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How they voted

Updated: August 17, 2012 6:43AM



WASHINGTON — Here’s how U.S. Reps. Joe Donnelly and Peter Visclosky, Democrats, and U.S. Sens. Richard Lugar and Daniel Coats, Republicans, voted last week.

House

ATM FEE DISCLOSURES: The House passed a bill (H.R. 4367), sponsored by Rep. Blaine Luetkemeyer, R-Mo., that would eliminate a requirement for automatic teller machines to have a sticker or placard disclosing fees for using them while continuing to require the ATMs to provide on-screen disclosure of fees. Luetkemeyer said eliminating the sticker requirement would end frivolous lawsuits brought by individuals who remove the stickers from ATMs and then file lawsuits against operators of those ATMs, while still giving customers “a clear understanding of what they will be charged before they complete their ATM transactions.” The vote, on July 9, was unanimous with 371 yeas.

Votes: Donnelly, yea; Visclosky, yea

HYDROPOWER PERMITS: The House passed the Hydropower Regulatory Efficiency Act (H.R. 5892), sponsored by Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers, R-Wash. The bill would establish measures to speed and streamline the process for the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission to review permit applications for small-scale hydropower and conduit hydropower projects. McMorris Rodgers said the current review process “can be unnecessarily slow, costly, and cumbersome,” and streamlining reviews would encourage the growth of a low-cost source of renewable energy. The vote, on July 9, was unanimous with 372 yeas.

Votes: Donnelly, yea; Visclosky, yea

OBAMACARE REPEAL: The House passed the Repeal of ObamaCare Act (H.R. 6079), sponsored by House Majority Leader Eric Cantor. The bill would repeal the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, also known as ObamaCare, and those provisions of the 2010 Health Care and Education Reconciliation Act related to health care. Cantor said: “Millions stand to lose health care coverage from their employers because ObamaCare is driving up costs and effectively forcing employers to drop health care coverage.” An opponent, House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, said a repeal would take away “protections from children with preexisting conditions; take away prescription drug savings for seniors; take away coverage for young adults; take away preventative health services for women; take away the no lifetime limits, which are so important to so many families in our country.” The vote, on July 11, was 244 yeas to 185 nays.

Votes: Donnelly, nay; Visclosky, nay

DEFINING STRATEGIC AND CRITICAL MINERALS: The House rejected an amendment sponsored by Rep. Paul Tonko, D-N.Y., to the National Strategic and Critical Minerals Production Act (H.R. 4402). The amendment would have narrowed the definition of strategic and critical minerals to rare earth elements and platinum metals, excluding copper, iron, and other minerals. Tonko said the narrowed definition would prevent the bill from undermining environmental protections for federal lands while focusing on the problem of addressing supply shortages for truly critical minerals. An opponent, Rep. Doc Hastings, R-Wash., said “we should not limit ourselves today by narrowly defining what is strategic and critical” without regard for possible future needs. The vote, on July 12, was 162 yeas to 251 nays.

Votes: Donnelly, nay; Visclosky, yea

MINING RARE EARTH ELEMENTS: The House approved an amendment sponsored by Rep. Don Young, R-Alaska, to the National Strategic and Critical Minerals Production Act (H.R. 4402). The amendment would allow a lead federal agency to exempt an identified mineral resource in a national forest from regulations that prevent the construction of roads. Young said the exemption would enable companies to build roads in national forests in order to mine deposits of rare earth elements and reduce China’s monopoly on the price and availability of the elements. An opponent, Rep. Rush Holt, D-N.J., said “current policy does not prevent mineral developers from accessing development sites in our forests,” and the exemption would threaten protections for ecologically vital forest areas. The vote, on July 12, was 238 yeas to 178 nays.

Votes: Donnelly, nay; Visclosky, nay

PERMITS FOR PRODUCING VITAL MINERALS: The House passed the National Strategic and Critical Minerals Production Act (H.R. 4402), sponsored by Rep. Mark E. Amodei, R-Nev. The bill would require the Interior Secretary and Agriculture Secretary to take a variety of measures to speed the review of permit applications for the production of minerals that are vital to the economy and national security. Amodei said the bill would encourage agencies to collaborate on permit reviews, preventing regulatory delays for the mining of rare earth elements that are increasingly vital to the economy. An opponent, Rep. Rush Holt, D-N.J., called the bill “a giveaway. It is free mining, no royalties, no protection of public interest, exemption from royalty payments, near exemption from environmental regulations, near exemption from legal enforcement of the protections.” The vote, on July 12, was 256 yeas to 160 nays.

Votes: Donnelly, yea; Visclosky, nay

Senate

CUTTING TAXES FOR SMALL BUSINESS: The Senate rejected a motion to end debate on a substitute amendment sponsored by Sen. Mary Landrieu, D-La., to the Small Business Jobs and Tax Relief Act (S. 2237). The amendment would have eliminated the capital gains tax for certain small business stocks and decreased taxes for S-type corporations. Landrieu said the amendment offered “some terrific, very popular, and effective ideas for small business” to help decrease their tax burden. The vote, on July 12, was 57 yeas to 41 nays, with a three-fifths majority required to end debate.

Votes: Coats, nay; Lugar, nay

SMALL BUSINESS TAX CUTS: The Senate rejected a motion to end debate on the Small Business Jobs and Tax Relief Act (S. 2237), sponsored by Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid. The bill would have provided a 10 percent tax credit for businesses that increase their number of employees in 2012 and extended the bonus depreciation for businesses buying major equipment for one year. An opponent, Sen. John Thune, R-S.D., called the bill a charade because “you cannot originate revenue measures in the Senate.” The vote, on July 12, was 53 yeas to 44 nays, with a three-fifths majority required to end debate.

Votes: Coats, nay; Lugar, nay



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