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Originally published Saturday, April 9, 2011 at 8:52 PM

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How your U.S. lawmaker voted this week

Here's how the state's members of Congress voted on major issues in the week ending Friday. House Stopgap budget Voting 348-70, the House...

WASHINGTON — Here's how the state's members of Congress voted on major issues in the week ending Friday.

House

Stopgap budget

Voting 348-70, the House on Saturday sent President Obama a bill (HR 1363) to keep the government in full operation for the next several days. Congress then will take up a bipartisan funding bill for the remaining five-plus months of fiscal 2011, a measure cutting spending by nearly $39 billion and containing several Republican-backed policy changes. Because Obama and congressional leaders negotiated the latter bill, it is expected to become law by midweek, ending a marathon dispute during which Congress passed seven stopgap 2011 budgets, including HR 1363. The Senate passed HR 1363 on Friday in a nonrecord vote. A yes vote on HR 1363 was to pass the bill.

Voting yes: Jaime Herrera Beutler, R-Camas; Doc Hastings, R-Pasco; Cathy McMorris Rodgers, R-Spokane; Dave Reichert, R-Auburn; Jay Inslee, D-Bainbridge Island; Rick Larsen, D-Lake Stevens; Norm Dicks, D-Bremerton; Adam Smith, D-Tacoma

Voting no: Jim McDermott, D-Seattle

EPA authority

By a vote of 255-172, the House on Thursday passed a bill (HR 910) denying the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) the authority to regulate greenhouse-gas emissions associated with climate change and challenging the science upon which those regulations are based. The Senate (below) defeated a similar measure. The EPA last month proposed a nationwide rule to curb toxic discharges from the nation's 400-plus coal-fired power plants. This followed an April 2007 Supreme Court ruling that the agency has authority under the 1970 Clean Air Act to regulate greenhouse-gas emissions.

Voting yes: Herrera Beutler, Hastings, McMorris Rodgers, Reichert

Voting no: Inslee, Larsen, Dicks, McDermott, Smith

Climate-change science

By a vote of 184-240, the House on Wednesday defeated an amendment to HR 910 (above) stating Congress accepts EPA's "scientific findings that climate change is occurring, is caused largely by human activities, and poses significant risks for public health and welfare."

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Voting yes: Inslee, Larsen, Dicks, McDermott, Reichert, Smith

Voting no: Herrera Beutler, Hastings, McMorris Rodgers

Children, seniors'

asthma protection

Members defeated, 175-251, a Democratic bid to add language ensuring that under HR 910 (above) the EPA would still protect children and seniors from the effects of carbon pollution. A yes vote backed the bid over GOP arguments that it was a tactic intended to sidetrack the bill.

Voting yes: Inslee, Larsen, Dicks, McDermott, Smith

Voting no: Herrera Beutler, Hastings, McMorris Rodgers, Reichert

Republican budget plan

By a vote of 247-181, the House on Thursday sent the Senate a GOP bill (HR 1363) to fund the military through Sept. 30 while funding the rest of the government through April 15 with $12 billion in spending cuts. The bill also barred the District of Columbia from using its own revenue to fund abortions. Republicans called their new round of spending cuts fiscally sound. Democrats said they would affect, in part, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention; clean-water and drinking-water programs; federal law enforcement; FEMA grants to states and localities; high-speed rail; public housing and women's and infants' nutrition programs. This vote sent the bill to the Senate, where Democratic leaders declared it dead on arrival.

Voting yes: Herrera Beutler, Hastings, McMorris Rodgers, Reichert

Voting no: Inslee, Larsen, Dicks, McDermott, Smith

Democrats' budget plan

On a vote of 236-187, the House on Thursday blocked a bid by Democrats to bring an alternative to HR 1363 (above) to a vote. Their measure was a "clean" continuing resolution that would keep the government fully in operation for another week but contain none of the spending cuts or policy riders in the underlying GOP bill. Because HR 1363 was debated under a closed rule that barred amendments, Democrats used this procedural route to seek a record vote on their competing plan for averting a government shutdown at midnight Friday. A yes vote opposed the Democratic alternative.

Voting yes: Herrera Beutler, Hastings, McMorris Rodgers, Reichert

Voting no: Inslee, Larsen, Dicks, McDermott, Smith

Paying U.S. troops

By a vote of 191-236, the House on Thursday defeated a bid by Democrats to ensure no loss of military pay during a government shutdown. The motion was offered to a Republican bill (HR 1363, above) that contains the same guarantee. Depending on the duration of a shutdown, service personnel could have one or more paychecks delayed until after the government resumes full operation. While U.S. troops ultimately would receive full pay, the chance of civil servants recouping missed paychecks would depend on later congressional decisions.

Voting yes: Inslee, Larsen, Dicks, McDermott, Smith

Voting no: Herrera Beutler, Hastings, McMorris Rodgers, Reichert

Senate

Gases, climate change

On a tie vote of 50-50, the Senate on Wednesday fell short of the 60 votes needed to pass a Republican measure to strip the EPA of its authority to regulate carbon emissions associated with greenhouse gases and climate change. The amendment was offered to a small-business bill (S 493) that remained in debate. The EPA last month proposed a nationwide rule to curb toxic discharges from the nation's 400-plus coal-fired power plants. The Supreme Court ruled in April 2007 that the EPA has authority under the 1970 Clean Air Act to regulate greenhouse-gas emissions. A yes vote backed the amendment.

Voting no: Maria Cantwell, D; Patty Murray, D

Presidential war powers

Voting 90-10, the Senate on Tuesday tabled (killed) a challenge by Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky., to President Obama's authority to involve the U.S. military in Libya's civil war without congressional approval. The nonbinding amendment to S 493 (above) said Obama lacks constitutional authority "to unilaterally authorize a military attack in a situation that does not involve stopping an actual or imminent threat to the nation." Under the 1973 War Powers Act, a president can deploy troops for up to 60 days without congressional approval in response to "imminent" national-security concerns. The multination military action against the Libyan regime began March 19 under authority of the United Nations. A yes vote was to portray the March 19 presidential troop deployment as constitutional.

Voting yes: Cantwell, Murray

Health-law paperwork

By a vote of 87-12, the Senate on Tuesday sent President Obama a bill (HR 4) to strip the new health law of its rule that businesses issue an IRS Form 1099 to any vendor to whom they pay at least $600 annually. Scheduled to take effect next year, the rule is intended to raise funds for preventive-care measures while helping the IRS catch tax cheats. But it has come under bipartisan assault as a paperwork burden on small businesses. The repeal would result in $22 billion in lost revenue over 10 years. To offset the loss, the bill would tighten rules for recapturing any excessive tax credits inadvertently received by middle-income families to buy health policies in state insurance exchanges. These means-tested credits are available, for example, to families of four earning up to four times the poverty level.

Voting yes: Cantwell

Voting no: Murray

Copyright 2011, Thomas Voting Reports

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