|Recent House Votes|
|FDA User Fee Reauthorization – Vote Passed (387-5, 39 Not Voting)
Fresh on the heels of Senate passage, the House last week passed its version of FDA user fee legislation with a show of overwhelming support. The bill would reauthorize the FDA to impose user fees on drug and device manufacturers for five years. Unlike the Senate bill, there was little controversy surrounding the reauthorization in the House, as evidenced by the final vote tally. The bill was considered under suspension of the rules, an expedited procedure requiring a two-thirds majority for passage. At this point the House and Senate will move to conference to iron out a few minor differences. Both chambers have reportedly set a goal of July 4 for getting a final product to the president’s desk.
Sex-Selective Abortion Ban – Vote Failed (246-168, 17 Not Voting)
Occasioning considerably more controversy than the FDA bill, the House also considered legislation to criminalize the administering or facilitating of abortions based on the sex of the fetus. The practice, known as sex-selective abortion, has long been associated with countries such as China and India, where social and economic pressures can lead to families to abort females at much higher rates than males. Republicans contend that this practice has reached the United States; Democrats say there is insufficient evidence and that a blanket ban would be unenforceable in any case. Despite garnering majority support, the measure failed because it was considered under suspension of the rules.
Intelligence Authorization – Vote Passed (386-28, 17 Not Voting)
The House passed legislation to authorize funding for the 16 intelligence agencies last week. Although total funding levels are classified, the bill would fund agencies such as the CIA and National Security Agency at a level above President Obama’s request of $71.8 billion, according to Intelligence committee chairman Mike Rogers, R-Mich. and ranking member C.A. Dutch Ruppersberger, D-Md. A handful of amendments were adopted during debate, including one offered by Michigan Democrat John Conyers, Jr. to require a report from the director of national intelligence on the consequences of a military strike against Iran. The Senate has not yet moved on its authorization bill, but action is expected at the committee level sometime this summer.
Military Construction-Veterans Affairs Appropriations – Vote Passed (407-12, 12 Not Voting)
The House passed its second FY13 appropriations bill last week, providing funding for the Department of Veterans Affairs and for military construction and housing. The bill would provide $71.7 billion in discretionary funds, including $60.6 billion for the VA and $10.6 billion for base construction and military family housing. A provision forbidding agencies from using project labor agreements (PLA) for construction projects was removed from the bill by an amendment from Michael G. Grimm, R-N.Y. (Roll Call #302). The PLA language was controversial among most Democrats and a handful of Republicans; its removal sped passage of what is usually a strongly bipartisan bill. President Obama threatened to veto the bill because the House GOP has set total FY13 appropriations levels below what had been agreed to in last year’s debt-ceiling standoff. Because the House kept funding levels in this bill constant with last year, deeper cuts will be necessary in other appropriations bills, which the administration views as unacceptable.
June 5, 2012
Perlmutter Watch 6-4-12: Recent Votes
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