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How they voted

Updated: February 28, 2013 6:54AM



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 — voted last week.

HOUSE

BIODEFENSE PROGRAMS: The House passed the Pandemic and All-Hazards Preparedness Reauthorization Act (H.R. 307), sponsored by Rep. Mike J. Rogers, R-Mich. The bill would reauthorize for five years spending on programs to develop medicines and vaccines that would be used in the event of a chemical, biological, radiological, or nuclear attack. Rogers said the fiscally responsible measure “will reauthorize critically important biodefense programs designed to promote the continued development of medical countermeasures against chemical, biological, radiological, and nuclear threats, and would strengthen the Nation’s public health preparedness infrastructure.” The vote, on Jan. 22, was 395 yeas to 29 nays.

Votes: Visclosky, yea; Walorski, yea

DEBT CEILING AND THE BUDGET: The House passed the No Budget, No Pay Act (H.R. 325), sponsored by Rep. Dave Camp, R-Mich. The bill would suspend the debt ceiling by authorizing the Treasury Department to issued debt until May 19, and required Congress to adopt a budget resolution by April 15 in order for members of Congress to continue receiving their pay beyond that date. Camp said “it brings back a bit of accountability and common sense to Washington” by requiring Congress to make tough choices in the budget and address the government’s growing debt. An opponent, Rep. Sander M. Levin, D-Mich., called the bill an effort to “play political games with the debt ceiling, and that undermines certainty” in the economy and financial markets. The vote, on Jan. 23, was 285 yeas to 144 nays.

Votes: Visclosky, yea; Walorski, yea

Senate

CHANGING SENATE DEBATE RULES: The Senate passed a rules change resolution (S.Res. 15). The resolution would limit debate on motions to proceed to consideration of legislation and nominations of sub-Cabinet executive-branch and district-court judicial nominees to no more than eight hours. It would also require amendments ruled not germane to a bill to receive a 60-vote majority in order to be adopted. A supporter, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, said the resolution would establish a structure for beginning the process of offering amendments to bills. An opponent, Sen. Mike Lee, R-Utah, said the limitation “could be applied at some point so as to undermine this right of each and every senator to offer an amendment” to a bill, depriving senators of “the right to participate in an open and robust debate that includes an open amendment process. The vote, on Jan. 24, was 78 yeas to 16 nays.

Votes: Donnelly, yea; Coats, did not vote

SPEEDING SENATE-HOUSE CONFERENCES: The Senate passed a rules change resolution (S.Res. 16). The resolution would limit debate on whether to hold conferences to reconcile House and Senate versions of legislation to two hours. A supporter, Sen. Tom Harkin, D-Iowa, said the limit would preserve the power of the Senate’s minority party to slow down action on legislation without preventing the majority party from enacting legislation. The vote, on Jan. 24, was 86 yeas to 9 nays.

Votes: Donnelly, yea; Coats, did not vote



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