Roll Calls: House Passes New Rules for 108th Congress, Extends Jobless Benefits

ROLL CALL:
House Passes New Rules On Strict Party-Line Vote

On January 7, by a vote of 221 to 203, the House passed a resolution (H Res 5) that sets the operating rules for the 108th Congress. The new rules establish a Select Committee on Homeland Security and eliminte the eight-year term limit for the speaker of the House.

One of the most controversial rules changes requires dynamic budget scoring to be used by the House Ways and Means Committee in evaluating the revenue effect of any tax bills. The Ways and Means reports will now include the macroeconomic impact of the legislation-so that, for example, the anticipated positive economic effects of tax cuts can be taken into account when estimating future government revenues.

Democrats showed their displeasure with this idea-which will take away one major Democratic objection to tax cuts-by moving to eliminate the provision. That motion failed in a near-party-line vote. "The Republican majority seems intent on cooking the federal budgetary books in so many ways that a new recipe was sure to find its way into this package, and so it has," said Rep. Martin Frost (D.-Tex). Frost accused Republicans of "denying the minority a voice in proceedings and deliberations of the House" as well as failing to address America’s critical concerns, which, according to him, include health care and retirement security.

Rep. John Dingell (D-Mich.) questioned the majority party’s intentions. "We must stop using the House rules to make it easier to plunge the nation into debt, while hiding raids on the Social Security and Medicare trust funds," said Dingell, who voted for numerous spending hikes in the last Congress. (As Republicans have pointed out, Democrats raided the so-called Social Security trust fund almost every year they controlled Congress since the trust fund’s creation.) "The Republicans’ procedural thumb on the scale demeans this institution and reduces its credibility," Dingell thundered.

Another change that Democrats objected to gives committee chairman greater flexibility in postponing committee votes. "We are dealing with extremely controversial measures that will further the degradation of democracy in the U.S. House of Representatives, very few people are here to cover it. So I guess they will once again get away with it," said Rep. Barney Frank (D.-Mass.).

Another change in the rules for the new Congress is that the House is no longer required to vote directly on increases to the debt ceiling. Republicans changed the rules to require such votes when they took control of the House in 1995 pushing an anti-deficit agenda. However, as federal spending has continued to climb even under the Republicans, the new change eliminates the need for the House to take embarrassing public votes to increase the debt limit. Instead, the limit will rise automatically if needed to cover appropriations.

A "yes" vote was a vote to approve proposed Republican changes to the rules of the 108th Congress. A "no" vote was a vote against the new rules.

FOR THE BILL: 221

REPUBLICANS FOR (221): Akin, Bachus, Baker, Ballenger, Barrett (SC), Bartlett (MD), Barton (TX), Bass, Beauprez, Bereuter, Biggert, Bilirakis, Bishop (UT), Blackburn, Blunt, Boehlert, Boehner, Bonilla, Bonner, Bono, Boozman, Bradley (NH), Brady (TX), Brown (SC), Brown-Waite, Burgess, Burns, Burr, Burton (IN), Buyer, Calvert, Camp, Cannon, Cantor, Capito, Carter, Castle, Chabot, Chocola, Coble, Cole, Collins, Combest, Crane, Crenshaw, Cubin, Culberson, Cunningham, Davis, Jo Ann, Davis, Tom, DeLay, DeMint, Diaz-Balart, L., Diaz-Balart, M., Doolittle, Dreier, Duncan, Dunn, Ehlers, Emerson, English, Everett, Feeney, Ferguson, Flake, Fletcher, Foley, Forbes, Fossella, Franks (AZ),Frelinghuysen, Gallegly, Garrett (NJ), Gerlach, Gibbons, Gilchrest, Gillmor, Gingrey, Goode, Goodlatte, Goss, Granger, Graves, Green (WI), Greenwood, Gutknecht, Harris, Hart, Hastings (WA), Hayes, Hayworth, Hefley, Hensarling, Herger, Hobson, Hoekstra, Hostettler, Houghton, Hulshof, Hunter, Hyde, Isakson, Issa, Istook, Johnson, Sam, Johnson (IL), Jones (NC), Keller, Kelly, Kennedy (MN), King (NY), Kingston, Kirk, Kline, Knollenberg, Kolbe, LaHood, Latham, LaTourette, Leach, Lewis (CA), Lewis (KY), Linder, LoBiondo, Lucas (OK), Manzullo, McCotter, McCrery, McHugh, McInnis, McKeon, Mica, Miller, Gary, Miller (FL), Miller (MI), Moran (KS), Murphy, Musgrave, Myrick, Nethercutt, Ney, Northup, Norwood, Nunes, Nussle, Osborne, Ose, Otter, Oxley, Paul, Pearce, Pence, Peterson (PA), Petri, Pickering, Pitts, Platts, Pombo, Porter, Portman, Pryce (OH), Putnam, Quinn, Radanovich, Ramstad, Regula, Rehberg, Renzi, Reynolds, Rogers (AL), Rogers (KY), Rogers (MI), Rohrabacher, Ros-Lehtinen, Royce, Ryan (WI), Ryun (KS), Saxton, Schrock, Sensenbrenner, Sessions, Shadegg, Shaw, Shays, Sherwood, Shimkus, Shuster, Simmons, Simpson, Smith (MI), Smith (NJ), Smith (TX), Souder, Stearns, Sullivan, Sweeney, Tancredo, Tauzin, Taylor (NC), Terry, Thomas, Thornberry, Tiahrt, Tiberi, Toomey, Turner (OH)Upton, Vitter, Walden (OR), Walsh, Wamp, Weldon (FL), Weldon (PA), Weller, Whitfield, Wicker, Wilson (NM), Wilson (SC), Wolf, Young (AK), Young (FL)

DEMOCRATS FOR (0)

INDEPENDENTS FOR (0)

AGAINST THE BILL: 203

REPUBLICANS AGAINST (0)

DEMOCRATS AGAINST (202): Abercrombie, Ackerman, Alexander, Allen, Andrews, Baca, Baird, Baldwin, Balance, Becerra, Bell, Berkley, Berman, Berry, Bishop (GA), Blumenauer, Boswell , Boucher, Boyd, Brady (PA), Brown, (FL), Brown (OH), Capps, Capuano, Cardin, Cardoza, Carson (IN), Carson (OK), Case, Clay, Conyers, Cooper, Costello, Cramer, Crowley, Cummings, Davis (AL), Davis (CA), Davis (FL), Davis (IL), Davis (TN), DeFazio, DeGette, Delahunt, DeLauro, Deutsch, Dicks, Dingell, Doggett, Dooley (CA), Doyle, Edwards, Emanuel, Engel, Eshoo, Etheridge, Evans, Farr, Fattah, Filner, Ford, Frank (MA), Frost, Gephardt, Gonzalez, Gordon, Green (TX), Grijalva, Gutierrez, Hall, Harman, Hastings (FL), Hill, Hinchey, Hinojosa, Hoeffel, Holden, Holt, Honda, Hoyer, Inslee, Israel, Jackson (IL), Jackson-Lee (TX), Jefferson , John, Johnson, E. B., Jones (OH), Kanjorski, Kaptur, Kennedy (RI), Kildee, Kilpatrick, Kind, Kleczka, Kucinich, Lampson, Langevin, Lantos, Larsen (WA), Larson (CT), Lee, Levin, Lewis (GA), Lipinski, Lofgren, Lowey, Lucas (KY), Lynch, Majette, Maloney, Markey, Marshall, Matheson, Matsui, McCarthy (MO), McCarthy (NY), McCollum, McDermott, McGovern, McIntyre, McNulty, Meehan, Meek (FL), Meeks (NY), Menendez, Michaud, Millender-McDonald, Miller, George, Miller (NC), Mollohan, Moore, Moran (VA), Murtha, Nadler, Napolitano, Neal (MA), Oberstar, Obey, Olver, Ortiz, Owens, Pallone, Pascrell, Pastor, Payne, Pelosi, Peterson (MN), Pomeroy, Price (NC), Rahall, Rangel, Reyes, Rodriguez, Ross, Rothman, Roybal-Allard, Ruppersberger, Rush, Ryan (OH), Sabo, Sanchez, Linda, Sanchez, Loretta, Sandlin, Schakowsky, Schiff, Scott (GA), Scott (VA), Serrano, Sherman, Skelton, Slaughter, Smith (WA), Snyder, Solis, Spratt, Stark, Stenholm, Strickland, Stupak, Tanner, Tauscher, Taylor (MS), Thompson (CA), Thompson (MS), Tierney, Towns, Turner (TX), Udall (CO), Udall (NM), Van Hollen, Velazquez, Visclosky, Waters, Watson, Watt, Waxman, Weiner, Wexler, Woolsey, Wu, Wynn

INDEPENDENTS AGAINST (1): Sanders

NOT VOTING: 9

REPUBLICANS (7): Aderholt , Cox , Deal (GA), Janklow , Jenkins, Johnson (CT), King (IA)

DEMOCRATS (2): Bishop (NY), Clyburn

ROLL CALL:
House Almost Unanimously Extends Jobless Benefits

On January 8, by a vote of 416 to 4, the House passed a bill (S 23) that temporarily extends unemployment benefits for hundreds of thousands of Americans by 13 weeks.

Notably, only four congressmen opposed the bill to extend the taxpayer-funded entitlement program to those currently receiving it, on top of a 13-week extension given last year. The four included libertarian Ron Paul (R.-Tex.), conservatives Jeff Flake (R.-Ariz.) and Jeff Miller (R.-Fla.), and conservative freshman Scott Garrett (R.-N.J.).

But those four were vastly outnumbered by over 400 congressmen who merely debated whether to adhere to the Republican plan of a 13-week temporary extension, or to adopt a Democrat-backed 26-week extension that would be permanent-i.e., so that future recipients would receive benefits for an additional 26 weeks.

Although studies have shown that extending unemployment benefits delays recipients’ getting jobs, House members seemed not to care. Rep. Jim McDermott (D.-Wash.) accused Republicans of cruelty for offering to hand out only 13 more weeks of taxpayers’ money to those who have not succeeded in finding a job after nearly half a year of living on government income. "No matter what you say or how you wave your arms and whatever you want to say, the Republican Party does not care about those million unemployed because you have the presidency, you have the Senate, and you have the House. . . you do not want to do it," he said. "You ought to be ashamed of yourself."

Democrats, instead, offered a 26-week extension.

"I say 13 weeks is not enough," said Rep. David Scott (D.-Ga.). "We need 26 weeks. The people of this country are crying out for help, and they are looking to us in the Congress to speak with a loud voice for them."

Republicans argued weakly for a "lite" version of the Democratic plan. Rep. Jennifer Dunn (R.-Wash.) said, "As we pass it today, as it is signed into law by the President tomorrow, that will allow for no interruption in the receipt of federal unemployment benefits," she said.

Other Republicans voted for the bill, but noted that they would prefer pro-growth legislation. "Instead of handing out dollars to individuals, we need to create the jobs, whether it is tax relief which the President has offered" or any other program, said Rep. Duke Cunningham (R.-Calif.).

Rep. Tom Tancredo (R.-Colo.) berated his fellow congressmen for failing to consider an important, related issue. "There are still many American citizens willing to take jobs that are being taken by between 8 million and 13 million people who are here illegally," he said. "We refuse to debate that point. . . . There is an aspect of this that we steadfastly, both sides, both parties, refuse to debate, and that is a shame."

A "yes" vote was a vote to extend federal funding for unemployment benefits by 13 weeks. A "no" vote was a vote against extending benefits.

FOR THE AMENDMENT: 416

REPUBLICANS FOR (218): Aderholt, Baker, Ballenger, Barrett (SC), Bartlett (MD), Barton (TX), Bass, Beauprez, Bereuter, Biggert, Bilirakis, Bishop (UT), Blackburn, Blunt, Boehlert, Boehner, Bonilla, Bonner, Bono, Boozman, Bradley (NH), Brady (TX), Brown (SC), Brown-Waite, Burgess, Burns, Burr, Burton (IN), Buyer, Calvert, Camp, Cannon, Cantor, Capito, Carter, Castle, Chabot, Chocola, Coble, Cole, Collins, Combest, Cox, Crane, Crenshaw, Cubin, Culberson, Cunningham, Davis, Jo Ann, Davis, Tom, Deal (GA), DeLay, DeMint, Diaz-Balart, L., Diaz-Balart, M., Doolittle, Dreier, Duncan, Dunn, Ehlers, Emerson, English, Everett, Feeney, Ferguson, Fletcher, Foley, Forbes, Fossella, Franks (AZ), Frelinghuysen, Gerlach, Gibbons, Gilchrest, Gillmor, Gingrey, Goode, Goodlatte, Goss, Granger, Graves, Green (WI), Greenwood, Gutknecht, Harris, Hart, Hastings (WA), Hayes, Hayworth, Hefley, Hensarling, Herger, Hobson, Hoekstra, Hostettler, Houghton, Hulshof, Hunter, Hyde, Isakson, Issa, Istook, Janklow, Jenkins, Johnson, Sam, Johnson (CT), Johnson (IL), Jones (NC), Keller, Kelly, Kennedy (MN), King (IA), King (NY), Kingston, Kirk, Kline, Knollenberg, Kolbe, LaHood, Latham, LaTourette, Leach, Lewis (CA), Lewis (KY), Linder, LoBiondo, Lucas (OK), Manzullo, McCotter, McCrery, McHugh, McInnis, McKeon, Mica, Miller, Gary, Miller (MI), Moran (KS), Murphy, Musgrave, Myrick, Ney, Northup, Norwood, Nunes, Nussle, Osborne, Ose, Otter, Oxley, Pearce, Pence, Peterson (PA), Petri, Pickering, Pitts, Platts, Pombo, Porter, Portman, Pryce (OH), Putnam, Quinn, Radanovich, Ramstad, Regula, Rehberg, Renzi, Reynolds, Rogers (AL), Rogers (KY), Rogers (MI), Rohrabacher, Ros-Lehtinen, Royce, Ryan (WI), Ryun (KS), Saxton, Schrock, Sensenbrenner, Sessions, Shadegg, Shaw, Shays, Sherwood, Shimkus, Shuster, Simmons, Simpson, Smith (MI), Smith (NJ), Smith (TX), Souder, Stearns, Sullivan, Sweeney, Tancredo, Taylor (NC), Terry, Thomas, Thornberry, Tiahrt, Tiberi, Toomey, Turner (OH), Upton, Vitter, Walden (OR), Walsh, Wamp, Weldon (FL), Weldon (PA), Weller, Whitfield, Wicker, Wilson (NM), Wilson (SC), Young (AK), Young (FL)

DEMOCRATS FOR (197): Abercrombie, Ackerman, Alexander, Allen, Andrews, Baca, Baird, Baldwin, Balance, Becerra, Berkley, Berman, Berry, Bishop (GA), Bishop (NY), Blumenauer, Boswell, Boucher, Boyd, Brady (PA), Brown, Brown (OH), Capps, Capuano, Cardin, Cardoza, Carson (IN), Carson (OK), Case, Clay, Clyburn, Conyers, Cooper, Costello, Cramer, Crowley, Cummings, Davis (AL), Davis (CA), Davis (FL), Davis (IL), Davis (TN), DeFazio, DeGette, DeLauro, Deutsch, Dicks, Dingell, Doggett, Dooley (CA), Doyle, Edwards, Emanuel, Engel, Eshoo, Etheridge, Evans, Farr, Fattah, Filner, Ford, Frank (MA), Frost, Gephardt, Gonzalez, Gordon, Green (TX), Grijalva, Gutierrez, Hall, Harman, Hastings (FL), Hill, Hinchey, Hinojosa, Hoeffel, Holden, Holt, Honda, Hoyer, Inslee, Israel, Jackson (IL), Jackson-Lee (TX), Jefferson , John, Johnson, E. B., Jones (OH), Kanjorski, Kaptur, Kennedy (RI), Kildee, Kleczka, Kucinich, Lampson, Langevin, Lantos, Larsen (WA), Lee, Levin, Lewis (GA), Lipinski, Lofgren, Lowey, Lucas (KY), Lynch, Majette, Maloney, Markey, Marshall, Matheson, Matsui, McCarthy (MO), McCarthy (NY), McCollum, McGovern, McIntyre, McNulty, Meehan, Meek (FL), Meeks (NY), Menendez, Michaud, Millender-McDonald, Miller, George, Miller (NC), Mollohan, Moore, Moran (VA), Murtha, Nadler, Napolitano, Neal (MA), Oberstar, Obey, Olver, Ortiz, Owens, Pallone, Pascrell, Pastor, Payne, Pelosi, Peterson (MN), Pomeroy, Price (NC), Rahall, Rangel, Reyes, Rodriguez, Ross, Rothman, Roybal-Allard, Ruppersberger, Rush, Ryan (OH), Sabo, Sanchez, Linda, Sanchez, Loretta, Sandlin, Schakowsky, Schiff, Scott (GA), Scott (VA), Serrano, Sherman, Skelton, Slaughter, Smith (WA), Snyder, Solis, Spratt, Stark, Stenholm, Strickland, Stupak, Tanner, Tauscher, Taylor (MS), Thompson (CA), Thompson (MS), Tierney, Turner (TX), Udall (CO), Udall (NM), Van Hollen, Velazquez, Visclosky, Waters, Watson, Watt, Waxman, Weiner, Wexler, Woolsey, Wu, Wynn

INDEPENDENTS FOR (1): Sanders

AGAINST THE AMENDMENT: 4

REPUBLICANS AGAINST (4): Flake, Garrett (NJ), Miller (FL), Paul

DEMOCRATS AGAINST (0)

NOT VOTING: 13

REPUBLICANS (6): Akin, Bachus, Gallegly, Nethercutt, Tauzin, Wolf

DEMOCRATS (7): Bell , Delahunt, Kilpatrick , Kind , Larson (CT), McDermott , Towns


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