[SeMissourian.com] Fair ~ 30°F  
River stage: 14.42 ft. Falling
Thursday, Nov. 27, 2014

Opinion: Congressional votes

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

There were no key votes in the Senate this week.

House votes

ST. CROIX NATIONAL HISTORIC SITE: The House failed to pass the Castle Nugent National Historic Site Establishment Act (H.R. 3726), sponsored by Del. Donna Christensen, D-V.I., that would have established the Castle Nugent in St. Croix, U.S. Virgin Islands, as a new unit of the National Park Service. Proponents said: "The lands to be included in this new historic site represent the largest undeveloped natural area remaining on the island, and there is very strong local support for protecting it as parkland for future generations. The new park encompasses about 11,500 acres, three-quarters of which are submerged lands containing one of the largest and healthiest coral reef systems in the region." Opponents said that there is an estimated $9 billion in maintenance backlog in the National Park Service: "Consequently, it becomes very difficult to justify why additional land acquisition is advisable at this particular time. How do we explain to taxpayers that, while unemployment soars, their government is conspiring to buy beach-front property in the Caribbean? The proposal was brought up under special House rules that required a two-thirds majority to pass, which it did not achieve. The vote, on Jan. 20, was 241 yeas to 173 nays.

YEAS: Rep. Russ Carnahan D-MO (3rd), Rep. Wm. Lacy Clay Jr. D-MO (1st), Rep. Ike Skelton D-MO (4th)

NAYS: Rep. Roy Blunt R-MO (7th), Rep. Jo Ann Emerson R-MO (8th), Rep. Sam Graves R-MO (6th), Rep. Blaine Luetkemeyer R-MO (9th)

NOT VOTING: Rep. W. Todd Akin R-MO (2nd), Rep. Emanuel Cleaver D-MO (5th)

IDAHO WILDERNESS WATER RESOURCES PROTECTION: The House failed to pass the Idaho Wilderness Water Resources Protection Act (H.R. 3838), sponsored by Rep. Michael Simpson, R-Idaho, to authorize the continued use of water diversions in Idaho's Frank Church River and for the continued operation, maintenance and reconstruction of associated facility. Proponents said that many permits have expired, leaving those who own the water diversions without options for mechanically maintaining their water systems and that the legislation would give the Agriculture Secretary the authority to issue special-use authorizations to owners of specific water storage, transport or diversion facilities within wilderness areas if the owner could prove the facility met certain criteria. Opponents said: "This legislation has been very narrowly tailored to apply to a small number of sites that are within the wilderness areas and meet a very specific criteria. We ought to be wise enough to devise a conservation practice for our lands without creating unintended consequences to neighboring families that were poorly thought out when the designation was originally made." The proposal was brought up under special House rules that required a two-thirds majority to pass, which it did not achieve. The vote, on Jan. 20, was 225 yeas to 191 nays.

YEAS: Rep. Roy Blunt R-MO (7th), Rep. Jo Ann Emerson R-MO (8th), Rep. Sam Graves R-MO (6th), Rep. Blaine Luetkemeyer R-MO (9th)

NAYS: Rep. Russ Carnahan D-MO (3rd), Rep. Wm. Lacy Clay Jr. D-MO (1st), Rep. Ike Skelton D-MO (4th)

NOT VOTING: Rep. W. Todd Akin R-MO (2nd), Rep. Emanuel Cleaver D-MO (5th)

TAOS PUEBLO INDIAN WATER RIGHTS: The House passed the Taos Pueblo Indian Water Rights Settlement Act (H.R. 3254), sponsored by Rep. Ben Ray Lujan, D-N.M., to approve the Taos Pueblo Indian Water Rights Settlement Agreement to provide access to clean, potable water, as well as to support sanitary wastewater systems. Proponents said: "Under this settlement agreement, funds would be authorized for the Taos Settlement Fund, the Taos Infrastructure and Watershed Fund, and for various projects that are mutually beneficial to the pueblo and non-pueblo parties. Indian water rights settlements are consistent with the Federal trust responsibility to Native Americans and with a policy of promoting Indian self-determination and economic self-sufficiency." Opponents said: "The most critical missing element is a clear, direct answer from the Department of Justice, through the Attorney General, on whether these settlements represent a fair resolution to the taxpayer." The vote, on Jan. 21, was 254 yeas to 158 nays.

YEAS: Rep. Russ Carnahan D-MO (3rd), Rep. Wm. Lacy Clay Jr. D-MO (1st)

NAYS: Rep. W. Todd Akin R-MO (2nd), Rep. Roy Blunt R-MO (7th), Rep. Jo Ann Emerson R-MO (8th), Rep. Sam Graves R-MO (6th), Rep. Blaine Luetkemeyer R-MO (9th), Rep. Ike Skelton D-MO (4th)

NOT VOTING: Rep. Emanuel Cleaver D-MO (5th)

AAMODT LITIGATION SETTLEMENT: The House passed the Aamodt Litigation Settlement Act (H.R. 3342), sponsored by Rep. Ben Ray Lujan, D-N.M., to authorize the Interior Secretary to develop water infrastructure in the Rio Grande basin and to approve the settlement of water rights claims by New Mexico's Nambe, Pojoaque, San Ildefonso and Tesuque pueblos. Proponents said: "This legislation would settle the water rights of four pueblos in New Mexico under an agreement with the State of New Mexico, Santa Fe County, the city of Santa Fe, and individual water users and would end 44 years of active litigation involving over 2,500 defendants by ratifying the settlement agreement and funding a regional water system for all water users in the valley." Opponents said: "There is an element that needs to be highlighted because settlement agreements generally at the end cost money, and the missing part of these agreements on these three bills that we are considering today is, what is the cost to the taxpayer? We need to have transparency when we make that decision, and that unfortunately, was not afforded to us." The vote, on Jan. 21, was 249 yeas to 153 nays.

YEAS: Rep. Russ Carnahan D-MO (3rd), Rep. Wm. Lacy Clay Jr. D-MO (1st)

NAYS: Rep. W. Todd Akin R-MO (2nd), Rep. Roy Blunt R-MO (7th), Rep. Jo Ann Emerson R-MO (8th), Rep. Sam Graves R-MO (6th), Rep. Blaine Luetkemeyer R-MO (9th)

NOT VOTING: Rep. Emanuel Cleaver D-MO (5th), Rep. Ike Skelton D-MO (4th)

WHITE MOUNTAIN APACHE TRIBE WATER RIGHTS: The House passed the White Mountain Apache Tribe Water Rights Quantification Act (H.R. 1065), sponsored by Rep. Ann Kirkpatrick, D-Ariz., to resolve water rights claims of Arizona's White Mountain Apache Tribe. Proponents said: "Coming to closure on water rights is imperative to protect the water supply for thousands of people in Arizona. Equally important is the fulfillment of commitments made to the White Mountain Apache people to provide them a clean reliable water supply, and to repair their irrigation system, which has fallen into disrepair." Opponents said that because of the cost of enacting the legislation and because of recent Congressional spending and the potential cost to taxpayers, the legislation was "simply something that we need to have more information on before we pass judgment on it." The vote, on Jan. 21, was 262 yeas to 147 yeas.

YEAS: Rep. Russ Carnahan D-MO (3rd), Rep. Wm. Lacy Clay Jr. D-MO (1st)

NAYS: Rep. W. Todd Akin R-MO (2nd), Rep. Roy Blunt R-MO (7th), Rep. Jo Ann Emerson R-MO (8th), Rep. Sam Graves R-MO (6th), Rep. Blaine Luetkemeyer R-MO (9th), Rep. Ike Skelton D-MO (4th)

NOT VOTING: Rep. Emanuel Cleaver D-MO (5th)

CONDOLENCES TO HAITI: The House passed a resolution (H.Res. 1021), sponsored by Rep. Barbara Lee, D-Calif., to express condolences of the House for the nation of Haiti in the aftermath of an earthquake that devastated the nation on Jan. 12. According to the resolution, the House commended efforts of the American people and the Haitian-American community to provide relief to families and friends. The resolution urged the Inter-American Development Bank, International Monetary Fund and all other regional and international institutions and countries to immediately suspend further debt payment requirements, and to develop processes to cancel all remaining debt. The House urged President Obama to continue to make available to United States agencies, nongovernmental organizations, private voluntary organizations, regional institutions and United Nations agencies the resources necessary to provide, when the emergency subsides, assistance and coordination with other donors to begin the reconstruction of Haiti, to undertake comprehensive assessments of the long-term needs for recovery and development in Haiti and lead coordination efforts with international actors who share in the goal of a better future for Haiti. The vote, on Jan. 21, was 411 yeas to 1 nay.

YEAS: Rep. W. Todd Akin R-MO (2nd), Rep. Roy Blunt R-MO (7th), Rep. Russ Carnahan D-MO (3rd), Rep. Wm. Lacy Clay Jr. D-MO (1st), Rep. Jo Ann Emerson R-MO (8th), Rep. Sam Graves R-MO (6th), Rep. Blaine Luetkemeyer R-MO (9th), Rep. Ike Skelton D-MO (4th)

NOT VOTING: Rep. Emanuel Cleaver D-MO (5th)

NUCLEAR FORENSICS AND ATTRIBUTION: The House agreed to the Senate version of the Nuclear Forensics and Attribution Act (H.R. 730), sponsored by Rep. Adam Schiff, D-Calif., that would increase efforts of the Homeland Security Department to develop capabilities to permit attribution of the source of nuclear materials. Proponents said the legislation was targeted to ensure the government has the capacity to quickly determine the source of nuclear material should terrorists detonate a nuclear weapon or a dirty bomb in the U.S. and that a reliable nuclear forensics capability was essential for key decision-makers to respond in a timely manner. The proponents said: "If terrorists knew that we could trace a nuclear or dirty bomb back to them, they may well think twice about attacking us. The potential deterrent value of achieving a robust national nuclear forensics capability is immeasurable." The vote, on Jan. 21, was 397 yeas to 10 nays.

YEAS: Rep. W. Todd Akin R-MO (2nd), Rep. Roy Blunt R-MO (7th), Rep. Russ Carnahan D-MO (3rd), Rep. Wm. Lacy Clay Jr. D-MO (1st), Rep. Jo Ann Emerson R-MO (8th), Rep. Sam Graves R-MO (6th), Rep. Blaine Luetkemeyer R-MO (9th), Rep. Ike Skelton D-MO (4th)

NOT VOTING: Rep. Emanuel Cleaver D-MO (5th)


Fact Check
See inaccurate information in this story?


Respond to this story

Posting a comment requires free registration. If you already have an account on seMissourian.com or semoball.com, enter your username and password below. Otherwise, click here to register.

Username:

Password:  (Forgot your password?)

Your comments:
Please be respectful of others and try to stay on topic.