Stimulus, Air Travel in spotlight

Posted Feb. 20, 2009, at 7:03 p.m.

HOW THEY VOTED: MAINE’S CONGRESSIONAL DELEGATION, FEB. 13-19, 2009

House votes

Democratic Reps. Mike Michaud and Chellie Pingree

Vote 1: National Stalking Awareness Month

The House approved a resolution (HR 82) sponsored by Rep. Ted Poe, D-Texas, to raise awareness and encourage prevention of stalking by establishing January 2009 as National Stalking Awareness Month. Supporters said the measure would help educate Americans about the severity of stalking and encourage victims to report such crime to the police. The vote, on Feb. 3, was 417 yeas to 0 nays.

YEAS: Michaud, Pingree

Vote 2: National Teen Dating Violence Awareness and Prevention Week

The House suspended the rules and approved a resolution (HR 103) sponsored by Rep. John Lewis, D-Ga., to support the National Teen Dating Violence Awareness and Prevention Week. Supporters said the measure would encourage parents to engage their children about dating violence and abusive relationships, citing a poll showing parents often are not aware that their children are in relationships, most especially abusive ones. The vote, on Feb. 3, was 419 yeas to 0 nays.

YEAS: Michaud, Pingree

Vote 3: Fast Redress Act:

The House passed the Fair, Accurate, Secure and Timely Redress Act (HR 559) sponsored by Rep. Yvette D. Clarke, D-N.Y., to amend the Homeland Security Act of 2002 to create a process of appeal and redress for people denied certain rights and privileges in commercial air travel after being wrongly identified as a threat when com-pared to terrorist watch lists. The bill also established a “Comprehensive Cleared” list to recognize misidentified individuals who were subsequently cleared of suspicion. Supporters said that the measure would bolster security and save valuable time in the investigation process while protecting civil liberties as individuals who already cleared their names will no longer have to go through the same process each time they travel. The vote, on Feb. 3, was 413 yeas, 3 nays.

YEAS: Michaud, Pingree

Vote 4: American Recovery and Reinvestment Act

The House agreed to accept the conference report on the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (HR 1) sponsored by Rep. David R. Obey, D-Wis., that contains supplemental appropriations for unemployment assistance, energy efficiency, job preservation and creation, infrastructure investments and fiscal stabilization at the state and local levels for fiscal 2009. Supporters noted the report contained a number of significant investments such as money for passenger rail systems and extending broadband access to under served areas to help create jobs. Opponents said the report lacked necessary accountability and verification provisions. The House action cleared the way for President Obama to sign the bill into law, which he did on Feb. 17. The vote, on Feb. 13, was 246 yeas to 183 nays.

YEAS: Michaud, Pingree

Senate votes

Republican Sens. Olympia Snowe and Susan Collins

Vote 1: American Recovery and Reinvestment Act

The Senate passed the conference report on the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (HR 1) to provide $787 billion to stimulate the economy. Supporters said the package was necessary to avert what one senator called a “potential great depression from which it would take us years and years and tremendous human suffering to dig our way out.” Opponents said it was “a failure as a stimulus package” because it failed to focus on measures that would quickly create jobs and warned that it will impart “a $1 trillion debt to our grandchildren.” The Senate agreement on the conference report returned the report to the House for final action. The vote, on Feb. 13, was 60 yeas to 38 nays, with a three-fifths majority required for approval.

YEAS: Snowe, Collins

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