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

CONGRESSIONAL PAY RAISE

For: 235 / Against: 170

Members blocked a bid for a direct vote on a congressional pay increase. Had opponents won this procedural vote during debate on HR 5025 (below), they would have offered an amendment to kill the raise. In recent decades, House members have rejected pay increases when forced to vote directly on them.

Scheduled for Jan. 1, the 2.5 percent increase would boost salaries for most House and Senate members to about $162,000. Congressional leaders receive more.

A yes vote was to advance a congressional pay raise.

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)

*

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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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DENYING CORPORATE CONTRACTS

For: 189 / Against: 211

The House refused to deny federal contracts to U.S. companies that move to Bermuda, Barbados, the Cayman Islands, Antigua or Panama to evade U.S. taxes. The ban was to have applied to contracts awarded through the fiscal 2005 budget (HR 5025) for the Treasury and Transportation departments and other agencies.

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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*

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Wolf (R)

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*

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LAWSUIT CURBS

For: 229 / Against: 174

The House passed a Republican-backed bill (HR 4571) imposing mandatory sanctions, including financial penalties, on lawyers and plaintiffs found by a judge to have repeatedly filed frivolous lawsuits in federal court. The bill seeks to limit "forum shopping" in civil tort cases by requiring plaintiffs to file the suit in jurisdictions where they live or were injured or where the defendant's business is primarily located.

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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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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Wolf (R)

*

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DEMOCRATIC ALTERNATIVE

For: 177 / Against: 226

The House rejected a Democratic version of HR 4571 (above). In contrast to the Republican bill, the alternative allowed plaintiffs to sue foreign corporations in the United States, provided a stronger exemption for civil rights claims, required disbarment referrals against lawyers found to have filed three frivolous suits and made it harder for corporate defendants to seal evidence of their wrongdoing in court records.

A yes vote backed the Democratic plan.

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

CHEMICAL PLANT SECURITY

For: 48 / Against: 47

The Senate killed an amendment to shift $70 million from an administrative account to grants for securing chemical plants against terrorists. The vote occurred during debate on the Department of Homeland Security's fiscal 2005 budget (HR 4567).

The $70 million was in addition to $194 million already in the bill for protecting U.S. infrastructure. Of the country's 15,000 chemical plants, 123 are near cities of at least 1 million people, according to the debate.

A yes vote opposed more spending for chemical plant security.

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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HEALTH BENEFITS

For: 49 / Against: 45

The Senate refused to prevent the Department of Homeland Security from suddenly ending health benefits for those who guard federal buildings. When the department was created in 2002, Congress voted to remove most civil service protections for employees. The amendment to HR 4567 (above) killed by this vote required labor-management negotiations on plans to remove health benefits for those who guard federal buildings.

A yes vote was to kill 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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Warner (R)

*

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