Press Release

Congressional votes of Maine delegation for week of Oct. 4-10

By Targeted News Service

WASHINGTON, D.C. — Here’s a look at how area members of Congress voted over the previous week.

HOUSE VOTES:

House Vote 1:

FUNDING EMERGENCY MANAGEMENT: The House has passed the Federal Emergency Management Agency Continuing Appropriations Resolution (H.J. Res. 85), sponsored by Rep. John R. Carter, R-Texas. The bill would fund the Federal Emergency Management Agency in fiscal 2014. Carter said the funding would fulfill the federal government’s duty to ensure the country is adequately prepared for disasters and to provide adequate support to states responding to natural disasters. An opponent, Rep. David E. Price, D-N.C., said rather than take up bills to fund select government operations, House Republicans should bring to a vote the Senate-passed continuing appropriations resolution and end the government shutdown. The vote, on Oct. 4, was 247 yeas to 164 nays.

NAYS: Rep. Michael H. Michaud D-ME (2nd), Rep. Chellie Pingree D-ME (1st)

House Vote 2:

FOOD FOR WOMEN AND CHILDREN: The House has passed the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children Continuing Appropriations Resolution (H.J. Res. 75), sponsored by Rep. Robert B. Aderholt, R-Ala. The bill would provide funding in fiscal 2014 for the Agriculture Department’s food assistance program for women, infants, and children. Aderholt said the bill “will help 8.7 million low-income women, infants, and children who are nutritionally at risk to continue to receive the nutrition they need” despite the government shutdown. An opponent, Rep. Sam Farr, D-Calif., said the bill would do nothing for the 48 million people enrolled in food stamp programs and others who have been hurt by the shutdown. The vote, on Oct. 4, was 244 yeas to 164 nays.

NAYS: Rep. Michael H. Michaud D-ME (2nd), Rep. Chellie Pingree D-ME (1st)

House Vote 3:

PAYING FURLOUGHED GOVERNMENT EMPLOYEES: The House has passed the Federal Employee Retroactive Pay Fairness Act (H.R. 3223), sponsored by Rep. James P. Moran, D-Va. The bill would guarantee that employees of the federal government who have been furloughed during the government shutdown will be paid as if the shutdown did not occur. Moran said: “It’s just wrong for the hundreds of thousands of Federal employees not to know whether they’re going to be able to make their mortgage payment, not to know whether they’re going to be able to provide for their families” because they have been furloughed without pay. The vote, on Oct. 5, was unanimous with 407 yeas.

YEAS: Rep. Michael H. Michaud D-ME (2nd), Rep. Chellie Pingree D-ME (1st)

House Vote 4:

MILITARY CHAPLAINS: The House has passed a resolution (H. Con. Res. 58) sponsored by Rep. Doug Collins, R-Ga., expressing the sense of Congress that the Defense Department should allow military chaplains to perform religious services on military property, as an activity protected by the First Amendment, despite the government shutdown. Collins said: “If this body does not pass this legislation, the ability of military personnel and their families to worship and participate in religious ceremonies will continue to be at great risk” because contract military chaplains would be unable to serve their religious needs on military bases. The vote, on Oct. 5, was 400 yeas to 1 nay.

YEAS: Rep. Michael H. Michaud D-ME (2nd), Rep. Chellie Pingree D-ME (1st)

House Vote 5:

FUNDING THE FDA: The House has passed the Food and Drug Administration Continuing Appropriations Resolution (H.J. Res. 77), sponsored by Rep. Robert B. Aderholt, R-Ala. The bill would provide funding for the Food and Drug Administration in fiscal 2014 despite the government shutdown. Aderholt said funding would allow the FDA to continue its inspection of food and drug products to ensure their safety, and would also allow the FDA to collect drug and medical product user fees that are used to fund the review and approval of new and generic drugs and medical devices. An opponent, Rep. Sam Farr, D-Calif., said he could not vote for the bill because it took a piecemeal approach to funding the government in place of a comprehensive solution to the government shutdown. The vote, on Oct. 7, was 235 yeas to 162 nays.

NAYS: Rep. Michael H. Michaud D-ME (2nd), Rep. Chellie Pingree D-ME (1st)

House Vote 6:

FUNDING HEAD START: The House has passed the Head Start Continuing Appropriations Resolution (H.J. Res. 84), sponsored by Rep. Harold Rogers, R-Ky. The bill would provide fiscal 2014 funding for the Head Start program to offer education and health care to children in low-income families. Rogers said: “As we work our way out of this government shutdown mess, we shouldn’t let some of our most vulnerable citizens–low-income children with no recourse–suffer” by not funding Head Start. An opponent, Rep. Nita M. Lowey, D-N.Y., said the bill “does nothing to help families afford child care or to invest in other pre-K services that are so important for children’s development.” The vote, on Oct. 8, was 248 yeas to 168 nays.

NAYS: Rep. Michael H. Michaud D-ME (2nd), Rep. Chellie Pingree D-ME (1st)

House Vote 7:

WORKING GROUP ON BUDGET: The House has passed the Deficit Reduction and Economic Working Growth Working Group Act (H.R. 3273), sponsored by Rep. Pete Sessions, R-Texas. The bill would establish a new House-Senate working group charged with developing recommendations for Congress on ways to reform spending programs, set the level of discretionary government spending, and change the debt limit. Sessions said the working group would be an effort to reach meaningful solutions to the government’s budget problems by bringing Democrats and Republicans together to work on the problems. An opponent, Rep. Alcee L. Hastings, D-Fla., said there was no need to form another working group to study the budget, given that there have already been multiple budget commissions and bipartisan talks on the issue. The vote, on Oct. 8, was 224 yeas to 197 nays.

NAYS: Rep. Michael H. Michaud D-ME (2nd), Rep. Chellie Pingree D-ME (1st)

House Vote 8:

PAYING ESSENTIAL GOVERNMENT WORKERS: The House has passed the Excepted Employees’ Pay Continuing Appropriations Resolution (H.J. Res. 89), sponsored by Rep. Harold Rogers, R-Ky. The bill would fund the salaries and expenses during the government shutdown for workers deemed essential to the government’s operation. Rogers said: “It’s our responsibility to these dedicated professionals that they receive due compensation for their service to this Nation.” The vote, on Oct. 8, was unanimous with 420 yeas.

YEAS: Rep. Michael H. Michaud D-ME (2nd), Rep. Chellie Pingree D-ME (1st)

House Vote 9:

FUNDING THE FAA: The House has passed the Federal Aviation Administration Continuing Appropriations Resolution (H.J. Res. 90), sponsored by Rep. Harold Rogers, R-Ky. The bill would fund the FAA in fiscal 2014. Rogers said the funding would “resume operations within FAA that are critical to the safety of our skies and our aircraft fleet. It would bring back 7,000 aviation safety inspectors currently not working, restart aircraft certification activities, resume training for air traffic controllers, reopen the aircraft registry service, and continue air traffic control modernization.” An opponent, Rep. Ed Pastor, D-Ariz., said while the bill would fund the FAA, it failed to fund many other Transportation Department agencies, including the Federal Transit Administration, National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, Amtrak, and National Transportation Safety Board. The vote, on Oct. 9, was 252 yeas to 172 nays.

NAYS: Rep. Michael H. Michaud D-ME (2nd), Rep. Chellie Pingree D-ME (1st)

House Vote 10:

MILITARY DEATH BENEFITS: The House has passed the Department of Defense Survivor Benefits Continuing Appropriations Resolution (H.J. Res. 91), sponsored by Rep. Rodney P. Frelinghuysen, R-N.J. The bill would provide continued funding in fiscal 2014 to pay out survivor benefits to the relatives of deceased members of the military. Frelinghuysen said the bill would ensure that, even if the government shutdown continues, the government will not delay in honoring its obligations to dead soldiers and their families. The vote, on Oct. 9, was unanimous with 425 yeas.

YEAS: Rep. Michael H. Michaud D-ME (2nd), Rep. Chellie Pingree D-ME (1st)

House Vote 11:

FUNDING BORDER SECURITY: The House has passed the Border Security and Enforcement Continuing Appropriations Resolution (H.J. Res. 79), sponsored by Rep. John R. Carter, R-Texas. The bill would fund the Homeland Security Department’s Customs and Border Protection, Immigration and Customs Enforcement, Coast Guard, Office of Biometric Identity Management, and Citizenship and Immigration Services agencies in fiscal 2014. Carter said that by funding Homeland Security’s border security and enforcement efforts, the bill would meet the duty of Congress “to ensure that sufficient resources are provided to carry out the necessary security, enforcement and interdiction” programs at the border. An opponent, Rep. David E. Price, D-N.C., said: “We cannot continue to pick winners and losers by providing temporary funding for government services, operations and personnel. This piecemeal approach to governing is failing our constituents and is failing our economy.” The vote, on Oct. 10, was 249 yeas to 175 nays.

NAYS: Rep. Michael H. Michaud D-ME (2nd), Rep. Chellie Pingree D-ME (1st)

SENATE VOTES:

Senate Vote 1:

ILLINOIS DISTRICT JUDGE: The Senate has approved the nomination of Colin Stirling Bruce to serve as a U.S. District Judge for the Central District of Illinois. A supporter, Sen. Patrick J. Leahy, D-Vt., cited Bruce’s close to 25 years of experience as a prosecutor in the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Central District of Illinois, in which capacity he has managed jury trials, bench trials, and appeals that cover issues such as drugs, fraud, national security, and cyber crime. The vote, on Oct. 7, was unanimous with 96 yeas.

YEAS: Sen. Susan M. Collins R-ME, Sen. Angus King I-ME

For more information about Targeted News Service, please contact Myron Struck, editor, 703/866-4708, editor@targetednews.com;  for technical questions about transmission or for retransmissions, please contact Kevin Meek, kevin@targetednews.com.

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