Conservative First

July 31, 2012

Bennet, Udall, and Perlmutter Watch 7-30-12: Recent Votes

From MegaVote at

Recent Senate Votes
Tax Cut Extension – Republican Substitute – Vote Rejected (45-54, 1 Not Voting)

Following President Obama’s call January 9 to let the Bush tax cuts lapse on personal income above $200,000 for individuals and $250,000 for couples, the Senate put itself on record last week by voting on the president’s proposal and a Republican alternative. The Republican substitute amendment, offered by Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., would have extended current rates for all income levels for one year. It also would have allowed a business property tax deduction up to $500,000, extended current estate tax levels for one year and a created “patch” for the Alternative Minimum Tax (AMT) covering both 2012 and 2013.

Sen. Mark Udall voted NO……send e-mail or see bio
Sen. Michael Bennet voted NO……send e-mail or see bio

Tax Cut Extension – Passage – Vote Passed (51-48, 1 Not Voting)

Following defeat of the substitute amendment, the Senate passed the president’s preferred version of the bill. In addition to the income tax provisions, the bill would allow rates on capital gains and dividends to rise from 15 to 20 percent; allow business property deductions up to $250,000; extend the college tuition tax credit and child tax credit; and patch the AMT for 2012. The roll calls for both tax bills were noteworthy in that they took place under simple majority rules, an increasingly rare occurrence in the Senate. The House is scheduled to consider a bill (HR 8) more along the lines of the Senate Republican alternative, though Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio, stated that he would allow a vote on the president’s proposal as well.

Sen. Mark Udall voted YES……send e-mail or see bio
Sen. Michael Bennet voted YES……send e-mail or see bio

Cybersecurity – Cloture – Vote Agreed to (84-11, 5 Not Voting)

After agreement was reached on allowing amendments, the Senate voted last week to invoke cloture on a compromise cybersecurity bill. Democrats’ preferred bill (S. 2105), introduced in February by Homeland Security Committee chair Joe Lieberman, I-Ct., would have established a definition for “critical infrastructure” and mandated that private entities who own or oversee such infrastructure establish minimum security standards. This provision drew intense opposition from business interests, leading Republicans to introduce an alternative proposal, which has since been revamped (S. 3342). The bill under consideration would forego mandating action and instead create incentives for businesses to meet security standards. S. 3342 is still expected to be offered on the floor as a substitute amendment, and the underlying bill’s prospects for passage remain uncertain. The House passed a bill (H.R. 3523) in April that did not address the critical infrastructure issue in a substantial way, instead focusing on information-sharing between government and industry. The Senate bills address the latter issue as well, though each bill takes a different approach. President Obama has endorsed the Senate compromise and threatened to veto the House-passed bill.

Sen. Mark Udall voted YES……send e-mail or see bio
Sen. Michael Bennet voted YES……send e-mail or see bio

Recent House Votes
Tribal Land Leases – Suspension – Vote Failed (222-160, 49 Not Voting)

Last week the House failed to suspend the rules and adopt a bill that would have allowed up to six Native American tribes or tribal consortia to participate in a demonstration project that would have allowed for the leasing of tribal land to private entities from Turkey and other WTO countries without prior approval from the Interior Department. In order to suspend the rules, a two-thirds majority must support passage of a bill.

Rep. Ed Perlmutter voted Not Voting……send e-mail or see bio

Levee Construction – Suspension – Vote Failed (126-254, 51 Not Voting)

Another suspension bill that failed to gain the necessary two-thirds was this Senate-passed measure. The bill would have allowed certain communities in North Dakota to construct levees on land otherwise set aside as flood plains.

Rep. Ed Perlmutter voted Not Voting……send e-mail or see bio

Oil and Gas Drilling – Passage – Vote Passed (253-170, 8 Not Voting)

House Republicans, along with some crossover support from pro-drilling Democrats, passed a bill last week that would replace the Obama administrations 2012-2017 Outer Continental Shelf drilling plan with a more expansive proposal. The House alternative would nearly double the number of drilling leases, from 15 to 29 and it would include drilling off the coasts of California, Virginia, and South Carolina. In an effort to expedite leasing, the bill would also instruct the Interior Department to prepare a single environmental impact statement for all of the covered leases, rather than separate statements for each lease. President Obama has threatened to veto the proposal.

Rep. Ed Perlmutter voted NO……send e-mail or see bio

Federal Reserve Audit – Suspension – Vote Passed (327-98, 6 Not Voting)

This bill to audit the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve and the federal reserve banks easily cleared the two-thirds hurdle. The measure, long championed by Texas Republican Ron Paul, instructs the Comptroller General of the United States to complete the audit before year’s end and report his findings to Congress. The bill is unlikely to be taken up in the Senate.

Rep. Ed Perlmutter voted YES……send e-mail or see bio

Regulatory Overhaul – Vote Passed (245-172, 14 Not Voting)

Republicans passed a bill containing a suite of changes to current regulatory rules. The biggest change would place a moratorium on so-called “significant regulatory actions” – defined as rules that would cost the economy more than $50 million – until the national unemployment rate is six percent or lower. The bill would also ban the promulgation of “midnight rules” introduced by outgoing administrations after electoral defeat. The agency practice of settling with litigants in order to reach a compromise rule – labeled “sue-settle” by detractors – would be limited. Environmental permitting would be streamlined. Nearly two dozen amendments were offered, mostly by Democrats seeking to carve out exemptions for certain types of rules concerning matters such as workplace safety or drinking water standards. The bill is unlikely to be taken up in the Senate.

Rep. Ed Perlmutter voted NO……send e-mail or see bio

Upcoming Votes
Cybersecurity Act of 2012 – S.3414

Floor debate is likely to begin on the cybersecurity bill.

Draft Farm bill

The House is scheduled to take up a one-year farm bill extension and offer disaster assistance to livestock and crop producers affected by the drought. Disaster aid would total $621 million and would be offset by a $261 million reduction in direct payments to certain farmers and $759 million in cuts to various conservations programs.

Job Protection and Recession Prevention Act of 2012 – H.R.8

This is the House Republican plan on the Bush tax cuts. It would extend current rates on income, capital gains and dividends for one year and patch the AMT for two years.

Pathway to Job Creation through a Simpler, Fairer Tax Code Act of 2012 – H.R.6169

This bill would provide for expedited consideration of a tax reform bill introduced by the chairman of the House Ways and Means Committee before April 30, 2013.


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