Friday, October 23, 2009

Where The Rubber Meets The Road (10/23/09)

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 (and I also posted here).

I only have a comment on one item this week, by the way, and more or less an observation on another.


Homeland Security budget. Voting 307-114, the House approved the conference report on a $44.1 billion Department of Homeland Security budget for fiscal 2010, up 6.5 percent from 2009. The bill (HR 2892) funds agencies such as the Federal Emergency Management Agency, Immigration and Customs Enforcement, Transportation Security Administration, and the Coast Guard. The bill prevents Guantanamo Bay prisoners from being transferred to U.S. soil except for court proceedings, and bars the release of photos and videos showing U.S. mistreatment of prisoners overseas since 9/11.

A yes vote was to approve the conference report.

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 Y. Schwartz (D., Pa.), Joe Sestak (D., Pa.), and Christopher H. Smith (R., N.J.).

Voting no: Michael N. Castle (R., Del.).
Castle was a co-sponsor of this Boehner mess (The “Keep Terrists Out Of America Or Else They’ll Sneak Into Our Houses And Kill Us In Our Beds While We’re Upstairs With The Wife” Act), which pretty much explains his "No" vote here (and I thought this was interesting on Castle also; and Broder-esque propaganda notwithstanding, the looming Senate race between Castle and Beau Biden is a toss-up at this point, as noted here).

Guantanamo prisoners. Voting 193-224, the House defeated a GOP bid to prevent funds in HR 2892 (above) from being used to release Guantanamo Bay prisoners into the United States for court appearances or any other purpose.

A yes vote backed the motion.

Voting yes: Adler, Castle, Dent, Gerlach, Holden, LoBiondo, Pitts, and Smith.

Voting no: Andrews, Brady, Fattah, Murphy, Schwartz, and Sestak.
John Adler continues to disappoint, and Tim Holden is a bigger DINO than Arlen Specter.


Energy, water appropriations. Voting 80-17, the Senate sent President Obama the conference report on a bill (HR 3183) to appropriate $33.5 billion for energy, water, and nuclear programs in fiscal 2010. In part, the bill provides $6.4 billion for maintaining the U.S. nuclear stockpile; $5.6 billion for environmental cleanup at nuclear sites; $5.4 billion for Army Corps of Engineers public works; $4.9 billion for research into long-term energy needs; $2.1 billion to counter the spread of nuclear arms overseas; $311 million for clean-vehicle technologies; $225 million for solar energy; and $172 million for upgrading the nation's electrical grid.

A yes vote was to pass the bill.

Voting yes: Thomas Carper (D., Del.), Bob Casey (D., Pa.), Ted Kaufman (D., Del.), Frank Lautenberg (D., N.J.), Robert Menendez (D., N.J.), and Arlen Specter (D., Pa.).
This week, the House took up the Coast Guard budget and solar energy, while the Senate debated Medicare payments to doctors, fiscal 2010 appropriations and possibly an extension of jobless benefits.

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