How Hawaii’s Officials Voted – July 23, 2012

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In this MegaVote for Hawaii’s 1st Congressional District:

Recent Congressional Votes

  • Senate: Campaign Financial Disclosures – Cloture
  • Senate: Campaign Financial Disclosures – Cloture
  • Senate: Outsourcing Tax Credits – Cloture
  • House: Foreign Relations Authorization – Passage
  • House: Sequestration Report – Passage
  • House: Defense Appropriations – Passage

Upcoming Congressional Bills

  • Senate: A bill to enhance the security and resiliency of the cyber and communications infrastructure of the United States
  • Senate: Sequestration Transparency Act of 2012
  • House: Pilot’s Bill of Rights
  • House: Government levee construction
  • House: Federal Reserve Transparency Act
  • House: Preserving America’s Family Farms Act
  • House: Trade with Africa
  • House: Congressional Replacement of President Obama’s Energy-Restricting and Job-Limiting Offshore Drilling Plan
  • House: Regulatory Freeze for Jobs Act of 2012

Recent Senate Votes

Campaign Financial Disclosures – Cloture – Vote Rejected (51-44, 5 Not Voting)

The Senate last week took up legislation that would require greater disclosure of donations. The measure would require groups to disclose all expenditures of $10,000 or more on election-related communications, as well as the names of contributors that give $10,000 or more to fund such efforts. An exemption would be provided for segregated accounts set up by groups that contribute to operations besides election-related independent campaigns. On July 16, the Senate rejected the initial cloture motion, 51-44. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., subsequently filed a motion to reconsider that vote, which allowed the Senate to vote again.

Sen. Daniel Inouye voted YES
Sen. Daniel Akaka voted YES

The next attempt at cloture came a day later. The resulting 53-45 vote again fell strictly along party lines. Sixty votes were required for cloture on proceeding to the measure, which is known as the Democracy Is Strengthened by Casting Light on Spending in Elections, or DISCLOSE, Act.

Sen. Daniel Inouye voted YES
Sen. Daniel Akaka voted YES

Current tax law allows for the cost of moving jobs overseas to be deducted as a business expense. S. 3664, sponsored by Senator Debbie Stabenow, D-Mich., would end that tax break while continuing to allow a deduction for jobs returned to this country or moved within the United States. The bill would provide an additional tax credit for 20 percent of the cost of moving jobs back to the United States. On July 19, the Senate rejected, 56-42, a motion to take up the bill, which would encourage companies to bring jobs back to the United States. The motion fell four votes short of the 60 needed to invoke cloture on the motion to proceed made by Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev. Four Republican Senators, Scott P. Brown of Massachusetts, Susan Collins and Olympia J. Snowe of Maine, and Dean Heller of Nevada voted with all participating Democrats to take up the legislation. No further action is scheduled on the bill.

Sen. Daniel Inouye voted YES
Sen. Daniel Akaka voted YES

The House last week passed a fiscal 2013 foreign relations authorization measure that would maintain basic funding and is silent on controversial issues that have held up previous authorizations. Most accounts in the new bill would be authorized at the same level as the fiscal 2012 law (PL 112-74). And most of the bill’s provisions do not involve the authorization of bilateral or development assistance, such as specific aid levels for Israel, Egypt and other nations. The bill was designed to win over enough backers to advance further than last year’s contentious proposal, which never moved beyond Foreign Affairs Committee approval. In last week’s floor vote, 60 Republicans and one Democrat voted no. The bill passed under suspension of the rules, meaning that a two-thirds majority was required for passage.

Rep. Colleen Hanabusa voted YES……send e-mail or see bio

Rep. Mazie Hirono voted Not Voting……send e-mail or see bio

Sequestration Report – Passage – Vote Passed (414-2, 15 Not Voting)

By an overwhelming vote of 414-12 on July 18, the House backed a measure that would pressure the Obama administration to detail how agencies would implement the cuts, known as a sequester, that are scheduled to hit on January 2, 2013. The sequester was mandated by the August 2011 debt limit deal (PL 112-25). The bill would require the White House to produce a report within 30 days with a detailed account of how the cuts would affect both domestic and defense programs.

Rep. Colleen Hanabusa voted YES……send e-mail or see bio

Rep. Mazie Hirono voted Not Voting……send e-mail or see bio


Defense Appropriations – Passage – Vote Passed (326-90, 15 Not Voting)

The House passed a $606 billion Defense spending bill last week that would fund the Pentagon and national security programs in fiscal 2013. The total includes $87.7 billion for the war in Afghanistan and other overseas operations. Although the House rejected numerous attempts to cut the defense budget, lawmakers did agree to freeze Pentagon spending at last year’s level. Before passing the bill, the House adopted, 247-167, an amendment by Rep. Mick Mulvaney, R-S.C., that would retain the fiscal 2012 defense spending level, a reduction of over $1 billion from the amount originally proposed in the bill. Overall, the appropriations bill, as amended, would provide $518.1 billion for the Pentagon’s base budget, the same as the fiscal 2012 level and $2 billion more than President Obama’s request. It would provide a 1.7 percent pay increase for military personnel, matching Obama’s request. The House rejected, 171-243, an amendment sponsored by Rep. Barbara Lee, D-Calif., that would have reduced the bill’s funding by $7.6 billion, dropping it to the amount authorized under the 2011 debt limit law (PL 112-25). The Obama administration has threatened to veto the bill primarily over the funding levels, saying that directing more money than planned under last year’s law to the Pentagon would “necessitate significant and harmful cuts” to domestic programs.

Rep. Colleen Hanabusa voted YES……send e-mail or see bio

Rep. Mazie Hirono voted Not Voting……send e-mail or see bio

Upcoming Votes

A bill to enhance the security and resiliency of the cyber and communications infrastructure of the United States – S.3414

This bill would establish cybersecurity standards.


Sequestration Transparency Act of 2012 – H.R.5872

The Senate may vote on the bill advanced by the House last week, which would direct the Executive Branch to outline their plan for implementing the budget sequestration.


Pilot’s Bill of Rights – S.1335

The legislation would require the FAA during an enforcement action to provide pilots with all relevant evidence and information, including flight data, reports and air traffic communication tapes. The bill would also allow pilots to appeal cases to the federal district court instead of going through the National Transportation Board. Further, it would simplify the Notice to Airmen system for alerting pilots to en route hazards by compiling relevant flight information in a central database, and it would streamline the medical certification process.


Government levee construction – S.2039

The legislation would allow a State or local government to construct levees on certain properties otherwise designated as open space lands.


Federal Reserve Transparency Act – H.R.459

The legislation would require a full audit of the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System and the Federal reserve banks by the Comptroller General of the United States before the end of 2012.


Preserving America’s Family Farms Act – H.R.4157

The legislation would prohibit the Secretary of Labor from finalizing a proposed rule under the Fair Labor Standards Act of 1938 relating to child labor.


Trade with Africa – H.R.5986

This bill would amend the African Growth and Opportunity Act to extend the third-country fabric program and to add South Sudan to the list of countries eligible for designation under that Act, to make technical corrections to the Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States relating to the textile and apparel rules of origin for the Dominican Republic-Central America-United States Free Trade Agreement, to approve the renewal of import restrictions contained in the Burmese Freedom and Democracy Act of 2003, and for other purposes.


Congressional Replacement of President Obama’s Energy-Restricting and Job-Limiting Offshore Drilling Plan – H.R.6082

This legislation would replace President Obama’s Proposed Final Outer Continental Shelf Oil & Gas Leasing Program with a congressional plan that will conduct additional oil and natural gas lease sales to promote offshore energy development and increased domestic energy production.


Regulatory Freeze for Jobs Act of 2012 – H.R.4078

This legislation would prohibit federal agencies from taking any significant regulatory action until the unemployment rate is equal to or less than 6.0 percent.