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Following are the U.S. Senate votes used to indicate candidates' stances on the issues. Votes which include "VoteMatch Usage" are scored as VoteMatch and SenateMatch quiz responses. Those without a VoteMatch usage are included only on each candidate's main issues page.
Civil Rights
Senate BillVote descriptionVoteMatch UsageCandidate Voting
Vote number 13-SV019 reauthorizing the Violence Against Women Act
on Feb 12, 2013 regarding bill S. 47 Violence Against Women Reauthorization Act
Results: Passed 78-22
Congressional Summary:
    Amends the Violence Against Women Act of 1994 (VAWA) to add or expand definitions of several terms used in such Act, including :
  1. "culturally specific services" to mean community-based services that offer culturally relevant and linguistically specific services and resources to culturally specific communities;
  2. "personally identifying information" with respect to a victim of domestic violence, dating violence, sexual assault, or stalking;
  3. "underserved populations" as populations that face barriers in accessing and using victim services because of geographic location, religion, sexual orientation or gender identity; and
  4. "youth" to mean a person who is 11 to 24 years old.

Opponent's Argument for voting No (The Week; Huffington Post, and The Atlantic): House Republicans had objected to provisions in the Senate bill that extended VAWA's protections to lesbians, gays, immigrants, and Native Americans. For example, Rep. Bill Johnson (R-OH) voted against the VAWA bill because it was a "politically–motivated, constitutionally-dubious Senate version bent on dividing women into categories by race, transgender politics and sexual preference." The objections can be grouped in two broadly ideological areas--that the law is an unnecessary overreach by the federal government, and that it represents a "feminist" attack on family values. The act's grants have encouraged states to implement "mandatory-arrest" policies, under which police responding to domestic-violence calls are required to make an arrest. These policies were intended to combat the too-common situation in which a victim is intimidated into recanting an abuse accusation. Critics also say VAWA has been subject to waste, fraud, and abuse because of insufficient oversight.

Voting YES counts for 1 points on VoteMatch question 2:
Require affirmative action;
Voting NO counts for -1 points on VoteMatch question 2.

(Not used by AmericansElect)
Democrats: YES 53; NO 0
Republicans: YES 23; NO 22
Independents: YES 2; NO 0

Environment
Senate BillVote descriptionVoteMatch UsageCandidate Voting
Vote number 13-SV116 protecting ocean, coastal, and Great Lakes ecosystems
on May 8, 2013 regarding bill S.Amdt. 803 National Endowment for the Oceans
Results: Passed 67-32 (3/5 required)
Whitehouse Amdt. No. 803 to S.Amdt. 799 to S. 601 (Water Resources Development Act of 2013): To create the National Endowment for the Oceans to promote the protection and conservation of United States ocean, coastal, and Great Lakes ecosystems.

Proponent's Argument for voting Yes: Mr. WHITEHOUSE: This measure was part of the RESTORE Act, [but] this piece of it fell out of the bargain. If you supported the RESTORE Act, you have already supported this bill. If you believe that deals should be deals in the Senate, then you should support this bill. It is very important that we as a body support this bill. It does not create a single extra bureaucracy or person. It works within the existing government, and it adds no funding.

MississippiRiverDelta.org Summary of RESTORE Act: The Resources and Ecosystems Sustainability, Tourist Opportunities and Revived Economies of the Gulf Coast States Act (RESTORE Act) dedicates 80% of all Clean Water Act penalties paid by those responsible for the 2010 gulf oil disaster to Gulf Coast restoration.

Proponent's press release supporting Yes vote: The National Endowment for the Oceans, Coasts, and Great Lakes Act would provide steady funding that universities, non-profit organizations, and government agencies can count on every year to support research and restoration projects. It would be funded primarily by dedicating 12.5% of revenues from offshore energy development, including oil, gas, and renewable energy. Revenue is generated through offshore lease sales and production based royalty payments. Funds from the Endowment would be distributed through a competitive grant program to fund projects to restore habitat, manage fisheries, plan for sustainable coastal development, enhance ocean monitoring and research activities, acquire coastal properties for preservation, and relocate critical coastal infrastructure.

Voting NO counts for 1 points on VoteMatch question 8:
Human needs over animal rights;
Voting YES counts for -1 points on VoteMatch question 8.

Voting YES counts as answer D on AmericansElect question 8;
Voting NO counts as answer A on AmericansElect question 8.
Democrats: YES 52; NO 0
Republicans: YES 13; NO 32
Independents: YES 2; NO 0

Gun Control
Senate BillVote descriptionVoteMatch UsageCandidate Voting
Vote number 13-SV103 banning high-capacity magazines of over 10 bullets
on Apr 17, 2013 regarding bill S.Amdt. 714 to S. 649 Safe Communities, Safe Schools Act
Results: Failed 46-54
Congressional Summary:
  • The term 'large capacity ammunition feeding device' means a magazine or similar device that has an overall capacity of more than 10 rounds of ammunition
  • It shall be unlawful for a person to import, sell, manufacture, or possess a large capacity ammunition feeding device.
  • Shall not apply to the possession of any large capacity ammunition feeding device otherwise lawfully possessed before 2013.
  • Shall not apply to qualified or retired law enforcement officers.

Proponent's Argument for voting Yes: Sen. BLUMENTHAL: This amendment would ban high-capacity magazines which are used to kill more people more quickly and, in fact, have been used in more than half the mass shootings since 1982. I ask my colleagues to listen to law enforcement, their police, prosecutors who are outgunned by criminals who use these high-capacity magazines. I ask that my colleagues also listen to the families of those killed by people who used a high-capacity magazine.

Opponent's Argument for voting No: Sen. GRASSLEY. I oppose the amendment. In 2004, which is the last time we had the large-capacity magazine ban, a Department of Justice study found no evidence banning such magazines has led to a reduction in gun violence. The study also concluded it is not clear how often the outcomes of the gun attack depend on the ability of offenders to fire more than 10 shots without reloading. Secondly, there is no evidence banning these magazines has reduced the deaths from gun crimes. In fact, when the previous ban was in effect, a higher percentage of gun crime victims were killed or wounded than before it was adopted. Additionally, tens of millions of these magazines have been lawfully owned in this country for decades. They are in common use, not unusually dangerous, and used by law-abiding citizens in self-defense, as in the case of law enforcement.

Voting NO counts for 2 points on VoteMatch question 10:
Absolute right to gun ownership;
Voting YES counts for -2 points on VoteMatch question 10.

(Not used by AmericansElect)
Democrats: YES 43; NO 10
Republicans: YES 1; NO 44
Independents: YES 2; NO 0

Technology
Senate BillVote descriptionVoteMatch UsageCandidate Voting
Vote number 13-SV113 authorizing states to collect Internet sales taxes
on May 6, 2013 regarding bill S.743 Marketplace Fairness Act
Results: Passed 69-27
Congressional Summary: The Marketplace Fairness Act of 2013 authorizes each state to require all sellers with sales exceeding $1 million in the preceding calendar year to collect and remit sales and use taxes, but only if complying with the minimum simplification requirements relating to the administration of such taxes & audits.

Opponent's Argument for voting No (Cnet.com): Online retailers are objecting to S.743, saying it's unreasonable to expect small businesses to comply with the detailed--and sometimes conflicting--regulations of nearly 10,000 government tax collectors. S.743 caps years of lobbying by the National Retail Federation and the Retail Industry Leaders Association, which represent big box stores. President Obama also supports the bill.

Proponent's Argument for voting Yes: Sen. COLLINS. This bill rectifies a fundamental unfairness in our current system. Right now, Main Street businesses have to collect sales taxes on every transaction, but outbecause -of-state Internet sellers don't have to charge this tax, they enjoy a price advantage over the mom-and-pop businesses. This bill would allow States to collect sales taxes on Internet sales, thereby leveling the playing field with Main Street businesses. This bill does not authorize any new or higher tax, nor does it impose an Internet tax. It simply helps ensure that taxes already owed are paid.

Opponent's Argument for voting No: Sen. WYDEN: This bill takes a function that is now vested in government--State tax collection--and outsources that function to small online retailers. The proponents say it is not going to be hard for small businesses to handle this--via a lot of new computer software and the like. It is, in fact, not so simple. There are more than 5,000 taxing jurisdictions in our country. Some of them give very different treatment for products and services that are almost identical.

(Not used in VoteMatch)

(Not used by AmericansElect)
Democrats: YES 47; NO 5
Republicans: YES 21; NO 22
Independents: YES 2; NO 0


                                                                                                                                                                               
  

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Following are the U.S. House votes used to indicate candidates' stances on the issues. Votes which include "VoteMatch Usage" are scored as VoteMatch and HouseMatch quiz responses. Those without a VoteMatch usage are included only on each candidate's main issues page.
Budget & Economy
House BillVote descriptionVoteMatch UsageCandidate Voting
Vote number 13-HV807 prioritizing spending in case debt limit is reached
on May 9, 2013 regarding bill H R 807 Full Faith and Credit Act
Results: Passed 221-207
Congressional Summary:Requires the Secretary of the Treasury, in addition to any other authority provided by law, to issue obligations to pay with legal tender, and solely for the purpose of paying, the principal and interest on U.S. obligations held by the public, or held by the Old-Age and Survivors Insurance Trust Fund and Disability Insurance Trust Fund, in the event that the federal debt reaches the statutory limit after enactment of this Act. Prohibits the issued obligations from being taken into account in applying the current $16.394 trillion public debt limit to the extent that they would otherwise cause such limit to be exceeded.

Opponent's Argument for voting No:Rep. MAFFEI: The American people want us to work together--Republicans and Democrats--to reduce our debt, pay our bills, and avoid an economic catastrophe, which would result from default. This legislation presumes it will happen and maps out not if but what happens when the United States defaults. Their plan ensures that foreign creditors such as China, Japan, and OPEC countries Iran and Saudi Arabia would continue to get paid while we halt other payments to groups of Americans who have earned those benefits. This bill prioritizes Chinese lenders ahead of American seniors and veterans and college students. That's why it's called the Pay China First Act.

White House statement in opposition:American families do not get to choose which bills to pay and which ones not to pay, and the United States Congress cannot either without putting the nation into default for the first time in its history. This bill would threaten the full faith and credit of the United States, cost American jobs, hurt businesses of all sizes and do damage to the economy. It would cause the nation to default on payments for Medicare, veterans, national security and many other critical priorities. This legislation is unwise, unworkable, and unacceptably risky."

Voting NO counts for 1 points on VoteMatch question 20:
Stimulus better than mkt-led recovery;
Voting YES counts for -1 points on VoteMatch question 20.

Voting YES counts as answer A on AmericansElect question 1;
Voting NO counts as answer D on AmericansElect question 1.
Democrats: YES 1; NO 199
Republicans: YES 220; NO 8
Independents: YES 0; NO 0

Civil Rights
House BillVote descriptionVoteMatch UsageCandidate Voting
Vote number 13-HV055 reauthorizing the Violence Against Women Act
on Feb 28, 2013 regarding bill H.R.11 Violence Against Women Reauthorization Act
Results: Passed 286-138
Congressional Summary:
    Amends the Violence Against Women Act of 1994 (VAWA) to add or expand definitions of several terms used in such Act, including :
  1. "culturally specific services" to mean community-based services that offer culturally relevant and linguistically specific services and resources to culturally specific communities;
  2. "personally identifying information" with respect to a victim of domestic violence, dating violence, sexual assault, or stalking;
  3. "underserved populations" as populations that face barriers in accessing and using victim services because of geographic location, religion, sexual orientation or gender identity; and
  4. "youth" to mean a person who is 11 to 24 years old.

Opponent's Argument for voting No (The Week; Huffington Post, and The Atlantic): House Republicans had objected to provisions in the Senate bill that extended VAWA's protections to lesbians, gays, immigrants, and Native Americans. For example, Rep. Bill Johnson (R-OH) voted against the VAWA bill because it was a "politically–motivated, constitutionally-dubious Senate version bent on dividing women into categories by race, transgender politics and sexual preference." The objections can be grouped in two broadly ideological areas--that the law is an unnecessary overreach by the federal government, and that it represents a "feminist" attack on family values. The act's grants have encouraged states to implement "mandatory-arrest" policies, under which police responding to domestic-violence calls are required to make an arrest. These policies were intended to combat the too-common situation in which a victim is intimidated into recanting an abuse accusation. Critics also say VAWA has been subject to waste, fraud, and abuse because of insufficient oversight.

Voting YES counts for 1 points on VoteMatch question 2:
Require affirmative action;
Voting NO counts for -1 points on VoteMatch question 2.

(Not used by AmericansElect)
Democrats: YES 199; NO 1
Republicans: YES 87; NO 137
Independents: YES 0; NO 0

Corporations
House BillVote descriptionVoteMatch UsageCandidate Voting
Vote number 13-HV075 workforce training by state block grants & industry partners
on Mar 15, 2013 regarding bill H.R. 803 SKILLS Act
Results: Passed 215-202
Congressional Summary:
    Supporting Knowledge and Investing in Lifelong Skills Act or SKILLS Act:
  • Reauthorizes appropriations workforce investment systems for job training and employment services.
  • Requires a plan describe:
    1. strategies and services to more fully engage employers and meet their needs, as well as those to assist at-risk youth and out-of-school youth in acquiring education, skills, credentials, and employment experience;
    2. how the state board will convene industry or sector partnerships that lead to collaborative planning;
    3. how the state will use technology to facilitate access to services in remote areas;
    4. state actions to foster partnerships with non-profit organizations that provide employment-related services; and
    5. the methodology for determining one-stop partner program contributions for the cost of the infrastructure of one-stop centers.
  • Repeals title VI (Employment Opportunities for Individuals with Disabilities)
Opponent's Argument for voting No:
    National League of Cities op-ed, "H.R. 803 fails because it would:"
  1. Undermine the local delivery system that has been the cornerstone of job training programs
  2. Establish a program that is based on political boundaries (states) rather than on economic regions and local labor markets, or the naturally evolving areas in which workers find paying work
  3. Eliminate a strong role for local elected officials but require that they continue to be fiscally liable for funds spent in their local areas
  4. Change what was once a program targeted to those most in need--economically disadvantaged adults and youth and special population groups like veterans, migrant farm workers, and low income seniors--into a block grant to governors
  5. Contribute to the emerging division between those American's who have the requisite skills to find employment and those who do not.
(Not used in VoteMatch)

(Not used by AmericansElect)
Democrats: YES 3; NO 188
Republicans: YES 212; NO 14
Independents: YES 0; NO 0

Jobs
House BillVote descriptionVoteMatch UsageCandidate Voting
Vote number 13-HV137 allowing compensatory time off for working overtime
on Apr 9, 2013 regarding bill H.R.1406 Working Families Flexibility Act
Results: Passed 223-204
Congressional Summary:
  • Amends the Fair Labor Standards Act of 1938 to authorize private employers to provide compensatory time off to private employees at a rate of 1 1/2 hours per hour of employment for which overtime compensation is required.
  • Authorizes an employer to provide compensatory time only if it is in accordance with an applicable collective bargaining agreement.
  • Prohibits an employee from accruing more than 160 hours of compensatory time.
  • Requires an employee's employer to provide monetary compensation for any unused compensatory time off accrued during the preceding year.
  • Requires an employer to give employees 30-day notice before discontinuing compensatory time off.

Opponent's Argument for voting No:

    Rep. COURTNEY: This is the fifth time that the majority party has introduced [this bill since] 1997; and each time, the huge flaws in this legislation have resulted in its complete collapse. And once again, it doesn't deserve that support. Despite the representations made in its title--that it promotes workers' flexibility, that it gives workers choice--a closer examination of the bill shows the opposite is true. The better way to describe this bill is the More Work, Pay Less bill.

    The 1938 Fair Labor Standards Act created a bright line to protect people's right to a 40-hour work week, and make sure that that next hour after 40 hours is paid for with the time-and-a-half of wages. That created the weekend in America. That created the time off that middle class families have taken for granted for decades.

    What this bill does is it blurs that line; it creates total chaos in terms of trying to come up with a system to set up ground rules with a case-by-case written contract, and then leaves it to the enforcement of State Labor Departments Wage and Hours Divisions, which are totally incapable of going into the tens of thousands of workplaces all across America.

(Not used in VoteMatch)

(Not used by AmericansElect)
Democrats: YES 4; NO 196
Republicans: YES 219; NO 8
Independents: YES 0; NO 0

Technology
House BillVote descriptionVoteMatch UsageCandidate Voting
Vote number 13-HV117 protecting cyber security by sharing data with government
on Apr 18, 2013 regarding bill H.R.624 Cyber Intelligence Sharing and Protection Act
Results: Passed 288-127
Congressional Summary:
  • CISPA conducts federal cybersecurity activities to provide shared situational awareness enabling integrated operational actions to protect, prevent, and recover from cyber incidents.

Proponent's Argument for voting Yes:

  • Rep. SINEMA: We need a 21st century solution for this 21st century problem. This bill ensures that research and development, intellectual property, and software code is no longer being stolen by China, Iran, and Russia.
  • Rep. MAFFEI: We've already seen state actors like the People's Republic of China pursue widespread data theft from American computer networks. This is a clear and present danger.
Opponent's Argument for voting No:
  • Rep. McNERNEY: I'm concerned with the civil protections not required in H.R. 624. Businesses should be required to remove personally identifiable information before submitting data to Federal agencies.
  • CNet.com: Rep. Ron Paul warned that CISPA represents the "latest assault on Internet freedom"; that "CISPA is Big Brother writ large." CISPA would permit, but not require, Internet companies to hand over confidential customer records to federal agencies. What sparked the privacy worries--including opposition from the ACLU and the Republican Liberty Caucus--is the section of CISPA that says "notwithstanding any other provision of law." By including the word "notwithstanding," CISPA's drafters intended to make their legislation trump all existing laws. It would render irrelevant wiretap laws, Web companies' privacy policies, and more.
  • Rep. LOFGREN: CISPA could allow any private company to share vast amounts of sensitive, private data about its customers with the government. CISPA would override all other privacy laws, and allow a private company to share nearly anything--from the contents of private emails to medical records--as long as it "directly pertains to" a broadly defined "cyber threat."
(Not used in VoteMatch)

(Not used by AmericansElect)
Democrats: YES 92; NO 99
Republicans: YES 196; NO 29
Independents: YES 0; NO 0

Welfare & Poverty
House BillVote descriptionVoteMatch UsageCandidate Voting
Vote number 13-HV068 maintaining work requirement for welfare recipients
on Mar 13, 2013 regarding bill H.R.890 Preserving the Welfare Work Requirement & TANF Extension Act
Results: Passed 246-181
Congressional Summary:
  • Prohibits any experimental pilot or demonstration project that: waives compliance with mandatory work requirements
  • Rescinds and nullifies any such waiver granted before the enactment of this Act.

Proponent's Argument for voting Yes:

    Rep. REICHERT: Congress must ensure that work continues to be the centerpiece of the TANF welfare program. We are here today debating the Obama administration's efforts to undermine work requirements. Bipartisan discussions were actually happening before the Obama administration announced they would waive work requirements for welfare recipients last summer. That announcement completely undermined bipartisan negotiations in our committee about ways to strengthen this program. Usually, if an administration wants to change the law, they must submit a legislative proposal for Congress to consider, but that's not what the Obama administration did with its proposal to waive the TANF work requirements.

Opponent's Argument for voting No:

  • Rep. LEVIN: Last summer the administration proposed that states would be allowed to apply for waivers and have some flexibility in terms of the application of the work requirements--not the end of them or changing them, but the implementation of them. The idea that the administration is going to try to overturn welfare reform is ridiculous. States have to apply individually for waivers, and they have to explain in detail why the approach would lead to either more employment or better jobs for people who are trying to stay off welfare.
  • Rep. NEAL: I chaired the Democratic position [on 1990s welfare reform]. One of the goals of welfare reform was to move unemployed Americans from welfare to work, and it did work. The legislation has been very successful in meeting that goal. Welfare reform put people back on the work rolls. Welfare rolls have dropped by half, & poverty amongst children has dropped as well.
(Not used in VoteMatch)

(Not used by AmericansElect)
Democrats: YES 19; NO 178
Republicans: YES 227; NO 3
Independents: YES 0; NO 0


                                                                                                                                                                               
  

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