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

HURRICANE RELIEF

For: 410 / Against: 11

The House passed a bill (HR 3673) appropriating $51.8 billion for Hurricane Katrina recovery efforts over the next few weeks. (The Senate item below contains a spending breakdown.) Congress has now approved $62.3 billion in deficit spending in response to the hurricane, against a total federal cost projected by some to top $200 billion in coming years.

Members considered the bill under parliamentary rules, set by the Republican leadership that averted committee hearings, limited floor debate to 40 minutes and prevented amendments.

The bill's opponents were conservative Republicans concerned mainly about its impact on the national debt. The bill provides $15 million for intensified audits against waste and fraud in the rapid spending of the $52 billion. But critics noted that the bill allows the Federal Emergency Management Agency to use government credit cards for purchases of up to $250,000 without competitive bidding.

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}

FEMA INDEPENDENCE

For: 221 / Against: 193

Republicans blocked a procedural bid by Democrats to establish the Federal Emergency Management Agency as an independent agency, with its director required to have "experience, knowledge, training and expertise in the area of emergency preparedness." Had Democrats won this vote, they would have offered the amendment to HR 3673 (above). GOP leaders had barred direct debate on the Democratic amendment aimed at FEMA's response to Hurricane Katrina. A yes vote was to block the Democrats' FEMA 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}

RELOCATION OF FEDERAL COURTS

For: 409 / Against: 0

The House passed a bill (HR 3650) allowing federal courts incapacitated by Hurricane Katrina in Alabama, Louisiana and Mississippi to conduct business in other jurisdictions. However, criminal trials still must be conducted in the state in which the crime was committed, unless the defendant waives that constitutional protection.

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}

FLOOD INSURANCE

For: 416 / Against: 0

Members passed a bill (HR 3669) increasing the borrowing authority of the National Flood Insurance program from $1.5 billion to $3.5 billion, to cover initial claims from Hurricane Katrina. Because the program is self-financed, Congress ultimately will have to shift added costs related to Katrina to policy holders or taxpayers. The Senate sent the bill to the president.

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}

PELL GRANT WAIVERS

For: 412 / Against: 0

The House passed a bill (HR 3169) providing waivers to Pell Grant recipients who were uprooted by Hurricane Katrina or whose schools were closed by the storm. Pell Grants help undergraduates from poor households pay for a college education. The maximum grant was $4,050 in the 2004-05 academic year. This bill, which awaits Senate action, waives a penalty in the law against students who withdraw from school before the end of a term.

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

HURRICANE RELIEF

For: 97 / Against: 0

Senators sent a $51.8 billion Hurricane Katrina relief package (HR 3673) to President Bush. Among the bill's major items are $23.2 billion for the Federal Emergency Management Agency to provide food, shelter and medical care to storm victims; $7.7 billion for other public assistance; $3 billion for the Army Corps of Engineers for debris removal and infrastructure repair; $2.5 billion for Department of Defense security functions; $1.6 billion for procuring 100,000 trailers for temporary housing; $813 million for unemployment insurance; and $250 million for mental health counseling and legal aid.

MARYLAND

Y

N

NV

Mikulski (D)

*

{hbox}

{hbox}

Sarbanes (D)

*

{hbox}

{hbox}