Last January 10, 2007 House Bill HR 2 was up for vote. HR2 would have increased the federal minimum wage from $5.15 to $7.25 per hour. [Washington Post]
The bill passed the House 315-116, with 4 not voting.
Democrat Shelley Berkley voted for the raise. [Washington Post]
Republicans Dean Heller and Jon Porter voted against the raise. [Washington Post]
Wouldn't you want the minimum wage raised? Both Republicans Heller and Porter voted against you.
Two days later, January 12, 2007, House Bill HR 4 was up for vote. This bill would allow the government to negotiate directly with drug makers for lower prescription drug prices for individuals using Medicare. [Washington Post]
The bill passed the House 255-170 with 10 not voting.
Democrat Shelley Berkley voted to pass the bill.
Nevada Republicans Dean Heller and Jon Porter voted to reject it. [Washington Post]
Wouldn't you like your prescription drug prices lower? Both Heller and Porter voted against you if you would like your drug costs reduced.
On January 18, 2007 HR 6 was up for vote in the House.
This bill would repeal tax cuts to oil companies and mandate that they pay a fee to remove oil from the Gulf of Mexico. It would also fund renewable energy programs. The act would repeal a tax break that oil and gas firms received in 2004. That break effectively lowered their corporate tax rates. It would also bar oil companies from bidding on new federal leases unless they pay a fee or renegotiate improperly drafted leases from the late '90s. Those leases did not require royalty payments on Gulf of Mexico oil production. Oil firms would pay a "conservation fee" for oil taken from the gulf.
Additionally, the bill would set aside an estimated $13 billion to $15 billion in revenues over a five-year period for tax breaks relating to renewable energy sources, according to The Washington Post.
The bill was designed to reduce the United States' dependency on foreign oil by investing in alternative energy sources. However, critics say it actually would decrease domestic oil production so the country would rely more heavily on imported oil.
The House passed the bill on Jan. 18, 2007, with a vote of 264-163. All House Democrats except one favored the bill. They were joined by 36 Republicans. The Senate must debate the bill.
The Washington Post reported that the Bush Administration opposed repealing the tax break for oil companies when other manufacturing industries benefited from the 2004 reductions. It also frowned on forcing companies to renegotiate their Gulf of Mexico leases.
Democrat Shelley Berkley voted to pass the bill.
Republicans Dean Heller and Jon Porter voted against the bill wanting to retain the oil company tax cuts. [Washington Post]
So, if you wanted to help the oil companies retain their tax breaks then Heller and Porter were your men. If, on the other hand, you prefer the oil companies pay their fair share of taxes Heller and Porter are not your representatives. They voted against you in favor of the oil companies.
February 16, 2007 House Congressional Resolution 63 came up for vote.
This measure expressed the House's disagreement with President Bush's planned troop buildup in Iraq. The nonbinding resolution pledges support for U.S. personnel serving "bravely and honorably in Iraq" but says Congress "disapproves" of the president's plan to add more than 20,000 combat troops. The resolution was approved 246 to 182. Seventeen Republicans joined 229 Democrats in support of the resolution. Two Democrats opposed the measure. While the 95-word resolution has no legal weight to force the president to change his course in Iraq, it marks a first key showdown between the White House and the new Congress controlled by Democrats.
Democrat Shelley Berkley voted in favor of the resolution.
Republicans Dean Heller and Jon Porter voted against the resolution and in favor of the troop buildup (i.e., the "surge").
So, if you wanted to wind down the war on Iraq Heller and Porter voted against you. [Washington Post]
On March 23, 2007 H R 1591 was up for vote in the House.
The bill offered supplemental appropriations to help the United States fight the global war on terror, among other things. However, President Bush vowed to veto the bill because it included a timeline for withdrawal of U.S. troops from Iraq. The measure prohibited the use of funds offered under the act to deploy any troops to Iraq unless the military has certified to congressional appropriators in advance that the military unit is fully mission-capable. The measure authorized the president to waive the prohibition and deployment limits on a unit-by-unit basis for reasons of national security.
It also set requirements for Department of Homeland Security contracts, subcontracts and task orders. And it required that each federal agency that has awarded at least $1 billion in the preceding fiscal year to develop and implement a plan to minimize the use of no-bid and cost-reimbursement contracts.
The bill also offered funds for disaster relief and recovery related to hurricanes Katrina and Rita, funds influenza pandemic response programs, offers livestock disaster assistance, and makes appropriations to bolster Medicare and Medicaid.
It amended fair labor laws to phase-in an increase to the federal minimum wage to $7.25 per hour. It applied these wage requirements to the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands and to American Samoa.
It addressed several tax issues by including tax breaks for small businesses, made certain dependents ineligible for the lowest capital gains rate and lengthened the period of failure to notify a taxpayer of liability before interest and certain penalties must be suspended. The measure increased the amount of any required installment of estimated tax otherwise due in 2012 from a corporation with assets of $1 billion or more.
The bill passed the House on a vote of 218-212, with 1 voting present and 3 not voting at all.
Democrat Shelley Berkley voted to pass the bill. Democrat Dennis Kucinich just noted he was present but did not vote at all.
Republicans Dean Heller and Jon Porter voted against the bill.
Thus, if you wanted an orderly ending to the war on Iraq Heller and Porter voted against you, and in favor of "staying the course" in Iraq. [Washington Post]