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Recently in Congress / How our representatives voted

Here are the recent 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. 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

Project Labor Agreements -- The House approved an amendment, sponsored by Rep. Steven LaTourette, R-Ohio, to the Military Construction and Veterans Affairs and Related Agencies Appropriations Act. The amendment would strike a bill provision to end funding for the Department of Veterans Affairs to potentially establish project labor agreements for its construction projects.

The vote June 13 was 204 yeas to 203 nays.

Rep. Brian Higgins, D-Buffalo, A; Rep. Kathleen C. Hochul, D-Hamburg, Y; Rep. Tom Reed, R-Corning, N; Rep. Louise M. Slaughter, D-Fairport, A.

Prevailing Wages for Military Construction -- The House rejected an amendment, sponsored by Rep. Justin Amash, R-Mich., to the Military Construction and Veterans Affairs and Related Agencies Appropriations Act. The amendment would have blocked funding in the bill for enforcement of the Davis-Bacon Act requirements for the government to pay prevailing wages to workers on its construction projects.

The vote June 13 was 178 yeas to 232 nays.

Higgins, A; Hochul, N; Reed, Y; Slaughter, A.

War Powers Resolution -- The House approved an amendment, sponsored by Rep. Brad Sherman, D-Calif., to the Military Construction and Veterans Affairs and Related Agencies Appropriations Act. The amendment would block funding provided by the bill from being used in contravention of the War Powers Resolution.

Sherman said the amendment was needed to prevent presidents from sending the military "into battle for unlimited duration, for any purpose, unlimited in scope," in violation of the rule of law.

The vote June 13 was 248 yeas to 163 nays.

Higgins, A; Hochul, N; Reed, N; Slaughter, A.

Funding Military Construction, Veterans Affairs -- The House passed the Military Construction and Veterans Affairs and Related Agencies Appropriations Act, sponsored by Rep. John Culberson, R-Texas. The bill would fund military construction projects and the Department of Veterans Affairs in fiscal 2012.

The vote Tuesday was 411 yeas to 5 nays.

Higgins, Y; Hochul, Y; Reed, Y; Slaughter, A.

Preventing E. Coli Outbreaks -- The House rejected an amendment, sponsored by Rep. Rosa DeLauro, D-Conn., to the Agriculture, Rural Development, Food and Drug Administration, and Related Agencies Appropriations Act. The amendment would have added $1 million for the Center for Food Safety and Applied Nutrition and offset the increase by cutting $1 million from administration accounts at Agriculture.

DeLauro said the increase would help "protect the American public from E. coli sickness originating from FDA-regulated foods." An opponent, Rep. Jack Kingston, R-Ga., said the amendment was not serious and would not help the FDA improve food safety.

The vote Wednesday was 193 yeas to 226 nays.

Higgins, Y; Hochul, Y; Reed, N; Slaughter, A.

Project Contracting -- The House approved an amendment, sponsored by Rep. Pete Sessions, R-Texas, to the Agriculture, Rural Development, Food and Drug Administration, and Related Agencies Appropriations Act. The amendment would strike a provision barring funding for private-public competitions for contracts granted by agencies and allowing for A-76 contracting-out conversions for any program.

The vote Wednesday was 226 yeas to 199 nays.

Higgins, N; Hochul, N; Reed, Y; Slaughter, A.

Cutting Agriculture Services -- The House rejected an amendment, sponsored by Rep. Jason Chaffetz, R-Utah, to the Agriculture, Rural Development, Food and Drug Administration, and Related Agencies Appropriations Act. The amendment would have cut funding for the Agricultural Research Service by $650 million, for the Economic Research Service by $43 million, for the National Agriculture Statistics Service by $85 million and for Food for Peace Title II grants by $1.040 billion.

The vote Wednesday was 83 yeas to 338 nays.

Higgins, N; Hochul, N; Reed, N; Slaughter, A.

Increasing Food Aid to Seniors -- The House rejected an amendment, sponsored by Rep. Laura Richardson, D-Calif., to the Agriculture, Rural Development, Food and Drug Administration, and Related Agencies Appropriations Act. The amendment would have increased funding for the Commodity Assistance Program by $10 million and offset the increase by cutting expenses at the Farm Service Agency.

The vote Wednesday was 200 yeas to 224 nays.

Higgins, Y; Hochul, Y; Reed, N; Slaughter, A.

Funding for Tobacco Center -- The House rejected an amendment, sponsored by Rep. Cliff Stearns, R-Fla., to the Agriculture, Rural Development, Food and Drug Administration, and Related Agencies Appropriations Act. The amendment would have cut funding for the Center for Tobacco Products by $392 million and used the savings to cut the deficit.

The vote Wednesday was 164 yeas to 257 nays.

Higgins, N; Hochul, N; Reed, N; Slaughter, A.

Funding Ethanol Infrastructure -- The House approved an amendment, sponsored by Rep. Jeff Flake, R-Ariz., to the Agriculture, Rural Development, Food and Drug Administration, and Related Agencies Appropriations Act. The amendment would bar funding for the construction of ethanol blender gas pumps or storage facilities for ethanol.

The vote Thursday was 283 yeas to 128 nays.

Higgins, Y; Hochul, Y; Reed, Y; Slaughter, A.

Funding FDA, Agriculture -- The House passed the Agriculture, Rural Development, Food and Drug Administration, and Related Agencies Appropriations Act, sponsored by Rep. Jack Kingston, R-Ga. The bill would fund the Food and Drug Administration, Agriculture Department and related agencies in fiscal 2012.

The vote Thursday was 217 yeas to 203 nays.

Higgins, N; Hochul, N; Reed, Y; Slaughter, A.

> SENATE

New District Judge for New Jersey -- The Senate confirmed the nomination of Claire C. Cecchi to serve as a U.S. District judge for the District of New Jersey.

The vote June 13 was unanimous with 98 yeas.

Sen. Kirsten E. Gillibrand, D, Y; Sen. Charles E. Schumer, D, Y.

Ethanol Tax Credit -- The Senate rejected cloture on an amendment, sponsored by Sen. Tom Coburn, R-Okla., to the Economic Development Revitalization Act. The amendment would have repealed the volumetric tax credit for ethanol production.

The vote June 13 was 40 yeas to 59 nays, short of the 60 votes required to approve cloture.

Gillibrand, N; Schumer, N.

Ethanol Tax Credit -- The Senate approved an amendment, sponsored by Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif., to the Economic Development Revitalization Act. The amendment would repeal the federal tax credit for ethanol production.

The vote Thursday was 73 yeas to 27 nays.

Gillibrand, Y; Schumer, Y.

Funding Ethanol Infrastructure -- The Senate rejected an amendment, sponsored by Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., to the Economic Development Revitalization Act. The amendment would have barred funding for the construction of ethanol blender gas pumps or storage facilities for ethanol.

The vote Thursday was 41 yeas to 59 nays.

Gillibrand, N; Schumer, N.

Information for this column is supplied by Targeted News Service.