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The House addressed what happens when people do not want to take personal responsibility for their own choices.

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Roll Call: The House’s Stance Against Fatty Lawsuits

The House addressed what happens when people do not want to take personal responsibility for their own choices.

On March 10, by a vote of 276 to 139, the House passed the Personal Responsibility in Food Consumption Act (H.R. 339), which is designed to prevent class-action lawsuits that try to hold food companies responsible for Americans’ super-sized waistlines.

In the wake of the recent announcement that obesity now rivals tobacco as the nation’s No. 1 preventable cause of death, the House addressed what happens when people do not want to take personal responsibility for their own choices.

In other words, Americans are simply eating themselves to death–by their own free will. Health and Human Services Secretary Tommy Thompson announced, “we’re going to do something about it.”

However, the Republican-controlled House decided that “doing something about it” does not include bringing lawsuits against Taco Bell or McDonalds.

“The food industry is our nation’s largest private sector employer, providing jobs to some 12 million Americans. Today, that industry is threatened by an array of legal claims alleging that it should be liable to pay damages for the over-consumption of its legal products by others,” said Rep. James Sensenbrenner (R.-Wis.).

Lawsuits against the food companies pertaining to matters other than weight concerns could still be filed, despite the bill.

Democrats, demonstrating what critics consider their absolute loyalty to the trial lawyer lobby and their philosophical denial of personal responsibility, tried with six different amendments to soften or alter the impact of the bill. They all failed to pass, however.

Rep. Mel Watt (D.-N.C.), indicated that he thought the House should get back to debating matters of “true importance,” as though the well-being of the nation’s largest over all employment industry was not truly important.

Conservatives argued that obesity lawsuits will result in higher prices at restaurants, and that many small business owners will be forced out of business and consequently, jobs will be cut.

Sarcastic comments from liberals concerning the bill were heard throughout the debate. “I suppose just like every other self-serving business lobby in Washington, the fast food industry wants the Republicans to protect them from being responsible,” said liberal Rep. Pete Stark (D.-Calif.).

Republicans remained steadfast in their position that frivolous lawsuits would only drive up the cost of doing business, harming the economy. In addition, “The Big M in the Sky didn’t make you obese; you did,” Rep. Robin Hayes (R.-N.C.) said.

A “yes” vote was a vote in favor of passing the Personal Responsibility in Food Consumption Act, barring weight-targeted lawsuits. A “no” vote was one against the bill.

FOR THE BILL: 276 AGAINST THE BILL: 139
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, Ginny
Burgess
Burns
Burr
Burton (IN)
Buyer
Calvert
Camp
Cannon
Cantor
Capito
Carter
Castle
Chabot
Chocola
Coble
Cole
Collins
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
Foley
Forbes
Fossella
Franks (AZ)
Frelinghuysen
Gallegly
Garrett (NJ)
Gerlach
Gilchrest
Gillmor
Gingrey
Goode
Goodlatte
Granger
Graves
Green (WI)
Greenwood
Gutknecht
Hall
Harris
Hart
Hastings (WA)
Hayes
Hayworth
Hefley
Hensarling
Herger
Hobson
Hoekstra
Hostettler
Houghton
Hulshof
Hunter
Hyde
Isakson
Issa
Istook
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
Nethercutt
Neugebauer
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
Wilson (NM)
Wilson (SC)
Wolf
Young (AK)
Young (FL)

DEMOCRATS FOR: 55
Alexander
Baird
Berry
Bishop (GA)
Boucher
Boyd
Carson (OK)
Cooper
Cramer
Davis (AL)
Davis (TN)
DeFazio
Dicks
Dooley (CA)
Doyle
Edwards
Ford
Gordon
Green (TX)
Hill
Holden
Hooley (OR)
John
Kind
Lampson
Langevin
Larsen (WA)
Larson (CT)
Lucas (KY)
Lynch
Marshall
Matheson
McIntyre
McNulty
Menendez
Michaud
Moore
Moran (VA)
Peterson (MN)
Pomeroy
Ross
Ruppersberger
Sandlin
Scott (GA)
Skelton
Smith (WA)
Spratt
Stenholm
Tanner
Tauscher
Taylor (MS)
Thompson (CA)
Turner (TX)
Wu
Wynn

REPUBLICANS AGAINST: 1
Paul

DEMOCRATS AGAINST: 137
Abercrombie
Ackerman
Allen
Andrews
Baca
Baldwin
Ballance
Becerra
Berman
Bishop (NY)
Blumenauer
Boswell
Brady (PA)
Brown,
Brown (OH)
Capps
Capuano
Cardin
Case
Chandler
Clay
Clyburn
Conyers
Corrine
Costello
Crowley
Cummings
Davis (CA)
Davis (FL)
DeGette
Delahunt
DeLauro
Deutsch
Dingell
Doggett
Emanuel
Engel
Eshoo
Etheridge
Evans
Farr
Fattah
Filner
Frost
Gonzalez
Grijalva
Gutierrez
Hastings (FL)
Hinchey
Hoeffel
Hollen
Holt
Honda
Hoyer
Inslee
Israel
Jackson (IL)
Jackson-Lee (TX)
Jefferson
Johnson, E. B.
Jones (OH)
Kanjorski
Kaptur
Kennedy (RI)
Kildee
Kilpatrick
Kleczka
Lantos
Lee
Levin
Lewis (GA)
Lipinski
Lofgren
Lowey
Majette
Maloney
Markey
Matsui
McCarthy (MO)
McCarthy (NY)
McCollum
McDermott
McGovern
Meehan
Meek (FL)
Meeks (NY)
Millender-McDonald
Miller, George
Miller (NC)
Mollohan
Murtha
Nadler
Napolitano
Neal (MA)
Oberstar
Obey
Olver
Ortiz
Owens
Pallone
Pascrell
Pastor
Payne
Price (NC)
Rahall
Rangel
Reyes
Rothman
Roybal-Allard
Rush
Ryan (OH)
Sabo
S√?∆? ¬°nchez, Linda
Sanchez, Loretta
Schakowsky
Schiff
Scott (VA)
Serrano
Sherman
Slaughter
Snyder
Solis
Stark
Strickland
Stupak
Thompson (MS)
Tierney
Towns
Udall (NM)
Van
Vel√?∆? ¬°zquez
Visclosky
Waters
Watson
Watt
Waxman
Weiner
Wexler
Woolsey

INDEPENDENTS AGAINST: 1
Sanders

NOT VOTING: 18

REPUBLICANS (5): DEMOCRATS (13): INDEPENDENTS (0)
Gibbons
Goss
Miller (FL)
Tauzin
Wicker
Bell
Berkley
Cardoza
Carson (IN)
Davis (IL)
Frank (MA)
Gephardt
Harman
Hinojosa
Kucinich
Pelosi
Rodriguez
Udall (CO)
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