How they voted: Maine’s congressional delegation, April 8-14, 2011

Posted April 15, 2011, at 8:04 p.m.

House Votes

Democratic Reps. Michael Michaud and Chellie Pingree

Vote 1: Disapproving FCC Internet rule: The House has passed a resolution (HJ Res 37), sponsored by Rep. Greg Walden, R-Ore., expressing disapproval of a Federal Communications Commission rule regarding network neutrality on the Internet and the broadband industry. Walden said the rule was not authorized by Congress and that it would allow the FCC “to regulate any interstate communication service on barely more than a whim and without any additional input from Congress.” An opponent, Rep. Henry Waxman, D-Calif., said the disapproval resolution “would give big phone and cable companies control over what Web sites Americans can visit, what applications they can run, and what devices they can use.” The vote, on April 8, was 240 yeas to 179 nays.

NAYS: Michaud, Pingree

Vote 2: Continuing appropriations: The House has agreed to the Senate amendment to the Department of Defense and Further Additional Continuing Appropriations Act (HR 1363), sponsored by Rep. Harold Rogers, R-Ky. The bill provided funding for government operations through April 15, while also cutting spending on various programs by $2 billion. Rogers said it “keeps us on track to cut excessive Federal spending as we continue to finalize a deal” for the entire fiscal 2011 budget. The vote, on April 8, was 348 yeas to 70 nays.

YEAS: Michaud, Pingree

Vote 3: Reagan Centennial Commission: The House has approved a bill (HR 1308), sponsored by Rep. Elton Gallegly, R-Calif. The bill would change the termination date for the Ronald Reagan Centennial Commission from May 30, 2011, to Dec. 31, 2011. Gallegly said an extension would allow the commission time to “provide more opportunities to commemorate recognition of President Reagan” by both the U.S. government and foreign governments. The vote, on April 12, was 394 yeas to 18 nays.

YEAS: Michaud, Pingree

Vote 4: Public health fund story: The House has rejected an amendment sponsored by Rep. Kathy Castor, D-Fla., to a bill (HR 1217) to repeal the Prevention and Public Health Fund. The amendment would have ordered the comptroller general to study the impact the fund would have had on preventive care if it had been preserved, and submit a report to Congress on the results of the study. Castor said the study would be part of an effort to reform health by ensuring “healthier outcomes for our families and neighbors” through preventive care. An opponent, Rep. Joseph R. Pitts, R-Pa., said the study would be “a waste of money” because of its requirement for a report to be issued within 90 days. The vote, on April 13, was 187 yeas to 237 nays.

YEAS: Michaud, Pingree

Vote 5: Impact of public health fund on states: The House has rejected an amendment sponsored by Rep. Kathy Castor, D-Fla., to a bill (HR 1217) to repeal the Prevention and Public Health Fund. The amendment would have ordered the comptroller general to study the impact the fund would have had on states and communities around the country. Castor said the study would help show the importance of helping people “come together on a local level and make these decisions about encouraging healthier lifestyles.” An opponent, Rep. Joseph R. Pitts, R-Pa., said the requirement to issue a report within 90 days gave too little time “to complete what is clearly an impossible task.” The vote, on April 13, was 188 yeas to 238 nays.

YEAS: Michaud, Pingree

Vote 6: Public health fund: The House has passed a bill (HR 1217), sponsored by Rep. Joseph R. Pitts, R-Pa., that would repeal the Prevention and Public Health Fund. Pitts said the secretary of health and human services currently had “the full authority to use this account to fund any programs or activities that she chooses under the Public Health Service Act without having congressional input, approval or oversight,” and eliminating the fund would preserve congressional oversight of government spending. An opponent, Rep. Henry Waxman, D-Calif., said the fund could be “a cornerstone for a health care system that finally recognizes that preventing illnesses is as important as treating them,” and eliminating it would be shortsighted and fiscally unwise. The vote, on April 13, was 236 yeas to 183 nays.

NAYS: Michaud, Pingree

Vote 7: Funding government in Fiscal Year 2011: The House has passed the Department of Defense and Full-Year Continuing Appropriations Act (HR 1473), sponsored by Rep. Harold Rogers, R-Ky. The bill would provide funding for government operations for the remainder of fiscal 2011 and cut government spending on nondefense discretionary programs by nearly $40 billion. Rogers said it “targets wasteful and duplicative spending, makes strides to rein in out-of-control Federal bureaucracies, and will help bring our Nation one step closer to eliminating our job-crushing level of debt.” An opponent, Rep. Rosa DeLauro, D-Conn., criticized the inclusion of measures to cut funding for food safety inspections, women’s health care, job training, education programs and biomedical research. The vote, on April 14, was 260 yeas to 167 nays.

YEAS: Michaud

NAYS: Pingree

Senate Votes

Republican Sens. Susan Collins and Olympia Snowe

Vote 1: District judge in California: The Senate has confirmed the nomination of John A. Kronstadt to serve as a United States judge for the Central District of California. A supporter, Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif., cited Kronstadt’s extensive experience in private practice, his performance as a judge on the Los Angeles County Superior Court, and his “firm commitment to the rule of law, and a dedication to public service in a variety of ways.” The vote, on April 12, was unanimous with 96 yeas.

YEAS: Collins, Snowe

Vote 2: Fiscal 2011 appropriations: The Senate has passed the Department of Defense and Full-Year Continuing Appropriations Act (HR 1473), sponsored by Rep. Harold Rogers, R-Ky. The bill would provide funding for government operations for the remainder of fiscal 2011 and cut government spending on nondefense discretionary programs by nearly $40 billion. A supporter, Sen. John Thune, R-S.D., said cuts included in the bill were “an important first step” toward addressing the need to reduce the deficit and address the growing national debt. An opponent, Sen. Ron Wyden, D-Ore., said the inclusion of a provision to repeal the free choice vouchers element of the 2010 health care reform bill violated Senate rules against “slipping legislative language into an appropriations bill.” The vote, on April 14, was 81 yeas to 19 nays.

YEAS: Collins, Snowe

Compiled by Targeted News Service for the Bangor Daily News

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