Conservative First

August 6, 2013

Bennet, Udall, and Perlmutter Watch 8-5-13: Recent Votes

From MegaVote at Congress.org:

Recent Senate Votes
James B. Comey, Jr. Nomination to be Director of the Federal Bureau of Investigation– Confirmation – Vote Confirmed (93-1, 2 Present, 4 Not Voting)

The Senate voted to confirm James B. Comey, Jr. to be Director of the Federal Bureau of Investigation for a term of ten years. Comey, a former senior official at the Justice Department, succeeds Robert S. Mueller III, who served as director since 2001.

Sen. Mark Udall voted YES
Sen. Michael Bennet voted YES


Byron Todd Jones Nomination to be Director of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives – Confirmation – Vote Confirmed (53-42, 5 Not Voting)

On July 31, the Senate voted to confirm former United States district attorney Byron Todd Jones to lead the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives. Senator Mark Kirk of Illinois was the lone Republican to vote for confirmation.

Sen. Mark Udall voted YES
Sen. Michael Bennet voted YES


Transportation-Housing and Urban Development Appropriations – Cloture – Vote Rejected (54-43, 3 Not Voting)

The Senate failed to reach the 60 votes required to end debate on the fiscal year 2014 Transportation-Housing and Urban Development Appropriations bill on August 1. Conservatives balked at the Senate Appropriations Committee’s inclusion of about $5.6 billion in spending more than current levels under the sequester. The $54 billion bill would be $2.3 billion more than the fiscal 2013 enacted level and $2.4 billion more than the Obama administration’s request. Much of the additional spending in the Senate bill comes from in the form of roads funding. The Senate bill would provide $550 million for infrastructure project funds, known as TIGER grants, an increase of $51 million from the pre-sequester fiscal 2013 level. House appropriators provided no funds for the program. The bill also would create an account that would provide $500 million for repairing “structurally deficient” or “functionally obsolete” bridges and crucial highway corridors.

Sen. Mark Udall voted YES
Sen. Michael Bennet voted YES


Samantha Power Nomination to be Representative of the United States of America to the United Nations – Confirmation – Vote Confirmed (87-10, 3 Not Voting)

In the final vote before August recess, the Senate confirmed the nomination of Samantha Power as U.S. Representative to the United Nations and the UN Security Council.

Sen. Mark Udall voted YES
Sen. Michael Bennet voted YES


Recent House Votes
Student Loan Interest Rates – Passage – Vote Passed (392-31, 10 Not Voting)

On July 31, the House voted to concur with Senate amendments to a bill that permanently sets federal student loan interest rates. The measure, approved 392-31, culminated weeks of negotiation to reach a bipartisan deal after interest rates doubled for many loans on July 1. The bill annually would link the rates charged on new student loans to the rate paid in June on 10-year Treasury notes. The terms would apply to all new federal student loans, except for low-interest Perkins loans made to needy students. The premium charged in addition to the 10-year base rate would include 2.05 percentage points for subsidized and unsubsidized portions of undergraduate loans, 3.6 points for graduate loans, and 4.6 points for PLUS loans made to graduate students and parents of undergraduates. Rates would be capped at 8.25 percent, 9.5 percent and 10.5 percent, respectively, for the three classes of loans. The market-based rate system is similar to a plan proposed by the White House in its fiscal 2014 budget, and President Obama is expected to sign it.

Rep. Ed Perlmutter voted YES


Iranian Sanctions – Passage – Vote Passed (400-20, 1 Present, 13 Not Voting)

House lawmakers voted 400-20 on July 31 to pass a bill aimed at reducing Iran’s oil exports and further isolating its economy. The bill would compel countries currently purchasing crude oil from Iran to reduce their combined purchases by a total of 1 million barrels per day within a year. Failure to comply would prompt a loss in those nations’ ability to obtain “significant reduction” sanction exemptions that let them continue to purchase Iranian oil. It also would expand the list of Iranian industries effectively blacklisted, further limit Iran’s access to overseas foreign currency reserves and impose additional shipping sanctions to limit Iran’s ability to engage in international commerce. Earlier in the week, Democratic and Republican sponsors of the bill brushed off pressure to delay the vote, saying that passage would send an important signal to Iran’s incoming president about the cost of continuing to advance a nuclear program.

Rep. Ed Perlmutter voted YES


Affordable Care Act Implementation – Passage – Vote Passed (232-185, 16 Not Voting)

On August 2, the House passed a bill designed to block the Treasury Department from enforcing key components of the 2010 Affordable Care Act. The vote, the last before members left for August recess, represented the 40th time the House has passed measures to repeal or dismantle the health care reform law. Four Democrats voted for the measure, which was supported by all Republicans. The bill prohibits the Secretary of the Treasury and the Internal Revenue Service from enforcing penalties the 2010 law would levy on those who do not purchase health insurance when the law goes into full effect in 2014. The vote culminated what House leaders dubbed “Stop Government Abuse Week.”

Rep. Ed Perlmutter voted Not Voting

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