Voterama in Congress, week ending July 27, 2012
How Illinois lawmakers voted in Congress Week ending July 27
Updated: August 6, 2012 7:37AM
U.S. House of Representatives
Federal Reserve Audit: Members voted, 327-98, to direct the Government Accountability Office, an investigative arm of Congress, to audit the Federal Reserve, an independent agency, this year. A yes vote was to pass HR 459 over arguments it could lead to politicians having a say in monetary policies such as the setting of interest rates.
GOP Offshore-Drilling Plan: Members passed, 253-170, a Republican bill requiring the administration to sell leases for oil and gas exploration in waters off California and Alaska and from Maine to South Carolina where drilling is now prohibited. A yes vote was to send the bill (HR 6082) to the Senate.
Natural-Gas Export Ban: Members refused, 158-262, to bar the export of natural gas taken from the Outer Continental Shelf under a Republican offshore-drilling plan (HR 6082, above). A yes vote backed the export ban over arguments U.S. law already has provisions for blocking energy sales overseas.
Regulations Freeze: Members voted, 245-172, to bar new federal regulations having an impact of $100 million or more on the economy from taking effect until the U.S. jobless rate drops below 6 percent. Presidents could waive the ban to meet emergencies. A yes vote was to pass HR 4078.
Weather-Related Regulations: Voting 177-240, members defeated an amendment to HR 4078 (above) to prevent interruptions in regulations protecting the public from “extreme weather, including drought, flooding and catastrophic wildfire.” A yes vote was to sustain weather-related regulations.
Clean-Water Regulations: Members refused, 188-231, to exempt rules ensuring safe drinking water from the freeze that HR 4078 (above) would impose on major federal regulations until the jobless rate drops below 6 percent in a given quarter. A yes vote was to sustain clean-water regulations.
Climate-Change Guidance: Voting 245-171, members barred the Securities and Exchange Commission from issuing guidance on when companies should make disclosures to shareholders and investors on the effect of climate-change developments on their businesses. A yes vote backed the amendment to HR 4078.
Democratic Tax Cuts: Senators passed, 51-48, a bill by Democrats to extend Bush-era tax cuts through 2013 for couples with adjusted gross incomes under $250,000 and singles under $200,000 -- 98 percent of taxpayers. A yes vote was to raise taxes next year on the top 2 percent of taxpayers. (S 3412)
Republican Tax Cuts: Senators defeated, 45-54, a Republican amendment to S 3412 (above) that sought to extend Bush-era tax cuts for all income levels through 2013. A yes vote backed a measure that also retained 15 percent as the capital-gains and dividends tax rate and averted an increase next year in estate taxes.
Security in Cyberspace: Senators voted, 84-11, to start debating a bill (S 3414) giving companies requirements and incentives for safeguarding power grids, communications links, nuclear power plants, transportation systems, water plants and other infrastructure from attacks in cyberspace. A yes vote was to advance the bill
Key votes ahead
In the week of July 30, the House will take up an extension of Bush-era tax cuts, while the Senate will resume debate on a cyber security measure. Congress begins a five-week recess at week’s end.