Voterama in Congress, week ending July 13, 2012
How Illinois lawmakers voted in Congress Week ending July 13
Updated: July 20, 2012 2:29PM
House of Representatives
Health Law Repeal: Members voted, 244-185, to repeal the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, most of which has been found constitutional by the Supreme Court. A yes vote was to send the Senate a Republican bill (HR 6079) to abolish a 2010 law scheduled to fully take effect in 2014.
Congressional Health Plan: Members refused, 180-248, to oust members who voted for HR 6079 (above) from the taxpayer-subsidized health plan for lawmakers, civil servants, federal retirees and others. A yes vote was to discharge these members from the federal plan on grounds they do not deserve far better insurance coverage than most of their constituents receive.
Fast-Track Mining Permits: Members passed, 256-160, a bill to ease environmental rules and limit lawsuits in order to quicken agency reviews of applications to mine on federal land in the West. A yes vote backed a bill (HR 4402) to spur extraction of critical minerals as well as routine sand and gravel deposits.
Gold, Silver Royalties: Members defeated, 163-253, a bid by Democrats to require royalty payments for the first time on gold, silver, uranium and other hard-rock minerals mined on federal land. A yes vote was to levy royalties of 12.5 percent with proceeds used to clean up toxic discharges from tens of thousands of abandoned mines. (HR 4402)
Tax Credits for Hiring: Senators failed, 53-44, to reach 60 votes for ending Republican blockage of a Democratic bill using tax credits to boost small-businesses hiring. A yes vote backed 10-percent tax credits on 2012 payroll increases over 2011 levels for firms with 500 or fewer workers. (S 2237)
The Cantor Tax Plan: Senators tabled (killed), 73-24, a plan identified with House Majority Leader Eric Cantor, R-Va., that would allow small businesses to avoid income taxes on 20 percent of their profits for one year, with the break capped at 50 percent of payroll. A yes vote opposed the Cantor plan. (S 2237)
Key votes ahead
In the week of July 16, the House will debate the 2013 defense budget and a bill related to mandatory, across-the-board spending cuts set for next year. The Senate will take up the DISCLOSE Act, which requires public disclosure of those now making large campaign contributions in secret.