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2013-02-03T00:00:00Z Capitol LinkVoterama In Congress Voterama In Congress Arizona Daily Star
February 03, 2013 12:00 am  • 

Key votes Ahead

The Senate will take up the Violence Against Women Act In the week of Feb. 4. The House schedule is to be announced.

Here's how Arizona senators voted on major issues in the week ending Feb. 1. The House was not in session.

SECRETARY OF STATE KERRY

Voting 94 for and three against, the Senate on Jan. 29 confirmed Sen. John Kerry, D-Mass., as the 68th U.S. secretary of state. He was sworn into office Feb. 1. Republican Sens. John Cornyn and Ted Cruz of Texas and Jim Inhofe of Oklahoma cast the negative votes.

A yes vote was to confirm Kerry.

Yes: John McCain, R, Jeff Flake, R

DEBT-LIMIT SUSPENSION

Voting 64 for and 34 against, the Senate on Jan. 31 sent President Obama a bill (HR 325) to suspend the statutory debt limit until May 19, thus allowing the Treasury to borrow above the current $16.4 trillion limit until then. The borrowing will accommodate spending already approved by Congress. The bill also would impound congressional paychecks if either chamber were to fail to adopt a fiscal 2014 budget blueprint by the required date of April 15.

Under the bill, any impounded pay would be released to members by the end of the 113th Congress in January 2015. Senators sparred over whether this approach would violate the constitutional ban on lawmakers changing their pay before a general election has intervened. Stated in the 27th Amendment, the ban is designed to keep lawmakers from accepting pay raises without first having to face voters in the next biennial congressional election.

A yes vote was to pass the bill.

Yes: McCain

No: Flake

EGYPT MILITARY-AID CUTOFF

Voting 79 for and 19 against, the Senate on Jan. 31 tabled (killed) an attempt to end U.S. military assistance to Egypt in response to instability there under a Muslim Brotherhood-led government. Offered to HR 325 (above), the amendment sought, in part, to stop deliveries of military vehicles such as Abrams tanks and aircraft such as the F-16 fighter jet. Backers said the U.S. should not be propping up a government openly hostile to America, while opponents said the amendment would upend U.S.-Egypt relations, harm Israel and worsen chaos in the Middle East.

A yes vote was to kill the amendment.

Yes: McCain, Flake

DOLLAR-FOR-DOLLAR DEBT INCREASE

Voting 54 for and 44 against, the Senate on Jan. 31 tabled (killed) an amendment to HR 325 (above) to cut future discretionary spending by one dollar for every dollar increase in the national debt limit. The debt limit deals with the past in that it applies to money already appropriated by Congress.

A yes vote was to kill the amendment.

No: McCain, Flake

SUPERSTORM SANDY AID

Voting 62 for and 36 against, the Senate on Jan. 28 sent President Obama a bill (HR 152) to appropriate $50.5 billion in superstorm Sandy disaster aid to areas of New Jersey, Connecticut and New York. The appropriation is emergency aid and thus would be deficit spending. About one-third of the aid would provide immediate relief to individuals, businesses, governmental units and other victims of Sandy, with the remainder to be spent on measures to curb damages from future storms. The preventive aid would be spent primarily in the region struck by Sandy last October but in other parts of the U.S. as well.

The bill's largest outlays are $16.3 billion for transit and other transportation projects; $16 billion for Community Development Block Grants and Department of Housing and Urban Development payments for rebuilding housing and infrastructure; $11.5 billion in Federal Emergency Management Agency aid; $5.3 billion for Army Corps of Engineers projects and $2 billion for Federal Highway Administration projects. The bill also provides $500 million for social services such as mental-health counseling and child care.

A yes vote was to pass the bill.

No: McCain, Flake

DISASTER-AID OFFSET

Voting 35 for and 62 against, the Senate on Jan. 28 refused to pay the $50.5 billion cost of HR 152 (above) by cutting the same amount from military and non-military discretionary spending over the next nine years. Failure of this amendment preserved in the bill the longstanding congressional practice of treating disaster aid as emergency spending to be added to the national debt rather than be offset.

A yes vote was to offset Hurricane Sandy aid.

Yes: Flake

No: McCain

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