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

HOUSE PANEL ON KATRINA

For: 224 / Against: 188

Members approved Republican plans to assemble a House committee to investigate the actions of federal, state and local officials in preparing for and responding to Hurricane Katrina. Democrats, opposing the measure (HJ Res 437), said an independent panel similar to the 9/11 Commission should conduct the probe.

A yes vote was to set up a House panel on Hurricane Katrina.

MARYLAND

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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*

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Wynn (D)

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*

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INDEPENDENT KATRINA PROBE

For: 222 / Against: 193

On a party-line vote, Republicans blocked a Democratic call for establishing an independent 9/11-style commission to examine how governments at all levels dealt with Hurricane Katrina and its aftermath.

A yes vote opposed the establishment of an independent Katrina investigation.

MARYLAND

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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*

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Wynn (D)

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*

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SEX CRIMES

For: 371 / Against: 52

Members passed a bill (HR 3132) requiring states to adopt tougher measures against sex offenders. Opponents were a mix of conservative Republicans and liberal Democrats. Now before the Senate, the bill would set mandatory minimum sentences for sex offenses; require states to maintain Internet sites on the whereabouts of sex offenders; establish a federal site for conducting searches to pinpoint where offenders live; and restrict federal court review of habeas corpus petitions challenging convictions in state court for killing a child.

Additionally, the bill would require closer police monitoring of known sex offenders and impose stricter requirements for offenders to register and maintain contact with authorities. The measure would expand the types of crimes that qualify as sex offenses, adding, for example, the possession of child pornography.

A yes vote was to pass the bill.

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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HATE CRIMES

For: 223 / Against: 199

Members added an expansion of the federal law against hate crimes to HR 3132 (above). Existing law provides federal assistance to states and localities in prosecuting crimes based on a victim's race, religion or national origin. The amendment would add crimes based on sexual orientation, disability and gender. The issue is now before the Senate.

A yes vote was to expand the federal law against hate crimes.

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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*

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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Senate Votes

INDEPENDENT KATRINA PROBE

For: 44 / Against: 54

On a party-line vote, senators defeated a Democratic amendment to establish an independent commission, modeled after the 9/11 Commission, to probe the actions of federal, state and local authorities before and after Hurricane Katrina hit. The vote occurred during debate on a fiscal 2006 spending bill (HR 2862) for the departments of Justice and Commerce and other agencies.

A yes vote backed the amendment.

MARYLAND

Y

N

NV

Mikulski (D)

*

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Sarbanes (D)

*

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POLICE HIRING AND KATRINA AID

For: 41 / Against: 56

Senators voted not to add $1 billion nationwide in fiscal 2006 to the COPS (Community Oriented Policing Services) program, which was begun in the Clinton administration to help local police departments add personnel and equipment. The amendment also proposed $10 million to care for Gulf Coast children exploited in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina and $8 million to assist victims of domestic violence and sexual abuse in areas struck by Katrina. The added spending was offered to HR 2862 (above).

A yes vote backed the amendment.

MARYLAND

Y

N

NV

Mikulski (D)

*

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Sarbanes (D)

*

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MERCURY EMISSIONS

For: 47 / Against: 51

Senators defeated a measure (SJ Res 20) to repeal the Bush administration's new rule on airborne mercury discharges. The rule sets overall caps on mercury emissions by coal- and oil-fired power plants and allows plants that control discharges to sell credits to ones that do not. It replaces a Clinton administration approach that required utilities to limit mercury emissions on a plant-by-plant basis. A neurotoxin, mercury is particularly harmful to women who are pregnant and to small children.

A yes vote was to repeal the administration's mercury rule.

MARYLAND

Y

N

NV

Mikulski (D)

*

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Sarbanes (D)

*

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