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

PRIVATE PROPERTY RIGHTS

For: 376 / Against: 38

Members sent the Senate a bill (HR 4128) that would deny all types of federal aid to any state or locality that uses powers of eminent domain to acquire private property for transfer to another private owner for purposes of economic development. The bill seeks to negate this year's Supreme Court ruling in Kelo v. City of New London, which held that private economic development could be a legitimate public use under the takings clause of the Fifth Amendment.

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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*

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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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*

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Wolf (R)

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*

THE INTERNET, CAMPAIGN FINANCE

For: 225 / Against: 182

Members failed to reach a two-thirds majority needed to pass a bill (HR 1606) exempting Internet fundraising from the federal campaign-finance law. The bill sought to permit organizations to raise unregulated "soft money" from labor unions, corporations or wealthy individuals over the Internet. This would open a loophole in the 2002 McCain-Feingold law that bars unregulated soft money from federal campaigns.

The bill required a supermajority for passage because it was debated under a short-cut parliamentary procedure that limited debate and prohibited amendments.

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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*

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Hoyer (D)

*

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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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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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*

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Wolf (R)

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*

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IRAQ WAR OVERSIGHT

For: 220 / Against: 191

Members ruled out of order a bid by Democrats for the Republican-controlled House to begin conducting oversight hearings into a wide range of administration actions and policies related to the war in Iraq.

Republicans said the motion lacked parliamentary standing.

A yes vote opposed the Democratic motion.

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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*

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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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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*

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Wolf (R)

*

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Senate Votes

DEFICIT REDUCTION

For: 52 / Against: 47

Senators passed a bill (S 1932) that increases revenue and slows entitlement spending in order to reduce annual deficits by a total of $35 billion over the next five years. Medicare would absorb at least $5.7 billion of the entitlement curbs, Medicaid $4.6 billion and farm commodity programs $1.3 billion.

The bill would raise tens of billions of dollars by trimming lenders' profits on student loans, increasing company premiums for federal pension insurance, auctioning off airwaves spectrum freed up by the advent of digital television, and opening the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge to oil and gas extraction (next issue).

The Medicare curbs mainly affect a new prescription drug program and health care providers. The Medicaid changes address areas such as fraud control and federal payments to drug companies, and the commodity restraints affect a range of crops, with cotton a major target.

This vote set the stage for the Senate to take up a bill this year providing $70 billion in tax cuts.

A yes vote was to pass the bill.

MARYLAND

Y

N

NV

Mikulski (D)

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*

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Sarbanes (D)

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*

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VIRGINIA

Yes

No

NV

Allen (R)

*

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Warner (R)

*

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ARCTIC DRILLING

For: 48 / Against: 51

Senators voted to open the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge to oil and gas drilling. The vote upheld language in S 1932 (above) to permit drilling in about 2,000 acres of the 19 million-acre refuge on the coastal plain of northeastern Alaska. The provision is designed to raise $2.4 billion over five years for deficit reduction.

A yes vote opposed ANWR drilling.

MARYLAND

Y

N

NV

Mikulski (D)

*

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Sarbanes (D)

*

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VIRGINIA

Yes

No

NV

Allen (R)

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*

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Warner (R)

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*

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ARCTIC OIL EXPORTS

For: 83 / Against: 16

Senators voted to ban the export of Arctic National Wildlife Refuge oil. The underlying bill (S 1932, above) requires ANWR drilling rights to be sold to essentially the highest bidder. Amendment backers said this could result in the oil being shipped abroad rather than kept at home to bolster U.S. energy security.

A yes vote backed the amendment.

MARYLAND

Y

N

NV

Mikulski (D)

*

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Sarbanes (D)

*

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VIRGINIA

Yes

No

NV

Allen (R)

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*

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Warner (R)

*

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MEDICARE DRUG PLAN

For: 43 / Against: 56

Senators defeated an amendment to S 1932 (above) to delay until July the new Medicare prescription drug plan as it applies to 6.4 million low-income seniors known as "dual eligibles" because they qualify for both Medicaid and Medicare. When the Medicare program takes effect Jan. 1, these seniors will lose their Medicaid coverage and be subject to the higher co-payments and uncertainties of the new program.

Supporters said the seniors will need more time to adjust to the Medicare drug law, while opponents said the new law will fully cover their pharmaceutical needs.

A yes vote was to pass the amendment.

MARYLAND

Y

N

NV

Mikulski (D)

*

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Sarbanes (D)

*

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VIRGINIA

Yes

No

NV

Allen (R)

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*

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Warner (R)

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*

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