BY TARGETED NEWS SERVICE
Sunday, December 30, 2012
12/30/12 at 6:32 AM
WASHINGTON - Here is how Oklahoma's members of the Senate 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. There were no key votes in the House last week.
Vote 1. Military spending: The Senate has agreed to the conference report accompanying the National Defense Authorization Act (H.R. 4310), sponsored by Rep. Buck McKeon, R-Calif., to authorize fiscal 2013 military spending. The vote, on Dec. 21, was 81 yeas to 14 nays.
Vote 2. Disaster relief: The Senate has rejected a motion to waive a point of order for an amendment sponsored by Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid to the Full-Year Continuing Appropriations Act (H.R. 1). The bill would have provided $3.4 billion for emergency disaster relief efforts. A supporter of sustaining the point of order, Sen. Pat Toomey, R-Pa., said the bill would generate $3.4 billion of deficit spending by failing to offset the cost of spending on disaster recovery, and the point of order would properly categorize the spending as investment in long-term construction projects. An opponent of the point of order, Sen. Barbara Mikulski, D-Md., said it would set "a dangerous precedent" by offsetting disaster assistance for the first time and cutting domestic spending in fiscal 2013 by $3.4 billion. The vote to waive the point of order, on Dec. 21, was 57 yeas to 34 nays, with a three-fifths majority required.
Vote 3 Surveillance court rulings: The Senate has rejected an amendment sponsored by Sen. Jeff Merkley, D-Ore., to the FISA Amendments Act Reauthorization Act (H.R. 5949). The amendment would have required the attorney general to disclose rulings by a Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court that include significant legal interpretation of section 501 or 702 of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act of 1978 unless disclosure would damage national security. Merkley said the amendment would ensure that the government fulfill its obligation to inform citizens of the judicial interpretations of the law. An opponent, Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif., said: "The intelligence community strives to be as transparent as possible with the public, but legislation that would force its hand and potentially risk the exposure of classified information is both unnecessary and unwise." The vote, on Dec. 27, was 37 yeas to 54 nays.
Vote 4. Government searches: The Senate has rejected an amendment sponsored by Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky., to the FISA Amendments Act Reauthorization Act (H.R. 5949). The amendment would have required federal, state, and local government to have a warrant or express and informed consent in order to obtain information about individuals that are held by a third party in a system of records. The vote, on Dec. 27, was 12 yeas to 79 nays.
JI: Jim Inhofe (R)
TC: Tom Coburn (R)