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How your congressional delegates voted

Contact your legislators at the U.S. Capitol

Zip codes: House 20515, Senate 20510

Capitol operator: (202) 224-3121

STREAMLINED JOB TRAINING: Voting 415 for and 6 against, the House on July 9 sent President Obama a bipartisan bill (HR 803) to consolidate dozens of federal programs for job training, adult education and literacy education into a single, broad-based workforce program to be administered by the states as they see fit rather than by Washington.


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The bill is a five-year renewal of the Workforce Investment Act (WIA) to be funded at $6 billion or more annually through block grants controlled by governors.

The WIA has historically used targeted grants to fund the vocational needs of specific populations.

Under this bill, groups such as dislocated workers in search of new skills, the disabled, returning veterans, the poor and migrant workers would compete against one another for available funds.

A yes vote was to give final congressional approval to the job- training bill.


BONUS DEPRECIATION, NATIONAL DEBT: Voting 258 for and 160 against, the House on July 11 sent the Senate a bill (HR 4718) to make “bonus depreciation” for businesses a permanent feature of the Internal Revenue Code.

This would add $287 billion to federal deficits between fiscal 2014-2024, according to official projections.

Historically, bonus depreciation has been enacted on a temporary basis during economic slumps to spur purchasing.


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It allows businesses to deduct 50 percent of the cost of qualified property in the year in which the item was bought. Applying to most types of tangible personal property and software, bonus depreciation is in addition to regular depreciation allowances for the same items.

A yes vote was to add bonus depreciation permanently to the tax code while adding $287 billion to national debt over 11 years.


2015 ENERGY, WATER BUDGET: Voting 253 for and 170 against, the House on July 10 passed a bill (HR 4923) that would appropriate $30.4 billion for energy, water and nuclear-safety programs in fiscal 2015.

The bill increases spending for fossil-fuel research by $31 million to $593 million while reducing funds for energy-efficiency and renewable-energy programs by $112 million to $1.79 billion.

The bill provides $11.4 billion for the National Nuclear Safety Administration, $5.5 billion for Army Corps of Engineers water projects, $1.1 billion for the Bureau of Reclamation, $304.4 million for the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, $123 million for the Nuclear Regulatory Commission and $80.3 million for the Appalachian Regional Commission.

Additionally, the bill prohibits funding for certain environmental protections under the Clean Water Act and Clean Air Act, prohibits the Army Corps of Engineers from enforcing its ban on firearms on its land and limits U.S. cooperation with Russia in nuclear- nonproliferation programs.

A yes vote was to send the bill to the Senate.


BAN ON CLIMATE-CHANGE FUNDING: Voting 229 for and 188 against, the House on July 10 prohibited HR 4923 (above) from funding Department of Energy or Army Corps of Engineers policies to combat climate change that are based on “biased” science.

A yes vote was to bar funding of administration policies to address climate change.


CLEAN ENERGY vs. FOSSIL FUELS: Voting 172 for and 245 against, the House on July 9 defeated an amendment that would increase funding for renewable-energy and energy-efficiency programs in HR 4923 (above) by $111.6 million and decrease funding for fossil-fuels research by $161.9 million.

A yes vote was to spend more in fiscal 2015 on clean energy and less on fossil-fuels research.


HUD SECRETARY JULIAN CASTRO: By a vote of 71 for and 26 against, the Senate on July 9 confirmed Mayor Julian Castro of San Antonio, Texas, as the 16th secretary of Housing and Urban Development. Castro, 39, replaces Shaun Donovan, who was confirmed the next day as director of the Office of Management and Budget.

A yes vote was to confirm Castro as HUD secretary.


BIPARTISAN SPORTSMEN’S ACT: By a vote of 41 for and 56 against, the Senate on July 11 failed to reach 60 votes needed to overcome GOP blockage of a bill (S 2363) that combines several outdoor recreation measures sponsored by senators from both parties into a single measure.

The bill stalled because of disputes over the number and content of amendments to be considered. Many of the proposed amendments dealt with gun-limits and gun-rights issues.

The bill (S 2363) exempts lead fishing tackle from federal regulation as a toxic substance, expands federal funding to establish and maintain shooting ranges on U.S. and non-federal lands and authorizes states to issue federal duck stamps electronically, with the e-stamps made valid for 45 days to allow for regular mail delivery of physical stamps.

The bill also authorizes dozens of U.S. hunters to import from Canada polar bear “trophies” that they legally killed there before May 15, 2008, when polar bears gained U.S. protection as a depleted species under the Marine Mammal Protection Act.

A yes vote was to advance the Bipartisan Sportsmen’s Act of 2014, a bill that has already passed the House.