYE||Bad Vote.|
|Military Tribunals. This bill (H.R. 6166) would authorize a new system of military tribunals to try persons designated "unlawful enemy combatants" by the president. The bill defines an unlawful enemy combatant to include a person who "has purposely and materially supported hostilities against the United States or its co-belligerents." Once designated an unlawful enemy combatant, a defendant's rights would be curtailed: he would be denied the right of habeas corpus; he could be detained indefinitely; and evidence obtained through coercion could be used against him--so long as the coercion falls outside the administration's definition of torture.|
Critics of the tribunals bill are planning to file suit in order to test the constitutionality of the legislation. This legislation was in response to the U.S. Supreme Court's June 29 ruling on the case of Hamdan v. Rumsfeld, which declared that the administration's current system for trying military detainees was unconstitutional.
The House passed the military tribunals bill on September 27, 2006 by a vote of 253-168 (Roll Call 491). We have assigned pluses to the nays because the bill would curtail defendant rights.
|H R 5684: To implement the United States-Oman Free Trade Agreement|
|Vote Date: July 20, 2006||Vote: AYE||Bad Vote.|
|Oman Trade Agreement. The Oman Free Trade Agreement (H.R. 5684) would reduce most tariffs and duties between Oman and the United States. H.R. 5684 was considered under fast-track authority, which requires Congress to expedite consideration of presidentially negotiated trade pacts without offering amendments.|
The Oman agreement is just one steppingstone in the White House's effort to form a Middle Eastern Free Trade Area (MEFTA) by 2013. These so-called free- trade agreements have historically failed because they encourage the relocation of U.S. jobs to foreign countries so that the companies can get cheap labor. Meanwhile, they don't provide the United States with trade benefits -- largely because the people in those countries cannot afford to buy our products -- thereby harming the U.S. economy. The agreements also put our economic destiny in the hands of unelected foreign bureaucrats, such as those at the World Trade Organization.
The House passed H.R. 5684 by a vote of 221-205 on July 20, 2006 (Roll Call 392). We have assigned pluses to the nays because such trade agreements damage the U.S. economy and threaten U.S. sovereignty by the imposition of international regulations.
|H R 4890: Legislative Line Item Veto Act|
|Vote Date: June 22, 2006||Vote: AYE||Bad Vote.|
|Line-item Rescission. The legislative line-item rescission bill (H.R. 4890) would allow the president to propose cuts in spending bills already enacted by Congress. The cuts would then receive an up-or-down vote with no opportunity to filibuster or add amendments.|
The House passed H.R. 4890 by a vote of 247-172 on June 22, 2006 (Roll Call 317). We have assigned pluses to the nays because the rescission bill, though not a full-fledged line-item veto, would still shift some legislative power from Congress to the president, disrupting the U.S. system of checks and balances.
|H R 5429: American-Made Energy and Good Jobs Act|
|Vote Date: May 25, 2006||Vote: AYE||Good Vote.|
|ANWR Oil and Gas Leasing. This bill (H.R. 5429) would authorize the Department of the Interior to grant leases for oil and gas development in a small portion of the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge (ANWR), along Alaska's northern coast. There are an estimated 10 billion barrels of oil in the targeted portion of ANWR that could bring tens of billions of dollars into the U.S. economy and reduce our dependence on foreign oil.|
The House passed H.R. 5429 on May 25, 2006 by a vote of 225-201 (Roll Call 209). We have assigned pluses to the yeas because the United States should reduce its dependency on foreign oil and develop its own energy resources.
|H R 4437: Border Protection, Antiterrorism, and Illegal Immigration Control Act|
|Vote Date: December 16, 2005||Vote: AYE||Good Vote.|
|Border Security. The House immigration bill (H.R. 4437) would improve border security by authorizing 700 miles of security fence to be built along parts of the U.S.-Mexican border, making unlawful entry into the United States a criminal rather than a civil offense, and increasing penalties for immigrant-related crimes. It would also require employers to verify immigrant status of new employees. It does not include the guest-worker/amnesty provisions found in the Senate bill.|
The House passed H.R. 4437 on December 16, 2005 by a vote of 239-182 (Roll Call 661). We have assigned pluses to the yeas because the bill would improve border security. The House-passed bill is very different from the Senate-passed version. For immigration legislation to become law, the House and Senate versions would have to be reconciled and a final version sent back to both houses of Congress for their approval and then to the president for his signature.
|H R 3199: USA PATRIOT and Terrorism Prevention Reauthorization Act|
|Vote Date: December 14, 2005||Vote: AYE||Bad Vote.|
|Patriot Act Reauthorization. This is the final version (conference report) of the Patriot Act reauthorization (H.R. 3199). In the weeks following the 9/11 terrorist attacks, Congress quickly passed the so-called Patriot Act, which gave law enforcement and intelligence agencies vast new powers to combat terrorism. The act increased the ability of law enforcement to secretly search home and business records, expanded the FBI's wiretapping and surveillance authority, and expanded the list of crimes deemed terrorist acts. When passed in 2001 the bill included a "sunset" provision under which the new surveillance powers "shall cease to have effect on December 21, 2005." The Patriot Act reauthorization bill (H.R. 3199) considered by Congress last year would make permanent 14 of the 16 provisions included in the bill, and extend for four years the two remaining provisions.|
The House passed the final version of the bill to reauthorize the Patriot Act on December 14, 2005 by a vote of 251-174 (Roll Call 627). We have assigned pluses to the nays because the Patriot Act tramples on the constitutionally protected rights of U.S. citizens.
|H R 3010: Departments of Labor, Health and Human Services, and Education, and Related Agencies Appropriations Act, 2006|
|Vote Date: December 14, 2005||Vote: AYE||Bad Vote.|
|Labor-HHS-Education Appropriations. This massive social-welfare appropriations bill (H.R. 3010) would provide $601.6 billion in fiscal 2006 for the Labor Department ($14.8 billion), the Education Department ($63.5 billion), the Health and Human Services Department ($474.1 billion), and related agencies. H.R. 3010 is the largest of the appropriations bills considered by Congress this year. In total, H.R. 3010 would provide a 21 percent increase over a similar appropriations bill for fiscal 2005.|
The House passed the bill on December 14, 2005 by a vote of 215-213 (Roll Call 628). We have assigned pluses to the nays because the bill would provide an increase in spending, and social-welfare programs are unconstitutional.
|H R 3: Transportation Equity Act: A Legacy for Users|
|Vote Date: July 29, 2005||Vote: AYE||Bad Vote.|
|Surface Transportation. The final version (conference report) of this bill (H.R. 3) would authorize $286.5 billion for federal highway, mass transit, and safety and research programs through fiscal 2009. The bill is laden with thousands of "pork barrel" transportation projects requested by individual lawmakers.|
The House adopted the final version of this legislation on July 29, 2005 by a vote of 412-8 (Roll Call 453). We have assigned pluses to the nays because the bill increases transportation spending and is fiscally irresponsible.
|H R 3045: Dominican Republic-Central America-United States Free Trade Agreement Implementation Act|
|Vote Date: July 28, 2005||Vote: AYE||Bad Vote.|
|CAFTA. This bill (H.R. 3045) would implement the proposed Central American Free Trade Agreement (CAFTA), thereby expanding the devastating consequences of the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), including the job losses wrought by NAFTA. CAFTA is intended by the Power Elite to be a steppingstone from NAFTA to the proposed Free Trade Area of the Americas (FTAA), which would include all of the countries of the Western Hemisphere except (for now) Cuba. Like NAFTA, which has already begun imposing its trade rulings on America, CAFTA and the FTAA would not be genuine free trade arrangements; they would instead manage trade and would gradually exercise more powers on the road to a supranational government modeled after the European Union.|
The House passed CAFTA on July 28, 2005 by a vote of 217-215 (Roll Call 443). We have assigned pluses to the nays because CAFTA would further damage the U.S. economy and threaten U.S. sovereignty.
|H R 3199: USA PATRIOT and Terrorism Prevention Reauthorization Act|
|Vote Date: July 21, 2005||Vote: AYE||Bad Vote.|
|Patriot Act Reauthorization. In the wake of the 9/11 terrorist attacks, Congress passed the so-called Patriot Act, which gave law enforcement and intelligence agencies vast new powers to combat terrorism. The act expanded the list of crimes deemed terrorist acts; increased the ability of law enforcement to secretly search homes and business records; expanded the FBI's wiretapping and surveillance authority; and provided for nationwide jurisdiction for search warrants and electronic surveillance devices, including the legal extension of those devices to e-mail and the Internet. The bill included a "sunset" provision under which the new surveillance powers "shall cease to have effect on December 31, 2005."|
The Patriot Act reauthorization bill (H.R. 3199) considered by the current Congress would make permanent 14 of the 16 provisions set to expire at the end of this year and extend for 10 years the remaining two provisions. The House passed the reauthorization on July 21, 2005 by a vote of 257-171 (Roll Call 414). We have assigned pluses to the nays because the Patriot Act tramples on the constitutionally protected rights of U.S. citizens.
|H R 810: Stem Cell Research Enhancement Act|
|Vote Date: May 24, 2005||Vote: NAY||Good Vote.|
|Embryonic Stem-cell Research. This bill (H.R. 810) would allow federal funds to be used for research on embryonic stem-cell lines, which can be created only by cannibalizing and destroying human embryos -- innocent human life. Proponents contend that the research is needed to combat various diseases, but stem cells from sources other than embryos may provide more promising results, without killing some human beings for the supposed benefit of others.|
The House passed the bill on May 24, 2005 by a vote of 238-194 (Roll Call 204). We have assigned pluses to the nays because the research would violate the right to life.
|H R 8: Death Tax Repeal Permanency Act|
|Vote Date: April 13, 2005||Vote: AYE||Good Vote.|
|Permanent Repeal of Estate Tax. Rep. Kenny Hulshof (R-Mo.) sponsored this bill (H.R. 8) to permanently repeal the estate tax, commonly known as the "death tax." Under current law, the estate tax will be phased out by 2010, but because of a "sunset" provision the tax will be fully eliminated for only one year before being reinstituted. Hulshof's bill would eliminate the sunset clause, making the repeal permanent. The estate tax has forced many cash-poor but asset-rich individuals to liquidate their family farms and other small private businesses rather than bequeath those assets to their loved ones.|
The House passed this bill on April 13, 2005 by a vote of 272-162 (Roll Call 102). We have assigned pluses to the yeas because permanently repealing the estate tax would be a constitutional tax cut that would benefit the elderly and their families.
|H R 1308: To amend the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 to end certain abusive tax practices, to provide tax relief and simplification, and for other purposes.|
|Vote Date: September 23, 2004||Vote: AYE||Good Vote.|
|Extending Tax Cuts. The final version (conference report) of this tax-cut legislation (H.R. 1308) would benefit most Americans by extending the life of several middle-class tax breaks set to expire at the end of this year. It would extend provisions providing relief from the "marriage penalty" through 2008, extend the $1,000 per child income tax credit through 2009, and keep a greater number of taxpayers in the 10 percent income tax bracket through 2010. It would also revive some expired business tax incentives.|
The House adopted the conference report on H.R. 1308 on September 23, 2004 by a vote of 339 to 65 (Roll Call 472). We have assigned pluses to the yeas because the bill would extend the life of tax cuts, benefiting a large number of Americans.
|H R 3313: Marriage Protection Act of 2004|
|Vote Date: July 22, 2004||Vote: AYE||Good Vote.|
|Marriage Protection Act. This bill (H.R. 3313) would protect marriage from judicial activism by restricting the federal courts as opposed to amending the Constitution. Specifically, H.R. 3313 would stipulate that "no court created by Act of Congress shall have any jurisdiction, and the Supreme Court shall have no appellate jurisdiction" to interpret, or rule on the constitutionality of, Title 28, Section 1738C of the U.S. Code. Section 1738C states that no state, territory, or possession of the U.S "shall be required to give effect" to same-sex "marriages" performed under the laws of another state, territory, or possession.|
H.R. 3313 would not prohibit the federal courts from hearing all same-sex "marriage" cases, since it is narrowly worded. A more broadly written measure would have been better. Nevertheless, H.R. 3313 would be a step in the right direction.
The House passed H.R. 3313 on July 22, 2004 by a vote of 233 to 194 (Roll Call 410). We have assigned pluses to the yeas because H.R. 3313 would help protect marriage via a long-neglected congressional check on the federal judiciary.
|H CON RES 393: Congressional Budget for the U.S. Government for FY 2005|
|Vote Date: March 25, 2004||Vote: AYE||Bad Vote.|
|Fiscal 2005 Budget Resolution. This resolution (House Concurrent Resolution 393) would establish broad spending and revenue targets over the next five years. It calls for $871.3 billion in "discretionary" spending (including $50 billion for supplemental funding of operations in Iraq) and another $1.5 trillion in "mandatory" spending for fiscal 2005. Based on these targets, the "mandatory" spending portion of the budget would increase by 5 percent over last year, and the total budget -- a whopping $2.4 trillion -- would increase by 3 percent.|
This resolution projects that the budget deficit would be cut significantly by fiscal 2009 (from $376.8 billion in fiscal 2005 to $234 billion in fiscal 2009); however, according to a Congressional Quarterly Fact Sheet, "Budget Resolution for FY 2005," these projected deficits are deceptively low due to an accounting sleight-of-hand whereby "these deficits are calculated by using the surpluses in the Social Security trust funds to offset spending on other programs. If these Social Security surpluses are not counted, the projected deficits in each fiscal year would be $550.7 billion in FY 2005 and $471.8 billion in FY 2009."
The House adopted this resolution on March 25, 2004 by a vote of 215 to 212 (Roll Call 92). We have assigned pluses to the nays because this budget perpetuates the fiscally irresponsible, largely unconstitutional federal spending with its attendant record-breaking deficits of recent years.
|H R 3030: On Agreeing to the Amendment 4 to H R 3030|
|Vote Date: February 4, 2004||Vote: NAY||Good Vote.|
|Extended Unemployment Benefits. This amendment to H.R. 3030 (Community Service Block Grants) would authorize a six-month federal program to provide an additional 13 weeks of unemployment benefits for people who have exhausted their 26 weeks of state jobless benefits.|
According to Congressional Quarterly for February 7, 2004, this federal unemployment benefits amendment is part of "an election year strategy by Democrats and labor advocates to try to attach worker-related legislation to other bills.
The House adopted this amendment to H.R. 3030 on February 4, 2004 by a vote of 227 to 179 (Roll Call 18). We have assigned pluses to the nays because payment of unemployment benefits is an unconstitutional activity of the federal government.
|H R 1: Medicare Prescription Drug, Improvement, and Modernization Act|
|Vote Date: November 22, 2003||Vote: AYE||Bad Vote.|
|Prescription Drug Benefit. The final version (conference report) of H.R. 1 would create a prescription drug benefit for Medicare recipients. Beginning in 2006, prescription coverage would be available to seniors through private insurers for a monthly premium estimated at $35. There would be a $250 annual deductible, then 75 percent of drug costs up to $2,250 would be reimbursed. Drug costs greater than $2,250 would not be covered until out-of-pocket expenses exceeded $3,600, after which 95 percent of drug costs would be reimbursed. Low-income recipients would receive more subsidies than other seniors by paying lower premiums, having smaller deductibles, and making lower co-payments for each prescription. The total cost of the new prescription drug benefit would be limited to the $400 billion that Congress had budgeted earlier this year for the first 10 years of this new entitlement program.|
The House adopted the conference report on H.R. 1 on November 22, 2003 by a vote of 220 to 215 (Roll Call 669). We have assigned pluses to the nays because this landmark legislation establishes a major new unconstitutional entitlement program.
|S 3: Partial-Birth Abortion Ban Act|
|Vote Date: October 2, 2003||Vote: AYE||Good Vote.|
|Partial-birth Abortion Ban. The final version (conference report) of S. 3 would ban partial-birth abortions. Although on March 12 the Senate had amended their version of S. 3 to include a reaffirmation of Roe v. Wade, on September 30 a 10-member House-Senate conference committee agreed to report out a final version of the bill identical to one (H.R. 760) that passed the House earlier this year without any reaffirmation of Roe v. Wade.|
Of course, all abortion procedures should be banned. But this bill is still a step in the right direction in that it is better to ban one abortion procedure than to ban none at all
The House adopted the conference report on S. 3 on October 2, 2003 by a vote of 281 to 142 (Roll Call 530). We have assigned pluses to the yeas because all forms of abortion constitute the murder of preborn children, and the Supreme Court, in its Roe v. Wade decision, overstepped its proper authority by "legalizing" abortion in the first place.
|H R 2660: Departments of Labor, Health and Human Services, and Education, and Related Agencies Appropriations Act, 2004|
|Vote Date: July 10, 2003||Vote: AYE||Bad Vote.|
|Labor-HHS-Education Appropriations. This bill (H.R. 2660) would appropriate $470 billion for the Labor, Health and Human Services, and Education Departments for fiscal 2004, a 10 percent increase over fiscal 2003. This bill, the biggest of the fiscal 2004 domestic spending bills, includes $138 billion for discretionary spending, including $55.4 billion for education and $22.7 billion for the National Institutes of Health. That leaves $332 billion for so-called mandatory spending on entitlement programs such as Medicare, Medicaid, and unemployment insurance.|
The House passed H.R. 2660 on July 10, 2003 by a vote of 215 to 208 (Roll Call 353). We have assigned pluses to the nays because this bill represents a significant increase in spending, and these departments are not authorized by the Constitution.
|H R 760: Partial-Birth Abortion Ban Act|
|Vote Date: June 4, 2003||Vote: AYE||Good Vote.|
|Partial-Birth Abortion Ban. This bill (H.R. 760) states: "Any physician who, in or affecting interstate or foreign commerce, knowingly performs a partial-birth abortion and thereby kills a human fetus shall be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than 2 years, or both."|
The House passed H.R. 760 on June 4, 2003 by a vote of 282 to 139 (Roll Call 242). We have assigned pluses to the yeas on the basis that all forms of abortion constitute the murder of unborn children -- and that the Supreme Court was overstepping its proper authority by "legalizing" abortion in the first place.
|H R 2: Jobs and Growth Reconciliation Tax Act|
|Vote Date: May 23, 2003||Vote: AYE||Good Vote.|
|Tax Reductions. The final version of the $350 billion tax-cut package (the conference report on H.R. 2) would provide tax breaks over 11 years. Dividends, currently taxed the same as other earned income, would instead be taxed at 15 percent for most taxpayers through 2008. Lower-income dividend recipients would be taxed at 5 percent through 2007 and nothing in 2008. The current 20 percent top rate on capital gains on investments held at least one year would drop to 15 percent, with lower-income investors paying 5 percent through 2007 and nothing in 2008. Both dividend and capital gains tax reductions would expire after 2008. Among other tax reductions, income tax cuts enacted in 2001 for individuals and scheduled to be effective in 2006 would be accelerated; parents would receive refunds of up to $400 per child this summer.|
The House adopted the conference report on H.R. 2 on May 23, 2003 by a vote of 231 to 200 (Roll Call 225). We have assigned pluses to the yeas because this bill will cut taxes for individuals and businesses.
|H R 1298: United States Leadership Against HIV/AIDS, Tuberculosis, and Malaria Act|
|Vote Date: May 1, 2003||Vote: AYE||Bad Vote.|
|Global AIDS Initiative. This bill (H.R. 1298) would authorize $15 billion ($3 billion annually) for fiscal years 2004 through 2008 to provide assistance to foreign countries for the stated purpose of combating HIV/AIDS, tuberculosis, and malaria. Much of this funding will be funneled through the Global AIDS Fund and other UN agencies and programs notorious for promoting abortion, as well as encouraging promiscuity through "sex education" courses supposedly aimed at stemming AIDS.|
The House passed H.R. 1298 on May 1, 2003 by a vote of 375 to 41 (Roll Call 158). We have assigned pluses to the nays because foreign aid is unconstitutional.
|H CON RES 95: Congressional Budget for FY 2004|
|Vote Date: April 11, 2003||Vote: AYE||Bad Vote.|
|Budget Resolution -- Final Version. The final version (conference report) of the budget resolution (House Concurrent Resolution 95) would authorize federal spending for fiscal 2004 of $1,861 billion dollars with a deficit of $558 billion and an increase in the public debt ceiling of $984 billion. This planned deficit of $558 billion dwarfs the previous record federal deficit of $290 billion in 1992. The $984 billion increase in the public debt ceiling authorized in this bill constituted, under Rule XXVII of the House, approval of the debt limit increase bill (House Joint Resolution 51) without having to cast a separate vote just on increasing the debt ceiling. Subsequently the Senate passed H. J. Res. 51 and President Bush signed it into law, increasing the public debt ceiling by $984 billion (for a new total of $7.4 trillion) and giving Congress a green light to continue its fiscally irresponsible ways. This resolution also includes $400 billion for a Medicare prescription drug benefit for 2004-2013.|
The House adopted the conference report on H. Con. Res. 95 on April 11, 2003 by a vote of 216 to 211 (Roll Call 141). We have assigned pluses to the nays because this budget resolution was fiscally irresponsible.
|H J RES 2: Making Further Continuing Appropriations for the Fiscal Year 2003, and for other purposes|
|Vote Date: February 13, 2003||Vote: AYE||Bad Vote.|
|Fiscal 2003 Omnibus Appropriations. The final version (conference report) of House Joint Resolution 2 would provide $397 billion in fiscal 2003 for all Cabinet departments and government agencies covered in 11 unfinished spending bills from the 107th Congress. The bills included are: Agriculture, Commerce-Justice-State, District of Columbia, Energy and Water Development, Foreign Operations, Interior, Labor-HHS-Education, Legislative Branch, Transportation, Treasury-Postal Service, and VA-HUD. The problem with the omnibus approach is that thousands of unconstitutional activities are lumped together with legitimate legislation in one massive bill. Thus, big government is perpetuated with a minimum of accountability.|
The House adopted the conference report on H. J. Res. 2 on February 13, 2003 by a vote of 338 to 83 (Roll Call 32). We have assigned pluses to the nays because this bill perpetuates huge amounts of unconstitutional federal spending.
|H J RES 114: To Authorize the Use of United States Armed Forces Against Iraq|
|Vote Date: October 10, 2002||Vote: AYE||Bad Vote.|
|War Authorization Against Iraq. This joint resolution (House Joint Resolution 114) authorizes the president "to use the Armed Forces of the United States as he determines to be necessary and appropriate in order to -- (1) defend the national security of the United States against the continuing threat posed by Iraq; and (2) enforce all relevant United Nations Security Council resolutions regarding Iraq." However, since the Constitution gives Congress the sole responsibility for declaring war, this resolution represents congressional abdication of its responsibility.|
Furthermore, the main thrust of the joint resolution is that the president is authorized to use the Armed Forces of the United States to "strictly enforce through the United Nations Security Council all relevant Security Council resolutions regarding Iraq." That is, the purpose of the resolution is to enforce UN Security Council dictates. The House passed H. J. Res. 114 on October 10, 2002 by a vote of 296 to 133 (Roll Call 455). We have assigned pluses to the nays.
|H R 3009: Andean Trade Preference Act|
|Vote Date: July 27, 2002||Vote: AYE||Bad Vote.|
|Trade Promotion Authority. The final version (conference report) of H.R. 3009 would give President Bush Trade Promotion Authority (TPA) for congressional consideration of trade agreements reached before June 1, 2005. President Bush has made it abundantly clear that he intends to use TPA to complete negotiations on the Free Trade Area of the Americas (FTAA) by early 2005. The FTAA could be modeled after the EU, but is designed to evolve toward a full-blown regional government at a greatly accelerated pace.|
The House adopted the conference report on H.R. 3009 on July 27, 2002 by a vote of 215 to 212 (Roll Call 370). We have assigned pluses to the nays.
|H R 4954: Medicare Modernization and Prescription Drug Act of 2002|
|Vote Date: June 28, 2002||Vote: NAY||Good Vote.|
|Prescription Drug Plan. This motion by Rep. Dick Gephardt (D-Mo.) to recommit H.R. 4954 to the House Ways and Means Committee and the Energy and Commerce Committee carried instructions that it be reported back quickly with plans for a prescription drug program through Medicare. Under this new program patients would pay $25 monthly and would have a $100 annual deductible. They would have to pay 20 percent of drug costs up to $2,000, then Medicare would pay all costs beyond $2,000. This prescription drug program would cost an estimated $800 billion over 10 years.|
The House rejected Gephardt's motion to recommit H.R. 4954 on June 28, 2002 by a vote of 204 to 223 (Roll Call 281). We have assigned pluses to the nays.
|H R 4954: Medicare Modernization and Prescription Drug Act of 2002|
|Vote Date: June 28, 2002||Vote: AYE||Bad Vote.|
|Prescription Drug Plan -- Republican Alternative. This bill (H.R. 4954) would subsidize private insurance companies for offering prescription drug policies to Medicare beneficiaries. Under this Republican plan, the cost would be $33 per month with a $250 annual deductible. Patients would pay 20 percent of costs from $251 to $1,000 and 50 percent from $1,001 to $2,000. Patients would pay all costs from $2,001 to $3,700, with anything above that covered 100% by the insurers. The estimated cost of this socialist-lite prescription plan for seniors is $350 billion over 10 years.|
The House passed H.R. 4954 on June 28, 2002 by a vote of 221 to 208 (Roll Call 282). We have assigned pluses to the nays.
|S 2578: To amend title 31 of the United States Code to increase the public debt limit.|
|Vote Date: June 27, 2002||Vote: AYE||Bad Vote.|
|Debt Limit. This bill (S. 2578) would increase the public debt limit by $450 billion for a new ceiling of $6.4 trillion on the National Debt. The supposed need for increasing the debt ceiling by $450 billion demonstrates that the federal government is still on a trajectory of out-of-control spending. Instead of raising the legal limit on what the federal government may borrow, Congress should cut spending.|
The House passed S. 2578 on June 27, 2002 by a vote of 215 to 214 (Roll Call 279). We have assigned pluses to the nays.
|H R 4931: Retirement Savings Security Act|
|Vote Date: June 21, 2002||Vote: AYE||Good Vote.|
|Pension Benefits. This bill (H.R. 4931) would permanently extend the new incentives for pension and retirement contributions included in last year's $1.35 trillion, 10-year tax cut law. It would make permanent the increase in the maximum annual contribution levels to IRA and 401(k) plans now slated to end after 2010. The bill would also allow "catch-up" contributions for those age 50 and older, and permit quicker vesting and easier rollovers of pension plans. Furthermore, the bill would encourage more businesses to offer employee pension plans by reducing administrative requirements.|
The House passed H.R. 4931 on June 21, 2002 by a vote of 308 to 70 (Roll Call 248). We have assigned pluses to the yeas.
|H R 2143: Permanent Death Tax Repeal Act|
|Vote Date: June 6, 2002||Vote: AYE||Good Vote.|
|Estate Tax Elimination. This bill (H.R. 2143) would permanently extend the repeal of the "death tax," now scheduled to be phased out by 2010, then reinstated in 2011 as per last year's $1.35 trillion, 10-year tax cut law.|
The House passed H.R. 2143 on June 6, 2002 by a vote of 256 to 171 (Roll Call 219). We have assigned pluses to the yeas.
|H J RES 87: Yucca Mountain Repository Site Approval Act|
|Vote Date: May 8, 2002||Vote: AYE||Good Vote.|
|Nuclear Waste. This joint resolution (House Joint Resolution 87) would override Nevada's veto of President Bush's plan to use Yucca Mountain as a repository for the nation's spent nuclear fuel and high-level radioactive waste. Nuclear energy is a key to energy independence; the Yucca Mountain repository for spent nuclear fuel is the key to increased utilization of nuclear energy.|
The House passed the resolution on May 8, 2002 by a vote of 306 to 117 (Roll Call 133). We have assigned pluses to the yeas.
|H R 586: Fairness for Foster Care Families Act|
|Vote Date: April 18, 2002||Vote: AYE||Good Vote.|
|Tax Cuts. Senate amendments to H. R. 586 would make permanent the cuts in last year's $1.35 trillion, 10-year tax reduction package, scheduled to expire in 2010. It would make permanent last year's reductions in income tax rates, relief of the marriage penalty, elimination of the estate tax, doubling of the child tax credit, and expansion of pension and education savings provisions.|
The House moved to concur with the Senate amendments to H.R. 586 on April 18, 2002 by a vote of 229 to 198 (Roll Call 103). We have assigned pluses to the yeas.
|H R 2356: Bipartisan Campaign Reform Act|
|Vote Date: February 14, 2002||Vote: NAY||Good Vote.|
|Campaign Financing. This bill (H.R. 2356) would restrict our God-given right of free speech through banning "soft money" donations to national political parties and preventing issue ads from mentioning specific candidates within 60 days of a general election or 30 days of a primary. In contrast, the First Amendment to the Constitution states: "Congress shall make no law ... abridging the freedom of speech...."|
The House passed H.R. 2356 on February 14. 2002 by a vote of 240-189 (Roll Call 34). We have assigned pluses to the nays.
|H R 1: No Child Left Behind Act|
|Vote Date: December 13, 2001||Vote: AYE||Bad Vote.|
|Education. The final version (conference report) of H.R. 1 would overhaul education proposals to increase school accountability and reauthorize the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA) for six years. This bill would require states to test students in reading and math in grades three through eight annually, provide new accountability measures for schools that fail to make adequate yearly progress, and give schools greater flexibility to spend federal funds. It would include about $26.3 billion for federal elementary and secondary education programs and $13.5 billion for Title I programs for disadvantaged children in fiscal 2002. According to Rep. Ron Paul (R-Texas): "H.R. I will lead to de facto, if not de jure, national testing.... Under the United States Constitution, the federal government has no authority to hold states 'accountable' for their education performance. In the free society envisioned by the founders, schools are held accountable to parents, not federal bureaucrats...."|
The House adopted the conference report on H.R. 1 on December 13, 2001 by a vote of 381 to 41 (Roll Call 497). We have assigned pluses to the nays.
|H R 3295: Help America Vote Act|
|Vote Date: December 12, 2001||Vote: AYE||Bad Vote.|
|Elections. This bill (H.R. 3295) would overhaul the nation's election procedures, including authorizing $400 million in one-time payments for states and counties to replace or upgrade punch card voting machines. The bill would also authorize $2.25 billion for states over three years to improve the administration of elections and mandate "minimum" federal election standards. This intervention by Congress in state elections threatens our federal system. According to Article 1, Section 4 of the Constitution, Congress is authorized to alter state election procedures for federal offices: "The times, places and manner of holding elections, for Senators and Representatives, shall be prescribed in each State by the legislature thereof, but the Congress may at any time by law make or alter such regulations...." However, Founder Alexander Hamilton asserted that Congress should only use this authority to "make or alter such regulations" in "extraordinary circumstances."|
The House passed H.R. 3295 on December 12, 2001 by a vote of 362 to 63 (Roll Call 489). We have assigned pluses to the nays.
|H R 3005: Bipartisan Trade Promotion Authority Act|
|Vote Date: December 6, 2001||Vote: AYE||Bad Vote.|
|Trade Promotion Authority. This bill (H.R. 3005) would give President Bush Trade Promotion Authority (TPA), formerly known as fast-track authority, to negotiate so-called free trade agreements. Under the TPA rules, Congress would only be allowed to vote yes or no on any free trade agreements presented to it by the Bush administration. President Bush has repeatedly stated that he would use TPA to complete negotiations for a Free Trade Area of the Americas (FTAA) by the end of his first term. Under the guise of "free trade," the FTAA would put us on the path to loss of sovereignty in a regional government of the Western Hemisphere, in the same manner that European nations are now losing sovereignty to the EU.|
The House passed H.R. 3005 on December 6, 2001 by a vote of 215 to 214 (Roll Call 481). We have assigned pluses to the nays.
|H R 3150: On Agreeing to H. Amdt. 384 to H R 3150|
|Vote Date: November 1, 2001||Vote: NAY||Good Vote.|
|Aviation Security. Rep. James Oberstar (D-Minn.) offered a substitute amendment that would have replaced the text of the House version of the aviation security bill (H.R. 3150) with that of the Senate version (S. 1447). The Senate version would make airport baggage and passenger screeners federal employees.|
The House rejected the substitute amendment on November 1, 2001 by a vote of 214 to 218 (Roll Call 423). We have assigned pluses to the nays.
|H R 3090: To Provide Tax Incentives for Economic Recovery|
|Vote Date: October 24, 2001||Vote: AYE||Good Vote.|
|Economic Stimulus. This bill (H R. 3090) would grant businesses and individuals $99.5 billion in federal tax cuts in fiscal 2002, and a total of $159.4 billion in reductions over 10 years. The bill would also accelerate reducing the 27 percent tax bracket to 25 percent, lower the capital gains tax rate from 20 percent to 18 percent, and eliminate the corporate alternative minimum tax.|
The House passed H.R. 3090 on October 24, 2001 by a vote of 216 to 214 (Roll call 404). We have assigned pluses to the yeas.
|H R 4: On Agreeing to H.Amdt. 298 to H R 4|
|Vote Date: August 1, 2001||Vote: NAY||Good Vote.|
|Oil and Gas Exploration in Alaska. Alaska's Arctic National Wildlife Refuge (ANWR) could contain as many as 9.2 billion barrels of economically recoverable oil according to an Interior Department study published more than a decade ago. Yet oil and gas exploration in the ANWR has been banned. The omnibus energy bill (H.R. 4) contained language allowing for limited exploration, but Rep. Edward Markey (D-Mass.) offered an amendment to delete this language from the bill, thereby preserving the ban.|
The House rejected the Markey amendment on August 1, 2001 by a vote of 206 to 223 (Roll Call 317). We have assigned pluses to the nays.
|H J RES 50: Disapproving Normal Trade Relations for China|
|Vote Date: July 19, 2001||Vote: NAY||Bad Vote.|
|China "Normal Trade Relations" Disapproval. House Joint Resolution 50 would have overturned President George W. Bush's decision to extend Normal Trade Relations (NTR) with China for another year. NTR, which used to be known as Most Favored Nation trade status, allows the oppressive Communist government to participate in subsidy programs through such agencies as the U.S. Export-Import Bank. Rep. Dana Rohrabacher (R-Calif.), the sponsor of H.J. Res. 50, pointed out that NTR "has nothing to do with free trade.... It has everything to do with subsidizing and guaranteeing big businessmen who cannot get their loans guaranteed in the private sector because it is too risky to go and set up factories in China."|
The House rejected H. J. Res. 50 on July 19, 2001 by a vote of 169 to 259 (Roll Call 255). We have assigned pluses to the yeas.
|H R 1836: Economic Growth and Tax Relief Reconciliation Act|
|Vote Date: May 26, 2001||Vote: AYE||Good Vote.|
|Tax Cut Reconciliation Conference Report. This conference report would cut all income tax rates slightly, double the per child tax credit from $500 to $1,000, alleviate the marriage penalty, phase out and finally abolish the estate tax in 2010, and increase income tax exemptions for IRAs and Educational Savings Accounts. Unfortunately, all provisions of the bill are sunset after 2010, meaning that the estate tax and current high income tax rates would be restored in 2011 unless Congress acts to make the cuts permanent. Despite this flaw, the bill would nevertheless give beleaguered taxpayers several much-needed breaks in their tax bills. |
The House adopted the conference re-port on H.R. 1836 on May 26, 2001 by a vote of 240-154 (Roll Call 149). We have assigned pluses to the yeas.
|H R 1: No Child Left Behind Act|
|Vote Date: May 23, 2001||Vote: AYE||Bad Vote.|
|Education Reauthorization. The "No Child Left Behind Act of 2001," the main elementary and secondary educational authorization bill for fiscal 2002, would increase spending for fiscal 2002 by an unbelievable 28 percent over fiscal 2001. The Congressional Budget Office estimated that the total cost of this bill (which, by the way, is only a portion of federal education spending) "would total approximately $23 billion in 2002 and about $135 billion over the 2002-2006 period...." |
The House passed the bill on May 23, 2001 by a vote of 384-45 (Roll Call 145). We have assigned pluses to the nays.
|H R 1: On Agreeing to H. Amdt. 48 to H R 1|
|Vote Date: May 22, 2001||Vote: NAY||Bad Vote.|
|National Educational Testing. This amendment to the "No Child Left Behind Act of 2001," the main education spending package, would strike pro-visions in the bill which would impose upon states the requirement to test students in grades three through eight in reading and math. The amendment would replace the national testing requirement with a requirement that the states measure students in areas in which the states have set their own "performance standards." |
Representative Ron Paul (R-Texas) supported the amendment because the national testing requirement of the underlying bill would naturally lead to a national test and a national curriculum. "[A]s much as I object to the new federal expenditures in H.R. 1, my biggest concern is with the new mandate that states test children and com-pare the test with a national normed test such as the National Assessment of Education Progress (NAEP). While proponents of this approach claim that the bill respects state autonomy as states can draw up their own tests, these claims fail under close observation.... H.R. 1 will lead to de facto, if not de jure, national testing. States will inevitably fashion their test to match the 'nationally-normed' test so as to relieve their students and teachers of having to prepare for two different tests.... National testing will inevitably lead to a national curriculum as teachers will teach what their students need to know in order to pass their mandated 'assessment.'"
The House rejected this amendment to H.R. 1 on May 22, 2001 by a vote of 173-255 (Roll Call 130). We have assigned pluses to the yeas.
|H R 1646: On Agreeing to H. Amdt. 34 to H R 1646|
|Vote Date: May 16, 2001||Vote: AYE||Good Vote.|
|Abortion Funds in Foreign Aid. This amendment would preserve the Mexico City policy that bans the distribution of federal family planning foreign aid to abortion providers and associated groups in the international abortion industry. The Mexico City policy was initiated by the Reagan administration in 1984, but was reversed by the Clinton administration. President Bush reinstated the policy shortly after his inauguration, but this amendment would make the provision law rather than merely an executive decree. |
"This amendment will greatly improve the bill by deleting a provision that would re-quire the United States to subsidize abortionists and abortion lobbyists in foreign countries," the amendment's author, Representative Henry Hyde (R-Ill.), explained.
The House adopted the Hyde amendment to H.R. 1646 on May 16, 2001 by a vote of 218-210 (Roll Call 115). We have assigned pluses to the yeas.
|H R 1836: Economic Growth and Tax Relief Reconciliation Act|
|Vote Date: May 16, 2001||Vote: AYE||Good Vote.|
|Tax Cut Reconciliation. This bill consists of President Bush's tax cut proposals. H.R. 1836 would cut all income tax rates slightly and provide $958.3 billion in tax relief over 11 years. |
The House passed the bill, H.R. 1836, on May 16, 2001 by a vote of 230-197 (Roll Call 118). We have assigned pluses to the yeas.
|H R 6: Marriage Penalty and Family Tax Relief Act|
|Vote Date: March 29, 2001||Vote: AYE||Good Vote.|
|Marriage Penalty Elimination. This bill would eliminate the "marriage penalty" in the income tax laws by the year 2009 and double the per child income tax credit to $1,000 by the year 2006. Representative Benjamin Gilman (R-N.Y.) explained that the bill was needed because the "current Tax Code punishes married couples where both partners work by driving them into a higher tax bracket. The marriage penalty taxes the income of the second wage earner at a much higher rate than if they were taxed as an individual...." The current tax code, said Gilman, "penalizes marriage and encourages couples to live together without any formal legal commitment to each other." |
The House passed H.R. 6 on March 29, 2001 by a vote of 282-144 (Roll Call 75). We have assigned pluses to the yeas.
|H R 3: Economic Growth and Tax Relief Act of 2001|
|Vote Date: March 8, 2001||Vote: AYE||Good Vote.|
|Bush Tax Cut Bill. Under this measure (H.R. 3), the number of tax brackets would be ratcheted down from five to four, resulting in tax brackets of 10 percent, 15 percent, 25 percent, and 33 percent. The legislation, part of President Bush's tax cut plan, would cut taxes by $947.4 billion over fiscal years 2001-11. The income tax cut would gradually reduce all income tax brackets over the 2001-11 period, and a rate reduction for the lowest bracket would be retroactive to the beginning of the 2001 calendar year. |
The House passed H.R. 3 on March 8, 2001 by a vote of 230-198 (Roll Call 45). We have assigned pluses to the yeas.
|S J RES 6: Providing for Congressional Disapproval of the Rule Submitted by the Department of Labor Under Chapter 8 of Title 5, United States Code, Relating to Ergonomics|
|Vote Date: March 7, 2001||Vote: AYE||Good Vote.|
|Ergonomics Regulation Repeal. Congress had long demonstrated a complete lack of interest in enacting ex-pensive and unconstitutional national ergonomics standards. So President Bill Clinton dumped onerous OSHA-instituted ergonomics rules on the American people in the closing days of his administration, and arranged for those rules to take effect a mere four days before the inauguration of George W. Bush. "Ergonomics" is the design of equipment and work environments to best suit a worker's health and productivity, and ergonomic regulations are generally federal rules mandating standards of worker comfort in the workplace. Representative Tom Davis (R-Va.) described the expansive scope of the OSHA regulations: "By OSHA's own estimates, this ergonomic rule will cover over 102 million employees, 18 million jobs, and 6.1 million businesses and cost almost $100 billion a year to implement." Passage of S. J. Res. 6 would provide congressional disapproval of the OSHA ergonomics rule and declare that the "rule shall have no force or effect." |
The House adopted S. J. Res. 6 on March 7, 2001 by a vote of 223-206 (Roll Call 33). We have assigned pluses to the yeas.
|H R 4810: Marriage Tax Penalty Relief Reconciliation Act|
|Vote Date: September 13, 2000||Vote: AYE||Good Vote.|
|Marriage Penalty Repeal -- Veto Override. This tax-cut measure is identical to that described in House vote (below), except that it is the vote to override President Clinton's veto of the bill.|
[ Marriage Penalty Repeal. This measure would phase out over five years the marriage penalty in the income tax code. The marriage penalty taxes dual-income married families at a higher rate than couples who live together but are not married. Representative Jerry Weller (R-IL) explained that this vote was about "a very basic, fundamental question," namely: "Is it right that 25 million married working couples, 50 million taxpayers, pay on average $1,400 more in higher taxes just because they are married?" ]
The House failed to override the president's veto of H.R. 4810 on September 13, 2000 by a vote of 270-158 (Roll Call 466). A two-thirds majority of representatives (286 in this case) and senators present and voting is required to override a presidential veto. We have assigned pluses to the yeas.
|H R 4865: Social Security Benefits Tax Relief Act|
|Vote Date: July 27, 2000||Vote: AYE||Good Vote.|
|Social Security Earnings Tax Hike Repeal. This bill, H.R. 4865, would repeal the 1993 Clinton-Gore tax increase on Social Security benefits. Under the provisions of the 1993 law, seniors still in the work force making more than $34,000 per year had income taxes assessed against 85 percent of their Social Security checks, up from 50 percent in years prior. This bill would bring the proportion of benefits taxed back down to 50 percent. |
The House passed H.R. 4865 on July 27, 2000 by a vote of 265-159 (Roll Call 450). We have assigned pluses to the yeas.
|H R 4810: Marriage Tax Penalty Relief Reconciliation Act|
|Vote Date: July 20, 2000||Vote: AYE||Good Vote.|
|Marriage Penalty Repeal. This measure would phase out over five years the marriage penalty in the income tax code. The marriage penalty taxes dual-income married families at a higher rate than couples who live together but are not married. Representative Jerry Weller (R-IL) explained that this vote was about "a very basic, fundamental question," namely: "Is it right that 25 million married working couples, 50 million taxpayers, pay on average $1,400 more in higher taxes just because they are married?" |
The House adopted the final version of this legislation (the conference report on H.R. 4810) on July 20, 2000 by a vote of 271-156 (Roll Call 418). We have assigned pluses to the yeas.
|H R 4811: Foreign Operations Appropriations for FY 2001|
|Vote Date: July 13, 2000||Vote: AYE||Bad Vote.|
|Fiscal 2001 Foreign Aid Giveaways. This bill would waste $13.3 billion for international giveaways and export subsidies. Although the bill represents a $451 million cut from fiscal 2000, one dime in foreign aid is one dime too much. |
The House passed the foreign aid appropriations bill, H.R. 4811, on July 13, 2000 by a vote of 239-185 (Roll Call 400). We have assigned pluses to the nays.
|H R 1304: On Agreeing to H. Amdt. 954 to H R 1304|
|Vote Date: June 30, 2000||Vote: AYE||Good Vote.|
|Unionizing Doctors Into a Closed Shop. Representative Christopher Cox (R-CA) introduced this amendment to prohibit doctors from being required to become members of unions as a condition of employment with Health Maintenance Organizations (HMOs). Without this amendment, the underlying bill would establish federal "collective bargaining rights" for doctors with HMOs, and allow doctors to organize unions for collective bargaining purposes. Cox explained that his amendment was necessary to "protect doctors from ... compulsory unionism...." |
The Cox amendment to H.R. 1304 was rejected by the House on June 30, 2000 by a vote of 201-214 (Roll Call 369). We have assigned pluses to the yeas.
|H R 4577: Making Appropriations for Labor, Health and Human Services for Fiscal Year 2001|
|Vote Date: June 14, 2000||Vote: AYE||Bad Vote.|
|Welfare State Mother Lode. This colossal $351.8 billion fiscal 2001 Labor/HHS/Education appropriations bill represents a spending increase of more than seven percent over fiscal 2000. Representative David Obey (D-WI) crowed that Republicans and Democrats were in a bidding war for welfare state spending: "This is ironic given the fact that all day long we were told by the majority that we could not get a vote on the amendments that we were offering on our side of the aisle because they exceeded the numbers in the budget resolution?"|
The House passed H.R. 4577 on June 14, 2000 by a vote of 217-214 (Roll Call 273). We have assigned pluses to the nays.
|H R 8: Death Tax Elimination Act|
|Vote Date: June 9, 2000||Vote: AYE||Good Vote.|
|Estate Tax Repeal. The "Death Tax Elimination Act" would phase out over 10 years the Marxist inheritance tax that is decimating family farms across the United States. While the federal inheritance tax does not go as far as the third plank in Marx's Communist Manifesto, which called for "abolition of all rights of inheritance," it does tax up to 60 percent of the value of inheritances. |
The House passed the bill on June 9, 2000 by a vote of 279-136 (Roll Call 254). We have assigned pluses to the yeas.
|H R 4577: On Agreeing to H.Amdt. 760 to H R 4577|
|Vote Date: June 8, 2000||Vote: NAY||Good Vote.|
|Federal Regulations on Ergonomics. This amendment by Representative James Traficant (D-OH) would strike language in the labor appropriations measure that would ban funding for the promulgation of federal ergonomic regulations by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration. OSHA has pushed for intrusive and vague federal regulations on ergonomics in recent years, using as a pretext the charge that many workers suffer injuries as a result of repetitive motion and other uncomfortable work conditions. Representative Henry Bonilla (R-TX) explained that the drive for ergonomics regulations was not driven by workers themselves, but by "OSHA bureaucrats and power-hungry union leaders who are trying desperately to implement an ergonomics rule that would put a noose around the neck of many employers in this country." |
The Traficant amendment to H.R. 4577 was rejected by the House on June 8, 2000 by a vote of 203-220 (Roll Call 250). We have assigned pluses to the nays.
|H R 4444: To Authorize Extension of Nondiscriminatory Treatment (Normal Trade Relations Treatment) to the People's Republic of China|
|Vote Date: May 24, 2000||Vote: AYE||Bad Vote.|
|Permanent Normal Trade Relations for China. This bill would confer Permanent Normal Trade Relations (PNTR) status on China and end the annual review process that kept attention on Red China's espionage and human rights abuses. Although China has yet to comply completely with any trade agreement, granting PNTR would clear the way for China's entry into the WTO. Although this bill contains some provisions to protect U.S. businesses from import surges, establishes a commission to monitor human rights, and requires the administration to report annually on China's compliance with trade agreements, none of these measures has the teeth that annual review of Normal Trade Relations has had.|
Representative James Traficant (D-OH) was correct when he said on the House floor during debate, "I say a Congress that today will prop up Communism is a Congress that today endangers every worker, every one of our kids, and every one of our grandkids by giving a country $80 billion a year whose missiles are pointed at every major American city, and Taiwan, who we have turned our backs on."
Permanent Normal Trade Relations for China, H.R. 4444, passed the House on May 24, 2000 by a vote of 237-197 (Roll Call 228). We have assigned pluses to the nays.
|H R 3660: Partial-Birth Abortion Ban Act of 2000|
|Vote Date: April 5, 2000||Vote: AYE||Good Vote.|
|Partial Birth Abortion Ban. This bill would prohibit the "partial-birth" abortion procedure in which a baby is pulled through the birth canal in the breech position, forceps are inserted in the base of his skull, and the brain is extracted before completion of the delivery. In 1997, Ron Fitzsimmons, then executive director of the National Coalition of Abortion Providers, admitted that the procedure is performed 3,000 to 5,000 times a year, not the 500 to 600 times a year as claimed by some pro-abortion groups. Under this bill, doctors performing such abortions would be subject to a fine and up to two years in prison. The baby's father (if he is married to the mother) or a minor girl's parents also could file a civil lawsuit against the doctor for monetary damages. The procedure would be legal if the abortion were necessary to save the woman's life.|
The Abortion Procedure Ban, H.R. 3660, passed the House on April 5, 2000 by a vote of 287-141 (Roll Call 104). We have assigned pluses to the yeas.
|H R 3908: Making Emergency Supplemental Appropriations for F.Y. 2000|
|Vote Date: March 30, 2000||Vote: AYE||Bad Vote.|
|Money for Foreign Intervention. The fiscal 2000 supplemental appropriations bill provides $13.2 billion for a number of measures, including funding for operations in Kosovo and East Timor ($5 billion), aid to combat drugs in Colombia ($1.7 billion), and Defense Department funding ($4 billion).|
The fiscal 2000 supplemental appropriations measure, H.R. 3908, passed the House on March 30, 2000 by a vote of 263-146 (Roll Call 95). We have assigned pluses to the nays.
|H R 3081: Wage and Employment Growth Act|
|Vote Date: March 9, 2000||Vote: AYE||Good Vote.|
|Tax Cuts. This tax revision bill provides for nearly $123 billion in tax cuts, including reductions in estate and gift taxes and deductions for health insurance for self-employed individuals. Also included in the bill is authorization for the Housing and Urban Development secretary to designate 15 renewal communities where investors and residents could receive certain tax breaks, including relief from capital gains taxes on property held for at least five years.|
The tax revision bill, H.R. 3081, passed the House on March 9, 2000 by a vote of 257-169 (Roll Call 41). We have assigned pluses to the yeas.
|H R 6: Marriage Tax Penalty Relief Act of 2000|
|Vote Date: February 10, 2000||Vote: AYE||Good Vote.|
|"Marriage Penalty" Tax Reform. This Republican tax cut plan would alleviate the so-called "Marriage Penalty" tax that assesses taxes at a higher rate against married couples who both work than for two single people with comparable incomes. Although opponents of the bill argued that this tax cut, amounting to $182 billion over 10 years, was too big, Representative Roy Blunt (R-MO) countered: "Should we first go to American families and say, we need to continue this unfair system because we do not have as much extra money as we thought we were going to have in - Washington?"|
The bill to alleviate the "Marriage Penalty" tax, H.R. 6, passed the House on February 10, 2000 by a vote of 268-158 (Roll Call 15). We have assigned pluses to the yeas.
|H R 3194: District of Columbia Appropriations Act, 2000|
|Vote Date: November 18, 1999||Vote: AYE||Bad Vote.|
|Welfare State Expansion. This $385 billion monstrosity constitutes a complete sellout of conservative principles to the demands of the welfare-staters at the White House. This measure would fund five regular annual appropriations bills (District of Columbia, Labor/HHS/Education, Foreign Operations, Commerce/Justice/State/Judiciary, and Interior), often at higher levels than were originally requested by the Clinton administration.|
The Health and Human Services Department -- the key welfare agency of the federal government -- received an 11.4 percent increase in funding, more than Mr. Clinton originally requested. The Department of Education received a 6.8 percent increase in funding, also more than Mr. Clinton originally sought. Foreign aid spending was also funded at a higher level than originally sought by the President. President Clintonâ€™s federal teacher hiring initiative was granted $1.325 billion, the COPS program of federally paid law enforcement officers was awarded $595 million, and alleged "arrears" payments to the United Nations were authorized to the tune of $926 million.
Some Republicans falsely sold the bill to conservatives on the grounds that it contained a strong pro-life provision in the foreign aid section. But the bill allows President Clinton to waive the provision, a prohibition against funding international family-planning organizations, if he is willing to subtract a mere $12.5 million penalty from the $385 million population control budget. (Subsequently, this is exactly what Mr. Clinton did.)
The measure, H.R. 3194, was adopted by the House on November 18, 1999 by a vote of 296-135 (Roll Call 610). We have assigned pluses to the nays.
|H R 3064: District of Columbia Appropriations Act, 2000|
|Vote Date: October 28, 1999||Vote: AYE||Bad Vote.|
|Labor/HHS/Education Spending. This $317 billion appropriations bill is the main funding measure for the federal welfare state during fiscal 2000. This bill would amount to an increase over the bloated fiscal 1999 appropriation of nearly nine percent. This increase still wasn't enough for President Clinton; some of his Democratic supporters joined stalwart opponents of the welfare state in voting against the bill.|
This legislation, H.R. 3064, passed the House on October 28, 1999 by a vote of 218-211 (Roll Call 549). We have assigned pluses to the nays.
|H R 2723: Bipartisan Consensus Managed Care Improvement Act|
|Vote Date: October 7, 1999||Vote: NAY||Good Vote.|
|Managed Health Care Regulations. This legislation would get the federal government even more deeply involved in regulating the medical coverage of individuals and HMOs. The bill would require HMOs to pay for certain emergency care even if it was not part of the original insurance agreement, dictate an internal and external appeal process for health coverage payments, require HMOs and insurance companies to pay for women's visits to gynecological and obstetric specialists without first seeing a primary care physician, and even unconstitutionally give policyholders standing in state courts to sue for damages.|
While a few of these ideas are good ones that many HMOs have already implemented through the free market, none of them are federal functions. Representative Ron Paul (R-TX) explained: "Because HMOs make mistakes and their budgets are limited, however, doesn't justify introducing the notion that politicians are better able to make these decisions than the HMOs. Forcing HMOs and insurance companies to do as the politicians say regardless of the insurance policy agreed upon will lead to higher costs, less availability of services and calls for another round of government intervention."
The bill, H.R. 2723, was adopted by the House on October 7, 1999 by a vote of 275-151 (Roll Call 490). We have assigned pluses to the nays.
|H R 417: Bipartisan Campaign Finance Reform Act|
|Vote Date: September 14, 1999||Vote: NAY||Good Vote.|
|Shays-Meehan "Reform." This legislation makes war upon the First Amendment's free speech protections by proposing regulation of non-political, issue advocacy speech. In particular, provisions which greatly expand the definitions of "expressed advocacy" and "coordinated activity" would take in just about every citizen group attempting to educate the electorate on the voting record of their government officials. Representative John Peterson (R-PA) explained that Shays-Meehan represents the "liberal's idea of reform [which] rests primarily on restricting the free flow of moneys and ideas to the public through any channels except those they control and they regulate.... It will be an incumbent protection bill."|
The Shays-Meehan campaign reform bill, H.R. 417, was adopted by the House on September 14, 1999 by a vote of 252-177 (Roll Call 422). We have assigned pluses to the nays.
|H CON RES 180: Expressing the sense of Congress that the President should not have granted clemency to terrorists|
|Vote Date: September 9, 1999||Vote: AYE||Good Vote.|
|Clemency for the FALN. Following the President's grant of clemency to convicted terrorists of the Puerto Rican FALN, Congress considered a concurrent resolution which would express its disapproval with the Clinton administration's decision.|
The 16 terrorists offered clemency had been convicted of "seditious conspiracy," robbery, and weapons charges related to their masterminding a series of terrorist bombings in the 1970s and 1980s. President Clinton offered clemency to the convicted terrorists at a time when his wife Hillary was actively considering a Senate race in New York State. Many political observers guessed that the move was made in part to sway New York's large Puerto Rican ethnic voting block to support his wife's impending campaign.
The concurrent resolution, H. Con. Res. 180, was adopted by the House on September 9, 1999 by a vote of 311-41 (Roll Call 398). We have assigned pluses to the yeas.
|H R 2488: Financial Freedom Act of 1999|
|Vote Date: August 5, 1999||Vote: AYE||Good Vote.|
|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 Republican Tax Cut, H.R. 2488, passed the House on August 5, 1999 by a vote of 221-206 (Roll Call 379). We have assigned pluses to the yeas.
|H R 2606: Foreign Operations Appropriations Act, FY 2000|
|Vote Date: August 3, 1999||Vote: AYE||Bad Vote.|
|Foreign Aid Appropriations. This legislation would appropriate $12.7 billion during fiscal 2000 for wasteful and unconstitutional foreign aid programs abroad.|
The foreign aid appropriations bill, H.R. 2606, passed the House on August 3, 1999 by a vote of 385-35 (Roll Call 362). We have assigned pluses to the nays.
|H J RES 57: Disapprove Normal Trade Relations with China|
|Vote Date: July 27, 1999||Vote: NAY||Bad Vote.|
|MFN/NTR Trade with Red China. Representative Dana Rohrabacher (R-CA) proposed that Congress express its disapproval of President Clinton's waiver granting Communist China U.S. taxpayer subsidized trade under "Normal Trade Relations" (formerly "Most Favored Nation") status. Revocation of NTR status would impose tariffs on Chinese imports at a slightly higher duty than are levied upon U.S. exports to China, and prevent the U.S. Export-Import Bank and similar agencies from giving lucrative subsidies to China. China is currently the Ex-Im Bank's largest customer, with $6 billion in outstanding loans and guarantees. Rep. Rohrabacher observed that the reason Capitol Hill had just been besieged by big business lobbyists is because they are squealing to keep their taxpayer subsidies. "This debate is not about free trade," Rohrabacher explained. "Obviously, it is about subsidy, as I just said."|
Rep. Rohrabacher's proposal, a resolution (H. J. Res. 57) expressing the disapproval of Congress of the President's waiver granting NTR/MFN to China, was rejected by the House on July 27, 1999 by a vote of 170-260 (Roll Call 338). We have assigned pluses to the yeas.
|H R 2122: Mandatory Gun Show Background Check Act|
|Vote Date: June 18, 1999||Vote: AYE||Bad Vote.|
|Gun Control, H.R. 2122. This legislation would clamp down on gun sales at gun shows, which for the purposes of this bill are defined as any event "at which 50 or more firearms are offered or exhibited for sale, transfer, or exchange" or at which there are ten or more vendors. Under this bill, a person offering a firearm for sale who is not himself licensed is prevented from selling that firearm directly to the buyer. The licensed vendor must complete a background check before the transfer of the weapon. The House rejected the measure on June 18, 1999 by a vote of 147 to 280 (Congressional Record, pages H4656-57, roll call 244; we have assigned pluses to the nays).|
|H R 1906: Agriculture, Rural Development, Food and Drug Administration, and Related Agencies Appropriations, FY 2000|
|Vote Date: June 8, 1999||Vote: AYE||Good Vote.|
|Preventing Funding for Development of Any Abortion Inducing Drug, Amendment to H.R. 1906. Representative Tom Coburn (R-OK) offered this amendment to prohibit any funds in the fiscal 2000 Department of Agriculture appropriations bill from being used "by the Food and Drug Administration for the testing, development, or approval ... of any drug for the chemical inducement of abortion." The House adopted the amendment on June 8, 1999 by a vote of 217 to 214 (Congressional Record, pages H3811-12, roll call 173; we have assigned pluses to the yeas).|
|H R 1906: Agriculture, Rural Development, Food and Drug Administration, and Related Agencies Appropriations, FY 2000|
|Vote Date: June 8, 1999||Vote: AYE||Bad Vote.|
|Agricultural Appropriations, H.R. 1906. This legislation provides $60.7 billion for "Agriculture, Rural Development, Food and Drug Administration, and Related Agencies" for fiscal year 2000, a $3.4 billion increase over fiscal 1999. The measure includes $21.6 billion for the food stamp program, $20.1 billion for agricultural programs, $4 billion for the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC), $165.4 million for the "Food for Peace" foreign aid program, and $583.4 million for rental assistance. The House adopted the measure on June 8, 1999 by a vote of 246 to 183 (Congressional Record, page H3823, roll call 177; we have assigned pluses to the nays).|
|H R 1664: On Agreeing to the Amendment 10 to H R 1664|
|Vote Date: May 6, 1999||Vote: NAY||Bad Vote.|
|Preventing U.S. Invasion of Yugoslavia, Amendment to H.R. 1664. Representative Ernest Istook (R-OK) offered this amendment to the Defense supplemental appropriations bill to prohibit the use of any funds authorized therein for "any plan to invade the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia with ground forces of the United States, except in time of war." Representative Cliff Stearns (R-FL) objected to the amendment on the grounds that it was similar to H.R. 1569, and therefore unnecessary. "They are very, very similar," said Stearns. "Do members think they have to make another stand...?" Representative Ron Paul (R-TX) argued otherwise: "It was said that this is the same vote that we had last week, but last week's vote is sitting on the table and it is going to sit there. This one may well go someplace and have an effect." The House rejected the amendment on May 6, 1999 by a vote of 117 to 301 (Congressional Record, pages H2891-92, roll call 119; we have assigned pluses to the yeas).|
|H R 1569: Military Operations in the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia Limitation Act|
|Vote Date: April 28, 1999||Vote: AYE||Good Vote.|
|Prohibit Funding of Ground Troops In Kosovo, H.R. 1569. This legislation would prohibit funding of U.S. ground forces in Yugoslavia without prior congressional authorization. At the time of this vote, U.S. forces were already engaged in the air war against Yugoslavia -- without prior congressional authorization. The House adopted the measure on April 28, 1999 by a vote of 249 to 180 (Congressional Record, pages H2413-14, roll call 100; we have assigned pluses to the yeas).|
|S CON RES 21: Authorizing the President of the United States to Conduct Military Air Operations and Missile Strikes Against the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia (Serbia and Montenegro)|
|Vote Date: April 28, 1999||Vote: AYE||Bad Vote.|
|Authorizing Air Operations for the Kosovo Conflict, Senate Concurrent Resolution 21. This legislation would authorize continuing offensive air operations and missile attacks against Yugoslavia. Representative Dennis Kucinich (D-OH) said that "it should be obvious that the President does not need this resolution to use air power because he is already using it" -- an observation that speaks volumes about the failure of Congress to assert its authority by insisting on the removal of U.S. forces. The House rejected the resolution on April 28, 1999 by a vote of 213 to 213 (Congressional Record, pages H2451-52, roll call 103; we have assigned pluses to the nays).|
|H R 4: National Missile Defense System|
|Vote Date: March 18, 1999||Vote: AYE||Good Vote.|
|Deployment of a National Missile Defense, H.R. 4. |
This bill would make it "the policy of the United States to deploy a national missile defense." Representative John Lewis (D-GA) objected to the measure, declaring: "Make no mistake, a dollar more for missile defense is a dollar less for health care, for education, and for food.... I urge my colleagues, do not choose bullets over babies, bombs over books, missiles over medicine." But there was support from the minority party for the measure. Democratic Representative James Traficant (OH) said, "National defense and security is our number-one priority.... I am changing my vote. I am voting for the missile defense system for the United States of America." The House adopted the measure on March 18, 1999 by a vote of 317 to 105 (Congressional Record, pages H1447-48, roll call 59; we have assigned pluses to the yeas).
|H CON RES 42: Peacekeeping Operations in Kosovo|
|Vote Date: March 11, 1999||Vote: AYE||Bad Vote.|
|Authorizing U.S. Peacekeeping in Kosovo, House Concurrent Resolution 42. |
This bill would authorize the President to "deploy United States Armed Forces personnel to Kosovo as part of a NATO peacekeeping operation implementing a Kosovo peace agreement." Representative Tom Campbell (R-CA), who opposed the measure, noted: "the United States has not been attacked. Serbia, in whose sovereign territory we recognize Kosovo to be, has not invited us to enter. The United States would thus be exercising force against the sovereign territory of a country that has not attacked us...." The House adopted the measure on March 11, 1999 by a vote of 219 to 191 (Congressional Record, pages H1249-50, roll call 49; we have assigned pluses to the nays).