Federal tobacco regulation. In a 326-102 vote, the House sent the Senate a bill that would begin Food and Drug Administration regulation of tobacco products. The bill would empower the FDA to regulate cigarette content, require disclosure of product ingredients, ban cigarette marketing to children, and require more prominent health warnings.I make a lot of fun of Joe Pitts and his awful votes, but in all seriousness, this is utterly unconscionable (to support Bruce Slater, please click here – if this isn’t a reason to do so, I don’t know what is).
A yes vote was to pass the bill (HR 1108).
Voting yes: Robert E. Andrews (D., N.J.), Robert A. Brady (D., Pa.), Michael N. Castle (R., Del.), Charles W. Dent (R., Pa.) Chaka Fattah (D., Pa.), Jim Gerlach (R., Pa.), Tim Holden (D., Pa.), Frank A. LoBiondo (R., N.J.), Patrick Murphy (D., Pa.), H. James Saxton (R., N.J.), Allyson Y. Schwartz (D., Pa.), Joe Sestak (D., Pa.), and Christopher H. Smith (R., N.J.).
Voting no: Joseph R. Pitts (R., Pa.).
Oil-market speculation. In a 276-151 vote, the House failed to reach a two-thirds majority needed to pass a bill directing the Commodity Futures Trading Commission to curb "excessive speculation" in the oil-futures market, in part by setting higher margin requirements, limiting investment positions, and requiring more public disclosure.So Pitts and Saxton think they know more than Nomi Prins, a former managing director of Goldman Sachs who thinks we must do a hell of a lot more than we’re doing to regulate oil speculation (noted here)?
A yes vote was to advance the bill (HR 6604).
Voting yes: Andrews, Brady, Castle, Dent, Fattah, Gerlach, Holden, LoBiondo, Murphy, Schwartz, Sestak and Smith.
Voting no: Pitts and Saxton.
Gender-based pay bias. In a 247-178 vote, the House sent the Senate a bill to bolster the federal law that bans pay discrimination based on gender. The bill would empower women alleging pay bias to sue for recovery of back pay and receive punitive and compensatory damages, ban employer retaliation against those who share salary data with coworkers, and establish a grant program to teach negotiating skills to girls and women.I actually just went looking for more information on Pitts (along with LoBiondo – Saxton is a hopeless case also who can’t leave soon enough at this point), and I found out that Pancake Joe is scheduled to host a public meeting to discuss the proposed Sparrows Point Pipeline Project this Tuesday at 7 PM at the Octorara High School Auditorium, 226 Highland Road, Atglen (for any PA-16 folk who may be reading this).
A yes vote was to pass the bill (HR 1338).
Voting yes: Andrews, Brady, Castle, Dent, Fattah, Gerlach, Holden, Murphy, Schwartz, Sestak and Smith.
Voting no: LoBiondo, Pitts and Saxton.
Why don’t you show up and give Joe a piece of your mind over this and other matters? It can only help (when it comes to adding to whatever gray matter Joe actually has, I mean). I’d like to hear him try to explain why he thinks gender-based pay discrimination if OK.
SenateGee, didn’t Arlen just get done criticizing Congress for supposedly not doing anything on this issue here? Well, it sounds like they were trying, but the “Roadblock Republicans” struck again, with “Senator Comcast” going along for the ride.
Renewable-energy tax credits. In a 51-43 vote, the Senate failed to reach 60 votes needed to end GOP blockage of a bill to extend renewable-energy tax credits due to expire at year's end. The credits would promote fuel extraction from sources such as the sun, wind, earth and crops and promote the manufacture of more energy-efficient homes, buildings and appliances.
A yes vote was to advance the bill (S 3335).
Voting yes: Joseph R. Biden Jr. (D., Del.), Thomas Carper (D., Del.), Bob Casey (D., Pa.), Robert Menendez (D., N.J.), and Frank Lautenberg (D., N.J.).
Voting no: Arlen Specter (R., Pa.).
As always, screw you, Arlen.
Higher Education Act. In an 83-8 vote, the Senate sent President Bush the conference report on a bill (HR 4137) renewing the Higher Education Act at a cost of at least $142 billion in discretionary spending through fiscal 2013. The bill would provide up to $10,000 in student-loan forgiveness to members of the armed forces, public defenders, prosecutors, firefighters, emergency workers, law enforcement officers, educators, and nurses.As you can read here, I thought the voting on this was pretty interesting.
A yes vote was to approve the measure.
Voting yes: Biden, Carper, Casey, Menendez, Lautenberg and Specter.
Repug Olympia Snowe of Maine voted “present.” Does she support helping out all of these fine professionals with their student loans, or doesn’t she?
John McCain did not cast a vote (yes, I know there’s a good reason, but this is in keeping with his horrific attendance). Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton likewise did not vote. Neither did Norm Coleman (take note, Al), Dems Amy Klobuchar and Ted Kennedy (for an obvious reason), and Repugs Chuck Hagel and Pete Domenici.
And the No votes, as you might expect, were all from Repugs trying to recover some conservative “brand” of miserly spending on the backs of people who don’t deserve it, and they would be Jeff Sessions, Jon Kyl, John Isakson, Tom Coburn, Jim Inhofe (to help Andrew Rice, click here), Jim DeMint, Lamar Alexander, and Bob Corker.
And as of now, Congress is in recess until the week of Sept. 8.