Key votes ahead
A big week begins. The House will take up a repeal of the employer and individual mandates in the 2010 health law and a bill to reduce the federal role in K-12 education. The Senate will hold confirmation votes on several Obama administration nominees and could vote to limit filibuster rights.
Voterama in Congress
WASHINGTON - Here's how area members of Congress voted on major issues last week.
FARM BILL, FOOD STAMPS
The House voted 216-208 on Thursday to pass a farm bill (HR 2642) that would end Congress' 40-year policy of including agriculture and nutrition programs in a single law to garner support from both rural and urban lawmakers. The vote sent the bill to a House-Senate conference committee. The bill is projected to cost $20 billion annually for programs to protect farmers' income, subsidize crop insurance, boost exports, expand domestic markets, promote land conservation and fund rural development. The bill also would effectively end the required renewal every five years of all U.S. farm programs, thus allowing some programs to become permanent.
This vote left behind, for later consideration, a reauthorization of the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), or food stamps, and other nutrition programs. These food-security programs were projected to cost abut $74 billion annually in a farm bill that met defeat in the House last month.
A yes vote was to pass the bill.
Yes: Paul Gosar, R-4
No: Ann Kirkpatrick, D-1; Ron Barber, D-2; Raúl Grijalva, D-3; Matt Salmon, R-5; Ed Pastor, D-7; Trent Franks, R-8; Kyrsten Sinema, D-9
Not voting: David Schweikert, R-6
On Thursday the House, voting 198 for and 226 against, defeated a bid by Democrats to require the Department of Agriculture to conduct annual food-safety inspections in countries that export egg products, meat and poultry to the U.S. Those overseas audits are now conducted every three years. The motion to HR 2642 (above) also sought to increase the budget of the department's Food Safety and Inspection Service for responding to outbreaks of illness in the U.S.
A yes vote was to increase U.S. food inspections overseas.
Yes: Kirkpatrick, Barber, Grijalva, Pastor, Sinema
No: Gosar, Salmon, Franks
Not voting: Schweikert
2014 ENERGY, WATER BUDGET
The House voted 227-198 on Wednesday to pass a bill (HR 2609) that would appropriate $30.4 billion for energy, water and nuclear-safety programs in fiscal 2014. The figure is nearly 9 percent below the 2013 level, mainly as a result of automatic spending cuts in the sequester. The bill provides $11.3 billion for the National Nuclear Safety Administration, including $7.6 billion for modernizing the U.S. nuclear stockpile; $5.5 billion for environmental cleanup at sites contaminated by radiation; $4.9 billion for the Army Corps of Engineers; $4.7 billion for conducting basic science; $983 million for renewable-energy and energy-efficiency programs; $430 million for fossil-fuel research; $123 million to fund the Nuclear Regulatory Commission; and $25 million to advance a nuclear-waste repository at Yucca Mountain in Nevada.
A yes vote was to pass the bill.
Yes: Gosar, Salmon, Schweikert, Pastor
No: Kirkpatrick, Barber, Grijalva, Franks, Sinema
On Tuesday the House, voting 115 for and 300 against, refused to remove $1.54 billion in taxpayer subsidies of the nuclear-energy, fossil-fuels and renewable-energy industries from HR 2609 (above).
A yes vote backed the amendment.
Not voting: Kirkpatrick, Barber, Gosar, Salmon, Schweikert, Pastor, Franks, Sinema
NUCLEAR WEAPONS v. PUBLIC WORKS
On Wednesday the House, voting 170 for and 253 against, defeated an amendment to transfer $100 million in HR 2609 (above) from the budget for modernizing the U.S. nuclear arsenal to public works construction. The amendment sought to shift funds from the National Nuclear Safety Administration, which receives $11.3 billion in the bill, to the Army Corps of Engineers, which is budgeted at $4.9 billion.
A yes vote backed the funds transfer.
Yes: Kirkpatrick, Grijalva,
No: Barber, Gosar, Salmon, Schweikert, Franks, Sinema
STUDENT-LOAN INTEREST RATES
On a 51-49 vote Wednesday, the Senate failed to reach the 60 votes needed to overcome a bipartisan filibuster of a Democratic bill (S 1238) that would reinstate for one year a 3.4 percent interest rate on Stafford undergraduate loans. That rate doubled to 6.8 percent on July 1 amid congressional gridlock over this issue. The Senate is now considering a compromise plan to set variable but capped interest rates - linked to yields on 10-year Treasury notes - for Stafford loans and other higher-education loans.
A yes vote was to reinstate a 3.4 percent student-loan rate for one year.
No: John McCain, R, Jeff Flake, R