For the Record

Here's how some major bills fared recently in Congress, and how the Maryland congressional delegation voted, as provided by Thomas Voting Reports. NV means Not Voting.

House Votes

MILITARY BUDGET

For: 398 / Against: 19

The House sent the Senate a $409 billion military appropriations bill (HR 2863) for fiscal 2006. The amount includes $45.3 billion for operations in Iraq and Afghanistan, raising total appropriations for the two theaters to more than $323 billion since actions began. The bill also funds a 3.1 percent military pay raise and provides $7.6 billion for the national missile defense program.

The bill raises spending over 2005 levels for training Iraqi forces and recruiting and retaining U.S. forces. It expands U.S. nuclear capability while providing $416 million for a program to keep nuclear weapons from former Soviet Union nations out of the hands of terrorists.

A yes vote was to pass the bill.

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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RELIGIOUS INTIMIDATION

For: 198 / Against: 210

Members defeated a non-binding measure concerning findings that evangelical Christians on the Air Force Academy faculty and staff have sought to intimidate and convert non-Christian cadets. The amendment to HR 2863 (above) condemned "religious intimidation and inappropriate proselytizing by Air Force officials and others in the chain-of-command at the Air Force Academy." The measure went beyond language in the bill, urging "a positive climate of religious freedom and tolerance" at the academy.

A yes vote backed the amendment.

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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*

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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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FLAG DESECRATION

For: 286 / Against: 130

The House reached the two-thirds majority needed to pass a constitutional amendment (HJ Res 10) giving Congress and the states power to outlaw the desecration of the U.S. flag. The amendment must be approved by the Senate and ratified by three-fourths of the states. The measure does not define "flag" or "desecration."

A yes vote backed the constitutional amendment.

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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Van Hollen (D)

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Wynn (D)

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PROTECTING FREE SPEECH

For: 129 / Against: 279

The House defeated a substitute constitutional amendment that was identical to HJ Res 10 (above) except for stipulating that any law banning flag desecration be "not inconsistent" with the First Amendment's protection of political speech.

A yes vote backed the substitute.

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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*

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Ruppersberger (D)

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Van Hollen (D)

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Wynn (D)

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PUBLIC BROADCASTING FUNDS

For: 284 / Against: 140

Members restored $100 million that a House committee had cut from the Corporation for Public Broadcasting budget for fiscal 2006. The vote, during debate on HR 3010, increased funding for the CPB to $400 million, approximately the 2005 level. The issue is now before the Senate.

A yes vote was to increase funding for public radio and television.

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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INTELLIGENCE BUDGET

For: 409 / Against: 16

The House sent the Senate a fiscal 2006 budget (HR 2475) for U.S. intelligence agencies. The classified sum is reported to exceed $40 billion. The bill provides the first annual budget for John D. Negroponte, the new director of national intelligence, and also funds more than a dozen other intelligence agencies.

A yes vote was to pass the bill.

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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U.S. MILITARY PRISONS

For: 197 / Against: 228

The House defeated a bid by Democrats to establish a 10-member independent commission to investigate the U.S. military's treatment of detainees at prisons such as Guantanamo Bay in Cuba and Abu Ghraib in Iraq. Democrats said that such a probe should encompass the White House and the entire military chain of command. Republicans said that the military has been thoroughly investigating reports of detainee abuse. The vote occurred during debate on HR 2475 (above).

A yes vote backed a commission to probe detainee abuse.

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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HOUSE OPERATING BUDGET

For: 330 / Against: 82

Members approved $1.09 billion for operating the House in fiscal 2006, up $52 million, or 5 percent, from the comparable 2005 figure. Overall, the bill (HR 2985) appropriates $2.87 billion for the House and legislative agencies in fiscal 2006. The Senate will add its budget later in the year.

The bill includes a succession plan that has passed the House but stalled in the Senate. It calls for expedited House elections if at least 100 members die in a terrorist attack or other disaster. States would have 49 days to hold special elections.

A yes vote was to pass the bill.

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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IRAQ CONTRACT FRAUD PROBE

For: 219 / Against: 196

Republicans blocked a bid by Democrats to establish a special congressional committee to probe fraud in military and civilian contracting in Iraq and Afghanistan. Democrats forced the procedural vote after GOP leaders, during consideration of HR 2985 (above), disallowed their amendment to launch such a probe. The special inspector general for Iraqi reconstruction has found $9 billion in congressional appropriations unaccounted for in Iraq, according to debate.

A yes vote opposed the select committee.

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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Wynn (D)

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Senate Votes

GREENHOUSE GAS LIMITS

For: 38 / Against: 60

Senators refused to limit U.S. factories and power plants in their emissions of greenhouse gases such as carbon dioxide, thought by many to be causing dangerous climate changes. The amendment to a pending energy bill (HR 6) sought to require industries to reduce carbon emissions to 2000 levels by 2010. Industries with excessive discharges would be able to buy emissions credits from those in compliance, with a percentage of such sales diverted to a market-driven public-sector fund for developing cleaner fuels.

A yes vote backed mandatory emissions caps.

Y

N

NV

Mikulski (D)

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Sarbanes (D)

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VOLUNTARY GAS CONTROLS

For: 66 / Against: 29

Senators voted to use tax incentives rather than mandatory caps to reduce greenhouse gas discharges by U.S. industries. The amendment to HR 6 (above) authorizes tax incentives of $2 billion over five years to encourage companies to employ new technologies for reducing carbon emissions. The measure directs U.S. trade officials and diplomats to spur the export of clean-fuel technologies to countries such as China that have rapidly expanding manufacturing sectors but few controls on carbon emissions.

A yes vote was to adopt the amendment.

Y

N

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Mikulski (D)

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Sarbanes (D)

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FUEL EFFICIENCY STANDARDS

For: 28 / Against: 67

Senators refused to raise fuel efficiency standards for automobiles, sport-utility vehicles and light trucks to a fleet average of 40 miles per gallon by 2016. The government's Corporate Average Fuel Economy (CAFE) standards are 27.5 mpg for cars and 21 mpg for SUVs and light trucks. The underlying bill (HR 6, which remained in debate) makes no change in CAFE standards.

A yes vote was to raise CAFE standards.

Y

N

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Mikulski (D)

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Sarbanes (D)

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