Vote Notes on Legislation
House Amendment 1 to HR 2029 – Omnibus Spending Act: NO. This is the 2,000-plus page $1.15 trillion spending act to fund the government through September 30, 2016. A bill of this complexity always has good and bad provisions, and the question comes down to whether in balance it moves the government in the right direction.
House Amendment 2 to HR 2029 – Tax Extenders Act: YES. Called the “Protecting Americans from Tax Hikes Act” this 233-page bill provides a complex list of changes to the tax code. Once again, there is both good and bad.
H.R. 22 – TEA 21 “The Highway Bill”: No. The Highway Trust Fund – accent on the “Trust” – was a promise made to highway users that the gas taxes they paid at the pump would be used for highways. Period. That promise was broken long ago and now shattered by this act.
S. 1177 - Every Student Succeeds Act (or the Bill Formerly Known as No Child Left Behind): YES. George W. Bush’s “No Child Left Behind” has been a disaster. Its stated goal was to bring every child to grade-level proficiency by 2014. Instead, for the first time in 25 years student achievement is declining with just 33 percent of 8th graders proficient in math and 34 percent in reading.
H.R. 4038 – American SAFE Act: Yes. This bill requires that refugee applicants from Iraq and Syria not be admitted to the United States until and unless the FBI Director, Homeland Security Secretary and Director of National Intelligence all certify that the applicant is not a security threat.
H.R. 1314 – Bipartisan Budget Act of 2015: NO. M. Stanton Evans once observed that there are two parties in our country: the evil party and the stupid party, and when they adopt a bipartisan measure it is usually something evil and stupid.
7/29/15 H.R. 3236 – Surface Transportation and Veterans Health Care Choice Improvement Act: NO This bill pays for three months of highway and transit spending with savings promised ten years from now – and according to the CBO, still adds at least $1.2 billion to the nation’s debt.
7/23/15 H.R. 1599 – Safe and Accurate Food Labeling Act of 2015: YES. This bill creates a uniform system across the U.S. to govern the labeling of so-called “genetically modified” foods. Mankind has genetically modified crops and livestock since the dawn of recorded history (it’s called cross-breeding, and it gives us seedless grapes and sweeter corn).
7/15/15 HR 3038 – Highway and Transportation Funding Act: NO. This bill is a five month extension of highway and transit spending, paid for over the next TEN YEARS. This is the J.