Press Release

Votes for the week ending July 12 for Maine members of Congress

By Targeted News Service

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

HOUSE VOTES:

House Vote 1:

DERIVATIVES TRADES: The House has passed the Financial Competitive Act (H.R. 1341), sponsored by Rep. Stephen Lee Fincher, R-Tenn. The bill would require the Financial Stability Oversight Council to study the potential effects of differences between the U.S. and other countries in the implementation of the credit valuation adjustment capital requirement for derivatives trades in financial markets. Fincher said the study was needed because the European Union has exempted its banks from the capital requirement, which “will provide a significant financial and business advantage to European banks, European customers, and European end users at the expense of American business, banks, and end users.” The vote, on July 8, was 353 yeas to 24 nays.

YEAS: Rep. Michael H. Michaud D-ME (2nd)

NAYS: Rep. Chellie Pingree D-ME (1st)

House Vote 2:

AUDITING PUBLIC COMPANIES: The House has passed the Audit Integrity and Job Protection Act (H.R. 1564), sponsored by Rep. Robert Hurt, R-Va. The bill would bar the Public Company Accounting Oversight Board from requiring public companies to use specific auditors or the use of different auditors on a rotating basis to audit their financial statements. Hurt said a rule proposed by the Board to require public companies to rotate the firms that audit their statements “would significantly impair the quality of public audits, reduce the supervision and oversight of audit committees, and impose significant, unnecessary costs that impede investment and harm investors and consumers.” The vote, on July 8, was 321 yeas to 62 nays.

YEAS: Rep. Michael H. Michaud D-ME (2nd)

NAYS: Rep. Chellie Pingree D-ME (1st)

House Vote 3:

VETERANS SERVICE ORGANIZATIONS: The House has passed the FOR VETS Act (H.R. 1171), sponsored by Rep. Dan Benishek, R-Mich. The bill would authorize the Veterans Affairs Department to sell surplus government personal property to veterans service organizations for the benefit of veterans. Benishek said that with the surplus sales, “veterans service organizations can use valuable service items that are considered surplus property to better serve those who have given so much to our Nation. Some of these items could be a refrigerator for everyday use at a local post or even a vehicle to be used to take disabled veterans to appointments.” The vote, on July 8, was 387 yeas to 1 nay.

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

House Vote 4:

RENEWABLE ENERGY RESEARCH: The House has rejected an amendment sponsored by Rep. Ed Perlmutter, D-Colo., to the Energy and Water Development and Related Agencies Appropriations Act (H.R. 2609). The amendment would have increased funding for the Energy Department’s National Renewable Energy Lab in Colorado by $15 million, with an offsetting cut in funding for the Nuclear National Nuclear Security Administration. An opponent, Rep. Rodney Frelinghuysen, R-N.J., said: “We simply cannot afford to increase efficiency and renewable energy activities by diverting funding from inherently Federal responsibilities.” The vote, on July 9, was 177 yeas to 238 nays.

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

House Vote 5:

HOME WEATHERIZATION FUNDING: The House has rejected an amendment sponsored by Rep. Mark Takano, D-Calif., to the Energy and Water Development and Related Agencies Appropriations Act (H.R. 2609). The amendment would have increased funding for the Energy Department’s home weatherization assistance program by $40 million, and offset the increase by reducing funding for the National Nuclear Security Administration. Takano said the weatherization program “provides much-needed funding that enables low-income families, homeowners with disabilities, and seniors to permanently reduce their energy bills, making their homes more energy efficient” while also improving U.S. energy security by cutting demand for energy imports. An opponent, Rep. Rodney Frelinghuysen, R-N.J., said the offsetting cut would reduce funding for the modernization of the U.S. nuclear stockpile and the national security the stockpile helps ensure. The vote, on July 9, was 166 yeas to 250 nays.

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

House Vote 6:

ARPA-ENERGY FUNDING: The House has rejected an amendment sponsored by Rep. G.K. Butterfield, D-N.C., to the Energy and Water Development and Related Agencies Appropriations Act (H.R. 2609). The amendment would have increased funding for the Energy Department’s Advanced Research Projects Agency-Energy program by $127 million and offset the increase with a $127-million cut in funding for nuclear weapons activities and research and development of fossil fuels technology. Butterfield said: “ARPA-E provides critical funding for new technologies, which will strengthen our economy and lead us to energy sustainability. Eliminating the ARPA-E program will harm our competitiveness and will cost jobs in emerging energy industries.” An opponent, Rep. Rodney Frelinghuysen, R-N.J., said “we simply cannot afford to divert funds from our highest priorities” of investing in modernizing nuclear weapons and maintaining funding for fossil fuels research. The vote, on July 9, was 150 yeas to 266 nays.

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

House Vote 7:

BALLISTIC MISSILE SUBMARINES: The House has rejected an amendment sponsored by Rep. Jared Polis, D-Colo., to the Energy and Water Development and Related Agencies Appropriations Act (H.R. 2609). The amendment would have cut  fiscal 2014 funding for the National Nuclear Security Administration’s W76 submarine-launched ballistic missile program by $13.07 million, with the savings to be applied to deficit reduction. Polis called the W76 program “a continuing relic of Cold War policies that spend billions of taxpayer dollars every year,” and cutting the funding would improve the government’s fiscal health while having no impact on national security. An opponent, Rep. Rodney P. Frelinghuysen, R-N.J., said the W76 program “supports the mission of our Navy’s ballistic missile submarines, the most survivable leg of our nuclear deterrent,” and cutting funding would hurt the military’s force structure and national security. The vote, on July 10, was 182 yeas to 243 nays.

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

House Vote 8:

WESTERN TRANSMISSION LINES: The House has passed an amendment sponsored by Rep. John Fleming, R-La., to the Energy and Water Development and Related Agencies Appropriations Act (H.R. 2609). The amendment would bar funding for implementation of the Western Area Power Administration’s borrowing authority for a program of building transmission lines to carry renewable power. Fleming said the Energy Department’s inspector general has found that the program has failed to meet cost and schedule targets, and stopping the program now would prevent further waste of taxpayer money. An opponent, Rep. Marcy Kaptur, D-Ohio, said the program supported the need for power and modernizing the grid in Western states. The vote, on July 10, was 230 yeas to 194 nays.

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

House Vote 9:

ENERGY AND WATER PROGRAMS: The House has passed the Energy and Water Development and Related Agencies Appropriations Act (H.R. 2609), sponsored by Rep. Rodney P. Frelinghuysen, R-N.J. The bill would provide $30.4 billion of funding for the Energy Department, water programs in the Interior Department, and the Army Corps of Engineers  in fiscal 2014. Frelinghuysen said the bill “recognizes our fiscal realities and makes the tough decisions to ensure we get our spending under control without sacrificing our most critical of Federal functions,” including maintaining the nation’s nuclear weapons stockpile and its waterways and harbors. An opponent, Rep. Marcy Kaptur, D-Ohio, said the bill “abandons America’s quest for energy independence, which has the potential to create millions of new jobs,” and irresponsibly perpetuates sequestration cuts to government spending. The vote, on July 10, was 227 yeas to 198 nays.

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

House Vote 10:

FARM BILL: The House has passed the Federal Agriculture Reform and Risk Management Act (H.R. 2642), sponsored by Rep. Frank D. Lucas, R-Okla. The bill would fund Agriculture Department programs other than the food stamps program through fiscal 2018, cutting funding of the programs by nearly $20 billion. Lucas said the bill repealed or consolidated outmoded farm programs, including direct crop payments, cutting wasteful spending while helping ensure “a safe, affordable, reliable food supply” in the U.S. An opponent, Rep. Collin Peterson, D-Minn., said the bill wrongly split food stamps and farm programs into two separate pieces of legislation and would derail future efforts to pass farm bills because of its repeal of two permanent commodity program laws passed in 1938 and 1949. The vote, on July 11, was 216 yeas to 208 nays.

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

SENATE VOTES:

Senate Vote 1:

CONFIRMING FEDERAL JUDGE: The Senate has confirmed the nomination of Gregory Alan Phillips to serve as a judge on the U.S. Circuit Court for the Tenth Circuit. A supporter, Sen. Mike Enzi, R-Wyo., cited Phillips’ experience as a federal criminal prosecutor and Wyoming’s attorney general, and his high rating from the American Bar Association, and said Phillips is “recognized throughout the Wyoming legal community as a talented, respected, and thoughtful attorney.” The vote, on July 8, was unanimous with 88 yeas.

YEAS: Sen. Susan M. Collins R-ME

NOT VOTING: Sen. Angus King I-ME

Senate Vote 2:

CONFIRMING NEVADA JUDGE: The Senate has confirmed the nomination of Jennifer A. Dorsey to serve as U.S. District Judge for the District of Nevada. A supporter, Sen. Patrick J. Leahy, D-Vt., cited her experience as a partner at the Kemp, Jones & Coulthard law firm, including civil and criminal trials and appeals in state and federal courts. An opponent, Sen. Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa, questioned Dorsey’s qualifications, cited her partial not qualified ranking from the American Bar Association, and said that as a judge Dorsey could make rulings that prioritize her policy preferences over the guidelines of the law and judicial precedent. The vote, on July 9, was 54 yeas to 41 nays.

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

Senate Vote 3:

STUDENT LOAN INTEREST RATES: The Senate has rejected a cloture motion to end debate on the Keep Student Loans Affordable Act (S. 1238), sponsored by Sen. Jack Reed, D-R.I. The bill would have extended for one year the 3.4 percent interest rate on federal direct Stafford loans for undergraduates , which expired on July 1. Reed said the extension would keep college education expenses contained for the next year, allowing time for Congress to develop a more permanent solution to the rising cost of college. An opponent, Sen. Lamar Alexander, R-Tenn., said the extension would leave millions of middle-income students paying a higher interest rate on their Stafford loans, and Congress should instead approve a permanent, market-based interest rate regime for Stafford loans. The vote, on July 10, was 51 yeas to 49 nays, with a three-fifths majority required to end debate.

NAYS: 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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