Name: James Talent


Senate: Missouri, Republican


Cumulative Freedom Index Score: 52%


Status: Former Member of the Senate

Score Breakdown:
47% (109th Congress: 2005-2006); 53% (108th Congress: 2003-2004); 55% (106th Congress: 1999-2000)

Key Votes:





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





On Passage of the Bill H.R. 6061: A bill to establish operational control over the international land and maritime borders of the United States.
Vote Date: September 29, 2006Vote: AYEGood Vote.
Border Fence. In the final hours because adjourning for their October recess, the Senate passed a Border Fencing bill (H.R. 6061) that would authorize the construction of nearly 700 miles of security fencing along the U.S.-Mexican border. The border fence is just the first of a series of border security initiatives that House Republicans intend to merge into the Homeland Security spending bill. If implemented, the 700 miles of fencing along the border would be a good first step toward protecting our borders from the massive influx of illegal immigration facing our country today.

The Senate passed H.R. 6061 by a wide margin of 80-19 on September 29, 2006 (Roll Call 262). We have assigned pluses to the yeas because such a border fence would help prevent illegal immigration and further protect our borders.



On Passage of the Bill S. 3930: A bill to authorize trial by military commission for violations of the law of war, and for other purposes.
Vote Date: September 28, 2006Vote: AYEBad Vote.
Military Tribunals. This bill (S. 3930) 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 Senate passed S. 3930 by a vote of 65-34 on September 28, 2006 (Roll Call 259). We have assigned pluses to the nays because the bill would curtail defendant rights.



On Passage of the Bill H.R. 5684: A bill to implement the United States-Oman Free Trade Agreement.
Vote Date: September 19, 2006Vote: AYEBad 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 stepping-stone 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 Senate passed H.R. 5684 on September 19, 2006 by a vote of 62-32 (Roll Call 250). 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.



On Passage of the Bill S. 3711: A bill to enhance the energy independence and security of the United States by providing for exploration, development, and production activities for mineral resources in the Gulf of Mexico, and for other purposes.
Vote Date: August 1, 2006Vote: AYEGood Vote.
Offshore Drilling. Sen. Pete Domenici (R-N.M.) sponsored a bill (S. 3711) that would authorize oil drilling in the 8.3 million acres of the eastern Gulf of Mexico. The Senate would allow much less offshore drilling than the House-passed legislation (see House bill below); however, it would still be a step in the right direction.

[ H.R. 4761 would end the federal moratorium on most offshore oil and gas drilling. It would continue the ban within 50 miles of shore, while allowing the states the option of extending that ban out to 100 miles. It would also allow states to share in the drilling proceeds. ]

The Senate passed S. 3711 on August 1, 2006 by a vote of 71-25. (Roll Call 219). We have assigned pluses to the yeas because the United States should reduce its dependency on foreign oil and utilize it own energy resources.



On Passage of the Bill S. 403: A bill to amend title 18, United States Code, to prohibit taking minors across State lines in circumvention of laws requiring the involvement of parents in abortion decisions.
Vote Date: July 25, 2006Vote: AYEGood Vote.
Parental Notification. The Child Custody Protection Act (S. 403) would make it a federal crime for a person to transport a minor across state lines for an abortion in order to bypass state laws requiring parental notification.

The Senate passed S. 403 by a vote of 65-34 on July 25, 2006 (Roll Call 216). We have assigned pluses to the yeas because Congress can and should use its power to regulate interstate commerce to restrict abortion.



On Passage of the Bill H.R. 810: A bill to amend the Public Health Service Act to provide for human embryonic stem cell research.
Vote Date: July 18, 2006Vote: NAYGood Vote.
Stem-cell Research. The embryonic stem-cell research bill (H.R. 810) would allow federal funds to be used for research on embryonic stem-cell lines derived from surplus embryos at in vitro fertilization clinics. Such research would be done only by cannibalizing and destroying human embryos. Proponents contend that the research is needed to combat various diseases, but stem cells derived from sources other than embryos may be used to achieve the same results.

The Senate passed H.R. 810 by a vote of 63-37 on July 18, 2006 (Roll Call 206). It prompted President Bush to use his veto power for the first time in his presidency. We have assigned pluses to the nays because such research would violate the right to life for millions of unborn children.



On the Motion (Motion to Waive CBA Re: Dodd Amdt. No. 4641): To fund urgent priorities for our Nation's firefighters, law enforcement personnel, emergency medical personnel, and all Americans by reducing the tax breaks for individuals with annual incomes in excess of $1,000,000.
Vote Date: July 13, 2006Vote: NAYGood Vote.
First Responder Grants. During consideration for the Homeland Security Appropriations bill (H.R. 5441) Sen. Chris Dodd (D-Conn.) proposed an amendment to increase funding for police, firefighters, and other local and state personnel by $16.5 billion.

A point of order was raised against Dodd's amendment based on the Budget Act, and the Senate effectively killed the amendment when it rejected the motion to wave the Budget Act. The vote was 38-62 on July 13, 2006 (Roll Call 197). We have assigned pluses to the nays because federal funding of local law enforcement will lead to more federal control of law enforcement.



On the Amendment S.Amdt. 4615 to H.R. 5441 (Department of Homeland Security Appropriations Act, 2007): To prohibit the confiscation of a firearm during an emergency or major disaster if the possession of such firearm is not prohibited under Federal or State law.
Vote Date: July 13, 2006Vote: AYEGood Vote.
Firearm Seizure. During consideration for the Homeland Security appropriations bill (H.R. 5441) Sen. David Vitter (R-La.) offered an amendment that would prohibit any funds in the bill from being used to seize lawfully owned firearms during a state of emergency. Vitter said this amendment was prompted by the confiscation of over 1,000 firearms by law enforcement officials in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina.

The Senate overwhelmingly passed the Vitter amendment by a vote of 84-16 on July 13, 2006 (Roll Call 202). We have assigned pluses to the yeas because gun confiscation violates the Second Amendment.



On the Amendment S.Amdt. 4442 to S. 2766 (John Warner National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2007): To require the redeployment of United States Armed Forces from Iraq in order to further a political solution in Iraq, encourage the people of Iraq to provide for their own security, and achieve victory in the war on terror.
Vote Date: June 22, 2006Vote: NAYBad Vote.
Iraq Troop Withdrawal. Senator John Kerry (D-Mass.) attached this amendment to the Defense authorization bill (S. 2766) that would require the president to have a complete withdrawal of U.S. troops by July 2007, with the exception of those needed to train Iraqi troops, target terrorists, and protect American citizens.

The Senate rejected Kerry's amendment on June 22, 2006 by a vote of 13-86 (Roll Call 181). We have assigned pluses to the yeas because our troops should only be sent to war when necessary to defend the United States and her citizens, and only when declared by Congress.



On the Amendment S.Amdt. 4322 to S. 2766 (John Warner National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2007): To amend the Fair Labor Standards Act of 1938 to provide for an increase in the Federal minimum wage.
Vote Date: June 21, 2006Vote: NAYGood Vote.
Minimum Wage. Senator Ted Kennedy (D-Mass.) offered this amendment to the Defense authorization bill (S. 2766). If implemented, the amendment would increase the national minimum wage from $5.15 to $7.25/hour within the next two years. Although a minimum wage increase sounds like an easy way to alleviate poverty in this country, it actually raises poverty. This is true because companies can not afford to hire entry-level workers and train them for careers; companies are forced to lay off workers they presently have on staff; and additional people are added to the welfare roles.

The Senate rejected Kennedy's amendment on June 21, 2006 by a vote of 52-46 (Roll Call 179). 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 price.



On the Nomination PN1552: General Michael V. Hayden, United States Air Force, to be Director of the Central Intelligence Agency
Vote Date: May 26, 2006Vote: AYEBad Vote.
Hayden Nomination. This measure would confirm Gen. Michael V. Hayden as the director of the Central Intelligence Agency, making him the first member of the military to hold the position. There are many concerns about Hayden leading the CIA, including Hayden's involvement in secret programs targeting unknowing U.S. citizens while principal deputy director of National Intelligence. The general was also the chief architect and defender of the controversial domestic surveillance program that President Bush has so adamantly supported.

The Senate confirmed General Hayden on May 26, 2006 by a vote of 78-15 (Roll Call 160). We have assigned pluses to the nays because Hayden has been in the forefront of governmental programs threatening the privacy of American citizens and should not be trusted to lead an organization such as the CIA.



On Passage of the Bill S. 2611: A bill to provide for comprehensive immigration reform and for other purposes.
Vote Date: May 25, 2006Vote: NAYGood Vote.
Guest-worker/Amnesty Immigration "Reform." The Senate version of immigration "reform" (S. 2611) would effectively grant amnesty to the 12 million illegal immigrants who already reside in the United States and create a guest-worker program for up to 200,000 immigrants a year. Although S. 2611 may provide additional security at the border, it would also reward those who have broken the law by granting them legal status and establish an immigrant verification system managed by the Department of Homeland Security.

The Senate passed S. 2611 on May 25, 2006 by a vote of 62-36 (Roll Call 157). We have assigned pluses to the nays because the bill would reward those who have unlawfully entered the country with legal status and greatly increase the level of legal immigration through guest-worker programs.



On the Amendment S.Amdt. 3961 to S. 2611 (Comprehensive Immigration Reform Act of 2006): To prohibit the granting of legal status, or adjustment of current status, to any individual who enters or entered the United States in violation of Federal law unless the border security measures authorized under Title I and section 233 are fully completed and fully operational.
Vote Date: May 16, 2006Vote: AYEGood Vote.
Secure Borders Certification. During consideration of the immigration "reform" legislation (S. 2611), Sen. Johnny Isakson (R-Ga.) introduced this amendment that would require the Department of Homeland Security to certify that the U.S. borders are secure and additional detention facilities for illegal aliens are functional before any guest-worker and legalization programs can take effect.

The Senate rejected Isakson's amendment on May 16, 2006 by a vote of 40-55 (Roll Call 121). We have assigned pluses to the yeas because this amendment would make border security a higher priority than amnesty, but would make it more difficult for the administration to implement amnesty.



On Passage of the Bill H.R. 4939: A bill making emergency supplemental appropriations for the fiscal year ending September 30, 2006, and for other purposes.
Vote Date: May 4, 2006Vote: AYEBad Vote.
Supplemental Appropriations. The Senate version of H.R. 4939 would appropriate $108.9 billion in emergency supplemental funding in fiscal 2006, about $17 billion more than the House-passed version (see House bill below). Most of this funding difference is due to the additional Katrina aid the Senate version would provide, $28.9 billion as opposed to $19.2 billion.

[ The House Version of H.R. 4939 would appropriate a whopping $91.9 billion for emergency supplemental funding in fiscal 2006, including $67.6 billion for the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, $4.3 billion for foreign aid, and $19.2 billion for Hurricane Katrina relief. Congressional Quarterly noted that the funding in the bill "for the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan would push to more than $390 billion the war-related supplemental funds appropriated since Sept. 11. It would be the sixth major emergency spending measure for the Bush administration." ]

The Senate passed its version of H.R. 4939 by a vote of 77-21 on May 4, 2006 (Roll Call 112). We have assigned pluses to the nays because -- even if the spending were constitutional -- the funding should be attached to the regular appropriations process and not introduced after the fact as "emergency" spending, ignoring fiscal responsibility.



On the Joint Resolution H.J.Res. 47: A joint resolution increasing the statutory limit on the public debt.
Vote Date: March 16, 2006Vote: AYEBad Vote.
National Debt Limit. This legislation (House Joint Resolution 47) would increase the national debt limit, also known as the federal debt limit, to $8.97 trillion, a $781 billion increase in what the federal government is allowed to borrow.

The Senate adopted the measure to increase the national debt limit on March 16, 2006 by a vote of 52-48 (Roll Call 54). We have assigned pluses to the nays because raising the public debt limit by $781 billion facilitates a steady increase of gross fiscal irresponsibility.



On the Amendment S.Amdt. 3048 to S.Con.Res. 83: To increase the advance appropriations allowance in order to fund health, education and training, and low-income programs.
Vote Date: March 16, 2006Vote: AYEBad Vote.
Health and Education Programs. During consideration of the Fiscal 2007 Budget Resolution, Sen. Arlen Specter (R-Pa.) introduced this amendment that would provide for a $7 billion increase in funding for health, education and training, and poverty programs.

The Senate passed Specter's amendment on March 16, 2006 by a vote 73-27 (Roll Call 58). We have assigned pluses to the nays because federal social-welfare programs are unconstitutional.



On the Conference Report H.R. 3199: A bill to extend and modify authorities needed to combat terrorism, and for other purposes.
Vote Date: March 2, 2006Vote: AYEBad 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 Senate adopted the conference report for H.R. 3199 on March 2, 2006 by a vote of 89-10 (Roll Call 29). We have assigned pluses to the nays because the Patriot Act tramples on the constitutionally protected rights of U.S. citizens.



On the Amendment S.Amdt. 2519 to S. 1042 (National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2006): To clarify and recommend changes to the policy of the United States on Iraq and to require reports on certain matters relating to Iraq.
Vote Date: November 15, 2005Vote: NAYBad Vote.
Iraq Withdrawal. During consideration of the defense authorization bill (S. 1042), Rep. Carl Levin (D-Mich.) introduced this amendment requiring the president to provide Congress with a timetable for the withdrawal of American troops from Iraq within 30 days of the bill's implementation.

The Senate rejected the Levin amendment on November 15, 2005 by a vote of 40-58 (Roll Call 322). We have assigned pluses to the yeas because our troops should be sent to war only when necessary to defend the United States and her citizens, and when Congress declares war.



On the Conference Report H.R. 3057: An act making appropriations for the Department of State, foreign operations, and related programs for the fiscal year ending September 30, 2006, and for other purposes.
Vote Date: November 10, 2005Vote: AYEBad Vote.
Foreign Aid. The final version (conference report) of this appropriations bill (H.R. 3057) would provide $21 billion for U.S. foreign aid programs in fiscal 2006.

The Senate passed this appropriations bill on November 10, 2005 by a unanimous vote of 91-0 (Roll Call 320). We have assigned minuses to the yeas because foreign aid programs are not authorized by the Constitution.



On the Conference Report H.R. 2744: A bill making appropriations for Agriculture, Rural Development, Food and Drug Administration, and Related Agencies for the fiscal year ending September 30, 2006, and for other purposes.
Vote Date: November 3, 2005Vote: AYEBad Vote.
Agriculture Appropriations. The final version (conference report) of this bill (H.R. 2744) would provide $101 billion in fiscal 2006 for the Department of Agriculture, the Food and Drug Administration, and related agencies. The funding includes $40.7 billion for the food-stamp program and $25.7 billion for the Commodity Credit Corporation, a federally funded program that aids farmers.

The Senate passed the final version of H.R. 2744 on November 3, 2005 by a vote of 81-18 (Roll Call 282). We have assigned pluses to the nays because federal aid to farmers and federal food aid to individuals are not authorized by the Constitution.



On the Amendment S.Amdt. 2358 to S. 1932 (Deficit Reduction Act of 2005): To strike the title relating to the establishment of an oil and gas leasing program in the Coastal Plain.
Vote Date: November 3, 2005Vote: NAYGood Vote.
ANWR Oil and Gas Leasing. During consideration of the budget reconciliation bill (S. 1932), Sen. Maria Cantwell (D-Wash.) offered an amendment that would delete from the underlying bill language allowing for "the establishment of an oil and gas leasing program in the Coastal Plain" of the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge (ANWR) in Alaska. Cantwell's intent was to keep in place the present ban against drilling for oil and natural gas in the energy-rich ANWR.

The Senate rejected the Cantwell amendment on November 3, 2005 by a vote of 48-51 (Roll Call 288). We have assigned pluses for the nays because the United States should reduce its dependence on foreign oil and develop its own energy resources.



On Passage of the Bill H.R. 3010: A bill making appropriations for the Departments of Labor, Health and Human Services, and Education, and Related Agencies for the fiscal year ending September 30, 2006, and for other purposes.
Vote Date: October 27, 2005Vote: AYEBad Vote.
Labor-HHS-Education. The Senate version of this mammoth social-welfare appropriations bill (H.R. 3010) would provide a total of $604.4 billion in fiscal 2006 for the Labor Department ($15 billion), the Education Department ($63.7 billion), the Health and Human Services Department ($476.2 billion), and related agencies.

The Senate passed this massive social-welfare bill on October 27, 2005 by a vote of 94-3 (Roll Call 281). We have assigned pluses to the nays because social-welfare programs are unconstitutional.



On the Motion (Motion to Waive CBA Kenedy Amdt. No. 2063 As Modified Further): To provide for an increase in the Federal minimum wage.
Vote Date: October 19, 2005Vote: NAYGood Vote.
Minimum Wage Increase. During consideration of the Transportation-Treasury-Housing appropriations bill (H.R. 3058), Sen. Ted Kennedy (D-Mass.) offered an amendment to raise the minimum wage from $5.15 an hour to $5.70 an hour six months after the bill's enactment, and then to $6.25 an hour one year after the bill's enactment. While raising the minimum wage may sound appealing to some unskilled workers, it would actually make many of them too expensive to hire, and it would also make starting up new companies more expensive.

The Senate rejected Kennedy's amendment on October 19, 2005 by a vote of 47-51 (Roll Call 257). We have assigned pluses to the nays because it is unconstitutional for the government to prohibit American citizens from working for less than a federally mandated minimum wage.



On Passage of the Bill H.R. 2744: A bill making appropriations for Agriculture, Rural Development, Food and Drug Administration, and Related Agencies for the fiscal year ending September 30, 2006, and for other purposes.
Vote Date: September 22, 2005Vote: AYEBad Vote.
Agriculture Appropriations. This bill (H.R. 2744) would provide $100.7 billion in fiscal 2006 for the Agriculture Department, the Food and Drug Administration, and related agencies. The funding includes $40.7 billion for the food stamp program, $12.4 billion for school meal programs, and $25.7 billion for the Commodity Credit Corporation, which aids farmers.

The Senate passed the Agriculture appropriations bill on September 22, 2005 by a vote of 97-2 (Roll Call 241). We have assigned pluses to the nays because federal aid to farmers and federal food aid to individuals are not authorized in the Constitution.



On the Amendment S.Amdt. 1661 to H.R. 2862 (Science, State, Justice, Commerce, and Related Agencies Appropriations Act, 2006): To provide emergency funding for victims of Hurricane Katrina.
Vote Date: September 13, 2005Vote: AYEBad Vote.
Funding Law Enforcement. During consideration of the Fiscal 2006 Commerce-Justice-Science appropriations bill (H.R. 2862), Sen. Joseph Biden (D-Del.) offered this amendment to increase funding for the Community Oriented Policing Services program by $1 billion, to increase funding for the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children by $10 million, to increase funding for the Office of Violence Against Women by $9 million, and to designate these increases as emergency spending.

A point of order was made against the emergency designation based on the Budget Act, and the Senate effectively killed the Biden amendment when it rejected a motion to waive the Budget Act. The vote was 41-56 on September 13, 2005 (Roll Call 226). We have assigned pluses to the nays because providing federal aid to law enforcement programs is not only unconstitutional, but it also further federalizes the police system.



On Passage of the Bill H.R. 3673: A bill making further emergency supplemental appropriations to meet immediate needs arising from the consequences of Hurricane Katrina, for the fiscal year ending September 30, 2005, and for other purposes.
Vote Date: September 8, 2005Vote: AYEBad Vote.
Katrina Hurricane-relief Appropriations. In the wake of the devastating hurricane disaster in the Gulf Coast, Congress quickly passed legislation that would appropriate $51.8 billion in emergency supplemental funding for fiscal 2005 (H.R. 3673) to be used for relief in the areas affected by Hurricane Katrina. Commenting on how the tragic images of Katrina were used to justify more federal welfare and interventionism, as opposed to private charity and initiatives, Rep. Ron Paul (R-Texas) noted on September 15, after the House and Senate votes: "These scenes prompted two emotional reactions. One side claims Katrina proved there was not enough government welfare.... The other side claims we need to pump billions of new dollars into the very federal agency that failed (FEMA).... Both sides support more authoritarianism, more centralization, and even the imposition of martial law in times of natural disasters."

The Senate passed this supplemental appropriations bill on September 8, 2005 by a vote of 97-0 (Roll Call 223). We have assigned minuses to the yeas because federally financing disaster relief is unconstitutional.



On the Conference Report H.R. 2361: A bill making appropriations for the Department of the Interior, environment, and related agencies for the fiscal year ending September 30, 2006, and for other purposes.
Vote Date: July 29, 2005Vote: AYEBad Vote.
Interior-Environment Appropriations. The final version (conference report) of this appropriations bill (H.R. 2361) would provide $26.2 billion in fiscal 2006 for the Interior Department, the Environmental Protection Agency, and related agencies, including $7.7 billion for the EPA. All but roughly $50 million provided in H.R. 2361 is deemed "discretionary" funds.

The Senate passed this appropriations bill on July 29, 2005 by a vote of 99-1 (Roll Call 210). We have assigned a plus to the lone nay because the bill's provisions include both unnecessary and unconstitutional spending.



On the Conference Report H.R. 3: A bill to authorize funds for Federal-aid highways, highway safety programs, and transit programs, and for other purposes.
Vote Date: July 29, 2005Vote: AYEBad 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 Senate adopted the conference report on July 29, 2005 by a vote of 91-4 (Roll Call 220). We have assigned pluses to the nays because the bill increases transportation spending and is fiscally irresponsible.



On Passage of the Bill H.R. 3057: An act making appropriations for the Department of State, foreign operations, and related programs for the fiscal year ending September 30, 2006, and for other purposes.
Vote Date: July 20, 2005Vote: AYEBad Vote.
Foreign Aid. The Senate version of the foreign aid appropriations bill (H.R. 3057) would provide $31.8 billion in fiscal 2006 for U.S. foreign aid programs.

The Senate passed this appropriations bill on July 20, 2005 by a vote of 98-1 (Roll Call 197). We have assigned a plus to the lone nay because foreign aid is unconstitutional.



On the Amendment S.Amdt. 1242 to H.R. 3057 (Foreign Operations, Export Financing, and Related Programs Appropriations Act, 2006): To prohibit any funds from being used by the Export-Import Bank of the United States to approve a loan or a loan guarantee related to a nuclear project in China.
Vote Date: July 19, 2005Vote: AYEGood Vote.
Nuclear Power Plants in China. During consideration of the foreign aid appropriations bill, Sen. Tom Coburn (R-Okla.) introduced this amendment to prohibit the Export-Import Bank, a U.S. government agency, from providing federal loans or loan guarantees for the construction of nuclear power plants in China. The amendment would block federal assistance to the British-owned nuclear division of Westinghouse to build such plants.

The Senate rejected Coburn's amendment on July 19, 2005 by a vote of 37-62 (Roll Call 192). We have assigned pluses to the yeas because foreign aid programs are unconstitutional.



On Passage of the Bill S. 1307: A bill to implement the Dominican Republic-Central America-United States Free Trade Agreement.
Vote Date: June 30, 2005Vote: AYEBad Vote.
CAFTA. This bill (S. 1307) would implement the proposed Central American Free Trade Agreement (CAFTA), thereby expanding both the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) and 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 EU.

The Senate passed the CAFTA bill on June 30, 2005 by a vote of 54-45 (Roll Call 170). We have assigned pluses to the nays because CAFTA would further damage the U.S. economy and threaten U.S. sovereignty.



On the Conference Report H.R. 1268: An act making Emergency Supplemental Appropriations for Defense, the Global War on Terror, and Tsunami Relief, for the fiscal year ending September 30, 2005, and for other purposes.
Vote Date: May 10, 2005Vote: AYEBad Vote.
Supplemental Appropriations. The final version (conference report) of this supplemental appropriations bill (H.R. 1268) would add another $82 billion to the federal budget for fiscal 2005. The supplemental spending, even if needed and constitutional, should not have been added on to the annual federal budget after the fact, but should have been included as part of the regular appropriations process. The supplemental spending in this bill includes $75.9 billion for defense-related purposes, most of it for the military occupation of Iraq, and $907 million for tsunami victims, the latter clearly unconstitutional.

One particularly objectionable element of this legislation is the REAL ID Act, which was added to the supplemental appropriations bill by the conference committee. The REAL ID Act would authorize the federal government to impose national standards for driver's licenses and thereby develop a national ID system.

The Senate adopted the conference report on May 10, 2005 by a vote of 100-0 (Roll Call 117). We assigned minuses to the yeas because the bill contains both unconstitutional spending and the REAL ID Act.



On the Cloture Motion S.Amdt. 375 to H.R. 1268 (Emergency Supplemental Appropriations Act for Defense, the Global War on Terror, and Tsunami Relief, 2005): To provide for the adjustment of status of certain foreign agricultural workers, to amend the Immigration and Nationality Act to reform the H-2A worker program under that Act, to provide a stable, legal agricultural workforce, to extend basic legal protections and better working conditions to more workers, and for other purposes.
Vote Date: April 19, 2005Vote: NAYGood Vote.
AgJOBS (Amnesty). Sen. Larry Craig (R-Idaho) tried to get the so-called AgJOBS bill through the Senate by attaching it as an amendment to the supplemental appropriations bill (H.R. 1268). The AgJOBS measure would grant agricultural workers who are in this country illegally temporary residence status, thereby granting them amnesty and putting them on a path toward U.S. citizenship. If adopted, AgJOBS would be an open invitation for other non-citizens to cross our borders illegally with the expectation that they too would receive amnesty.

AgJOBS supporters attempted to push their measure forward by invoking "cloture," thereby limiting the debate that has stalled the measure, bringing it up for a vote. A three-fifths majority vote of the entire Senate (60 votes) is needed to invoke cloture. The Senate rejected the motion to invoke cloture on April 19, 2005 by a vote of 53-45 (Roll Call 98). We have assigned pluses to the nays because the AgJOBS measure would provide amnesty to many illegal aliens.



On the Amendment S.Amdt. 464 to H.R. 1268 (Emergency Supplemental Appropriations Act for Defense, the Global War on Terror, and Tsunami Relief, 2005): To express the sense of the Senate on future requests for funding for military operations in Afghanistan and Iraq.
Vote Date: April 18, 2005Vote: AYEGood Vote.
Budgeting for Overseas Military Operations. During consideration of the supplemental appropriations bill (H.R. 1268), Senator Robert Byrd (D-W.Va.) proposed a nonbinding amendment stating that "any request for funds ... for an ongoing military operation overseas, including operations in Afghanistan and Iraq, should be included in the annual budget of the President." Arguing for his amendment on the Senate floor, Byrd expressed frustration that funding for the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan has been provided by "stopgap spending" and "emergency supplemental spending bills," when this funding should instead be accounted for in the annual budget.

The Senate adopted this amendment on April 18, 2005 by a vote of 61-31 (Roll Call 96). We have assigned pluses to the yeas because the amendment would encourage fiscal responsibility.



On the Amendment S.Amdt. 278 to S. 600 (Foreign Affairs Authorization Act, Fiscal Years 2006 and 2007): To prohibit the application of certain restrictive eligibility requirements to foreign nongovernmental organizations with respect to the provision of assistance under part I of the Foreign Assistance Act of 1961.
Vote Date: April 5, 2005Vote: NAYGood Vote.
Abortion. During consideration of the State Department authorization bill (S. 600), Sen. Barbara Boxer (D-Calif.) offered an amendment to repeal the rule prohibiting U.S. foreign aid from going to organizations that provide or promote abortions. Known as the "Mexico City" policy, this rule was imposed by President Reagan, lifted by President Clinton, and then reinstated by the second President Bush.

The Senate adopted Boxer's amendment on April 5, 2005 by a vote of 52-46 (Roll Call 83). We have assigned pluses to the nays because any federal aid to provide or promote abortions violates the right to life.



On the Amendment S.Amdt. 239 to S.Con.Res. 18: Relative to funding to the Office of Community Oriented Policing Services.
Vote Date: March 17, 2005Vote: NAYGood Vote.
Funding Local Law Enforcement. During consideration of the budget resolution (S. Con. Res. 18), Sen. Joseph Biden (D-Del.) offered an amendment to increase funding for the COPS (Community Oriented Policing Services) program by $1 billion. (As described in the amendment's "Purpose," this additional funding will be "fully off-set by closing corporate loopholes and will generate $2 billion in revenue" -- that is, additional taxes.)

The Senate rejected Biden's amendment on March 17, 2005 by a vote of 45-55 (Roll Call 70). We have assigned pluses to the nays because federal aid to local police forces is unconstitutional and invites federal control.



On the Amendment S.Amdt. 202 to S.Con.Res. 18: No Statement of Purpose on File.
Vote Date: March 17, 2005Vote: NAYGood Vote.
Funding Special Education. During consideration of the budget resolution (S. Con. Res. 18), Sen. Mark Dayton (D-Minn.) offered an amendment to provide a fund of $71.3 billion for special education programs under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA).

The Senate rejected this amendment on March 17, 2005 by a vote of 37-63 (Roll Call 79). We have assigned pluses to the nays because federal funding of education is unconstitutional.



On the Amendment S.Amdt. 168 to S.Con.Res. 18: To strike section 201(a)(4) relative to the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge.
Vote Date: March 16, 2005Vote: NAYGood Vote.
Alaskan Drilling. During consideration of the budget resolution (S. Con. Res. 18), Senator Maria Cantwell (D-Wash.) offered an amendment to delete language in the resolution that would allow leases for oil and gas exploration and development in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge (ANWR). Like a similar House amendment (see House bill below), the intent behind this amendment is to continue the ban against drilling for oil and gas in the ANWR.

[ Rep. Edward Markey (D-Mass.) offered an amendment to delete language in the energy policy bill (H.R. 6) that would allow leases for oil and gas exploration and development in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge (ANWR) in Alaska. Drilling in ANWR is now banned, and Markey wants to keep it that way despite the fact that ANWR likely contains billions of barrels of oil and could be on a par with Prudhoe Bay, North America's largest oil field. ]

The Senate rejected Cantwell's amendment on March 16, 2005 by a vote of 49-51 (Roll Call 52). We have assigned pluses to the nays because the United States should develop its own energy resources and reduce its dependence on foreign oil.



On Passage of the Bill S. 250: A bill to amend the Carl D. Perkins Vocational and Technical Education Act of 1998 to improve the Act.
Vote Date: March 10, 2005Vote: AYEBad Vote.
Vocational/Technical Training. This legislation, like the House version (see House bill below), would reauthorize the Carl D. Perkins Vocational and Technical Education Act. The Senate version (S. 250) would authorize $1.3 billion for vocational and job training programs.

[ H.R. 366 would reauthorize the Carl D. Perkins Vocational and Technical Education Act, which funds vocational and technical education programs. The bill would authorize $1.3 billion in fiscal 2006 and "such funds as necessary" in fiscal 2007-11. It would also merge Perkins funding with "Tech-Prep," a program that provides certain math and science courses to high school students to "ease the transition" from high school to a vocational or community college. ]

The Senate passed S. 250 on March 10, 2005 by a vote of 99-0 (Roll Call 43). We have assigned minuses to the yeas because federal aid to education and job-training programs is unconstitutional.



On the Amendment S.Amdt. 44 to S. 256 (Bankruptcy Abuse Prevention and Consumer Protection Act of 2005): To amend the Fair Labor Standards Act of 1938 to provide for an increase in the Federal minimum wage.
Vote Date: March 7, 2005Vote: NAYGood Vote.
Minimum Wage. During consideration of the bankruptcy overhaul bill (S. 256), Sen. Ted Kennedy (D-Mass.) offered an amendment to raise the minimum wage from $5.15 an hour to $7.25 an hour. The minimum wage was last raised in 1996 by 90 cents, a far less ambitious amount than Kennedy's $2.10 proposed increase. While this proposal may look tempting to many unskilled workers, it would actually make many of them too expensive to hire.

The Senate rejected Kennedy's amendment on March 7, 2005 by a vote of 46-49 (Roll Call 26). 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 minimum wage.



On the Conference Report H.R. 1308: An act to amend the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 to provide tax relief for working families, and for other purposes.
Vote Date: September 23, 2004Vote: AYEGood 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 Senate adopted the conference report on H.R. 1308 on September 23, 2004 by a vote of 92 to 3 (Roll Call 188). We have assigned pluses to the yeas because the bill would extend the life of tax cuts, benefiting a large number of Americans.



On the Motion (Motion to Waive CBA Re: Dodd Amdt. No. 3604): To increase the among provided for first responder programs, and to provide offsets.
Vote Date: September 9, 2004Vote: NAYGood Vote.
Federal Funding of First Responders. During consideration of the Homeland Security appropriations bill (H.R. 4567), Sen. Chris Dodd (D-Conn.) proposed an amendment to increase funding by $15.8 billion for police, fire fighters, and other local and state emergency personnel. It would also require the Secretary of the Treasury to "take such action as is necessary" to offset this additional expense by reducing tax savings under the 2001 tax law for individuals making $1 million or more.

A point of order was raised against Dodd's amendment based on Budget Act requirements, and that, in turn, led to a motion to waive the point of order. The Senate rejected the motion -- thereby killing the amendment -- on September 9, 2004 by a vote of 41 to 53 (Roll Call 170). We have assigned pluses to the nays because federal funding of local law enforcement will lead to more federal control, and the federal government should not be funding local law enforcement in the first place.



On the Motion (DeWine Amdt. No. 3563): To protect the public health by providing the Food and Drug Administration with certain authority to regulate tobacco products, to eliminate the Federal quota and price support programs for tobacco, and to provide assistance to quota holders, tobacco producers, and tobacco-dependent communities.
Vote Date: July 15, 2004Vote: AYEBad Vote.
FDA Regulation of Tobacco. During consideration of a corporate tax bill (H.R. 4520), Sen. Mike DeWine (R-Ohio) offered an amendment to authorize the FDA to regulate tobacco for the first time and to couple this new regulation with a $12 billion, 10-year buyout to pay tobacco farmers for relinquishing government quotas governing how much tobacco they can grow. The FDA would be authorized to ban many ingredients in cigarettes, but Congress would retain veto power over any regulatory attempt to ban nicotine in cigarettes or to ban cigarettes completely.

The Senate adopted DeWine's amendment on July 15, 2004 by a vote of 78 to 15 (Roll Call 157). We have assigned pluses to the nays because the FDA should not be regulating tobacco like a pharmaceutical drug.



On the Amendment S.Amdt. 3502 to H.R. 4613 (Department of Defense Appropriations Act, 2005): To express the sense of the Senate on budgeting and funding of ongoing military operations overseas.
Vote Date: June 24, 2004Vote: AYEGood Vote.
Budgeting for Overseas Military Operations. During consideration of the Defense appropriations bill (H.R. 4613), Sen. Robert Byrd (D-W.Va.) proposed a nonbinding amendment urging that the president include in his annual budget "any request for funds ... for an ongoing military operation overseas, including operations in Afghanistan and Iraq," and that such funding should be appropriated in regular accounts. In remarks on the Senate floor, Byrd expressed frustration that the administration has failed to estimate war costs and has made "stop-gap" and "emergency supplemental" spending requests that have caused mistakes in materiel requisitions -- the failure to request sufficient funds for body armor, for instance. Byrd described his amendment as "a simple, common-sense approach that promotes fiscal responsibility."

The Senate adopted Byrd's amendment on June 24, 2004 by a vote of 89 to 9 (Roll Call 147). We have assigned pluses to the yeas because his amendment would encourage fiscal responsibility.



On the Motion to Table S.Amdt. 3520 to H.R. 4613 (Department of Defense Appropriations Act, 2005): To appropriate funds for bilateral economic assistance.
Vote Date: June 24, 2004Vote: AYEGood Vote.
Foreign Aid. During consideration of the Defense appropriations bill (H.R. 4613), Sen. Joe Biden (D-Del.) proposed an amendment to add $118 million in emergency funding "to respond to the humanitarian crisis in the Darfur region of Sudan and in Chad." The $118 million would be on top of $95 million already provided by the bill for that purpose.

The Senate agreed to a motion to table (kill) Biden's amendment on June 24, 2004 by a vote of 53 to 45 (Roll Call 148). We have assigned pluses to the yeas -- that is, those who voted to kill the amendment -- because foreign aid is unconstitutional.



On the Amendment S.Amdt. 3338 to S. 2400 (Ronald W. Reagan National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2005): To reallocate for Ground-based Midcourse interceptors to homeland defense and combatting terrorism.
Vote Date: June 22, 2004Vote: NAYGood Vote.
Missile Defense. Sen. Carl Levin (D-Mich.) offered an amendment to shift $515.5 million in the Defense authorization bill (S. 2400) from ground-based missile interceptors to nuclear nonproliferation programs and homeland security.

The Senate rejected Levin's amendment on June 22, 2004 by a vote of 44 to 56 (Roll Call 133). We have assigned pluses to the nays because the U.S. needs a means of protecting the homeland against incoming ballistic missiles.



On the Amendment S.Amdt. 3368 to S. 2400 (Ronald W. Reagan National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2005): To allow deployment of the ground-based midcourse defense element of the national ballistic missile defense system only after the mission-related capabilities of the system have been confirmed by operationally realistic testing.
Vote Date: June 17, 2004Vote: NAYGood Vote.
Missile Defense. During consideration of the Defense authorization bill (S. 2400), Sen. Barbara Boxer (D-Calif.) offered an amendment that would prohibit deployment of a ground-based system of missile interceptors until "the Secretary of Defense certifies ... that the capabilities of the system ... have been confirmed by operationally realistic testing of the system." The problem with Boxer's amendment is that the system cannot be operationally tested without initial deployment, scheduled for later in the year in Alaska. "If you prohibit this 'deployment,' you prohibit operationally realistic testing -- and prevent the very basis for the certification that the amendment requires," noted Senate Armed Services Committee Chairman John Warner (R-Va.).

The Senate rejected Boxer's amendment on June 17, 2004 by a vote of 42 to 57 (Roll Call 124). We have assigned pluses to the nays because national defense is a constitutional function of the federal government.



On the Amendment S.Amdt. 3379 to S. 2400 (Ronald W. Reagan National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2005): To provide funds for the security and stabilization of Iraq by suspending a portion of the reduction in the highest income tax rate for individual taxpayers.
Vote Date: June 17, 2004Vote: NAYGood Vote.
Tax Rate Increase. Sen. Joe Biden (D-Del.) proposed a measure, in the form of an amendment to the Defense authorization bill (S. 2400), to increase the top income tax rate from 35 percent to 36 percent, starting in 2005 and lasting until 2010. The additional revenue would be earmarked for security and stabilization operations in Iraq.

The Senate rejected Biden's amendment on June 17, 2004 by a vote of 44 to 53 (Roll Call 130). We have assigned pluses to the nays because the amendment would increase taxes.



On the Amendment S.Amdt. 3263 to S. 2400 (Ronald W. Reagan National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2005): To prohibit the use of funds for the support of new nuclear weapons development under the Stockpile Services Advanced Concepts Initiative or for the Robust Nuclear Earth Penetrator (RNEP).
Vote Date: June 15, 2004Vote: NAYGood Vote.
Nuclear Weapons Study. Sen. Ted Kennedy (D-Mass.) sponsored this amendment to prohibit the use of $36.6 million authorized by the Defense authorization bill (S. 2400) for two feasibility studies into options for modernizing our nuclear stockpile -- one pertaining to "bunker buster" weapons that would explode deep underground, and the other an Advanced Concepts Initiative including research into a "low yield" nuclear weapon. Sen. Wayne Allard (R-Colo.), who opposed Kennedy's amendment, noted that our existing nuclear stockpile "was developed for a massive nuclear exchange with one nation. Today, these weapons are too powerful and may result in greater damage than necessary to neutralize a target."

The Senate rejected Kennedy's amendment on June 15, 2004 by a vote of 42 to 55 (Roll Call 113). We have assigned pluses to the nays because national defense is a constitutional function of the federal government.



On the Amendment S.Amdt. 3183 to S. 2400 (Ronald W. Reagan National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2005): To provide Federal assistance to States and local jurisdictions to prosecute hate crimes.
Vote Date: June 15, 2004Vote: NAYGood Vote.
Hate Crimes. Sen. Gordon Smith (R-Ore.) proposed a measure, in the form of an amendment to the Defense authorization bill (S. 2400), to expand the definition of "hate crimes" to include assaults based on sexual orientation, gender, or disability. Current federal hate crimes law imposes stricter sentences when assaults are based on race, ethnicity, or religion.

The Senate adopted Smith's amendment on June 15, 2004 by a vote of 65 to 33 (Roll Call 114). We have assigned pluses to the nays because Smith's amendment would further federalize the criminal code, and because "hate crimes" measures are intended to punish not just criminal acts but the thoughts behind them.



On Passage of the Bill H.R. 1350: A bill to reauthorize the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act, and for other purposes.
Vote Date: May 13, 2004Vote: AYEBad Vote.
IDEA Reauthorization. This bill (H.R. 1350) would reauthorize the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA). It would provide for full federal funding by 2011 of 40 percent of the average per pupil costs for certain programs under IDEA by authorizing discretionary spending increases of $2.3 billion per year. For fiscal 2005, H.R. 1350 would authorize a total of $12.4 billion for IDEA grants.

The Senate passed H.R. 1350 on May 13, 2004 by a vote of 95 to 3 (Roll Call 94). We have assigned pluses to the nays because federal aid to education is unconstitutional.



On the Motion (Motion to Waive CBA Re: Cantwell Amdt. No. 3114): To extend the Temporary Extended Unemployment Compensation Act of 2002, and for other purposes.
Vote Date: May 11, 2004Vote: AYEBad Vote.
Unemployment Insurance. This amendment by Senator Maria Cantwell (D-Wash.) to S. 1637 (Corporate Tax Overhaul) 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.

Senator Don Nickles (R-Okla.) raised a point of order against the Cantwell amendment on the basis of Budget Act restrictions. Senator Cantwell moved to waive the Budget Act with respect to the Cantwell amendment, but the Senate rejected her motion on May 11, 2004 by a vote of 59 to 40 (Roll Call 88), thereby effectively killing the Cantwell amendment.

We have assigned pluses to the nays because payment of unemployment benefits is an unconstitutional activity of the federal government. A three-fifths majority (60) of the total Senate is required to waive the Budget Act.



On Passage of the Bill S. 150: A bill to make permanent the moratorium on taxes on Internet access and multiple and discriminatory taxes on electronic commerce imposed by the Internet Tax Freedom Act.
Vote Date: April 29, 2004Vote: AYEGood Vote.
Internet Tax Moratorium. This bill (S. 150), as amended, would extend the Internet tax moratorium for four years. The Senate passed S. 150 on April 29, 2004 by a vote of 93 to 3 (Roll Call 77).

We have assigned pluses to the yeas because this bill would prevent some forms of taxation on Internet users for an additional four years.



On the Amendment S.Amdt. 2937 to H.R. 4 (PRIDE Act): To provide additional funding for child care.
Vote Date: March 30, 2004Vote: AYEBad Vote.
Child-care Funding. This amendment to H.R. 4 (Welfare Reauthorization) would increase "mandatory" child-care funding by $6 billion over the next five years (fiscal 2005 to 2009). The federal government currently provides $4.8 billion annually for child care through a combination of "mandatory" and "discretionary" programs.

The Senate adopted this amendment to H.R. 4 on March 30, 2004 by a vote of 78 to 20 (Roll Call 64). We have assigned pluses to the nays because child care funding is an unconstitutional activity of the federal government.



On the Concurrent Resolution S.Con.Res. 95: An original concurrent resolution setting forth the congressional budget for the United States Government for fiscal year 2005 and including the appropriate budgetary levels for fiscal years 2006 through 2009.
Vote Date: March 12, 2004Vote: AYEBad Vote.
Fiscal 2005 Budget Resolution. This resolution (Senate Concurrent Resolution 95) would establish broad spending and revenue targets over the next five years. It calls for $851 billion in "discretionary" spending (including $30 billion for supplemental funding of operations in Iraq and Afghanistan) 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.

The Senate adopted S. Con. Res. 95 on March 12, 2004 by a vote of 51 to 45 (Roll Call 58). 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.



On the Amendment S.Amdt. 2637 to S. 1805 (Protection of Lawful Commerce in Arms Act): To provide for a 10-year extension of the assault weapons ban.
Vote Date: March 2, 2004Vote: NAYGood Vote.
Assault Weapons Ban. This amendment to S. 1805 (Firearms Manufacturers Protection) would provide for a 10-year reauthorization of the so-called assault weapons ban. If Congress doesn't vote to reauthorize the ban, it will expire in September 2004.

The Senate adopted this amendment to S. 1805 on March 2, 2004 by a vote of 52 to 47 (Roll Call 24). We have assigned pluses to the nays because this so-called assault weapons ban is an unconstitutional infringement on the Second Amendment.

Senate Republicans had introduced S. 1805 to help protect firearms manufacturers from industry-threatening lawsuits. However, they withdrew their support after gun control advocates won adoption of two "poison pill" amendments -- this amendment and a requirement for criminal background checks for all firearms purchases at gun shows (see S.Amdt. 2636 below) -- and S. 1805 was rejected.

[ Gun Show Checks. S.Amdt. 2636 to S. 1805 (Firearms Manufacturers Protection) would require criminal background checks on all firearms purchases at gun shows where at least 75 guns are sold. ]



On the Amendment S.Amdt. 2636 to S. 1805 (Protection of Lawful Commerce in Arms Act): To require criminal background checks on all firearms transactions occurring at events that provide a venue for the sale, offer for sale, transfer, or exchange of firearms, and for other purposes.
Vote Date: March 2, 2004Vote: NAYGood Vote.
Gun Show Checks. This amendment to S. 1805 (Firearms Manufacturers Protection) would require criminal background checks on all firearms purchases at gun shows where at least 75 guns are sold.

The Senate adopted this amendment to S. 1805 on March 2, 2004 by a vote of 53 to 46 (Roll Call 25). We have assigned pluses to the nays because these restrictions on firearm transactions at gun shows would be an unconstitutional infringement on the Second Amendment. Subsequently, the Senate rejected S. 1805 by a vote of 8 to 90.



On Passage of the Bill S. 1072: A bill to authorize funds for Federal-aid highways, highway safety programs, and transit programs, and for other purposes.
Vote Date: February 12, 2004Vote: AYEBad Vote.
Surface Transportation. This bill (S. 1072) would authorize $318 billion in federal aid over six years (fiscal 2004-2009) for highways ($255 billion), mass transit ($56.5 billion), and highway safety programs ($6 billion). This bill also promises that states would receive at least a 95 percent return on their highway trust fund "contributions" by 2009.

The Bush administration had wanted to limit the spending in the bill to $256 billion, which, noted White House spokesman Scott McClellan, would still increase
spending by 21 percent. But the Senate added an additional $62 billion to the bill (24 percent more than the president had requested).

The Senate passed S. 1072 on February 12, 2004 by a vote of 76 to 21 (Roll Call 14). We have assigned pluses to the nays because this double-digit increase in spending on surface transportation is fiscally irresponsible, particularly during a time of record-breaking federal deficits.



On the Conference Report H.R. 2673: A bill making appropriations for Agriculture, Rural Development, Food and Drug Administration, and Related Agencies for the fiscal year ending September 30, 2004, and for other purposes.
Vote Date: January 22, 2004Vote: AYEBad Vote.
Fiscal 2004 Omnibus Appropriations. Adoption of this conference report on H.R. 2673 (Fiscal 2004 Omnibus Appropriations) would provide a total of $820 billion in fiscal 2004, including $328.1 billion in "discretionary" spending, for a whole laundry list of federal departments and agencies. On January 22, Congressional Quarterly described this bill as "among the biggest appropriations packages ever written by Congress." Total fiscal year 2004 spending (both "mandatory" and "discretionary") in this bill includes $80.6 billion (up 8.0 percent) for the Agriculture Department, Food and Drug Administration, Commodity Futures Trading Commission and related agencies; $38.4 billion (up 1.3 percent) for the Commerce, Justice and State departments and judicial agencies; $545 million (up 7.1 percent) for the District of Columbia; $17.3 billion (down 27 percent) for foreign aid and export assistance; $471.8 billion (up 11.5 percent) for the Labor, Health and Human Services, and Education Departments; $89.8 billion (up 3.7 percent) for the Transportation and Treasury Departments and related independent agencies; and $124.0 billion (up 4.4 percent) for the Veterans Affairs and Housing and Urban Development Departments.

The Senate adopted the conference report on H.R. 2673 on January 22, 2004 by a vote of 65 to 28 (Roll Call 3). We have assigned pluses to the nays because this bill not only perpetuates huge amounts of unconstitutional federal spending, it also contains many spending increases for various federal agencies despite the fact that annual federal deficits have mushroomed to record levels.



On the Conference Report H.R. 1: An act to amend title XVIII of the Social Security Act to provide for a voluntary prescription drug benefit under the medicare program and to strengthen and improve the medicare program, and for other purposes.
Vote Date: November 25, 2003Vote: AYEBad 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 Senate adopted the conference report on H.R. 1 on November 25, 2003 by a vote of 54 to 44 (Roll Call 459). We have assigned pluses to the nays because this landmark legislation establishes a major new, unconstitutional entitlement program.



On the Motion (Motion To Table Daschle Amdt. No. 2078): Expressing the sense of the Senate regarding country of origin labeling requirements.
Vote Date: November 6, 2003Vote: AYEBad Vote.
Country of Origin Labeling. The House version of H.R. 2673 (Fiscal 2004 Omnibus Appropriations) included a provision stating: "None of the funds appropriated or otherwise made available by this Act shall be used for the implementation of Country of Origin Labeling for meat or meat products." The intent of this provision, of course, is to end country of origin labeling requirements for meat by denying the funding for enforcement. During Senate consideration of this legislation, Senator Tom Daschle (D-S.D.) offered an amendment expressing the "sense of the Senate" that the Senate conferees insist that no such restriction on the use of funding appear in the final version of the bill.

The Senate rejected a motion to table (kill) this amendment to H.R. 2673 on November 6, 2003 by a vote of 36 to 58 (Roll Call 443). We have assigned pluses to the "nays" -- that is, those who opposed killing the amendment -- because country of origin labeling is a useful tool for (to quote the Constitution) "regulating commerce with foreign nations." The Daschle amendment was adopted by voice vote later the same day.



On Passage of the Bill H.R. 2673: A bill making appropriations for Agriculture, Rural Development, Food and Drug Administration, and Related Agencies for the fiscal year ending September 30, 2004, and for other purposes.
Vote Date: November 6, 2003Vote: AYEBad Vote.
Agriculture Appropriations. The Senate version of H.R. 2673 would appropriate $79.7 billion for agriculture, rural development, and nutrition programs in fiscal 2004. Over half of the money appropriated by this "agriculture" bill is earmarked for so-called mandatory spending on nutrition programs, including $30 billion for food stamps and $16 billion for school lunch and other nutrition programs. (See House version below.)

[ House Version: H.R. 2673 would appropriate $77.5 billion for agriculture, rural development and nutrition programs in fiscal 2004. Over half of the money appropriated by this "agriculture" bill is earmarked for so-called mandatory spending on nutrition programs, including $28 billion for food stamps and $16 billion for school lunch and other nutrition programs. Total spending for traditional agricultural programs is $26.8 billion, a 5 percent increase. ]

The Senate passed H.R. 2673 on November 6, 2003 by a vote of 93 to 1 (Roll Call 444). We have assigned a plus to the nays because federal aid to farmers and federal food aid to individuals are unconstitutional activities of the federal government.



On the Motion to Table S.Amdt. 2065 to S. 1753 (National Consumer Credit Reporting System Improvement Act of 2003): To provide for data-mining reports to Congress.
Vote Date: November 4, 2003Vote: AYEBad Vote.
Data Mining. This amendment to S. 1753 (National Consumer Credit Reporting System Improvement Act of 2003) would require each federal agency or department engaged in data mining to submit a public report to Congress. Data mining involves the use of computer systems to scan through vast amounts of electronic information to detect patterns and trends. Sen. Russell Feingold (D-Wis.) introduced this amendment because of his concerns about Total Information Awareness-type programs being developed at various federal agencies. His amendment would require the reports to Congress to assess "the likely impact of the implementation of the data-mining technology on privacy and civil liberties...."

The Senate agreed to a motion to table (kill) this amendment to S. 1753 on November 4, 2003 by a vote of 61 to 32 (Roll Call 435). We have assigned pluses to the "nays" -- that is, those who opposed killing the amendment -- because federal data mining activity is clearly a threat to the Fourth Amendment, which guarantees "the right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures."



On the Amendment S.Amdt. 2028 to S. 139 (Climate Stewardship Act of 2003): To provide for a program of scientific research on abrupt climate change, to accelerate the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions in the United States by establishing a market-driven system of greenhouse gas tradeable allowances, to limit greenhouse gas emissions in the United States and reduce dependence upon foreign oil, and ensure benefits to consumers from the trading in such allowances.
Vote Date: October 30, 2003Vote: NAYGood Vote.
Global Warming. This substitute amendment to S. 139 (Climate Stewardship Act of 2003) by Joseph Lieberman (D-Conn.) would mandate that so-called greenhouse gas emissions be reduced to 2000 levels by 2010. Greenhouse gases would be defined as carbon dioxide, methane, nitrous oxide, hydrofluorocarbons, perfluorocarbons and sulfur hexafluoride. Other provisions of the substitute amendment include a program of scientific research on climate change, a national greenhouse database, and a market driven system of greenhouse gas tradable allowances.

The Senate rejected this substitute amendment to S. 139 on October 30, 2003 by a vote of 43 to 55 (Roll Call 420). We have assigned pluses to the nays because this amendment would have established restrictions on so-called greenhouse gas emissions based on the myth of catastrophic global warming.



On the Conference Report S. 3: A bill to prohibit the procedure commonly known as partial-birth abortion.
Vote Date: October 21, 2003Vote: AYEGood 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 Senate adopted the conference report on S. 3 on October 21, 2003 by a vote of 64 to 34 (Roll Call 402). 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.



On Passage of the Bill S. 1689: An original bill making emergency supplemental appropriations for Iraq and Afghanistan security and reconstruction for the fiscal year ending September 30, 2004, and for other purposes.
Vote Date: October 17, 2003Vote: AYEBad Vote.
Supplemental Spending for Iraq & Afghanistan. The Senate version of this bill (S. 1689) would appropriate $86.5 billion in fiscal 2004 supplemental spending for military operations and reconstruction in Iraq and Afghanistan. Unlike the House version (H.R. 3289), S. 1689 also included an amendment requiring that $10 billion of the approximately $20 billion in Iraqi reconstruction aid be initially offered as a loan -- and be converted into a grant only if 90 percent of Iraq's bilateral debts, estimated at $130 billion, are forgiven by its creditors. (This amendment was deleted from the final version of this legislation, known as the conference report. The conference report was approved by voice vote in the Senate and roll call vote in the House.)

The Senate passed S. 1689 on October 17, 2003 by a vote of 87 to 12 (Roll Call 400). We have assigned pluses to the nays because the U.S. military was sent into Iraq to enforce UN resolutions, when the only proper use of our nation's armed forces is to protect the lives and property of American citizens, and the huge U.S.-funded infrastructure rebuilding program in Iraq and Afghanistan is another example of unconstitutional foreign aid.



On Passage of the Bill H.R. 2660: A bill making appropriations for the Departments of Labor, Health and Human Services, and Education, and related agencies for the fiscal year ending September 30, 2004, and for other purposes.
Vote Date: September 10, 2003Vote: AYEBad Vote.
Labor-HHS-Education Appropriations. The Senate version of this bill (H.R. 2660) would appropriate $472 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. (Since the Senate version of H.R. 2660 is virtually identical to the House version, see House version below for additional details.)

[ House Version 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 Senate passed H.R. 2660 on September 10, 2003 by a vote of 94 to 0 (Roll Call 347). We have assigned minuses to the yeas because this bill represents a significant increase in spending, and these departments are not authorized by the Constitution.



On Passage of the Bill H.R. 2739: A bill to implement the United States-Singapore Free Trade Agreement.
Vote Date: July 31, 2003Vote: AYEBad Vote.
U.S.-Singapore Trade. This bill (H.R. 2739) would implement a trade agreement to reduce tariffs and trade barriers between the United States and Singapore. A similar bill, the U.S.-Chile Trade Agreement (H.R. 2738), was presented to Congress at the same time as the U.S.-Singapore Trade Agreement. These are the first in a series of bilateral and regional free trade agreements (FTAs) that the Bush administration is negotiating, which will culminate in 2005 in the largest and most significant FTA of them all, the Free Trade Area of the Americas (FTAA).

The model for the FTAA is the European Union (EU), formerly the "Common Market," which has grown by design from a supposed free trade agreement into a supranational government for Europe. The world order architects intend for the FTAA to follow the same trajectory for the Americas.

The Senate passed H.R. 2739 on July 31, 2003 by a vote of 66 to 32 (Roll Call 318). We have assigned pluses to the nays because these bilateral "free trade" agreements are intended to be stepping-stones to the FTAA, which would set trade (and eventually other) policies for the member nations. However, under the U.S. Constitution only Congress has the power "to regulate commerce with foreign nations, and among the several states...."



On Passage of the Bill H.R. 2738: A bill to implement the United States-Chile Free Trade Agreement.
Vote Date: July 31, 2003Vote: AYEBad Vote.
U.S.-Chile Trade. This bill (H.R. 2738) would implement a trade agreement to reduce tariffs and trade barriers between the United States and Chile. (The significance of this trade agreement, like that of the U.S.-Singapore Trade Agreement, is described below.)

[ U.S.-Singapore Trade. This bill (H.R. 2739) would implement a trade agreement to reduce tariffs and trade barriers between the United States and Singapore. A similar bill, the U.S.-Chile Trade Agreement (H.R. 2738), was presented to Congress at the same time as the U.S.-Singapore Trade Agreement. These are the first in a series of bilateral and regional free trade agreements (FTAs) that the Bush administration is negotiating, which will culminate in 2005 in the largest and most significant FTA of them all, the Free Trade Area of the Americas (FTAA).

The model for the FTAA is the European Union (EU), formerly the "Common Market," which has grown by design from a supposed free trade agreement into a supranational government for Europe. The world order architects intend for the FTAA to follow the same trajectory for the Americas. ]


The Senate passed H.R. 2738 on July 31, 2003 by a vote of 65 to 32 (Roll Call 319). We have assigned pluses to the nays because these bilateral "free trade" agreements are intended to be stepping-stones to the FTAA, which would set trade (and eventually other) policies for the member nations. However, under the U.S. Constitution only Congress has the power "to regulate commerce with foreign nations, and among the several states...."



On the Amendment S.Amdt. 1384 to S. 14 (Energy Policy Act of 2003): To amend title 49, United States Code, to improve the system for enhancing automobile fuel efficiency.
Vote Date: July 29, 2003Vote: NAYGood Vote.
Fuel Economy Standards. This amendment to S. 14 (Energy Policy Act of 2003) by Richard Durbin (D-Ill.) would mandate an increase in the Corporate Average Fuel Economy (CAFE) standards. The CAFE standard for passenger vehicles made before 2006 would be 25 miles per gallon. From model years 2006 to 2015 the CAFE standard would gradually increase to 40 miles per gallon. This new standard would initially be less than the current 27.5 miles per gallon, but only because "passenger automobile" would be redefined to include the previously exempted SUVs and passenger vans.

Since neither legislators nor manufacturers have a magic wand to reduce the amount of gas required to move a certain mass a certain distance, this radical legislation -- akin to ordering the sun never to set -- would effectively force manufacturers to reduce vehicle size, thereby limiting consumer choices and making vehicles less safe.

The Senate rejected this amendment to S. 14 on July 29, 2003 by a vote of 32 to 65 (Roll Call 309). We have assigned pluses to the nays because this amendment would have authorized unconstitutional regulation of consumer choice of vehicle size.



On the Conference Report H.R. 2: To provide for reconciliation pursuant to section 201 of the concurrent resolution on the budget for fiscal year 2004.
Vote Date: May 23, 2003Vote: AYEGood 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 Senate adopted the conference report on H.R. 2 on May 23, 2003 with Vice President Cheney casting a yea vote to break a 50 to 50 tie (Roll Call 196). We have assigned pluses to the yeas because this bill will cut taxes for large numbers of Americans, both individuals and businesses.



On Passage of the Bill H.J.Res. 51: A joint resolution increasing the statutory limit on the public debt.
Vote Date: May 23, 2003Vote: AYEBad Vote.
Debt Limit Increase. This resolution (House Joint Resolution 51) would raise the public debt ceiling by $984 billion. Last year the public debt ceiling was increased by $450 billion. These huge increases in the public debt ceiling are necessitated by the fact that federal spending is increasing -- and so are the annual deficits. The solution is not to allow the federal government to borrow more money but to cut spending.

The Senate passed H. J. Res. 51 on May 23, 2003 by a vote of 53 to 44 (Roll Call 202). We have assigned pluses to the nays because raising the public debt limit by $984 billion facilitates continued, gross fiscal irresponsibility.



On the Motion (Motion To Waive C.B.A. Kennedy Amdt No. 544): To provide for additional weeks of temporary extended unemployment compensation and to provide for a program of temporary enhanced regular unemployment compensation, and for other purposes.
Vote Date: May 15, 2003Vote: NAYGood 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 Senate adopted the conference is similar to H.R. 2185. It would extend the Temporary Extended Unemployment Compensation Act of 2002 through November; however, it would provide 26 weeks of federal aid, compared to 13 weeks in H.R. 2185, to workers in all states who have exhausted their 26 weeks of state unemployment benefits. There would be an additional seven weeks of federal aid for workers in the states with the highest unemployment.

A point of order was raised against Kennedy's amendment on the basis of Budget Act restrictions. The Senate failed to waive the Budget Act with respect to Kennedy's amendment on May 15, 2003 by a vote of 50 to 49 (Roll Call 152). A three-fifths majority vote (60) of the total Senate is needed to waive the Budget Act. We have assigned pluses to the nays because federal aid to unemployed workers is unconstitutional.



On the Motion (Motion to Waive C.B.A. re: Murray Amdt. No. 564): To provide temporary State fiscal relief.
Vote Date: May 15, 2003Vote: NAYGood Vote.
State Aid. This proposed amendment to the Senate version of the tax reductions bill (S. 1054) would provide $40 billion in aid to states. Half of this would be for general revenue sharing with states and their local governments. The other half would be used to increase federal Medicaid assistance to states for the last two quarters of fiscal 2003 and all of fiscal 2004.

A point of order was raised against this amendment on the basis of Budget Act restrictions. The Senate failed to waive the Budget Act with respect to the amendment on May 15, 2003 by a vote of 47 to 52 (Roll Call 158). A three-fifths majority vote (60) of the total Senate is needed to waive the Budget Act. We have assigned pluses to the nays because federal aid to the states for revenue sharing and medical assistance is unconstitutional.



On the Amendment S.Amdt. 409 to S.Con.Res. 23: To provide full and mandatory funding for IDEA beginning in FY2004.
Vote Date: March 26, 2003Vote: NAYGood Vote.
IDEA (Individuals with Disabilities Education Act) Funding. This proposed amendment to the Senate version of the budget resolution (Senate Concurrent Resolution 23) resembles H.R. 1350 as considered by the House (see House bill below). However, whereas the House bill would gradually increase the federal government's share of aid for educating special education students from 18 percent to 40 percent by 2010, this amendment would immediately increase the federal government's share to 40 percent in fiscal 2004 and maintain this level over the next 10 years -- increasing federal IDEA spending by $229 billion over that same period.

[ H.R. 1350 would reauthorize the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act. One of its provisions would authorize increasing federal grants to defray more of the state cost of educating special education students, from the current 18 percent to 40 percent by 2010. Other provisions would allow school personnel to discipline special education students the same as non-disabled students, reduce paperwork requirements for special education teachers, and limit parents’ ability to sue school districts. The Congressional Budget Office estimates that H.R. 1350 would cost $50 billion over the 2004-2009 period. ]

The Senate rejected this amendment on March 26, 2003 by a vote of 28 to 70 (Roll Call 103). We have assigned pluses to the nays because federal aid to education is unconstitutional.



On the Amendment S.Amdt. 278 to S.Con.Res. 23: To make available funds for the COPS program.
Vote Date: March 21, 2003Vote: NAYGood Vote.
COPS (Community Oriented Policing Services) Funding. This proposed amendment to the Senate version of the budget resolution (Senate Concurrent Resolution 23) states: "It is the sense of the Senate that the levels in this resolution assume that an increase of $1,000,000,000 for fiscal year 2004 for the Department of Justice's community oriented policing program will be provided without reduction and consistent with previous appropriated and authorized levels." This amendment was introduced because the president had only requested $164 million for the COPS program for fiscal 2004. Adoption of this amendment would express the sense of the Senate that funding for the COPS program should be continued at the same level as for fiscal years 2002 and 2003, $1 billion per year.

The Senate rejected this amendment on March 21, 2003 by a vote of 48 to 52 (Roll Call 78). We have assigned pluses to the nays because federal aid to local police forces invites federal control and is unconstitutional.



On the Amendment S.Amdt. 260 to S. 3 (Partial-Birth Abortion Ban Act of 2003): To express the sense of the Senate concerning the decision of the Supreme Court in Roe v. Wade.
Vote Date: March 12, 2003Vote: NAYGood Vote.
Roe v. Wade Support. This proposed amendment to the Partial-Birth Abortion Ban (S. 3) states: "It is the sense of the Senate that -- (1) the decision of the Supreme Court in Roe v. Wade (410 U.S. 113 (1973)) was appropriate and secures an important constitutional right; and (2) such a decision should not be overturned." Since this amendment supporting Roe v. Wade was adopted, we have opted to score the vote on this amendment rather than the vote on the resulting, severely compromised, Senate bill to ban partial-birth abortion.

The Senate adopted this amendment on March 12, 2003 by a vote of 52 to 46 (Roll Call 48). We have assigned pluses to the nays because Roe v. Wade should be overturned 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.



On the Resolution of Ratification Treaty Doc. 107-8: The Treaty Between the United States of America and the Russian Federation on Strategic Offensive Reductions, Signed at Moscow on May 24, 2002
Vote Date: March 6, 2003Vote: AYEBad Vote.
Moscow Treaty. This treaty, known as the "Moscow Treaty," would require both the United States and Russia to reduce their respective nuclear stockpiles to between 1,700 and 2,200 warheads by 2012. This treaty is a continuation of the decades-old U.S. program for "general and complete disarmament" originally proposed in the 1961 State Department document Freedom From War. Under that plan, the goal is to disarm all countries, including the U.S., to "a point where no state would have the military power to challenge the progressively strengthened U.N. Peace Force."

The Senate ratified the Moscow Treaty on March 6, 2003 by a vote of 95 to 0 (Roll Call 43). We have assigned minuses to the yeas because the Moscow Treaty is just one more step in a UN disarmament process that would culminate in the complete loss of our national sovereignty.



On the Conference Report H.J.Res. 2: Joint Resolution making consolidated appropriations for the fiscal year ending September 30, 2003, and for other purposes.
Vote Date: February 13, 2003Vote: AYEBad 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 Senate adopted the conference report on H. J. Res. 2 on February 13, 2003 by a vote of 76 to 20 (Roll Call 34). We have assigned pluses to the nays because this bill perpetuates huge amounts of unconstitutional federal spending.



H R 4810: Marriage Tax Penalty Relief Reconciliation Act
Vote Date: September 13, 2000Vote: AYEGood 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, 2000Vote: AYEGood 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 J RES 99: Disapproving the extension of the waiver authority contained in section 402(c) of the Trade Act of 1974 with respect to Vietnam
Vote Date: July 26, 2000Vote: NAYBad Vote.
Disapproval of Normal Trade Relations for Vietnam. This resolution would formally disapprove of the president's decision to grant Communist Vietnam "Normal Trade Relations" (NTR) status and revoke NTR. It is wrong to grant NTR status to Communist Vietnam for the same reasons that it is wrong to grant NTR status to Communist China. "[W]e should put our foot down here today and say dictatorships should not receive this kind of subsidy, especially the dictatorship in Vietnam that has not cooperated in finding our missing in action and POWs," Representative Dana Rohrabacher (R-CA) argued from the House floor.

The House rejected the NTR disapproval measure, House Joint Resolution 99, on July 26, 2000 by a vote of 91-332 (Roll Call 441). We have assigned pluses to the yeas.



H R 4810: Marriage Tax Penalty Relief Reconciliation Act
Vote Date: July 20, 2000Vote: AYEGood 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 4871: On Agreeing to H. Amdt. 1032 to H R 4871
Vote Date: July 20, 2000Vote: AYEGood Vote.
Prohibit BATF from Implementing the Smith & Wesson Gun Sellout. Representative John Hostettler (R-IN) introduced this amendment to "prohibit the Department of Treasury and specifically the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms, or BATF, from using tax-payer dollars to enforce the provisions of a settlement agreement between Smith & Wesson, the Treasury Department and the Department of Housing and Urban Development." Hostettler explained that his amendment to the fiscal 2001 Treasury and Postal appropriations bill was needed because "the BATF will no longer just enforce Federal laws; they will now enforce a private civil agreement. This greatly expands the BATF's scope of power without Congress's approval. Failure to pass this amendment will allow the executive branch to continue to coerce legal industries, in this particular case the gun industry, to enter into these agreements whenever they feel they cannot get their agenda through Congress."

The House rejected the Hostettler amendment to H.R. 4871 on July 20, 2000 by a vote of 204-214 (Roll Call 427). We have assigned pluses to the yeas.



H J RES 103: Disapproving the Extension of the Waiver Authority Contained in Section 402(c) of the Trade Act of 1974 with Respect to the People's Republic of China
Vote Date: July 18, 2000Vote: NAYBad Vote.
China NTR Disapproval. This resolution would formally disapprove of the president's decision to grant Communist China "Normal Trade Relations" (NTR) status and revoke NTR. Representative Dana Rohrabacher (R-CA) explained that "the reason why the American corporate community is insisting on normal trade relations status, which is a specific status, is so that those corporations can receive taxpayer subsidies and loan guarantees so they can close up their factories in the United States and open up factories in China to exploit a near slave labor, where people are not permitted to join unions, and do so at the taxpayers' risk, U.S. taxpayers' risk."

The House rejected this measure, House Joint Resolution 103, on July 18, 2000 by a vote of 147-281 (Roll Call 405). We have assigned pluses to the yeas.



H R 4811: Foreign Operations Appropriations for FY 2001
Vote Date: July 13, 2000Vote: AYEBad 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 4461: Agriculture and Rural Development Appropriations for FY 2001
Vote Date: July 11, 2000Vote: AYEBad Vote.
Fiscal 2001 Agricultural Appropriations. This massive $75.4 billion bill would fund federal agricultural subsidy programs -- as well as the federal Food Stamp program, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, and several other programs -- throughout fiscal 2001. Although this bill represents about a 10 percent cut from fiscal 2000, none of the programs funded by this bill are authorized by the U.S. Constitution.

The House passed this bill, H.R. 4461, on July 11, 2000 by a vote of 339-82 (Roll Call 385). We have assigned pluses to the nays.



H R 4461: On Agreeing to H. Amdt. 962 to H R 4461
Vote Date: July 10, 2000Vote: NONE No Vote.
Ban on FDA Approval of Abortion Pill. "What this amendment would do," explained Representative Tom Coburn (R-OK), the amendment's author, "is it would limit the expenditure of Federal funds by the Food and Drug Administration in their efforts to approve drugs whose sole purpose is to terminate life, to take the life of an unborn child." More specifically, the amendment would prohibit the U.S. Food and Drug Administration from using funds in the underlying fiscal 2001 agricultural appropriations bill to test or approve for use the abortion pill RU-486, also known as mifepristone.

The House rejected the Coburn amendment to H.R. 4461 on July 10, 2000 by a vote of 182-187 (Roll Call 373). We have assigned pluses to the yeas.



H R 1304: On Agreeing to H. Amdt. 954 to H R 1304
Vote Date: June 30, 2000Vote: AYEGood 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 4690: On Agreeing to H. Amdt. 911 to H R 4690
Vote Date: June 26, 2000Vote: NONE No Vote.
Prohibit Chinese Propaganda Ministry Land Purchase Overlooking Pentagon. Representative David Vitter (R-LA) offered this amendment to prohibit State Department funds in the fiscal 2001 Commerce, Justice, and State appropriations bill from being used to approve the purchase of land overlooking the Pentagon by the Chinese government's Xinhua News Agency. Vitter explained that in "a number of publicized spy scandals intelligence officers used Xinhua to provide operations cover...." According to Vitter, allowing the Chinese government through its Xinhua propaganda agency to occupy the "Pentagon Ridge Apartments will allow Chinese intelligence operatives to gather information using a variety of means. These include direct observation via telescope of documents being viewed in outside offices, the collection of electronic impulses emanated by computer screens in the building and the use of laser microphones to eavesdrop on conversations."

The House adopted the Vitter amendment to H.R. 4690 on June 26, 2000 by a vote of 367-34 (Roll Call 325). We have assigned pluses to the yeas.



H R 4635: On Agreeing to H. Amdt. 863 to H R 4635
Vote Date: June 21, 2000Vote: AYEGood Vote.
Prohibit HUD from Implementing the Smith & Wesson Gun Sellout. Representative John Hostettler (R-IN) offered this amendment to block the unconstitutional assault by the Clinton administration's Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) on the right to keep and bear arms. HUD's March 2000 agreement with firearms manufacturer Smith & Wesson would give federal preferences to firearms manufacturers who back Clinton administration gun control measures, and infringes upon the Second Amendment as well as upon Congress' exclusive authority to pass legislation under the U.S. Constitution. Representative Hostettler argued for the adoption of his amendment because "we should not allow HUD to legislate through litigation."

The Hostettler amendment was rejected by the House on June 21, 2000 by a vote of 206-219 (Roll Call 308). We have assigned pluses to the yeas.



H J RES 90: Withdrawing the Approval of the United States from the Agreement Establishing the World Trade Organization
Vote Date: June 21, 2000Vote: NAYBad Vote.
WTO Withdrawal. Representative Ron Paul (R-TX) offered this resolution to withdraw the United States from the World Trade Organization. Paul explained that U.S. membership in the WTO "is an unconstitutional approach to managing trade. We cannot transfer the power to manage trade from the Congress to anyone. The Constitution is explicit. 'Congress shall have the power to regulate foreign commerce.' We cannot transfer that authority. Transferring that authority to the WTO is like the President transferring his authority as Commander in Chief to the Speaker of the House."

The House rejected Paul's House Joint Resolution 90 on June 21, 2000 by a vote of 56-363 (Roll Call 310). We have assigned pluses to the yeas.



H R 4578: On Agreeing to H. Amdt. 814 to H R 4578
Vote Date: June 15, 2000Vote: AYEGood Vote.
Ban New National Monuments. This amendment by Representative James Hansen (R-UT) would ban the use of funds for the implementation of "National Monuments" designated by the president since 1999. President Clinton has used a loophole in the 1906 Antiquities Act to lock up millions of acres of land from human usage. Representative Don Young (R-AK) explained that "this President is using this act ... to designate and to dictate the use of lands. Under the Constitution, it says only the Congress shall have that responsibility.... I swore to uphold the Constitution of the United States of America. Yet, we sit in this body and allow this act to be misused by this administration and say, oh, it is to protect those lands.... This is against the Constitution. He is not protecting what should be protected. He, in fact, is running this as a fiefdom and a kingdom."

The House rejected the Hansen amendment to H.R. 4578 on June 15, 2000 by a vote of 187-234 (Roll Call 280). 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, 2000Vote: AYEBad 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 4577: On Agreeing to H.Amdt. 79 to H R 4577
Vote Date: June 13, 2000Vote: AYEGood Vote.
Decrease Growth in Welfare Spending. This amendment by Representative C.W. Bill Young (R-FL) would cut discretionary spending in the mammoth $351.8 billion fiscal 2001 Labor/HHS/Education appropriations bill by $500 million. With such a cut, total spending in this bill would still rise by over $23 billion as compared to fiscal 2000.

The House rejected the Young amendment on June 13, 2000 by a vote of 186-236 (Roll Call 269). We have assigned pluses to the yeas.



H R 8: Death Tax Elimination Act
Vote Date: June 9, 2000Vote: AYEGood 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, 2000Vote: NAYGood 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, 2000Vote: AYEBad 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 4392: On Agreeing to H. Amdt. 738 to H R 4392
Vote Date: May 23, 2000Vote: NAYBad Vote.
Disclose Intelligence Spending to Congress. Representative Tim Roemer (D-IN) offered this amendment to require the CIA director to submit an unclassified report every year to Congress on total spending on intelligence operations. Roemer explained that his amendment was moderate in that it did not require "individual reports, not individual line items, like we do in the Defense Department budget.... We are not calling for any of that in this budget; simply for an aggregate level." In recent years, CIA directors have revealed the figure to be $27 to $28 billion.

The House rejected the Roemer amendment to H.R. 4392 on May 23, 2000 by a vote of 175-225 (Roll Call 214). We have assigned pluses to the yeas.



H R 4205: On Agreeing to H. Amdt. 725 to H R 4205
Vote Date: May 18, 2000Vote: NAYGood Vote.
Vieques Island Transfer. Ike Skelton (D-MO) offered this amendment supporting the agreement negotiated with Puerto Rico by President Clinton regarding ownership of Vieques Island. The Skelton amendment would allow the Navy to transfer land on the western end of the island of Vieques to Puerto Rico and would provide $40 million in assistance to the Puerto Rican government. The residents of Vieques would hold a referendum within the next two years to determine if the Navy may remain on the eastern end of the island, where the Navy conducts live ammunition training. If the people of Vieques vote the Navy out, the Navy would be required to vacate by May 2003. If permitted to stay, the federal government would provide an additional $50 million in assistance.

Originally, the push to get the U.S. Navy off of Vieques came from Puerto Rican FALN terrorists, their Cuban sponsors, and other radicals of the extreme left who seek to subvert America. If the Navy can no longer conduct live fire exercises on Vieques, there are no other alternatives on the East Coast for amphibious live fire exercises. Also troubling would be the dangerous precedent of allowing people near the 33 major U.S. live-fire sites to determine by referendum how the military trains.

The Skelton amendment to H.R. 4205 allowing this transfer and future referendum was passed by the House on May 18, 2000 by a vote of 218-201 (Roll Call 202). We have assigned pluses to the nays.



H R 4205: On Agreeing to H. Amdt.722 to H R 4205
Vote Date: May 18, 2000Vote: NAYGood Vote.
Abortions on Military Bases. This amendment to the fiscal 2001 Defense authorization bill offered by Representative Loretta Sanchez (D-CA) would permit abortions on military bases for service members and their dependents stationed abroad. Under the amendment, those seeking abortions on bases would have to use -private funds to pay for the procedure. Yet, as Representative Henry Hyde (R-IL) pointed out in floor debate, "Taxpayers' funds are expended when military facilities are used and there is no constitutional right to that...."

The Sanchez amendment to H.R. 4205 was rejected by the House on May 18, 2000 by a vote of 195-221 (Roll Call 203). We have assigned pluses to the nays.



H R 853: On Agreeing to H. Amdt. 709 to H R 853
Vote Date: May 16, 2000Vote: AYEBad Vote.
Automatic Funding of the Welfare State. Representative George Gekas (R-PA) offered this dangerous amendment to automatically renew funding for any of the regular 13 appropriations bills at the previous year's spending level if they are not en-acted into law by the new fiscal year. According to Representative Jim Walsh (R-NY), under the amendment, Congress would "yield more power to the President by putting the government out on automatic pilot."

Amendment supporter Representative Dana Rohrabacher (R-CA) candidly admitted that the amendment signified that "it is time for us to give up" in the battle with the president over government shutdowns. Rohrabacher said that the president's use of government shutdowns amounted to a budgetary "doom's day strategy." Ignoring the fact that it is the constitutional duty of Congress to control federal purse strings, Rohrabacher urged passage of the measure as a way to fight that strategy. "It is time to repeal for all time the threat of a government shutdown," quipped Rohrabacher.

The Gekas amendment to H.R. 853 was rejected by the House on May 16, 2000 by a vote of 173-236 (Roll Call 187). We have assigned pluses to the nays.



H R 701: On Agreeing to H. Amdt. 69 to H R 701
Vote Date: May 11, 2000Vote: AYEGood Vote.
Landgrabs Prevention. This amendment by Representative Michael Simpson (R-ID) to the land conservation bill would prevent funds from the bill from being used to acquire more federal land in states where 50 percent or more of the land is already owned by the federal government, unless the state approves of the acquisition. The states that presently would be affected by this amendment are Alaska, Oregon, Idaho, Utah, and Nevada.

The Simpson amendment to H.R. 701 was rejected on May 11, 2000 by a vote of 157-266 (Roll Call 171). We have assigned pluses to the yeas.



H R 701: Conservation and Reinvestment Act
Vote Date: May 11, 2000Vote: NAYGood Vote.
Money for Landgrabs. This bill, the Conservation and Restoration Act (CARA), is, in the words of one of its chief sponsors, Representative George Miller (D-CA), "the largest environmental bill for the conservation of American resources in the past 36 years." The bill would require the Treasury Department to set aside up to $2.8 billion per year in royalties from oil and gas drilling on federal lands in a conservation fund to be used to purchase lands deemed environmentally sensitive and for other conservation purposes. Additionally, the use of the money in the fund would not be subject to annual appropriation votes by Congress.

The CARA, H.R. 701, passed the House on May 11, 2000 by a vote of 315-102 (Roll Call 179). We have assigned pluses to the nays.



H R 701: On Agreeing to H. Amdt. 688 to H R 701
Vote Date: May 10, 2000Vote: AYEGood Vote.
Defunding Landgrabs. Representative Helen Chenoweth-Hage (R-ID) offered this amendment to the land conservation bill to prohibit funds in the bill from being used to establish or maintain any of President Clinton's national monument designations made after 1995. Mr. Clinton has established a series of these monuments through executive orders, thereby placing, without congressional -approval, huge tracts of land off-limits to development. Chenoweth-Hage called such federal landgrabs "America's new Trail of Tears," a reference to the federal government driving the Cherokee Indians off their land in the early 1800s.

The Chenoweth-Hage amendment to H.R. 701 was rejected on May 10, 2000 by a vote of 160-265 (Roll Call 164). We have assigned pluses to the yeas.



H R 4055: IDEA Full Funding Act
Vote Date: May 3, 2000Vote: AYEBad Vote.
Funding for Disabilities Education. Passage of this bill would provide increased funding for education of children with disabilities under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act. The bill would increase funding to 40 percent of the cost of educating such children and authorize an additional $2 billion a year for 10 years.

The bill, H.R. 4055, passed the House on May 3, 2000 by a vote of 421-3 (Roll Call 140). We have assigned pluses to the nays.



H R 4199: Date Certain Tax Code Replacement Act
Vote Date: April 13, 2000Vote: AYEGood Vote.
Tax Code Abolishment. This bill would abolish the tax code, excepting Social Security and Medicare provisions, by December 31, 2004. The bill recommends that Congress provide a replacement tax code by July 4, 2004. Representative John Linder (R-GA), who argued for the abolition of the tax code on the House floor, pointed out: "if we had sat down at the beginning ... and asked ourselves how could we build a tax system that would punish people for earning and working hard, a system that would be obstructive of capital formation, we could not have done a better job."

The bill to abolish the tax code, H.R. 4199, passed on April 13, 2000 by a vote of 229-187 (Roll Call 127). We have assigned pluses to the yeas.



H R 3615: Rural Local Broadcast Signal Act
Vote Date: April 13, 2000Vote: AYEBad Vote.
Television for "Underserved" Areas. As a way of providing local television to 30 million households in areas of the country that cannot receive over-the-air signals or do not have local television through a satellite provider, this bill would create a new program that would provide $1.25 billion in loan guarantees to telecommunication providers. The loans would offer a competitive edge to satellite providers since cable companies cannot apply for the loans to expand their service. The loans would be administered by the Department of Agriculture's Rural Utilities Service. Representative Christopher Cox (R-CA) in floor debate asserted that the Rural Utilities Service is "writing off billions of dollars in their existing loan portfolio left and right, at taxpayer expense, and … about 30 to 40 percent of the loans that are going to get made under this program are likely to be written off. So one can look at the cost of this program [and see that] right up front [it] is about $400 million."

The bill to fund rural television, H.R. 3615, passed the House on April 13, 2000 by a vote of 375-37 (Roll Call 128). We have assigned pluses to the nays.



H R 1776: American Homeownership and Economic Opportunity Act
Vote Date: April 6, 2000Vote: AYEBad Vote.
HUD Expansion. In an effort to increase the reach of the Department of Housing and Urban Development, this bill would authorize $1.65 billion for the agency's HOME program and $4.9 billion for the Community Development Block Grant program. Both programs make money available to local governments for subsidized housing projects. Additionally, teachers, police officers, fire fighters, and other municipal workers would be given extra help and incentives for home ownership. Disabled recipients of rent-subsidies could receive grants instead of monthly allotments for down-payments. Also included in the bill is an amendment that allows religious organizations to compete for Community Development Block Grants, as long as the religious organizations comply with the mandate that they do not discriminate against participants based on religious affiliation or lack thereof.

The bill, H.R. 1776, passed the House on April 6, 2000 by a vote of 417-8 (Roll Call 110). We have assigned pluses to the nays.



H R 3660: Partial-Birth Abortion Ban Act of 2000
Vote Date: April 5, 2000Vote: AYEGood 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 2418: On Agreeing to H. Amdt. 648 to H R 2418
Vote Date: April 4, 2000Vote: NAYGood Vote.
Organ Transplant Federalism. This amendment, according to its sponsor, Representative Bill Luther (D-MN), would prohibit "State and local laws from interfering with the allocation policies of the National Organ Transplant Network." The National Organ Transplant Network was created in 1984 by Congress as a national system for organ allocation. The amendment is an attempt to counteract laws enacted by states that have worked especially hard to encourage organ donation. These states want to make sure that their citizens benefit from that hard work instead of losing organs to states with less successful programs.

Luther's Organ Procurement Amendment to H.R. 2418 was rejected by the House on April 4, 2000 by a vote of 137-284 (Roll Call 100). We have assigned pluses to the nays.



H R 3908: On Agreeing to H. Amdt. 642 to H R 3908
Vote Date: March 30, 2000Vote: NAYBad Vote.
DEA Funding Cuts. Representative Ron Paul (R-TX) offered this amendment to the fiscal 2000 supplemental appropriations bill. It called for a $293 million cut in Drug Enforcement Administration funding, a $186 million cut in funding for drug-fighting by the Defense Department, and another $1.1 billion cut in economic aid to Colombia. The amendment also would halt funding for military construction outside the U.S. and would end funding for military operations in Kosovo and East Timor, unless the funds were used to bring the troops home. In floor debate, Paul described his amendment as dealing with a "monster" of "careless foreign military interventionism."

The Paul amendment to H.R. 3908 was rejected by the House on March 30, 2000 by a vote of 45-367 (Roll Call 92). We have assigned pluses to the yeas.



H R 3908: Making Emergency Supplemental Appropriations for F.Y. 2000
Vote Date: March 30, 2000Vote: AYEBad 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 CON RES 290: On Agreeing to H. Amdt. 610 to H CON RES 290
Vote Date: March 23, 2000Vote: NAYGood Vote.
2001 Budget by Congressional Progressive Caucus. A substitute budget amendment proposed by Representative Peter DeFazio (D-OR) on behalf of the socialist coalition called the Congressional Progressive Caucus (see "Totally Radical!" in our March 29, 1999 issue for a review of this coalition) would have cut defense spending while increasing spending for education, health care, and veterans.

The DeFazio substitute to House Concurrent Resolution 290 was rejected by the House on March 23, 2000 by a vote of 61-351 (Roll Call 71). We have assigned pluses to the nays.



H CON RES 290: On Agreeing to H. Amdt. 612 to H CON RES 290
Vote Date: March 23, 2000Vote: NAYBad Vote.
2001 Budget by Conservative -Action Team. Representative John Sununu (R-NH) proposed this substitute budget amendment on behalf of the Conservative Action Team. This amendment would freeze non-defense discretionary spending, increase defense spending, and provide for $270 billion in tax cuts.

The Sununu substitute to House Concurrent Resolution 290 was rejected by the House on March 23, 2000 by a vote of 78-339 (Roll Call 73). We have assigned pluses to the yeas.



H R 3843: Small Business Authorization Act
Vote Date: March 15, 2000Vote: AYEBad Vote.
Small Business Administration Reauthorization. This legislation would reauthorize programs and funding levels for the Small Business Administration through fiscal year 2003. This corporate welfare program would be authorized to guarantee $77.3 billion in business loans (and to make direct loans) over a three-year period. The Congressional Budget Office estimates that enacting this legislation would result in $3.5 billion in new discretionary spending by 2005.

The Small Business Administration reauthorization, H.R. 3843, passed the House on March 15, 2000 by a vote of 410-11 (Roll Call 49). We have assigned pluses to the nays.



H R 3081: Wage and Employment Growth Act
Vote Date: March 9, 2000Vote: AYEGood 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 3846: To Amend the Fair Labor Standards Act of 1938 to Increase the Minimum Wage, and for other purposes
Vote Date: March 9, 2000Vote: NAYGood Vote.
Minimum Wage Increase. This bill raises the minimum wage by one dollar to $6.15 per hour over a period of two years. Exceptions are made for computer professionals, certain sales people, and funeral directors. Representative Tom Tancredo (R-CO) warned that, through this legislation, "we are trying to be the unseen hand in the market. We have made this assumption about the fact that we know exactly how to adjust the marketplace between the employer and employee."

The minimum wage increase, H.R. 3846, passed the House on March 9, 2000 by a vote of 282-143 (Roll Call 45). We have assigned pluses to the nays.



H R 6: Marriage Tax Penalty Relief Act of 2000
Vote Date: February 10, 2000Vote: AYEGood 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, 1999Vote: AYEBad 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 Clinton’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, 1999Vote: AYEBad 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 2: On Agreeing to the Amendment 3 to H R 2
Vote Date: October 21, 1999Vote: AYEBad Vote.
New Federal Education Subsidy. Republican Majority Leader Richard Armey, the author of this proposal, had to ignore one of his own "axioms" in order to introduce this measure: "No one spends someone else's money as wisely as he spends his own."

Armey's proposal would establish a new $100 million per year federally funded grant program administered by the states for educational choice scholarships. The program would last five years and give parents of primary grade school children $3,500 toward placing their children in the public or private school of their choice -- but only if the governor of the state declared their public school an "academic emergency" through a series of criteria laid out in Armey's amendment. The states would also have to report to the Secretary of Education on the progress of the federal scholarships that they distribute under their political control.

The measure, an amendment to H.R. 2, was rejected by the House on October 21, 1999 by a vote of 166-257 (Roll Call 521). We have assigned pluses to the nays.



H R 2: Student Results Act
Vote Date: October 21, 1999Vote: AYEBad Vote.
Federal Education Grants. This legislation would fund Title I spending -- which dispenses grants to primary and secondary schools -- to the tune of $9.9 billion. This represents a 28 percent increase over fiscal 1999! Representative Ron Paul (R-TX) explained that, "like most federal programs, Title I was launched with the best of intentions, however, good intentions are no excuse for Congress to exceed its constitutional limitations by depriving parents, local communities and states of their rightful authority over education. The Tenth Amendment does not contain an exception for 'good intentions'!"

The bill, H.R. 2, passed the House on October 21, 1999 by a vote of 358-67 (Roll Call 526). We have assigned pluses to the nays.



H R 2723: Bipartisan Consensus Managed Care Improvement Act
Vote Date: October 7, 1999Vote: NAYGood 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 1906: Agriculture, Rural Development, Food and Drug Administration, and Related Agencies Appropriations, FY 2000
Vote Date: October 1, 1999Vote: AYEBad Vote.
Agricultural Appropriations. This measure would appropriate $69 billion for agricultural programs, food stamps, and foreign aid programs for fiscal year 2000. The legislation represents an irresponsible 11 percent increase in spending over fiscal 1999.

The final version of the agricultural appropriations bill, H.R. 1906, passed the House on October 1, 1999 by a vote of 240-175 (Roll Call 469). We have assigned pluses to the nays.



H R 417: On Agreeing to the Amendment 11 to H R 417
Vote Date: September 14, 1999Vote: NAYBad Vote.
Doolittle Campaign Finance. Representative John Doolittle (R-CA) took aim at campaign finance reform with a proposal to repeal all federal campaign contribution limits and require immediate public disclosure of all federal campaign contributions. "I support the Doolittle reforms," explained Representative John Peterson (R-PA), "because they are in the American tradition. They truly 'do little' when it comes to restricting First Amendment rights. They remove restrictions on most campaign giving and spending, and thus remove the restrictions to free speech. At the same time, they require immediate and full reporting of all contributions."

Rep. Doolittle's proposal, a substitute amendment to the Shays-Meehan "reform" bill (see text below), was rejected by the House on September 14, 1999 by a vote of 117-306 (Roll Call 419). We have assigned pluses to the yeas.


[ 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." ]



H R 417: Bipartisan Campaign Finance Reform Act
Vote Date: September 14, 1999Vote: NAYGood 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, 1999Vote: AYEGood 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, 1999Vote: AYEGood 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: On Agreeing to the Amendment 21 to H R 2606
Vote Date: August 3, 1999Vote: AYEGood Vote.
International Population Control. Contained within this year's foreign aid appropriations bill are some $385 million intended to fund international population control programs. Representative Ron Paul (R-TX) proposed to eliminate this spending, explaining that "the question really is this: Should the American taxpayer be required to pay for birth control pills, IUDs, Depo-Provera, Norplant, condom distribution, as well as abortion in foreign countries?"

Rep. Paul's proposal, an amendment to H.R. 2606, was rejected by the House on August 3, 1999 by a vote of 145-272 (Roll Call 360). We have assigned pluses to the yeas.



H R 2606: On Agreeing to the Amendment 23 to H R 2606
Vote Date: August 3, 1999Vote: NAYBad Vote.
Corporate Welfare. A measure proposed by Representative Ron Paul (R-TX) would prohibit federal funding of three corporate export subsidy programs: The Export-Import Bank, the Overseas Private Investment Corporation, and the Trade and Development Agency.

The Export-Import Bank alone has approximately $6 billion in outstanding subsidies sunk into Communist China, and Rep. Paul noted that "67 percent of all the funding of the Export-Import Bank goes to, not a large number of companies, [but] to five companies.... We give them the money. But where do the goods go? Do the goods go to the American taxpayers? No. They get all of the liabilities. The subsidies help the Chinese."

Hypocritically, several representatives who had supported Normal Trade Relations (MFN) for China (Vote #26) on the basis of "free trade" opposed the Paul amendment. To that opposition, Paul exclaimed, "please do not call it free trade anymore. Call it managed trade. Call it subsidized trade. Call it special interest trade."

Rep. Paul's proposal, an amendment to H.R. 2606, was rejected by the House on August 3, 1999 by a vote of 58-360 (Roll Call 361). We have assigned pluses to the yeas.



H R 2606: Foreign Operations Appropriations Act, FY 2000
Vote Date: August 3, 1999Vote: AYEBad 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 R 2606: On Agreeing to the Amendment 6 to H R 2606
Vote Date: July 29, 1999Vote: NAYBad Vote.
Slight Foreign Aid Cut. Proposed by Representative Tom Campbell (R-CA), this measure would cut a paltry $50 million from the foreign aid budget reserved for Israel (a $30 million cut) and Egypt (a $20 million cut). The cut would be a total reduction of about 1 percent in the funds allotted to both nations under the foreign aid bill. Any real end to wasteful foreign aid giveaways must begin with cuts in aid to the largest recipients, and Egypt and Israel's combined $4.7 billion in economic and military assistance account for 37 percent of all U.S. foreign aid spending.

Rep. Campbell's proposal, an amendment to the foreign aid bill (H.R. 2606), was rejected by the House on July 29, 1999 by a vote of 13-414 (Roll Call 351). We have assigned pluses to the yeas.



H J RES 57: Disapprove Normal Trade Relations with China
Vote Date: July 27, 1999Vote: NAYBad 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 2415: On Agreeing to H. Amdt. 306 to H R 2415
Vote Date: July 20, 1999Vote: NAYBad Vote.
De-funding the United Nations. Representative Ron Paul (R-TX), proposed a measure that would eliminate all funding for the United Nations from the State Department Reauthorization bill, H.R. 2415. Rep. Paul explained that "this does not get us out of the United Nations. It is a step in that direction, obviously." A necessary step because this year alone the the United Nations has called for confiscation of nearly all civilian-owned firearms, global taxation without representation, a world central bank, world financial controls with a redistributive mechanism, an unlimited ability to intervene in a nation's internal affairs, and a global criminal court without the habeas corpus guarantee and other rights Americans are accustomed to in our courts.

Rep. Paul's proposal, an amendment to H.R. 2415, was rejected by the House on July 20, 1999 by a vote of 74-342 (Roll Call 314). We have assigned pluses to the yeas.



H R 1995: On Agreeing to H. Amdt. 321 to H R 1995
Vote Date: July 20, 1999Vote: NAYGood Vote.
Federal Funding for Teachers. In deliberations on this year's $2 billion per year federal teacher hiring grants program, Representative Matthew Martinez (D-CA) proposed to increase funding for President Clinton's initiative to hire 100,000 new teachers using federal dollars. The Martinez measure would increase spending under the pending bill in fiscal 2000 to $3 billion, and continue increasing spending until it reaches $6 billion annually in 2005.

Rep. Martinez's proposal, a substitute for H.R. 1995, was rejected by the House on July 20, 1999 by a vote of 207-217 (Roll Call 319). We have assigned pluses to the nays.



H R 2490: On Agreeing to H. Amdt. 286 to H R 2490
Vote Date: July 15, 1999Vote: NAYGood Vote.
Subsidizing Abortions. Representative Rosa DeLauro (D-CT) proposed a measure that would allow abortions to be included as medical expenses in the health care coverage the federal government subsidizes for its employees. Representative Curt Weldon (R-PA), opposing DeLauro's proposal, explained that "the unborn baby in the womb is not a potential life. It meets all of the criteria of a life, the criteria that I used to use as a practicing physician to determine whether somebody is alive or dead: a beating heart, active brain waves."

Rep. DeLauro's proposal, an amendment to H.R. 2490, was rejected by the House on July 15, 1999 by a vote of 188-230 (Roll Call 301). We have assigned pluses to nays.



H R 2466: On Agreeing to H. Amdt. 273 to H R 2466
Vote Date: July 14, 1999Vote: AYEGood Vote.
National Endowment for the Arts. The National Endowment for the Arts currently consumes some 98 million taxpayer dollars annually. A measure proposed by Representative Cliff Stearns (R-FL) would take a small, 2.5 percent bite totaling $2.1 million out of that budget. Rep. Stearns noted that the Founding Fathers did not give the federal government the power under the U.S. Constitution to fund arts programs. "During the Constitutional Convention, Charles Pinckney of South Carolina offered a motion to authorize and 'establish seminaries for the promotion of literature and the arts and sciences.' The motion was overwhelmingly defeated because the framers of our Constitution did not want the federal government to promote the arts with federal funds."

Rep. Stearns measure, an amendment to H.R. 2466, was rejected by the House on July 14, 1999 by a vote of 124-300 (Roll Call 287). We have assigned pluses to the yeas.



H R 1658: Civil Asset Forfeiture Reform Act
Vote Date: June 24, 1999Vote: AYEGood Vote.
Civil Forfeiture Reform. Under "civil forfeiture," the government seizes property which officials believe is used in the commission of a crime, oftentimes without the property owner being charged with a crime. Existing federal civil forfeiture law makes clear that property owners must bear the burden of proof that their property was not used in the commission of a crime. A measure, introduced by Representative Henry Hyde (R-IL), would curb excesses in federal civil forfeiture takings of property. The Hyde legislation would reverse the burden of proof and require of the government "clear and convincing evidence" that the property was used in the commission of a crime. It also contains an "innocent owner defense" for property owners who were unaware that their property was being used in the commission of crimes.

Rep. Hyde's measure, H.R. 1658, passed the House on June 24, 1999 by a vote of 375-48 (Roll Call 255). We have assigned pluses to the yeas.



H J RES 33: Constitutional Amendment to Prohibit the Physical Desecration of the United States Flag
Vote Date: June 24, 1999Vote: AYEBad Vote.
Flag Burning Amendment, House Joint Resolution 33. This measure proposes an amendment to the Constitution stating that "the Congress shall have power to prohibit the physical desecration of the flag of the United States." Representative Charles Canady (R-FL) argued that such an amendment is needed "because the Supreme Court, in its mistaken interpretation of the First Amendment, stripped our flag of the protection to which it is entitled." He is mistaken, however. If Congress truly wishes to rein in the Supreme Court with regard to flag burning and myriad other issues, it can simply exercise its constitutional power to limit the Court's appellate jurisdiction (Article III, Section 2). The House adopted this measure on June 24, 1999 by a vote of 305 to 124 (Congressional Record, pages H4843-44, roll call 252; we have assigned pluses to the nays).



H R 2122: Mandatory Gun Show Background Check Act
Vote Date: June 18, 1999Vote: AYEBad 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 1501: On Agreeing to the Amendment 26 to H R 1501
Vote Date: June 17, 1999Vote: AYEGood Vote.
Freedom of Religion, Amendment to H.R. 1501. The ACLU and similar groups have long crusaded to force the removal of all aspects of religious expression from public grounds under the pretense that such expression violates the First Amendment. This amendment to H.R. 1501, offered by Representative Robert Aderholt (R-AL), takes issue with that notion. The amendment states that "the power to display the Ten Commandments" on public property is "declared to be among the powers reserved to the states...." It also declares that individual religious expression on public grounds is "among the rights secured against laws respecting an establishment of religion or prohibiting the free exercise of religion" and "among the liberties which no state shall deprive any person without due process of law...." Moreover: "The courts constituted, ordained, and established by the Congress shall exercise the judicial power in a manner consistent with the foregoing declarations." The House adopted the amendment on June 17, 1999 by a vote of 248 to 180 (Congressional Record, pages H4486-87, roll call 221; we have assigned pluses to the yeas).



H R 1401: On Agreeing to the Amendment 9 to H R 1401
Vote Date: June 9, 1999Vote: AYEGood Vote.
No Military Exchanges or Joint Training With the Red Chinese Army, Amendment to H.R. 1401. Representative Tom DeLay (R-TX) offered this amendment to the Defense authorization bill to "bar the United States from training the Communist Chinese military." Stressing the need for such a measure, DeLay noted that "President Clinton jump-started American cooperation with the PLA [People's Liberation Army] soon after taking office in 1993. The imbalance in these so-called exchanges is extreme and predictably benefits the PRC [People's Republic of China]." These exchanges have not tapered off since the Chinese nuclear espionage revelations. "Just this year," continued DeLay, "more than 80 cooperative military contacts were planned between the U.S. and Red China." The House adopted the amendment on June 9, 1999 by a vote of 284 to 143 (Congressional Record, page H3995, roll call 182; we have assigned pluses to the yeas).



H R 1401: On Agreeing to the Amendment 11 to H R 1401
Vote Date: June 9, 1999Vote: NAYGood Vote.
Permitting Abortions in Military Hospitals Overseas, Amendment to H.R. 1401. Representative Carrie Meek (D-FL) offered this amendment to repeal "the statutory prohibition on privately funded abortions in overseas military facilities...." However, those overseas facilities are taxpayer funded. If abortions are allowed there, those facilities would become, noted Representative Henry Hyde (R-IL), "not a place for healing, but an abortion mill, an abortion clinic." The House rejected the amendment on June 9, 1999 by a vote of 203 to 225 (Congressional Record, page H3996, roll call 184; 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, 1999Vote: AYEGood 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, 1999Vote: AYEBad 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, 1999Vote: AYEGood 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, 1999Vote: AYEGood 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).



H CON RES 82: Directing the President, pursuant to section 5(c) of the War Powers Resolution, to remove U.S. Armed Forces from their positions in connection with the present operations against the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia
Vote Date: April 28, 1999Vote: NAYBad Vote.
Removal of U.S. Troops From the Kosovo Conflict, House Concurrent Resolution 82. This measure would direct the removal of the U.S. military from the conflict in Yugoslavia, ending our offensive operations against that nation. Representative Ron Paul (R-TX) noted: "The Serbs have done nothing to us, and we should not be over there perpetuating a war." The House rejected the measure (thereby acquiescing to President Clinton's offensive against Yugoslavia while later hypocritically voting against a declaration of war) on April 28, 1999 by a vote of 139 to 290 (Congressional Record, page H2427, roll call 101; 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, 1999Vote: NAYGood 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 1141: Emergency Supplemental Appropriations for FY 1999
Vote Date: March 24, 1999Vote: NAYGood Vote.
Increasing Foreign Aid Expenditures, Amendment to H.R. 1141.

Representative David Obey (D-WI) offered this amendment to the fiscal 1999 supplemental appropriations bill to reinstate a smorgasbord of foreign aid appropriations that the bill would rescind in order to offset new spending. The Obey amendment would restore $853 million in spending, including: $648 million for multilateral development banks (like the World Bank); $150 million to purchase fissile materials (plutonium) from Russia to keep the Russians from building nuclear weapons; $30 million for the "Food for Peace" program; and $25 million for the Export-Import Bank. The House rejected the amendment on March 24, 1999 by a vote of 201 to 228 (Congressional Record, pages H1644-45, roll call 68; we have assigned pluses to the nays).



H R 4: National Missile Defense System
Vote Date: March 18, 1999Vote: AYEGood 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, 1999Vote: NAYGood 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).



H R 669: Peace Corps Authorizations FY2000-FY2003
Vote Date: March 3, 1999Vote: AYEBad Vote.
Peace Corps Authorization and Expansion, H.R. 669. This bill would authorize $1.3 billion for the Peace Corps through fiscal 2003 -- including $270 million in fiscal 2000, an increase of $29 million over the current level. The new funding would allow for an expansion in the number of Peace Corps volunteers from the current level of 6,700 to 10,000 by 2003. The House passed the bill on March 3, 1999 by a vote of 326 to 90 (Congressional Record, page H913, roll call 31; we have assigned pluses to the nays).



H R 193: Sudbury, Assabet, and Concord Wild and Scenic River Act
Vote Date: February 23, 1999Vote: AYEBad Vote.
Designating the Sudbury, Assabet, and Concord as Wild and Scenic Rivers, H.R. 193.
This bill would designate a combined total of 29 miles of three rivers in Massachusetts as Wild and Scenic under the Wild and Scenic Rivers Act of 1968. Although the bill would prevent the federal government from actually acquiring title or easements for any of the land adjacent to the sections of river in question, through a loophole the government could still acquire such land or easements "under other laws for other purposes." The House passed the bill on February 23, 1999 by a vote of 395 to 22 (Congressional Record, page H679, roll call 23; we have assigned pluses to the nays).



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