First Session - 113th Congress: 2013 Votes
by Rep. Bill Owens

Updated: Februray 15, 2014


Council for a Livable World's PeacePAC has just released its 2011-12 House of Representatives Voting Record.

The Voting Record covers 12 important votes on national security issues such as the war in Afghanistan, nuclear weapons, military spending and national missile defense. Check to find out if your Representative is one of the 46 who scored 100%, one of the 78 who scored a 0% or where they fall in between.

Budget Agreement – passage - Vote Passed (332-94) - Before leaving for the rest of the year, the House passed legislation based on talks between House and Senate conferees that establishes a budget for fiscal 2014 and increases discretionary spending caps for fiscal 2014 and 2015 that would be offset by increases in passenger air travel fees and federal employee pension contributions and a two-year extension of sequester cuts to Medicare. The agreement raises the spending cap for this year to $1.012 trillion from the sequester level of $967 billion established in 2011. The bill modifies oil and gas programs to reduce spending by $4.5 billion over a decade and federal student loan debt collection that would save $5 billion. The compromise passed the House comfortabl with 169 Republicans and 163 Democrats in support. The Senate is expected to vote on it this week.

Defense authorization – passage - Vote Passed (350-69, 13 Not Voting) - In one of its final acts of the year, the House passed the defense bill (HR 3304) by a vote of 350-69, authorizing $625.1 billion, which would account for more than half of the federal government’s discretionary spending in fiscal 2014. Including mandatory spending, the defense bill authorizes $632.8 billion. To save time in the waning days of the session, the defense authorization agreement was simply loaded onto a small House bill the Senate already had passed. The authorization bill’s is roughly $3.1 billion less than the fiscal 2013 enacted level. Of that, it would authorize $526.8 billion for the Defense Department’s base budget, $80.7 billion for overseas contingency operation — mainly the war in Afghanistan — and $17.6 billion for national security programs within the Energy Department. In addition, the measure would make several statutory changes aimed at reducing sexual assaults in the military. It also would continue the existing ban on transferring detainees held at the Guantanamo Bay detention center in Cuba to the United States.

Patent Infringement Reform – Passage - Vote Passed (325-91, 15 Not Voting) - In the last vote of the week, the House passed legislation on Friday that would change how patent infringement lawsuits are conducted in an attempt to reduce the actions of “patent trolls,” individuals or companies who acquire patents primarily to sue others for infringement. The bill would require plaintiffs to provide detailed information when filing lawsuits including how the accused is violating the patent. The bill passed with bipartisan support. 195 Republicans and 130 Democrats voted in favor of the legislation that is supported by the Obama administration. The Senate Judiciary Committee, led by Democrat Patrick J. Leahy of Vermont, has already scheduled a hearing on a simila version on December 17.

Natural Gas Pipeline Permitting – Passage - Vote Passed (252-165, 14 Not Voting) - In the last vote of the week, the House passed legislation on Thursday to ensure the timely consideration of all licenses and permits required for construction or operation of any natural gas pipeline projects. The bill, sponsored by Republican Mike Pompeo of Kansas, requires the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission to approve or deny certificates within one year of receiving a complete permitting application. If other federal agencies, like the EPA, have to approve part of the project, then they would have 90 days to make a decision after the FERC ruling. In a mostly party-line vote, 26 Democrats joined all voting Republicans in support of the bill, and Democrats contributed all 16 dissenting votes.

Health Care Reform Implementation Delay – Passage - Vote Passed (261-157, 12 Not Voting) - Amidst the Obama Administration's struggles to launch the new online federal insurance exchange, 39 Democrats crossed party lines Friday to pass a bill that would allow Americans to keep their current medical plans through 2014. The measure would effectively delay key coverage requirements imposed on health care plans by 2010 reform measures. The bill allows insurers to continue to sell plans to individual consumers that went into effect at the beginning of this calendar year through 2014 outside of the health care exchange established under the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act. Beginning in 2014, the law mandates that individuals buy government-approved coverage plans that meet a more rigorous standard of quality than many insurers currently offer. The legislation, sponsored by Energy and Commerce Chairman Fred Upton, R-Mich., was a response to the cancellation of a raft of health plans not in compliance with the law's requirement that policies offer a comprehensive set of benefits. The cancellations prompted an outcry and raised questions about repeated assurances, from Obama and other Democrats, that Americans who liked their health insurance plans would be able to keep them under the new law. The Senate isn't expected to take up the measure, and the White House on Nov. 14 threatened a veto if it got that far. Democratic Senators, however, are sponsoring similar measures that would allow consumers to retain their current coverage.

Veterans Disability Claims Backlog – Passage - Vote Passed (404-1, 25 Not Voting) - The House passed a bill on Monday with nearly unanimous support that would establish a panel to study the Veterans Affairs Department’s backlog of disability claims. It would be tasked with finding ways to shorten the appeals process for claims and also prioritize claims for particular groups like those who are elderly or terminally ill. The Veterans Affairs committee in the Senate has received the bill.

Water Resources Bill - Vote Passed (417-3, 10 Not Voting) - With the Senate out all week, the House held its final vote on Wednesday. The House approved with overwhelmingly bipartisan support the bill that would authorize Army Corps of Engineers water resource projects, including flood control and improvements to inland locks and dams. The Senate already passed its version of the bill (S. 601) in the middle of May. The measure would be the first enacted water resources bill since 2007 if soon-to-be-named Senate and House conferees can negotiate a unified bill.

Continuing Appropriations and Debt Limit Suspension – Motion to Concur - Vote Passed (285-144, 3 Not Voting) - House members voted late Wednesday to end the partial government shutdown by passing a continuing appropriations resolution to fund the government through Jan. 15, 2014. The vote receded amendments previously approved by the chamber and accepted a resolution to the standoff that Senators forged at the beginning of last week and passed hours before. President Obama signed the continuing resolution shortly after midnight on Oct. 17. House Republican leadership offered several proposals to end the government shutdown and raise the federal debt ceiling early last week. The GOP caucus, however, could not come to a consensus on which plan to support. Speaker John A. Boehner, R-Ohio, decided to accept the Senate compromise as the risk of a default on the national debt by the Treasury loomed ever closer last week. The resolution did not postpone implementation of the 2010 Affordable Care Act, the major target of House conservative Republicans in delaying FY 2014 funds and an extension of the Treasury’s debt ceiling. During the final vote, 144 Republicans voted against the measure while only 87 supported it. All 198 voting Democrats approved the resolution.

Military Death Benefits – Continuing Resolution - Vote Passed (425-0, 6 Not Voting) - Last Wednesday, the House passed a joint resolution that provides sums as necessary to pay for U.S. military death benefits. It includes the $100,000 death gratuity, funeral and burial expenses, and a housing allowance for dependents of service members who die on active duty. The funds would be available through Dec. 15, 2013. The motion passed without a dissenting vote in the House. On Thursday, the Senate passed the legislation by unanimous consent, and President Obama signed it later the same day.

Veterans Program Funds- Continuing Resolution - Vote Passed (259-157, 15 Not Voting) - After Congress failed to pass a full continuing resolution (CR) last week, the government officially shut down on October 1. The House decided to take up “mini-CRs” to fund various parts of the government like military pay and veterans programs. This particular “mini-CR,” passed by the House Republicans with the help of 35 Democrats, would fund veterans programs including disability payments, education benefits and home loans at current levels until December 15. The bill would also fund the Veterans Benefits Administration at the annualized rate of $2.5 billion to process disability claims.

Women’s and Children’s Nutrition Funds – Continuing Resolution - Vote Passed (244-164, 23 Not Voting) - On Friday, the House passed another “mini-CR” to fund the nutrition programs for women, infants and children (WIC). The bill would fund the special supplemental nutrition program until December 15 at post-sequester fiscal 2013 levels. The Senate is extremely unlikely to consider any of the House “mini-CRs.”

Continuing Resolution – Medical Device Tax Repeal Amendment - Vote Passed (248-174, 9 Not Voting) - After the Senate amended and approved its version of the government funding legislation, the House voted on two amendments to the legislation in the early hours of Sunday. The first vote approved Minnesota Republican Erik Paulsen’s amendment that would remove the medical device tax implemented to help fund the implementation of the Affordable Care Act. 17 Democrats joined Republicans to approve the amendment.

Continuing Resolution – Defunding of the Affordable Care Act Amendment - Vote Passed (231-192, 8 Not Voting) - The second amendment, sponsored by Republican Marsha Blackburn of Tennessee, would reinstate the House language eliminated in the Senate bill to remove funding for the implementation of the Affordable Care Act. Only 2 Democrats (Jim Matheson of Utah and Mike McIntyre of North Carolina) and 2 New York Republicans (Chris Gibson and Richard Hanna) crossed party lines to vote in favor of or against the amendment, respectively.

Mineral Development Bill - Vote Passed (246-178, 8 Not Voting) - In a party-line vote, the House passed legislation that would speed up reviews of mineral exploration and mining permits. All House Republicans were joined by 15 Democrats in voting for the bill. Opponents cited provisions that limit a previous environmental law’s safeguard regulations over exploration and permitting.

Nutrition Assistance - Vote Passed (217-210, 6 Not Voting) - The House chose to split agriculture policy from food aid early in the summer, resulting in the passage of a farm bill without nutrition assistance in July.

Continuing Resolution - Vote Passed (230-189, 13 Not Voting) - At the end of last week, the House passed legislation to fund the government through December 15. The resolution removed funds for the implementation of the Affordable Care Act, a key victory for the House Republicans that align with the various tea party groups.

Health Care Subsidy - Vote Passed (235-191, 6 Not Voting) - Returning last week from the August recess, the House passed a bill that would block premium and cost-sharing subsidies under the 2010 health care reform law until a program to verify household income and other qualifications for the subsidies is certified as operational.

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.

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.

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.

Defense Appropriations – NSA Phone Record Collection Amendment - Vote Failed (205-217, 12 Not Voting) - An unlikely pair of Michiganders, Republican Justin Amash and Democrat John Conyers Jr. united to ensure a House floor vote on the Amash sponsored amendment to the fiscal 2014 defense appropriations bill that would restrict collection of telephone records through Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court orders to only data involving people under investigation.

Defense Appropriations—Final Passage - Vote Passed (315-109, 9 Not Voting) - After clearing numerous amendments, the House passed the C.W. Bill Young, R-Fla. sponsored legislation funding the Defense department for fiscal year 2014. After a split on the NSA amendment, 220 Republicans were joined by 95 Democrats in support of the bill with only 8 Republicans in opposition.

Coal Ash Regulations – Passage - Vote Passed (265-155, 13 Not Voting) - In the last vote of the week, the House passed a bill that would allow states to create and implement their own permit programs for coal combustion residuals, removing that authority from the Environmental Protection Agency.

Employer Health Insurance Mandate Delay – Passage - Vote Passed (264-161, 8 Not Voting) - The House passed this bill that would delay a requirement from the 2010 health care overhaul for one year until the start of 2015. pay a penalty. Morgan Griffith of Virginia was the only Republican to vote against the bill.

Individual Health Insurance Mandate Delay – Passage - Vote Passed (251-174, 8 Not Voting) - After postponing the employer insurance mandate, the House moved a bill to postpone the same requirement of most individuals to maintain health insurance coverage or pay a penalty until the beginning of 2015.

Education Law Overhaul – Passage - Vote Passed (221-207, 6 Not Voting) - In the last vote of the week, the House passed its updated version of federal education policy despite a veto threat from President Obama and unified Democratic opposition to the legislation.

Energy-Water Appropriations – Passage - Vote Passed (227-198, 9 Not Voting) - After voting on more than two dozen amendments, the House passed the fiscal 2014 energy-water spending measure on Wednesday.

Offshore Drilling Bill – Passage - Vote Passed (235-186, 13 Not Voting) - Before leaving for the July 4th recess, the House passed a bill that would direct the Interior secretary to implement a five-year oil and gas leasing program off the Atlantic and Pacific coasts, including areas off of California, South Carolina and Virginia.


Abortion Ban – Passage - Vote Passed (228-196, 10 Not Voting) - The House detoured briefly from debating the farm bill to pass a measure that forbids abortions performed at 20 weeks after fertilization or later.

Farm Bill – Passage - Vote Failed (195-234, 6 Not Voting) - After working through more than 100 amendments, the House nevertheless rejected a five-year, $939 billion reauthorization of agricultural and nutrition programs.

FY 2014 Defense Authorization – Passage - Vote Passed (315-108, 11 Not Voting) - After voting on a series of amendments, including rejecting one from Adam Smith, D-Wash. to close the detention facility at Guantánamo Bay, Cuba by the end of 2014, the House passed this bill authorizing spending on the Defense Department and national security programs for fiscal year 2014.

FY2014 Military Construction & Veterans Affairs Appropriations – Passage - Vote Passed (421-4, 8 Not Voting) - the bill provides $73.3 billion in discretionary funds, including $55 billion for veterans health services, and $84.5 billion in mandatory spending covering veterans service compensation, benefits and pensions.

FY2014 Homeland Security Appropriations – Amendment Vote - Vote Agreed to (224-201, 9 Not Voting) - After clearing their first spending bill, two days later the House moved onto their second, funding the Homeland Security Department.

FY2014 Homeland Security Appropriations – Passage - Vote Passed (245-182, 7 Not Voting) - After the House completed votes on amendments, they passed Homeland Security appropriations legislation for the 2014 fiscal year, funding the department and related activities with $46.1 billion ($38.9 billion in discretionary funds and $5.6 billion in emergency disaster aid).

Keystone Pipeline Approval – Final Passage - Vote Passed (241-175, 1 Present, 16 Not Voting) -The House passed a bill last week to force approval of the Keystone XL pipeline, which would transport diluted bitumen (or “tar sands”) from Canada through the American heartland to refining facilities on the Gulf Coast.

Student Loan Interest Rate Reform – Final Passage - Vote Passed (221-198, 15 Not Voting) - In its last action before the recess, the House passed a bill to overhaul student loan interest rates.

Obamacare Repeal – Passage - Vote Passed (229-195, 9 Not Voting) - The House took its three dozenth or so vote last week on repealing the 2010 health care overhaul.

SEC Cost-Benefit Analysis – Passage - Vote Passed (235-161, 37 Not Voting) - In its final action of the week, the House took aim at one of Wall Street’s main regulators, the Security and Exchange Commission (SEC).

Private Sector Comp Time – Final Passage - Vote Passed (223-204, 5 Not Voting) - The House passed a measure last week to allow private sector employers to provide comp time to their workers in lieu of overtime pay.

Debt Payment Prioritization – Final Passage - Vote Passed (221-207, 4 Not Voting) - In its final action of the week, the House took another foray into debt limit politics.

High-Risk Insurance Pools – Rule Vote - Vote Passed (225-189, 18 Not Voting) - The House was expected to pass a bill to transfer funds from one Obamacare-created program to another last week, but after agreeing to a framework for debating the measure with this vote, Republican leaders concluded they did not have enough votes and pulled it from the floor.

FAA Furloughs – Suspension Vote - Vote Passed (361-41, 30 Not Voting) - Responding to rising anger with flight delays around the country, Congress acted with rare celerity to avert further furloughs at the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA).

Federal Helium Sales – Suspension Vote - Vote Passed (394-1, 37 Not Voting) - In its final action of the week, the House passed a bill creating a framework for winding down operation of the Federal Helium Reserve.

Cybersecurity Intelligence Sharing - Vote Passed (288-127, 17 Not Voting) - The House last week passed a bill to boost intelligence-sharing between federal agencies and private firms.

Limit on NLRB Activity - Vote Passed (219-209, 4 Not Voting) - In January, the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia ruled in Noel Canning v. NLRB that three recess appointments made by President Obama to the National Labor Relations Board were invalid because they did not take place during the court’s definition of a recess.

Hydropower Facility Development – Suspension Vote - Vote Passed (416-7, 8 Not Voting) - The House passed a bill last week under suspension of the rules that would streamline the permitting process for small hydropower facilities. The House passed a similar bill last year that was not taken up by the Senate.

FY 2014 Budget Resolution – Adoption - Vote Passed (220-207, 4 Not Voting) - On Thursday of last week, the House agreed to adopt the concurrent resolution introduced a week earlier by sponsor Paul D. Ryan, R-Wis., that would provide $2.769 trillion in new budget authority for FY2014, not including off-budget accounts.

FY 2013 Continuing Appropriations – Final Passage - Vote Passed (318-109, 4 Not Voting) - At the end of the legislative week, the House agreed to the Senate’s amendments to the bill that would approve the continuing appropriations through FY 2013 including $1.043 trillion in discretionary funds before the sequester. It funds departments and agencies at their FY2012 enacted levels, with adjustments for certain programs.

TANF Reauthorization, Welfare Rule Repeal – Final Passage - Vote Passed (246-181, 4 Not Voting) - The House moved last week to reauthorize the federal government’s main welfare program, Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF), through the end of the year.

Consolidation of Job Training Programs – Final Passage - Vote Passed (215-202, 15 Not Voting) - The House passed a controversial measure last week to consolidate about three dozen federal job training programs into a single “Workforce Investment Fund.”

Disaster Response and Preparedness – Suspension - Vote Passed (370-28, 33 Not Voting) - The House cleared a bill under suspension last week reauthorizing various measures meant to strengthen preparation and response to pandemics and similar biological disasters. The House originally passed the bill in January (Roll Call 24). It was later amended in the Senate, extending the authorization through 2018, and sent back to the House. This latest vote moves the bill to the president's desk.

FY 2013 Continuing Appropriations - Vote Passed (267-151, 13 Not Voting) -

Gender-based Violence Prevention – Final Passage - Vote Passed (286-138, 7 Not Voting)

Disaster Aid for Houses of Worship – Suspension - Vote Passed (354-72, 5 Not Voting) - This bill would expand the definition of “private non-profit facilities” eligible for federal disaster funding to include houses of worship such as churches and synagogues. Many such buildings were damaged by Hurricane Sandy, which brought the issue to lawmakers’ attention.

Hydropower Regulation – Suspension - Vote Passed (422-0, 9 Not Voting) - The House unanimously supported this measure to streamline permitting and regulation of hydropower facilities.

Federal Pay Freeze Extension – Final Passage - Vote Passed (261-154, 16 Not Voting) - Acting to head off a scheduled cost-of-living-adjustment for federal civilian employees, the House extended the freeze on their pay through the end of the calendar year. Military pay is not affected by the bill.

North Korea Nuclear Test - Vote Passed (412-2, 17 Not Voting) - Responding to a nuclear test conducted by the secretive Kim Jong-un regime in North Korea , the House passed a resolution condemning the act and calling for a new round of sanctions. Libertarian Republicans Justin Amash of Michigan and Thomas Massie of Kentucky cast the only “no” votes.

Budget Submission Requirement - Final Passage - Vote Passed (253-167, 11 Not Voting)

Short-Term Suspension of Debt Limit – Final Passage - Vote Passed (285-144, 3 Not Voting)

Sandy Recovery Supplemental – Substitute Amendment - Vote Agreed to (327-91, 14 Not Voting)

Sandy Recovery Supplemental – Long-term Recovery Aid - Vote Agreed to (228-192, 12 Not Voting)

Sandy Recovery Supplemental – Final Passage - Vote Passed (241-180, 11 Not Voting)

Disaster Aid Reform - Vote Passed (403-0, 26 Not Voting)

Establishing the Rules of the House - Vote Passed (228-196, 5 Not Voting) - After electing the Speaker, the next order of business in organizing the House is traditionally establishing the rules for that Congress.

Hurricane Sandy Relief – Suspension - Vote Passed (354-67, 8 Not Voting) -

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