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AZ’s congressional votes: Week ending June 3, 2011


Sen. John McCain (R) Born Aug. 29, 1936 Senator since 1987. Member U.S. House 1983-86; former naval aviator. Last full year of current term: 2016


Sen. Jon Kyl (R) Born Apr. 25, 1942 Senator since 1995. Lawyer (when in active practice specialized in water law). Last full year of current term: 2012


Rep. Jeff Flake (R) Sixth District. Born Dec. 3, 1962 Member U.S. House since 2001 Former exec. dir., Goldwater Institute. Last full year of current term: 2012


Rep. Trent Franks (R) Second District. Born June 19, 1957 Former small business owner. Last full year of current term: 2012


Rep. Gabrielle Giffords (D) Eighth District. Born June 8, 1970 Youngest woman ever to be elected to the Senate. Last full year of current term: 2012


Rep. Paul Gosar (R) First District. Born Nov. 22, 1958 Dentist and small business owner. Last full year of current term: 2012


Rep. Raul Grijalva (D) Seventh District. Born Feb. 19, 1948 Former member of the Pima County Board of Supervisors. Last full year of current term: 2012


Rep. Ed Pastor (D) Fourth District. Born June 28, 1943 Member U.S. House since 1991 special election. Last full year of current term: 2012


Rep. Ben Quayle (R) Third District. Born Nov. 3, 1976 Business owner; lawyer, private practice. Last full year of current term: 2012


Rep. David Schweikert (R) Fifth District. Born March 3, 1962 Member Arizona House 1989-94 Realtor and financial consultant. Last full year of current term: 2012

WASHINGTON – Here’s how area members of Congress voted on major issues in the week ending May 3.


DEBT-LIMIT INCREASE: Voting 97 for and 318 against, the House on May 31 defeated a bill (HR 1954) to raise the national-debt limit by $2.406 trillion to $16.7 trillion. The Treasury is expected to soon reach the current limit of $14.294 trillion. Republicans sponsored this bill but voted unanimously against it, saying their purpose was to show that any new borrowing authority must be joined with comparable spending cuts. They alerted Wall Street to their strategy to ensure that the bill’s defeat would not rattle markets. Democrats called the strategy fiscally reckless.

Earl Blumenauer, D-Ore., said: “The accumulated choices of Congresses and administrations, past and present, have created the debt and the need to honor the obligations — like an unfunded war in Iraq that’s going to cost trillions of dollars, or an unfunded Medicare prescription drug program, both from our Republican friends. We’re not going to default on our debt.”

Dave Camp, R-Mich., the bill’s sponsor, said: “Most members aren’t happy when they bring a bill to the floor and it fails, but I consider (this) to be a success because it sends a clear and critical message that the Congress has finally recognized we must immediately begin to rein in America’s affection for deficit spending.”

A yes vote was to pass the bill.

Voting yes: Ed Pastor, D-4, Raul Grijalva, D-7

Voting no: Paul Gosar, R-1, Trent Franks, R-2, Ben Quayle, R-3, David Schweikert, R-5, Jeff Flake, R-6

Not voting: Gabrielle Giffords, D-8

HOMELAND-SECURITY BUDGET: Voting 231 for 188 against, the House on June 2 approved a $40.6 billion Department of Homeland Security budget for fiscal 2012, down $1.1 billion or 2.6 percent from 2011. The bill (HR 2017) funds agencies such as the Federal Emergency Management Agency, U.S. Border Patrol, Immigration and Customs Enforcement, Transportation Security Administration and Coast Guard. The first of the fiscal 2012 appropriations bills to pass the House, the measure reflects deep spending cuts fostered by the Republicans’ 2012 budget plan. The bill amply funds many frontline security activities and disaster relief while cutting areas such as port and mass-transit security, airport screeners, information technology and security grants to local police departments.

The department, founded in 2002, has 230,000 employees who work in the field and at far-flung office buildings. The bill withholds funds for construction now underway of a headquarters in the District of Columbia that for the first time would base the department’s many agencies on the same site.

Harold Rogers, R-Ky., said: “Americans deserve to live and work in a country that will protect not only their physical safety but also their economic livelihood. This bill maintains the crucial measures that keep our citizens safe while also reining in out-of-control, dangerous deficit spending….”

Lucille Roybal-Allard, D-Calif., said: “My police departments, firefighters and first responders have said that the cuts in this bill will delay their implementation of a badly needed interoperable communications system, which is critical to their emergency coordination efforts. It was the lack of this kind of technology during the 9/11 attacks that contributed to hundreds of deaths.”

A yes vote was to pass the bill.

Voting yes: Gosar, Franks, Quayle, Schweikert

Voting no: Pastor, Flake, Grijalva

Not voting: Giffords

FIREFIGHTERS’ FUNDS: The House on June 1 voted, 333 for and 87 against, to add $320 million to HR 2017 (above) for anti-terrorism grants used by local fire departments to fund equipment purchases and recruit and train personnel. The added spending would be offset by cuts in the Department of Homeland Security’s administrative budget. The amendment would set funding for firefighters’ programs at $670 million for the budget year, reversing cuts fostered by the House Republicans’ 2012 budget plan.

Bill Pascrell, D-N.J., said the bill “fails the very people who are on front lines of our homeland security. It is our firefighters and our police officers who will respond to a national tragedy before the federal government. This is what we said in 9/11. This is what we said in every year since 9/11, and it has not changed.”

Robert Aderholt, R-Ala., said: “Given our nation’s dire fiscal situation, we must take a stand that it’s not the federal government’s job to bail out every municipal budget or to serve as a fire marshal for every city and town across the nation.”

A yes vote backed the amendment.

Voting yes: Pastor, Grijalva

Voting no: Gosar, Franks, Quayle, Schweikert, Flake

Not voting: Giffords

MASS-TRANSIT SECURITY: Voting 187 for and 234 against, the House on June 2 defeated a motion by Democrats to set aside $75 million in HR 2017 (above) in dedicated funding to protect intercity and commuter rail lines and bus services from terrorist attacks. Although amply funded in previous homeland-security budgets, these transportation modes face deep cuts fostered by the GOP budget plan passed in April. Under this amendment, the $75 million was to have been shifted to transportation-security grants from the budget of the National Bio and Agro-Defense facility in Manhattan, Kan.

Tim Bishop, D-N.Y., said: “Intelligence seized from Osama bin Laden’s compound indicates that al Qaeda was targeting America’s railroads on the 10th anniversary of the 9/11 attacks….Still, the bill before us today makes deep cuts to rail security….That’s not a failure of imagination; that’s a dereliction of duty.”

Robert Aderholt, R-Ala., called the motion “a political ploy” by Democrats, adding the GOP bill sets “fiscal-discipline priorities as our nation grapples with a genuine budget crisis….This bill puts money where it matters: frontline operations, intelligence, counter-terrorism and disaster relief….It’s time to deliver fiscal discipline, and it’s time to deliver robust security.”

A yes vote backed the motion.

Voting yes: Pastor, Grijalva

Voting no: Gosar, Franks, Quayle, Schweikert,

Not voting: Giffords

WAR POWERS ACT: Voting 148 for and 265 against, the House on June 3 defeated the tougher of two pending challenges to President Obama’s addition of U.S. forces to the NATO-led air war over Libya. The measure (H Con Res 51) sought to end the action in 15 days under the 1973 War Powers Act, which authorizes presidents to deploy forces for up to 60 days without congressional approval. Obama on March 19 ordered U.S. forces to join the U.N., NATO and Arab League effort to bolster Libyan rebels against the regime of Col. Muammar Qaddafi. Obama has neither sought nor received congressional approval of the action but has described his policy in detail to Congress and the public.

Brad Sherman, D-Calif., said: “It’s time to enforce the War Powers Act. It’s time not to dodge the War Powers Act. It’s time for our policy in the skies over Libya to be determined by the president and Congress.”

Mike Rogers, R-Mich, said “to protect those people (in Libya) who have legitimate aspirations for a better government, we needed to intervene militarily. The best thing about this is we were not alone. The Arab League, the U.N. and NATO took the lead. There is a great deal of instability throughout the Middle East…that is unquestionably in the national-security interests of the United States to reduce….”

A yes vote was backed withdrawal within 15 days of enactment.

Voting yes: Gosar, Pastor, Schweikert, Flake, Grijalva

Voting no: Franks, Quayle

Not voting: Giffords

GOP LIBYA PLAN: Voting 268 for and 145 against, the House on June 3 adopted the softer of two resolutions before it concerning U.S. military actions over Libya. Introduced by Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio, the essentially non-binding measure (H Res 92) gives the president 14 days to justify the deployment but states no consequences if he fails to do so. A competing measure (above) sought to use the 1973 War Powers Act to force an end the action within 15 days of enactment.

Jeff Denham, R-Calif., said: “In Desert Storm, we knew why we were there. We knew what our role was, what our goals were, what our exit strategy was….We expect the present to address Congress and explain why he is committing American service members.”

James McGovern, D-Mass., called the measure a way for Republicans “to cover their backside, to be able to say to their constituents, `We did something tough on Libya.’ ” He added “it doesn’t mean a thing. If you’re into symbolism, if you’re into therapy, vote for the Boehner resolution. If are interested in action,” support withdrawal.

A yes vote was backed the GOP resolution.

Voting yes: Gosar, Franks, Quayle

Voting no: Pastor, Schweikert, Flake, Grijalva

Not voting: Giffords

Copyright 2011, Thomas Voting Reports, Inc.


  1. A U.S. congressional report estimates the bombardment of Libya has cost Washington between $400 million and $1 billion. As stated above “Obama on March 19 ordered U.S. forces to join the U.N., NATO and Arab League effort to bolster Libyan rebels against the regime of Col. Muammar Qaddafi”, what does the Operation Unified Protector have to do with American freedom? None of the 28 independent NATO countries are on the African Continent. While we are concerned with our budget we are spending enormous amounts of money on none war against whom?” Move out the Fleet stand down from any combat actions and use the money to fund Social Security.

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