HouseAs noted here, the presence of language in the bill about barring development of a national ID card was in all likelihood the reason for Castle’s “No” vote here (no other information on his web site). And I realize the argument for this has some theoretical merit, but trying to implement this in the real world would be a nightmare (one of the reasons why I personally support licenses for illegal immigrants – we need to track these people somehow). Also, telling foreign nationals that they suddenly need an ID card to work and/or study here would exacerbate the “brain drain” that developed after 9/11 at a time when we can least afford it.
Homeland-security budget: By a 389-37 vote, the House approved a $44 billion Department of Homeland Security budget for fiscal 2010, up 6.5 percent from 2009. The bill bars development of a national ID card, requires threat assessments of Guantanamo Bay prisoners, and prohibits spending to block individuals from importing FDA-approved drugs from Canada.
A yes vote was to pass the bill.
Voting yes: John Adler (D., N.J.), Robert E. Andrews (D., N.J.), Robert A. Brady (D., Pa.), 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.), Joseph R. Pitts (R., Pa.), Allyson Schwartz (D., Pa.), Joe Sestak (D., Pa.), and Christopher H. Smith (R., N.J.).
Voting no: Michael N. Castle (R., Del.).
Air marshals budget. By a 134-294 vote, the House refused to cut spending in the Homeland Security Budget for the Federal Air Marshal Service from $860 million to $819 million. The agency's mission is to station armed marshals on an undisclosed number of passenger flights.I’m hearing rumblings that Castle might make a run for the Senate in 2010. If he does, I can’t wait to hear him try to defend votes like this one.
A yes vote was to cut the air marshals budget.
Voting yes: Castle, Pitts.
Voting no: Adler, Andrews, Brady, Dent, Fattah, Gerlach, Holden, LoBiondo, Murphy, Schwartz, Sestak, and Smith.
Economic stimulus. By a 113-318 vote, the House refused to cut Department of Homeland Security spending by $2.7 billion, which is the amount of stimulus funds Congress added earlier this year to the department's budget.I have to admit that it took a long time for John Adler to made a rookie mistake like this one (can’t find any further information to explain this).
A yes vote backed the spending cut.
Voting yes: Adler.
Voting no: Andrews, Brady, Castle, Dent, Fattah, Gerlach, Holden, LoBiondo, Murphy, Pitts, Schwartz, Sestak, and Smith.
2010 military budget. By a 389-22 vote, the House authorized a $680 billion military budget for fiscal 2010, including $130 billion for war in Iraq and Afghanistan and $9.3 billion for the National Missile Defense. The bill sets a 3.4 percent military pay raise, increases active-duty personnel by 40,200 troops to 1.4 million troops, and bars permanent U.S. military bases in Iraq.Here is a link to a congressional votes post from September ’06 where a measure calling for accountability from Dubya on Iraq was introduced in the Senate and defeated in a party line vote. I’m just trying to point out here how one party kept in lockstep with its commander in chief, as opposed to the Dems.
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.
Withdrawal from Afghanistan. By a 138-278 vote, the House defeated an amendment to the 2010 military budget requiring that the Defense Department report to Congress by the end of the year on any plans to withdraw U.S. troops from Afghanistan.
A yes vote backed the amendment.
Voting yes: Brady, Fattah, and Sestak.
Voting no: Adler, Andrews, Castle, Dent, Gerlach, Holden, LoBiondo, Murphy, Pitts, Schwartz, and Smith.
Yes, accountability is always a good thing, but, for better or worse, Obama has barely had time to do anything is Afghanistan. Do I personally agree with what he’s doing? Not completely. But all I’m saying is that he deserves a chance before politicians of his own party start hectoring him over withdrawing troops.
Interrogation videotapes. The House required, 224-193, the government to videotape all military interrogations, except during combat, and retain the tapes in a secured and classified repository. The amendment was added to the military budget bill.Patrick once opposed this (here), but kudos for doing the right thing this time (and Castle looked like a chump earlier, but he does the right thing here; also, even though there’s a lot not to like about Chris Smith, he also keeps casting votes like this one).
A yes vote backed the amendment.
Voting yes: Adler, Andrews, Brady, Castle, Fattah, Murphy, Schwartz, Sestak, and Smith.
Voting no: Dent, Gerlach, LoBiondo, Holden, and Pitts.
Cap-and-trade energy package. The House voted, 219-212, to shift U.S. energy production and consumption from fossil fuels to renewable fuels while setting cap-and-trade rules to cut emissions linked to global warming.I weighed in on this earlier here (first item) – shocking that, except for the air marshals vote with Castle, Joe Pitts isn’t hanging out on a limb all by himself this week.
A yes vote was to pass the measure.
Voting yes: Adler, Andrews, Brady, Castle, Fattah, LoBiondo, Murphy, Sestak, Schwartz, and Smith.
Voting no: Dent, Gerlach, Holden, and Pitts.
SenateYeah, why the hell do we need to spend money on any stinkin’ tourists, particularly in light of this?
Tourism in America. By a 53-34 vote, the Senate failed to get 60 votes for ending a filibuster on a bill that would establish a federal corporation to increase foreign travel to the United States and expand Department of Commerce tourism programs.
A yes vote was to advance the bill.
Voting yes: Thomas Carper (D., Del.), Bob Casey (D., Pa.), Ted Kaufman (D., Del.), Frank Lautenberg (D., N.J.), and Robert Menendez (D., N.J.).
Not voting: Arlen Specter (D., Pa.).
Harold Koh nomination. The Senate confirmed, 62-35, the nomination of Yale Law School Dean Harold Hongju Koh as the Department of State's top lawyer.Now that Koh is confirmed, hopefully Dawn Johnsen will be next.
A yes vote was to confirm Koh.
Voting yes: Carper, Casey, Kaufman, Lautenberg, Menendez, and Specter.
Legislative branch budget. The Senate killed, 65-31, a motion to reduce the $3.12 billion legislative branch budget for fiscal 2010 to its 2009 level. The bill remained in debate.The Inquirer reports that Congress is now in a July 4th recess, with everyone scheduled to return to Washington next week.
A yes vote opposed a budget freeze at 2009 levels.
Voting yes: Casey, Carper, Kaufman, Lautenberg, Menendez, and Specter.