Key Votes Ahead

Both chambers this week will debate fiscal 2014 budget resolutions, while the Senate will complete work on a bill to fund the government between March 27 and Oct. 1

WASHINGTON - Here's how Arizona's members of Congress voted on major issues in the week ending Friday:



Voting 215 for and 202 against, the House on March 15 sent the Senate a Republican bill (HR 803) to consolidate 35 federal programs for job training, adult education and literacy education into a single, broad-based workforce program to be administered by the states as they see fit rather than by Washington. The bill is a five-year renewal of the Workforce Investment Act (WIA) to be funded at $6 billion annually through block grants controlled by governors. The WIA historically has used targeted grants to fund the vocational needs of specific populations. Under this bill, groups such as dislocated workers in search of new skills, the disabled, returning veterans, the poor and migrant workers would compete for available funds.

A yes vote was to pass the bill.

Yes: Paul Gosar, R-4, Matt Salmon, R-5, David Schweikert, R-6, Trent Franks, R-8

No: Ann Kirkpatrick, D-1, Ron Barber, D-2, Raúl Grijalva, D-3, Ed Pastor, D-7, Kyrsten Sinema, D-9


Voting 184 for and 233 against, members defeated a bid by Democrats to increase the minimum wage from $7.25 to $10.10 per hour as part of a GOP workplace bill (HR 803, above). This would be the first increase since 2009.

A yes vote was to raise the minimum wage.

Yes: Kirkpatrick, Barber,

Grijalva, Pastor, Sinema

No: Gosar, Salmon, Schweikert, Franks


Voting 192 for and 227 against, the House on March 15 defeated a Democratic alternative to HR 803 (above) that sought to retain but reform the existing Workforce Investment Act (WIA). Democrats proposed reviewing, pruning and consolidating the dozens of grant programs for specific populations. The Democratic plan also struck language in the GOP bill that would increase the business community's representation on state workforce boards at the expense of seats held by non-business stakeholders such as unions and community colleges.

A yes vote backed the Democratic plan.

Yes: Kirkpatrick, Barber, Grijalva, Pastor, Sinema

No: Gosar, Salmon, Schweikert, Franks


Voting 246-181, the House on March 13 passed a Republican bill (HR 890) to block a Department of Health and Human Services policy concerning work requirements in the 1996 welfare-reform law. The policy allows states to try innovative strategies for moving individuals from Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) to work so long as the result is a higher percentage of welfare recipients finding jobs. Republicans say the policy would weaken the law, while Democrats say it would increase hiring.

A yes vote was to send the bill to the Senate.

Yes: Kirkpatrick, Barber, Gosar, Salmon, Schweikert, Franks, Sinema

No: Grijalva, Pastor



Voting 45 for and 52 against, the Senate on March 13 defeated a bid to repeal the Affordable Care Act until such time as the U.S. economy returns to annual growth in the range of 3 to 5 percent. Economic growth was essentially flat in the fourth quarter of 2012 after reaching an annual rate of 3.1 percent in the third quarter. This amendment was offered to a bill (HR 933) still in debate that would fund the government between March 27 and Oct. 1 at an annual rate of $1.043 trillion.

A yes vote backed the amendment.

Yes: John McCain, R, Jeff Flake, R


Voting 45 for and 54 against, the Senate on March 14 defeated an amendment to HR 933 (above) to freeze the hiring of "nonessential" federal employees during the last half of fiscal 2013. Nonessential civil servants are defined as those whose duties do not directly protect human life and property.

A yes vote backed the amendment.

Yes: McCain, Flake