Tuesday, September 16, 2014
Inquirer Daily News

Area Votes in Congress

WASHINGTON - Here is how Philadelphia-area senators voted on major issues last week. The House was in recess:

Senate

Energy efficiency.

Voting 55-36, the Senate on Monday failed to reach 60 votes needed to end a Republican filibuster against a bill (S 2262) that would promote energy efficiency in buildings throughout the U.S. economy without federal mandates or deficit spending. Republicans objected to the Democratic majority's refusal to entertain amendments to build the Keystone XL Pipeline and protect emissions from coal- fired power plants against executive orders by President Obama. Democrats said they had already agreed to 10 bipartisan amendments on other topics as well as a follow-up vote on a self-standing bill on whether to proceed with the pipeline.

A yes vote was to end the GOP filibuster.

Voting yes: Cory Booker (D., N.J.), Thomas Carper (D., Del.), Bob Casey (D., Pa.), Chris Coons (D., Del.), and Robert Menendez (D., N.J.).

Voting no: Pat Toomey (R., Pa.).

Tax-break extension.

Voting 96-3, the Senate on Tuesday agreed to start debate on a bill (HR 3474) that would renew through 2015 several dozen special-interest tax breaks for businesses, individuals, and others that expired at the end of 2013. Known as "extenders," these targeted tax-relief measures are projected by the Congressional Budget Office to total $81.3 billion over 10 years while adding $84.1 billion to the national debt over that time. They consist, in part, of the research and development tax credit for businesses; deductions for college tuition; tax credits to encourage the hiring of veterans; bonus depreciation to spur equipment purchases by businesses; an exemption of forgiven mortgage debt from taxation; deductions for K-12 teachers' out-of-pocket purchases of classroom supplies; production tax credits for renewable energy; and deductions to spur construction of energy-efficient buildings.

A yes vote was to advance the bill.

Voting yes: Booker, Carper, Casey, Coons, Menendez, and Toomey.

Federal judgeship.

Voting 96-0, the Senate on Wednesday confirmed Diane J. Humetewa as a federal judge for the District of Arizona, making her the first Native American to serve on the federal bench. A member of the Hopi tribe, she was U.S. attorney for the Arizona district from 2007 to 2009.

A yes vote was to confirm Humetewa.

Voting yes: Booker, Carper, Casey, Menendez, and Toomey.

Not voting: Coons.

This week.

The Senate will resume debate on a bill to extend special-interest tax breaks. The House schedule was to be announced.

VOTERAMA IN CONGRESS
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