Oct 2013 Congressional Votes

Recent Senate Votes

Continuing Appropriations and Debt Limit Suspension – Passage – Vote Passed (81-18, 1 Not Voting)

Senators approved a continuing appropriations resolution on Wednesday night, bringing an end to the 16-day partial government shutdown that began with the end of the federal fiscal year. The measure also extended the Treasury’s ability to borrow to pay the nation’s debt obligations, avoiding a potentially-catastrophic default that loomed days later. The Senate’s leaders, Democrat Harry Reid of Nevada and Republican Mitch McConnell of Kentucky, hammered out the compromise early in the week after House Republicans failed to come to a consensus for their own plan. Their solution almost entirely avoided the issue of the implementation of the Affordable Care Act, the implementation of which some conservative Republican senators had hoped to delay in exchange for restoring FY 2014 discretionary spending and raising the debt ceiling. The continuing resolution authorizes federal discretionary spending at levels established by sequester cuts, which amount to about $986 billion annually. Senators added about 3 billion dollars of additional spending to support natural disaster recovery, fight wildfires, and complete funding for a major dam and lock project on the Ohio River. It extended the Treasury’s borrowing authority through Feb. 7, allowing the federal government to exceed the current statutory limit of $16.7 trillion on the national debt. The resolution also provided back pay for those federal and District of Columbia government workers who were furloughed after funds ran out on Oct. 1. To avoid the need to pass another continuing appropriations resolution in the absence of a new federal budget, the deal also required the House and Senate to form a budget conference committee. The body will have to iron out an agreement for the rest of Fiscal 2014 by Dec. 13. Republicans gained one small concession in the final package, as the bill also requires the Department of Health and Human Services to ensure it is verifying the income of individuals purchasing subsidized health insurance on its marketplace exchanges established by the Affordable Care Act. Under the 2010 law, exchanges opened for business on Oct. 1. Eighteen of the Senate’s most conservative Republican members voted against the measure.

Sen. Saxby Chambliss voted YES
Sen. Johnny Isakson voted YES

Recent House Votes

Continuing Appropriations and Debt Limit Suspension – Motion to Concur – Vote Passed (285-144, 3 Not Voting)

House members voted late Wednesday to end the partial government shutdown by passing a continuing appropriations resolution to fund the government through Jan. 15, 2014. The vote receded amendments previously approved by the chamber and accepted a resolution to the standoff that Senators forged at the beginning of last week and passed hours before. President Obama signed the continuing resolution shortly after midnight on Oct. 17. House Republican leadership offered several proposals to end the government shutdown and raise the federal debt ceiling early last week. The GOP caucus, however, could not come to a consensus on which plan to support. Speaker John A. Boehner, R-Ohio, decided to accept the Senate compromise as the risk of a default on the national debt by the Treasury loomed ever closer last week. The resolution did not postpone implementation of the 2010 Affordable Care Act, the major target of House conservative Republicans in delaying FY 2014 funds and an extension of the Treasury’s debt ceiling. During the final vote, 144 Republicans voted against the measure while only 87 supported it. All 198 voting Democrats approved the resolution.

Rep. Sanford Bishop Jr. voted YES

Oct 7, 2013

Recent Senate Votes

Continuing Appropriations Conference Request – Motion to Table – Vote Agreed to (54-46)

As the federal fiscal year came to a close, the Senate rejected a request by the House of Representatives to form a conference committee for fiscal 2014 continuing appropriations. The House request included the insistence that the Senate accept its amendment to the joint resolution to delay the implementation of the Affordable Care Act until January 2015 and repeal the medical device tax included in the law. The vote to table the request fell straight down party lines, with both independent senators joining the 52 Democrats against the House invitation. With the rejection, the Senate effectively ensured the partial federal shutdown that began at midnight on Oct. 1 continued. The day before, the Senate rejected a nearly-identical amendment to the continuing appropriations resolution. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., has made it clear that he will not bring a continuing appropriations resolution with any amendments to a vote.

Sen. Saxby Chambliss voted NO
Sen. Johnny Isakson voted NO

Recent House Votes

Veterans Program Funds- Continuing Resolution – Vote Passed (259-157, 15 Not Voting)

After Congress failed to pass a full continuing resolution (CR) last week, the government officially shut down on October 1. The House decided to take up “mini-CRs” to fund various parts of the government like military pay and veterans programs. This particular “mini-CR,” passed by the House Republicans with the help of 35 Democrats, would fund veterans programs including disability payments, education benefits and home loans at current levels until December 15. The bill would also fund the Veterans Benefits Administration at the annualized rate of $2.5 billion to process disability claims.

Rep. Sanford Bishop Jr. voted NO

Women’s and Children’s Nutrition Funds – Continuing Resolution – Vote Passed (244-164, 23 Not Voting)

On Friday, the House passed another “mini-CR” to fund the nutrition programs for women, infants and children (WIC). The bill would fund the special supplemental nutrition program until December 15 at post-sequester fiscal 2013 levels. The Senate is extremely unlikely to consider any of the House “mini-CRs.”

Rep. Sanford Bishop Jr. voted NO

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