Congressman McClintock Vote Notes
Congressman McClintock posts on his website every vote he has cast in Congress, as well as vote notes detailing his thoughts about particular bills.
The Congressman's vote notes and vote record for the 113th Congress (2013 - 2014) are below. Vote notes and records for previous Congresses follow.
Vote Notes 113th Congress (2013 - 2014)
10/23/2013 HR 3080 - Water Resource Reform and Development Act: YES. A legitimate purpose of government is to superintend the infrastructure upon which commercial intercourse depends, including the construction and maintenance of a network of interstate highways and waterways and international harbors and airports.
One aspect of federal involvement in this infrastructure is through the civil works program of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers that began in 1824 with the survey of roads and canals.
Today, that program is a mess. It has become seriously detached from its core mission. It has become hamstrung by regulations. It has accreted a $60 billion backlog of unfunded and largely obsolete projects. The “grab-bag” nature of this program is a breeding ground for waste.
HR 3080 makes some long-overdue reforms. While it authorizes 23 new projects for later funding, it also removes authorization for $12 billion of superannuated projects from the backlog. It caps the endless environmental review process that has needlessly inflated costs and delayed project delivery. It increases the leveraging of local funds and expedites the use of Harbor Trust Funds for harbor dredging.
I am concerned that the bill adds several projects that depart from the Corps’ focus on infrastructure, and believe that the cost-share arrangement for the Olmstead Lock and Dam project in Kentucky sets a terrible precedent. I am also concerned with features of the bill that would distract from the federal nexus required of federal projects.
Although I would ultimately like to see the Corps refocused on its core mission to provide vital infrastructure that is truly interstate or international in nature and fully shift its financing from taxpayers to project beneficiaries, in balance the measure is an improvement.
10/16/2013 (Roll #550) HR 2775: NO. House Republicans have fought to protect the American people from the negative effects that Obamacare is already having on the accessibility, affordability and quality of American health care.
Senate Democrats, backed by the President, refused to resolve the differences between the two houses through the process of negotiation and compromise that is essential to any bicameral legislative system. As a result, the system seized up and produced a prolonged stalemate, a partial government shutdown and a looming debt crisis. Worse, unlike previous presidents who acted to minimize the damage caused by such an impasse, this President cynically acted to maximize public suffering and threatened to default on the nation’s sovereign debt.
I believe the measure presented to the House tonight trades short-term relief for long-term suffering. It relieves the immediate economic damage of the shutdown that has fallen particularly hard on the gateway communities surrounding our national forests and parks, and it will calm credit markets roiled by the dysfunction that caused this impasse. This relief is much to be desired, and could have been achieved by the conference process sought by the House on September 30th.
I fear adoption of this bill will establish a precedent that will produce long-term harm that will far exceed any immediate relief. As a practical matter, the power of the purse will have shifted from the representatives of the people to the executive. The executive bureaucracies will be freed to churn out ever more outlandish regulations with no effective congressional review or check through the purse. The executive branch will set spending levels and whenever a fiscal deadline approaches, the Senate can simply refuse to negotiate with the House on any measure that does not meet its demands until Congress is faced with the Hobson’s choice of another shut-down or a default.
The debt will continue to mount, the restraints on government waste will continue to weaken, and the economic prosperity of the nation will continue to slowly bleed away.
As much as I share and respect the desire of those supporting this measure to end an immediate crisis, I fear it sets in motion a much bigger fiscal and healthcare crisis in the years ahead. For that reason, I have voted NO on HR 2775.
9/9/2013 (Roll #448) HR 2052 – Global Investment in American Jobs Act: NO. This is a million dollar study to tell us why America is no longer competitive on the world jobs market. A Chinese businessman recently told me that for free: America has an export/import problem – for the last 30 years, we have been exporting Capitalism and importing Socialism. There. Just saved a million dollars.
7/24/2013 (Roll #414) HR 2397 -- FY 2014 Defense Appropriations Act: NO. This was a close call for me, with the deciding factor being that I cannot in good conscience vote to continue funding for the NSA to seize the phone records of millions of Americans without warrant. The good provisions in the bill include prohibitions against involvement in the Syrian conflict without Congressional approval; limitations on aid to Egypt and assistance for Israel’s Iron Dome. The bad provisions in the bill include funding $22 billion ABOVE the FY 2013 post sequester level, and continued aid to the corrupt regimes of Pakistan and Afghanistan. In balance, it was supportable with the Amash Amendment to require a warrant for NSA phone record seizures; without that Amendment it crosses a very bright Constitutional line.
7/24/2013 (Roll #412) AMASH AMENDMENT TO HR 2397 – Requiring a Warrant for NSA Seizure of Phone Records: YES. This amendment ends NSA’s warrantless seizure of Americans’ phone records. The Fourth Amendment requires that before the government may seize a person’s private records, it must first show there is probable cause to believe that person has committed a crime and specify what the government is looking for. Yet this critical tenet of our Bill of Rights has been pushed aside in the name of national security. Yes, it would be easier to catch terrorists without the Fourth Amendment -- still easier if we could station a soldier in every home without the Third Amendment. But we draw some very clear Constitutional lines beyond which the government is forbidden to tread, lest we start down a very slippery slope – as Franklin warned, trading essential liberty for temporary safety until we end up losing both and deserving neither. The requirement of a search warrant BEFORE seizing a person’s records is one of those lines. This amendment restores it.
7/19/2013 (Roll #374) HR 5 – Student Success Act: YES. Let’s start with some education basics: schools run best when teachers are in charge of their students; principals are in charge of their teachers; and parents are in charge of their principals through their local school boards. The more these prerogatives are usurped by state and federal governments, the worse the schools have performed. The biggest contribution the federal government could make would be to get its nose out of our classrooms. This bill gets us closer to that objective by gutting the failed Bush program called “No Child Left Behind,” restoring flexibility to states and communities to assess needs and apply solutions, and blocking Obama’s deplorable one-size-fits-all “Common Core” agenda. Although the bill is still far more federal involvement in our schools than I would like to see, it is a huge improvement over the status quo.
7/17/2013 (Roll #361 and 363) HR 2667 and HR 2668 - Obamacare Individual and Employer Mandate Delays: YES. These bills came in response to the President’s assertion that he can nullify laws by refusing to faithfully execute them, this time as applied to the Obamacare employer mandate. Proponents of these bills argue that it is grossly unfair to excuse employers of the mandate to provide insurance while not also excusing employees of the mandate to obtain insurance, sentiments I certainly agree with. I also wholeheartedly agree that only Congress has the Constitutional authority to alter laws once they are enacted. Both sentiments favor evenly balanced Congressional action – not one-sided Presidential fiats. However, I also believe the people have a right to the faithful execution of their laws so that they can judge those who enacted them prior to elections. What to do? It comes down to this: anything that can delay a train wreck is a good thing and Obamacare is a train wreck.
7/11/2013 (Roll #353) HR2642 - Farm Bill: NO. The good news is that this bill eliminates the 1938 and 1949 farm supports that provide direct payments to farmers for the sole purpose of limiting production and keeping your grocery prices artificially high. The bad news is that it replaces this folly with new permanent programs that force taxpayers to indemnify farmers against virtually all risks – measured against today’s abnormally high prices. That means if prices recede to their historic norm – taxpayers would be on the hook for even more than they’re paying for the old farm programs. I believe we should clear away this entire New Deal failure and allow farmers to accept the risks and reap the rewards of their own decisions once again. I voted NO accordingly.
6/20/2013 (Roll #286) HR1947 - Farm Bill: NO. The Farm Bill is now before us, a measure originating in the House of Representatives whose majority was elected on a clear mandate to stop wasting money. Yet all this bill does is to continue to waste money. Yes, it tightens up a little on automatic eligibility for the food stamp program and that’s a good thing. Yet this modest reform is a poor substitute for the complete overhaul that is desperately needed. Full House floor remarks.
6/6/2013 (Roll #211) HR 2217 – Department of Homeland Security Appropriations Act of 2014: YES. I have voted against appropriations for this Department in the past in part because of concerns over its administration and particularly the abusive conduct of the Transportation Safety Administration. While I am far from satisfied by the conduct of the department, provisions of this bill addressing its excessive purchases of ammunition and disinterest in securing our borders begin to point us back in the right direction and I believe justify an AYE vote.
6/4/2013 (Roll #193) HR 2216 – Military Construction and Veterans Affairs Appropriations Act: YES. This is the annual appropriation for military construction and veterans affairs and reflects a core function of the federal government. Although I strongly object to funding for the luxurious NATO headquarters (which a very good amendment by Congressman Paul Broun attempted to remove), that is not sufficient reason to oppose the entire package.
5/23/2013 (Roll #183) HR 1911 – Smarter Solutions for Students Act: YES. One of the great tragedies of the “I’m from the government and I’m here to help you” movement is the damage it has done to students. By throwing billions of dollars a year in tuition assistance into the mix, government has vastly inflated the cost of a college education. (Here’s a surprise: if you throw money at colleges, they’ll take it.) In order to cope with this government-induced price spiral, it then offers young people teaser-rate loans that they can’t possibly repay and then sends them into a dismal job market carrying crushing debt. The student loan program is now in danger of defaulting on billions of dollars of student debt and the interest rates it arbitrarily sets do not reflect market conditions. This bill at least links student loans to actual real-world interest rates, giving students more accurate price signals of the actual cost of the loans they are taking out, and protecting taxpayers by assuring that at least some risk and inflation is being built back into the rates.
4/26/2013 (Roll #128) HR 527 – Responsible Helium Administration and Stewardship Act: YES. This measure winds down the Federal Helium Reserve that was set up in 1925 to control the helium market in order to deny foes and assure ourselves an ample supply of the stuff for the cutting-edge military aviation technology of – wait for it – the dirigible. Since then, it has been a source of sweetheart contracts for various companies that obtain helium at below market costs from this taxpayer subsidized reserve. Because it controls such a large portion of the world market, its expiration next year would create a massive dislocation. What to do? This bill gradually releases the reserve into the market at auction and then phases out this obsolete program for all but a minimal interest the government still has for this element.
4/26/2013 (Roll #125) H.R. 1765 – Reducing Flight Delays Act of 2013: YES. This measure brings some sanity back to the management of sequester cuts by allowing the FAA the flexibility to use $253 million from another account to ensure the continued operations of the air traffic control system. Still virtually untouched is the just under $200 million “Essential Air Service” program that subsidizes empty flights from tiny rural airports – most of which are within an hour or two drive of a major airport. One important dividend of the sequester is that it is prompting efforts to identify wasteful spending in order to fund high priority functions. May this be the first of many such exercises!
4/18/2013 (Roll #117) HR 624 - Cyber Intelligence Sharing and Protection Act: NO. Congressman McClintock's floor remarks in opposition: The House has been considering HR 624, the so-called CISPA bill. Although its sponsors assure us that a person’s Internet data would be stripped of personal identification, the bill allows this data then to be used to prosecute certain federal crimes. How could that be? It turns out, the government, having stumbled upon this evidence, can then seek a warrant to obtain the personally identifying information.
This makes it the functional equivalent of the “writs of assistance” used by the English Crown in colonial times. It is antithetical to the Fourth Amendment which requires that before the government can invade your privacy, it must first present a court with reasonable cause to believe you have committed a crime.
This bill effectively allows the government to search through your personal records indiscriminately and then use that information to form the basis of a prosecution.
Cyber security is an important national security issue. But it does not trump the Bill of Rights or the American freedoms our Constitution protects.
3/21/2013 (Roll #89) HR 933 – Continuing Resolution to Fund the Government: NO. In addition to the reasons I stated previously for opposing the Continuing Resolution, I strongly object to provisions that increase outlays (reducing the actual sequestration cuts to less than $30 billion through Sept. 30), thwart the Postal Service’s efforts to balance its budget by ending Saturday deliveries, set bizarre defense priorities by docking aircraft carriers while lavishly funding DOD environmental experiments, among many other things. Sen. McCain’s opposition in the Senate was spot on and I whole-heartedly concur.
The most tragic effect of House passage of this measure is that it effectively postpones any further attempts to control spending through the House’s power to appropriate until September 30th.
3/21/2013 (Roll #88) Budget Act (establishing the budget for the United States Government for fiscal year 2014). Congressman McClintock spoke on the House floor in support of the House Budget Resolution (H. Con. Res 25): "This debate over the budget reflects a great struggle between American families and their government -- over whether they, or the government, can best spend the money that they have earned.
"This budget bends that struggle slowly back in favor of those families, by returning to them a little of the freedom to spend more of their own money and make more of their own decisions once again."
3/6/2013 (Roll #62) HR 933 – Continuing Resolution (CR) to Fund the Government: NO. By adopting HR 933, the House lost the opportunity to lock in sequester savings through the end of the fiscal year. The continuing resolution sets federal discretionary funding at the annual pre-sequester level of $1.043 trillion, relying on the continued operation of the sequester to reduce that figure to $984 billion. Should the sequester be repealed in coming weeks, this CR would automatically revert to a level well above that set by the budget resolutions adopted by the House. Secondarily, this action also sacrificed an opportunity to forbid funding for Obamacare and effectively postpones any further attempts to control spending through the House’s power to appropriate until September 30th. I believe that until the normal budget and appropriations process can be restored at a sustainable level, continuing resolutions to fund the government and extensions of the debt limit should be advanced in short increments, within levels set by the House budget resolution, and accompanied by the incremental reforms necessary to remain within that trajectory. The House’s unwillingness to do so today is disappointing.
3/6/2013 (Roll #60) H.Res. 99 – Rule Bringing HR 933 (CR) to the House Floor: NO. This rule reported HR 933 (The continuing resolution to fund the government) to the floor while blocking attempts by Republican members to offer perfecting amendments (see discussion on HR 933). I believe the amendments should have been heard.
2/28/2013 S. 47 – Violence Against Women Act: NO. Under S.47, ordinary American citizens with no connection to Indian tribes could be prosecuted and tried in Indian tribal courts, instead of U.S. criminal courts, for violations of this act. In 1978, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that Indian tribes do not have inherent criminal jurisdiction over non-Indians; this brazenly unconstitutional bill directly contradicts this fundamental principle.
In addition, I object to provisions adding federal mandatory minimum sentences in domestic violence cases, which ought to be left to judges on a case by case basis. The Eagle Forum (a conservative women’s group) cites a similar Florida law which required a judge – against his better judgment – to send a mother of two to prison for 20 years for firing a warning shot at her abusive husband.
Finally, I object to using violence against women as an excuse to vastly expand a dizzying array of government grant programs, add more than $2 billion to the nation’s debt and generally insinuate the federal government into matters the Constitution clearly reserves to the states. Federal grants of all kinds (essentially gifts of public money with little or no oversight) are out of control and ought to be abolished -- not expanded.
2/27/2013 H. Res 83. – Rule to bring S. 47 (Violence Against Women Act) to the Floor: NO. Under S.47, ordinary American citizens with no connection to Indian tribes would be prosecuted and tried in Indian tribal courts, instead of U.S. criminal courts, for violations of this act. In 1978, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that Indian tribes do not have inherent criminal jurisdiction over non-Indians; this brazenly unconstitutional bill directly contradicts this fundamental principle. This bill has a wide range of other constitutional, due process and fiscal infirmities, but such a brazenly unconstitutional act should not be reported to the House floor.
1/23/2013 HR 325 (Raising the Debt Limit). Congressman McClintock spoke on January 23rd on the House floor in opposition to the measure. HR 325: Carte Blanche Credit. Mr. Speaker: The House is poised to pass HR 325. I respect the sincerity of its supporters, but I must firmly dissent. This bill accommodates spending at ruinous levels far beyond the limits set by the House budget. Full remarks.
1/15/2013 HR 152 (Hurricane Sandy Legislation, Including Unrelated and Non-Emergency Spending). Congressman McClintock voted NO, and and spoke on the House floor during debate. Rule on Hurricane Sandy, House Chamber, Washington D.C. Mr. Speaker: This rule brings us a spending package of more than $50 billion that is supposed to be for emergency repairs in the wake of Hurricane Sandy. That averages $450 from every household in America. $450. These families have a right to expect that this money is being used for genuine emergency relief. But it’s not. According to the Congressional Budget Office, more than 90 percent won’t even be spent this year. That’s not emergency relief. Sixteen billion is to quintuple the size of the Community Development Block Grant Program. That’s the slush fund that pays for such dubious projects as doggie day care centers – and it doesn’t even have to be spent in the hurricane area. Full remarks. Congressman McClintock also discussed the issue in a column.
1/4/2013 HR 41 – National Flood Insurance Borrowing: NO. The National Flood Insurance Program uses taxpayer money to subsidize flood insurance for those who choose to live in flood plains. This denies consumers accurate price signals that reflect the true costs of the risks they are taking, and robs taxpayers who chose not to take similar risks. For example, the people of the 4th Congressional District live in fire-prone areas but accept that risk by paying higher premiums for their fire insurance. They should not be forced to pay for the risks that others accept by living in flood plains. In the case of Hurricane Sandy, however, consumers have already paid for the subsidized insurance and the question in this bill is whether the government has an obligation to pay out for their claims. I believe it does. But this obligation should be met through the normal appropriations process where the money is honestly accounted for. This bill creates an off-budget fiction that allows the program to borrow more under the pretense it will repay the loans, when clearly it can’t and it won’t.
Congressman McClintock's Complete Voting Record (excel sheet) for the 113th Congress (2013 - 2014) 113th First Session
Legislation Sponsored and co-sponsored by Congressman McClintock in the 113th Congress:
Vote Notes 112th Congress (2011 - 2012)
Congressman McClintock's Vote Notes:
112th First Session (2011) 112th Second Session (2012)
Congressman McClintock's Complete Voting Record (excel sheet) for the 112th Congress (2011 - 2012). 112th First Session and Second Session.
Legislation Sponsored and Co-sponsored by Congressman McClintock in the 112th Congress :
Vote Notes 111th Congress (2009 - 2010)
Congressman McClintock's Vote Notes:
111th First Session (2009) 111th Second Session (2010)
Congressman McClintock's Complete Voting Record (excel sheet) for the 111th Congress (2009 - 2010). First Session and Second Session.
Legislation Sponsored and Co-Sponsored by Congressman McClintock in the 112th Congress:
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