A yes vote was to pass the bill.
Voting yes: Charles W. Dent (R., Pa.), Michael Fitzpatrick (R., Pa.), Jim Gerlach (R., Pa.), Frank A. LoBiondo (R., N.J.), Pat Meehan (R., Pa.), Joseph R. Pitts (R., Pa.), Jon Runyan (R., N.J.), and Christopher H. Smith (R., N.J.).
Voting no: Robert E. Andrews (D., N.J.), Robert A. Brady (D., Pa.), John Carney (D., Del.), Chaka Fattah (D., Pa.), Tim Holden (D., Pa.), and Allyson Y. Schwartz (D., Pa.).
Clean-water regulations. Voting 188-231, the House on Wednesday refused to exempt regulations to ensure safe drinking water in the United States 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 regulations for safe drinking water.
Voting yes: Andrews, Brady, Carney, Dent, Fattah, Gerlach, Fitzpatrick, LoBiondo, Meehan, Runyan, and Schwartz.
Voting no: Holden, Pitts, and Smith.
Congressional audit of Federal Reserve. Voting 327-98, the House on Wednesday sent the Senate a bill (HR 459) requiring the Government Accountability Office, the investigative arm of Congress, to conduct an open-ended audit this year of the Federal Reserve Board of Governors and the 12 regional Federal Reserve banks. Established in 1913 as both an independent agency and central bank, the Fed is charged with setting U.S. monetary policy, with fiscal policy left to the legislative and executive branches.
A yes vote backed a congressional audit of the Fed.
Voting yes: Dent, Fitzpatrick, Gerlach, Holden, LoBiondo, Meehan, Pitts, Runyan, and Smith.
Voting no: Andrews, Brady, Carney, Fattah, and Schwartz.
GOP offshore-drilling plan. Voting 253-170, the House on Wednesday passed a Republican bill (HR 6082) requiring the administration to sell 29 leases by 2017 for oil and gas exploration in several areas of the Outer Continental Shelf where drilling is now prohibited - off Southern California, in the Atlantic from Maine to South Carolina, and off Alaska in the Bristol Bay.
This occurred after the House revoked a pending administration plan to authorize 12 lease sales between 2012-2017 off Alaska and in the Gulf of Mexico. The administration plan will take effect in late August unless both houses of Congress vote to kill it. This bill is expected to die in the Democratic-controlled Senate.
Voting yes: Dent, Fitzpatrick, Holden, Gerlach, Meehan, and Pitts.
Voting no: Andrews, Brady, Carney, Fattah, LoBiondo, Runyan, Schwartz, and Smith.
Democratic tax cuts. The Senate on Wednesday voted, 51-48, to extend Bush-era tax cuts through 2013 for couples with adjusted gross incomes under $250,000 and single filers under $200,000. This would benefit 98 percent of taxpayers and cost the Treasury a projected $250 billion in lost revenue for the year. The bill (S 3412) also would allow Bush tax cuts on incomes above the $250,000 and $200,000 thresholds to expire Jan. 1. This would boost rates next year for 2 percent of taxpayers (about 2.5 million households) while generating about $400 billion for the Treasury. Under the bill, marginal rates would remain unchanged from today's levels for incomes under $250,000 while rising on Jan. 1 from 33 percent to 36 percent for single incomes over $200,000 and from 35 percent to 39.6 percent for joint incomes over $250,000.
Now awaiting House action, the bill also would raise the capital gains and dividends tax rate from 15 percent to 20 percent.
A yes vote was to pass the bill.
Voting yes: Thomas Carper (D., Del.), Bob Casey (D., Pa.), Chris Coons (D., Del.), Frank Lautenberg (D., N.J.), and Robert Menendez (D., N.J.).
Voting no: Pat Toomey (R., Pa.).
Republican tax cuts. Voting 45-54, the Senate on Wednesday defeated a Republican amendment to S 3412 (above) that sought to extend Bush-era tax cuts for all income levels through 2013. This contrasts with the Democrats' plan (above) to allow taxes to rise Jan. 1 for single-filers earning $200,000 or more and couples earning above $250,000. The GOP bill also differs by preventing estate taxes and taxes on dividends and capital gains from rising Jan. 1 while letting certain breaks for middle- and low-income taxpayers expire Jan. 1.
Coons said the Republican plan "raises taxes on 25 million of the working poor. It should be an obscenity for there to be people who are working full time and get poor in this country."
A yes vote was to extend all Bush-era tax cuts next year.
Voting yes: Toomey.
Voting no: Carper, Casey, Coons, Lautenberg, and Menendez.
Security in cyberspace. Voting 84-11, the Senate on Thursday agreed to start debating a bill (S 3414) giving companies federal requirements and incentives for better protecting power grids, communications links, nuclear power plants, transportation systems, water plants, and other critical U.S. infrastructure against cyber attacks. Such attacks consist, in part, of enemies hacking into firms' computer networks to disrupt or shut down basic operating systems.
A yes vote was to advance the bill.
Voting yes: Carper, Casey, Coons, Lautenberg, Menendez, and Toomey.
This week. The House will take up an extension of Bush-era tax cuts, while the Senate will resume debate on a measure to protect U.S. infrastructure from computer attacks. Congress begins a five-week recess at week's end.