Name: Bill Sali
Congress: Idaho, District: 1, Republican
Cumulative Freedom Index Score: 72%
Status: Former Member of the House
71% (110th Congress: 2007-2008)
|H R 1424: Emergency Economic Stabilization Act of 2008|
|Vote Date: October 3, 2008||Vote: NAY||Good Vote.|
|Bailout Bill. The Emergency Economic Stabilization Act of 2008 (H.R. 1424) passed 263-171 (Roll Call 681) on October 3, 2008. This bill authorizes the Treasury Department to use $700 billion of taxpayer money to purchase troubled mortgage-related securities from banks and other financial-related institutions, on terms set by the Treasury Secretary, who now has authority to manage and sell those assets. The bailout plan also expands FDIC protection from $100,000 to $250,000 per bank account, extends dozens of expiring tax provisions, expands incentives for renewable energy, provides a one-year adjustment to exempt millions of Americans from the alternative minimum tax, and requires health insurers who provide mental-health coverage to put mental-health benefits on par with other medical benefits.|
We have assigned pluses to the nays because the bill establishes an unconstitutional merger of government with banks and businesses -- in other words, corporate fascism -- and greatly increases the national debt and monetary inflation by forcing taxpayers to pay the price for the failures of private financial institutions.
|H R 6899: Comprehensive American Energy Security and Consumer Protection Act|
|Vote Date: September 16, 2008||Vote: NAY||Good Vote.|
|Bogus Offshore Drilling Compromise. The Comprehensive American Energy Security and Consumer Protection Act (H.R. 6899) passed 236-189 (Roll Call 599) on September 16, 2008. The plan would allow limited offshore drilling for oil and gas in some areas previously banned by Congress since 1981. Public pressure for action to reduce energy prices motivated the Democrat majority to push through an energy bill before the election, a plan purported to increase offshore drilling, but with overwhelming disincentives.|
The measure would permit drilling no nearer to the coast than 100 miles, unless states choose to reduce that to 50 miles. However, it is the first 50 miles that has been exceedingly productive and where infrastructure is ready to expedite drilling in some areas. All royalties from new oil and gas leases permitted under the bill would go to the federal government. States are thus deprived of a revenue incentive for granting the 50-mile privilege. A better alternative to this phony compromise is to let the moratorium on offshore drilling expire and not renew it. That expiration did occur on October 1.
We have assigned pluses to the nays because the Constitution does not authorize the federal government to assume regulation, much less micromanagement, of the energy industry.
|H R 6633: Employee Verification Amendment Act of 2008|
|Vote Date: July 31, 2008||Vote: AYE||Bad Vote.|
|Employee Verification Program. H.R. 6633 would reauthorize the E-Verify (Internet-based) pilot employment eligibility verification program allowing employers to verify employment eligibility of new hires. The program is administered by the Department of Homeland Security, which would be required to provide funding to the Social Security Administration for checking Social Security numbers submitted by employers under the program.|
The House passed the bill on July 31, 2008 by a vote of 407-2 (Roll Call 557). We have assigned pluses to the nays because Social Security numbers were not intended to be used and should not be used as the basis for a national ID database. An alternative measure (H.R. 5515) would have the screening for employment eligibility verification provided by state-administered private companies that already track employee verification for child-support enforcement.
|H R 5501: Tom Lantos and Henry J. Hyde United States Global Leadership Against HIV/AIDS, Tuberculosis, and Malaria Reauthorization Act|
|Vote Date: July 24, 2008||Vote: NAY||Good Vote.|
|Global HIV/AIDS Program. This version of H.R. 5501, as modified by the Senate, was agreed to 303-115 (Roll Call 531) on July 24, 2008. The bill would authorize $48 billion for fiscal 2009 through 2013 to combat AIDS, malaria, and tuberculosis overseas. Currently one-third of the funding for HIV prevention is required to go to abstinence education. The bill would change that allocation to balance funding between condom, fidelity, and abstinence programs. It would also authorize $2 billion to fund programs for American Indian health, clean water, and law enforcement.|
We have assigned pluses to the nays because foreign aid is unconstitutional.
|H R 3221: Foreclosure Prevention Act of 2008|
|Vote Date: July 23, 2008||Vote: NAY||Good Vote.|
|Mortgage Relief. This legislation (H.R. 3221) would grant authority to the Treasury Department to extend new credit and buy stock in the Federal National Mortgage Association (Fannie Mae) and the Federal Home Loan Mortgage Corporation (Freddie Mac). As described by Congressional Quarterly, "It also would create an independent regulator for the two mortgage giants and the Federal Home Loan Bank System. It would overhaul the Federal Housing Administration and allow it to insure up to $300 billion worth of new, refinanced loans for struggling mortgage borrowers. It also includes a $7,500 tax credit to some first-time homebuyers, higher loan limits for FHA-backed loans, a standard tax deduction for property taxes and revenue-raisers to offset part of the costs. It also would authorize $3.92 billion in grants to states and localities to purchase and rehabilitate foreclosed properties, and increase the federal debt limit to $10.6 trillion."|
The House passed H.R. 3221 on July 23, 2008 by a vote of 272-152 (Roll Call 519). We have assigned pluses to the nays because the federal government acting as an insurer, a micromanager of markets, and a wealth redistributor is unconstitutional and will undoubtedly affect market behavior, leading to more and worse market strife.
|H R 6346: Federal Price Gouging Prevention Act|
|Vote Date: June 24, 2008||Vote: NAY||Good Vote.|
|Energy Price Gouging. A motion to suspend the rules and pass H.R. 6346, the Federal Price Gouging Prevention Act, was rejected 276-146 (Roll Call 448) on June 24, 2008. Under suspension of the rules, a two-thirds majority would have been required for passage. The bill would have permitted states to sue retailers believed to have been price gouging for fuels sold in areas where there was an energy emergency. The bill also would have set civil and criminal penalties for price gouging.|
We have assigned pluses to the nays because no federal or state government investigation (and there have been many over the years) has ever found broad market manipulation in the oil industry. Furthermore, there is no clear definition of "price gouging." Hence, this bill would likely have been counterproductive, as it would have created an incentive for retailers to close, rather than risk penalties for simply following the economic laws of supply and demand. Besides, the federal government has no business trying to dictate prices in the private sector, under any circumstances.
|H R 6304: FISA Amendments Act of 2008|
|Vote Date: June 20, 2008||Vote: AYE||Bad Vote.|
|Warrantless Searches. H.R. 6304, the bill to revamp the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA), would allow warrantless electronic surveillance, including monitoring telephone conversations and e-mails, of foreign targets, including those communicating with American citizens in the United States. The final version of the bill would not explicitly grant immunity to telecommunications companies that have assisted President Bush's warrantless surveillance program. But it would require courts to dismiss lawsuits against such companies if there is "substantial evidence" they were insured in writing the program was legal and authorized by the president. The provision would almost certainly result in the dismissal of the lawsuits.|
The House passed H.R. 6304 on June 20, 2008 by a vote of 293-129 (Roll Call 437). We have assigned pluses to the nays because warrantless searches are a violation of the Fourth Amendment, which protects Americans against unreasonable searches and seizures, and requires that any searches be conducted only upon issuance of a warrant under conditions of probable cause. Moreover, Article I, Section 9 of the Constitution forbids "ex post facto laws" -- laws having a retroactive effect.
|H R 6124: To provide for the continuation of agricultural and other programs of the Department of Agriculture through the fiscal year 2012, and for other purposes|
|Vote Date: June 18, 2008||Vote: AYE||Bad Vote.|
|Farm Bill (Veto Override). H.R. 6124 would authorize the nation's farm programs for the next five years, including crop subsidies and nutrition programs. The final version of the legislation provides $289 billion for these programs, including a $10.4 billion boost in spending for nutrition programs such as food stamps.|
After this legislation was vetoed by President Bush, the House passed the bill over the president's veto on June 18, 2008 by a vote of 317-109 (Roll Call 417). A two-thirds majority vote is required to override a presidential veto. We have assigned pluses to the nays because federal aid to farmers and federal food aid to individuals are not authorized by the Constitution.
|H R 6028: Merida Initiative to Combat Illicit Narcotics and Reduce Organized Crime Authorization Act|
|Vote Date: June 10, 2008||Vote: NAY||Good Vote.|
|Aid to Mexican Military. H.R. 6028 would authorize $1.1 billion in fiscal years 2008-10 to train and equip the Mexican military and law-enforcement agencies for the stated purpose of combating drug trafficking and organized crime. The Mexican government is rife with corruption, and there is no guarantee the expenditure would have the intended effect. "It is inexcusable, it is intolerable to send one dime to the Mexican government when they can afford to pay for this equipment themselves," Rep. John Culberson (R-Texas) said. "But more importantly, our southern border is not secure." H.R. 6028 would also authorize $405 million during the same period for aid to Central American countries.|
The House passed H.R. 6028 on June 10, 2008 by a vote of 311-106 (Roll Call 393). We have assigned pluses to the nays because foreign aid is not authorized by the Constitution.
|S CON RES 70: The Congressional Budget Resolution|
|Vote Date: June 5, 2008||Vote: NAY||Good Vote.|
|Budget Resolution. The final version of the Fiscal 2009 Budget Resolution (Senate Concurrent Resolution 70) was adopted 214-210 on June 5, 2008 (Roll Call 382). Drafted by the Democrats, this $3.03 trillion budget sets nonbinding limits for the 12 annual appropriations bills. Last year's $2.9 trillion budget allowed $145.2 billion for operations in Iraq and Afghanistan. The new budget included only $70 billion for the two wars in 2009 and nothing thereafter, an unrealistic notion that understates true spending intent and necessitates more war funding in a supplemental bill. The budget would be significantly higher if war funding were not largely off-budget. The plan predicts a hypothetical budget surplus by 2012, which is meaningless.|
All spending bills would be increased over 2008. The budget assumes that revenue will be stable or increase and that some tax cuts will expire. An increase was called for in the statutory debt ceiling by $800 billion to $10.6 trillion. That promptly occurred in the Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac bailout. We have assigned pluses to the nays because inflation and the national debt are skyrocketing as Congress persists at disregarding constitutional limits on spending.
|H R 2419: Farm, Nutrition, and Bioenergy Act|
|Vote Date: May 14, 2008||Vote: AYE||Bad Vote.|
|Farm Bill. H.R. 2419 would authorize the nation's farm programs for the next five years, including crop subsidies and nutrition programs. The final version of this legislation worked out by House and Senate conferees (known as a conference report) provides $289 billion for these programs, including a $10.4 billion boost in spending for nutrition programs such as food stamps.|
The House passed the conference report on H.R. 2419 by a vote of 318-106 (Roll Call 315) on May 14, 2008. We have assigned pluses to the nays because federal aid to farmers and federal food aid to individuals are not authorized by the Constitution.
|H R 3221: Foreclosure Prevention Act of 2008|
|Vote Date: May 8, 2008||Vote: NAY||Good Vote.|
|Mortgage Relief. Amendment No. 1 to H.R. 3221 was passed 266-154 on May 8, 2008 (Roll Call 301). It would provide $300 billion in new authority for the Federal Housing Administration (FHA) to help borrowers facing foreclosure refinance into FHA-insured, fixed-rate mortgages, provided that mortgage loan holders are willing to take a write-down on the original value of a loan to allow refinancing to be on an amount not to exceed 90 percent of the current appraised value of the property.|
Thus lenders who made unwise loans can do partial write-downs in order to offload to the government the risk associated with their loans most likely to be defaulted on. The plan is a bailout of both troubled lenders and borrowers, ultimately sticking taxpayers with the default risk. Moreover, the program would unfairly make a gift of partial home equity to borrowers facing foreclosure, a gift not offered to those who are managing to make their mortgage payments on time, have no mortgage, or who rent.
We have assigned pluses to the nays because the federal government acting as an insurer, micro-manager of markets, and wealth redistributor is unconstitutional. Also, the morphing of H.R. 3221 from an energy bill into a foreclosure prevention bill was a procedural travesty.
|H R 5036: Emergency Assistance for Secure Elections Act of 2008|
|Vote Date: April 15, 2008||Vote: NAY||Good Vote.|
|State Voting Assistance. H.R. 5036, The Emergency Assistance for Secure Elections Act, was rejected 239-178 on April 15, 2008 (Roll Call 188). The act purportedly would increase the security of U.S. elections by reimbursing jurisdictions that voluntarily replace Direct Recording Electronic voting systems with voter-verifiable paper ballot systems in time for the 2008 elections. The bill would grant the Election Administration Commission (EAC) new audit regulatory powers and funding to pay for random vote count audits and hand counts of paper ballots cast in the 2008 elections. The cost could be as high as $685 million.|
We have assigned pluses to the nays because the act would expand an unconstitutional federal power grab to control elections that was initiated through the disastrous Help America Vote Act of 2002 with its establishing of the EAC. That act fostered and financed a huge increase in the use of electronic voting equipment which can be hacked, lacks credible auditing, and vastly increases the potential for wholesale voter fraud. Politicians who caused that problem now seek its remedy through even more federal control and tax dollars. It is better (and constitutional!) for each state to manage and pay for its own elections.
|H R 5501: Tom Lantos and Henry J. Hyde United States Global Leadership Against HIV/AIDS, Tuberculosis, and Malaria Reauthorization Act|
|Vote Date: April 2, 2008||Vote: NAY||Good Vote.|
|Global HIV/AIDS Foreign Aid Program. H.R. 5501 would authorize $50 billion over five years to provide assistance to foreign countries for the stated purpose of combating HIV/AIDS, tuberculosis, and malaria. The program was established five years earlier to fill an "emergency" function, but this legislation shifts the purpose (in the words of Congressional Quarterly) "toward a long-term, sustainable plan" including (for example) training 140,000 new healthcare workers. Prior to voting on the bill itself, the House rejected a motion to recommit the bill to lower the cost to $30 billion -- the funding level President Bush had requested.|
The House passed H.R. 5501 on April 2, 2008 by a vote of 308-116 (Roll Call 158). We have assigned pluses to the nays because foreign aid is unconstitutional.
|H CON RES 312: Revising the congressional Budget for the United States Government for fiscal year 2008, establishing the congressional budget for the United States Government for fiscal year 2009, and setting forth appropriate budgetary levels for fiscal years 2010 through 2013.|
|Vote Date: March 13, 2008||Vote: NAY||Good Vote.|
|2009 Federal Budget. House Concurrent Resolution 312, the House plan for the fiscal 2009 budget, was adopted 212-207 on March 13, 2008 (Roll Call 141). This Democrat-drafted, nonbinding budget recommends outlays of about $2.6 trillion for FY2009, with a deficit of $536 billion. The budget would allow some Bush tax cuts to expire or sunset in 2010, thus increasing federal revenues without overtly raising taxes.|
The House Republican Conference, in opposition to the plan, points out that taxes would increase $683 billion over the next five years, the child tax credit would be cut, the marriage penalty would come back, small business tax credits would be reduced, and dividends and capital gains taxes would be raised.
We have assigned pluses to the nays because the American welfare state this budget expands is unconstitutional. It should initially be frozen at least and then reduced.
|H R 5351: Renewable Energy and Energy Conservation Tax Act of 2008|
|Vote Date: February 27, 2008||Vote: NAY||Good Vote.|
|Targeting American Oil Companies. H.R. 5351, the $18.1 billion Renewable Energy and Energy Conservation Tax Act, passed 236-182 on February 27, 2008 (Roll Call 84). It would provide tax deductions and incentives for the production of renewable energy (including wind, solar, and ethanol) and for energy conservation. To offset $13.7 billion of the bill's cost, the domestic manufacturing tax deduction would be taken away from the five largest integrated oil companies operating in the United States. Specifically targeted were ExxonMobil, Chevron, ConocoPhillips, and foreign-headquartered Shell and BP. Citgo Petroleum Corp., a subsidiary of the government-owned oil company of Venezuela, would not lose its six-percent deduction.|
We have assigned pluses to the nays because increasing taxes for the largest U.S. oil producers would drive gasoline prices higher and because Congress should not be subsidizing energy development, including renewable energy. The increased tax expense to corporations would simply be passed on to consumers. Targeting the top U.S. oil companies for making record profits is a disincentive to increasing exploration and production; undermines the exceedingly large capital base required to rebuild when Katrina-type hurricanes devastate the oil patch; and is unfair. Other companies and sectors with record profits would be untouched, not to mention foreign oil producers larger than Exxon.
|H R 5140: Recovery Rebates and Economic Stimulus for the American People Act of 2008|
|Vote Date: January 29, 2008||Vote: AYE||Bad Vote.|
|Economic Stimulus. H.R. 5140, the Economic Stimulus Act of 2008, passed 385-35 on January 29, 2008 (Roll Call 25). It would provide about $150 billion in economic stimulus, including $101.1 billion in direct payments of rebate checks (typically $600) to most taxpayers in 2008 and temporary tax breaks for businesses.|
We have assigned pluses to the nays because creating money out of thin air and then spending the newly created money cannot improve the economy, at least not in the long term. (If it could, why not create even more money for rebates and make every American a millionaire?) The stimulus has no offset and thus increases the federal deficit by the amount of the stimulus because the government must borrow the rebate money. A realistic long-term stimulus can only be achieved by lowering taxes through less government and by reducing regulatory burdens.
|H R 3963: Children's Health Insurance Program Reauthorization Act of 2007|
|Vote Date: January 23, 2008||Vote: NAY||Good Vote.|
|Children's Health Insurance. H.R. 3963, a bill to reauthorize the Children's Health Insurance Program, was rejected 260-152 on January 23, 2008 (Roll Call 22) when the House failed to get the necessary two-thirds majority of those present to override President Bush's veto. The bill would have authorized the State Children's Health Insurance Program (SCHIP) at nearly $60 billion over five years, expanding the program by $35 billion. It also would have put an additional tax on cigarette manufacturers, would have undermined private insurance plans, and would have pushed us further down the slippery slope to socialized medicine.|
We have assigned pluses to the nays, because federal healthcare programs are unconstitutional.
*** Prior to 2008, "The Freedom Index" was known as the "The Conservative Index." ***
|H R 3043: Making appropriations for the Department of Labor, Health and Human Services, and Education, and related agencies for fiscal year ending September 30, 2008, and for other purposes|
|Vote Date: November 15, 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: NAY||Good 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: AYE||Bad 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: NAY||Bad 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: NAY||Good 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: NAY||Good 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: NAY||Good 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: NAY||Good 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: NAY||Good 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.