Key votes ahead

The House this week will take up bills on pre-existing conditions and the Federal Helium Reserve, while the Senate will debate whether to allow states to collect sales tax on Internet transactions.

WASHINGTON - Here's how area members of Congress voted on major issues last week:



Voting 288 for and 127 against, the House on April 18 passed a bill (HR 624) to expand data-sharing between private businesses and federal security agencies to bolster U.S. defenses against cyberattacks by terrorists, foreign governments and others. In part, the Cyber Intelligence Sharing and Protection Act (CISPA) eases privacy and antitrust laws to enable telecoms and Internet service providers to share customer information such as emails and Cloud-stored files with federal authorities.

While the bill's purpose is to protect computer systems against crippling shutdowns and information thievery, it was criticized as an infringement on privacy rights and other civil liberties. The bill grants immunity from prosecution to companies that share customer data with the government.

A yes vote was to pass the bill.

Yes: Ann Kirkpatrick, D-1, Ron Barber, D-2, Matt Salmon, R-5, David Schweikert, R-6, Ed Pastor, D-7, Trent Franks, R-8, Kyrsten Sinema, D-9

No: Raúl Grijalva, D-3, Paul Gosar, R-4


Voting 189 for and 224 against, the House on April 18 defeated a bid to protect the privacy of social networking passwords as part of HR 624 (above). The Democratic measure sought to prohibit employers from requiring employees to divulge passwords to sites such as Facebook Twitter and LinkedIn as a condition of employment.

A yes vote backed the motion.

Yes: Kirkpatrick, Barber, Grijalva, Pastor, Sinema

No: Gosar, Salmon, Schweikert, Franks



Voting 54 for and 46 against, the Senate on April 17 failed to reach 60 votes for passing an amendment by Sens. Joe Manchin, D-W.Va., and Pat Toomey, R-Pa., that would require background checks on most commercial gun sales. The measure sought to expand the existing system, which exempts an estimated 40 percent of sales - including Internet sales and transactions between private parties at gun shows - from mandatory background checks. The amendment, which specifically prohibited the establishment of a national registry of gun owners, was offered to a gun-safety bill (S 649) that sponsors have put on hold.

A yes vote backed the amendment.

Yes: John McCain, R

No: Jeff Flake, R


Voting 57 for and 43 against, the Senate on April 17 failed to reach 60 votes needed to advance an amendment making it easier for individuals to carry concealed, loaded handguns while traveling in other states. The measure sought to impose what would effectively be a national standard on the existing patchwork of state laws on concealed handguns. It did so by enabling the concealed-carry law of the individual's home state to pre-empt any stricter laws he or she encounters in other states.

A yes vote backed the amendment.

Yes: McCain, Flake


Voting 40 for and 60 against, the Senate on April 17 turned back an amendment to outlaw the future manufacture, sale, possession and importation of 157 specific semi-automatic assault weapons identified by make and model. At the same time, the amendment identified and protected as legal 2,258 specific firearms used for hunting or sporting purposes.

A yes vote backed an assault-weapons ban.

No: McCain, Flake


Voting 52 for and 48 against, the Senate on April 17 failed to reach 60 votes for advancing a Republican alternative to S 649 (above). This plan would allocate more resources for addressing school safety and treating mental-health; create a Department of Justice task force for prosecuting those who falsify information on criminal background checks; require the department to step up prosecutions of gun crimes; bolster the National Instant Criminal Background Check System and authorize a study on the causes of mass shootings by the National Institute of Justice and National Academy of Sciences.

A yes vote backed the GOP plan.

Yes: McCain, Flake


Voting 46 for and 54 against, the Senate on April 17 turned back an amendment to S 649 (above) outlawing the sale and manufacture of ammunition clips holding more than 10 rounds. This would reinstate limits on high-capacity magazines that expired in 2004 when Congress failed to renew an assault-weapons ban.

A yes vote backed the amendment.

No: McCain, Flake


Voting 56 for and 44 against, the Senate on April 17 failed to reach 60 votes for advancing an amendment to S 649 (above) setting up a special appeals process in the Veterans' Administration for veterans who fail gun-purchase background checks because they have been adjudicated mentally ill.

A yes vote backed the amendment.

Yes: McCain, Flake