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Last week in Congress /How our representatives voted

WASHINGTON -- Here are the votes of Western New York's four members of the House of Representatives and the state's two U.S. senators on major legislation in Congress last week. A "Y" means the member voted for the measure; an "N" means the member voted against the measure; an "A" means the member did not vote.

> HOUSE

* Manufacturing Technology Competitiveness Act -- The House on Wednesday passed a bill sponsored by Rep. Vernon Ehlers, R-Mich., that establishes an interagency committee to coordinate federal manufacturing development programs. The bill increases funding authorization for manufacturing education, and expands outreach to small and medium-sized manufacturers. It also reauthorizes most of the National Institute of Standards and Technology programs.

The vote was 394 yeas to 24 nays.

Rep. Brian Higgins, D-Buffalo, Y; Rep. John R. "Randy" Kuhl Jr., R-Hammondsport, Y; Rep. Thomas M. Reynolds, R-Clarence, Y; Rep. Louise M. Slaughter, D-Fairport, Y.

* School Readiness Act (Head Start Reauthorization) -- The House on Thursday accepted an amendment sponsored by Rep. John Boehner, R-Ohio, that allows religious groups operating Head Start programs to use faith as a criteria for hiring and still receive federal funding.

The vote was 220 yeas to 196 nays.

Higgins, N; Kuhl, Y; Reynolds, Y; Slaughter, N.

* School Readiness Act (Head Start Reauthorization) -- The House on Thursday passed a bill sponsored by Rep. Michael Castle, R-Del., that reauthorizes the Head Start program and revamps the fiscal and educational requirements. To be considered priority grantees, programs will be required to set up a liaison with local school districts for curriculum and transition; ensure that half of the teachers in the program have at least an associate degree; and must have a plan in place that dovetails with state guidelines. All programs will be required to produce fiscal reports annually.

The vote was 231 yeas to 184 nays.

Higgins, N; Kuhl, Y; Reynolds, Y; Slaughter, N.

> SENATE

* Agriculture, Rural Development, and Food and Drug Administration Appropriations Act for Fiscal 2006 -- The Senate on Tuesday accepted an amendment sponsored by Sen. Ben Nelson, D-Neb., that prohibits the Department of Agriculture from using funds to implement a rule to allow some beef imports from Japan as long as Japan does not allow U.S. beef to be imported there.

The vote was 72 yeas to 26 nays.

Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton, D, Y; Sen. Charles E. Schumer, D, Y.

* Agriculture, Rural Development and Food and Drug Administration Appropriations Act for Fiscal 2006 -- The Senate on Thursday passed a bill that provides $100.2 billion in funding -- about $600 million more than President Bush requested.

The bill includes: $40.7 billion for the food stamps program; $12.4 billion for child nutrition programs; $6.2 billion for rural electric and telecommunications loans; $5.3 billion for Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for the Women, Infants and Children (WIC) program; $4.9 billion for rural housing loans; $3.7 billion for farm loans; and $2.4 billion for agricultural research and extension programs. The bill now goes to conference to reconcile the differences with the House version.

The vote was 97 yeas to 2 nays. Clinton, Y; Schumer, Y.

* Military Construction and Veterans Affairs Appropriations Act for Fiscal 2006 -- The Senate on Thursday passed a bill that provides $83 billion in funding -- about $1.3 billion over the president's request.

The bill includes: $70 billion for the Department of Veteran's Affairs, of which $23.3 billion is for medical services; $6.1 billion for military construction including $4.9 billion for active duty construction; and $4.1 billion for family housing. The bill now goes to conference to reconcile the differences with the House version.

The vote was 98 yeas to 0 nays.

Clinton, Y; Schumer, Y.

Information for this column is supplied by Targeted News Service.

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