BANKRUPTCY OVERHAUL

For: 315 / Against: 113

The House passed a bill (HR 975) making it difficult for individuals with means to use bankruptcy to walk away from unsecured debt. Backers said the bill would curb widespread abuses of the bankruptcy code, while foes said it favors the credit card industry.

Under the bill, most debtors making more than the median income for their region are required to file under Chapter 13 of the bankruptcy code, which entails substantial repayment of unsecured debt over five years, rather than Chapter 7, which requires little or no repayment. The bill also changes a variety of bankruptcy rules for farms and businesses.

A yes vote was to pass the bill.

MARYLAND

Yes

No

NV

Bartlett (R)

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Cardin (D)

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Cummings (D)

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Gilchrest (R)

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Hoyer (D)

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Ruppersberger (D)

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Van Hollen (D)

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Wynn (D)

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CHILD SUPPORT MOTION

For: 150 / Against: 276

The House rejected a bid to give families owed child support a stronger claim on the assets of a delinquent former spouse in bankruptcy proceedings than they would otherwise receive under HR 975 (above).

A yes vote backed the motion.

MARYLAND

Yes

No

NV

Bartlett (R)

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Cardin (D)

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Cummings (D)

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Gilchrest (R)

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Hoyer (D)

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Ruppersberger (D)

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Van Hollen (D)

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Wynn (D)

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MILITARY TAX BREAKS

For: 422 / Against: 0

The House passed a bill (HR 1307) extending tax breaks to military personnel and dependents.

In part, the bill grants tax-free status to the full $6,000 government payment to survivors of those killed in action, up from a $3,000 exemption at present; allows reservists to deduct as much as $1,500 of certain non-reimbursable travel expenses; makes it easier for transferred personnel to receive capital gains exclusions on the sale of their home; and broadens the pool of those permitted to miss tax filing deadlines without penalty. The bill is projected to increase the deficit by $835 million over 10 years.

A yes vote was to pass the bill.

MARYLAND

Yes

No

NV

Bartlett (R)

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Cardin (D)

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Cummings (D)

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Gilchrest (R)

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Hoyer (D)

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Ruppersberger (D)

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Van Hollen (D)

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Wynn (D)

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PLEDGE OF ALLEGIANCE

For: 400 / Against: 7

The House voted to reaffirm the Pledge of Allegiance wording "one nation under God." The measure (H Res 132) rebuked the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals for ruling last month that the recital of the pledge by schoolchildren is an unconstitutional endorsement of religion by the state. A yes vote was to adopt the resolution.

MARYLAND

Yes

No

NV

Bartlett (R)

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Cardin (D)

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Cummings (D)

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Gilchrest (R)

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Hoyer (D)

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Ruppersberger (D)

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Van Hollen (D)

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Wynn (D)

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WAR SUPPORT

For: 392 / Against: 11

The House approved a measure (H Con Res 104) expressing support of military personnel and their families during the Iraq war and commending President Bush for his leadership. Of the 32 members who did not vote, 10 were absent from the chamber and 22 were in attendance and declaring themselves present. Under House procedures, a present is not considered a vote because it fails to affect the tally.

A yes vote backed the resolution.

MARYLAND

Yes

No

NV

Bartlett (R)

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Cardin (D)

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Cummings (D)

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Gilchrest (R)

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Hoyer (D)

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Ruppersberger (D)

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Van Hollen (D)

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Wynn (D)

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BUDGET PLAN

For: 215 / Against: 212

The House approved a budget plan (H Con Res 95) that projects spending of $2.2 trillion, revenue of $1.9 trillion and a deficit of $324 billion in fiscal 2004, which begins next Oct. 1. While the budget is silent on Iraq, its projected 2004 deficit is expected to rise by tens of billions of dollars once Congress begins financing the war and reconstruction.

The measure sets large spending increases for defense and homeland security and, over 10 years, authorizes $726 billion in White House-sought tax cuts. It subjects most discretionary domestic programs, as well as entitlements such as Medicare and Medicaid, to cuts or restraints to be specified later by House committees.

Democrats said it was wrong for Republicans to cut taxes for the well-off amid national crisis while curbing domestic spending and ignoring the cost of the war and reconstruction. Republicans defended the tax plan as necessary to spur economic recovery and said Congress would address Iraq's budget impact in the near future.

A yes vote was to adopt the GOP budget.

MARYLAND

Yes

No

NV

Bartlett (R)

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Cardin (D)

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Cummings (D)

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*

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Gilchrest (R)

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Hoyer (D)

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*

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Ruppersberger (D)

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Van Hollen (D)

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Wynn (D)

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DEMOCRATIC BUDGET

For: 192 / Against: 236

The House defeated a Democratic alternative to H Con Res 95 (above). The plan froze tax cuts already enacted for upper-income taxpayers; replaced President Bush's $726 billion, 10-year tax cut with $60 billion in immediate stimulus for those most likely to spend quickly; allocated more than the GOP plan for domestic programs and homeland security; provided $528 billion over 10 years for a Medicare prescription drug benefit (compared with $400 billion in the GOP budget); proposed faster write-offs for plants and equipment; and called for estate tax relief in 2004 but not the full repeal urged by Republicans.

A yes vote backed the Democrats' plan.

MARYLAND

Yes

No

NV

Bartlett (R)

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Cardin (D)

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Cummings (D)

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Gilchrest (R)

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Hoyer (D)

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Ruppersberger (D)

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Van Hollen (D)

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Wynn (D)

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ARCTIC DRILLING OPPOSITION

For: 52 / Against: 48

The Senate voted to kill administration plans to open the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge to oil and gas drilling. The vote stripped the fiscal 2004 congressional budget resolution (S Con Res 23) of authority for energy extraction directly affecting about 2,000 coastal acres in the pristine region of northeastern Alaska.

A yes vote opposed drilling in the wildlife refuge.

MARYLAND

Yes

No

NV

Mikulski (D)

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Sarbanes (D)

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SOCIAL SECURITY ISSUE

For: 57 / Against: 42

The Senate killed a Democratic bid to remove authority for tax cuts worth $1.2 trillion over 10 years from S Con Res 23 (above) and allocate the savings to Social Security obligations.

A yes vote opposed the amendment.

MARYLAND

Yes

No

NV

Mikulski (D)

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Sarbanes (D)

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IRAQ WAR COSTS

For: 43 / Against: 56

The Senate refused to require President Bush to project the cost of war in Iraq and its aftermath before Congress authorizes new tax cuts or new spending not related to defense or homeland security. The amendment to S Con Res 23 (above) sought budget rules requiring a 60-vote supermajority for approving long-range tax cuts or non-security spending.

A yes vote was to force Bush to report on Iraq war costs.

MARYLAND

Yes

No

NV

Mikulski (D)

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Sarbanes (D)

*

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