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Roll call report

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Sunday, September 24, 2006

Thomas Voting Reports

WASHINGTON - Here's how area members of Congress were recorded on recent major roll call votes.

House

VOTER ID REQUIREMENT: Voting 228 for and 196 against, the House on Sept. 20 sent the Senate a Republican bill (HR 4844) requiring that by 2008 voters in federal elections would have to show a photo ID. Starting in 2010, the photo document would have to also show proof of citizenship. Those not fully identified on election day could cast provisional ballots and be granted 48 hours to comply. Absentee ballots except those from troops overseas would have to be accompanied by photocopies showing sufficient identification. The bill requires states to help poor people obtain IDs but authorizes no funds for that purpose.

A yes vote was to pass the bill.

Voting yes: Rep. Denny Rehberg, R-Mont.

Not voting: Rep. Barbara Cubin, R-Wyo.

DEMOCRATS' VOTE PLAN: Voting 196 for and 225 against, the House on Sept. 20 defeated a Democratic bid to exempt from HR 4844 (above) military voters and their families at home and abroad, the elderly, the disabled and certain Hurricane Katrina victims. The measure sought to delay the law until the federal government has provided states with funds to administer it and also until the U.S. Election Assistance Commission has ruled it fair to minorities, Native Americans, the elderly and the disabled.

A yes vote backed the Democratic motion.

Voting no: Rehberg.

Not voting: Cubin.

INTERNATIONAL BORDER TUNNELS: Voting 422 for and none against, the House on Sept. 21 sent the Senate a bill (HR 4830) providing up to 20 years' imprisonment for persons convicted of building or financing cross-border tunnels for the smuggling of illegal aliens or contraband into the United States, and up to ten years in jail for property owners convicted of authorizing such tunnels on their land.

A yes vote was to pass the bill.

Voting yes: Rehberg.

Not voting: Cubin.

9/11 COMMISSI0N PROPOSALS: Voting 225 for and 195 against, members on Sept. 21 blocked a bid by Democrats for a House vote on their bill to fully enact the 9/11 Commission's recommendations for securing America's borders. Democrats sought, for example, to add 750 immigration agents, detention officers and U.S. marshals and 25,000 beds for holding illegal aliens. The vote occurred as the House debated terms for considering HR 4830 (above) and other immigration measures.

A yes vote was to block the Democratic bill.

Voting yes: Rehberg.

Not voting: Cubin.

Senate

MEXICAN BORDER FENCE: Voting 94 for and none against, the Senate on Sept. 20 advanced a plan to build 700 miles of two-layered fencing along the nearly 2,000-mile U.S.- Mexico border, with a final vote on the House-passed bill (HR 6061) expected the following week.

The fencing project would cost at least $6.6 billion dollars to install.

The bill does not provide funding.

A yes vote was to advance the bill.

Voting yes: Sen. Max Baucus, D-Mont.; Sen. Conrad Burns, R-Mont.; Sen. Craig Thomas, R-Wyo.; Sen. Mike Enzi, R-Wyo.

OMAN TRADE AGREEMENT: Voting 62 for and 32 against, the Senate on Sept. 19 sent President Bush a bill (HR 5684) to implement a free-trade accord with the Arab Gulf state of Oman. Under the agreement, Oman interests could perform work such as cargo handling and maintenance at U.S. ports, although U.S. presidents could act to bar their involvement in the name of national security. Supporters said the pact will benefit the U.S. economy and reward a Middle Eastern ally, while critics said it lacks tough environmental and labor standards and would permit the importation of products made with slave labor.

The agreement would remove immediately all duties on industrial and consumer products traded between the two countries and eliminate textile and apparel tariffs on a product-by-product basis over five years.

All Omani farm exports to the United States would immediately become tariff-free, and tariffs on 87 percent of U.S. farm exports to Oman would be lifted immediately; remaining barriers on U.S. farm exports would be phased out over ten years.

A yes vote supported the agreement.

Voting yes: Baucus, Burns, Thomas, Enzi.

Key votes ahead

This week both chambers will take up bills that set new rules for domestic spying and military tribunals and define the extent to which the U.S. can subject prisoners in the fight against terrorism to harsh methods of interrogation.

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