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

MILITARY APPROPRIATIONS

For: 403 / Against: 17

The House approved $417 billion in U.S. military appropriations for fiscal 2005. In part, the bill (HR 4613) includes $25 billion for Iraq and Afghanistan; funds deployment of National Missile Defense interceptors this year at Vandenberg Air Force Base in California and Fort Greely in Alaska; funds a 3.5 percent military pay raise; and expands the Army by 20,000 troops and the Marine Corps by 9,000 troops. A nonmilitary provision would raise the national debt ceiling by $690 billion, to more than $8 trillion.

In a two-stage process, the House and Senate first authorize the defense budget and then take up separate bills to appropriate, or actually spend, most but not all of the authorized level. In a vote below, the Senate passed the 2005 defense authorization bill.

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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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

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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COLLECTIVE BARGAINING

For: 202 / Against: 218

The House defeated an amendment to HR 4613 (above) to guarantee the collective-bargaining rights of 700,000 civilian employees covered by new personnel rules at the Department of Defense. The rules are part of a government-wide administrative easing of civil service protections to give supervisors more leeway to hire, fire, transfer and set the pay levels of their staffs. Supporters call the rules necessary to improve the performance of the federal workforce; opponents call them an attempt to privatize and thus weaken the civil service.

A yes vote backed the amendment.

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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INTELLIGENCE BUDGET

For: 360 / Against: 61

The House approved a fiscal 2005 budget (HR 4548) for the 15 U.S. intelligence agencies. The classified budget is reported to total at least $40 billion. The bill funds agencies such as the CIA, National Security Agency, Defense Intelligence Agency, National Reconnaissance Organization and National Imagery and Mapping Agency.

In part, the bill emphasizes greater reliance on human intelligence and creates two assistant directorships of intelligence, one to oversee information technology and the other to upgrade language training.

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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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

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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PRISONER DISCLOSURE

For: 149 / Against: 270

The House rejected an amendment to withhold one-quarter of the fiscal 2005 budget from certain intelligence programs until the administration provides Congress with "all documents related to the handling and treatment of detainees in Iraq, Afghanistan, Guantanamo Bay and elsewhere." This occurred during debate on HR 4548 (above).

A yes vote was to require administration disclosure of prisoner documents.

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

DEFENSE BUDGET

For: 97 / Against: 0

The Senate passed a bill (S 2400) authorizing $447.2 billion in fiscal 2005 defense spending, including $25 billion for operations in Iraq and Afghanistan. The bill expands the Army by 20,000 soldiers to a total deployment of 502,400 by 2007; funds a 3.5 percent military pay raise; affirms a new round of domestic base closures; upholds the Pentagon's use of private contractors to interrogate prisoners; extends a ban on privately financed abortions at U.S. military hospitals abroad; and provides $36.5 million for developing tactical nuclear bombs known as "mini-nukes" and "bunker-busters," both designed for possible use on battlefields.

Also, the bill authorizes $10.2 billion to advance the National Missile Defense while allowing the system to be deployed before it is operationally tested; expands the federal law against hate crimes in both military and civilian life; and extends the military health plan to all National Guard and Army Reserve members, not just those activated.

In nonmilitary provisions, the bill increases fines for broadcast indecency ninefold, to $275,000 per incident and continues the ban in most communities on one company owning both a newspaper and a broadcast station.

A yes vote was to send the bill to negotiation with the House.

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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COFFIN PHOTOGRAPHS

For: 39 / Against: 54

The Senate refused to overturn the administration ban on news photographs of flag-draped coffins as they leave Iraq or arrive in the United States. The vote occurred during debate on S 2400 (above).

A yes vote backed news coverage of Iraq war coffins.

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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*

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MISSILE DEFENSE CUT

For: 44 / Against: 56

The Senate refused to shift $515 million in S 2400 (above) from the soon-to-be-deployed National Missile Defense to anti-terrorism programs such as those aimed at developing technology for detecting explosive devices from a distance; intensifying screening for weapons of mass destruction in cargo at U.S. ports; and preventing terrorists from obtaining any of the weapons-grade plutonium and uranium now loose in the world.

A yes vote was to shift funds from missile defense to anti-terrorism programs.

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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*

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VETERANS' ENTITLEMENT

For: 49 / Against: 48

The Senate failed to reach 60 votes needed to change veterans' health care to an entitlement alongside Medicare and Social Security. The amendment to S 2400 (above) sought mandatory funding for veterans' care in place of the uncertainty of annual, discretionary appropriations. The entitlement was to start at $30 billion per year with yearly adjustments for inflation.

A yes vote was to make veterans' health care an entitlement program.

MARYLAND

Y

N

NV

Mikulski (D)

*

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Sarbanes (D)

*

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{hbox}

VIRGINIA

Yes

No

NV

Allen (R)

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*

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Warner (R)

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*

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INTERROGATION FILES

For: 46 / Against: 50

The Senate refused to require the Justice Department to provide the Judiciary Committee with all of its documents on administration policies for interrogating prisoners of war and enemy combatants. This occurred during debate on the 2005 defense budget (S 2400). It was a response to Attorney General John D. Ashcroft's refusal to release to the Senate an August 2002 departmental memo to the White House that stated a legal rationale for American forces' possible use of torture in narrowly defined circumstances.

A yes vote backed disclosure to the Senate.

MARYLAND

Y

N

NV

Mikulski (D)

*

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Sarbanes (D)

*

{hbox}

{hbox}

VIRGINIA

Yes

No

NV

Allen (R)

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*

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Warner (R)

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*

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TROOPS IN COLOMBIA

For: 40 / Against: 58

The Senate rejected an amendment limiting U.S. military involvement in Colombia and the Andes. The underlying bill (S 2400) raised the cap on U.S. troops taking part in "Plan Colombia" from 400 to 800 and the cap on U.S. private contractors from 400 to 600. This amendment sought caps of 500 troops and 500 contractors.

Begun six years ago to eradicate illegal drugs at their source, Plan Colombia now entails antiterrorism, pipeline protection and intercepting drug flights.

A yes vote was to limit U.S. involvement in Colombia.

MARYLAND

Y

N

NV

Mikulski (D)

*

{hbox}

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Sarbanes (D)

*

{hbox}

{hbox}

VIRGINIA

Yes

No

NV

Allen (R)

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*

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Warner (R)

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*

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