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

HIGHER DEBT CEILING

For: 208 / Against: 204

The House passed a bill (S 2986) to raise the national debt ceiling by $800 billion, to $8.18 trillion. This marked the third time since President Bush took office that federal borrowing authority was increased to avert a government shutdown. Deficit spending has totaled $1.4 trillion during Bush's first term and is projected to reach $2.2 trillion by late 2005, when the new limit is expected to expire.

A yes vote was to increase the national debt.

MARYLAND

Y

N

NV

Bartlett (R)

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*

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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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*

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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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PAY AS YOU GO

For: 194 / Against: 218

The House rejected a bid by Democrats to change S 2896 (above) to give Congress an April 15 deadline for deciding whether to restore pay-as-you-go discipline to federal budgeting. Under those rules, cuts in taxes or increases in entitlement spending must be offset by tax increases or spending cuts elsewhere in the budget. The legally binding rules helped Congress achieve budget surpluses in the 1990s. But Republican leaders now oppose them on grounds they would interfere with the administration's policy of using tax cuts to stimulate economic growth.

A yes vote was to restore pay-as-you-go rules.

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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DISABILITIES EDUCATION ACT

For: 397 / Against: 3

The House approved the conference report on a bill (HR 1350) extending through fiscal 2009 the Individuals With Disabilities Education Act. The 1975 law guarantees a mainstream education for the 6.5 million students in kindergarten through 12th grade with disabilities. This renewal raises teacher standards; reduces paperwork burdens; strengthens discipline of disruptive students for conduct unrelated to their disability; employs mediation to reduce parents' lawsuits; and enables quicker and more accurate identification of students in need of special help.

Congress originally pledged to cover 40 percent of the additional costs that the law imposes on states and localities. But the federal share stands at only 19 percent. This bill authorizes but does not require Congress to reach the 40 percent share by 2011. Actual increases will depend on later votes.

No member spoke against the measure.

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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Senate Votes

HIGHER DEBT CEILING

For: 52 / Against: 44

The Senate voted to raise the national debt ceiling by $800 billion, to $8.2 trillion, to prevent the government from shutting down within weeks. The Treasury had used short-term borrowing from the federal employees' pension fund to keep the government afloat.

A yes vote was to raise the debt ceiling.

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

Y

N

NV

Allen (R)

*

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Warner (R)

*

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