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

HOMELAND SECURITY FUNDING

For: 347 / Against: 70

Members approved the conference report on a bill (HR 2360) appropriating $30.8 billion for the Department of Homeland Security in fiscal 2006, including $6.3 billion for the Transportation Security Administration, $3.4 billion for Immigration and Customs Enforcement, and $1.8 billion for border protection. The bill provides $2.6 billion for the Federal Emergency Management Agency while shifting FEMA's preparedness functions to a new, multi-agency unit.

Additionally, the measure cuts three of the four major grants programs for first responders and reduces funding to hire airport screeners. It provides $3.3 billion for grants to first responders; for the first time, the grants would be weighted in favor of metropolitan areas at high risk.

The bill appropriates $110 million for developing antimissile devices for commercial aircraft; $443 million for procuring and installing explosive detection systems for commercial aviation; $318 million for a new initiative to detect nuclear weapons in transportation systems; $93 million for cyber-security; and $625 million for protecting critical infrastructure such as chemical plants.

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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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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ENERGY AND THE ENVIRONMENT

For: 212 / Against: 210

Members passed a bill (HR 3893) to prompt construction of oil refineries and pipelines while softening related environmental measures, including ones that reduce refinery and power plant emissions and require cleaner-burning gasoline. The bill, which awaits Senate action, would end a nearly 30-year hiatus in the construction of refineries in the United States.

The bill empowers the president to order refinery construction on federal lands, including abandoned military bases; gives governors more power to designate refinery sites; allows taxpayer reimbursement of refineries for any excessive litigation or regulatory delays; and empowers the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission to expedite pipeline site selection and construction. In the event of energy shortages, the legislation authorizes the president to waive fuel-additive requirements and the Environmental Protection Agency to waive air quality standards in certain downwind areas.

A yes vote was to pass the bill.

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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GASOLINE PRICE GOUGING

For: 199 / Against: 222

Members rejected a Democratic amendment to HR 3893 (above) empowering the Federal Trade Commission to legally define price gouging at the gasoline pump and impose civil penalties on companies of up to three times the amount of ill-gotten profits.

A yes vote backed the amendment.

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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POST-HURRICANE HOUSING

For: 335 / Against: 81

Members sent the Senate a bill (HR 3895) to temporarily waive some federal rules to speed the provision of housing in rural areas hit by hurricanes Katrina and Rita. In part, the bill redirects Rural Housing Authority funds to housing-voucher accounts and relaxes credit rules to make it easier for displaced homeowners to obtain loans for home repairs. A yes vote was to pass the bill.

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

DEFENSE BUDGET

For: 97 / Against: 0

Senators approved a $445 billion military spending bill for fiscal 2006. The bill (HR 2863) provides $50 billion for operations in Iraq and Afghanistan, raising total outlays for both theaters to more than $327 billion since actions began. The bill funds a 3.1 percent military pay raise and increases the military death benefit to $100,000. It also provides $3.9 billion to prepare the nation for an avian flu outbreak.

A yes vote was to pass the appropriations bill.

MARYLAND

Y

N

NV

Mikulski (D)

*

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Sarbanes (D)

*

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HUMANE PRISONER TREATMENT

For: 90 / Against: 9

Senators voted to require the U.S. military to adhere to the United Nations Convention Against Torture's prohibition against "cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment" and to follow Army Field Manual rules for humane treatment of prisoners. The United States is a signatory to the U.N. treaty, but the administration says the pact does not apply to U.S. interrogations outside the United States, such as at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, or in Afghanistan and Iraq. The amendment was added to HR 2863 (above).

A yes vote backed the ban on torture by the U.S. military

MARYLAND

Y

N

NV

Mikulski (D)

*

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Sarbanes (D)

*

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