For the Record

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

House Votes

CONGRESSIONAL PAY RAISE

For: 263 / Against: 152

Members cleared the way for a congressional pay raise, to take effect in January, that will increase the salaries of rank-and-file House members and senators by about 1.9 percent, to $165,200. The House speaker and secretary of the Senate will receive $212,100, and the majority and minority leaders of both chambers will be paid $183,500. This procedural vote occurred during debate on a bill (HR 3058, later passed) appropriating $60.7 billion for several agencies and Cabinet departments in fiscal 2006.

A yes vote backed a congressional pay raise in 2006.

MARYLAND

Y

N

NV

Bartlett (R)

{hbox}

*

{hbox}

Cardin (D)

*

{hbox}

{hbox}

Cummings (D)

*

{hbox}

{hbox}

Gilchrest (R)

*

{hbox}

{hbox}

Hoyer (D)

*

{hbox}

{hbox}

Ruppersberger (D)

*

{hbox}

{hbox}

Van Hollen (D)

*

{hbox}

{hbox}

Wynn (D)

*

{hbox}

{hbox}

AMTRAK FUNDING

For: 269 / Against: 152

The House adopted an amendment to a transportation bill (HR 3058) that retains federal funding of the 18 Amtrak routes receiving the highest taxpayer subsidies. On a later non-record vote, members restored $626 million in proposed Amtrak cuts that critics said would dismember the nationwide rail-passenger network. If the Senate agrees, the two votes would combine to keep Amtrak running in fiscal 2006 at a budget comparable to this year's $1.2 billion level.

A yes vote was to subsidize Amtrak's costliest routes.

MARYLAND

Y

N

NV

Bartlett (R)

{hbox}

*

{hbox}

Cardin (D)

*

{hbox}

{hbox}

Cummings (D)

*

{hbox}

{hbox}

Gilchrest (R)

*

{hbox}

{hbox}

Hoyer (D)

*

{hbox}

{hbox}

Ruppersberger (D)

*

{hbox}

{hbox}

Van Hollen (D)

*

{hbox}

{hbox}

Wynn (D)

*

{hbox}

{hbox}

NUCLEAR REACTORS IN CHINA

For: 313 / Against: 114

Members adopted an amendment to HR 3057 to prohibit Export-Import Bank financing of a bid by Westinghouse Electric Co. to build four nuclear reactors in China. The bank, which is backed by U.S. taxpayers, has tentatively provided Westinghouse, a property of the British government, with $5 billion in loan guarantees and credits in its competition against French and Russian companies to secure the work.

A yes vote backed the amendment.

MARYLAND

Y

N

NV

Bartlett (R)

{hbox}

*

{hbox}

Cardin (D)

*

{hbox}

{hbox}

Cummings (D)

*

{hbox}

{hbox}

Gilchrest (R)

{hbox}

*

{hbox}

Hoyer (D)

*

{hbox}

{hbox}

Ruppersberger (D)

{hbox}

*

{hbox}

Van Hollen (D)

*

{hbox}

{hbox}

Wynn (D)

*

{hbox}

{hbox}

PLAN COLOMBIA

For: 189 / Against: 234

The House rejected an amendment to a foreign operations bill (HR 3057) that sought to cut military aid for Plan Colombia by $100 million, to $322 million in fiscal 2006. Under the six-year-old program, U.S. forces work with Andean nations to eradicate coca and poppy crops and destroy drug factories. Congress has appropriated a total of about $4 billion for Plan Colombia.

Backers say the joint military venture has cut the flow of illegal drugs to the United States; critics dispute that assertion and say it has led to human rights abuses.

A yes vote was to cut Plan Colombia funding by 25 percent.

MARYLAND

Y

N

NV

Bartlett (R)

*

{hbox}

{hbox}

Cardin (D)

*

{hbox}

{hbox}

Cummings (D)

*

{hbox}

{hbox}

Gilchrest (R)

{hbox}

*

{hbox}

Hoyer (D)

*

{hbox}

{hbox}

Ruppersberger (D)

{hbox}

*

{hbox}

Van Hollen (D)

*

{hbox}

{hbox}

Wynn (D)

*

{hbox}

{hbox}

TAKING PRIVATE PROPERTY

For: 231 / Against: 189

The House sought to nullify a Supreme Court ruling that empowers state and local governments to take private property for purposes of economic development. Attached to a Department of Housing and Urban Development budget bill (HR 3058, later passed), the amendment would bar funding to implement the decision in fiscal 2006.

A yes vote was to nullify the June 23 ruling Kelo v. City of New London.

MARYLAND

Y

N

NV

Bartlett (R)

*

{hbox}

{hbox}

Cardin (D)

{hbox}

*

{hbox}

Cummings (D)

{hbox}

*

{hbox}

Gilchrest (R)

*

{hbox}

{hbox}

Hoyer (D)

{hbox}

*

{hbox}

Ruppersberger (D)

*

{hbox}

{hbox}

Van Hollen (D)

{hbox}

*

{hbox}

Wynn (D)

{hbox}

*

{hbox}

VETERANS HEALTH CARE

For: 419 / Against: 0

The House approved a $975 million emergency appropriation (HR 3130) for veterans health care. This followed a surprise disclosure by Veterans Affairs Secretary Jim Nicholson of a $1 billion shortfall in the budget to treat returnees from Iraq and Afghanistan as well as other veterans. The bill must be reconciled with a competing Senate measure.

A yes vote was to pass the bill.

MARYLAND

Y

N

NV

Bartlett (R)

*

{hbox}

{hbox}

Cardin (D)

*

{hbox}

{hbox}

Cummings (D)

*

{hbox}

{hbox}

Gilchrest (R)

*

{hbox}

{hbox}

Hoyer (D)

*

{hbox}

{hbox}

Ruppersberger (D)

*

{hbox}

{hbox}

Van Hollen (D)

*

{hbox}

{hbox}

Wynn (D)

*

{hbox}

{hbox}

TRAVEL TO CUBA

For: 208 / Against: 211

Members refused to reinstate a rule allowing Cuban-Americans to visit family members in Cuba once a year and to apply for specific visits during emergencies. The amendment to HR 3058 (above) sought to replace a 2004 administration rule that limits Cuban-Americans to one visit every three years with immediate family members in Cuba.

A yes vote was to ease rules for family travel to Cuba.

MARYLAND

Y

N

NV

Bartlett (R)

{hbox}

*

{hbox}

Cardin (D)

*

{hbox}

{hbox}

Cummings (D)

*

{hbox}

{hbox}

Gilchrest (R)

*

{hbox}

{hbox}

Hoyer (D)

*

{hbox}

{hbox}

Ruppersberger (D)

*

{hbox}

{hbox}

Van Hollen (D)

*

{hbox}

{hbox}

Wynn (D)

*

{hbox}

{hbox}

Senate Votes

ENERGY TAX INCENTIVES

For: 85 / Against: 12

Senators approved a package (HR 6) of tax incentives, regulatory relief, environmental waivers and other policy changes designed to reduce U.S. dependence on foreign oil. The centerpiece is $14 billion over 10 years in tax breaks to spur oil and gas exploration, coal extraction, an expansion of nuclear energy, conservation and the development of renewable energy at affordable prices.

The bill must be reconciled with a House version that differs, in part, by opening the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge to drilling and giving manufacturers of methyl tertiary-butyl ether (MTBE) retroactive immunity from suits alleging the gasoline additive has polluted groundwater.

The bill keeps fuel-economy standards for vehicles at present levels, weakens federal laws governing clean water and air, requires power companies to produce at least 10 percent of their electricity from renewable sources by 2020, sets reliability standards for regional electrical grids, and gives the federal government final say in locating energy transmission lines and coastal terminals for liquefied natural gas.

The bill requires an inventory of oil and gas deposits in all coastal waters, funds clean-coal technologies, streamlines hydroelectric licensing, and requires increased use of corn-based ethanol as a gasoline additive. The bill also repeals the Public Utilities Holding Company Act of 1935 to permit mergers of individual gas and electric companies, and it recommends, but does not mandate, limits on factory emissions linked to global warming.

A yes vote was to pass the bill.

MARYLAND

Y

N

NV

Mikulski (D)

*

{hbox}

{hbox}

Sarbanes (D)

*

{hbox}

{hbox}

CENTRAL AMERICA TRADE

For: 54 / Against: 45

Senators passed a bill (S 1307) to implement the Central American Free Trade Agreement (CAFTA), which lowers barriers to trade between the Unites States and the Dominican Republic, Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras and Nicaragua. Backers say CAFTA will boost economic growth in all signatory nations. Critics say the treaty will export U.S. jobs to countries with low pay and weak labor protections and will harm U.S. sugar growers.

A yes vote was to approve CAFTA.

MARYLAND

Y

N

NV

Mikulski (D)

{hbox}

*

{hbox}

Sarbanes (D)

{hbox}

*

{hbox}

HUMAN PESTICIDE TESTING

For: 60 / Against: 37

Senators voted to ban government-sponsored testing of pesticide agents on humans. The vote occurred during debate on an Environmental Protection Agency budget bill (HR 2361, later passed). It followed a conflicting vote under which the EPA could allow such testing on a limited basis with close scientific monitoring.

A yes vote was to ban pesticide testing on humans.

MARYLAND

Y

N

NV

Mikulski (D)

*

{hbox}

{hbox}

Sarbanes (D)

*

{hbox}

{hbox}