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

BOOSTING ENERGY PRODUCTION

For: 244 / Against: 178

The House approved a package of tax breaks, regulatory relief and other policy changes designed to increase domestic energy production and conservation and to shore up the nation's aging electrical grid.

The bill (HR 4503) would provide at least $23.5 billion over 10 years in tax credits and incentives crafted mainly to promote oil and gas exploration, coal production and a revival of nuclear energy. It would provide $18 billion in loan guarantees to subsidize construction of a natural gas pipeline from Alaska to Chicago, ease clean-air standards in certain metropolitan areas and leave vehicle fuel-efficiency requirements unchanged.

The bill mandates increased use of the corn-based gasoline additive ethanol and of biodiesel fuel, a soybean product, and gives manufacturers of methyl tert-butyl ether (MTBE), an additive used in unleaded gasoline, retroactive immunity from suits alleging that the additive has polluted groundwater.

Additionally, the bill repeals the Public Utilities Holding Company Act of 1935 to permit mergers of individual gas and electric companies; imposes reliability standards on the regional systems for transmitting electricity; and empowers the federal government to override state and local authorities in the placement of major transmission lines.

A yes vote was to pass the bill.

MARYLAND

Y

N

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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*

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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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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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*

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Wolf (R)

*

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DEMOCRATS' ENERGY BILL

For: 192 / Against: 230

The House defeated a narrower energy bill sponsored by Democrats. In contrast to HR 4503 (above), the Democratic alternative provided no immunity for MTBE manufacturers or tax credits to promote oil and gas exploration; required the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) to refund overcharges resulting from Enron's rigging of energy markets in the West; gave FERC more tools for preventing and punishing Enron-style market manipulation; and directed the administration not to divert crude oil to the Strategic Petroleum Reserve in a way that drives up gasoline prices.

A yes vote backed the Democratic bill.

MARYLAND

Y

N

NV

Bartlett (R)

{hbox}

*

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Cardin (D)

*

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{hbox}

Cummings (D)

*

{hbox}

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Gilchrest (R)

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*

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Hoyer (D)

*

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Ruppersberger (D)

*

{hbox}

{hbox}

Van Hollen (D)

*

{hbox}

{hbox}

Wynn (D)

*

{hbox}

{hbox}

VIRGINIA

Y

N

NV

Cantor (R)

{hbox}

*

{hbox}

J. Davis (R)

{hbox}

*

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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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ENVIRONMENTAL POLICY ACT

For: 229 / Against: 186

The House passed a bill (HR 4513) easing requirements of the 1969 National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) on renewable-energy projects such as hydroelectric power, solar energy and wind farms.

NEPA requires agencies to prepare "environmental impact statements" that assess the effects of their major actions on the environment. This bill, which awaits Senate action, limits the period for public comment to 20 days and relieves agencies of the obligation under NEPA to consider alternative sites for renewable-energy projects.

A yes vote was to pass the bill.

MARYLAND

Y

N

NV

Bartlett (R)

*

{hbox}

{hbox}

Cardin (D)

{hbox}

*

{hbox}

Cummings (D)

{hbox}

{hbox}

*

Gilchrest (R)

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*

{hbox}

Hoyer (D)

{hbox}

*

{hbox}

Ruppersberger (D)

{hbox}

*

{hbox}

Van Hollen (D)

{hbox}

*

{hbox}

Wynn (D)

*

{hbox}

{hbox}

VIRGINIA

Y

N

NV

Cantor (R)

*

{hbox}

{hbox}

J. Davis (R)

*

{hbox}

{hbox}

T. Davis (R)

*

{hbox}

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Moran (D)

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*

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Wolf (R)

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*

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SNOWMOBILES IN NATIONAL PARKS

For: 198 / Against: 224

The House refused to ban snowmobiles from Yellowstone and Grand Teton national parks. The vote would permit the operation of snowmobiles equipped with the best available technology for controlling noise and pollution. If the Senate goes along with the vote, the effect will be to uphold Bush administration regulations permitting snowmobile access. Federal courts have issued conflicting opinions in litigation pitting administration rules against a Clinton administration ban on snowmobiles in national parks.

A yes vote was to ban snowmobiles from the two parks.

MARYLAND

Y

N

NV

Bartlett (R)

{hbox}

*

{hbox}

Cardin (D)

*

{hbox}

{hbox}

Cummings (D)

*

{hbox}

{hbox}

Gilchrest (R)

*

{hbox}

{hbox}

Hoyer (D)

*

{hbox}

{hbox}

Ruppersberger (D)

{hbox}

*

{hbox}

Van Hollen (D)

*

{hbox}

{hbox}

Wynn (D)

*

{hbox}

{hbox}

VIRGINIA

Y

N

NV

Cantor (R)

{hbox}

*

{hbox}

J. Davis (R)

{hbox}

*

{hbox}

T. Davis (R)

{hbox}

*

{hbox}

Moran (D)

*

{hbox}

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Wolf (R)

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*

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CORPORATE TAX BREAKS

For: 251 / Against: 178

The House passed a 400-page bill (HR 4520) providing $143 billion over 10 years in scores of tax breaks for businesses, including $9.6 billion for buying out owners of federal tobacco allotments. At least $34 billion of the bill's cost would be added to the national debt. The bill would cut tax rates for U.S. manufacturers in order to offset the loss of export subsidies that have been ruled illegal by the World Trade Organization. In states without an income tax, it would allow residents to deduct sales taxes from their federal income taxes.

Among special interests receiving targeted tax relief from the bill are Home Depot, pharmaceutical companies, railroads, timber companies, liquor distillers, restaurant owners, commodity traders and bank directors.

A yes vote was to pass the bill.

MARYLAND

Y

N

NV

Bartlett (R)

{hbox}

*

{hbox}

Cardin (D)

{hbox}

*

{hbox}

Cummings (D)

{hbox}

*

{hbox}

Gilchrest (R)

*

{hbox}

{hbox}

Hoyer (D)

{hbox}

*

{hbox}

Ruppersberger (D)

*

{hbox}

{hbox}

Van Hollen (D)

{hbox}

*

{hbox}

Wynn (D)

{hbox}

*

{hbox}

VIRGINIA

Y

N

NV

Cantor (R)

*

{hbox}

{hbox}

J. Davis (R)

{hbox}

*

{hbox}

T. Davis (R)

{hbox}

*

{hbox}

Moran (D)

{hbox}

*

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Wolf (R)

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*

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DEMOCRATS' TAX BREAKS

For: 193 / Against: 235

The House defeated a Democratic alternative to HR 4520 (above) that also showered tax breaks but included offsets such as closing tax loopholes to keep the bill from adding to the national debt. Democrats agreed with Republicans in permitting taxpayers in non-income tax states to deduct sales taxes from federal income taxes but allowed potentially more generous deductions. The Democratic measure provided no buyout for owners of tobacco allotments.

A yes vote backed the Democratic plan.

MARYLAND

Y

N

NV

Bartlett (R)

{hbox}

*

{hbox}

Cardin (D)

*

{hbox}

{hbox}

Cummings (D)

*

{hbox}

{hbox}

Gilchrest (R)

{hbox}

*

{hbox}

Hoyer (D)

*

{hbox}

{hbox}

Ruppersberger (D)

*

{hbox}

{hbox}

Van Hollen (D)

*

{hbox}

{hbox}

Wynn (D)

*

{hbox}

{hbox}

VIRGINIA

Y

N

NV

Cantor (R)

{hbox}

*

{hbox}

J. Davis (R)

{hbox}

*

{hbox}

T. Davis (R)

{hbox}

*

{hbox}

Moran (D)

*

{hbox}

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Wolf (R)

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*

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Senate Votes

PRIVATE CONTRACTORS

For: 54 / Against: 43

The Senate upheld the Pentagon's policy of using private contractors in the interrogation of prisoners in Iraq and elsewhere. The vote shelved an amendment to the fiscal 2005 defense budget (S 2400) that sought to bar non-military personnel from interrogating prisoners, detainees or combatants at any U.S. military prison. The bill remained in debate. Employees of CACI International and Titan Corp. have been implicated in the Abu Ghraib prison scandal in Iraq.

A yes vote backed the use of private contractors.

MARYLAND

Y

N

NV

Mikulski (D)

{hbox}

*

{hbox}

Sarbanes (D)

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*

{hbox}

VIRGINIA

Yes

No

NV

Allen (R)

*

{hbox}

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Warner (R)

*

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TACTICAL NUCLEAR WEAPONS

For: 42 / Against: 55

The Senate refused to halt the development of two types of tactical nuclear weapons. The vote preserved $36.6 million in S 2400 (above) for further research into "bunker-busters," which would penetrate deep into the earth and then explode, and "mini-nukes," which are envisioned as bombs of less than 5 kilotons that would be dropped in war zones. Strategic nuclear weapons, by contrast, are Cold War-era arms for use against large populations rather than localized targets.

Opponents said that adding tactical weapons would expand the U.S. nuclear doctrine from only deterrence to first-strike capability as well. Supporters said the United States must adapt its arsenal to confront rogue nations and non-state enemies.

A yes vote was to halt development of tactical nuclear weapons.

MARYLAND

Y

N

NV

Mikulski (D)

*

{hbox}

{hbox}

Sarbanes (D)

*

{hbox}

{hbox}

VIRGINIA

Yes

No

NV

Allen (R)

{hbox}

*

{hbox}

Warner (R)

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*

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PROSECUTING HATE CRIMES

For: 65 / Against: 33

The Senate expanded the law providing federal assistance to states and localities in prosecuting crimes based on victims' race, religion or national origin. The vote adds crimes based on sexual identity, disability and gender to the hate-crimes statute and gives federal authorities more standing to pursue offenders. The measure was attached to S 2400 (above). Whether it becomes law is subject to negotiations with the House.

A yes vote was to pass the bill.

MARYLAND

Y

N

NV

Mikulski (D)

*

{hbox}

{hbox}

Sarbanes (D)

*

{hbox}

{hbox}

VIRGINIA

Yes

No

NV

Allen (R)

*

{hbox}

{hbox}

Warner (R)

*

{hbox}

{hbox}

ARMY TROOP STRENGTH

For: 93 / Against: 4

The Senate voted to enlarge the Army by 20,000 troops, to about 502,400 troops. The vote occurred during debate on the fiscal 2005 defense budget (S 2400), which remained in debate. The administration opposes expansion on grounds that the current force is adequate if properly organized. But backers said more troops are needed to keep pace with expanding Army obligations in Iraq and other countries.

A yes vote was to expand the Army by 4 percent.

MARYLAND

Y

N

NV

Mikulski (D)

*

{hbox}

{hbox}

Sarbanes (D)

*

{hbox}

{hbox}

VIRGINIA

Yes

No

NV

Allen (R)

*

{hbox}

{hbox}

Warner (R)

*

{hbox}

{hbox}

WAR PROFITEERING

For: 46 / Against: 52

The Senate rejected an amendment to S 2400 to define war profiteering as a specific federal crime wherever it occurs, punishable by up to 20 years' incarceration plus fines. The vote occurred after senators voted unanimously to bolster existing statutes for dealing with companies that defraud the government on war contracts. The amendment went beyond current statutes by eliminating the necessity to first prove mail or wire fraud and by granting U.S. courts unqualified jurisdiction over war profiteering that occurs overseas.

A yes vote was to establish war profiteering as a federal crime.

MARYLAND

Y

N

NV

Mikulski (D)

*

{hbox}

{hbox}

Sarbanes (D)

*

{hbox}

{hbox}

VIRGINIA

Yes

No

NV

Allen (R)

{hbox}

*

{hbox}

Warner (R)

{hbox}

*

{hbox}

MISSILE DEFENSE TESTS

For: 42 / Against: 57

The Senate defeated an amendment to S 2400 (above) requiring the National Missile Defense to pass operational tests before deployment can begin, leaving intact Pentagon plans to fully test the first phase of the ground-based system after it is assembled. The testing is to determine the accuracy of the system's interceptor missiles in destroying incoming ballistic missiles.

A yes vote backed the testing amendment

MARYLAND

Y

N

NV

Mikulski (D)

*

{hbox}

{hbox}

Sarbanes (D)

*

{hbox}

{hbox}

VIRGINIA

Yes

No

NV

Allen (R)

{hbox}

*

{hbox}

Warner (R)

{hbox}

*

{hbox}