HOW THEY VOTED

House nixes NPR funding; Pingree, Michaud opposed

Posted March 18, 2011, at 6:17 p.m.
Last modified March 19, 2011, at 12:20 p.m.

How they voted: Maine’s congressional delegation, March 11-17, 2011

House Votes

Democratic Reps. Mike Michaud and Chellie Pingree

Vote 1: Notice of end of mortgage relief program: The House has rejected an amendment sponsored by Rep. Maxine Waters, D-Calif., to the Emergency Mortgage Relief Program Termination Act (HR 836). The amendment would have required the secretary of housing and urban development to post a notice on the agency’s website notifying the public of the program’s cancellation and providing contact information for homeowners seeking assistance. Waters said the measure was a “common-sense provision that provides transparency and clarity for distressed homeowners.” An opponent, Rep. Randy Neugebauer, R-Texas, said notice was not needed because no homeowners had used the program, and that the notice would confuse homeowners by referring to the assistance as loans instead of grants. The vote, on March 11, was 185 yeas to 237 nays.

YEAS: Michaud, Pingree

Vote 2: Mortgage relief program: The House has passed the Emergency Mortgage Relief Program Termination Act (HR 836), sponsored by Rep. Jeb Hensarling, R-Texas. The bill would cancel the Emergency Mortgage Relief Program and use the remaining balance at the time of cancellation to cut the federal debt. Hensarling said the program was costly and ineffective at preventing foreclosures, and that its cancellation was needed to help cut the debt. An opponent, Rep. Barney Frank, D-Mass., said the program was helping the economy by preventing foreclosures, “which have negative effects not just on the individual foreclosed, but on the neighborhood, on the city, on the whole economy.” The vote, on March 11, was 242 yeas to 177 nays.

NAYS: Michaud, Pingree

Vote 3: Statue of President Ford: The House has passed a resolution (HConRes 27), sponsored by Rep. Fred Upton, R-Mich., to accept a statue of President Gerald R. Ford from Michigan, which would be placed in the Capitol Rotunda. Upton said Ford “led with honesty and integrity” as president, and his leadership assisted the nation’s healing after the Vietnam War and the resignation of President Richard Nixon. The vote, on March 14, was unanimous with 396 yeas.

YEAS: Michaud, Pingree

Vote 4: Continuing appropriations: The House has passed the Additional Continuing Appropriations Amendments resolution (HJ Res 48), sponsored by Rep. Harold Rogers, R-Ky. The resolution would provide funding for government operations through April 8 and cut $6 billion of spending on congressional earmarks and other programs. Rogers said the resolution “provides us with an appropriate length of time for negotiations, makes good on our promise to the American people to cut spending, provides certainty and stability, and allows essential Federal programs to continue while these negotiations ensue.” An opponent, Rep. Barbara Lee, D-Calif., said the cuts would distress important, vulnerable programs, such as policing, as well as “earmarks that historically have supported jobs, small businesses, schools, nonprofits.” The vote, on March 15, was 271 yeas to 158 nays.

YEAS: Michaud, Pingree

Vote 5: Affirming success of foreclosure program: The House has rejected an amendment sponsored by Rep. Keith Ellison, D-Minn., to the NSP Termination Act (HR 861). The amendment would have declared that Congress found the Neighborhood Stabilization Program to be an effective program that helped redevelop abandoned and foreclosed homes despite its cancellation in the bill. Ellison said the program had achieved “things like job creation, saving the neighborhood, saving local governments exorbitant costs.” An opponent, Rep. Gary Miller, R-Calif., said the program was “a bad giveaway” of $1.3 billion to private groups that accomplished little to help the economy. The vote, on March 16, was 183 yeas to 244 nays.

YEAS: Michaud, Pingree

Vote 6: Foreclosed housing: The House has passed the NSP Termination Act (HR 861), sponsored by Rep. Gary Miller, R-Calif. The bill would cancel the Neighborhood Stabilization Program and its third round of funding. Miller said the program was failing to support the housing market and failing to help poor individuals buy homes. An opponent, Rep. Joe Baca, D-Calif., said the program assisted neighborhoods by helping local government buy and rehabilitate foreclosed housing, and therefore helped “Americans get back on their feet.” The vote, on March 16, was 242 yeas to 182 nays.

NAYS: Michaud, Pingree

Vote 7: Defunding NPR: The House has passed a bill (HR 1076), sponsored by Rep. Doug Lamborn, R-Colo., that would bar federal funding for National Public Radio and its purchases of programming. Lamborn said there was no need for government deficit spending to support nonessential “programs that are fully capable of standing on their own,” such as NPR. An opponent, Rep. Henry Waxman, D-Calif., said the bill “will cripple National Public Radio, public radio stations, and programming that is vital to over 27 million Americans.” The vote, on March 17, was 228 yeas to 192 nays.

NAYS: Michaud, Pingree

Vote 8: Withdrawing from Afghanistan: The House has rejected a resolution (HConRes 28), sponsored by Rep. Dennis Kucinich, D-Ohio, that would have directed the president to withdraw U.S. military forces from Afghanistan by the end of 2011. Kucinich said the Afghanistan war effort was costing $100 billion annually, was opposed by a majority of Americans, and lacked both a defined mission and an exit plan. An opponent, Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, R-Fla., said leaving Afghanistan “before we have routed out the terrorists would not only hand al Qaeda a propaganda victory of immeasurable value, it would cede them a sanctuary from which they could mount fresh strikes at the west with virtual immunity.” The vote, on March 17, was 93 yeas to 321 nays.

YEAS: Michaud, Pingree

Senate votes

Republican Sens. Susan Collins and Olympia Snowe

Vote 1: Misuse of government funds: The Senate has passed an amendment sponsored by Sen. Olympia Snowe, R-Maine, to the SBIR/STTR Reauthorization Act (S 493). The amendment would eliminate authorization of the National Veterans Business Development Corp. as a potential recipient of federal aid. Snowe said a 2008 report had found that the company “was engaged in mismanagement, misuse of taxpayer money, and did not abide by its statutory obligations,” with the total amount of misused funds possibly reaching millions of dollars. The vote, on March 16, was unanimous with 99 yeas.

YEAS: Collins, Snowe

Vote 2: Subcontractors and federal contracts: The Senate has approved an amendment sponsored by Sen. Bob Casey, D-Pa., to the SBIR/STTR Reauthorization Act (S 493). The amendment would require contractors to notify small businesses included in offers involving contracts let by federal agencies of their potential status as subcontractors in the offer. It also would provide a mechanism for subcontractors to report fraud by contractors. Casey said the amendment would help “create jobs and support small businesses” around the country. The vote, on March 16, was unanimous with 99 yeas.

YEAS: Collins, Snowe

Vote 3: Extending government funding: The Senate has passed the Additional Continuing Appropriations resolution (HJRes 48), sponsored by Rep. Harold Rogers, R-Ky. The resolution would provide funding for government operations through April 8 and cut $6 billion of spending on congressional earmarks and other programs. A supporter, Sen. Jeff Sessions, R-Ala., said the funding extension was needed to maintain investor confidence that the U.S. “is a safe place to invest their money,” and that the spending cuts would help begin to cut the debt. The vote, on March 17, was 87 yeas to 13 nays.

YEAS: Collins, Snowe

Compiled by Targeted News Service for the Bangor Daily News.

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