CommunityPam's House Blend

How Tar Heel members of Congress voted this week

The Durham Herald-Sun has the Congressional roll call votes for the week. No surprises here; all the Republicans swing to the wingnut crowd; Elizabeth Dole was named to head the Republican Senatorial Committee, so she’ll be spending most of her time whoring for bucks to elect GOP candidates.

U.S. House

NATIONAL DEBT CEILING: Voting 208 for and 204 against, the House on Thursday sent President Bush a bill (S 2986) to raise the national debt ceiling by $800 billion to $8.18 trillion. This marked the third time since the president took office that Congress increased federal borrowing authority to avert a government shutdown. Deficit spending has totaled $1.4 trillion during Bush’s first term and is projected to reach $2.2 trillion by late 2005, when this new limit is expected to expire.

A yes vote was to increase the national debt. [Anyone that voted yes for this, needs to be tossed out next time. I don’t EVER want to hear about Dems taxing and spending — Pam.]

Yes: Richard Burr, R-5 [The wingnut that will take the Edwards Senate seat next session. –Pam], Howard Coble, R-6, Robin Hayes, R-8, Sue Myrick, R-9, Cass Ballenger, R-10, Charles Taylor , R-11

No: C.K. Butterfield, D-1, Bob Etheridge, D-2, Walter Jones, R-3, David Price, D-4, Mike McIntyre, D-7, Melvin Watt, D-12, Brad Miller, D-13

PAY AS YOU GO: Voting 194 for and 218 against, the House on Thursday rejected a bid by Democrats to change S 2896 (above) to give Congress an April 15 deadline for deciding whether to restore pay-as-you-go discipline to federal budgeting. Under “pay-go” rules, cuts in taxes or increases in entitlement spending must be offset by tax increases or spending cuts elsewhere in the budget. The legally binding rules helped Congress achieve budget surpluses in the 1990s. But GOP leaders now oppose them on grounds they would interfere with the administration’s policy of using tax cuts to stimulate economic growth.

A yes vote was to restore pay-as-you-go rules.

Yes: Butterfield, Etheridge, Price, McIntyre, Watt, Miller

No: Jones, Burr, Coble, Hayes, Myrick, Ballenger, Taylor

EDUCATING THE DISABLED: Voting 397 for and three against, the House on Friday approved the conference report on a bill (HR 1350) extending through fiscal 2009 the Individuals With Disabilities Education Act (IDEA). The 1975 law guarantees a mainstream education for the 6.5 million K-12 students with disabilities. This renewal raises teacher standards; reduces paperwork burdens; strengthens discipline of disruptive students for conduct unrelated to their disability; employs mediation to reduce parents’ lawsuits, and enables quicker and more accurate identification of students in need of special help.

Congress originally pledged to cover 40 percent of the additional costs that the law imposes on states and localities. But the federal share now stands at only 19 percent. This bill authorizes but does not require Congress to reach the 40 percent share by 2011. Actual increases will depend on later votes.

A yes vote was to approve the conference report.

Yes: Butterfield, Etheridge, Jones, Price, Burr, Coble, McIntyre, Hayes, Myrick, Ballenger, Taylor, Watt, Miller

No: None

CATCHALL 2005 APPROPRIATIONS: Voting 344 for and 51 against, the House on Saturday approved the conference report on a bill (HR 4818) providing $388 billion in fiscal 2005 discretionary spending for all Cabinet-level departments except Defense and Homeland Security, whose budgets already have been enacted. In contrast to large increases approved earlier for military operations and domestic security, this bill provides small increases or freezes for most domestic programs in areas such as education, the environment, housing, agriculture, medical research and law enforcement. The bill funds foreign operations at slightly increased levels.

A yes vote was to pass the bill.

Yes: Butterfield, Etheridge, Price, Coble, McIntyre, Hayes, Myrick, Taylor, Watt, Miller

No: Jones

Not voting: Burr, Ballenger

COMMERCIAL SPACE FLIGHT: Voting 269 for and 120 against, the House on Saturday passed a bill (HR 5382) empowering the Federal Aviation Administration to begin federal regulation of commercial space flights involving human passengers and crew. The bill awaited Senate action at the close of the 108th Congress.

A yes vote was to pass the bill.

Yes: Butterfield, Jones, Price, Coble, Hayes, Myrick, Ballenger, Taylor, Watt, Miller

No: Etheridge, McIntyre

Not voting: Burr

U.S. Senate

NATIONAL DEBT CEILING: Senators on Wednesday voted, 52 for and 44 against, to raise the national debt ceiling by $800 billion to $8.2 trillion in order to prevent the government from shutting down within weeks. The Treasury had used short-term borrowing from the federal employees’ pension fund to keep the government afloat. Congress now has raised the statutory debt limit three times during the Bush administration.

A yes vote was to raise the debt ceiling.

Yes: Elizabeth Dole, R

No: John Edwards, D

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Pam Spaulding

Pam Spaulding