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

GIFTS TO CUBANS

For: 221/ Against: 194

The House voted to block new Bush administration limits on gifts by Americans to family members in Cuba. The rules would ban the sending of goods such as clothing, personal hygiene items and soap-making equipment; cap the number of parcels that a family can send; and limit the weight of packages hand-carried to Cuba.

The vote occurred during debate on a bill (HR 4754) appropriating $39.8 billion in fiscal 2005 for the departments of State, Justice and Commerce and related agencies. The measure is now before the Senate.

A yes vote was to block the rules.

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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*

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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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MEDICAL MARIJUANA

For: 148 / Against: 268

The House rejected the supremacy of state laws that legalize the use of marijuana for pain relief and other medicinal purposes. The amendment to HR 4754 (above) affirms federal prosecutorial authority in 10 states with such laws: Alaska, California, Colorado, Hawaii, Maine, Maryland, Nevada, Oregon, Vermont and Washington.

A yes vote was to end federal override of state medical-marijuana laws.

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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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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COPS FUNDING

For: 206 / Against: 212

The House refused to shift $107 million from the Census Bureau budget to the Community Oriented Policing Services (COPS) program, which provides grants to help local police departments add officers and equipment. The amendment to HR 4754 (above) sought to keep 2005 COPS funding at its 2004 level of $219 million. COPS was begun in the Clinton administration to put 100,000 additional officers on the streets.

A yes vote was to increase funding.

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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*

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Hoyer (D)

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*

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Ruppersberger (D)

*

{hbox}

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Van Hollen (D)

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*

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Wynn (D)

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*

{hbox}

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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*

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Wolf (R)

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*

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SHORT-FORM CENSUS

For: 71 / Against: 342

The House refused to strip HR 4754 (above) of $174 million for a redesign of the 2010 Census short form. This left intact a $774 million overall budget for the Census Bureau in fiscal 2005. Critics called the redesign wasteful; opponents of the proposed cut said it would imperil census accuracy.

A yes vote backed the cut.

MARYLAND

Y

N

NV

Bartlett (R)

*

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Cardin (D)

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*

Cummings (D)

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*

{hbox}

Gilchrest (R)

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*

{hbox}

Hoyer (D)

{hbox}

*

{hbox}

Ruppersberger (D)

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*

{hbox}

Van Hollen (D)

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*

{hbox}

Wynn (D)

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*

{hbox}

VIRGINIA

Y

N

NV

Cantor (R)

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*

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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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*

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Wolf (R)

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*

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LIBRARY, BOOKSTORE SEARCHES

For: 210 / Against: 210

On a tie vote, the House rejected an amendment to HR 4754 exempting library and bookstore records from the reach of the USA Patriot Act. This preserved language in the post-Sept. 11, 2001, statute that allows law enforcement and intelligence authorities, bearing secretly issued warrants, to obtain bookstores' customer lists and sales records as well as libraries' circulation records, patron lists and Internet records.

Supporters say the authority is an essential tool in the war against terrorism; opponents say law enforcement should use the traditional, open U.S. legal system for such searches.

A yes vote was to exempt libraries and bookstores from the Patriot Act.

MARYLAND

Y

N

NV

Bartlett (R)

*

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Cardin (D)

*

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{hbox}

Cummings (D)

*

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Gilchrest (R)

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*

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Hoyer (D)

*

{hbox}

{hbox}

Ruppersberger (D)

*

{hbox}

{hbox}

Van Hollen (D)

*

{hbox}

{hbox}

Wynn (D)

*

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{hbox}

VIRGINIA

Y

N

NV

Cantor (R)

{hbox}

*

{hbox}

J. Davis (R)

{hbox}

*

{hbox}

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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1 PERCENT CUT

For: 81 / Against: 327

House members rejected an amendment to cut 1 percent, or $398 million, from HR 4754, which appropriates $39.8 billion in fiscal 2005 for the departments of State, Justice and Commerce and related agencies.

A yes vote backed the across-the-board cut.

MARYLAND

Y

N

NV

Bartlett (R)

*

{hbox}

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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)

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*

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Moran (D)

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*

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Wolf (R)

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*

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UNITED NATIONS SUPPORT

For: 83 / Against: 335

The House defeated an amendment to HR 4754 to end U.S. financial support of the United Nations, estimated at $3 billion annually.

A yes vote was to end support.

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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POSTAGE SPENDING

For: 223 / Against: 194

The House blocked a procedural bid by Democrats to put a $25,000 annual limit on what individual House committees can spend on postage. Approval would have given Democrats standing to propose the limit as part of the fiscal 2005 budget (HR 4755) for the legislative branch.

At issue was a Resources Committee request for $250,000 annually for mass mailings, more than 100 times the average expenditure by House committees for postage. The Resources Committee was criticized in debate for recent mass mailings that touted Republican members of the committee to their constituents.

A yes vote was to block the procedural move.

MARYLAND

Y

N

NV

Bartlett (R)

*

{hbox}

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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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Senate Votes

JUDGE J. LEON HOLMES

For: 51 / Against: 46

The Senate confirmed J. Leon Holmes as a federal judge for the Eastern District of Arkansas. Holmes was criticized for comments he has made on social issues, such as his written statement in 1980 that women almost never are impregnated by rape. Supporters noted he has publicly apologized for that remark and predicted that he would serve as a fair and impartial judge.

A yes vote was to confirm Holmes.

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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Warner (R)

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*

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CLASS-ACTION SUITS

For: 44 / Against: 43

The Senate failed to get 60 votes for advancing a bill (S 2062) that would shift most large class-action lawsuits from state courts, where juries tend to favor plaintiffs, to federal courts, where corporate defendants improve their chances of winning. The bill is backed by groups such as the National Association of Manufacturers and U.S. Chamber of Commerce and opposed by groups such as the American Trial Lawyers Association and the Consumer Federation of America.

At present, class-action lawsuits are assigned to federal court only in the rare instance when all plaintiffs are from different states than all defendants. Under this bill, federal courts would receive claims exceeding $5 million when the primary defendant and less than one-third of the plaintiffs are from the same state.

Supporters said the bill would keep trial lawyers from directing suits of dubious merit to friendly state jurisdictions. Opponents said it would make it more difficult for injured or defrauded consumers to gain redress from corporations.

A yes vote was to advance the bill.

MARYLAND

Y

N

NV

Mikulski (D)

{hbox}

{hbox}

*

Sarbanes (D)

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*

{hbox}

VIRGINIA

Yes

No

NV

Allen (R)

*

{hbox}

{hbox}

Warner (R)

*

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