Key Votes Ahead
The House plans this week to debate a continuing resolution to fund the government from March 27 through Sept. 30. The Senate schedule was to be announced.
WASHINGTON - Here's how Arizona's members of Congress voted on major issues in the week ending March 1.
VIOLENCE AGAINST WOMEN
Voting 286 for and 138 against, the House on Feb. 28 bill (S 47) sent President Obama a bill renewing the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA) through fiscal 2018. The law is designed to prevent domestic and dating violence, stalking and sexual assaults, and help victims recover when those crimes occur. The bill (S 47) expands VAWA to cover gays, lesbians and transsexuals while empowering tribal courts to prosecute and issue protection orders against non-indigenous persons accused of assaulting Native American and Alaska native women in their native communities. The bill also provides funding to help police departments reduce large backlogs in laboratory testing of DNA evidence taken from rape victims.
Additionally, the bill addresses rape and other sexual crimes on college campuses; allocates U visas to help battered, undocumented immigrants avoid domestic violence; funds programs to combat human trafficking; expands the availability of safe homes for victims of domestic violence; and makes it easier to bring charges under the Telecommunications Act against persons making obscene or harassing telephone calls.
A yes vote was to pass the bill.
Yes: Ann Kirkpatrick, D-1, Ron Barber, D-2, Raúl Grijalva, D-3, Ed Pastor, D-7, Kyrsten Sinema, D-9
No: Paul Gosar, R-4, Matt Salmon, R-5, David Schweikert, R-6, Trent Franks, R-8
GOP ANTI-VIOLENCE BILL
Voting 166 for and 257 against, the House on Feb. 28 defeated a GOP version of the Violence Against Women Act (S 47, above) that differed by providing fewer safeguards for victims on Indian reservations and college campuses or for gays, lesbians and battered illegal immigrants. In part, the bill failed to give tribal police and courts full authority over non-Indians accused of committing rape and domestic violence on reservations, forcing victims to turn to federal authorities far from reservations.
A yes vote backed the GOP alternative.
Yes: Salmon, Franks
No: Kirkpatrick, Barber, Grijalva, Gosar, Schweikert, Pastor, Sinema
DEFENSE SECRETARY HAGEL
By a vote of 58 for and 41 against, the Senate on Feb. 26 confirmed Chuck Hagel as the nation's 24th secretary of Defense. Hagel, 66, a former Republican senator from Nebraska, becomes the first former enlisted man and first Vietnam veteran to hold this post. He drew opposition from Republicans who objected to his public statements on U.S. policies toward Iran, Iraq, Afghanistan and Israel and used the nomination to fault the administration for its handling of last year's terrorist attack on the U.S. Consulate in Benghazi, Libya.
A yes vote was to confirm Hagel.
No: John McCain, R Jeff Flake, R
TREASURY SECRETARY LEW
Voting 71 and 26 against, the Senate on Feb. 27 confirmed Jacob L. Lew, 57, as secretary of the Treasury. Lew served previously as White House chief of staff for President Obama and as director of the Office of Management and Budget under Obama and Bill Clinton.
A yes vote was to confirm Lew.
Yes: McCain, Flake
DEMOCRATIC SEQUESTRATION PLAN
Voting 51 for and 49 against, the Senate on Feb. 28 failed to reach 60 votes for advancing a Democratic bill (S 388) to prevent $85 billion in blind, across-the-board cuts in defense, domestic and foreign-affairs spending for fiscal 2013 from taking effect March 1. The bill sought to replace half of the cuts known as sequestration with revenue increases and the other half with targeted reductions, including a slashing of farm subsidies. Among the bill's revenue measures were ones to eliminate $4 billion annually in tax breaks for the five largest oil companies and set a minimum tax rate of 30 percent on household incomes over $5 million.
A yes vote was to advance the Democratic plan.
No: McCain, Flake
GOP SEQUESTRATION PLAN
Voting 38 for and 62 against, the Senate on Feb. 28 turned back a Republican bill (S 16) that locked in $85 billion in defense and non-defense spending cuts set for March 1 but ceded to President Obama the "power of the purse" to decide how and where to make them. The president's specific cuts would be subject to a vote of disapproval in Congress, and he could not propose tax increases.
A yes vote backed the GOP plan.