Friday, December 14, 2007

Where The Rubber Meets The Road (12/14/07)

As reported in last Sunday's Philadelphia Inquirer, here is how Philadelphia-area members of Congress were recorded on major roll-call votes last week.


New Energy Policies: Members voted, 235-181, to raise vehicle mileage standards 40 percent over 12 years and require utilities to generate 15 percent of their electricity from renewable sources.

A yes vote backed a bill raising taxes on oil firms to finance an array of new energy policies. (HR 6)

Voting yes: Robert E. Andrews (D., N.J.), Robert A. Brady (D., Pa.), Michael N. Castle (R., Del.), Chaka Fattah (D., Pa.), Jim Gerlach (R., Pa.), Tim Holden (D., Pa.), Frank A. LoBiondo (R., N.J.), Patrick Murphy (D., Pa.), Allyson Y. Schwartz (D., Pa.), Joe Sestak (D., Pa.) and Christopher H. Smith (R., N.J.).

Voting no: Charles W. Dent (R., Pa.), Joseph R. Pitts (R., Pa.), H. James Saxton (R., N.J.).
As noted here, the vehicle mileage standards provision made it through the Senate, but the affected industries, led by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, defeated the renewable sources provision (probably the best deal we were going to get against the Repugs on this – still stinks, though).

The Times story noted that the bill now goes back to the House (hanging under the inevitable veto threat from President Stupid Head, apparently getting antsy because he hasn’t used his veto crayon since he nixed SCHIP for a second time).


Temporary Tax Relief: Senators passed, 88-5, a bill to exempt about 20 million middle-income filers from the Alternative Minimum Tax in 2007. The $50 billion cost would swell the 2008 deficit because the Senate failed to offset it with tax hikes.
A yes vote was to pass HR 3996.

Voting yes: Bob Casey Jr. (D., Pa.), Frank Lautenberg (D., N.J.), Robert Menendez (D., N.J.) and Arlen Specter (R., Pa.).

Voting no: Thomas Carper (D., Del.).

Not Voting: Joseph R. Biden Jr. (D., Del.).
By the way, Carper was one of five Democrats who voted against this bill (they were the only opposing votes). I’d like to think it was because there was no means provided to compensate for lost revenue; I seriously don’t want to think that it’s because they actually support the AMT as is.

Interesting vote for Biden to miss, by the way.

Trade With Peru: Senators voted, 77-18, to implement a U.S.-Peru free-trade pact that requires Peru to meet labor and environmental standards while locking in Peru's duty-free access to U.S. markets and lifting Peruvian duties on 80 percent of U.S. farm and consumer exports. A yes vote backed HR 3688.

Voting yes: Carper, Lautenberg, Menendez and Specter.

Voting no: Casey.

Not voting: Biden.
Kudos to Casey; anyone who doesn’t understand that “free” trade will never be free must still believe in Santa Claus (or perhaps they’re on the “gift list” from the National Association of Manufacturers?).

This week, the House took up conference reports on 2008 defense and intelligence budgets and a bill on terrorism-risk insurance. The Senate debated farm programs and 2008 appropriations bills.

1 comment:

JohnW1141 said...

There is no such thing as "free trade" there is only managed trade.