Major Votes

July 17, 2014:

The House debated H.R. 4719, the Fighting Hunger Incentive Act of 2014.  This legislation is a package of five tax proposals designed to encourage greater charitable donations by the American people.

  • The Fighting Hunger Incentive Act passed the House by a vote of 277 – 130.  I was pleased to vote in support of this legislation.

July 16, 2014:

The House completed its consideration of H.R. 5016, the Fiscal Year 2015 Financial Services and General Government Appropriations Act.  This bill provides discretionary funding for the Department of the Treasury and various independent agencies of the U.S. Government.  H.R. 5016 would provide $21.3 billion in funding, which is $566 million (2.6 percent) below the fiscal year 2014 allocation and $2.26 billion (9.6 percent) below the Obama administration’s request.

  • H.R. 5106 passed the House by a vote of 228 – 195.  I voted in favor of its adoption.

July 11, 2014

The House considered H.R. 4718, a bill to reinstate and make permanent an expired provision of law that would authorize bonus depreciation deductions for businesses making capital investments.

  • This legislation passed the House by a vote of 258 – 160.  I joined the majority in voting for passage of H.R. 4718.

June 26, 2014:

The House considered H.R. 4899, the Lowering Gasoline Prices to Fuel an America That Works Act, a bill that would require the Secretary of Interior to develop a new 5-year offshore oil and gas leasing program that focuses on areas with the greatest potential resources and seeks to meet production goals that align with U.S. need.  It would also expand onshore energy production by streamlining permitting processes and reducing red tape.

  • The House passed H.R. 4899, with my support, by a vote of 229-185.  I voted in favor of this legislation because I believe we must encourage production of domestic energy resources to help lower gas prices and to decrease our dependence on foreign sources of oil, and this bill would make available for leasing areas that are known to contain large reserves of oil and gas.

June 25, 2014:

The House considered H.R. 6, the Domestic Prosperity and Global Freedom Act, a bill to provide for expedited approval of exportation of natural gas to World Trade Organization countries.

  • The House passed H.R. 6, with my support, by a vote of 266-150.  I voted in favor of this bill because increasing exports of the United States's vast natural gas reserves would have important economic and geopolitical benefits.

June 24, 2014:

The House debated H.R. 4413, the Customer Protection and End User Relief Act, a bill to reauthorize the Commodities Futures Trading Commission.  In addition to reauthorizing the Commission, the legislation included a number of important reforms.

  • H.R. 4413 passed the House by a vote of 265 – 144.  I voted with the majority for passage of this legislation.

The House considered H.R. 3301, the North American Energy Infrastructure Act, a bill to streamline the permit process for constructing oil and gas pipelines and electric transmission lines that cross U.S. borders with Mexico or Canada.

  • The House passed H.R. 3301, with my support, by a vote of 238-173.  I voted in favor of this bill because I believe important cross-border energy projects should not be blocked by unnecessary regulatory roadblocks.

June 20, 2014:

The House considered H.R. 4870, which would make appropriations for the Department of Defense for fiscal year 2015.  Included in the bill was an amendment I offered with several of my colleagues to close a loophole that allowed the NSA to collect data on Americans.  The amendment requires a warrant and other safeguards.

  • I voted in favor of this bill, which passed with strong bipartisan support 340 - 73.

June 12, 2014:

The House debated H.R. 4457, a bill to amend the Internal Revenue Code to permanently extend increased expensing limits.  Limits in effect for several years expired at the end of 2013.  Making these higher limits permanent is important because it will encourage the small business investment that drives job creation.

  • H.R. 4457 was passed by the House on a vote of 272 – 144.  I was pleased to vote with the majority in favor of H.R. 4457.

Also this day, the House considered H.R. 4453, a bill to make permanent certain provisions relating to S Corporations.  These firms, generally smaller than C Corporations, are an important part of our economy and these provisions are intended to provide support to the role they play in job creation.

  • H.R. 4453, was approved by the House by a vote of 263 – 155.  I voted in favor of its adoption.

June 10, 2014:

The House considered another of the 12 necessary appropriations bills, H.R. 4745, a bill making appropriations for the Departments of Transportation, and Housing and Urban Development, and Related Agencies for the fiscal year ending September 30, 2015.

  • H.R. 4745 provides funding in an amount $7.8 billion less than requested by President Obama.  This bill passed the House by a vote of 229 – 192.  I voted in favor of its adoption.

The House considered H.R. 4810, the Veteran Access to Care Act of 2014.  This bill directs the Secretary of Veterans Affairs to enter into contracts with non-VA facilities to provide care to veterans who 1) have waited longer than the wait-time goals of the VA; 2) have been notified that an appointment will not be available within the VA wait-time goals; or 3) live more than forty miles from a VA medical facility.  If the Secretary is not able to contract with a non-VA facility for the necessary services, he must reimburse the non-VA facility that provides the services to the veteran.  It also eliminates bonuses and performance awards for all VA employees for fiscal years 2014-2016.

  • H.R. 4810 passed by a vote of 426-0. I supported this bill because Veterans’ deserve to get the care they were promised.

May 30, 2014:

The House debated H.R. 4660, a bill making appropriations for the Departments of Commerce and Justice, Science, and Related Agencies for the fiscal year ending September 30, 2015.

  • H.R. 4660 provides $51.2 billion in total funding for the departments and agencies it covers.  This amount is $398 million below the fiscal year 2014 enacted level. H.R. 4660 was approved on a vote of 321 – 87.  I voted in favor of its passage.

May 9, 2014:

The House considered H.R. 4438, the American Research and Competitiveness Act of 2014.  H.R. 4438 would simplify and make permanent the federal Research and Development Tax Credit.

 

  • This legislation was passed in the House by a vote of 274 -131.  I voted with the majority to make this expired, but previously long-standing, tax provision permanent.

May 22, 2014:

The House considered H.R. 4435, the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2015. This bill authorizes appropriations and makes programmatic reforms for the Department of Defense programs for the coming year.

  • H.R. 4435 passed by a vote of 325-98. I supported this bill as it is vital to ensure our military has the resources necessary to operate effectively.

The House considered H.R. 3361, the USA FREEDOM Act, which will end the NSA's bulk data collection of phone data and provides much-needed oversight for the secretive FISA court while still protecting national security capabilities. 

  • As a cosponsor of the bill, I was proud to vote for it when the House passed it with a vote of 303 - 121.  Americans deserve to know their government isn't snooping on them.

May 21, 2014:

The House considered H.R. 4031, the Department of Veterans Affairs Management Accountability Act of 2014 , which gives the VA Secretary greater authority to remove employees from service due to poor performance. 

  • The House passed H.R. 4031 by a vote of 390 – 33.  I voted in favor of this legislation in response to the Widespread reports of veterans being forced to wait for necessary medical care due to poor management.  Our veterans deserve better and this is a step in the right direction to start addressing these serious failings. 

May 20, 2014:

The House considered the conference report for H.R. 3080, the Water Resources Development Act, which makes fundamental reforms to the Corps of Engineers planning process, accelerates project delivery, empowers non-federal project sponsors, strengthens congressional oversight, and contained no earmarks.   

  • The House passed H.R. 3080 by a vote of 412-4.  I voted in favor of this legislation because I believe it is critically important for our country, the Great Lakes region, and Wisconsin.  Its passage will make the Great Lakes region more competitive and promote job growth in Wisconsin.

The House considered two human trafficking bills, H.R. 3530, the Justice for Victims of Trafficking Act of 2014 and H.R. 4225, the Stop Advertising Victims of Exploitation Act of 2014. 

  • The House passed H.R. 3530 by a vote of 409-0 and H.R. 4225 by a vote of 392-19.  I voted in favor of both of these bills because I believe it is important that we do what we can to assist victims of human trafficking and also give the government the tools it needs to combat such activities. 

May 9, 2014:

The House considered H.R. 10, the Success and Opportunity through Quality Charter Schools Act, a bill to improve the federal Charter Schools Program.

  • The House passed H.R. 10, with my support, by a vote of 360-45.  I voted in favor of this bill because I thought the bill made a number of important improvements to the program, including allowing funds to be used for the replication and expansion of high-quality charter schools.

The House considered H.R. 4438, the American Research and Competitiveness Act of 2014.  H.R. 4438 would simplify and make permanent the Research and Development Tax Credit.  Put in place temporarily in 1981 and extended 15 times since, this credit is seen as an important tool in keep U.S. businesses competitive in the global economy.

  • H.R. 4438 passed the House by a vote of 274 – 131.  I voted in favor of adopting the bill and making the Research and Development Tax Credit permanent.

May 8, 2014:

The House considered H. Res. 575, which provides for the establishment of the Select Committee on the events surrounding the 2012 terrorist attack in Benghazi. 

  • The House passed H. Res. 575, with my support, by a vote of 232-186.  I voted in favor of this bill because I felt there are I feel there are so many questions still lingering regarding the circumstances of the attack and we owe it to the families of those American who died that day a full explanation of what really happened. 

May 7, 2014:

The House debated H. Res. 574, a resolution recommending that the House of Representatives find Lois G. Lerner, former Director, Exempt Organizations, Internal Revenue Service, in contempt of Congress for refusal to comply with a subpoena duly issued by the Committee on Oversight and Government Reform.  Ms. Lerner’s refusal was in connection with a Committee hearing on the targeting of conservative political groups by the IRS.

  • The House adopted this resolution by a vote of 231 – 187.  I joined a majority in recommending that Ms. Lerner be found in contempt of Congress.

The House considered H. Res. 565, a resolution calling on Attorney General Eric H. Holder, Jr., to appoint a special counsel to investigate the targeting of conservative nonprofit groups by the Internal Revenue Service.

  • H. Res. 565 was passed by the House by a vote of 250 – 168.  I voted in favor of passage of this resolution.

May 1, 2014:

The House considered H.R. 4487, a bill making appropriations for the Legislative Branch for Fiscal Year 2015.  This bill provided $3.3 billion in funding for legislative branch agencies.  It is the same amount of funding as provided for 2014 and 3.7 percent less than proposed by President Obama.

  • The House approved H.R. 4487 by a vote of 402 – 14.  I voted in favor of passage.

April 30, 2014:

The House considered H.R. 4486, the FY 2015 Military Construction and Veterans Affairs Appropriations Act, which would provide funding for government departments through the end of the current fiscal year.

  • H.R. 4486 passed the House by a vote of 486 - 1.  I joined the majority in voting for passage of this bill.

April 29, 2014:

The House considered H.R. 4414, the Expatriate Health Coverage Clarification Act of 2014, a bill to clarify that health plans offered to U.S. expatriates are exempt from the coverage requirements of the Affordable Care Act (ACA).

  • The House passed H.R. 4414 by a vote of 268-150.  I voted in favor of this bill because it ensures that these health plans -- which are intended to address the unique circumstances of this population -- can continue to be offered by U.S. carriers.

April 10, 2014:

The House debated H. Con. Res. 96, a resolution establishing a budget for Fiscal Years 2015 – 2024.  Under this resolution, the federal budget would be balanced by 2024, spending as compared to current policy would be reduced by $5.1 trillion, and the national debt, measured as a percentage of our Gross Domestic Product, would fall from 73 percent to 56 percent.  Notwithstanding the spending constraints recommended by this budget, H. Con. Res. 96 anticipates spending more than $42 trillion over the next 10 years.

  • I voted with the House majority in support of this budget plan which passed House by a vote of 219 – 205.

April 8, 2014:

The House considered the Baseline Reform Act.  This bill, H.R. 1871, would remove the inflationary assumptions and special exceptions from the discretionary baseline – requiring that the baseline assume neither an increase nor a decrease for these programs.  The adjustment proposed by this bill is necessary because, under current law, holding spending level when the baseline grows with inflation is considered a spending reduction.

  • H.R. 1871 passed the House by a vote of 230 – 185.  I voted with the majority in support of making this change in the baseline composition.

April 7, 2014:

The House considered H.R. 1872, the Budget and Accounting Transparency Act.  H.R. 1872 would amend the Federal Credit Reform Act of 1990 to require that federal direct loans and loan guarantees are accounted for under a fair value basis rather than the current accrual basis.

  • This legislation was adopted by a vote of 230 – 165.  I voted in support of H.R. 1872 and fair value accounting.

April 4, 2014:

The House debated H.R. 1874, the Pro-Growth Budgeting Act of 2014.  This legislation would require the Congressional Budget Office to provide Congress with an analysis of the broad economic impact of any major legislation reported from a congressional committee.  

  • H.R. 1874 passed the House by a vote of 224 – 182.  I voted in favor of adoption of this legislation.

April 3, 2014:

The House considered H.R. 2575, the Save American Workers Act of 2014.  This bill would amend a provision of law enacted by the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act to establish that a full-time employee, for the purpose of mandating an employer provide health insurance, is one that works 40 hours per week.  The Affordable Care Act had changed this standard to 30 hours per week.

  • H.R. 2575 was adopted in the House by a vote of 248 – 179.  I voted with the majority in favor of passage.

April 1, 2014:

The House considered H.R. 4152 to concur in the Senate amendment and provide loan guarantees to Ukraine.  The bill includes $1 billion in loan guarantees, $50 million in democratization aid, and $100 million in security assistance for Ukraine and other Central and Eastern European countries.  Lastly, the bill condemns Russian agression in the region.

  • I voted for this bill, which passed the House by a vote of 378 - 34.  The bill passed the Senate and was signed into law by President Obama on April 3.

March 26, 2014:

The House considered H.R. 1459, the Ensuring Public Involvement in the Creation of National Monuments Act, a bill to amend the Antiquities Act to (AA) to make presidential national monument declarations an open public process.

  • The House passed H.R. 1459, with my support, by a vote of 222-201.  I voted in favor of this bill because I believe the public should an opportunity to provide input into national monument declarations.

March 25, 2014:

The House considered H.R. 2824, a bill that would require states to incorporate into their state programs on surface coal mining and reclamation management the 2008 “Stream Buffer Zone Rule,” which regulates spoil and waste from surface coal mining operations that are close to streams.

  • The House passed H.R. 2824, with my support, by a vote of 229-192.

March 14, 2014:

The House considered H.R. 3973, the Faithful Execution of the Law Act, which would increase accountability for federal government officials by requiring anyone who refrains from enforcing a federal law to report to Congress on the reason for the non-enforcement.

  • The House passed H.R. 3973 by a vote of 244 - 171.  I voted with the majority for passage.

The House considered H.R. 4015, the SGR Repeal and Medicare Provider Payment Modernization Act of 2014, to repeal the standard growth rate (SGR) and replace it with long-term reforms for physician payments in the Medicare program.  The cost for this bill is offset by a repeal of the individual mandate that was included in Obamacare.

  • The House passed H.R. 4015 by a vote of 238 - 181.  I voted for passage of this bill.

March 13, 2014:

The House considered H.R. 3189, the Water Rights Protection Act, a bill to prevent the federal government from conditioning federal permits on private entities turning over their water rights to the federal government.

  • The House passed H.R. 3189, with my support, by a vote of 238-174.  I voted in favor of this bill because I don't agree that private entities should have to turn over water rights that they have acquired in accordance with state laws as a condition of receiving approval on a federal permit.

March 12, 2014:

The House considered H.R. 4138, the the ENFORCE the Law Act, which would allow the House or Senate to file a lawsuit against the executive branch for failing to execute or enforce laws passed by Congress.

  • The House approved H.R. 4138 by a vote of 233 - 181.  I voted in favor of this bill because no President should be able to bypass Congress in making or selectively enforcing the law.

March 6, 2014:

The House considered H.R. 2641, the Responsibly And Professionally Invigorating Development (RAPID) Act of 2013, a bill which would streamline the federal permitting process for construction projects.

  • The House passed H.R. 2641, with my support, by a vote of 229-179.  I voted in favor of this bill because it will help create jobs by streamlining the federal permitting process and allowing important construction projects to move forward.

The House considered H.R. 3826, the Electricity Security and Affordability Act, a bill to provide guidance to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) regarding its development of pending greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions standards for fossil fuel-fired power plants.

  • The House passed H.R. 3826, with my support, by a vote of 229-183.  I voted in favor of this bill because it would clarify that the EPA can only mandate the use of carbon capture technologies that have been demonstrated to be commercially feasible.

March 5, 2014:

The House considered H.R. 4118, the SIMPLE Fairness Act, a bill to delay the Affordable Care Act's individual mandate penalty until 2015.

  • The House passed H.R. 4118, with my support, by a vote of 250-160.  I voted in favor of this bill because I don't believe it's fair to penalize individuals and families for not purchasing health coverage given the extensive problems with the health care exchanges.

February 28, 2014:

The House considered H.R. 899, the Unfunded Mandates Information and Transparency Act, which would require the Congressional Budget Office to assess the cost of changes in conditions that may be required of state, local, and tribal governments in order to receive federal assistance.  The bill would enhance the ability of Congress, federal agencies, and the public to identify federal mandates that may impose undue harm on state, local, and tribal governments and the private sector by providing more complete information about the cost of such mandates.

  • The House passed H.R. 899 by a vote of 234 - 176.  I voted with the majority for passage.

February 27, 2014:

The House considered H.R. 2804, the All Economic Regulations Are Transparent Act, which requires a report from each federal agency listing the regulations it made and the cost of each rule.  This would be made publicly available.

  • The House passed this bill by a vote of 236 - 179 with my support.

February 11, 2014:

The House considered a substitute amendment to S. 540.  This amendment would suspend, until March 15, 2015, the statutory limit on federal debt.  As of February 12, 2014, total federal debt was in excess of $17.2 trillion.

  • The House approved this suspension of the debt limit by a vote of 221 – 201.  I voted against this suspension because once again Congress was acting to increase the debt ceiling without considering spending and program reforms necessary to slow the growth of our national debt.

The House considered an amendment to S. 25, to restore cost-of-living increases for all current military retirees and anyone who enlisted before January 1, 2014.   

  • S. 25 passed the House by a vote of 326-90-1.  I voted in favor of passage because I believe it is important we honor the promises we made to our men and women in uniform.

February 5th, 2014:

The House considered H.R. 3964, the Sacramento-San Joaquin Valley Emergency Water Delivery Act. This bill would make changes to the Central Valley Project Improvement Act (CVPIA), passed in 1992, related to the distribution of water in this region of California.

  • The House passed H.R. 3964, with my support, by a vote of 229-191. I voted in favor of this bill because I felt that it made necessary changes that would ensure that residents and farmers in the Sacramento-San Joaquin Valley region of California have adequate access to water.

The House considered H.R. 3590, the Sportmen’s Heritage and Recreational Enhancement (SHARE) Act of 2013.  This bill would, amongst other things, provide greater protections to ensure reasonable access for recreational hunting, fishing and shooting on lands managed by the U.S. Forest Service and the Bureau of Land Management.

  • The House passed H.R. 3590, with my support, by a vote of 268-154.  I voted in favor of this legislation because I believe that recreational access should be a significant consideration in all federal land and resource planning decisions.

January 29, 2014:

The House of Representatives considered the conference report to H.R. 2642, the Federal Agriculture Reform and Risk Management Act of 2014 (aka the Farm Bill), which will authorize federal agriculture and nutrition programs for five years.  

  • I supported this bill, which passed the House by a vote of 251 – 166.  While I was disappointed that the bill did not contain greater reforms to the crop insurance and subsidy programs, I felt it was important Congress pass a five year farm bill that provides a good frame work for the important business of agriculture in our state and across the country.  It also included important reforms to the dairy program.

January 28, 2014: 

The House of Representatives considered H.R. 7, the No Taxpayer Funding for Abortion and Abortion Insurance Full Disclosure Act of 2014, which would codify policies enacted for more than thirty years on a case-by-case basis that prohibit the federal funding of abortion and prohibit premium tax credits and cost-sharing subsidies authorized under the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA) from being granted for health plans that include elective abortion coverage. 

  • The bill passed the house by a vote of 221-192.  I have always believed in the right to life.  My vote was not recorded but my intention to vote yes was included in the Congressional Record.

January 16, 2014:

The House considered H.R. 3362, the Exchange Information Disclosure Act, which requires weekly reports from the Department of Health and Human Services about the progress being made to healthcare.gov.

  • I supported this bill, which passed the House by a vote of 259 - 154, because it is important for the health care law implementation process to be transparent to lawmakers and the public.

January 15, 2014:

The House considered the Fiscal Year 2014 Omnibus Appropriations bill as an amendment to a Senate-passed amendment to H.R. 3547.  This bill provides funding of $1.012 trillion to fund the federal departments and agencies that would, under regular order, receive funding through twelve separate appropriations bills considered on the House floor and subject to amendment in any manner.

  • The FY 2014 Omnibus Appropriations bill was adopted in the House by a vote of 359 – 67.  I voted against adoption of the bill because it is wrong to enact more than $1 trillion in spending on a single up-or-down vote.  

January 10, 2014:

The House considered H.R. 3811, the Health Exchange Security and Transparency Act, which would require the federal government to notify individuals within two days if their personal information has been compromised through a health care exchange.

  • I voted in favor of this bill, which passed the House by a vote of 291- 122.

January 9, 2014:

The House considered H.R. 2279, the Reducing Excessive Deadline Obligations Act.  This bill eases some EPA regulations relating to solid-waste disposal and requires more cooperation between the EPA and state environmental agencies.

  • I supported this bill, which passed the House by a vote of 225 - 188.

December 12, 2013:

The House considered a motion to concur in a Senate Amendment to H.J. Res. 59 with an amendment of its own. This amendment would establish a two-year budget which would provide a partial easing of the sequester cuts in exchange for various government reforms.  The Congressional Budget Office has scored this package as saving $22 billion over ten years.

  • The House voted to adopt this amendment and send the resolution back to the Senate by a vote of 332 – 94.  I voted with the majority because I felt this proposal represented a good start on deficit reduction and government reform.

The House considered the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2014. This bill authorizes appropriations and makes programmatic reforms for the Department of Defense programs for the coming year.

  • H.R. 1960 passed by a vote of 350-69. I supported this bill as it is vital to ensure our military has the resources necessary to operate effectively.

December 5, 2013:

The House debated and passed H.R. 3309, the Innovation Act.  This legislation is a reform of the process by which patent holders may pursue, through legal action, compensation for the infringement of those patents.  Its main targets are so-called “patent trolls.”  These entities are not inventors, but patent holders who engage in broad-based legal action seeking compensation from various end-users of patented products.

  • H.R. 3309 was approved in the House by a vote of 325 – 91.  I was among those voting in opposition to the bill because I believed its language was overly broad and threatened to harm the ability of legitimate patent licensing entities to protect their interests.  Hopefully, this legislation can be improved as the House and Senate work toward a compromise version.

December 4, 2013:

The House considered H.R. 1105, the Small Business Capital Access and Job Preservation Act.  This legislation would amend Title IV of the Dodd- Frank Act to eliminate the requirement that many advisors to small private investment funds register with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). 

  • The House adopted H.R. 1105 by a vote of 254 – 159.  I voted with the majority in favor of this legislation.

November 21, 2013:

The House considered H.R. 1900, the Natural Gas Pipeline Permitting Reform Act, a bill to require that the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) approve or deny a requested pipeline certificate no later than 12 months after receiving a complete application.

  • The House passed H.R. 1900, with my support, by a vote of 252-165.  I voted in favor of this bill because it would bring greater regulatory certainty in the permitting process for natural gas pipelines.

November 20, 2013:

The House considered H.R. 2728, the Protecting States’ Rights to Promote American Energy Security Act, a bill that would prohibit the Bureau of Land Management from enforcing federal regulations regarding hydraulic fracturing in states that already have regulations in place.

  • The House passed H.R. 2728, with my support, by a vote of 235-187.  I voted in favor of this bill because it would preserve the states’ role in the regulation of the hydraulic fracturing process.

The House considered H.R. 1965, the Federal Lands Jobs and Energy Security Act of 2013, a bill that would expand onshore energy production by streamlining permitting processes and reducing red tape.

  • The House passed H.R. 1965, with my support, by a vote of 228-192.  I voted in favor of this bill because I believe we must encourage production of domestic energy resources to help lower gas prices and to decrease our dependence on foreign sources of oil.

November 15, 2013:

The House considered H.R. 3350, the Keep Your Health Plan Act of 2013, a bill that would modify the Affordable Care Act to allow individuals and families to keep their current health care coverage.

  • The House passed H.R. 3350, with my support, by a vote of 261-157.  I voted in favor of this bill because I believe people should have the opportunity to keep their current insurance plan if they wish to.

October 30, 2013:

The House considered H.J. Res. 99, a resolution of disapproval concerning the recent increase in the federal debt limit.  This vote was taken pursuant to a section of H.R. 2775, the Continuing Appropriations Act, 2014, which also raised the debt ceiling, and gave Congress to opportunity for a separate vote on this issue.

  • H.J. Res was passed by the House, thus expressing disapproval of the increase, by a vote of 222- 191.  The Senate failed to pass its resolution of disapproval, and the suspension of the debt limit, as passed in H.R. 2775, will go forward.  I voted to disapprove the debt limit suspension because it was done without any corresponding policy changes addressing rising federal spending.

October 30, 2013:

The House debated H.R. 992, the Swaps Regulatory Improvement Act.  This bill would amend Section 716 of the Dodd-Frank Act to allow U.S. banks receiving federal assistance, such as Federal Deposit Insurance, to trade swaps within the bank.

  • This legislation was approved by a vote of 292 – 122.  I voted in favor of passage of H.R. 992.

October 29, 2013:

The House considered H.R. 2374, the Retail Investor Protection Act.  This bill would address separate regulatory efforts by the Department of Labor and the Securities and Exchange Commission concerning investment advice by broker-dealers and investment advisors, with the goal of ensuring such regulation is merited and that the two regulatory entities are consistent in their approaches.

  • H.R. 2374 passed the House by a vote of 254 – 166.  I voted in favor of passage.

October 23, 2013:

The Water Resources Reform and Development Act of 2013 (H.R. 3080):  makes fundamental reforms to the Corps of Engineers planning process, accelerates project delivery, empowers non-federal project sponsors, and strengthens congressional oversight.  It established a process to deauthorize $12 billion of old, inactive projects that were authorized prior to the Water Resources Development Act of 2007 and contains no earmarks.  It authorizes 23 water resources projects that have been recommended by the Chief of Engineers and are fully off-set by deauthorizations of old projects.

  • The House passed H.R. 850 by a vote of 417 - 3.  I was pleased to cosponsor this bill and to support it along with many of my colleagues.

October 16, 2013:

The House considered a Senate amendment to H.R. 2775, the Continuing Appropriations Act, 2014.  Under the terms of the Senate amendment, federal departments and agencies would be funded through January 15, 2013; the federal debt limit would be suspended through February 7, 2013; and the federal government would take steps to ensure that individuals claiming premium subsidies under the Affordable Care Act are eligible for such a benefit.

  • The House agreed to concur in the Senate amendment by a vote of 285 – 144.  I voted against agreeing to the amendment because the resolution made no progress in slowing the growth of federal government spending.

October 7, 2013:

The House considered H.R. 3273, the Deficit Reduction and Economic Growth Working Group Act of 2013, a bill to establish a bicameral working group comprised of 20 Members of Congress and charged with the task of recommending to the House and Senate policies for addressing discretionary spending, the debt ceiling, and mandatory spending programs.

  • H.R. 3273 was adopted in the House by a vote of 224 – 197.  I voted with the majority to establish this working group.
 

Beginning October 1, the House of Representatives passed several funding bills to reopen certain parts of the government.  I supported these efforts:

October 5, 2013:

  • Federal Employee Retroactive Pay Fairness Act (H.R. 3223): provides for compensation of federal employees furloughed due to Senate Democrats' government shutdown.  This is similar to bipartisan legislation enacted during previous shutdowns. (Passed in the House 407-0)

October 4, 2013:

  • National Emergency and Disaster Recovery Act (H.J. Res 85): provides immediate funding for the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA). (Passed in the House 247-164)
  • Nutrition Assistance for Low-Income Women and Children Act (H.J. Res. 75): provides immediate funding for the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children, which “serves nearly 9 million mothers and young children,” and provides “vital nutrition that poor families might otherwise be unable to afford.” (Passed in the House 244-164)

October 3, 2013:

  • Pay Our Guard and Reserve Act (H.R. 3230): ensures the government shutdown doesn’t affect pay for our National Guard and Reserve. (Passed in the House 265-160)
  • Honoring Our Promise to America’s Veterans Act (H.J. Res. 72): provides immediate funding for critical veterans benefits and services, including disability claims, education and training, and more. (Passed in the House 259-157)

October 2, 2013:

  • Provide Local Funding for the District of Columbia Act (H.J. Res. 71): allows our nation’s capital to continue operating using its own funding. (Passed in the House by voice vote).
  • Open Our Nation's Parks and Museums Act (H.J. Res. 70): opens all of our national parks and museums, including the WWII Memorial in Washington, DC that was initially closed to veterans. (Passed in the House 252-173)
  • Research for Lifesaving Cures Act (H.J. Res. 73): provides funding for the National Institute of Health, which is responsible for lifesaving medical innovations and cancer research. (Passed in the House 254-171)

September 30, 2013:

The House considered H.Res. 368, a resolution that would provide that the House “insist” on its amendment to H.J. Res. 59, a resolution providing continuing funding for the federal government, and request a conference with the Senate to work out differences between the two Chambers concerning Fiscal Year 2014 funding for the federal government.

  • H.Res. 368 was adopted by the House by a vote of 228 – 199.  I voted in favor of its adoption.

September 30, 2013:

After a further Senate amendment, the House considered another amendment of H.J. Res. 59, a resolution providing continuing funding for the federal government. Through this amendment, the House again sought to fund the federal government through December 15, 2013.  The amendment also proposed a one-year delay of the Affordable Care Act requirement that all individuals purchase health insurance.  Another provision of the amendment would require that all Members of Congress, their staff, the President and Vice President, and all political appointees purchase health insurance through a federal insurance exchange without the benefit of any employer contribution to the cost of this insurance.

  • This amendment was agreed to by a vote of 228 – 201.  I voted with the majority in favor of this amendment.

September 28, 2013:

The House considered a further amendment to the Senate amendment to H.J. Res. 59, a resolution providing continuing funding for the federal government.  This amendment proposed a one-year delay of implementation of those provisions of the Affordable Care Act that would take effect between October 1, 2013 and December 31, 2013.

  • The amendment was approved on a vote of 231 – 192.  I voted in favor of the amendment.

September 28, 2013:

The House considered a motion to concur in the Senate amendment to the House-passed version of H.J. Res. 59, a resolution providing continuing funding for the federal government.  As part of this motion, the House proposed further amendments that would repeal the 2.3 percent tax on medical equipment, restore the December 15, 2013 expiration date of the continuing resolution, and stop funding for construction of the Dwight D. Eisenhower memorial.

  • This amendment to the Senate amendment was adopted by the House by a vote of 248 – 174.  I voted with the majority in favor of the amendment.

September 20, 2013:

The considered H.J. Res. 59, a resolution to provide continuing funding for federal departments, agencies, and activities from October 1, 2013,  to December 15, 2013.  This resolution would fund the government during this period at the same rate as was provided during Fiscal Year 2013, including sequester spending reductions.  Additionally, the resolution included language to defund the Affordable Care Act and provide certain borrowing authority for the Department of the Treasury should an increase in the debt ceiling not be enacted.

  • This resolution passed the House on a vote of 230 – 189.  I voted in favor of passage.

September 20, 2013:

The House considered H.R. 1526, the Restoring Healthy Forests for Healthy Communities Act, a bill to increase timber production on national forest land and to reauthorize the Secure Rural Schools program.

  • The House passed H.R. 1526, with my support, by a vote of 244-173.  I voted in favor of this bill because it will increase revenues to local schools and communities located near national forests and will to help to reduce wildfires.

September 18, 2013:

The House considered H.R. 761, the National Strategic and Critical Minerals Production Act of 2013, a bill to remove unnecessary bureaucracy and barriers that hamper the domestic production of strategic and critical minerals.

  • The House passed H.R. 761, with my support, by a vote of 246-178.  I voted in favor of this bill because increased domestic production of these minerals is critical for economic growth, national security, innovation, and the manufacturing and agricultural supply chain.

September 12, 2013:

The House considered H.R. 2775, the No Subsidies Without Verification Act, legislation that would condition the provision of premium and cost-sharing subsidies under the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act upon a certification that a program to verify household income and other qualifications for such subsidies is operational.

  • The House passed H.R. 2775, with my support, by a vote of 235-191.  I voted in favor of this legislation because I am concerned about the potential for abuse under the exchanges if proper income verification procedures are not in place.

August 2, 2013:

The House debated and voted on H.R. 367, the Regulations From the Executive in Need of Scrutiny (REINS) Act of 2013. Under this legislation, major regulatory proposals would not take effect unless Congress voted affirmatively in approval. Under current law, Congress may block new regulations by passing a resolution of disapproval that is then signed by the President of the United States. H.R. 367 would change the dynamic and give Congress a more effective role in the regulatory process.

  • H.R. 367 was passed in the House by a vote of 232 - 183. I voted in favor of its adoption.

The House considered H.R. 2009, the Keep the IRS Off Your Health Care Act of 2013, a bill which would prohibit the IRS from enforcing any provisions of the Affordable Care Act.

  • The House passed H.R. 2009, with my support, by a vote of 232-185.  I voted in favor of this bill because I believe the law was a significant overreach on the part of Congress and took a fundamentally wrong approach to achieving the goal of making affordable coverage available to all Americans.

August 1, 2013:

The House considered H.R. 1582, the Energy Consumers Relief Act of 2013, a bill to require the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), before issuing a regulation that would impose costs of more than $1 billion on the economy, to report an estimate of the total costs of the rule, an estimate of the increase in energy costs that might result, and an estimate of any employment effects that might result.

  • The House passed H.R. 1582, with my support, by a vote of 232-181.  I voted in favor of this legislation because, while I agree that we need proper environmental protections in place, we need to be cognizant of the economic effects of regulations, particularly the potential impact on employers.

July 31, 2013:

The House considered H.R. 850, the Nuclear Iran Prevention Act of 2013, which would strengthen and expand existing U.S. sanctions on Iran, while ensuring their full implementation and enforcement.  

  • The House passed H.R. 850 by a vote of 400 - 20.  I was pleased to cosponsor this bill and to support it along with the majority of my colleagues.

July 24, 2013:

The House considered H.R. 2397, the Department of Defense Appropriations Act for 2014.  This bill would fund all programs within the Department of Defense.

  • I voted in favor of an amendment offered by Representative Justin Amash (R-MI) that would increase privacy protection from the NSA.  The amendment would have ended authority for the collection of records under the Patriot Act by barring the NSA and other agencies from using the Patriot Act to collect records, including telephone call records that pertain to persons who are not subject to a federal investigation.  This amendment failed by a vote of 205 - 217.
  • The House passed H.R. 2397 by a vote of 315 - 109.  I supported final passage of the bill.

July 19, 2013:

The House considered H.R. 5, the Student Success Act, legislation that would overhaul No Child Left Behind, the primary federal law governing elementary and secondary education.

  • The House passed H.R. 5 by a vote of 221-207.  I voted in favor of this legislation because it provides significantly more flexibility to local school districts and states to spend federal funds in ways that they think will be most effective for their students.

July 17, 2013:

The House considered H.R. 2668, the Fairness for American Families Act, and H.R. 2667, the Authority for Mandate Delay Act.  These bills would delay by one year the implementation of the Affordable Care Act's individual mandate and the employer mandate, respectively.

  • The House passed H.R. 2668 by a vote of 251-174 and H.R. 2667 by a vote of 264-161.  I voted in favor of these bills because I am concerned about problems that have arisen with the implementation of the ACA and the negative impacts on employers and American families.

July 11, 2013:

The House considered H.R. 2642, the Federal Agriculture Reform and Risk Management (FARRM) Act of 2013, which contains the same provisions that were in H.R. 1947, the FARRM Act of 2013, as it was considered on the House floor on June 20, 2013, including amendments that were adopted by the House.  It excludes the provisions for the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP or food stamps) and adds a repeal of the 1947 law that requires the passage or extension of the farm bill every five years

  • The House passed H.R. 2642 by a vote of 216-208.  I voted in favor of this legislation because it allows for these important agriculture policies to proceed to conference with the Senate and hopefully avoid the need for another extension of these programs in September.

July 10, 2013:

The House considered H.R. 2609, the Energy and Water Development and Related Agencies Appropriations Act for Fiscal Year 2014.  This bill provides funding for the Department of Energy, the Army Corps of Engineers, and a number of other federal agencies and programs.

  • The House passed H.R. 2609 by a vote of 227-198.  I voted with the majority in the passage of this legislation.

June 28, 2013:

The House considered H.R. 2231, the Offshore Energy and Jobs Act, legislation to require the Secretary of Interior to develop a new 5-year offshore oil and gas leasing program that focuses on areas with the greatest potential resources and seeks to meet production goals that align with U.S. need.

  • The House passed H.R. 2231, with my support, by a vote of 235-186.  I voted in favor of this legislation because I believe we must encourage production of domestic energy resources to help lower gas prices and to decrease our dependence on foreign sources of oil, and this bill would make available for leasing areas that are known to contain large reserves of oil and gas.

June 27, 2013:

The House considered H.R. 1613, the Outer Continental Shelf Transboundary Hydrocarbon Agreements Authorization Act, a bill to implement an agreement reached by the U.S. and Mexico in February 2012 that establishes a legal framework to guide commercial energy development along the U.S.-Mexico maritime boundary.

  • The House passed H.R. 1613, with my support, by a vote of 256-171.  I voted in favor of this legislation because it would allow stalled oil and gas exploration along the U.S. maritime border with Mexico to proceed.

June 20, 2013:

The House considered H.R. 1947, the Federal Agriculture Reform and Risk Management Act of 2013, which would have authorized federal agricultural policies and programs, as well as the Supplemental Nutritional Assistance Program (SNAP) for five years. Consideration of H.R. 1947 included votes on the following aspects of the legislation:

  • An amendment offered by Rep. Goodlatte of Virginia to strike the Dairy Market Stabilization Program in the diary title of the bill and replace it with a new Dairy Producer Margin Insurance Program.  I voted in favor of this amendment which was adopted by a vote of 291-135-1. 
  • An amendment offered by Rep. Kind of Wisconsin, which is the same language as H.R. 1995, the AFFIRM Act, that I co-sponsored with Rep. Kind, to limit premium subsides to those producers with an AGI under $250,000 and limit per person premium subsidies to $50,00 and cap crop insurance providers’ reimbursements of administrative and operating costs at $900 million and reduce their rate of return to $12%.  It also would introduce transparency into the crop insurance program.  I voted in favor of this amendment which was defeated by a vote of 208-217. 
  • An amendment offered by Rep. Southerland of Florida to allow states to participate in a pilot program that would apply federal welfare work requirements to the SNAP program.  I voted in favor of this amendment which was adopted by a vote of 227-198. 
  • H.R. 1947 failed on final passage by a vote of 195-234.  I voted in favor of the bill.  While it was not a perfect bill, it did make important reforms to programs that are critical to Wisconsin and I believe it’s important we pass a 5-year farm bill so that farmers have the assurance and stability they need to plan and operate efficiently.  

June 18, 2013:

The House considered H.R. 1797, the Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act, which would ban 20 week and beyond abortions anywhere in the United States, regardless of who pays for them. 

  • H.R. 1797 passed by a vote of 228-196. I am pleased to be a cosponsor of this bill and to continue my efforts to end the unconscionable practice of abortion.

June 14, 2013:

The House considered H.R. 1960, the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2014. This bill authorizes appropriations and makes programmatic reforms for the Department of Defense programs for the coming year.

  • H.R. 1960 passed by a vote of 315 – 108. I supported this bill as it is vital to ensure our military has the resources necessary to operate effectively.

June 12, 2013:

The House considered H.R. 1256, the Swap Jurisdiction Certainty Act.  This bill would require the Securities and Exchange Commission and the Commodities Futures Trading Commission to issue identical joint rules relative to certain financial transactions known as “swaps” that are entered into between investors in the U.S. and those in other countries.  H.R. 1256 also would allow foreign investors in a country with one of the nine largest swap markets to be exempt from U.S. requirements, unless the two Commissions determine that a particular nation’s regulatory structure is not consistent with the aims of U.S. regulation.

  • H.R. 1256 was adopted by the House by a vote of 301 – 124.  I voted in favor of passage of the Swap Jurisdiction Certainty Act.

June 6, 2013:

The House considered H.R. 2217, Department of Homeland Security Appropriations Act for Fiscal Year 2014, a bill to fund programs through the Department of Homeland Security, such as US Customs and Border Protection, Immigration and Customs Enforcement, Secret Service, Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), and Transportation Security Association (TSA).

  • The House passed H.R. 2217, with my support, by a vote of 245 - 182.  During consideration, I also supported amendments to reduce overall spending in the bill and to limit funding to only necessary programs and uses.

June 4, 2013:

The House considered H.R. 2216, the FY 2014 Military Construction and Veterans Affairs Appropriations Act, which would provide funding for government departments through the end of the current fiscal year.

  •  H.R. 2216 passed the House by a vote of 421 - 4.  I joined the majority in voting for passage of this bill.

May 23, 2013:

The House considered H.R. 1911, the Smarter Solutions for Students Act, a bill that would tie the interest rates on federal student loans to market rates.

  • The House passed H.R. 1911, with my support, by a vote of 221-198.  I voted in favor of this bill because I believe student loan interest rates should not be dictated by politicians but instead should be tied to market conditions.

May 22, 2013:

The House considered H.R. 3, a bill to approve the construction, operation, and maintenance of the Keystone XL pipeline.

  • The House passed H.R. 3, with my support, by a vote of 241-175.  I voted in favor of this bill because the permitting process for this project has taken more than five years so far and numerous environmental reviews have been conducted, none of which have found that significant environmental issues would result.  Additionally, this pipeline has the potential to create thousands of jobs and would decrease our dependence on sources of oil from hostile or unstable parts of the world.

May 17, 2013:

The House considered H.R. 1062, the SEC Regulatory Accountability Act, a bill to require the Securities and Exchange Commission to conduct enhanced cost-benefit analyses in order to ensure that the benefits of it regulation justify the costs of the new rules.

  • H.R. 1062 passed the House by a vote of 235 – 161.  I voted in favor of adopting this legislation.

May 16, 2013:

The House considered H.R. 45, a bill to repeal the President's health care law.

  • The House passed H.R. 45, with my support, by a vote of 229-195. I voted in favor of this bill because I believe the law was a significant overreach on the part of Congress and took a fundamentally wrong approach to achieving the goal of making affordable coverage available to all Americans.

May 9, 2013:

The House considered H.R. 807, the Full Faith and Credit Act.  This legislation grants to the Department of the Treasury the authority to issue new debt obligations after the federal debt limit has been reached, but this new debt can only be issued if the proceeds are to be used to pay principal and interest on existing debt held by the public and to pay Social Security benefits.

  • H.R. 807 passed the House by a vote of 221 – 207.  I voted with the majority in favor of this bill.  The purpose of this bill is to protect the credit of the United States should Congress not enact an increase in the federal debt ceiling.

May 8, 2013:

The House considered H.R. 1406, the Working Families Flexibility Act of 2013, a bill to allow private sector employers to offer employees comp time in lieu of cash wages for overtime worked, so long as the employee consents to the arrangement upfront.  This flexibility is already available to public sector employees.

  • The House passed H.R. 1406 by a vote of 223-204.  I voted in favor of this legislation because I believe it is important that private sector employers have the flexibility to offer comp time to their employees to enable them to better balance work and family needs.

April 26, 2013:

The House considered H.R. 527, the Helium Act, a bill to extend the Federal helium reserve and to modify the structure of helium sales to ensure that helium sold from the reserve is sold at market prices.

  • The House passed H.R. 527 by a vote of 394-1.  I voted in favor of this legislation because it allows the continued sale of helium from the helium reserve but in a way that provides a fair price for taxpayers.

April 22, 2013:

The House considered H.R. 624, the Cyber Intelligence Sharing and Protection Act, which would direct the federal government to conduct cybersecurity activities to provide shared situational awareness allowing an integrated response to protect, prevent, mitigate, respond to, and recover from cyber incidents.

  • The House passed H.R. 624, with my support, by a vote of 288 - 127.  I supported the bill because the sharing of information is completely voluntary for businesses, and threat detection with greater cooperation between the public and private sector could considerably reduce and prevent cyber-attacks.

April 12, 2013:

The House considered H.R. 1120, the Preventing Greater Uncertainty in Labor-Management Relations Act, which would prohibit the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) from taking actions that require a quorum until a proper quorum is established.

  • The House passed H.R. 1120 by a vote of 219-209.  I voted in favor of this legislation because I believe the NLRB should cease any actions that require a quorum until one is established.

April 10, 2013:

The House considered H.R. 678, the Bureau of Reclamation Small Conduit Hydropower Development and Rural Jobs Act, a bill to clarify that the jurisdiction for small hydropower development on all Bureau of Reclamation irrigation canals and conduits lies solely with that bureau. Additionally, the bill would streamline the approval process for small conduit hydropower development.

  • The House passed H.R. 678 by a vote of 416 - 7. I voted in favor of this legislation because it will help facilitate the development of hydropower projects on Bureau of Reclamation canals and conduits.

March 21, 2013:

The House considered H. Con. Res. 25, a resolution providing a budget for fiscal year 2014 and providing a budgetary framework for years 2015 through 2023.  Under the terms of this resolution, the federal budget would be balanced within 10 years.

  •  H. Con Res. 25 passed the House by a vote of 221 - 207.  I voted in favor of adopting this resolution and balancing the federal budget.

The House considered a Senate amendment to H.R. 933, legislation which had passed the House earlier in the month.  Like the House-passed version, this Senate amendment would provide funding for the federal government through the end of the current fiscal year.  The amendment included language providing sequester flexibility for several departments in addition to the Department of Defense.

  • This Senate amendment was adopted by the House by a vote of 318 - 109.  I voted with the majority in favor of passage.  President Obama signed the legislation into law on March 26, 2013.

March 15, 2013: 

The House considered H.R. 803, the Supporting Knowledge and Investing in Lifelong Skills (SKILLS) Act, which would reauthorize the Workforce Investment Act (WIA), the law governing our nation's workforce development system.

  • The House passed H.R. 803, with my support, by a vote of 215 - 202.  I supported the bill because it would simplify and streamline the workforce development system by eliminate and consolidating duplicative and unnecessary programs.  In addition, the bill gives states and local Workforce Investment Boards greater authority to adapt local workforce development systems to the needs of local communities.

March 13, 2013:

The House considered H.R. 890, the Preserving the Welfare Work Requirement and TANF Extension Act of 2013, which would prohibit the Obama administration from issuing waivers of the work requirements under TANF, the welfare reform law passed in 1996.

  • The House passed H.R. 890, with my support, by a vote of 246 - 181.  I supported this bill because I believe the work requirements are an essential component of the bipartisan reforms to our nation's welfare system put in place in 1997.

March 6, 2013:

The House considered H.R. 933, the Department of Defense, Military Construction and Veterans Affairs, and Full-Year Continuing Appropriations Act, 2013.  This bill would provide funding for government departments through the end of the current fiscal year while providing greater flexibility for the Department of Defense in implementing the sequester cuts.

  •  H.R. 933 passed the House by a vote of 267 - 151.  I joined the majority in voting for passage of this bill.

February 28, 2013:

The House voted 286 - 138 to pass S. 47, the Violence Against Women Reauthorization Act of 2013, which reauthorizes and expands a variety of grant programs aimed at countering domestic violence through 2018.  While countering violent crimes is a cause that has universal support, the debate over S. 47 became contentious due to the inclusion of a variety of controversial new elements to the bill.

  • While I believe that these programs should be funded, I could not support the House substitute amendment or the underlying Senate bill when I felt that a better bill could have been produced through committee.  Unfortunately, much of the grant funding does not directly benefit victims of domestic violence, but goes toward lobbying for state and local law enforcement policies and research.  Under our Constitution, states are given the responsibility for prosecution of those violent crimes and they don't need Washington telling them how to do it.  Women facing domestic abuse deserve funding for assistance, not petty politics.

February 15, 2013:

The House considered H.R. 273, legislation to eliminate the 2013 statutory pay adjustment for Federal employees.  This legislation prevented Members of Congress, the President’s Cabinet, the Vice President, and other non-military federal employees from receiving an automatic pay raise under the President’s Executive Order issued on December 28, 2012. 

  • H.R. 273 was approved by the House by a vote of 261-154.  I voted with the majority in favor of adoption.

February 6, 2013:

The House considered H.R. 444, the Require a PLAN Act.  This legislation would require the President to submit a supplemental unified budget by April 1, 2013, if his original budget failed to achieve balance in any of the ten fiscal years covered by that budget.  In this supplemental report, the President would be called upon to identify the fiscal year in which the federal budget would be balanced under his plan.

  • H.R. 444 was approved in the House by a vote of 253 - 167.  I voted with the majority in favor of this legislation.

January 23, 2013:

The House considered H.R. 325, a bill to suspend the federal debt limit through May 18, 2013, and to induce each chamber of Congress to pass a federal budget resolution for Fiscal Year 2014 by withholding the pay of the members of either chamber that fails to pass a budget by April 15, 2013.

  • H.R. 325 was adopted in the House by a vote of 285 - 144.  I voted against this legislation because it raised the debt limit without making any progress in addressing long-term federal spending.

January 15, 2013:

The House of Representatives debated H.R. 152, a bill providing supplemental appropriations funding recovery and repair efforts in the aftermath of Superstorm Sandy.  Consideration of H.R. 152 included votes on the following aspects of the legislation:

  • An amendment offered by Rep. Mulvaney of South Carolina to offset a $17 billion portion of the storm assistance package though an across-the-board reduction of all Fiscal Year 2013 domestic discretionary spending.  I voted in favor of this amendment which was defeated by a vote of 162 - 258.
  • An amendment by Rep. Rogers of Kentucky which appropriated $17 billion in disaster assistance which was designated as emergency spending.  This amendment was adopted by a vote of 327 - 91.  I voted against adoption of this amendment because the House had defeated attempts to offset the spending with responsible budget cuts.
  • An amendment sponsored by Rep. Frelinghuysen of New Jersey which provided $33.6 billion in spending for additional storm-related assistance.  This funding was provided in addition to the funding adopted under the Rogers Amendment.  The House adopted this amendment by a vote of 228 - 192.  I opposed this amendment because I believe it is difficult to prevent wasteful spending when so much funding is provided too quickly and without proper controls.
  • H.R. 152 passed the House by a vote of 241 - 180.  I voted against passage because of the bill's failure to include responsible spending offsets and because the haste in which the funds will be distributed does little to ensure accountability and transparency.

January 4, 2013:

The House considered H.R. 41, legislation to temporarily increase the borrowing authority of the Federal Emergency Management Agency for paying claims made through the National Flood Insurance Program.  Following Superstorm Sandy, the flood insurance program had only $1 billion in cash on hand to meet anticipated claims in excess of $10 billion.

  • H.R. 41 was approved by the House by a vote of 354 - 67.  I voted against H.R. 41 to register my opposition to a supposed insurance plan that lacks the cash reserves to pay claims on the policies that it has issued.

 

***  End 112th Congress/Begin 113th Congress (above)  ***

 

January 1, 2013:

The House considered a Senate-amended version of H.R. 8, renamed the American Taxpayer Relief Act of 2012.  This legislation, intended as a solution to the pending fiscal cliff, provided permanent relief from impending tax increases for some, but increased taxes for others.  On the spending side, H.R. authorized more new spending than spending cuts, resulting in a net increase in federal spending.

  • H.R. 8 passed the House by a vote of 257 - 167.  I voted against passage because its lack of spending cuts resulted in an unbalanced approach to repairing the government's financial problems.

December 20, 2012:

The House voted 315 - 107 to pass the Conference Report to H.R. 4310, the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2013. This bill authorizes appropriations and makes programmatic reforms for the Department of Defense programs for the coming year.

  • I supported this bill as it is vital to ensure our military has the resources necessary to operate effectively. The final bill included 2 amendments I offered (relating to back pay for military who lost vacation pay due to clerical error and relating to renewable energy requirements for DOD.) It also included improvements to the Troops to Teachers program that I championed.

November 30, 2012:

The House voted 245 - 139 to pass H.R. 6429, the STEM Jobs Act of 2012. The Senate failed to take action on the bill before the end of the 112th Congress.  STEM stands for the fields of science, technology, engineering and math.  The bill eliminates the diversity lottery green card program and reallocates up to 55,000 green cards a year to graduates of American universities with advanced degrees in STEM fields who are recruited by American employers. 

  • I supported this bill because allowing foreign graduates of American universities to remain will boost job creation and improve our economy, hopefully encouraging more Americans to obtain master's degrees and doctorates in the STEM fields.  Under the current system, we educate scientists and engineers only to send them home to work for our competitors abroad.

November 16, 2012:

The House considered H.R. 6156, the Russia and Moldova Jackson-Vanik Repeal Act of 2012.  This legislation would establish permanent normal trade relations for Russia and Moldova and repeal the cold war era restrictions on trade with these nations.  In place of those restrictions, H.R. 6156 would establish a sanctions regime for use against individuals involved in human rights violations.

  • I joined in the overwhelming House majority voting in favor enactment of this bill by a vote of 365 - 43.  This legislation remains pending in the Senate.

September 12, 2012:

The House voted on H.R. 5949, FISA Amendments Act Reauthorization Act of 2012.  This bill would extend Title VII of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) Amendments Act of 2008 for five years (through December 31, 2017).   Title VII of FISA establishes procedures for the conduct of certain intelligence collection activities generally targeting foreign persons reasonably believed to be located outside the United States. This should not to be confused with the PATRIOT Act, which deals with collecting intelligence inside the United States. 

  • H.R. 5949 passed by a vote of 301 - 118.  I supported this measure along with the majority of my colleagues.  It now goes to the Senate for consideration.

August 2, 2012:

The House considered H.R. 6233, the Agricultural Disaster Assistance Act of 2012, which would reauthorize expired emergency disaster programs for livestock ranchers, as well as fish, tree, honey bee and nursery plant producers for fiscal year 2012. The aid would be available for losses incurred from October 1, 2011, through 2012, as a result of disaster, adverse weather or other environmental conditions.

  • The House passed H.R. 6233 by a vote of 223-197.  I voted in favor of this legislation because I felt it was important to provide emergency assistance to farmers suffering from one of the worst droughts in decades.

The House debated H.R. 6169, the Pathway to Job Creation through a Simpler, Fairer Tax Code Act of 2012.  This bill would establish both an outline for tax reform and an expedited framework to facilitate consideration of such a bill during the 113th Congress.  Under H.R. 6169, tax reform legislation featuring two individual income tax rates, a corporate rate of 25 percent or less, a repeal of the Alternative Minimum Tax, a switch in the basis of our corporate tax system to the "territorial" model, and anticipated revenues of between 18 and 19 percent of Gross Domestic Product, would qualify for consideration under the expedited framework.

  •  H.R. 6169 passed the House by a vote 232 - 189.  I support bringing pro-growth tax reform legislation to a vote on the House floor, and I voted in favor of the adoption of H.R. 6169.

August 1, 2012:

The House considered H.R. 8, the Job Protection and Recession Prevention Act of 2012.  This legislation would provide a one-year extension of many tax provisions originally enacted in 2001 and 2003 which are set to expire on December 31 of this year.   Under H.R. 8, current marginal rates for individual taxpayers, the tax rates for capital gains and dividend income, current law for the estate tax, the $1,000 Child Tax Credit, and middle-class marriage penalty relief are extended for one year.  The patch to the Alternative Minimum Tax, intended to prevent the application of this law to millions of middle-class tax taxpayers, would be extended for two-years through 2013.

  • H.R. 8 was subject of a robust debate on the House floor and was adopted by a vote of 256 - 171.  I voted for this legislation in order to prevent a huge tax increase on January 1, 2013.

July 31, 2012:

The House considered H.R. 3803, the D.C. Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act. This bill would ban 20 week and beyond abortions in Washington, D.C., regardless of who pays for them.

  • H.R. 3803 was considered under a parliamentary procedure requiring a two-thirds majority to pass.  Unfortunately, even though the House voted 220-154 in support of the bill, the measure failed.  I am pleased to be a cosponsor of this bill and to have supported it.

July 26, 2012:

The House debated H.R. 4078, the Red Tape Reduction and Small Business Job Creation Act.  H.R. 4078 was a package of regulatory reform and relief proposals intended to lessen the uncertainty caused by impending federal rulemakings.  Government regulation can play a vital role in protecting the health and safety of Americans, but regulatory zeal can go too far and bring negative impacts to the economy without corresponding benefits in the lives of our citizens.

  • H.R. 4078 was passed in the House by a vote of 245 - 172. I voted with the majority in favor of adoption.

July 25, 2012:

The House considered H.R. 459, the Federal Reserve Transparency Act of 2011.  This legislation would provide authority to the Government Accountability Office to conduct a full audit of the operations of the Federal Reserve and report to Congress on the findings of this audit.

  • H.R. 459 would afford greater transparency and accountability in the Federal Reserve's conduct of monetary policy, and it passed the House by a vote of 327 - 98.  I voted in favor of passage of this important legislation.

July 19, 2012:

The House considered H.R. 5856, Department of Defense Appropriations Act for FY 2013, a bill to fund programs through the Department of Defense.  Due to the drawdown of troops in Afghanistan, spending for the war is 23 percent below the level of funding in FY 2012.

  • The House passed H.R. 5856, with my support, by a vote of 326 - 90.  During consideration, I also supported amendments to reduce overall spending in the bill and to limit funding for the war in Afghanistan.

July 12, 2012:

The House considered H.R. 4402, the National Strategic and Critical Minerals Production Act, a bill to remove unnecessary bureaucracy and barriers that hamper the domestic production of strategic and critical minerals.

  • The House passed H.R. 4402, with my support, by a vote of 256-160. I voted in favor of this bill because increased domestic production of these minerals is critical for economic growth, national security, innovation, and the manufacturing and agricultural supply chain.

July 11, 2012:

The House considered H.R. 6079, a bill to repeal the President's health care law.

  • The House passed H.R. 6079, with my support, by a vote of 244-185. I voted in favor of this bill because I believe the law was a significant overreach on the part of Congress, took a fundamentally wrong approach to achieving the goal of making affordable coverage available to all Americans, and will only make worse our skyrocketing health care costs and federal deficits.

June 29, 2012:

The House considered the conference report to H.R. 4348, the Moving Ahead for Progress in the 21st Century (MAP-21), to reauthorize federal highway, transit and safety programs through September 30, 2014. The conference report also extended the 3.4 percent interest rate on subsidized federal student loans, reauthorized the National Flood Insurance program through 2017, and provides for distribution of penalties paid by those responsible for the Gulf of Mexico oil spill to Gulf Coast states for environmental restoration.  H.R. 4348 passed the House by a vote of 373 to 52, the Senate by a vote of 74-19, and was signed into law by the President on July 6, 2012.

  • I voted for the bill because the federal transportation program will continue the positive formula for distributing federal highway funds to Wisconsin and includes transit reforms needed by Valley Transit and Green Bay metro, and makes other important reforms. It also will provide more certainty and aid in the planning and construction of transportation projects throughout our state and preserve jobs. I also was supportive of extending the 3.4 percent interest rate for student loans.

The House considered H.R. 5972, the Transportation, Housing and Urban Development, and Related Agencies Appropriations Act for fiscal year 2013. This bill funds agencies such as the Federal Highway Administration, the Federal Aviation Administration, Amtrak, and the Federal Railroad Administration among others.

  • H.R. 5972 passed the House by a vote of 261 - 163 with my support. I also voted in favor of numerous amendments to cut back spending to previous fiscal year levels.

June 21, 2012:

The House considered H.R. 4480, the Strategic Energy Production Act of 2012, legislation that would require the federal government to review the nation’s energy needs and then establish targets for federal land energy production to meet those needs from all energy sources, including oil, natural gas, coal and renewables. The bill would also halt new regulations issued by the Environmental Protection Agency until they can be reviewed to assess what impact they will have on gasoline and diesel fuel prices.

  • The House passed H.R. 4480, with my support, by a vote of 248-163. I voted in favor of this bill because I believe we must encourage production of domestic energy resources to ensure that Americans have access to affordable energy, to help lower gas prices and to decrease our dependence on foreign sources of oil.

June 19, 2012:

The House considered H.R. 2578, a bill that incorporates a number of individual bills related to public lands that were reported from the House Natural Resources Committee.

  • The House passed H.R. 2578, with my support, by a vote of 232-188. I voted in favor of this bill because it makes a number of important changes that would improvement management of and access to our nation's public lands.

June 8, 2012:

The House considered H.R. 5882, the Fiscal Year 2013 Legislative Branch Appropriations Act. This bill provides funding for the operations of the House, as well as all other legislative branch agencies at a level $34 million less than enacted for 2012.

  • H.R. 5882 passed the House by a vote of 307 - 102. I voted with the majority in support of this appropriations bill.

June 7, 2012:

The House considered H.R. 436, the Protect Medical Innovation Act of 2012, which would repeal a tax on medical devices passed as part of President Obama's health care law.

  • The House passed H.R. 436, with my support, by a vote of 270-146. I voted in favor of this bill because I'm concerned that this tax will just contribute to our nation's spiraling health care costs.

The House considered H.R. 5855, Department of Homeland Security Appropriations Act for FY 2013, a bill to fund programs through the Department of Homeland Security, such as US Customs and Border Protection, Immigration and Customs Enforcement, Secret Service, Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), and Transportation Security Association (TSA).

  • The House passed H.R. 5855, with my support, by a vote of 234 - 182.  During consideration, I also supported amendments to reduce overall spending in the bill and to limit funding to only necessary programs and uses.

June 6, 2012:

The House considered H.R. 5325, a bill making appropriations for energy and water development and related agencies for the fiscal year ending September 30, 2013.

  • The House passed H.R. 5325, with my support, by a vote of 255-165. I voted in favor of this bill because I believe it sends spending in these areas at fiscally responsible levels given our nation's fiscal deficits.

May 18, 2012:

The House voted 299-120 to pass H.R. 4310, the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2013. This bill authorizes appropriations and makes programmatic reforms for the Department of Defense programs for the coming year.

  • I supported this bill as it is vital to ensure our military has the resources necessary to operate effectively. I supported amendments to eliminate indefinite military detention of any person (amendment failed, 182-238), and to clarify that the bill does not deny any Constitutional rights for anyone detained in the U.S. (amendment passed, 243-173). I also supported an amendment to provide for the orderly withdrawal of U.S. forces from Afghanistan (amendment failed 113-303).
  • H.R. 4310, as passed by the House, included 2 amendments I offered (relating to back pay for military who lost vacation pay due to clerical error and relating to renewable energy requirements for DOD.) It also included improvements to the Troops to Teachers program that I championed.

May 10, 2012:

The House considered H.R. 5326, a bill making appropriations for the Departments of Commerce and Justice, Science, and Related Agencies for the fiscal year ending September 30, 2013. This legislation, the first of the 12 annual appropriations bills to be considered by the House, would provide $51.1 billion for the agencies and programs it funds. This figure represents a 3 percent reduction from the previous fiscal year.

  • I voted in favor of H.R. 5326, which passed the House by a vote of 247 - 163.

The House debated H.R. 5652, the Sequester Replacement Reconciliation Act of 2012. This package of spending cuts and program savings, prepared by six separate House committees, would replace the across-the-board sequester scheduled for January 2, 2013, with a total reduction of $313 billion over 10 years.

  • I voted with the majority of the House in passing H.R. 5652 by a vote of 218 - 199.

May 9, 2012:

The House considered H.R. 2072, the Export-Import Bank Reauthorization Act of 2012. This legislation would provide for a three-year reauthorization of the Export-Import Bank and a phased-in increase in its lending cap to $140 billion. The Export-Import Bank makes loans to overseas customers of U.S. companies.

  • The House approved H.R. 2072 by a vote of 330 - 93. I voted against reauthorization of the Import - Export Bank because its loans are questionable trade subsidies and do not always provide benefit to all domestic companies.

April 27, 2012:

The House considered H.R. 4628, legislation to extend the current 3.4% interest rate for subsidized Stafford Loans. The interest rate on subsidized Stafford loans is scheduled to increase from 3.4% to 6.8% on July 1. If it goes into effect, this rate increase will affect students who take new subsidized Stafford loans after that date. It will not affect students with existing loans and it will not affect students who take out unsubsidized Stafford loans.

  • The House passed H.R. 4628, with my support, by a vote of 215-195. I was pleased that the House passed this extension, and I hope that this issue can be resolved by Congress prior to the July 1 deadline.

April 26, 2012:

The House debated H.R. 3523, the Cyber Intelligence Sharing and Protection Act. This legislation addresses the potential of hostile threats to our nation's computer infrastructure by requiring, among other provisions, the director of national intelligence to establish procedures to promote voluntary information sharing between federal intelligence personnel and private sector computer security experts.

  • The House adopted H.R. 3523 by a vote of 248 - 168. I voted in favor of passage.

April 19, 2012:

The House considered H.R. 9, the Small Business Tax Cut Act. Under this legislation, small businesses, those with fewer than 500 employees, would be allowed a deduction equal to 20 percent of their business income. This one-time tax benefit would be expected to support business investment and job growth.

  • H.R. 9 was passed by the House by a vote of 235 - 173. I voted with the majority in support of this legislation.

April 18, 2012:

The House considered H.R. 4348, the "Surface Transportation Extension Act of 2012, Part II," which would extend current surface transportation programs for three months through September 30, 2012, would transfer approval of the Keystone XL pipeline project to the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission and require a permit to be issued within 30 days of receiving an application, and included other provisions.

  • The House passed H.R. 4348, with my support, by a vote of 293-127. I voted in favor of the legislation as it is a vehicle to facilitate a House-Senate conference on a longer-term surface transportation authorization bill.
  • Prior to final passage of H.R. 4348, the House also adopted the following amendments, which I supported.
  • An amendment to accelerate project delivery through reforming and accelerating environmental reviews. Passed by a vote of 255-165.
  • An amendment to ensure that revenues collected into the Harbor Maintenance Trust Fund be spent for intended purposes. Passed by voice vote.

April 17, 2012:

The House considered H.R. 4089, the Sportsmen’s Heritage Act of 2012, which would provide greater protections to ensure reasonable access for recreational hunting, fishing and shooting on lands managed by the U.S. Forest Service and the Bureau of Land Management.

  • The House passed H.R. 4089, with my support, by a vote of 274-146. I voted in favor of this legislation because I believe that recreational access should be a significant consideration in all federal land and resource planning decisions.

March 29, 2012:

The House considered H. Con. Res 112, a resolution establishing a federal budget for Fiscal Years 2013 - 2022. This budget proposed by this resolution called for FY 2013 spending of $3.5 trillion on revenues of $2.7 trillion. Assuming the enactment of certain tax and entitlement spending policies, this budget would bring the federal deficit below 3 percent of Gross Domestic Product by 2015 and hold deficits below 1.5 percent of GDP in 2016 through 2022.  The House adopted this budget proposal by a vote of 228 - 191. I voted in support of H. Con. Res 112.

  • Prior to adopting H. Con. Res. 112, the House voted on several substitute budget amendments, including:

March 28, 2012:

The House considered a substitute offered by Rep. Mulvaney (SC) modeled on the budget proposal submitted by President Obama earlier this year. This substitute proposed to spend more money and would result in higher annual deficits than H. Con. Res. 112. This proposal was rejected by a unanimous vote of 0 - 414. I joined with my colleagues in voting No.

  • The House debated a bipartisan amendment offered by Rep. Cooper (TN) and Rep. LaTourette (OH). This amendment was based upon the 2010 Bowles-Simpson report and would reduce deficits by $4 trillion over ten years, reducing the annual red ink to 1.4 percent of GDP by 2022. I voted in favor of this amendment which was defeated by a vote of 38 - 382.

March 29, 2012:

  • An amendment offered by Rep. Scott Garret of New Jersey was considered. This "Republican Study Committee" alternative would make deeper cuts in discretionary spending than the underlying H. Con. Res. 112, convert Medicaid to a state-run program partially funded with federal block grants, and achieve a balanced budget faster than any of the other proposals. This amendment was defeated by a vote of 136 - 285. I voted with the majority against the proposal.

March 27, 2012:

The House debated H.R. 3309, the Federal Communications Commission Process Reform Act of 2012. This legislation proposed improvements in the manner in which the Federal Communications Commission evaluates issues and makes decisions in formulating its regulatory orders.

  • H.R. 3309 was passed by the House by a vote of 247 - 174. I voted in favor of this legislation.

March 22, 2012:

The House considered H.R. 5, the Protecting Access to Healthcare Act, which would repeal the Independent Payment Advisory Board (IPAB) included in President Obama's health care law. Additionally, the bill would implement a number of medical malpractice reforms.

  • The House passed H.R. 5 by a vote of 223 - 181. I supported this legislation because I believe IPAB is the wrong approach to controlling health care costs. I believe we should be pursuing reforms that empower Medicare beneficiaries to choose how their Medicare dollars are spent as opposed to imposing top-down cost controls on the entire system.

March 8, 2012:

The House considered H.R. 3606, the Jumpstart Our Business Startups Act. This legislation included several provisions easing the regulatory burden on small businesses seeking to raise money from equity investors.

  • H.R. 3606 was passed by the House by a vote of 380 - 41. I voted in favor of passage. The Jumpstart Our Business Startups Act was signed into law by President Obama on April 5, 2012.

March 7, 2012:

The House considered H.R. 2842, the Bureau of Reclamation Small Conduit Hydropower Development and Rural Jobs Act, a bill to clarify that the jurisdiction for small hydropower development on all Bureau of Reclamation irrigation canals and conduits lies solely with that bureau. Additionally, the bill would streamline the approval process for small conduit hydropower development.

  • The House passed H.R. 2842 by a vote of 265 - 154. I voted in favor of this legislation because it will help facilitate the development of hydropower projects on Bureau of Reclamation canals and conduits.

March 1, 2012:

The House approved by a vote of 339-80 the bill S. 1134, to allow for the project to construct a new bridge over the St. Croix River between Wisconsin and Minnesota to proceed. The current lift bridge is dilapidated, unsafe, and inadequate to carry projected traffic. This project, which has been underway for more than 30 years, had been delayed due to a recent court case and a new determination by the National Park Service that it could not move forward under the Wild and Scenic Rivers Act. No federal funds were authorized under the bill, but the bill, in essence, waived the Wild and Scenic Rivers Act to remove the final roadblock to this needed project.

  • The House passed S. 1134 by a vote of 339-80. I supported this bill, as did all Members of the Wisconsin delegation. S. 1134 had passed the Senate earlier this year by unanimous consent and is on its way to the President.

February 29, 2012:

The House considered H.R. 1837, the Sacramento-San Joaquin Valley Water Reliability Act. This bill would make changes to the Central Valley Project Improvement Act (CVPIA), passed in 1992, related to the distribution of water in this region of California.

  • The House passed H.R. 1837 by a vote of 246-175. I voted in favor of this bill because I felt that it made necessary changes that would ensure that residents and farmers in the Sacramento-San Joaquin Valley region of California have adequate access to water.

February 28, 2012:

The House considered H.R. 2117, the Protecting Academic Freedom in Higher Education Act, which would repeal two Department of Education regulations related to higher education.

  • H.R. 2117 passed the House by a vote of 303-114. I voted in favor of this legislation because I believe these two regulations were unnecessarily burdensome and interfere in decisions that are properly made by institutions of higher education.

February 17, 2012:

The House took up the conference report on H.R. 3630, the Middle Class Tax Relief and Job Creation Act of 2012. This House-Senate agreement extended the Social Security Payroll Tax through December 2012, authorized an extension of emergency unemployment benefits while reducing the maximum weeks of eligibility from 99 to 73, and prevented a pending cut in the amount doctors are reimbursed by Medicare.

  • The conference report was approved by the House by a vote of 293 -132. Because the extension of the Payroll Tax holiday was not offset and added close to $100 billion to the deficit, I voted against its adoption.

February 16, 2012:

The House considered H.R. 3408, the Protecting Investment in Oil Shale the Next Generation of Environmental, Energy, and Resource Security (PIONEERS) Act, a bill to provide for greater investments in domestic energy resources.

  • H.R. 3408 passed the House, with my support, by a vote of 237-187. I voted in favor of this legislation because I believe we need to promote greater domestic energy exploration while maintaining critical protections for the environment.

February 8, 2012:

  • The House debated H.R. 3521, the Expedited Legislative Line-Item Veto and Rescissions Act. H.R. 3251 would establish an expedited rescission process which would allow a President to propose reductions of spending contained in previously-enacted appropriations bills. To meet Constitutional concerns that have prevented previous versions of a Line-Item Veto from taking effect, H.R. 3521 would require an affirmative vote by Congress to make the President's proposed rescissions law.
  • The Expedited Legislative Line-Item Veto and Rescissions Act was approved by the House by a vote of 254 - 173. I voted for passage of this bill.

February 7, 2012:

  • The House considered H.R. 3581, the Budget and Accounting Transparency Act. H.R. 3581 would increase the transparency of federal budgeting by bringing off-budget entities on-budget, reform the accounting methodology used for federal credit programs, and require agencies to promptly make public the budget justification materials they submit to Congress in support of their requests for public funds.
  • H.R. 3581 was adopted by a vote of 245 - 180. I supported this legislation by voting in favor of its passage.

February 3, 2012:

  • On February 3, the House approved the conference report to H.R. 658, the FAA Modernization and Reform Act of 2012. This is a bill to reauthorize FAA programs for 4 years, including grants to airports, air traffic control modernization, safety and environmental reforms.
  • The House passed the conference report by a vote of 248-169. As Chairman of the House Aviation Subcommittee, I was pleased to support this bill, which has been one of my top priorities. The Senate passed the conference report a few days later, and the President signed it into law on February 14.

February 3, 2012:

  • The House considered H.R. 3578, the Baseline Reform Act of 2012. Under this bill, the composition of the budget baseline constructed by the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) would be modified to ensure that budget baselines for discretionary spending are neutral in terms of promoting spending increases or reductions.
  • H.R. 3578 was adopted in the House by a vote of 235 - 177. I voted in favor of passage of this legislation.

February 2, 2012:

  • The House debated H.R. 3582, the Pro-Growth Budgeting Act of 2012. This legislation would require the Congressional Budget Office to include with the legislative analyses it currently provides a forecast of the macroeconomic impact of all major legislation.
  • The Pro-Growth Budgeting Act of 2012 was adopted in the House by a vote of 242 - 179. I voted in favor of this legislation.

February 1, 2012:

  • The House considered H.R. 1173, the Fiscal Responsibility and Retirement Security Act, a bill to repeal the CLASS program created as part of the health care law passed in 2010. The CLASS program was focused on providing federal long-term care insurance.
  • H.R. 1173 passed the House, with my support, by a vote of 267 to 159. While I agree with the program's intent to ensure that all Americans have access to affordable long-term care insurance, the CLASS program was structurally flawed and was widely criticized as being fiscally unsustainable.

February 1, 2012:

  • The House considered H.R. 3835, a bill to extend through December 31, 2013, the pay freeze for Members of Congress and federal employees. This bill was considered under suspension of the rules, an expedited process that requires a two-thirds majority for passage.
  • H.R. 3835 was passed by the House by a vote of 309 - 117. I voted with the majority in favor of the pay freeze extension.

January 18, 2012:

  • The House considered H.J. Res. 98, a joint resolution to disapprove a request by President Obama to increase the federal debt limit by $1.2 trillion. With my support, the House voted to disapprove this request by a vote of 239 - 176.
  • The U.S. Senate failed to pass a similar resolution of disapproval and the requested increase in the debt limit was enacted under the terms of the Budget Control Act.

December 20, 2011:

  • The House considered H.R. 3630, the Middle Class Tax Relief and Job Creation Act of 2011. This bill would extend the temporary reduction of the Social Security payroll tax through 2012, extend the emergency unemployment insurance program for twelve months while reducing the maximum weeks that any worker could receive benefits, and prevent a reduction in Medicare payments to physicians. Additionally, the cost of these provisions would be offset by various spending cuts and revenue increases.
  • This bill was approved by the House by a vote of 233 - 187. I voted in favor of passage.

December 20, 2011:

  • The House considered a motion to disagree with the Senate version of the payroll tax cut extension. The Senate's package provided for a two-month extension of the tax reduction, unemployment insurance, and physician payment relief provision. It included offsets to cover the cost and would require the Obama administration to make a decision regarding the Keystone LX pipeline. This motion also requested that the Senate agree to a conference to reconcile differences in the bills passed by both chambers.
  • The House agreed to this motion by a vote of 229 - 193. I voted in support of the motion because I felt a two-month extension was inappropriate and that the House and Senate should work towards a timely resolution of their differing approaches.

December 16, 2011

  • The House considered the conference report accompanying H.R. 2055, the Fiscal Year 2012 Military Construction and Veterans Affairs and Related Agencies Appropriations Act. In addition to funding for military construction and veterans programs, this report included appropriations provisions for the eight remaining appropriations bills for the current fiscal year.
  • Because federal spending remains too high, I voted against this conference report to register my impatience with the pace of scaling back federal spending. The conference report, however, was approved by the House by a vote of 296 - 121.

December 16, 2011:

  • The House considered H.R. 3672, a bill making an emergency appropriation to cover the costs associated with various natural disasters. This spending was provided separate from the other 2012 appropriations bills and its spending is in excess of the discretionary spending caps adopted as part of the Budget Control Act.
  • While disaster spending is important, a certain level of expense should be assumed each budget year and included in the regular appropriations bills subject to the discretionary spending caps. Because H.R. 3672 did not approach disaster spending in this way, I voted against the legislation which passed the House by a vote of 351 -67.

December 16, 2011

  • The House considered H. Con. Res. 94, a concurrent resolution requiring that the disaster spending contained in H.R. 3672 be offset by corresponding reduction of other non-defense, non-security appropriations for 2012.
  • The House adopted this offset by a vote of 255 - 165. I voted in favor of making these spending offsets.

December 14, 2011:

  • The House considered H.R. 1540, the National Defense Authorization Act for 2012. This bill authorizes appropriations for military construction and other the Department of the Defense programs.
  • The House adopted H.R. 1540 by a vote of 283 - 136. I voted with the majority in approving funding the Defense Department after I was sure that no provisions in the bill affected the detention of U.S. citizens or our Constitutional rights. H.R. 1540 was signed into law by the President on December 31, 2011.

December 13, 2011:

  • The House considered H.R. 3630, the Middle Class Tax Relief and Job Creation Act of 2011.
  • H.R. 3630 would extend for one year the reduction in the Social Security payroll tax, authorize for another year extended emergency unemployment benefits while lowering the maximum number of weeks that any worker could receive, and delay through 2012 the scheduled reductions in payments to physicians by Medicare. The reduced revenues and increased spending in this legislation were fully offset by other changes in federal policy.
  • H.R. 3630 was passed by the House by a vote of 234 - 193. I joined the majority in voting in support of extending these expiring provisions.

December 7, 2011

  • The House debated and voted on H.R. 10, the Regulations From the Executive in Need of Scrutiny (REINS) Act of 2011. Under this legislation, major regulatory proposals would not take effect unless Congress voted affirmatively in approval. Under current law, Congress may block new regulations by passing a resolution of disapproval that is then signed by the President of the United States. H.R. 10 would change the dynamic and give Congress a more effective role in the regulatory process.
  • H.R. 10 was passed in the House by a vote of 241 - 184. I voted in favor of its adoption.

December 2, 2011:

  • The House considered H.R. 3010, the Regulatory Accountability Act of 2011. This bill makes changes to the federal Administrative Procedures Act which governs the way federal agencies develop regulations. The goal of H.R. 3010 is to require agencies to lower the economic costs of regulation, improve the decision making process in formulating regulations, and to enhance transparency and accountability in rulemaking.
  • The House adopted H.R. 3010 by a vote of 253 - 167. I voted with the majority in approving these reforms of the regulatory process.

December 1, 2011

  • The House considered H.R. 3463, a bill to terminate the public financing of presidential campaigns and major party political conventions. This legislation would also eliminate the Election Assistance Commission, a federal body created by the Help America Vote Act and which has completed all of its assigned tasks.
  • H.R. 3463 was approved by the House by a vote of 235 - 190. I voted in favor of its passage.

December 1, 2011:

  • The House debated H.R. 527, the Regulatory Flexibility Improvements Act of 2011. H.R. 527 would amend the Regulatory Flexibility Act of 1980 to expand the number of rules covered by the statute and to require agencies to conduct additional analyses of the impact of rules on small businesses. It also closes several loopholes which allow federal agencies to avoid its requirements.
  • I voted in favor of the Regulatory Flexibility Improvements Act of 2011 which passed the House by a vote of 263 - 159.

November 30, 2011:

  • The House considered H.R. 3094, the Workplace Fairness and Democracy Act, which would reverse two recent changes to labor law made by the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB). The first change, finalized in late November, would reduce the time required between the filing of a petition to organize employees and the subsequent union election to as little as ten days. This means in many cases employers have very little time to consult with counsel and discuss the pros and cons of unionization with their employees before an election is held. The second change makes it much easier for unions to organize narrow groups of employees within a company. For example, whereas a restaurant owner may have dealt with his or her employees as a single bargaining unit in the past, it is now conceivable that he or she will have to bargain with the wait staff, cooks, and busboys separately. This change has the potential to fragment the workforce and create an immense burden for employers.
  • The House passed H.R. 3094 by a vote of 235-188. I was pleased to support this bill because it would reverse these ill-conceived NLRB changes and restore fairness and transparency to the process of union elections.

November 18, 2011

  • The House considered H.J. Res. 2 a joint resolution proposing an amendment to the U.S. Constitution to require a balanced federal budget. Under the terms of H.J. Res 2, the president would be required to submit an annual balanced budget proposal, deficit spending could be approved only on a positive vote of a three-fifths super majority, and tax increases could be passed only with a true majority of each Chamber. The proposal also included a safety valve by waiving the requirements during time of war.
  • I joined a majority of the House in voting to amend our Constitution in this way because our government's continued reliance on deficit spending threatens our financial future by creating a huge national debt. Unfortunately, the vote of 239 - 167 did not meet the two-thirds majority needed for sending the amendment to the various state legislatures for their consideration.

November 17, 2011:

  • The House considered the conference report to accompany H.R. 2112, the Fiscal Year 2012 Agriculture, Commerce-Justice-Science, and Transportation - HUD Appropriations bill. This conference report would provide discretionary funding for these departments for the remainder of the Fiscal Year at an annual rate of $128.1 billion. The legislation also extended FY 2012 funding for other departments through December 16, 2011.
  • The conference reported was adopted by a vote of 298 - 121 and was signed into law by President Obama on November 18, 2011. I voted against this conference report to register my opposition to the lack of progress in addressing excessive government spending.

November 16, 2011:

  • The House considered a motion to agree to the Senate amendment to H.R. 674, a bill to repeal a tax provision that would require the withholding of 3 percent of the total value of all government contracts. The Senate amendment also contained tax incentives for the hiring of unemployed veterans and included offsets to account for reduced revenue and increased spending.
  • Rep. Petri voted in support of the motion which passed the House unanimously by a vote of 422 - 0. President Obama signed the legislation into law on November 21, 2011.

November 16, 2011:

  • The House considered H.R. 822, the National Right-to-Carry Reciprocity Act. This bill would allow individuals with valid state-issued concealed firearm permits or licenses to carry a concealed firearm in any other state that also issues concealed firearm permits or licenses, or in any other state that does not generally prohibit the carrying of concealed firearms. H.R. 822 does not affect a state's ability to set eligibility requirements for its own residents.
  • H.R. 822 passed the House by a vote of 272 - 154. It is now pending in the Senate. As a consistent defender of the Second Amendment to the Constitution, I was a cosponsor of this bill and voted in favor of its passage.

November 3, 2011:

  • The House considered H.R. 2930, the Entrepreneur Access to Capital Act. This legislation would provide an exemption to Securities and Exchange Commission registration rules for securities financed in small amounts by numerous investors. Under H.R. 2930, investment pools of up to $1 million would be exempted and pools of up to $2 million could be exempted if the issuer provides investors with an audited financial statement.
  • The Entrepreneur Access to Capital Act passed the House by a vote of 407 - 17. I voted with the majority in supporting this legislation.

November 3, 2011:

  • The House considered H.R. 2940, the Access to Capital for Job Creators Act. This bill would amend securities law to allow for solicitations by general advertising for investors in non-publicly traded securities. To the extent that issuers market the securities to "accredited investors," they would not have to register the issue with the Securities and Exchange Commission.
  • I voted in favor of H.R. 2940, which passed the House by a vote of 413 -11.

October 27, 2011:

  • The House considered H.R. 674, a bill to amend the Internal Revenue Code to repeal a provision that would require the imposition of 3 percent withholding on all government contracts. The provision is scheduled to take effect on January 1, 2013.
  • I was an original cosponsor of this legislation and voted in favor of passage when the House voted 405 - 16 to adopt the legislation. While the Senate has voted in favor of a similar repeal, the two versions need to be reconciled before they become law.

October 27, 2011:

  • The House considered H.R. 2576, a bill to modify the definition of modified adjusted gross income (MAGI) to include non-taxable Social Security and pension benefits for the purposes of determining eligibility for certain Medicaid applicants and subsidies for health insurance purchased through the new health insurance exchanges.
  • H.R. 2576 passed the House by a vote of 262-157. I voted in favor of this legislation because exluding these income sources from the calculation of MAGI could lead to some individuals and families with incomes much higher than the federal poverty level being eligible for Medicaid or large premium subsidies.

October 26, 2011:

  • The House considered H.R. 1904, the Southeast Arizona Land Exchange and Conservation Act. H.R. 1904 would authorize a land-swap between Resolution Copper Mining LLC (Resolution Copper) and the federal government. In exchange for the land to be developed the federal government will receive land of equal or greater value.
  • H.R. 1904 passed the House by a vote of 235-186. I voted in favor of this legislation because it would create jobs and allow the development of domestic copper supplies.

October 14, 2011:

  • The House considered H.R. 2273, the Coal Residuals Reuse and Management Act. The bill would prevent the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) from classifying coal ash as a hazardous waste and would put in place minimum standards for the disposal of coal ash.
  • H.R. 2273 passed the House by a vote of 267-144. I voted in favor of this bill because a hazardous waste classification by EPA would be very detrimental to efforts in Wisconsin to recycle coal ash and put it to good use.

October 13, 2011:

  • The House considered H.R. 358, the Protect Life Act, a bill that would amend the 2010 health care law to prohibit federal funds from being used to cover any costs of any health insurance plan that includes abortion coverage. It would provide exceptions for rape, incest or when a pregnant woman’s life is in danger.
  • H.R. 358 passed the House by a vote of 251 - 172. I voted in favor of this legislation to continue my strong pro-life record. The bill now awaits consideration in the Senate.

October 12, 2011:

  • The House considered a Senate amendment to H.R. 2832, the Trade Adjustment Assistance Extension Act of 2011. The Senate amendment makes revisions to the Trade Adjustment Assistance (TAA) program and revises and extends the Generalized System of Preferences providing for the favorable entry into the U.S. of products from 129 developing countries.
  • The Senate amendment to H.R. 2832 was adopted in the House by a vote of 307 - 122. I voted in favor of adopting the Senate approach to TAA and GSP revision. H.R. 2832 was signed by the President on October 21, 2011.

October 12, 2011:

  • The House considered H.R. 3080, a bill to implement the United States -South Korea Trade Agreement. This agreement, entered into with one of our most significant trading partners, will provide for lower tariffs, reduced barriers to trade, and increased access for U.S. made automobiles in South Korea.
  • I voted in favor of this trade agreement implementing legislation which was approved by the House by a vote of 278 - 151. President Obama signed H.R. 3080 into law on October 21, 2011.

October 12, 2011:

  • The House considered H.R. 3079, a bill to implement the United States - Panama Trade Promotion Agreement facilitating trade between the two nations by lowering tariffs and reducing other barriers to trade.
  • H.R. 3079 was passed by the House by a vote of 300 - 129. I voted in support of passage. This legislation was signed into law on October 21, 2011.

October 12, 2011:

  • The House considered H.R. 3078, legislation to implement the United States - Colombia Trade Promotion Agreement facilitating trade between the two nations by lowering tariffs and reducing other barriers to trade.
  • H.R. 3078 was adopted by a vote of 262 - 167. I voted in favor of the legislation which was signed by President Obama on October 21, 2011.

October 6, 2011:

  • The House considered H.R. 2681, the Cement Sector Regulatory Relief Act of 2011, a bill that would require that EPA make changes to three rules impacting cement manufacturing plants to ensure that the rules do not adversely impact job creation while still providing adequate protections for public health.
  • H.R. 2681 passed the House by a vote of 262-161. I voted in favor of this legislation because I am concerned that these rules go well beyond what is required to adequately protect public health and will lead to layoffs and job reductions in the affected industries.

October 4, 2011:

  • The House considered a Senate amendment to the recently-adopted House amendment to H.R. 2608 to provide temporary appropriations through November 18, 2011. Like the earlier passed House version, this Senate amendment would appropriate spending at an annualized rate of $1.043 trillion, but would reduce disaster relief funding to $2.65 billion and eliminate the House proposed offsets.
  • I voted in favor of agreeing to the Senate amendment, and the motion was adopted by a vote of 352 - 66. President Obama signed this short-term funding bill into law on October 5, 2011.

September 23, 2011:

  • The House considered H.R. 2401, the Transparency in Regulatory Analysis of Impacts on the Nation (TRAIN) Act of 2011. H.R. 2401 would require the President to establish an interagency committee to analyze the cumulative and incremental impacts of a number of EPA rules. The bill would also delay the implementation of two recent EPA rules to allow time for the committee to conduct its analysis.
  • H.R. 2401 passed the House by a vote of 249-169. I voted in favor of this legislation because I am concerned about the cumulative impacts of these EPA rules on the economy and job creation.

September 23, 2011:

  • Once again the House considered a motion to agree to a Senate amendment to H.R. 2608 with an amendment of its own. This House substitute amendment would provide temporary appropriations for Fiscal Year 2012 through November 18, 2011, at an annualized rate of $1.043 trillion. This second attempt to approve a continuing resolution would provide $3.65 billion in disaster relief funding, but would carry an increased offset of $1.1 billion.
  • The House passed this version of the continuing resolution by a vote of 219 - 203. I voted with the majority in support of the House amendment.

September 21, 2011:

  • The House considered a motion to agree to a Senate amendment to H.R. 2608 with an amendment of its own. This House substitute amendment would provide temporary appropriations for Fiscal Year 2012 through November 18, 2011, at an annualized rate of $1.043 trillion. The amendment would also provide $3.65 billion in disaster relief funding, partially offset with $1 billion in spending cuts.
  • I voted in favor of adoption of this continuing resolution which was rejected in the House by a vote of 195 - 230.

September 15, 2011:

  • The House considered H.R. 2587, the Protecting Jobs From Government Interference Act. This bill would take away the ability of the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) to dictate where businesses can and cannot create jobs. The bill would not change what is and is not a violation of current labor law and the NLRB will still have numerous ways to hold employers accountable for unlawful labor practices.
  • The House passed H.R. 2587 by a vote 238-186. I supported this legislation because I believe that the NLRB has abused its authority in its case against Boeing Co. in South Carolina, and I am concerned that the NLRB's actions will have a chilling effect on job creation.

September 14, 2011:

  • The House considered H.J. Res. 77, a joint resolution that would disapprove a request from the President for an increase in the federal debt ceiling by $900 billion. Under the terms of the Budget Control Act, passed in August 2011, disapproval of this request would deny $500 billion of this request.
  • I voted in favor of disapproval, which passed the House by a vote of 232 - 186. Previously, however, the Senate failed to disapprove this increase, allowing it to remain in place. This vote provided another opportunity to express displeasure with excessive federal budget deficits.

September 13, 2011:

  • The House considered H.R. 2218, the Empowering Parents through Quality Charter Schools Act. This bill would reauthorize the federal Charter Schools Program and make a number of improvements to the program, including increasing accountability for charter schools and making existing charter schools eligible for grant funding if they demonstrate success in increasing the academic achievement of their students.
  • The House passed H.R. 2218 by a vote of 365-54. I supported this legislation because it makes a number of needed improvements to the Charter Schools Program.

September 13, 2011:

  • The House considered H.R. 2887, the Surface and Air Transportation Programs Extension Act of 2011, to extend federal aviation programs through January 31, 2012, and surface transportation programs through March 31, 2012. The legislation was necessary in order to allow both programs to continue operating while work continues on long-term reauthorizations.
  • The House approved the bill by voice vote. It passed the Senate on September 15 and was signed into law by the President on September 16. As Chairman of the House Aviation Subcommittee, I was a cosponsor of H.R. 2887.

September 9, 2011

  • The House considered H.R. 1892, the Intelligence Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2012. This bill authorizes appropriations for several intelligence departments and activities, including the Central Intelligence Agency, National Security Agency, and other intelligence oriented activities.
  • I voted in favor of this bill. It is now pending a vote in the Senate.

August 1, 2011:

  • The House considered S. 365, the Budget Control Act of 2011. The bill raises the government's borrowing limit (debt ceiling) by $2.4 trillion and cuts $917 billion in federal spending. The bill also establishes a bipartisan joint select committee to recommend an additional $1.2 to $1.5 trillion in savings (the committee must report its recommendations by November 23 and the Congress must have an up or down vote by December 23). The bill provides for a vote on a balanced budget amendment to the Constitution by the end of the year as well. It was passed by the House by a vote of 279 - 161. The Senate passed the bill on Aug. 2 and it was signed into law by the President the same day.
  • I voted in favor of this compromise bill. The bill is certainly not perfect, but it provides for significant reductions in federal spending and raises the government's borrowing limit to avoid default. While it is a step in the right direction, there is still more work to be done.

July 30, 2011:

  • The House considered H.R. 2693, the House-introduced version of Senate Majority Leader Reid's proposal to cut spending, maintain existing commitments, and provide for a single-stage increase in the debt ceiling.
  • The plan offered in this legislation did not provide sufficient spending restraint, and I joined a majority of by colleagues in sending it to defeat by a vote of 173 - 246.

July 29, 2011:

  • The House considered the Budget Control Act of 2011 as an amendment to S. 627. The House amendment would raise the debt ceiling in two stages, impose discretionary spending caps for the next ten years, establish a Select Joint Committee of the House and Senate to recommend further changes to reduce federal deficits, and require that Congress send to the states, before authorizing the second increase in the debt ceiling, a Constitutional amendment requiring a balanced budget.
  • The House approved this amendment to S. 627 by a vote of 218 - 210. I voted in favor of the proposal because it is important to reverse the trend of spending and borrowing.

July 26, 2011:

  • The House considered H.R. 1938, the North American-Made Energy Security Act. The bill would require the President to issue a final order granting or denying a permit for the Keystone XL Pipeline (which would bring oil from Canada into the U.S.) within 30 days of the issuance of the final environmental impact statement, but in no event later than November 1, 2011. The bill passed the House by a vote of 279-147.
  • I voted in favor of this legislation because the permitting process for the Keystone XL Pipeline has taken almost three years to this point. The bill does not require that a favorable permit be issued nor does it require that any steps in the environmental review process be skipped. It simply sets a deadline for the President to make a determination on this permit.

July 22, 2011:

  • The House considered H.R. 2551, a bill making appropriations for the Legislative Branch for the fiscal year ending September 30, 2012. H.R. 2551 would provide a total of $3.32 billion in discretionary budget authority for all non-Senate Legislative Branch activities, which is $227 million or 6.4 percent below fiscal year 2011 spending and 12.4 percent below the president’s requested level.
  • H.R. 2551 was agreed to in the House by a vote of 252 - 159. I voted to adopt H.R. 2551 because it is appropriate that Congress reduce its own spending as it works for spending restraint throughout the federal government.

July 21, 2011:

  • The House considered H.R. 1315, the Consumer Financial Protection Safety and Soundness Improvement Act of 2011. H.R. 1315 would address a number of shortcomings in the structure of the Consumer Financial Protection Board as enacted in last year's Dodd-Frank Act. Most notably, H.R. 1315 would replace the Board's single Commissioner with a five-member Commission appointed by the President and confirmed by the U.S. Senate.
  • H.R. 1315 was approved by the House by vote 241 - 173. I voted in favor of H.R. 1315 to provide greater accountability in the operations of the Consumer Financial Protection Board.

July 19, 2011:

  • The House considered H.R. 2560, the Cut, Cap, and Balance Act of 2011, legislation to address the current spending and debt ceiling impasse by cutting fiscal year 2012 spending by $111 billion, capping spending at a gradually declining percentage of our national economy, and by linking an increase in the debt ceiling to House and Senate passage of a Constitutional Amendment to balance the federal budget.
  • H.R. 2560 passed the House by a vote 234 - 190. I voted in favor of this legislation because it is well past time to get federal spending under control.

July 15, 2011:

  • The House considered H.R. 2354, the Energy and Water Appropriations Act of 2011, which would provide funding for the Department of Energy, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, and related agencies for the fiscal year ending September 30, 2012. H.R. 2354 passed by a vote of 219-196.
  • I voted in favor of this legislation because it reduces unnecessary spending to help get our nation on a better fiscal footing.

July 12, 2011:

  • The House considered H.R. 2417, the Better Use of Light Bulbs (BULB) Act, which would repeal energy efficiency standards that would effectively ban most incandescent light bulbs currently on the market. The bill, which was considered under a parliamentary procedure that required a 2/3 vote to pass, failed by a vote of 233-193.
  • I voted in favor of this bill because I believe the standards (which go into effect at the end of the year) will be costly and will put the government in the place of making decisions for consumers.

July 12, 2011:

  • The House considered H.R. 1309, the Flood Insurance Reform Act of 2011. This legislation would reauthorize the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) for five years and make a variety of reforms to the structure and implementation of the program. H.R. 1309 passed the House by a vote of 406 - 22.
  • While H.R. 1309 includes a number of prudent reforms, the NFIP is a government-based insurance program mired in an $18 billion debt to the U.S. Treasury. Additionally, the NFIP provides a better return for natural disaster-prone states than it does for Wisconsin. For these reasons, I voted in opposition to H.R. 1309.

July 8, 2011:

  • The House considered H.R. 2219, Department of Defense Appropriations Act of 2012, which would provide a total of $649.2 billion in budget authority for the Department of Defense for fiscal year 2012. The bill passed by a vote of 336 - 87 and has been referred to the Senate Committee on Appropriations.
  • I voted in favor of this bill, as well as supported amendments that would either reduce or cut entirely funds for Afghanistan, Libya and Pakistan. I also supported amendments to reduce or eliminate the Afghanistan Infrastructure Fund. While Wisconsin suffers from infrastructure budget cuts, I cannot justify spending hundreds of millions of dollars on infrastructure in Afghanistan.

June 24, 2011:

  • The House considered H.J.Res. 68, which would have allowed the President to continue limited use of U.S. forces in Libya. This measure failed by a vote of 123 - 295.
  • I voted against this resolution. At a time when concerns about our nation's budget are paramount, taxpayer money should be spent on programs that will help the country move in a more positive economic direction, rather than fund a conflict in North Africa.

June 24, 2011:

  • The House voted 180 - 238 to oppose H.R. 2278, which would have limited use of federal funds in Libya, except for certain activities like search and rescue, intelligence, refueling, operational planning.
  • I supported this bill, as it reaffirms the current mission of U.S. forces in Libya and does not authorize any further involvement.

June 23, 2011:

  • The House considered H.R. 1249, the America Invents Act, and passed the legislation by a vote of 304 - 117. H.R. 1249 is a fundamental overhaul of the U.S. patent system, offering many substantive changes, most notably a change in the system basis from "first to invent" to "first to file."
  • I voted against H.R. 1249 because the changes it would make favor large patent owners over small inventors and academic innovators.

June 22, 2011:

  • The House passed H.R. 2021, the Jobs and Energy Permitting Act of 2011, by a vote of 253-166. This legislation makes several changes to streamline the Clean Air Act permitting process for offshore drilling.
  • I voted in favor of this legislation. I felt these changes were necessary to allow domestic energy production projects to proceed in a reasonable amount of time while still providing Clean Air Act protections.

June 16, 2011:

  • The House passed H.R. 2112, the Agriculture, Rural Development, Food and Drug Administration (FDA), and Related Agencies Appropriations Act for Fiscal Year 2012, by a vote of 217-203. This bill provides funding for the U.S. Department of Agriculture, FDA, and other related agencies for the 2012 fiscal year.
  • I voted in favor of this legislation, which is now pending in the Senate.

June 14, 2011:

  • The House voted 411 - 5 to pass H.R. 2055, the Military Construction and Veterans Affairs and Related Agencies Appropriations Act of 2012. This bill authorizes appropriations for military construction, the Department of Veterans Affairs, and related agencies for the fiscal year.
  • I voted in favor of this bill, which is now pending in the Senate.

May 26, 2011:

  • The House voted 322 - 96 to pass H.R. 1540, the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2012. This bill authorizes appropriations for military construction and other the Department of the Defense programs.
  • I supported this bill, as I feel it necessary to continue to fund our military, even as I support planning for a responsible and timely withdrawal from Afghanistan.

May 25, 2011:

  • The House passed H.R. 1216, a bill that would convert funding for graduate medical education in qualified teaching health centers from direct appropriations to an authorization of appropriations, by a vote of 234 - 185.
  • I voted in favor of this legislation because I believe these funds should be subject to the annual congressional appropriations process.

May 13, 2011:

  • The House passed H.R. 754, the Intelligence Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2011 by a vote of 392 - 15. This bill authorizes appropriations for several intelligence departments and activities, including the Central Intelligence Agency, National Security Agency, and other intelligence oriented activities.
  • I voted in favor of this bill. It was passed in the Senate on May 26.

May 12, 2011:

  • The House passed the Reversing President Obama’s Offshore Moratorium Act (H.R. 1231) by a vote of 243 - 179. H.R. 1231 would require that each of the federal government's five-year offshore oil and gas leasing programs offer leasing in the areas with the most prospective oil and gas resources, and, additionally, the bill would establish a domestic oil and natural gas production goal.
  • I voted in favor of this legislation because I believe we must encourage production of domestic energy resources to help lower gas prices and to decrease our dependence on foreign sources of oil, and this bill would make available for leasing areas that are known to contain large reserves of oil and gas.

May 11, 2011:

  • The House passed the Putting the Gulf of Mexico Back to Work Act (H.R. 1229) by a vote of 263 - 163. The bill would streamline the permitting process for offshore domestic energy exploration.
  • I voted in favor of this legislation because I am concerned about the significant delays in the permitting process for domestic energy exploration and the impact these delays have on domestic energy production.

May 5, 2011:

  • The House passed the Restarting American Offshore Leasing Now Act (H.R. 1230) by a vote of 266 - 149. The bill would require the Department of the Interior (DOI) to auction offshore oil and gas leases in the Central and Western Gulf of Mexico, as well as in an area off the coast of Virginia.
  • I voted in favor of this legislation because I believe we must encourage production of domestic energy resources to help lower gas prices and to decrease our dependence on foreign sources of oil.

May 4, 2011:

  • The House passed H.R. 3, the No Taxpayer Funding for Abortion Act by a vote of 251 - 175. This bill would set general federal policy to prohibit any federal funding of abortion, as opposed to the current practice of including limitations in various annual appropriations bills which have to be reapproved every year. While I did not vote, I did cosponsor the bill and support it.
  • I was pleased to see this bill approved by the House. It now awaits consideration by the Senate.

May 4, 2011:

  • The House passed H.R. 1214, a bill to repeal funding for school-based health center construction that was included in the new health care law, by a vote of 235 - 191.
  • I voted in favor of this legislation because it defunds a portion of the health care law enacted last year, which I opposed.

May 3, 2011:

  • The House passed H.R. 1213, a bill to repeal provisions in the health care law appropriating funds to the Department of Health and Human Services to award grants to states to help them set up health insurance exchanges, by a vote of 238 - 183.
  • I voted in favor of this legislation because it defunds a portion of the health care law enacted last year, which I opposed.

April 15, 2011:

  • The House passed H. Con. Res. 34, the Fiscal Year 2012 Budget Resolution, by a vote of 235-193. The resolution establishes an outline for the 2012 federal budget. It will be difficult for the House and Senate to agree on a final budget outline.
  • I voted in favor of H. Con. Res. 34 because although it supports controversial and painful budget cuts, the federal debt crisis has reached the point that either we make tough decisions now or be forced to take far more unpleasant measures in the future.

April 14, 2011:

  • The House passed H.R. 1473, the Department of Defense and Full-Year Continuing Appropriations Act, 2011, by a vote of 260-167. This bill completes the funding of the federal government for the remainder of Fiscal Year 2011. It was subsequently passed by the Senate and signed into law by the President.
  • I voted in favor of H.R. 2011 to avoid a government shutdown and to substantially cut government spending.

April 13, 2011:

  • The House passed H.R. 1217, a bill to repeal section 4002 of the health care law passed last year, by a vote of 236 - 183. Section 4002 created the Prevention and Public Health Fund, which provides grant assistance to entities to carry out prevention, wellness, and public health programs.
  • I voted in favor of H.R. 1217 because section 4002 of the health care law provided the Secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services with broad authority to spend significant sums of money, $6 billion over four years, with little congressional oversight.

April 8, 2011:

  • The House considered H.J. Res. 37, a resolution disapproving of the Federal Communications Commission's (FCC) Open Internet Order which would establish so-called "net-neutrality" rules. Considered under the terms of the Congressional Review Act, a vote by the House and the Senate (and signed by the President) in favor of this resolution would formally disapprove and render without effect the regulation in question.
  • The House voted 240 - 179 to disapprove the FCC's Open Internet Order. I voted with the majority of my colleagues because these rules seemed to be a solution chasing a problem.

April 7, 2011:

  • The House passed H.R. 910, the Energy Tax Prevention Act of 2011, by a vote of 255-172. This legislation would prevent the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) from regulating greenhouse gas emissions for the purpose of addressing climate change. The legislation is now pending in the Senate.
  • I voted in favor of H.R. 910 because I have serious concerns about EPA's actions and the ability of the agency to regulate greenhouse gas emissions without causing serious harm to the U.S. economy. Additionally, regardless of one's view on climate change or energy policy, I believe the issue should be addressed by Congress and not a federal agency.

April 7, 2011:

  • The House considered H.R. 1363, a bill to extend fiscal year 2011 funding for federal government agencies one week through April 15, 2011 and to provide funding through the end of the fiscal year for activities and programs funded by the Department of Defense Appropriations, including military operations in Iraq and Afghanistan.
  • H.R. 1363 passed the House by a vote of 247 - 181. I voted in favor of this legislation.

April 1, 2011:

  • The House considered H.R. 1255, the Government Shutdown Prevention Act of 2011. Under the terms of this legislation, the previously-enacted full-year appropriation bill, H.R. 1, would be considered to be passed unless the Senate passed an alternative plan. This legislation, while unusual, was considered as a funding deadline was approaching and the House was waiting on appropriate action by the Senate
  • I voted in favor of H.R. 1255, which passed the House by a vote of 221 - 202, because I felt it important to avoid a shutdown of government services.

April 1, 2011:

  • The House voted 223-196 to approve H.R. 658, the FAA Reauthorization and Reform Act of 2011, a bill to authorize FAA safety, operations, and infrastructure grants programs through 2014. The bill provided a total of $59.7 billion in funding, which reflects 2008 spending levels.
  • As Chairman of the Aviation Subcommittee, I helped write this legislation and look forward to working with the Senate to reconcile differences between our two bills and send a final bill to the President for his signature.

March 30, 2011:

  • The House passed H.R. 471, the Scholarships For Opportunity and Results Act, which would reauthorize the D.C. Opportunity Scholarships program. The legislation passed by a vote of 225 - 195.
  • I voted in favor of H.R. 471 because I believe the D.C. Opportunity Scholarships program empowers low-income parents in Washington, D.C. to pursue better educational opportunities for their children.

March 29, 2011:

  • The House considered H.R. 839, the HAMP Termination Act of 201. This bill would terminate the Home Affordable Modification Program, which was authorized by Housing and Economic Recovery Act and funded through the Troubled Assets Relief Program (TARP). Of the nearly 1.5 million trial modifications started under the program, only about one-third have resulted in success.
  • I voted with the majority of my colleagues in support of legislation to end this ineffective and wasteful program by a vote of 252 - 170.

March 17, 2011:

  • The House considered H.R. 1076, legislation to prohibit the use of federal funds to support National Public Radio (NPR) or to acquire content from NPR. This vote took place in the aftermath of provocative and troubling recorded comments by a senior fundraising official at NPR.
  • H.R. 2076 was approved by the House by a vote of 228 - 192. I voted in favor of this legislation to send a strong message of disapproval to NPR.

March 16, 2011:

  • The House considered H.R. 861, the Neighborhood Stabilization Program Termination Act. This program allocates federal funding to state and local governments with high concentrations of foreclosed homes, subprime mortgage loans, and delinquent home mortgages in order to purchase and redevelop foreclosed properties. Almost $7 has been authorized for this program, which appears to do more for investors than it does for troubled homeowners.
  • I joined a majority of my House colleagues in voting in favor of this bill which passed the House by a vote of 242 - 182.

March 15, 2011:

  • The House considered H. J. Res 48, a joint resolution providing continuing appropriations for federal government agencies through April 8, 2011. This temporary extension was signed into law by President Obama on March 18, 2011.
  • H.J. Res 48 was approved in the House by vote of 271 - 158. I voted in favor of passage of this resolution.

March 11, 2011:

  • The House considered H.R. 836, the Emergency Mortgage Relief Program Termination Act. This program is designed to provide emergency loans to unemployed homeowners facing foreclosure. This bill rescinds $1 billion in funding provided by the 2010 Dodd-Frank Act, funding that was estimated by the Obama administration to have a 98 percent subsidy rate.
  • Noting the excessively high subsidy rate, I voted in favor of H.R. 836, which passed the House by a vote of 242 - 177.

March 10, 2011:

  • The House considered H.R. 830, the FHA Refinance Program Termination Act. This legislation would terminate the Federal Housing Administration's Refinance Program and rescind all unobligated balances. Originally intended to help homeowners whose mortgages are current but have homes worth less than their loan balance, this program is an inefficient duplication of a private sector activity.
  • H.R. 830 was adopted in the House by a vote of 256 - 171. I joined the majority in voting in favor of this legislation.

March 3, 2011:

  • The House passed H.R. 4, the Small Business Paperwork Mandate Elimination Act Of 2011, which repeals the 1099 reporting provisions included in the health care reform law passed last year. The legislation passed by a vote of 314 - 112.
  • I voted in favor of H.R. 4 because I am very concerned about the overly burdensome nature of these 1099 reporting provisions on businesses.

February 19, 2011:

  • The House voted 235-189 to approve H.R. 1, a continuing resolution (CR) to provide discretionary government funding for the duration of Fiscal Year 2011. The current CR expires on March 4.
  • As introduced, H.R. 1 would cut government spending by $100 billion when compared with President Obama's 2011 budget proposal. Numerous budget cutting amendments to the CR were adopted which increase the savings.
  • I voted in favor of this bill. The Senate leadership intends to pass a very different CR, leaving Congress as a whole with very little time to reconcile the differences between the two bills before the current CR expires.

February 17, 2011:

  • The House voted 279-143 to pass H.R. 514 as amended by the Senate.
  • I voted in favor of this bill, which next goes to the President for his signature.

February 14, 2011:

  • The House voted 275-144 in favor of H.R. 514 to extend expiring provisions of the USA PATRIOT Improvement and Reauthorization Act and Intelligence Reform and Terrorism Prevention Act relating to business records, individual terrorists as agents of foreign powers, and roving wiretaps.
  • I voted in favor of this bill.

February 8, 2011:

  • The House voted 259-169 for H.R. 519, legislation to establish as U.S. policy that the United Nations should return $179 million overpaid to the U.N. Tax Equalization Fund as of December 31, 2009, and that the United States should press the U.N. to change its fund assessment procedures to reduce discrepancies.
  • I voted for H.R. 519. However, the bill was brought to the floor under an expedited procedure which requires a two-thirds majority to secure passage. We did not get the required supermajority, but I fully expect H.R. 519 to return to the floor under regular procedures at which time I expect it to pass.

January 26, 2011:

  • By a vote of 239-160, the House today approved H.R. 359, a bill to eliminate the taxpayer financing of presidential election campaigns and national party conventions. This legislation would save $447 million over five years and $617 million over ten. The savings from this cut would be directed toward deficit reduction.
  • I voted for passage of H.R. 359.

January 20, 2011:

  • By a vote of 253-175, the House passed H. Res. 9, instructing congressional committees to bring legislation to the full House designed to replace elements of the health care law. The changes would include provisions aimed at overhauling the medical liability system, prohibiting taxpayer funding of abortions and making permanent changes to the formula used to determine Medicare physician payment rates.
  • I voted in favor of the resolution.

January 19, 2011:

  • The House passed H.R. 2, legislation to repeal the health care law passed last year, by a vote of 245-189.
  • I support health care reform which ensures that all Americans, including those with pre-existing conditions, have access to affordable coverage. However, the health care law that passed last year takes a fundamentally wrong approach to achieving that goal and will only make worse our skyrocketing health care costs and federal deficits. Therefore I voted in favor of repeal.
  • Wisconsin is a leader in terms of providing efficient, high-quality care, and I have been meeting and will continue to work with medical providers in my state, as well as my colleagues on both sides of the aisle, to develop proposals which reward high-quality, low-cost medical services instead of simply giving government more control over our health care. Only by implementing proposals that rein in out-of-control health care costs will we be able to make affordable coverage available to all Americans.

January 18, 2011:

  • The House voted 399-0 to cut Congress' own expenses by reducing the printing of bills. Currently, dozens of copies of bills are printed for Members, Committees, and congressional records; many of these copies are subsequently thrown away. This simple change could save up to $35 million over ten years.
  • I voted for passage of this spending cut. This was the first YouCut vote of 2011.

January 12, 2011:

  • The House approved H. Res. 32, a resolution condemning the shootings in Tucson and honoring the victims.
  • The vote was by voice vote and was approved with my support. Out of respect for the victims and by a bipartisan decision, no other legislation was considered during the week.

January 6, 2011:

  • The House considered H.Res. 22, a resolution to reduce the operating budget of the House of Representatives. H.Res. 22 would reduce the amount of member allowances, leadership expenses, and committee expenses for 2011 and 2012 by 5 percent below 2010 levels. The House Appropriations Committee, however, would be subject to a 9 percent reduction from FY 2010 levels for salaries and expenses in fiscal years 2011 and 2012.
  • H.Res. 22 was considered under "Suspension of the Rules," a procedure requiring a two-thirds majority for passage. This resolution cutting the House's budget was adopted by a vote of 410 - 13. I voted in favor of this resolution.

January 5, 2011:

  • The House considered H.Res. 5 a package of new rules of the House for the 112th Congress. Included in this package were numerous rules intended to provide more transparency in legislating and to make it easier for Congress to reduce federal spending.
  • The rules contained in H.Res. 5 were adopted by a vote of 240 - 191. I voted in favor of their adoption.