HouseThis week’s particularly stupid No vote by Joe Pitts, ladies and gentlemen.
Public lands conservation. Voting 285-140, the House sent President Obama a bill (HR 146) that would conserve tens of millions of acres of public land, mostly in the West. The bill would protect 2.1 million acres in California, Colorado, Idaho, Michigan, New Mexico, Oregon, Utah, Virginia and West Virginia as wilderness; add 26 million acres to the National Landscape Conservation System; preserve 2,800 miles of federal trails and add three units to the National Park System.
A yes vote was to send the bill to Obama.
Voting yes: John Adler (D., N.J.), 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.), Allyson Y. Schwartz (D., Pa.), Joe Sestak (D., Pa.), and Christopher H. Smith (R., N.J.).
Voting no: Joseph R. Pitts (R., Pa.).
Fighting wildfires. Voting 412-3, the House passed a bill (HR 1404) that would establish a dedicated fund within the normal appropriations process for paying the costs of fighting catastrophic wildfires. The bill awaits Senate action.For what it’s worth, this was introduced by Repug Bob Goodlatte of Virginia (nice try, Charlie and Joe, you asshats).
A yes vote was to pass the bill.
Voting yes: Adler, Andrews, Brady, Castle, Dent, Fattah, Gerlach, Holden, LoBiondo, Murphy, Pitts, Schwartz, Sestak and Smith.
Federal-state contracts. Voting 148-272, the House refused give the U.S. Forest Service permanent authority to sign contracts with states to prevent forest fires. Backers said the amendment to HR 1404 (above) would reduce the risk of catastrophic fires, while opponents said such contracts would undermine federal workers' rights and U.S. policies in areas such as timbering and environmental protection.
A yes vote backed the amendment.
Voting yes: Dent and Pitts.
Voting no: Adler, Andrews, Brady, Castle, Fattah, Gerlach, Holden, LoBiondo, Murphy, Schwartz, Sestak and Smith.
SenateThis amendment was sponsored by Diaper Dave Vitter (who, as noted here, despises all things ACORN). Thus, our Repug senator further attempts to burnish his right-wing “cred” against the challenge of wingnut Pat Toomey, as he did here on the Employee Free Choice Act.
Americorps expansion. Voting 79-19, the Senate passed a bill (HR 1388) that would more than triple the ranks of AmeriCorps, Volunteers in Service to America, and the National Civilian Community Corps - to 225,000 participants by 2014 - while expanding their missions to areas such as health care and clean energy.
A yes vote was to pass the bill.
Voting yes: Thomas Carper (D., Del.), Bob Casey Jr. (D., Pa.), Ted Kaufman (D., Del.), Frank Lautenberg (D., N.J.), Robert Menendez (D., N.J.), and Arlen Specter (R., Pa.).
Acorn dispute. Voting 53-43, the Senate tabled (killed) an amendment to prohibit funding under HR 1388 (above) for the Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now (ACORN). A nongovernmental organization, ACORN works mainly in poor communities on issues such as foreclosures, Gulf Coast recovery, immigration, voter registration, and raising the minimum wage. Critics accuse ACORN of fraudulent voter-registration activity.
A yes vote was to kill the amendment.
Voting yes: Carper, Casey, Kaufman, Lautenberg and Menendez.
Voting no: Specter.
As always, screw you, Arlen.
This week, the House and Senate took up Obama's budget, along with their own budget blueprints for fiscal 2010 and later years. Congress began a two-week Easter-Passover recess at week's end.