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

Posted July 15, 2011, at 5:34 p.m.

House votes

Democratic Reps. Mike Michaud and Chellie Pingree

Vote 1: Funding for overseas military operations: The House has rejected an amendment sponsored by Rep. Jeff Flake, R-Ariz., to the Department of Defense Appropriations Act (HR 2219). The amendment would have cut funding for overseas contingency operations in Iraq and Afghanistan by $3.58 billion. Flake said that by cutting a $5 billion unspecified general appropriation for the operations, his amendment would retain Congress’s power of the purse in directing how government funds were spent. An opponent, Rep. Rodney Frelinghuysen, R-N.J., said the appropriation was needed to give “the Secretary of Defense flexibility to reprogram these funds for unforeseen requirements which emerged during 2012.” The vote, on July 8, was 118 yeas to 295 nays.

YEAS: Michaud

NAYS: Pingree

Vote 2: Troops in Europe: The House has rejected an amendment sponsored by Rep. Jared Polis, D-Colo., to the Department of Defense Appropriations Act (HR 2219). The amendment would have capped the deployment of permanent duty soldiers in Europe at 30,000 and cut funding for military personnel to reflect the resulting troop reductions. Polis said that “by reducing some of the 80,000 troops in Europe where they’re no longer needed, we can save hundreds of millions of dollars.” An opponent, Rep. Bill Young, R-Fla., said the amendment addressed an issue that was “the sole jurisdiction of the Committee on Armed Services” and therefore should not have been submitted. The vote, on July 8, was 113 yeas to 307 nays.

YEAS: Pingree

NAYS: Michaud

Vote 3: Military appropriations: The House has passed the Department of Defense Appropriations Act (HR 2219), sponsored by Rep. Bill Young, R-Fla. The bill would provide funding for the military in 2012, including $530 billion of base funding and another $119 billion for operations in Iraq and Afghanistan. Young said it cut spending by $9 billion “without having any adverse effect on the war fighter or the readiness of our Nation,” and also funded research for improvements in medical care to save the lives of wounded soldiers. An opponent, Rep. Barbara Lee, D-Calif., said the bill failed to end combat operations in Afghanistan and contained $75 billion to $100 billion of excessive spending on the military. The vote, on July 8, was 336 yeas to 87 nays.

NAYS: Michaud, Pingree

Vote 4: Energy development: The House has rejected an amendment sponsored by Rep. Edward J. Markey, D-Mass., to the Energy and Water Development and Related Agencies Appropriations Act (HR 2354). The amendment would have increased funding for energy efficiency and renewable energy programs by $100 million and offset the increase by cutting spending on fossil fuel and nuclear programs by $100 million. Markey said his amendment would improve national security, address global warming and help spur economic growth. An opponent, Rep. Rodney Frelinghuysen, R-N.J., said it “would add back unnecessary funding for administration proposals that are poorly planned and lack justification” and reduce funding for efforts to improve the efficient use of fossil fuels and nuclear. The vote, on July 12, was 154 yeas to 266 nays.

YEAS: Michaud, Pingree

Vote 5: Light bulb efficiency standards: The House has rejected the Better Use of Light Bulbs Act (HR 2417), sponsored by Rep. Joe Barton, R-Texas. The bill would have repealed provisions in the 2007 energy bill establishing energy efficiency standards for light bulbs. Barton said the standards effectively banned relatively inexpensive traditional incandescent light bulbs, and he argued that the government should not “be telling us what kind of light bulbs we should and should not use.” An opponent, Rep. Michael Doyle, D-Penn., said the standards were spurring job creation for building new, more efficient light bulbs while also cutting energy costs for Americans. The vote, on July 12, was 233 yeas to 193 nays, with the bill brought to the floor as a noncontroversial measure requiring a two-thirds majority for approval.

NAYS: Michaud, Pingree

Vote 6: EPA and water quality standards: The House has rejected an amendment sponsored by Rep. Earl Blumenauer, D-Ore., to the Clean Water Cooperative Federalism Act (HR 2018). The amendment would have preserved Environmental Protection Agency authority over water quality standards for coastal recreational waters and waterways that provided flood protection or valuable habitat for fish and wildlife. Blumenauer said his amendment was needed to protect water quality in states that failed to protect their water quality by giving EPA authority to maintain water quality standards in those states. An opponent, Rep. Bob Gibbs, R-Ohio, said the amendment would allow EPA to “continue to unilaterally force its own one-size-fits-all federal policies onto the states’ water quality programs.” The vote, on July 13, was 183 yeas to 237 nays.

YEAS: Michaud, Pingree

Vote 7: Clean water regulations: The House has passed the Clean Water Cooperative Federalism Act (HR 2018), sponsored by Rep. John Mica, R-Fla. The bill would authorize states with water quality programs approved by the Environmental Protection Agency to adopt practices for granting water quality permits with limited review by EPA. Mica said the bill responded to a move by EPA to overreach its authority by disrupting state actions on water permits, with a resulting negative impact on the economy and unemployment by jeopardizing “more than $220 billion worth of annual economic activity.” An opponent, Rep. Timothy Bishop, D-N.Y., said the bill would curtail EPA’s authority to enforce minimum water quality standards and limit its authority to seek stricter standards for toxic water emissions, which could therefore “adversely affect public health, the economy, and the environment.” The vote, on July 13, was 239 yeas to 184 nays.

NAYS: Michaud, Pingree

Vote 8: Yucca Mountain nuclear waste repository: The House has approved an amendment sponsored by Rep. John Shimkus, R-Ill., to the Energy and Water Development and Related Agencies Appropriations Act (HR 2354). The amendment would increase funding for the Nuclear Regulatory Commission to review the Department of Energy’s license application for the Yucca Mountain nuclear waste repository by $10 million and offset the increase by cutting funding for administration at the Department of Energy by $10 million. Shimkus said the increase would provide adequate funding for a scientific review of the application to build the repository, which offered a secure, centralized location for waste storage. The vote, on July 14, was 297 yeas to 130 nays.

YEAS: Michaud, Pingree

Senate votes

Republican Sens. Susan Collins and Olympia Snowe

Vote 1: Resolving the budget deficit: The Senate has agreed to a motion to consider a bill (S 1323), sponsored by Sen. Harry Reid, D-Nev., to express the sense of the Senate on the need for shared sacrifice in resolving the budget deficit. A supporter, Sen. Kent Conrad, D-N.D., said that in order to cut the budget deficit, it was necessary to eliminate tax loopholes, improve the progressivity and fairness of the tax code and eliminate a variety of corporate tax loopholes. An opponent, Sen. Orrin Hatch, R-Utah, said “going back to the dry well of raising taxes on the rich is not going to work,” because the deficit problem stemmed from unusually high federal spending levels and an unwillingness to cut that spending. The vote, on July 11, was 69 yeas to 27 nays.

YEAS: Collins, Snowe

Vote 2: Shared sacrifice and the deficit: The Senate has rejected a cloture motion to cut off debate on a bill (S 1323), sponsored by Sen. Harry Reid, D-Nev., to express the sense of the Senate on the need for shared sacrifice in resolving the budget deficit. A supporter, Sen. Dick Durbin, D-Ill., said that raising taxes on the wealthy to cut the deficit was a balanced approach to the budget that would limit the burden on middle-income and low-income taxpayers and would not disrupt economic growth. An opponent, Sen. John Thune, R-S.D., said the legislation would “not do anything to address the fiscal challenges our country faces or achieve any level of budgetary savings.” The vote, on July 13, was 51 yeas to 49 nays, with a three-fifths majority required to approve cloture.

NAYS: Collins, Snowe

Vote 3: Funding military construction, veterans affairs: The Senate has approved a motion sponsored by Sen. Tim Johnson, D-S.D., to waive points of order against the Military Construction and Veterans Affairs, and Related Agencies Appropriations Act (HR 2055). Johnson said the bill provided “crucial investments in infrastructure for our military” while also providing veterans with “the resources needed for their medical care and benefits.” An opponent, Sen. Jeff Sessions, R-Ala., said that in the absence of the Senate’s approval of a concurrent budget resolution for fiscal 2012, the Senate should not consider any appropriations bill for fiscal 2012. The vote, on July 14, was 56 yeas to 40 nays, with a three-fifths majority required for approval.

NAYS: Collins, Snowe

Compiled by Targeted News Service for the Bangor Daily News

SEE COMMENTS →

ADVERTISEMENT | Grow your business
ADVERTISEMENT | Grow your business