The Conservative Index: Our Third Look at the 109th Congress Shows How Every Member of the House and Senate Voted on Key Issues, Including Foreign Aid, Immigration, and the Patriot Act
HOUSE VOTE DESCRIPTIONS
21 Foreign Aid. The final version (conference report) of this appropriations bill (H.R. 3057) would provide $21 billion for U.S. foreign aid programs in fiscal 2006.
The House passed the final version of this legislation on November 4, 2005 by a vote of 358-39 (Roll Call 569). We have assigned pluses to the "nays" because foreign aid is unconstitutional. The Senate passed the same legislation a week later (see Senate vote #22).
22 Patriot Act Reauthorization. This is the final version (conference report) of the Patriot Act reauthorization (H.R. 3199). In the weeks following the 9/11 terrorist attacks, Congress quickly passed the so-called Patriot Act, which gave law enforcement and intelligence agencies vast new powers to combat terrorism. The act increased the ability of law enforcement to secretly search home and business records, expanded the FBI's wiretapping and surveillance authority, and expanded the list of crimes deemed terrorist acts. When passed in 2001 the bill included a "sunset" provision under which the new surveillance powers "shall cease to have effect on December 21, 2005." The Patriot Act reauthorization bill (H.R. 3199) considered by Congress last year would make permanent 14 of the 16 provisions included in the bill, and extend for four years the two remaining provisions.
The House passed the final version of the bill to reauthorize the Patriot Act on December 14, 2005 by a vote of 251-174 (Roll Call 627). We have assigned pluses to the "nays" because the Patriot Act tramples on the constitutionally protected rights of U.S. citizens. The Senate passed the same legislation on March 2, 2006 (see Senate vote #24).
23 Labor-HHS-Education Appropriations. This massive social-welfare appropriations bill (H.R. 3010) would provide $601.6 billion in fiscal 2006 for the Labor Department ($14.8 billion), the Education Department ($63.5 billion), the Health and Human Services Department ($474.1 billion), and related agencies. H.R. 3010 is the largest of the appropriations bills considered by Congress this year. In total, H.R. 3010 would provide a 21 percent increase over a similar appropriations bill for fiscal 2005.
The House passed the bill on December 14, 2005 by a vote of 215-213 (Roll Call 628). We have assigned pluses to the "nays" because the bill would provide an increase in spending, and social-welfare programs are unconstitutional.
24 Border Security. The House immigration bill (H.R. 4437) would improve border security by authorizing 700 miles of security fence to be built along parts of the U.S.-Mexican border, making unlawful entry into the United States a criminal rather than a civil offense, and increasing penalties for immigrant-related crimes. It would also require employers to verify immigrant status of new employees. It does not include the guest-worker/amnesty provisions found in the Senate bill (see Senate vote #29).
The House passed H.R. 4437 on December 16, 2005 by a vote of 239-182 (Roll Call 661). We have assigned pluses to the "yeas" because the bill would improve border security. The House-passed bill is very different from the Senate-passed version. For immigration legislation to become law, the House and Senate versions would have to be reconciled and a final version sent back to both houses of Congress for their approval and then to the president for his signature.
25 Ports Security--DP World. Rep. Wayne T. Gilchrest (R-Md.) introduced this amendment to the 2006 supplemental appropriations bill (H.R. 4939) that would strike language from the bill to prohibit the sale of operations at several sea ports to DP World, a state-controlled company based in Dubai, United Arab Emirates.
The House rejected the Gilchrest amendment in March 15, 2006 by a vote of 38-377 (Roll Call 43). We have assigned pluses to the "nays" because, as a matter of national sovereignty, American personnel must manage, maintain, and monitor our own sea ports. …