For the Record

Here's how some major bills fared recently in Congress, and how local congressional members voted, as provided by Thomas's Roll Call Syndicate. NV means Not Voting.

House Votes

10 PERCENT TAX BRACKET

For: 344 / Against: 76

The House passed a bill (HR 4275) to make permanent the 10 percent tax bracket for personal income. For singles, the rate would apply to the first $7,000 of taxable income, and for couples, the first $14,000, with the thresholds indexed to inflation.

Because its cost to the Treasury is not offset, the bill would add $218 billion to the $7 trillion-plus national debt over 10 years, while saving taxpayers the same amount. Enacted as part of President Bush's 2001 tax cuts, the bracket is scheduled to expire after 2010.

A yes vote was to pass the bill.

MARYLAND

Y

N

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

Y

N

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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SURTAX ON WEALTHY

For: 190 / Against: 227

The House rejected a Democratic plan to use a surtax on the wealthy to offset the $218 billion cost of HR 4275 (above).

The surtax was to apply until Congress enacted legislation to balance the budget by 2014 without raiding Social Security and Medicare surpluses. Under the surtax, marginal rates were to rise by 1.9 percent through 2010 on singles making more than $500,000 and joint filers with income higher than $1 million.

A yes vote backed the surtax.

MARYLAND

Y

N

NV

Bartlett (R)

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*

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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

Y

N

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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*

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Senate Votes

EDUCATION ACT FOR DISABLED

For: 95 / Against: 3

The Senate passed a bill (S 1248) extending through fiscal 2009 the Individuals With Disabilities Education Act, which guarantees a mainstream education for the nearly 7 million students with disabilities in kindergarten through grade 12.

When it enacted the legislation in 1975, Congress pledged to cover 40 percent of the additional cost of special education, but its share of these extra state and local costs is now 19 percent. This bill authorizes Congress to increase federal support by $2.2 billion annually in hopes of reaching the 40 percent share by 2011. Actual increases will depend on later votes.

A yes vote was to pass the bill.

MARYLAND

Y

N

NV

Mikulski (D)

*

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Sarbanes (D)

*

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VIRGINIA

Yes

No

NV

Allen (R)

*

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Warner (R)

*

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MANDATORY SPENDING

For: 56 / Against: 41

The Senate failed to reach 60 votes needed to begin mandatory funding of the Individuals With Disabilities Education Act (S 1248, above). The amendment sought to guarantee that by 2011, Congress will have kept its 1975 promise to cover 40 percent of the added cost of providing a mainstream education for disabled children.

A yes vote backed mandatory spending.

MARYLAND

Y

N

NV

Mikulski (D)

*

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Sarbanes (D)

*

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VIRGINIA

Yes

No

NV

Allen (R)

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*

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Warner (R)

*

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CORPORATE TAX BREAKS

For: 92 / Against: 5

The Senate passed a bill (S 1637) to provide $170 billion over 10 years in corporate tax breaks. Backers said the bill would not add to the national debt because it contains offsets such as closing tax loopholes. Critics said the same offsets have been spoken for in other Senate-passed legislation, such as the highway bill. About $5 billion in the bill would offset the loss of export subsidies ruled illegal by the World Trade Organization.

The bill provides $65 billion in tax incentives to encourage companies to manufacture products in the United States; a $39 billion cut in taxes on income earned overseas; and a cut of at least $15 billion for energy firms. Among other beneficiaries: pharmaceutical companies, railroads, timber companies, NASCAR track owners, Oldsmobile dealers, cruise-ship owners, bow-and-arrow makers and a hotel in Sioux City, Iowa.

A yes vote was to pass the bill.

MARYLAND

Y

N

NV

Mikulski (D)

*

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Sarbanes (D)

*

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VIRGINIA

Yes

No

NV

Allen (R)

*

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Warner (R)

*

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ENERGY SUBSIDIES

For: 13/ Against: 85

The Senate failed to strip S 1637 (above) of at least $15 billion in tax breaks for oil and gas companies and makers of corn-based ethanol. The targeted provisions are ones that Congress has been unable to enact in recent years as a stand-alone energy bill.

A yes vote backed the amendment.

MARYLAND

Y

N

NV

Mikulski (D)

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*

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Sarbanes (D)

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*

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VIRGINIA

Yes

No

NV

Allen (R)

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*

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Warner (R)

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*

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