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

BIOTERRORISM RESPONSE

For: 414 / Against: 2

The House gave final congressional approval to a bill (S15) that would begin a $5.6 billion, 10-year federal program called Project Bioshield to spur the development and stockpiling of drugs and vaccines for protecting Americans against biological, chemical, nuclear and radiological attacks. The bill streamlines contracting rules and provides financial incentives to encourage companies to develop pharmaceuticals and other countermeasures that have no broad commercial application. In extreme circumstances, it allows antidotes unapproved by the Food and Drug Administration to be administered on a large scale to victims of attacks.

A yes vote was to enact 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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FARMERS MARKET FUNDS

For: 206 / Against: 213

The House refused to shift nearly $6 million from a U.S. Department of Agriculture administrative account to a program that helps small farmers sell directly to consumers at farmers markets. This occurred during debate on a bill (HR 4766), later passed, that appropriates $16.8 billion for the USDA, the Food and Drug Administration and related agencies in fiscal 2005.

A yes vote backed a six-fold increase for farmers markets.

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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MINORITY FARMERS, RANCHERS

For: 205 / Against: 209

The House refused to transfer $3.5 million in HR 4766 (above) from rural development to initiatives to help minority farmers and ranchers receive the full benefit of U.S. Department of Agriculture programs and, if necessary, to file discrimination complaints. The amendment sought to increase the bill's targeted funding for minorities from $14.3 million to $17.8 million.

A yes vote was to increase funding.

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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AGRIBUSINESS PROGRAM

For: 72 / Against: 347

The House refused to end the Market Access Program, which uses taxpayer funds to help U.S. agribusinesses advertise overseas. The amendment sought to remove the program's $125 million budget from HR 4766 (above).

Supporters say the program mainly helps specialty-crop cooperatives compete against heavily subsidized foreign competitors; critics denounce it as corporate welfare in a time of deficits. The program subsidizes groups such as the U.S. Meat Export Federation, the Ginseng Board of Wisconsin and the National Watermelon Promotion Board.

A yes vote was to kill the program.

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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Wynn (D)

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*

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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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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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IMMIGRANTS' FOOD STAMPS

For: 156 / Against: 262

The House refused to require sponsors of legal immigrants to reimburse the U.S. Treasury for the immigrants' use of food stamps. Such sponsors usually are family members. The amendment to HR 4766 (above) sought to require federal authorities to enforce an existing law that requires sponsors to keep immigrants from becoming "a public charge" with respect to welfare programs.

A yes vote was to require reimbursement.

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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*

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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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*

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Moran (D)

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*

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Wolf (R)

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*

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OFFSHORE LOAN BAN

For: 270 / Against: 132

The House voted to ban Export-Import Bank loan guarantees to companies that have moved corporate offices from the United States to offshore tax havens, such as Bermuda, Barbados and the Cayman Islands, to dodge U.S. taxes. Five of the 23 top recipients of the agency's assistance over the past two years are corporate expatriates, according to debate. The amendment was attached to a bill (HR 4818), later passed, that appropriates $19.4 billion for foreign aid and other overseas programs in fiscal 2005.

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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T. Davis (R)

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*

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Moran (D)

*

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Wolf (R)

*

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MONITORING U.S. ELECTIONS

For: 243 / Against: 161

The House banned spending funds in HR 4818 (above) for United Nations monitoring of this year's U.S. elections. This followed a request by some House Democrats to U.N. Secretary-General Kofi Annan that he assign observers to validate the Nov. 2 balloting.

A yes vote was to ban U.N. observers from the U.S. elections.

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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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

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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$1 BILLION HOUSE BUDGET

For: 327 / Against: 43

Members approved spending $1.04 billion for operating the House in fiscal 2005, up 3.6 percent from the comparable figure for 2004. Overall, the bill (HR 4755) appropriates $2.75 billion for the House and legislative agencies in fiscal 2005.

The bill funds a study into adding dental and vision benefits to the health plan for members of Congress, congressional staffs and executive branch employees. It provides cost-of-living pay increases for staff members; keeps House staffing at current levels; appropriates $3 million for building a staff gymnasium; and places no limit on the sum House committees can spend on mailings to constituents.

A yes vote was to pass the bill.

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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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)

*

{hbox}

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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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Senate Votes

SAME-SEX MARRIAGE

For: 48 / Against: 50

The Senate failed to reach the 60 votes needed to advance a proposed constitutional amendment to outlaw same-sex marriages (SJ Res 40). Had Republican sponsors won the procedural vote, they would have needed a two-thirds majority (67 votes with all senators voting) to gain approval of the amendment. Although the measure appears dead this year in the Senate, the House plans to debate it in September.

The "Federal Marriage Amendment" states: "Marriage in the United States shall consist only of the union of a man and a woman. Neither this Constitution, nor the constitution of any state, shall be construed to require that marriage or the legal incidents thereof be conferred upon any union other than the union of a man and a woman."

A yes vote was to advance the constitutional 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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Warner (R)

*

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TOBACCO REGULATION, BUYOUT

For: 78 / Against: 15

The Senate voted to begin Food and Drug Administration regulation of the tobacco industry, including power to control the ingredients and advertising of cigarettes. The amendment to a tax bill (HR 4520) also would end the Depression-era tobacco program that uses government-issued quotas to allocate and limit production. The legislation authorizes an industry-financed $12 billion buyout of growers and quota holders. The buyout would lead to higher cigarette prices.

A yes vote backed the amendment.

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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