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-House Votes to Protect Gun Rights From Various Lawsuits<br>-House Rejects Changes To Electricity Regulation in Energy Bill

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Roll Calls: House Protects Gun Rights, Rejects Increased Control of the Electricity Market

-House Votes to Protect Gun Rights From Various Lawsuits
-House Rejects Changes To Electricity Regulation in Energy Bill

ROLL CALL:
House Votes to Protect Gun Rights From Various Lawsuits

On April 9, by a vote of 285 to 140, the House passed a bill (H.R. 1036) that immunizes gun manufacturers from liability in the event that their products are misused by third parties.

Rep. Pete Sessions (R.-Tex.) led the charge in favor of the bill. He criticized the increasingly common use of lawsuits to intimidate gun manufacturers and dealers from doing business. When people sue gunmakers for the misuse of guns, he said, "it is like suing the Louisville Slugger for harm caused by criminals’ using one of their famous products to unlawfully threaten or harm a third party and not for hitting baseballs, for which that product was intended."

Thirty states have enacted similar laws barring such frivolous lawsuits against gunmakers.

Rep. Alcee Hastings (D.-Fla.)-an unabashed liberal and an impeached former federal judge-opposed the bill and voiced support for lawsuits against gun manufacturers for the misuse of their products by others.

He cited specifically the case of one woman-the widow of a schoolteacher shot and killed by his student-and pointed out that passage of this bill could eliminate her chances for jackpot justice.

"I do not wish to prey on the misery of one family that has suffered immensely at the hands of a gun," he said. "[But] Pamela Grunow deserves to have her day in court, and I am appalled that some representatives of the people have the contempt to propose legislation that would deny her this right."

Hastings also claimed to support gun rights, although his record indicates otherwise. He received an F-minus rating from the Gun Owners of America.

In a parody of the NRA’s Charlton Heston, he said, "Let me say that with my warm live hands I will protect the right of American citizens and American values to legally own guns. In that place where I was born in the halcyon days of segregation, be assured that almost every family member and everybody there had a gun, and I can assure you they needed them."

However, Hastings continued, "If car manufacturers have to meet standards that avoid liabilities, if drug manufacturers, and I can go on and on and on through the product liability phase of this discussion, then be assured gun manufacturers, if they do something that is foreseeably wrong, should be held to the same standards as everybody else."

Rep. John Linder (R.-Ga.), however, called Hastings’ bluff with a challenge to the liberal lawmaker. "For those who want to just get rid of guns, do it the right way," he said. "Propose to put a repeal of the 2nd Amendment on the floor and vote it up or down."

"There was a reason that our Founding Fathers fashioned the 2nd amendment," he added. "It was for people to be able to protect themselves, in some instances, from their government."

The bill’s almost veto-proof passage was a huge victory for the National Rifle Association, which had put a strong lobbying effort behind it.

A "yes" vote was a vote for the Protection of Lawful Commerce in Arms Act, to protect gunmakers for lawsuits based on misuse of their product. A "no" vote was a vote against the bill.

FOR THE BILL: 285

REPUBLICANS FOR (221): Aderholt, 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, V., Burgess, Burns, Burr, Burton (IN), Buyer, Calvert, Camp, Cannon, Cantor, Capito, Carter, 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, 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, Hulshof,Hunter, 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, 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, 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), Saxton, Schrock, Sensenbrenner, Sessions, Shadegg, Shaw, 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 (63): Alexander, Baca, Baird, Bell, Berry, Bishop (GA), Boswell, Boucher, Brown, Corrine, Cardoza, Carson (OK), Cooper, Costello, Cramer, Davis (AL), Davis (TN), DeFazio, Dingell, Dooley (CA), Edwards, Etheridge, Ford, Gordon, Green (TX), Hall, Hill, Hinojosa, Holden, John, Kanjorski, Kaptur, Kind, Lampson, Larsen (WA), Lipinski, Lucas (KY), Marshall, Matheson, McIntyre, Michaud, Mollohan, Murtha, Obey, Ortiz, Peterson (MN), Pomeroy, Rahall, Reyes, Rodriguez, Ross, Ryan (OH), Sandlin, Scott (GA), Skelton, Smith (WA), Spratt, Stenholm, Strickland, Stupak, Tanner, Taylor (MS), Thompson (CA), Turner (TX)

INDEPENDENTS FOR (1): Sanders

AGAINST THE BILL: 140

REPUBLICANS AGAINST (3) : Castle, Paul, Shays

DEMOCRATS AGAINST (137): Abercrombie, Ackerman, Allen, Andrews, Baldwin, Balance, Becerra, Berkley, Berman, Bishop (NY), Blumenauer, Brady (PA), Brown (OH), Capps, Capuano, Cardin, Carson (IN), Case, Clay, Clyburn, Conyers, Crowley, Cummings, Davis (CA), Davis (FL), DeGette, Delahunt, DeLauro, Deutsch, Dicks, Doggett, Doyle, Emanuel, Engel, Eshoo, Evans, Farr, Fattah, Filner, Frank (MA), Frost, Gonzalez, Grijalva, Gutierrez, Harman, Hastings (FL), Hinchey, Hoeffel, Holt, Honda, Hooley (OR), Hoyer, Inslee, Israel, Jackson (IL), Jackson-Lee (TX), Jefferson, Johnson, E. B., Jones (OH), Kennedy (RI), Kildee, Kilpatrick, Kleczka, Kucinich, Langevin, Lantos, Larson (CT), Lee, Levin, Lewis (GA), Lofgren, Lowey, Lynch, Majette, Maloney, Markey, Matsui, McCarthy (NY), McCollum, McDermott, McGovern, McNulty, Meehan, Meek (FL), Meeks (NY), Menendez, Millender-McDonald, Miller, George, Miller (NC), Moore, Moran (VA), Nadler, Napolitano, Neal (MA), Oberstar, Olver, Owens, Pallone, Pascrell, Pastor, Payne, Pelosi, Price (NC), Rothman, Roybal-Allard, Ruppersberger, Rush, Sabo, Sanchez, Linda, Sanchez, Loretta, Schakowsky, Schiff, Scott (VA), Serrano, Sherman, Slaughter, Snyder, Solis, Stark, Tauscher, Thompson (MS), Tierney, Towns, Udall (CO), Udall (NM), Van Hollen, Velazquez, Visclosky, Waters, Watson, Watt, Waxman, Weiner, Wexler, Woolsey, Wu, Wynn

NOT VOTING: 9

REPUBLICANS (4): Houghton, Hyde, Lucas (OK), Ryun (KS)

DEMOCRATS (5): Boyd, Davis (IL), Gephardt, McCarthy (MO), Rangel

ROLL CALL:
House Rejects Changes To Electricity Regulation in Energy Bill

On April 11, by a vote of 193 to 237, the House rejected a complicated amendment to the Energy bill (HR 6) that would have removed deregulatory language from the Federal Power Act. The amendment would also have given broad-ranging new powers to the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC)to make rules for electricity sales.

Specifically, the amendment would have barred "any fraudulent, manipulative, or deceptive device or contrivance in contravention of such rules and regulations as the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission may prescribe as necessary or appropriate in the public interest."

"This amendment gives FERC broad authority to take action against fraud in both electricity and natural gas markets," said the amendment’s sponsor, John Dingell (D.-Mich.). "The commission’s report recently found that some of the abuses in Western markets during 2000 and 2001 were not even illegal. This bill would correct that."

Rep. Joe Barton (R.-Tex.) argued heatedly against the amendment. "This is an expansion of Federal authority over natural gas and electricity generators and transmitters anywhere in this country, regardless of their size" he said. "The electricity section of the bill"-the part Dingell’s amendment would repeal-"has bent over backwards to develop a compromise that protects states, protects small co-ops, protects small municipalities against FERC jurisdiction," Barton continued. "The Dingell substitute right off the bat says ‘any entity.’ It then goes further. Not only the FERC, but federal courts, can prevent these entities from distributing or transmitting or generating electricity or natural gas."

Barton also complained about another provision that would bar American companies from selling electricity if they were found guilty by foreign courts of fraudulent electricity dealings in foreign countries.

"If we read [the amendment] literally, a U.S. energy supplier that tried to sell electricity in Iraq and was convicted in a Saddam Hussein court could be prohibited in the United States of America from transmitting or generating electricity or natural gas," he said.

Barton ended his attack by calling Dingell’s amendment "an attempt to be punitive towards any entity in this country that is engaged in the generation and transmission of electricity or natural gas. It may be well intentioned, but it is totally misguided. I hope we will reject it out of hand."

The amendment, though clearly favored on the whole by liberals and opposed by most conservatives, was somewhat complicated and did not cause a completely clear ideological division on the House floor, with various special interests lined up for and against it.

Dingell’s amendment would also have prevented FERC from getting "partial jurisdiction" over the Tennessee Valley Authority, which is probably the reason the entire delegation of the state of Tennessee voted in favor of it. Calls to Tennessee congressmen had not been returned by press time.

A "yes" vote was a vote for the Dingell amendment to the House energy bill, that in general could have increased federal energy control. A "no" vote was a vote against the bill.

FOR THE AMENDMENT: 193

REPUBLICANS FOR (22): Blackburn, Cole, Duncan, Emerson, Gilchrest, Goode, Graves, Hefley, Hulshof, Janklow, Jenkins, Leach, LoBiondo, Lucas (OK), Moran (KS), Ney, Petri, Saxton, Sensenbrenner, Shays, Smith (NJ), Wamp

DEMOCRATS FOR (170):Abercrombie, Ackerman, Allen, Andrews, Baca, Baird, Baldwin, Balance, Becerra, Berkley, Berman, Berry, Bishop (NY), Blumenauer, Boucher, Brady (PA), Brown, Corrine, Brown (OH), Capps, Capuano, Cardin, Cardoza, Carson (IN), Carson (OK), Case, Clay, Clyburn, Conyers, Cooper, Costello, Crowley, Cummings, Davis (CA), Davis (FL), Davis (IL), Davis (TN), DeFazio, DeGette, Delahunt, DeLauro, Deutsch, Dicks, Dingell, Doggett, Emanuel, Engel, Eshoo, Etheridge, Evans, Farr, Fattah, Filner, Ford, Frank (MA), Gonzalez, Gordon, Grijalva, Gutierrez, Harman, Hastings (FL), Hill, Hinchey, Hoeffel, Holt, Honda, Hooley (OR), Hoyer, Inslee, Israel, Jackson (IL), Jackson-Lee (TX), Johnson, E. B., Jones (OH), Kaptur, Kennedy (RI), Kildee, Kilpatrick, Kind, Kleczka, Kucinich, Langevin, Lantos, Larsen (WA), Larson (CT), Lee, Levin, Lewis (GA), Lipinski, Lofgren, Lowey, Lucas (KY), Lynch, Maloney, Markey, Marshall, Matheson, Matsui, McCarthy (NY), McCollum, McDermott, McGovern, McIntyre, McNulty, Meehan, Meek (FL), Menendez, Michaud, Millender-McDonald, Miller, George, Miller (NC), Moran (VA), Nadler, Napolitano, Neal (MA), Oberstar, Obey, Olver, 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, Schakowsky, Schiff, Scott (VA), Serrano, Sherman, Skelton, Slaughter, Smith (WA), Snyder, Solis, Spratt, Stark, Strickland, Stupak, Tanner, Tauscher, Thompson (CA), Thompson (MS), Tierney, Udall (CO), Udall (NM), Van Hollen, Velazquez, Waters, Watson, Watt, Waxman, Weiner, Wexler, Woolsey, Wu

INDEPENDENTS FOR (1):Sanders

AGAINST THE AMENDMENT: 237

REPUBLICANS AGAINST (204):Aderholt, Akin, Bachus, Baker, Ballenger, Barrett (SC), Bartlett (MD), Barton (TX), Bass, Beauprez, Bereuter, Biggert, Bilirakis, Bishop (UT), Blunt, Boehlert, Boehner, Bonilla, Bonner, Bono, Boozman, Bradley (NH), Brady (TX), Brown (SC), Brown-Waite, V., Burgess, Burns, Burr, Burton (IN), Buyer, Calvert, Camp, Cannon, Cantor, Capito, Carter, Castle, Chabot, Chocola, Coble, 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, Dunn, Ehlers, English, Everett, Feeney, Ferguson, Flake, Fletcher, Foley, Forbes, Fossella, Franks (AZ), Frelinghuysen, Gallegly, Garrett (NJ), Gerlach, Gibbons, Gillmor, Gingrey, Goodlatte, Goss, Granger, Green (WI), Greenwood, Gutknecht, Harris, Hart, Hastings (WA), Hayes, Hayworth, Hensarling, Herger, Hobson, Hoekstra, Hostettler, Hunter, Hyde, Isakson, Issa, Istook, Johnson, Sam, Johnson (CT), Johnson (IL), Jones (NC), Keller, Kelly, Kennedy (MN), King (IA), King (NY), Kingston, Kirk, Kline, Knollenberg, Kolbe, LaHood, Latham, LaTourette, Lewis (CA), Lewis (KY), Linder, Manzullo, McCotter, McCrery, McHugh, McInnis, McKeon, Mica, Miller, Gary, Miller (FL), Miller (MI), Murphy, Musgrave, Myrick, Nethercutt, Northup, Norwood, Nunes, Nussle, Osborne, Ose, Otter, Oxley, Pearce, Pence, Peterson (PA), 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), Schrock, Sessions, Shadegg, Shaw, Sherwood, Shimkus, Shuster, Simmons, Simpson, Smith (MI), Smith (TX), Souder, Stearns, Sullivan, Sweeney, Tancredo, Tauzin, Taylor (NC), Terry, Thomas, Thornberry, Tiahrt, Tiberi, Toomey, Turner (OH), Upton, Vitter, Walden (OR), Walsh, Weldon (FL), Weldon (PA), Weller, Whitfield, Wicker, Wilson (NM), Wilson (SC), Wolf, Young (AK), Young (FL)

DEMOCRATS AGAINST (33):Alexander, Bell, Bishop (GA), Boswell, Boyd, Cramer, Davis (AL), Dooley (CA), Doyle, Edwards, Frost, Green (TX), Hall, Hinojosa, Holden, Jefferson, John, Kanjorski, Lampson, Majette, Meeks (NY), Mollohan, Moore, Murtha, Ortiz, Sandlin, Scott (GA), Stenholm, Taylor (MS), Towns, Turner (TX), Visclosky, Wynn

NOT VOTING: 4

REPUBLICANS (2):Houghton, Paul

DEMOCRATS (2):Gephardt, McCarthy (MO)

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