For the Record

Here's how some major bills fared recently in Congress and how Northern Virginia's congressional members voted, as provided by Thomas's Roll Call Syndicate. NV means Not Voting.

House Votes

NEW TAX CUTS

For: 339 / Against: 65

The House passed a bill (HR 1308) that provides tax relief to corporations, temporarily eases the alternative minimum tax on personal returns and extends three middle-class tax cuts set to expire at the end of the year. Nearly all of the $146 billion, 10-year cost of the measure will be added to the national debt.

The bill provides $13 billion annually in corporate cuts. It extends relief for married couples filing jointly through 2008, expands the 10 percent bracket for personal returns through 2010 and extends the $1,000-per-child tax credit through 2009. However, the bill raises the family-income thresholds for receiving the child credit, denying the benefit to 4.3 million minimum-wage families that now receive it.

A yes vote was to pass the bill.

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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FAMILY TRAVEL TO CUBA

For: 225 / Against: 174

The House blocked new administration limits on visits to Cuba by Cuban Americans with family members there. Treasury Department rules would have permitted one 14-day visit every three years and redefined "family" as only parents and siblings. The previous rules allowed annual visits to aunts, uncles and cousins as well as to immediate family members. The vote occurred as the House passed a fiscal 2005 spending bill (HR 5025) for Treasury and other agencies.

A yes vote was to repeal new limits on family travel to Cuba.

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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CUBAN TRADE

For: 188 / Against: 225

The House refused to end U.S. economic sanctions on Cuba and thus allow free two-way trade with the communist state. Under a 43-year embargo, only American medicine and food can be exported to Cuba, but public or private U.S. financing cannot be used for those sales. The vote occurred during debate on HR 5025 (above).

A yes vote backed free two-way trade with Cuba.

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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REVISING PRIVATIZATION PLAN

For: 210 / Against: 187

The House voted to require the administration to redraft its plan to privatize hundreds of thousands of federal jobs by means of bidding competition between companies and civil servants. Backers said that sending the program back to the drawing board would help civil servants retain their work. Foes said the amendment to HR 5025 would result in a less efficient, more costly delivery of government services.

Issued in May 2003, the "Circular A-76" rules give private companies standing to compete with civil servants for at least 425,000 jobs -- a quarter of the federal workforce -- that are defined as "commercial" or not inherently governmental. A yes vote was to redraw the privatization program.

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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CASH-BALANCE PENSIONS

For: 237 / Against: 162

The House voted to prevent the administration from joining IBM in appealing a 2003 federal court ruling that the company's conversion of defined-benefit pension plans to cash-balance plans is age discrimination.

Under defined-benefit plans, retirees receive a specific sum for life based on factors such as years with the company and peak salary. In a typical cash-balance plan, workers contribute a set percentage of salary, which draws interest based on fixed or variable rates. Cash-balance plans are portable from job to job. In the hundreds of conversions that have occurred nationwide, many workers have come out ahead while others, particularly older ones nearing their best earning years, have lost pension value.

A yes vote backed the amendment to HR 5025.

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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PLEDGE OF ALLEGIANCE

For: 247 / Against: 173

The House passed a bill (HR 2028) to strip federal courts of jurisdiction over constitutional issues involving the Pledge of Allegiance. This gives state courts the sole right to determine whether "under God" can be included in the pledge. Critics said that, under the separation-of-powers doctrine, it is unconstitutional for Congress to limit the federal judiciary in this manner.

A yes vote was to pass the bill.

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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SUPREME COURT JURISDICTION

For: 202 / Against: 217

The House defeated an amendment to HR 2028 (above) to allow the Supreme Court but not lower federal courts to review state rulings involving the Pledge of Allegiance and the Constitution.

A yes vote backed Supreme Court jurisdiction.

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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Senate Votes

GOSS CONFIRMATION

For: 77 / Against: 17

The Senate confirmed Rep. Porter J. Goss (R-Fla.), 65, as director of central intelligence. The eight-term congressman has been chairman of the House Intelligence Committee and is a former CIA agent. Although supporters said his experience qualifies him to lead the CIA, critics said he has a record of opposing intelligence reforms and waging partisan attacks.

A yes vote was to confirm Goss.

Yes

No

NV

Allen (R)

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Warner (R)

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$3.6 BILLION CONGRESS

For: 94 / Against: 2

The Senate approved a $3.6 billion legislative branch budget for fiscal 2005. The bill provides $1.04 billion for operating the House, up 3.6 percent from 2004; $725 million for the Senate, up two percent; and $1.8 billion-plus for agencies such as the Library of Congress and Architect of the Capitol. The bill funds a study into adding dental and vision benefits to the health plan for members of Congress and executive branch employees.

A yes vote was to approve the legislative branch budget.

Yes

No

NV

Allen (R)

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Warner (R)

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NEW TAX CUTS

For: 92 / Against: 3

The Senate sent President Bush the conference report on a bill (HR 1308) extending three middle-class tax cuts set to expire this year, continuing about two dozen business breaks and temporarily easing the impact of the alternative minimum tax on personal returns. The bill is projected to add $146 billion to the $7 trillion-plus national debt over 10 years.

A yes vote was to approve the report.

Yes

No

NV

Allen (R)

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Warner (R)

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