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How they voted

Updated: March 1, 2013 4:06PM



WASHINGTON — This is how Northwest Indiana’s congressional delegation — U.S. Reps. Jackie Walorski, Republican, and Peter J. Visclosky, Democrat, and U.S. Sens. Joe Donnelly, Democrat, and Dan Coats, Republican — vote last week. There were no key votes in the Senate this week.

House

IMPROVING HURRICANE SANDY RECOVERY: The House passed the Sandy Recovery Improvement Act (H.R. 219), sponsored by Rep. Jeff Denham, R-Calif. The bill would make permanent two pilot programs for the Federal Emergency Management Agency to repair buildings instead of using trailers as temporary housing and to speed removal of storm debris, provide for faster environmental reviews of reconstruction projects, and also allow FEMA to distribute fixed grants to impacted communities based on estimated damages from the communities. Denham said the bill will save hundreds of millions of dollars “and help devastated communities rebuild much faster than under current programs.” The vote, on Jan. 14, was unanimous with 403 yeas.

Votes: Visclosky, yea; Walorski, yea

OFFSETTING SANDY RELIEF SPENDING: The House rejected an amendment sponsored by Rep. Mick Mulvaney, R-S.C., to the Disaster Relief Appropriations Act (H.R. 152). The amendment would have offset $17 billion of funding for recovery from Hurricane Sandy with a 1.63 percent reduction in fiscal 2013 discretionary appropriations. Mulvaney said: “The time has come and gone in this Nation when we can walk in here one day and spend $9 billion or $17 billion or $60 billion and not think about who’s paying for it.” An opponent, Rep. Harold Rogers, R-Ky., said: “We must provide this emergency funding, as we are allowed by law, without the devastating slash-and-burn cuts elsewhere that this amendment would cause.” The vote, on Jan. 15, was 162 yeas to 258 nays.

Votes: Visclosky, nay; Walorski, nay

SUBSTITUTE AMENDMENT TO FUND SANDY RELIEF: The House passed a substitute amendment sponsored by Rep. Harold Rogers, R-Ky., to the Disaster Relief Appropriations Act (H.R. 152). The substitute amendment would provide $17 billion of supplemental appropriations to fund recovery and relief efforts for the communities impacted by Hurricane Sandy. Rogers said the $17 billion of funding responded to the most pressing needs of impacted communities while eliminating unnecessary and inefficient spending included in the Sandy relief bill passed by the Senate. An opponent, Rep. Garland Barr, R-Ky., said: “Congress should not use the urgency of disaster relief as its excuse for continuing to run up our $16.4 trillion national debt.” The vote, on Jan. 15, was 327 yeas to 91 nays.

Votes: Visclosky, yea; Walorski, nay

OCEAN MANAGEMENT GRANTS: The House passed an amendment sponsored by Rep. Bill Flores, R-Texas, to the Disaster Relief Appropriations Act (H.R. 152), that would cut funding for the Regional Ocean Partnership grant program, which supports regional coastal and ocean management, by $150 million. Flores said the reduction would prevent the unauthorized use of funds by the Obama administration, under an executive order, to issue grants to private groups and to public entities below the state level. An opponent, Rep. Rush Holt, D-N.J., said the grants improve scientific understanding of the risk posed by severe weather events, and the amendment would “impair the ability of NOAA [the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration] to prepare properly for hurricanes.” The vote, on Jan. 15, was 221 yeas to 197 nays.

Votes: Visclosky, nay; Walorski, yea

HURRICANE SANDY AND LAND ACQUISITION: The House passed an amendment sponsored by Rep. Rob Bishop, R-Utah, to the Disaster Relief Appropriations Act (H.R. 152), that would bar the Interior Secretary and the Agriculture Secretary from using any funds provided by the bill to purchase land for the federal government. Bishop said the restriction would ensure that the bill supported repairs to public property and not purchases of new land, which would limit the amount of funds available to repair public property harmed by Hurricane Sandy. An opponent, Rep. James P. Moran, D-Va., said “there are instances when land acquisition can be part of a cost-effective solution to repairing the damage caused by Hurricane Sandy,” and the amendment would prevent such solutions. The vote, on Jan. 15, was 223 yeas to 198 nays.

Votes: Visclosky, nay; Walorski, yea

INCREASING FUNDING FOR SANDY AID: The House passed an amendment sponsored by Rep. Rodney P. Frelinghuysen, R-N.J., to the Disaster Relief Appropriations Act (H.R. 152). The amendment would increase funding for recovery and relief efforts for the communities impacted by Hurricane Sandy by $33.677 billion. Frelinghuysen said the increase, which would bring the total Sandy aid package to the $60 billion requested by President Obama and endorsed by the governors of Connecticut, New York, and New Jersey, was needed to respond to the $100 billion of damage caused by Sandy in just New York and New Jersey. The vote, on Jan. 15, was 228 yeas to 192 nays.

Votes: Visclosky, yea; Walorski, nay

FUNDING SANDY RELIEF: The House passed the Disaster Relief Appropriations Act (H.R. 152), sponsored by Rep. Harold Rogers, R-Ky. The bill would provide $50 billion of supplemental appropriations to fund recovery and relief efforts for the communities impacted by Hurricane Sandy. Rogers said the funding will assist victims of Sandy and “support critical housing and infrastructure needs, ensure repairs to damaged veterans medical facilities, and help keep the economy moving by funding necessary transit repairs, small business loans, and recovery aid for businesses of all sizes.” An opponent, Rep. Jeb Hensarling, R-Texas, said the bill failed to offset spending with cuts to lower-priority programs and questioned the provision of funding for restoration of privately owned assets, given the country’s $16.4 trillion of debt. The vote, on Jan. 15, was 241 yeas to 180 nays.

Votes: Visclosky, yea; Walorski, nay



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