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Roll call for Oct. 6

Here’s how New Hampshire’s congresswomen voted on major issues in the week ending Friday.

House

NATIONAL PARKS, MUSEUMS: Voting 252 for and 173 against, the House on Wednesday passed a GOP measure (HJ Res 70) to reopen the National Park Service, Smithsonian Institution, National Gallery of Art and United States Holocaust Memorial Museum during the ongoing, partial government shutdown.

The Senate then tabled (killed) this measure while also turning back separate attempts by House Republicans to restore funding for the District of Columbia budget and veterans’ education, employment and disability programs.

Rep. Doc Hastings, a Washington state Republican, said: “There is absolutely no reason why open-air parks and monuments here in Washington, D.C., should be barricaded off. These are places without doors, gates or fences where people are allowed 24/7, 365-day access to these memorials.”

Minority Whip Steny Hoyer, a Maryland Democrat, called the measure a GOP “gimmick to fund only those pieces of government that the media or their constituents notice immediately. But by picking winners and losers, Republicans are ignoring critical agencies and functions across our nation.”

A yes vote was to reopen federal parks, memorials and museums.

Voting no: Reps. Carol Shea-Porter and Annie Kuster, both Democrats.

‘CLEAN’ BUDGET VOTE: On a party-line vote of 230 for and 194 against, House Republicans on Wednesday turned back a Democratic bid for an up-or-down vote on a continuing resolution to immediately fund the entire government without GOP contingencies such as curbs on the Affordable Care Act. This is called a “clean CR” in congressional parlance. On this vote, the House upheld a parliamentary ruling that the Democratic motion was not germane to an underlying GOP measure (HJ Res 70, above).

Rep. Mike Simpson, an Idaho Republcian, said: “This motion is not germane and as such is a violation of Rule XVI, Clause 7, which states: ‘No motion or proposition on a subject different from that under consideration shall be admitted under color of amendment.’ ”

Rep. Chris Van Hollen, a Maryland Democrat, called on House Speaker John Boehner, an Ohio Republican, to allow a vote “on the very simple proposition: Are we going to keep the entire federal government operating now? Because that would pass if in the people’s House we were given that opportunity.”

A yes vote was to block consideration of a “clean” funding bill.

Voting no: Shea-Porter, Kuster.

INDIVIDUAL MANDATE, EMPLOYER CONTRIBUTIONS: Voting 228 for and 201 against, the House on Monday amended HJ Res 59 to delay for one year the individual mandate at the heart of the Affordable Care Act. This measure also sought to end employer subsidies of the health insurance premiums paid by members of Congress, congressional staff members and many who work in the White House. These individuals now participate in the government-wide Federal Employees Health Benefits Program (FEHBP), receiving employer (taxpayer) contributions to defray the cost of premiums. They would continue to receive these subsidies next year when they move their coverage – as they are required by law to do – from the federal plan to a private plan in the Affordable Care Act exchanges.

Backers of this amendment said that subsidizing lawmakers’ insurance under the Affordable Care Act is preferential treatment. Opponents said it is a standard benefit in the U.S. workplace for employers to subsidize the cost of employees’ health insurance.

Rep. Jack Kingston, a Georgia Republican, said: “I keep hearing that (Republicans) want to shut the government down, yet this is actually our third attempt to send something to the U.S. Senate to give them an opportunity to negotiate with us.”

Rep. Barbara Lee, a California Democrat, objected to what she called a “Tea Party obsession to kill the government and deny health care to millions of Americans,” adding “this hostage-taking must end.”

A yes vote was to delay the health law’s employer mandate and end premium subsidies for congressional health insurance.

Voting no: Shea-Porter, Kuster.

NATIONAL INSTITUTES OF HEALTH: Voting 254 for and 171 against, the House on Wednesday passed a measure (HJ Res 73) to exempt the National Institutes of Health budget from the partial government shutdown and put the agency back on a regular budget for the fiscal year that began Tuesday.

Rep. Steve Scalise, a Louisiana Republican, said that despite the ongoing budget impasse, “We should at least . . . take care of these cancer patients so they’re not held hostage to these other negotiations.”

Rep. Rosa DeLauro, a Connecticut Democrat, said that “instead of wasting time trying to play politics and cherry-picking important programs like the NIH to fund, we should be working on the budget for the entire government.”

A yes vote was to reopen the NIH.

Voting no: Shea-Porter, Kuster.

VETERANS’ BENEFITS FUNDING: Voting 259 for and 157 against, the House on Thursday sent the Senate a measure (HJ Res 72) to restore funding of veterans’ education, employment and disability programs to levels in place before the ongoing, partial government shutdown. Sponsors said the bill would fund essential services for 30 days, while critics said it neglected other important programs for veterans.

Rep. John Culberson, a Texas Republican, said: “We are here today to ensure, to absolutely guarantee, that there is no interruption to the veterans who are applying for disability compensation.”

Rep. Michael Michaud, a Maine Democrat, said: “If Republicans are really serious about helping our veterans, they would pass a ‘clean CR’ and end this government shutdown.”

A yes vote was to restore funding for some veterans’ programs.

Voting no: Shea-Porter, Kuster.

Senate

‘CLEAN’ BUDGET, MEDICAL-DEVICES TAX: Voting 54 for and 46 against, the Senate on Monday approved a continuing resolution (HJ Res 59) to fund the government from Tuesday to Nov. 15. This “clean CR” contained no House-passed amendments. With this vote, the Senate also tabled (killed) three GOP amendments – one to repeal the health law’s tax on medical devices, another to delay Obamacare for one year and a third to allow employers and insurers to refuse to insure items and procedures that conflict with their religious beliefs. There was no floor debate preceding this party-line vote.

A yes vote was to approve a clean budget bill while retaining a tax on medical devices.

Voting yes: Sen. Jeanne Shaheen, a Democrat.

Voting no: Sen. Kelly Ayotte, a Republican.

‘CLEAN’ BUDGET, INDIVIDUAL MANDATE: Voting 54 for and 46 against, the Senate on Monday approved yet another version of a continuing resolution (HJ Res 59) to fund the government from Tuesday to Nov. 15. With this vote, the Senate also tabled (killed) House-passed amendments to delay the health law’s individual mandate and bar employer subsidies of health insurance premiums for members of Congress, congressional staff members and many on the White House staff. There was no floor debate preceding this party-line vote.

A yes vote was to approve a clean stopgap budget and uphold employer subsidies of congressional health insurance.

Voting yes: Shaheen.

Voting no: Ayotte.

Key votes ahead

This week, both chambers will continue to debate terms of a stopgap fiscal 2014 budget that would reopen the entire government.

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