WASHINGTON– Here’s a look at how area members of Congress voted over the previous week (Aug. 3-7).
House Vote 1:
HOUSE PASSES CASH-FOR-CLUNKERS:
The House approved $2 billion for the Consumer Assistance to Recycle and Save Program (H.R. 3435), sponsored by Rep. David Obey, D-Wis., to fund the Cash for Clunkers program.
Proponents said that "consumers have spoken with their wallets, and they are saying they like this program" and that the extra funding was needed to aid sluggish car sales in the economic downturn.
Opponents called the bill "an extension of a program that has the government picking winners and losers" and said it was one more step in enshrining the U.S. as a ‘bailout Nation’.
The vote, on July 31, was 316 yeas to 109 nays. YEAS: Rep. Dan Boren D-OK (2nd)
NAYS: Rep. Tom Cole R-OK (4th), Rep. Mary Fallin R-OK (5th), Rep. Frank D. Lucas R-OK (3rd), Rep. John Sullivan R-OK (1st)
House Vote 2:
FINANCIAL FIRMS BONUSES
The House approved an amendment sponsored by Rep.
Barney Frank, D-Mass., to the Corporate and Financial Institution Compensation
Fairness Act (H.R. 3269), to protect recipients of pay bonuses from having to
return their money.
Proponents said the amendment gives "some protection against arbitrary return of bonuses" and that Congress shouldn’t allow for retroactive changes to contracts. Opponents said the amendment would allow the Securities and Exchange Commission "to dictate pay to publicly held companies."
The vote, on July 31, was 242 yeas to 178 nays.
NAYS: Rep. Dan Boren D-OK (2nd), Rep. Tom Cole R-OK (4th), Rep. Mary Fallin R-OK (5th), Rep. Frank D. Lucas R-OK (3rd), Rep. John Sullivan R-OK (1st)
House Vote 3:
COMPENSATION AT CORPORATE FINANCIAL FIRMS: The House approved the Corporate and Financial Institution Compensation Fairness Act (H.R. 3269), sponsored by Rep. Barney Frank, D-Mass., to provide for an advisory vote by shareholders on executive compensation and to regulate compensation levels.
Proponents said the bill sought to prevent the practice of awarding bonuses based on business risks.
Opponents said "this bill continues the Democrat majority’s tendency to go to
the default solution for every problem: create a government bureaucracy to make decisions better left to private citizens and private corporations."
The vote, on July 31, was 237 yeas to 185 nays. NAYS: Rep. Dan Boren D-OK (2nd), Rep. Tom Cole R-OK (4th), Rep. Mary Fallin R-OK (5th), Rep. Frank D. Lucas R-OK (3rd), Rep. John Sullivan R-OK (1st)
Senate Vote 1:
GRANTS FOR RURAL POWER PROJECTS: The Senate rejected an amendment sponsored by Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., to the Agriculture, Rural Development, Food and Drug Administration Appropriations Act (H.R. 2997) that would have eliminated funding for the Agriculture Department’s High Energy Cost Grant Program.
Proponents said the amendment would eliminate a duplicative, unnecessary program whose goals are achieved more effectively by a loan program at the Rural Utilities Service.
Opponents said the High Energy Cost Grant Program was effective because it allowed for the replacement of older or failing transmission and distribution lines, developed renewable generation and allowed for rural areas to have energy at a more affordable cost.
The vote, on Aug. 3, was 41 yeas to 55 nays. YEAS: Sen. Tom Coburn R-OK, Sen. James M. Inhofe R-OK
Senate Vote 2:
SENATE PASSES CASH-FOR-CLUNKERS: The Senate passed the CAR Save Program
Supplemental Appropriations Act (H.R. 3435) sponsored by Rep. David Obey, D-Wis., that set $2 billion supplemental appropriations for the Consumer Assistance to Recycle and Save program for fiscal 2009. Proponents called the CAR Save program, known commonly as Cash for Clunkers, "wildly popular" and noted that the $1 billion allowed for under the program originally was nearly exhausted.
Opponents noted that while the goals of the program, to boost the economy, were worthy, the $2 billion could have been returned to taxpayers to do the same thing.
The vote, on Aug. 6, was 60 yeas to 37 nays. NAYS: Sen. Tom Coburn R-OK, Sen. James M. Inhofe R-OK