TAX CUTS, BUDGET

For: 216 / Against: 211

The House approved the conference report on a budget plan (H Con Res 95) allowing $550 billion through 2013 for President Bush's latest round of tax cuts, down from the $726 billion he originally requested. For fiscal 2004, spending of $2.27 trillion and a $385 billion deficit is projected.

The measure sets large increases from 2004 through 2013 for defense and homeland security, while putting most discretionary domestic programs, as well as entitlements such as Medicare and Medicaid, on austerity budgets for at least part of that period.

A yes vote approved the budget plan.

MARYLAND

Yes

No

NV

Bartlett (R)

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Cardin (D)

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*

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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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*

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Van Hollen (D)

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*

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Wynn (D)

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*

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VIRGINIA

Yes

No

NV

Cantor (R)

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J. Davis (R)

*

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T. Davis (R)

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Moran (D)

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*

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Wolf (R)

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ARCTIC DRILLING OPPOSITION

For: 197 / Against: 228

The House refused to strip HR 6 (above) of language to begin oil and gas drilling in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge. A yes vote opposed drilling in the refuge.

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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VIRGINIA

Yes

No

NV

Cantor (R)

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*

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J. Davis (R)

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*

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T. Davis (R)

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Moran (D)

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Wolf (R)

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BUSH ENERGY PLAN

For: 247 / Against: 175

The House approved sweeping tax measures and policy changes to implement the administration's national energy policy. Over 10 years, the bill (HR 6) provides at least $17.7 billion in tax breaks structured mainly to promote oil and gas exploration, coal extraction and an expansion of nuclear energy. The bill also has sections dealing with conservation and renewable sources of energy.

In part, the measure opens 2,000 acres of the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge in Alaska to oil and gas drilling; requires an inventory of oil and gas deposits off all coastal waters; funds clean-coal technologies; streamlines hydroelectric licensing; requires increased use of corn-based ethanol as a gasoline additive; lowers taxes on rail and barge fuels; increases funding for the Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program; provides tax breaks and accounting changes to benefit producers and refiners; and provides funding to improve deepwater drilling technology.

A yes vote was to pass the bill.

MARYLAND

Yes

No

NV

Bartlett (R)

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Cardin (D)

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*

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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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*

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Van Hollen (D)

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*

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Wynn (D)

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*

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VIRGINIA

Yes

No

NV

Cantor (R)

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J. Davis (R)

*

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T. Davis (R)

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Moran (D)

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Wolf (R)

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HIGHER FUEL EFFICIENCY

For: 162 / Against: 268

The House rejected an amendment to HR 6 (above) to require a 5 percent reduction by 2010 in overall fuel consumption by automobiles, SUVs, minivans and light trucks. A yes vote was to raise fuel efficiency levels.

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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*

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Van Hollen (D)

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Wynn (D)

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VIRGINIA

Yes

No

NV

Cantor (R)

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*

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J. Davis (R)

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*

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T. Davis (R)

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Moran (D)

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Wolf (R)

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AMBER ALERT

For: 400 / Against: 25

Members passed a bill (HR 1104) calling for tougher penalties for crimes against children and setting up a national Amber Alert system to notify the public when a child is abducted. The bill would link programs for publicizing child abductions into a network overseen by the Department of Justice. Issued by the news media and on highway signs soon after a child has been taken, the alerts may help catch kidnappers before they inflict harm.

The bill requires mandatory life sentences for those convicted twice of a sex crime, expands wiretapping authority and seeks to crack down on Internet pornography.

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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*

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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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VIRGINIA

Yes

No

NV

Cantor (R)

*

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J. Davis (R)

*

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T. Davis (R)

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Moran (D)

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Wolf (R)

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GUNMAKER IMMUNITY

For: 285 / Against: 140

The House passed a bill (HR 1036) giving gun manufacturers and dealers immunity against most product-liability lawsuits based on the illegal use of firearms. Plaintiffs in such suits are mainly state and local governments and crime victims. The bill would ban pending as well as future suits.

A yes vote was to pass the bill.

MARYLAND

Yes

No

NV

Bartlett (R)

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Cardin (D)

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*

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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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*

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Van Hollen (D)

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*

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Wynn (D)

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*

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VIRGINIA

Yes

No

NV

Cantor (R)

*

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J. Davis (R)

*

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T. Davis (R)

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Moran (D)

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Wolf (R)

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PENDING SUITS

For: 140 / Against: 282

The House refused to strip HR 1036 (above) of provisions that would void pending suits against the gun industry. Backers said retroactivity made the bill an unconstitutional ex post facto measure. Others said the Supreme Court allows retroactivity in the interests of the U.S. economy.

A yes vote opposed retroactivity.

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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*

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Hoyer (D)

*

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Ruppersberger (D)

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*

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Van Hollen (D)

*

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Wynn (D)

*

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VIRGINIA

Yes

No

NV

Cantor (R)

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*

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J. Davis (R)

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*

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T. Davis (R)

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Moran (D)

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Wolf (R)

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STANDARD OF PROOF

For: 134 / Against: 289

The House rejected an amendment to HR 1036 (above) making it easier to sue the gun industry for allowing drug addicts or the mentally ill to obtain a gun. Supporters said the amendment would prompt dealer diligence in conducting background checks, while foes said the bill already contained adequate protection against sales to the addicted and deranged. The bill allows liability in cases where the manufacturer or dealer "knowingly and willfully" arms a prohibited individual. The amendment would have lowered the standard to a "reasonable cause to believe" the gun would end up in the wrong hands.

A yes vote opposed the amendment.

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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*

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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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VIRGINIA

Yes

No

NV

Cantor (R)

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*

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J. Davis (R)

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*

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T. Davis (R)

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*

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Moran (D)

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Wolf (R)

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'CONFLICT DIAMONDS' BAN

For: 419 / Against: 2

The House passed a bill (HR 1584) requiring U.S. participation in an international agreement designed to block the marketing of "conflict diamonds," which are illegally mined gems used to finance civil wars in Africa. The bill requires full U.S. involvement in an international pact to ban diamond imports not certified as legitimate.

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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VIRGINIA

Yes

No

NV

Cantor (R)

*

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J. Davis (R)

*

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T. Davis (R)

*

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Moran (D)

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Wolf (R)

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CHARITABLE DEDUCTIONS

For: 95 / Against: 5

The Senate passed a bill (S 476) enabling people who do not itemize on their tax return to make deductible contributions to charities including religious groups. The deduction is available for up to $250 above the first $250 in such contributions. The bill also provides tax incentives to spur the donation of items such as food, books and computers.

The bill scales back President Bush's "faith-based initiative" by omitting his request that Congress expand the eligibility of religious groups to participate in federal programs. The bill expands individual development accounts (IDAs), which benefit low-income individuals who start savings accounts for buying a home or business or paying for higher education. Banks would receive tax credits of up to $500 per account for their matching contributions to a customer's IDA.

A yes vote was to pass the bill.

MARYLAND

Yes

No

NV

Mikulski (D)

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Sarbanes (D)

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VIRGINIA

Yes

No

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Allen (R)

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Warner (R)

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CONSERVATION TAX BREAKS

For: 62 / Against: 38

The Senate upheld an existing tax break that reduces capital gains on certain sales or gifts of land or conservation easements to preservation trusts. The vote occurred during debate on S 476 (above). It killed an amendment to expand the tax break for land donations to a wide range of charities, not just those devoted to conservation.

A yes vote opposed a broadening of the land-conservation tax break.

MARYLAND

Yes

No

NV

Mikulski (D)

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Sarbanes (D)

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VIRGINIA

Yes

No

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Allen (R)

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*

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Warner (R)

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*

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