How they voted: Maine’s congressional delegation, May 20-26, 2011

Posted May 27, 2011, at 5:49 p.m.

House votes

Democratic Reps. Mike Michaud and Chellie Pingree

Vote 1: Rules for bidders on federal contracts: The House has passed an amendment sponsored by Rep. Tom Cole, R-Okla., to the National Defense Authorization Act (HR 1540). The amendment would bar executive agencies from requiring bidders for federal contracts to disclose political contributions. Cole said that without the amendment, “companies and their bids would run the risk of being judged on the basis of politics as opposed to their professional capabilities.” An opponent, Rep. Elijah Cummings, D-Md., said keeping the requirement to disclose contributions would improve transparency and cut corruption by providing additional information about contract bidders. The vote, on May 25, was 261 yeas to 163 nays.

NAYS: Michaud, Pingree

Vote 2: Sunken military craft: The House has passed an amendment sponsored by Rep. Connie Mack, R-Fla., to the National Defense Authorization Act (HR 1540). The amendment would clarify the Sunken Military Craft Act to confirm that it applied only to military vessels that were on military service at the time that they sank. Mack said the clarification was needed to distinguish between military and commercial vessels and their protection under the law. An opponent, Rep. Robert Andrews, D-N.J., said the measure could interfere with litigation between Spain and a private business over the rights to a sunken vessel with a potential claim in the U.S. The vote, on May 26, was 227 yeas to 193 nays.

YEAS: Michaud

NAYS: Pingree

Vote 3: Defense spending: The House has passed the National Defense Authorization Act (HR 1540), sponsored by Rep. Buck McKeon, D-Calif. The bill would fund military operations in fiscal 2012, including operations in Afghanistan, Iraq and other overseas countries, and prescribe troop levels for the year. McKeon said “the legislation will advance our national security aims, provide the proper care and logistical support for our fighting forces and help us meet the defense challenges of the 21st century.” An opponent, Rep. John Garamendi, D-Calif., criticized the bill’s failure to enact a shift toward withdrawing troops from Afghanistan and its continued authorization for the president to use force against al-Qaida, the Taliban and associated forces. The vote, on May 26, was 322 yeas to 96 nays.

NAYS: Michaud, Pingree

Vote 4: Patriot Act extensions: The House has agreed to the amendment to the PATRIOT Sunsets Extension Act (S 990), sponsored by Sen. Mary Landrieu, D-La. The bill would extend for four years authority under the Patriot Act to authorize law enforcement and intelligence agencies to conduct roving wiretaps, investigate business records, and monitor lone-wolf terrorists not associated with any terrorist group or foreign government. A supporter, Rep. David Dreier, R-Calif., said the extensions will help ensure “that we do not face another terrorist attack against the United States or our interests” while also preserving civil liberties and constitutional protections. An opponent, Rep. Jared Polis, D-Colo., said the extended authorities were “an affront to our most basic liberties as American citizens.” The vote, on May 26, was 250 yeas to 153 nays.

NAYS: Michaud, Pingree

Vote 5:

Training primary care physicians: The House has rejected an amendment sponsored by Rep. Paul Tonko, D-N.Y., to a bill to amend the Public Health Service Act (HR 1216). The amendment would have directed the Government Accountability Office to compare the number of primary care physicians who would be trained under the health care reform law to the number who would be trained if mandatory unobligated funding for graduate medical education was rescinded. Tonko said the study would let Americans “see how drastically these cuts will eliminate jobs and will hurt the quality, access and affordability of primary care health options.” An opponent, Rep. Brett Guthrie, R-Ky., said the study would waste government funds because it could not be effectively performed. The vote, on May 24, was 186 yeas to 231 nays.

YEAS: Michaud

NOT VOTING: Pingree

Vote 6:

Graduate medical education: The House has rejected an amendment sponsored by Rep. Dennis Cardoza, D-Calif., to a bill to amend the Public Health Service Act (HR 1216). The amendment would have required the Government Accountability Office to study physician shortages and the impact that rescinding mandatory unobligated funding for graduate medical education would have on new graduate medical residency training programs. Cardoza said the study would show the “serious and growing shortage of health professionals facing the United States,” and the corresponding need to fund training of new health professionals. An opponent, Rep. Brett Guthrie, R-Ky., said the study would waste government funds because of a lack of the information needed to conduct an effective study. The vote, on May 24, was 182 yeas to 232 nays.

YEAS: Michaud

NOT VOTING: Pingree

Vote 7: Funds for training physicians: The House has passed a bill (HR 1216), sponsored by Rep. Brett Guthrie, R-Ky., to amend the Public Health Service Act by converting funding for graduate medical education in teaching health centers from direct appropriations to the authorization of appropriations. Guthrie said the change would stop the unfair process of “picking and choosing one program over another to receive automatic funding” without having to take part in a competitive process to receive grants from the government. An opponent, Rep. Gene Green, D-Texas, said the measure would take away “funds to ensure that we train enough physicians to ensure all Americans have access to affordable care.” The vote, on May 25, was 234 yeas to 185 nays.

NAYS: Michaud, Pingree

Vote 8: Military outsourcing: The House has rejected an amendment sponsored by Rep. John Sarbanes, D-Md., to the National Defense Authorization Act (HR 1540). The amendment would have struck a provision removing a requirement for the Defense Department to do an inventory of its outsourcing activity before expanding the privatization of service contracts. Sarbanes said that because outsourcing frequently did not produce cost savings or better performance, keeping the requirement was necessary to preserve “the public’s stake in making sure that government is functioning in an efficient manner.” An opponent, Rep. Randy Forbes, R-Va., said preserving the provision would help the Pentagon “get the right balance between military, civilian, and contractor personnel.” The vote, on May 25, was 198 yeas to 225 nays.

YEAS: Michaud, Pingree

Senate votes:

Vote 1: Budget for 2012 through 2021: The Senate has rejected the motion to consider a bill (HConRes 34), sponsored by Rep. Paul Ryan, R-Wis., that would have established a budget for fiscal 2012 and outlined budgetary levels for 2013 through 2021. A supporter, Sen. Jeff Sessions, R-Ala., said the budget “would create confidence in the international markets, create jobs and growth in America, create vitality in our businesses” and address the increasing threat of a debt crisis. An opponent, Sen. Kent Conrad, D-N.D., said it would “shred the social safety net that has been created in this country over the last 60 years” and cut taxes for the wealthy. The vote to consider the bill, on May 25, was 40 yeas to 57 nays.

NAYS: Snowe, Collins

Vote 2: Patriot Act extensions: The Senate has agreed to the House amendment to the Patriot Sunsets Extension Act (S 990), sponsored by Sen. Mary Landrieu, D-La. The bill would extend for four years authority under the Patriot Act to authorize law enforcement and intelligence agencies to conduct roving wiretaps, investigate business records, and monitor lone-wolf terrorists not associated with any terrorist group or foreign government. A supporter, Sen. Ben Cardin, D-Md., said “it is important for our law enforcement and intelligence agencies to have these tools at their disposal as they seek to prevent and disrupt future terrorist attacks in the United States.” An opponent, Sen. Mark Udall, D-Colo., said the bill lacked measures to ensure transparency and protect constitutional freedoms. The vote, on May 26, was 72 yeas to 23 nays.

YEAS: Snowe, Collins

Compiled by Targeted News Service for the Bangor Daily News

http://bangordailynews.com/2011/05/27/politics/how-they-voted-maine%e2%80%99s-congressional-delegation-may-20-26-2011/ printed on July 23, 2014