Area Votes in Congress

Posted: April 28, 2013

WASHINGTON - Here is how Philadelphia-area members of Congress voted on major issues last week:


Air travel, sequestration. Voting 361-41, the House on Friday passed a bill (HR 1765) to end furloughs of air traffic controllers made necessary by the blind, across-the-board cuts known as sequestration that are now in force. The bill reallocates $253 million in the Federal Aviation Administration budget in order to return controllers to full work schedules and end flight delays clogging U.S. air travel. The bill awaited Senate approval and President Obama's signature.

A yes vote was to pass the bill.

Voting yes: Robert E. Andrews (D., N.J.), Robert A. Brady (D., Pa.), Matt Cartwright (D., Pa.), Charles W. Dent (R., Pa.), Chaka Fattah (D., Pa.), Michael Fitzpatrick (R., Pa.), Jim Gerlach (R., Pa.), Pat Meehan (R., Pa.), Joseph R. Pitts (R., Pa.), Jon Runyan (R., N.J.), Allyson Y. Schwartz (D., Pa.), and Christopher H. Smith (R., N.J.).

Not voting: John Carney (D., Del.) and Frank A. LoBiondo (R., N.J.).


Online sales taxes. Voting 63-30, the Senate on Thursday advanced a bill (S 743) requiring online retailers to collect state and local sales taxes and send the revenue to the taxing jurisdiction where the customer lives. At present, firms selling over the Internet are obligated to collect sales taxes only if they have a physical presence in the particular state or locality, giving them a cost advantage over brick-and-mortar stores, which by law must add sales taxes to purchases. The bill exempts Internet retailers with less than $1 million annually in out-of-state sales. Senators will resume debate on the bill in early May.

A yes vote was to advance the bill.

Voting yes: Thomas Carper (D., Del.), Bob Casey (D., Pa.), Chris Coons (D., Del.), and Robert Menendez (D., N.J.).

Voting no: Pat Toomey (R., Pa.).

Not voting: Frank Lautenberg (D., N.J.).

Budget director Burwell. By a unanimous vote of 96-0, the Senate on Wednesday confirmed Sylvia Mathews Burwell as director of the Office of Management and Budget (OMB). Burwell, 48, had been president of the Walmart Foundation, and before that she was a top executive of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.

Voting yes: Carper, Casey, Coons, Menendez, and Toomey.

Not voting: Lautenberg.

This week. The House and Senate are in recess in the week of April 29.

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