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How they voted

Updated: March 12, 2013 6:18AM



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 this week.

House

FUNDING PEDIATRIC RESEARCH: The House passed the National Pediatric Research Network Act (H.R. 225), sponsored by Rep. Lois Capps, D-Calif. The bill would establish a National Pediatric Research Network to fund research into pediatric health conditions and rare diseases. Capps said the network “will improve research in clinical trials on pediatric diseases, train future pediatric researchers, and disseminate research findings quickly so that all children may benefit.” The vote, on Feb. 4, was 375 yeas to 27 nays.

Votes: Visclosky, yea; Walorski, yea

TRAINING PEDIATRICIANS: The House passed the Children’s Hospital GME Support Reauthorization Act (H.R. 297), sponsored by Rep. Joseph R. Pitts, R-Pa. The bill would reauthorize through 2017 a program for training graduate medical students in children’s hospitals. Pitts said: “Far too many children in our Nation already lack access to a pediatrician or doctor trained in a pediatric subspecialty. Without CHGME, we will once again be discouraging medical residents from choosing pediatrics.” The vote, on Feb. 4, was 352 yeas to 50 nays.

Votes: Visclosky, yea; Walorski, yea

RESPONSIBILITY FOR THE DEBT: The House rejected an amendment sponsored by Rep. Mark Takano, D-Calif., to the Require a Plan Act (H.R. 444). The amendment would have inserted a section into the bill’s findings, stating that since President Obama took office, Congress has allowed the debt to increase by almost $6 trillion, so that total debt is now greater than the U.S. economy. Takano said: “I think my colleagues on the other side of the aisle are forgetting a key part of our job: the President does not pass budgets, nor does he appropriate funds; Congress does.” An opponent, Rep. Tom Price, R-Ga., said that to assign blame for the debt solely to Congress, “you’d have to ignore the president’s fiscal issues that he’s had over the past 4 years to think that he didn’t have a hand in” increasing the debt. The vote, on Feb. 6, was 194 yeas to 228 nays.

Votes: Visclosky, yea; Walorski, nay

BASIS FOR A BALANCED BUDGET: The House rejected an amendment sponsored by Rep. Kurt Schrader, D-Ore., to the Require a Plan Act (H.R. 444). The amendment would have stated that the deficit reduction proposal set forth by the Simpson-Bowles Commission should be the basis for achieving a balanced budget. Schrader said Simpson-Bowles was the only bipartisan deficit reduction plan taking a long-term approach to budgeting, including managing health care costs and tax expenditures. An opponent, Rep. Tom Price, R-Ga., said Simpson-Bowles would not achieve a balanced budget, and the amendment would unnecessarily restrict the president’s determination of how the budget should be balanced. The vote, on Feb. 6, was 75 yeas to 348 nays.

Votes: Visclosky, yea; Walorski, nay

PROPOSING A BALANCED BUDGET: The House passed the Require a Plan Act (H.R. 444), sponsored by Rep. Tom Price, R-Ga. The bill would require the president to propose a budget by April 1 that identifies a fiscal year in which a balanced budget will be achieved, if the President has not already proposed a fiscal 2014 budget that achieves balance in a future fiscal year. Price said: “The American people need to know when the President’s budget balances. And this bill simply says, Mr. President, tell us when your budget balances. Very common sense.” An opponent, House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, said the bill was “unworthy of the challenge that our country faces and the bipartisan solutions that we should be trying to achieve” to reduce the deficit. The vote, on Feb. 6, was 253 yeas to 167 nays.

Votes: Visclosky, nay; Walorski, yea

Senate

VIOLENCE AGAINST WOMEN ACT: The Senate rejected the Republican substitute amendment, sponsored by Sen. Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa, to the Violence Against Women Reauthorization Act (S. 47). The substitute amendment would have required annual audits of 10 percent of the groups that receive grants to prevent domestic violence, imposed a 5-year mandatory minimum sentence for aggravated sexual assault, and imposed a 10-year mandatory minimum sentence for fatal interstate domestic violence, without authorizing Indian tribal courts to have jurisdiction over alleged domestic violence cases involving non-Indians but taking place on tribal lands. Grassley said the amendment “does more to protect the rights of victims of domestic violence and sex crimes” than the existing bill does. An opponent, Sen. Patrick J. Leahy, D-Vt., said the amendment “would remove fundamental points of fairness that are at the core of this legislation. We need to cover everyone who experiences domestic and sexual violence.” The vote, on Feb. 7, was 34 yeas to 65 nays.

Votes: Coats, yea; Donnelly, nay



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