Archive for October, 2011

October 15, 2011

House Votes to Rein in NLRB

H.R. 2587, Protecting Jobs From Government Interference Act, passed the House by a vote of 238-186. The bill amends the National Labor Relations Act to deny the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) any power to: (1) order an employer (or seek an order against an employer) to restore or reinstate any work, product, production line, or equipment; (2) rescind any relocation, transfer, subcontracting, outsourcing, or other change regarding the location, entity, or employer who shall be engaged in production or other business operations; or (3) require any employer to make an initial or additional investment at a particular plant, facility, or location. The bill was triggered by the pending unilateral action by the NLRB to deny Boeing the ability to build a plant in South Carolina which is not a union shop state.

Seven Republicans voted against the bill: Fitzpatrick (PA-8), Gibson (NY-20), Grimm (NY-13), LaTourette (OH-14), McKinley (WV-1), Meehan (PA-7), and Young (AK-at large). Eight Democrats voted for the bill: Barrow (GA-12), Boren (OK-2), Cooper (TN-5), Cuellar (TX-28), Matheson (UT-2), McIntyre (NC-7), Ross (AR-4), and Shuler (NC-11).

October 15, 2011

House Disapproves of Presidential Raise of Debt Limit

H.J. Res. 77 simply reads: Resolved by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled, That Congress disapproves of the President’s exercise of authority to increase the debt limit, as exercised pursuant to the certification under section 3101A(a) of title 31, United States Code.

Five Republicans, Bilbray (CA-50), Buchanan (FL-13), Dreier (CA-26), Gingrey (GA-11), and Renacci (OH-16) voted against the resolution, and four Democrats voted for it: Altmire (PA-4), Kissel (NC-8), Matheson (UT-2), and McIntyre (NC-7). Additionally, two Republicans, Ribble (WI-8) and Walsh (IL-8) voted “Present”.

October 15, 2011

House Passes Intelligence Authorization Act

H.R. 1892 passed the House by an overwhelming 384-14. The bill authorizes the non-classified expenditure of $590 million for the intelligence services, and also mandates that the Director of the National Security Agency shall be a Senate confirmed position (which is now a direct appointment by the President without Senate approval).

Three Republicans, Amash (MI-3), Duncan (TN-2), and Gibson (NY-20) joined eleven Democrats in opposition to the bill. The measure remains on the Senate Calendar for ratification.

October 15, 2011

Budget Control Act of 2011 Passes Senate, Made Law

S. 365, the Budget Control Act of 2011, passed both Houses of Congress and was signed by the President in three days. The bill provides for a number of budgetary issues, mainly the following: it places an upper limit on discretionary spending for the years 2012 – 2021, beginning with $1.043 trillion for 2012, rising to $1.234 trillion in 2021. There are a number of spending exceptions to these limits, among which are highways, defense, and disaster relief. S. 365 also requires both the Senate and the House to vote on passage of a joint resolution proposing a balanced budget amendment to the Constitution, authorizes the Treasury to borrow an additional $900 billion above the $14.294 trillion already authorized, and establishes a Joint Select Committee on Deficit Reduction.

The votes for the bill were mixed in both houses, with 66 Republican House members voting against it, 95 Democrat House members voting for it, and in the Senate, seven Democrats joined 19 Republicans against the measure.

October 15, 2011

North American-Made Energy Security Act passes House

H.R. 1938, the North American-Made Energy Security Act passed the House by a strong 279-147. The bill directs the President to make a determination on proceeding with the Keystone XL Oil Pipeline to be built between Alberta, Canada and the United States no later than Nov. 1st, 2011. The President’s permission is required in this case because it is an international matter.

Three Republicans, Bass (NH-2), Fortenberry (NE-1), and Hayworth (NY-19) voted against the measure, while 47 Democrats joined the majority for its passage. The measure remains on the Senate Calendar.

October 15, 2011

HR 1315 Amends the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform Act

H.R.1315, the Consumer Financial Protection Safety and Soundness Improvement Act of 2011, was passed in the House by a vote of 241-173. It amends the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act to authorize the Chairperson of the Financial Stability Oversight Council to issue a stay of, or set aside, any regulation issued by the Bureau of Consumer Financial Protection. Jones (NC-3) was the lone Republican to vote against the measure, while ten Democrats, Barrow (GA-12), Boren (OK-2), Chandler (KY-6), Cuellar (TX-28), Matheson (UT-2), McIntyre (NC-7), Owens (NY-23), Rahall (WV-3), Ross (AR-4), and Schrader (OR-5) voted for the bill. The act is now stalled in the Senate.

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