How Arizona's Members of Congress Voted

AZ Daily Star, May 11, 2014 | Go to article overview

How Arizona's Members of Congress Voted


Key Votes Ahead

In the week of May 12, the House will be in recess, while the Senate will resume debate on a bill to increase energy efficiency in all sectors of the economy.

Here's how area members of Congress voted on major issues in the week ending May 9.

HOUSE

LOIS LERNER IN CONTEMPT

By a vote of 231 for and 187 against, the House on May 7 approved a contempt-of-Congress citation (H Res 574) against Lois G. Lerner over her refusal to answer a House committee's questions about improper Internal Revenue Service targeting of organizations seeking tax-exempt status under Section 501(c)4 of the tax code. Lerner, now retired, was head of an IRS division that singled out organizations for scrutiny based on their name, with many conservative groups and a lesser number of liberal organizations receiving special attention, according to the Treasury Department's inspector general. While Lerner has invoked the Fifth Amendment in a House Oversight and Government Reform probe of the scandal, she is cooperating with a parallel Department of Justice criminal investigation. The department now must decide whether to take the House-passed criminal citation to court.

A yes vote was to hold Lerner in contempt of Congress.

Yes: Ron Barber, D-2, Paul Gosar, R-4, Matt Salmon, R-5, David Schweikert, R-6, Trent Franks, R-8

No: Ann Kirkpatrick, D-1, Raul Grijalva, D-3, Ed Pastor, D-7, Kyrsten Sinema, D-9

FIFTH AMENDMENT

PROTECTIONS

Voting 191 for and 224 against, the House on May 7 defeated a Democratic bid for testimony from legal experts on the question of whether former Internal Revenue Service official Lois G. Lerner waived her constitutional right against self-incrimination in an appearance a year earlier before the Committee on Oversight and Government Reform. At that hearing, she read a statement professing her innocence of wrongdoing in the IRS's improper targeting of groups seeking tax-exempt status, then invoked the Fifth Amendment and has since refused to answer committee questions. Republicans base their contempt of Congress resolution (H Res 574, above) on her conduct at the May 2013 hearing, while Democrats cite a host of legal experts and a Supreme Court precedent in arguing she did not forfeit Fifth Amendment protections by reading the statement asserting innocence.

A yes vote backed the Democratic-sponsored motion.

Yes: Kirkpatrick, Barber, Grijalva, Pastor, Sinema

No: Gosar, Salmon, Schweikert, Franks

APPOINTMENT

OF SPECIAL COUNSEL

By a vote of 250 for and 168 against, the House on May 7 passed a non-binding resolution (H Res 565) calling upon Atty. Gen. Eric Holder to appoint a special counsel, or independent prosecutor, to investigate the Internal Revenue Service's improper targeting of groups filing for tax-exempt status under Section 501(c)4 of the tax code. This would transfer the department's ongoing criminal probe of the IRS scandal to the special counsel, who would have independent, open-ended prosecutorial authority.

A yes vote was to adopt the Republican-sponsored resolution.

Yes: Barber, Gosar, Salmon, Schweikert, Franks, Sinema

No: Kirkpatrick, Grijalva, Pastor

SELECT COMMITTEE

ON BENGHAZI ATTACK

On a vote of 232 for and 186 against, the House on May 8 approved a resolution (H Res 567) to establish a select committee to investigate U.S. government actions before, during and after an attack on the American consulate in Benghazi, Libya, on Sept. 11, 2012, that resulted in the deaths of Chris Stevens, the U.S. ambassador to Libya, and three other Americans. …

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