January 4, 2011

A Daily Watch Over Congress

If we are to survive as a nation, we need to work to ensure those whom we entrust in government do that which is right and proper for a constitutional republic.This site serves to keep a daily watch over what our elected servants in Congress do, and whether they remain in step with the Constitutional principles laid down by our Founders.

I will not post ordinary proceedings or bills that are concerned with naming post offices etc. Nor shall I post procedural voting records; only votes on bills and amendments that reflect how Congress acts in matters significant to Tea Party principles. I will try to post the daily legislation the next morning, or the next day at the latest. I will update the score cards once per week (usually Sunday).

This is not a discussion or debating forum, so please limit your comments to corrections and intelligent analysis of the subject matter. Comments are moderated prior to posting.

I have score cards displayed on separate pages for members of Congress, rating them as to how they vote on vital issues in my estimation. Another page displays the significant legislation that has been voted on.
Thank you for visiting; comments and suggestions of how to improve this site are welcome.
March 9, 2012

House Passes Academic Freedom Act

The House passed H.R. 2117, the Protecting Academic Freedom in Higher Education Act, a measure that removes unnecessary and burdensome federal regulations on colleges and students, especially in the definition of credit-hour, and State accreditation.

The bill was passed by a vote of 303 – 114, with all Republicans voting for the measure.

March 9, 2012

House Passes Oil Shale Bill

The House passed H.R. 3408, a bill which directs the Secretary of the Interior to proceed with the sale of mineral leases on federal land for oil shale, and also directs the Secretary to deem the environmental and energy regulations as of November 2008 as the controlling regulations in the exploration and exploitation of oil shale, notwithstanding any later regulations made.

The measure was passed by a vote of 237 – 187, with 21 Republicans voting against the bill, and 21 Democrats voting for the bill.

March 9, 2012

Senate Moves to Waive Budget Control Act Provisions

In debating S. 1813, the Federal Transportation funding bill, known as Moving Ahead for Progress in the 21st Century Act, a motion was passed by a vote of 66-31 to waive the budgetary restrictions of the Budget Control Act, capping discretionary spending. In effect, the motion renders the Budget Control Act meaningless in controlling the growth of Federal spending.

Republican Senators Alexander (R-TN), Blunt (R-MO), Boozman (R-AR), Brown (R-MA), Cochran (R-MS), Collins (R-ME), Heller (R-NV), Hoeven (R-ND), Hutchison (R-TX), Inhofe (R-OK), Shelby (R-AL), Snowe (R-ME), Vitter (R-LA), and Wicker (R-MS) voted to waive budgetary restrictions, while all Democrats voted for the motion except Warner of Virginia.

March 9, 2012

Senate Rejects Keystone Pipeline Approval Amendment

The Senate rejected Amendment 1537 to S. 1813, the Federal Transportation Act, a measure that would override executive orders to stop the building of the Keystone XL Pipeline from Canada. Even though the vote tally was 56-42, it did not pass the 3/5 majority requirement in the face of a Democrat filibuster.

Eleven Democrats joined all Republicans in support of the amendment – Baucus (D-MT), Begich (D-AK), Casey (D-PA), Conrad (D-ND), Hagan (D-NC), Landrieu (D-LA), Manchin (D-WV), McCaskill (D-MO), Pryor (D-AR), Tester (D-MT), Webb (D-VA).

March 9, 2012

Senate Rejects Keystone Pipeline Restrictions Amendment

The Senate, by a vote of 33-65, rejected Senate Amendment 1817, which provides for the implementation of the Keystone XL Pipeline from Canada, providing that the oil transported is not subsequently exported, and that all materials in the construction are made in the US. This was seen as a ploy by unions to force union labor in the construction, therefore all 33 votes for the amendment were by Democrats beholden to union interests.

March 9, 2012

Senate and House Pass Insider Trading Bill

The Senate passed S. 2038, a bill which prohibits members of Congress, employees of Congress, and other Federal employees  from using nonpublic information derived from their official positions for personal benefit, and for other purposes. The measure requires most federal employees to submit financial disclosure reports within 30 days of trading in stocks and bonds, and prohibits them from trading in companies in which their official acts have an interest. An amendment to the bill prohibits bonuses be given to executives of FannieMae and FreddieMac while those agencies are in conservatorship.

The Senate passed the measure by a vote of 96-3, with Senators Bingaman (D-NM), Burr (R-NC), and Coburn (R-OK) dissenting.

The House passed the same bill by a vote of 417-2, with Republicans John Campbell (CA-48) and Rob Woodall (GA-7) voting nay.

The dissenting voters based their votes on principle, saying that the law was an affront to honest Congressmen, assuming that they would engage in insider trading without evidence. There already exist laws and ethics codes under which they can be prosecuted, given positive evidence.

February 14, 2012

House Passes Line Item Veto Bill

The House passed HR 3521, a bill which allows the President to rescind  any part of a spending bill, and upon the rescission being confirmed by both houses of Congress, the portion cut from the bill would be applied to the deficit.

The measure passed in a mixed partisan vote, 254 – 173, with 197 Republicans and 57 Democrats voting for it, and 41 Republicans and 132 Democrats against.

February 4, 2012

House Passes Budget Baseline Bill

The House passed HR 3578, a bill to amend the Balanced Budget and Emergency Deficit Control Act of 1985 to reform the budget baseline. The measure provides that for any program of more than $50 million, the anticipated expenditures in the following year shall be that of the current year unless explicitly raised by a Congressional action. It further mandates that the CBO (Congressional Budget Office) estimate tax revenues in budget projections up to nine years in the future at current levels. The intent of the bill is to bring to a halt the automatic rise in spending from year to year, and forestall attempts by spendthrifts in Congress and the administration to claim a spending cut when the rate of growth in a program is merely slowed down rather than actually cut in raw numbers.

All Republicans voted for the bill, along with four Democrats: Barrow (GA-12), Green (TX-29), Matheson (UT-2), and McIntyre (NC-7).

February 2, 2012

House Votes to Limit Welfare Cash Usage

HR 3567, the Welfare Integrity Now for Children and Families Act of 2011, was overwhelmingly passed in the House. The measure prohibits State welfare agencies  from allowing the use of cash assistance debit cards in strip clubs, casinos, and liquor stores.

159 Democrats joined 236 Republicans in support of the bill, while one Republican, Justin Amash (MI-3), joined 26 Democrats in opposition to the measure.

February 2, 2012

House Bars COLA Increase for Congress

The House voted overwhelmingly for HR 3835, which bars any automatic increase of pay to members of Congress and their employees for the next two years, ending December 31, 2013.  Cost of living increases of Congressional pay has been a regular feature for more than 50 years, and technically circumvents the Constitutional provision against Congress voting themselves a pay increase within the same term. This bill suspends that automatic increase.

Seventy-two Democrats joined 237 Republicans in support of the bill, while Republicans Bartlett (MD-6) and Young (AK-at large) joined 115 Democrats against the measure.

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