BY TARGETED NEWS SERVICE
Sunday, June 10, 2012
6/10/12 at 5:48 AM
WASHINGTON - Here is how Oklahoma's members of the House of Representatives voted on key bills and amendments last week. A "Y" means the member voted for the measure; an "N" means the member voted against the measure; a "?" means the member did not vote.
Vote 1: Anti-terrorism initiatives: The House has rejected an amendment sponsored by Rep. Brian Higgins, D-N.Y., to the Department of Homeland Security Appropriations Act (H.R. 5855). The amendment would have provided a $58 million increase in funding for anti-terrorism initiatives in 36 urban areas from the Federal Emergency Management Agency. Higgins said: "We should be doing everything that we can to empower these communities to protect themselves from these threats." An opponent, Rep. Robert B. Aderholt, R-Ala., said the amendment would discourage fiscal discipline and cut investment in critical science and technology research and development programs at the Department of Homeland Security. The vote Wednesday was 150 yeas to 266 nays.
Vote 2: Tax on medical devices: The House has passed the Protect Medical Innovation Act (H.R. 436), sponsored by Rep. Erik Paulsen, R-Minn. The bill would repeal the excise tax on medical devices and repeal restrictions on the use of health savings accounts to pay for over-the-counter medication. Paulsen said letting the excise tax take effect in 2013 would threaten jobs at medical device manufacturers and harm an industry developing "life-improving, lifesaving technologies that help patients and literally save lives." An opponent, Rep. Sander M. Levin, D-Mich., said the excise tax was needed to help pay for the health-care-reform law. The vote Thursday was 270 yeas to 146 nays.
Vote 3: Crime and illegal immigrants: The House has approved an amendment sponsored by Rep. John Sullivan, R-Okla., to the Department of Homeland Security Appropriations Act (H.R. 5855). The amendment would bar funding to end a program known as 287(g), under which federal and local law enforcement agents partnered to investigate crimes by illegal immigrants. Sullivan said: "This program has been highly successful at not only apprehending immigration offenders but in facilitating the incarceration of dangerous criminals, and it has contributed to overall public safety." An opponent, Rep. David E. Price, D-N.C., said the amendment would force the Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency "to fund this cost-prohibitive and questionable immigration enforcement activity in order to keep on doing what we know isn't working and wasting federal taxpayer funds." The vote Thursday was 250 yeas to 164 nays.
Vote 4: Cutting Homeland Security spending: The House has rejected an amendment sponsored by Rep. Jared Polis, D-Colo., to the Department of Homeland Security Appropriations Act (H.R. 5855). The amendment would have cut funding provided by the bill for all programs other than counterterrorism by 2 percent. Polis said "the Department of Homeland Security has significant waste and abuse that can be targeted for reduction," and a 2 percent cut would "take real action to achieve fiscal sustainability and spur economic growth." An opponent, Rep. Robert B. Aderholt, R-Ala., said: "The amendment would slash critical funding for our nation's homeland security." The vote Thursday was 99 yeas to 316 nays.
Vote 5: Homeland Security: The House has passed the Department of Homeland Security Appropriations Act (H.R. 5855), sponsored by Rep. Robert B. Aderholt, R-Ala. The bill would provide $39.1 billion for Homeland Security in fiscal 2013. Aderholt said it would cut spending by nearly $500 million while increasing spending on disaster preparedness and science and technology programs in the effort "to address our nation's most urgent needs for security and also to address fiscal discipline." An opponent, Rep. John F. Tierney, D-Mass., said it failed to adequately fund cybersecurity initiatives and underfunded grants to help protect urban areas from terrorism. The vote Thursday was 234 yeas to 182 nays.
DB: Dan Boren (D)
TC: Tom Cole (R)
JL: James Lankford (R)
FL: Frank Lucas (R)
JS: John Sullivan (R)
Vote 1: Wages and sex discrimination: The Senate has rejected cloture for debate on the Paycheck Fairness Act (S. 3220), sponsored by Sen. Barbara A. Mikulski, D-Md. The bill would have established new funding, training and data collection measures for eliminating pay disparities between men and women, and increase protections against employer retaliation against employees filing gender-discrimination lawsuits. Mikulski said: "I believe people should be judged in the workplace for skills and competence and that once you get the job and you show you can do the job, you should be paid to do that job." An opponent, Sen. Mike Enzi, R-Wyo., said the bill would "insert the federal government into workplace-management decisions like never before. This intrusion will benefit trial lawyers and harm job growth and employment, which will affect both women and men." The vote Tuesday was 52 yeas to 47 nays, with a three-fifths majority required to end debate.
Vote 2: Agriculture programs: The Senate has approved a motion to close debate on a motion to consider the Agriculture Reform, Food, and Jobs Act (S. 3240), sponsored by Sen. Debbie Stabenow, D-Mich. The bill would reauthorize agricultural programs through fiscal 2017. Stabenow said it would cut more than $23 billion from the deficit while strengthening conservation programs and improving the safety net for farmers by developing a risk-based system for crop insurance. The vote Thursday was 90 yeas to 8 nays to stop the debate and move on to final consideration of the bill.
JI: Jim Inhofe (R)
TC: Tom Coburn (R)