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Capitol Hill Review

June 2002 - September 2002

Table of Contents:

U.S. House of Representatives

  1. Expressing the Sense of the House of Representatives that Congress Should Complete Action on H.R. 4019, Permanent Marriage Penalty Relief Act of 2002 (H.Res. 543)
  2. Houses of Worship Political Speech Protection Act (H.R. 2357)
  3. Leach-LaFlace Internet Gambling Enforcement Act (H.R. 556)
  4. The Help Efficient, Accessible, Low Cost, Timely Health Care (HEALTH) Act of 2002 (H.R. 4600)
  5. The Abortion Non-Descrimination Act of 2002 (H.R. 4691)
  6. Education Affordability Act of 2002 (H.R. 5203)
  7. Andean Trade Preference Act  (H.R. 3009) 
  8. Homeland Security Act of 2002 (H.R. 5005)
  9. Corporate and Auditing Accountability and Responsibility Act  (H.R. 3763)
  10. Partial-Birth Abortion Ban Act   (H.R.4965)
  11. Corporate Fraud Accountability Act of 2002 (H.R. 5118)
  12. Cyber Security Enhancement Act of 2002 (H.R. 3482 )
  13. Arming Pilots Against Terrorism Act (H.R. 4635)
  14. Armed Services Tax Fairness Act (H.R. 5063)
  15. Medicare Modernization and Prescription Drug Act of 2002 (H.R. 4954)
  16. Social Security Program Protection Act of 2002 (H.R. 4070)
  17. Child Obscenity and Pornography Prevention Act of 2002 (H.R. 4623)
  18. Permanent Marriage Penalty Relief Act of 2002 (H.R. 4019)
  19. The Tax Limitation Constitutional Amendment (H. J. Res. 96)
  20. Permanent Death Tax Repeal Act of 2002 (H.R. 2143 )
  21. Customs Border Security Act of 2002 (H.R.3129)
  22. 2002 Supplemental Appropriations Act for Further Recovery From and Response To Terrorist Attacks on the United States (H R 4775)      
  23. Encouraging Work and Supporting Marriage Act (H R 4626)
  24. Personal Responsibility, Work, and Family Promotion Act (H R 4737)
  25. Afghanistan Freedom Support Act of 2002 (H.R. 3994)
  26. Encouraging Work and Supporting Marriage Act of 2002 (H.R. 4626)
  27. Highway Funding Restoration Act (H.R. 3694) 
  28. National Defense Authorization Act for FY 2003 (H.R. 4546)
  29. Yucca Mountain Repository Site Approval Act (H.J.Res. 87) 
  30. Providing for the disposition of H.J.Res. 84;Disapproval of the Actions taken by the President Under Sec. 203 of the Trade Act H.RES.414 
  31. Expressing solidarity with Israel in its fight against terrorism (H.Res. 392)
  32. Farm Security and Rural Investment Act of 2002 (H.R.2646)
  33. Barbara Jordan Immigration Reform and Accountability Act of 2002 (H.R. 3231)
  34. Corporate and Auditing Accountability and Responsibility Act (H R 3763)
  35. Farm Security Act (H R 2646)

House Of Representatives

Expressing the Sense of the House of Representatives that Congress Should Complete Action on H.R. 4019, Permanent Marriage Penalty Relief Act of 2002 (H.Res. 543)

Expressing the Sense of the House of Representatives that Congress Should Complete Action on H.R. 4019, Permanent Marriage Penalty Relief Act of 2002 (H.Res. 543). 

The Expressing the Sense of the House of Representatives that Congress Should Complete Action on H.R. 4019, Permanent Marriage Penalty Relief Act of 2002 (H.Res. 543) came to a vote on October 2, 2002, by the House of Representatives (Full text of legislation.) The bill was passed by a 285-130 vote. (To view how your representative voted visit: http://clerkweb.house.gov/cgi-bin/vote.exe?year=2002&rollnumber=430)

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Houses of Worship Political Speech Protection Act (H.R. 2357)

On October 2, 2002, the House of Representatives voted on the Houses of Worship Political Speech Protection Act (H.R. 2357) (Full text of legislation). The measure failed on a 239-178 vote. (To view how your representative voted visit: http://clerkweb.house.gov/cgi-bin/vote.exe?year=2002&rollnumber=429). The bill would have allowed religious leaders to speak freely about politics without endangering their organizations tax-exempt status.  Prior to 1954 religious leaders were feely involved in political debate.

(Jesse J. Holland, “House Rejects Worship-Politics,” The Associated Press, October 2, 2002)

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Leach-LaFlace Internet Gambling Enforcement Act (H.R. 556)

The House of Representatives voted on the Leach-LaFlace Internet Gambling Enforcement Act (H.R. 556) on October 1, 2002. (Full text of legislation) The bill passed on a voice vote. The measure would allow for a prison sentence of up to five years for Internet casino operators that accept bets from Americans.   Also, the bill would require banks and other financial institutions to prohibit Internet gambling companies from using their products like credit cards or wire transfers.  They could be subject to civil penalties from regulators if failing to comply.

(Matt Richtel, “House Passes Bill to Combat Internet Gambling in the U.S.,” The New York Times, October 2, 2002)

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The Help Efficient, Accessible, Low Cost, Timely Health Care (HEALTH) Act of 2002 (H.R. 4600)

On September 25, 2002, the House of Representatives passed the Help Efficient, Accessible, Low Cost, Timely Health Care (HEALTH) Act of 2002. (Full text of legislation) The measure caps pain-and suffering damage that juries award in malpractice suits.  It allows unlimited economic damage, such as for past and future earnings, but would limit non-economic damages to $250,000. The measure passed by a 217-203 vote. (To view how your representative voted visit: http://clerkweb.house.gov/cgi-bin/vote.exe?year=2002&rollnumber=421)

(Janelle Carter, “House Passes Malpractice Limit Bill, “ The Associated Press, September 26, 2002)

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The Abortion Non-Descrimination Act of 2002 (H.R. 4691)

The Abortion Non-Descrimination Act of 2002 (H.R. 4691) was passed  by the House of Representatives on September 25, 2002. (Full text of legislation)  The measure passed on a 229-189 vote to protect hospitals and other health care organizations from being forced to perform or pay for abortions or be compelled to refer a women for abortion services. (To view how your representative voted visit: http://clerkweb.house.gov/cgi-bin/vote.exe?year=2002&rollnumber=412)

(Amy Fagan, “House passes bill on abortion services,” The Washington Times, September 26, 2002)

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Education Affordability Act of 2002 (H.R. 5203)

The Education Affordability Act of 2002 (H.R. 5203) was voted on by the House of Representatives on September 4, 2002. (Full text of legislation).  The measure failed to pass the House on a 213-188 vote (To view how your representative voted visit: http://clerkweb.house.gov/cgi-bin/vote.exe?year=2002&rollnumber=371).  For those investing in education savings accounts, the measure would have extended tax relief beyond 2010.  Provisions that increased the annual contribution limit to education savings accounts from $500 to $2,000 would have been made permanent by the education bill.  And to cover expenses at public, private and religious schools for students in kindergarten through twelfth grade, it would have expanded those savings account benefits.  Also for employer-provided higher education assistance, it would have extended the tax-fee status.

(“No Extension for Tax Breaks for Education,” The Associated Press, September 5, 2002)

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Andean Trade Preference Act  (H.R. 3009) 

The House of Representatives on July 27, 2002 voted on the Andean Trade Preference Act  (H.R. 3009).( Full text of legislation).  The bill passed on a 215-212 vote. (To view how your representative voted visit:http://clerkweb.house.gov/cgi-bin/vote.exe?year=2002&rollnumber=370 ).  Enacted as the Trade Act of 2002, the measure covers trade adjustment assistance (TAA), trade promotion authority (fast-track procedures), Andean trade preferences and other trade provision.

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Homeland Security Act of 2002 (H.R. 5005)

The Homeland Security Act of 2002 (H.R. 5005) was voted on by the House of Representatives on July 26, 2002.( Full text of legislation).  The measure was approved by a 295-132 vote. (To view how your representative voted visit:  http://clerkweb.house.gov/cgi-bin/vote.exe?year=2002&rollnumber=367).  To the President’s proposal for Homeland Security, the measure incorporates several modifications to his plan.  These changes will help ensure successful implementation and continued congressional oversight while preserving the essential functions outlined in the President’s plan.  The measure specifically helps create a world-class workforce within the civil service framework, protects civil liberties, and enhances research and development opportunities.

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Corporate and Auditing Accountability and Responsibility Act  (H.R. 3763)

The House of Representatives voted on the Corporate and Auditing Accountability and Responsibility Act  (H.R. 3763) on July 25, 2002. (Full text of legislation ) On a 423-3 vote, the bill was approved. (To view how your representative voted visit:  http://clerkweb.house.gov/cgi-bin/vote.exe?year=2002&rollnumber=348).

For company fraud and document shredding the legislation creates criminal penalties and prison terms and establishes an independent, private-sector board to begin oversight of the accounting industry as well as to gain subpoena power.

Also, for corporate clients whose books they audit the measure imposes restrictions on accounting firms doing consulting services.  Personal loans from companies to their top officials and directors are prohibited.  And to prevent conflicts of interest, it orders new rules on financial analysts.

Additionally, the period of time in which defrauded investors may bring lawsuits against companies is extended by the bill.

(Marcy Gordon, “House Passes Corporate Fraud Bill,” The Associated Press, July 25, 2002)

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Partial-Birth Abortion Ban Act   (H.R.4965)

The Partial-Birth Abortion Ban Act (H.R.4965) was voted on by the House of Representatives on July 24, 2002. (Full text of legislation  )  The measure passed on a 274-151 vote. (To view how your representative voted visit:  http://clerkweb.house.gov/cgi-bin/vote.exe?year=2002&rollnumber=343)

The measure would ban partial-birth abortion.  The bill is crafted to accommodate the Supreme Court’s decision that in 2000 struck down a Nebraska ban on partial-birth abortion as unconstitutional.

(Amy Fagan, “House bill targets partial-birth abortion,” The Washington Times, July 25, 2002)

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Corporate Fraud Accountability Act of 2002 (H.R. 5118)

The House of Representatives voted on the Corporate Fraud Accountability Act of 2002 (H.R. 5118) on July 16, 2002. (Full text of legislation  ) The bill provides new measures for increasing the punishment of corporate wrongdoers.  Specifically, the measure:

·        increases the penalties for mail and wire fraud from five years to twenty years and creates a new "securities fraud" section that carries a maximum penalty of twenty-five years;

·        strengthens laws that criminalize document shredding and other forms of obstruction of justice and provides a maximum penalty of twenty years for such violation;

·        grants emergency authority to the U.S. Sentencing Commission to promulgate guidelines that reflect the serious nature of securities, pension, and accounting fraud;

·        closes loopholes by which corporate officers can use bankruptcy laws to discharge liabilities based on securities fraud;

·        requires top corporate executives to certify that the financial statements of the company fairly and accurately represent the financial condition of the company. Violating this section can subject corporate executives to fines of up to $5 million and twenty years in prison;

·        provides additional tools to prosecutors to prosecute wrongdoing by corporate criminals who attempt and conspire to violate the law;

·        increases the criminal penalties for those who file false statements with the Securities Exchange Commission to a maximum penalty of $5 million and twenty years in prison. If a corporation files a false statement, then the fines increase up to a maximum of $25 million;

·        freezes extraordinary payments to executives while the company is subject to an SEC investigation; and

·        bans CEO’s and other officers who clearly abuse their power from serving in any corporate leadership provision.

The House agreed to the measure by a vote of 391 – 28 (To view how your representative voted visit: http://clerkweb.house.gov/cgi-bin/vote.exe?year=2002&rollnumber=299)

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Cyber Security Enhancement Act of 2002 (H.R. 3482)

On July 15, 2002, the House of Representatives voted on the Cyber Security Enhancement Act of 2002 (H.R. 3482 ) (Full text of legislation)  To better reflect the seriousness of the crime, this measure enhances law enforcement efforts through better coordination and provides the authority and resources for the National Infrastructure Protection Center to serve as a national focal point for threat assessment, warning, investigation, and response to attacks on the nation's critical infrastructure from both physical and cyber sources; the measure also increases penalties for cybercrimes. Additionally, the bill makes the Office of Science and Technology an independent office to: (1) serve as the national focal point for law enforcement science and technology; (2) assist in the development and dissemination of law enforcement technology; and (3) make technical assistance available to federal, state, and local law enforcement agencies.  The measure was approved on a 385-3 vote. (To view how your representative voted visit: http://clerkweb.house.gov/cgi-bin/vote.exe?year=2002&rollnumber=296)

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Arming Pilots Against Terrorism Act (H.R. 4635)

The House of Representatives on July 10, 2002, approved the Arming Pilots Against Terrorism Act (H.R. 4635).  (Full text of legislation)  The measure would allow, if agreeing to undergo training, more than 70,000 pilots to carry firearms in their cockpits to defend their planes against terrorists.  The bill was passed by a 310-113 vote. (To view how your representative voted visit: http://clerkweb.house.gov/cgi-bin/vote.exe?year=2002&rollnumber=292 )

(Johathan D. Salant, “House Oks Bill to Arm Airline Pilots,” The Associated Press, July 10, 2002)

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Armed Services Tax Fairness Act (H.R. 5063)

On July 9, 2002, the House of Representatives approved the Armed Services Tax Fairness Act (H.R. 5063). (Full text of legislation) The measure provides tax relief for military personnel in that it makes sure service members will not lose out on capital gains tax relief on home sales, and the other makes payments for those killed while serving tax-free.  The measure passed on a 413-0 vote. (To view how your representative voted visit: http://clerkweb.house.gov/cgi-bin/vote.exe?year=2002&rollnumber=286 )

(“House OKs Tax Breaks for Military,” The Associated Press, July 9, 2002)

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Medicare Modernization and Prescription Drug Act of 2002 (H.R. 4954)

On June 28, 2002, the House of Representatives passed the Medicare Modernization and Prescription Drug Act of 2002 (H.R. 4954). (Full text of legislation).  The measure was approved on a 221 to 208 vote. (To view how your representative voted visit: http://clerkweb.house.gov/cgi-bin/vote.exe?year=2002&rollnumber=282).  The bill  would require all but low-income seniors to pay a monthly premium of $35 and meet a $250 annual deductible under the plan.   On the first $1,000 of drug costs, the government would pay 80 percent of costs and on the next $1,000 it would pay 50 percent.  For drug costs beyond this, patients would be responsible once they reach $3,800 in out-of -pocket spending prior to additional government help taking effect.

(Robert Pear, ”House Votes to Place Prescription Drugs Under Medicare Coverage,” The New York Times, June 28, 2002)

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Social Security Program Protection Act of 2002 (H.R. 4070)

On June 26, 2002, the Social Security Program Protection Act of 2002 (H.R. 4070) was passed by the House of Representatives. (Full text of legislation)

The measure protects the nearly 7 million Social Security and Supplemental Security Income (SSI) beneficiaries who cannot manage their own financial affairs and have a “representative payee,” to safeguard their monthly benefits. 

By a vote of 425 – 0 the measure was passed. (To view how your representative voted visit: http://clerkweb.house.gov/cgi-bin/vote.exe?year=2002&rollnumber=260)

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Child Obscenity and Pornography Prevention Act of 2002 (H.R. 4623)

On June 25, 2002, the House of Representatives voted on the Child Obscenity and Pornography Prevention Act of 2002 (H.R. 4623) Full text of legislation. 

After the Supreme Court on April 16, 2002, overturned parts of a similar 1996 law as unconstitutional, the House approved this measure on a 413-8 vote to circumvent the ruling that allows computer simulation of children having sex. (To view how your representative voted visit: http://clerkweb.house.gov/cgi-bin/vote.exe?year=2002&rollnumber=256)

(Amy Fagan, “Porn bill skirts Supreme Court,” The Washington Times, June 26, 2002)

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Permanent Marriage Penalty Relief Act of 2002 (H.R. 4019)

On June 13, 2002, the House of Representatives voted on the Permanent Marriage Penalty Relief Act of 2002 (H.R. 4019). (Full text of legislation) 

On a 271-142 vote, the House approved the measure. (To view how your representative voted visit: http://clerkweb.house.gov/cgi-bin/vote.exe?year=2002&rollnumber=229)

Tax relief targeted to married couples beginning in 2005 would be extended permanently by the bill.  The same deduction as two single people would be given to couples who do not itemize their tax returns.  All married couples would benefit from other changes made in the tax brackets, and eligibility for a low-income tax credit would be liberalized.

(David Espo, “House Votes to End Marriage Penalty,” The Associated Press, June 13, 2002)

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The Tax Limitation Constitutional Amendment (H. J. Res. 96)

The House of Representatives voted on the Tax Limitation Constitutional Amendment (H. J. Res. 96) on June 12, 2002. (Full text of legislation) 

The resolution was approved by a 227 - 178 vote (To view how your representative voted visit: http://clerkweb.house.gov/cgi-bin/vote.exe?year=2002&rollnumber=225)

Proposing to amend the U. S. Constitution, H.J. Res. 96 would require any bill, resolution or other legislative measure changing the internal revenue laws considered by each House of Congress to have a concurrence of two-thirds of those present and voting for final adoption.  However, to the application of the amendment there are exceptions:

1.  The two-thirds requirement of the constitutional amendment does not apply if the bill, resolution or legislative measure can be determined at the time of adoption, in a reasonable manner prescribed by law, to increase taxes by a de minimus amount, and

2.   When a declaration of war is in effect or when the United States is engaged in a military conflict which causes an imminent and serious threat to national security and which is declared to exist and was adopted by a majority vote in both Houses and signed into law by the President, Congress may waive the so-called super-majority requirement

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Permanent Death Tax Repeal Act of 2002 (H.R. 2143 )

To permanently eliminate the estate tax the House of Representatives voted on the Permanent Death Tax Repeal Act of 2002 (H.R. 2143) on June 6, 2002

( Full text of legislation).

The measure was approved on a 256-171 vote. (To view how your representative voted visit: http://clerkweb.house.gov/cgi-bin/vote.exe?year=2002&rollnumber=219)

(Carl Hulse, “House Backs Permanent End to Estate Tax , The New York Times, June 7, 2002)

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Customs Border Security Act of 2002 (H.R.3129)

On May 22, 2002, the House of Representatives voted on the Customs Border Security Act of 2002 (H.R. 3129). (Full text of legislation)  The measure authorizes appropriations for Fiscal Years 2002 and 2003 for the U.S. Customs Service, the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative, and the International Trade Commission.  The authorization for the Customs Service includes funds for salaries and expenses, its Automated Commercial Environment (ACE) computer system, air and marine interdiction, and a program to prevent child pornography.  This bill also increases the personal duty exemption for travelers entering the United States.  The bill was passed on a 327 – 101 vote. (To view how your representative voted visit:

http://clerkweb.house.gov/cgi-bin/vote.exe?year=2002&rollnumber=193)


Of note, the bill provides for: (1) authorizing customs funding at $5 billion over two years, and Customs' FY 2002 funding level is $400 million over FY 2001; (2) fully funding Customs automation computer system at $308 million; (3) an additional $90 million for extensive border protection equipment to fight terrorism and illegal drugs; and (4) an additional $10 million of cyber-smuggling funding to stop smuggling, especially in the child pornography area.

Also, the bill reestablishes New York City Customs offices including the textile clearinghouse, which was destroyed in the September 11th attack on the World Trade Center.  It adds $9.5 million to fight textile trans-shipment through added staff dedicated to specific geographic areas such as Hong Kong, India, Korea, Mexico, and the Middle East.  This includes 21 new import specialists, 10 inspectors, 2 attorneys, 6 auditors, and 11 new investigators.

H.R. 3129 authorizes a General Accounting Office audit and report on the effectiveness of transshipment monitoring and enforcement.  The measure provides full funding to the International Trade Commission that has a role in analyzing trade flows, new trade agreements, and deciding trade remedy cases.  It also adds extra staff for the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative so that office can provide Congress with the added consulting for trade negotiations.  The bill also removes provisions reforming premium pay for Customs inspectors.

The measure provides the Customs Service with authority to obtain advanced electronic information on passengers and cargo in order to identify high risk situations.  Finally, H.R. 3129 gives Customs authority to search mail leaving the United States for terrorist and illegal drug money (Customs currently only has authority to search inbound mail).  

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2002 Supplemental Appropriations Act for Further Recovery From and Response To Terrorist Attacks on the United States (H R 4775)      

The American Servicemembers Protection Act of 2002 (S. AMDT. 3597) was contained in an appropriation measure 2002 Supplemental Appropriations Act for Further Recovery From and Response To Terrorist Attacks on the United States (H R 4775)

(Full text of legislation) passed by the House of Representatives on May 24, 2002 with a vote of 280-138 (To view how your representative voted visit: http://clerkweb.house.gov/cgi-bin/vote.exe?year=2002&rollnumber=206 ) The bill would write into law President’s Bush’s rejection of the right of the new International Criminal Court, which the U.S. has not ratified, to try American military people on charges trumped up by the enemies of America if passed by the Senate

(Wes Vernon, “House Votes to Protect U.S. Troops From Globalist Court, NewsMax.com, May 29, 2002)

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Encouraging Work and Supporting Marriage Act (H R 4626)

To provide about 21 million couples with relief from the “marriage penalty” in their taxes starting in 2003, two years earlier than scheduled under current law, the House of Representatives voted on May 21, 2002, on the Encouraging Work and Supporting Marriage Act (H R 4626) to provide such relief. (Full text of legislation)  

Lower-and middle-income couples who claim the standard income tax deduction would mostly be affected by the tax measure.  Their standard deduction is lower than that  available for two single people for many of those couples. On a 490-1 vote the House passed the measure. (To view how your representative voted visit: http://clerkweb.house.gov/cgi-bin/vote.exe?year=2002&rollnumber=177)

(“House Passes Tax Relief for some Couples,” the Associated Press, May 22, 2002)

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Personal Responsibility, Work, and Family Promotion Act (H R 4737)

On May 16, 2002, the House of Representatives voted to modify the 1996 law that redefined welfare.

On a 229 to 197 vote (To view how your representative voted visit: http://clerkweb.house.gov/cgi-bin/vote.exe?year=2002&rollnumber=170 ) the House passed the Personal Responsibility, Work, and Family Promotion Act (H R 4737)

(Full text of legislation)  that would subsidize state programs that encourage marriage and premarital sexual abstinence; and give governors substantial new powers to redesign welfare, housing, food stamps and other anti-poverty programs. (To view how your representative voted visit: )  Also, the legislation would require parents on welfare to work instead of 30 hours per week 40 hours, and would gradually increase the proportion of recipients who must meet that requirement from 50 percent to 70 percent.

(Amy Goldstein and Juliet Eilperin, “House Clears GOP-Backed Welfare Bill Senate Proposals Presage a Clash,” The Washington Post, May 17, 2002)

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Afghanistan Freedom Support Act of 2002 (H.R. 3994)

The Afghanistan Freedom Support Act of 2002, (H.R. 3994) was voted on by the House of Representatives on May 21, 2002. (Full text of legislation) The bill promotes the reconstruction of an independent, prosperous and democratic Afghanistan.  The goals and objectives of this legislation are to provide for the national security of the United States and other nations by eliminating Afghanistan as a source of terrorism and instability in the region.  The bill also provides assistance to the people of Afghanistan for the purposes of alleviating suffering, aiding recovery, bolstering stability, and promoting democratic civil government.  Finally, the measure provides for the security of the United States and other nations by reducing the amount of narcotics grown in or trafficked through Afghanistan.   The measure was passed on a 415-0 vote. (To view how your representative voted visit: http://clerkweb.house.gov/cgi-bin/vote.exe?year=2002&rollnumber=162)

The measure authorizes a broad range of development, economic and security assistance for Afghanistan ($200 million in Fiscal Year 2002, $300 million in Fiscal Year 2003, and $250 million in Fiscal Year 2004 and Fiscal Year 2005).  The bill provides the Administration with great flexibility to take into account the fluid situation in Afghanistan and the anticipated variety of needs.  It authorizes the provision of security assistance to Afghanistan as well as countries and international organizations supporting the efforts to control terrorism and improve the security situation in Afghanistan, primarily through the drawing down of defense articles and services.   The bill also authorizes assistance to meet urgent humanitarian needs, such as the provision of food aid and disaster relief, and emphasizes the need to assist refugees returning to their home communities in Afghanistan when it is safe to do so.  In addition, the measure provides for assistance for reconstruction and rehabilitation of basic infrastructure and assistance to the civil society and interim authority in Afghanistan.

In addition, the bill: (1) underscores the importance of eradicating poppy cultivation in order to reduce supply and demand for illicit narcotics in Afghanistan and in the region; (2) emphasizes the importance of supporting stability through employment programs and of improving food security, the health system, and the agricultural sector; and (3) promotes efforts already underway to improve the education system and support the transparency, accountability and participatory nature of governmental institutions in Afghanistan.  Finally, the bill establishes two conditions for providing reconstruction/development assistance to Afghanistan (exempting humanitarian, human rights and refugee assistance from conditionality): (1) the Government of Afghanistan must fully support counter-narcotics efforts; and (2) the people of Afghanistan must follow-through on commitments to peace made in Bonn, Germany in December, 2001.

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Encouraging Work and Supporting Marriage Act of 2002 (H.R. 4626)

The Encouraging Work and Supporting Marriage Act of 2002 (H.R. 4626) was voted on by the House of Representatives on May 21, 2002.(Full text of legislation  ) The bill amends the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 to accelerate the marriage penalty relief in the standard deduction and to modify the work opportunity credit and the welfare-to-work credit. The measure was passed on a 409-1 vote. (To view how your representative voted visit: http://clerkweb.house.gov/cgi-bin/vote.exe?year=2002&rollnumber=177) Specifically, the measure:

·         Accelerates Marriage Penalty Relief. President Bush’s 2001 tax reduction eliminates the marriage penalty in the standard deduction by gradually increasing the standard deduction for married couples filing jointly beginning in 2005. H.R. 4626 begins increasing the standard deduction in 2003.

·         Simplifies Work Opportunity and Welfare to Work Tax Credits. H.R. 4626 combines the Work Opportunity Tax Credit (WOTC) and the Welfare to Work Tax Credit (WWTC) and conforms most of their rules. 

·         Eliminates the Household Income Test for Ex-Felons under WOTC. Under present law, employers can claim the WOTC for hiring ex-felons who meet a household income test that requires states to document the income of all members in the ex-felon’s household. The test represents a significant impediment to hiring ex-felons – a group that tends to be economically disadvantaged because of their status. H.R. 4626 eliminates the household income test for this group.

·         Increases Age Limit for Food Stamp Recipients. Under present law, employers can claim the WOTC for hiring certain food stamp recipients between the ages of 18 and 25.  H.R. 4626 increases the food stamp recipient age limit to 30. This change qualifies more low-income men, including absentee fathers, under the WOTC. Currently, about 80 percent of the individuals hired under the WOTC program are women.

·         Expands Incentives for Vocational Rehabilitation Referrals. Under present law, employers can claim the WOTC for hiring an individual with a disability who receives rehabilitative services under a State-approved or Veteran rehabilitation plan. The Ticket to Work and Work Incentives Improvement Act of 1999 (P.L. 106-170) creates private employment networks as an alternative to the state-approved agencies. H.R. 4626 allows employers to claim the WOTC for hiring individuals who are referred by a private employer network.

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Highway Funding Restoration Act (H.R. 3694) 

 

The Highway Funding Restoration Act (H.R. 3694) (Full text of legislation ) would  restore $4.4 billion to the federal-aid highway and highway safety construction programs in Fiscal Year 2003 and ensures that this money is spent according to the formula established by the Transportation Equity Act for the 21st Century (TEA 21). The House of Representatives voted on the bill on May 14, 2002 and approved it on a 410 – 5 vote.  (To view how your representative voted visit:

 http://clerkweb.house.gov/cgi-bin/vote.exe?year=2002&rollnumber=159)

To accomplish this, the bill deems the adjustment made pursuant to the Revenue Aligned Budget Authority (RABA) provision of TEA 21 to the highway budget category and guaranteed highway funding level to be zero in Fiscal Year 2003. The bill also includes a sense of the Congress section that the RABA provision should be amended to more accurately align highway spending with highway revenues, while maintaining predictability and stability in highway funding.


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National Defense Authorization Act for FY 2003 (H.R. 4546)

An amendment that would have allowed female military personnel stationed overseas to obtain abortions at military hospitals using their own funds was rejected by the House of Representatives on May 9, 2002.  The following H.AMDT.478 to H.R.4546 Amendment  to the National Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2003 failed on a 202 – 215 vote.  (To view how your representative voted visit:

http://clerkweb.house.gov/cgi-bin/vote.exe?year=2002&rollnumber=153)


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Yucca Mountain Repository Site Approval Act (H.J.Res. 87)

 

President Bush’s designation of the Yucca Mountain depository site (H.J.Res. 87) (Full text of legislation)  to store the nation’s nuclear waste was overwhelmingly approved on May 8, 2002.  The resolution approves the site at Yucca Mountain, Nevada, for the development of a repository for the disposal of high-level radioactive waste and spent nuclear fuel, in accordance with procedures under section 115 of the Nuclear Waste Policy Act of 1982 (NWPA). The resolution was approved by a vote of 306 – 117. (To view how your representative voted visit: http://clerkweb.house.gov/cgi-bin/vote.exe?year=2002&rollnumber=133 )

 

In its 1982 Nuclear Policy Act, Congress gave Nevada an unprecedented veto right over the President.  To date, the 15-year Yucca Mountain project has cost $7 billion.

 

(Audrey Hudson,”House Oks nuclear storage at Yucca Mountain, May 9, 2002)

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Providing for the disposition of H.J.Res. 84;

Disapproval of the Actions taken by the President Under Sec. 203 of the Trade Act H.RES.414

 

Supporting President Bush’s imposition of substantial tariffs on imported steel, the House of Representatives on May 8, 2002, voted overwhelmingly in favor of House Resolution (H.Res. 414). (Full text of legislation).

 

In a decision by House Republican leaders to hold the decisive vote on a parliamentary question instead of directly on a measure disapproving the President’s action reflects the political sensitivity of the issue, which involves such election battleground states as Ohio and Pennsylvania.

 

In favor of a rule that effectively killed the disapproval resolution, the vote was 386-30. (To view how your representative voted visit:

http://clerkweb.house.gov/cgi-bin/vote.exe?year=2002&rollnumber=130)

 

(“House Supports Steel Tariff,” The Associated Press, May 8, 2002)


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Expressing solidarity with Israel in its fight against terrorism (H.Res. 392)

On May 2, 2002, the House of Representatives voted on Expressing solidarity with Israel in its fight against terrorism House Resolution (H.Res ) 392 (Full text of legislation).

It expresses: (1) solidarity with Israel as it takes necessary steps to provide security to its people by dismantling the terrorist infrastructure in the Palestinian areas; and (2) commitment to Israel's right to self-defense and support for additional U.S. assistance.

It also condemns the recent wave of Palestinian suicide bombings and the ongoing support and coordination of terror by Yasser Arafat and other members of the Palestinian leadership.

Furthermore, it demands that the Palestinian Authority fulfill its commitment to dismantle the terrorist infrastructure in the Palestinian areas.

It expresses concern that Arafat's actions are not those of a viable partner for peace.

It urges all Arab states to declare their unqualified opposition to all forms of terrorism, particularly suicide bombing, and all parties in the region to pursue peace in the Middle East.

It commends the President for his leadership in addressing the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

And, it encourages the international community to take action to alleviate the humanitarian needs of the Palestinian people.

The resolution was approved by a 352-21 vote. (To view how your representative voted visit: http://clerkweb.house.gov/cgi-bin/vote.exe?year=2002&rollnumber=126)

Concerns by the Bush administration that the declaration of support for Israel would complicate efforts to reach any agreements in the Middle East were brushed aside by the lawmakers.

(Dave Boyer, “House, Senate pass pro-Israel resolution,” The Washington Times, May 3, 2002)

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Farm Security and Rural Investment Act of 2002 (H.R.2646) 

To provide for the continuation of agricultural programs through fiscal year 2007, the House of Representatives voted on May 2, 2002, on the Farm Security and Rural Investment Act of 2002 (H.R.2646). (Full text of legislation).  On a 280-141 vote, the measure was approved.  (To view how your representative voted visit: http://clerkweb.house.gov/cgi-bin/vote.exe?year=2002&rollnumber=123)

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Barbara Jordan Immigration Reform and Accountability Act of 2002 (H.R. 3231)

Overwhelmingly, on April 25, 2002, the House of Representatives voted on the Barbara Jordan Immigration Reform and Accountability Act of 2002 (H.R. 3231) (Full text of legislation) to abolish the Immigration and Naturalization Services and divided its function between two new bureaus one for enforcement, the other for immigration services such as the handling of citizenship applications.

Lawmakers’ frustration over the agency’s misstep before and after September 11, 2002, was reflected in the lopsided 405-9 vote. (To view how your representative voted visit: http://clerkweb.house.gov/cgi-bin/vote.exe?year=2002&rollnumber=116)

(Eric Schmitt, “Vote in House Strongly Backs on End to I.N.S.,” The New York Times, April 26, 2002)

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Corporate and Auditing Accountability and Responsibility Act (H R 3763)

In an effort to address the accounting and financial disclosure deceptions at Enron the House of Representatives passed the Republican-supported Corporate and Auditing Accountability and Responsibility Act (H R 3763) (Full text of legislation) by a wide margin on April 24, 2002.

To regulate auditors of publicly traded companies and punish errant accounts, the measure would create a new board under the authority of the Securities and Exchange Commission.  Also, while doing certain types of consulting and other work for the same company, the bill would prohibit accounting firms from serving as an external auditor.  Additionally, it would require disclosure of sort of off-balance-sheet deals that contributed to the collapse of Enron.  The House passed the bill by a 334 to 90 vote. (To view how your representative voted visit: http://clerkweb.house.gov/cgi-bin/vote.exe?year=2002&rollnumber=110)

(Richard A. Oppel Jr., “G.O.P. Bill on Auditing Clears House,” The New York Times, April 25, 2002) 

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Farm Security Act (H R 2646)

In a nonbonding resolution, the House of Representatives voted on April 23, 2002, to support restoring food stamp benefits to legal immigrants. (Full text of legislation)This measure would restore to legal immigrants food-stamp privileges that were eliminated in the 1996 welfare reforms passed in the House on a 244-171 vote. (To view how your representative voted visit: http://clerkweb.house.gov/cgi-bin/vote.exe?year=2002&rollnumber=106)

(Stephen Dinan, “House Oks food stamps for legal aliens,” The Washington Times, April 24, 2002)

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Senate 

Boxer-Smith Amendment S.Amdt.4492

 On September 5, 2002, the Senate voted on the Boxer-Smith Amendment (For Full Text of Legislation visit: S.Amdt. 4492) The measure was approved on a 97-6 vote.  (To view how your senators voted visit: http://www.senate.gov/legislative/vote1072/vote_00210.html).  The amendment to arm pilots was overwhelmingly approved by the Senate.  The Senate attached the measure to a bill that would create a new Cabinet agency dedicated to combating terrorism within U.S. borders. 

(“Plan to Arm Pilots Faces Resistance,” The Associated Press, September 6, 2002)


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Public Company Accounting Reform and Investor Protection Act of 2002 (H.R. 3763)

 

On July 25, 2002, the Senate voted on the Public Company Accounting Reform and Investor Protection Act of 2002 (H.R. 3763) (For Full Text of Legislation visit: H.R. 3763).  The Senate approved the bill on a 99-0 vote. (To view how your senators voted visit: http://www.senate.gov/legislative/vote1072/vote_00192.html)


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As Amended; Greater Access to Affordable Pharmaceuticals Act of 2001(S. 812) 

On July 23, 2002, the Senate voted on the Greater Access to Affordable Pharmaceuticals Act of 2001(S. 812). (For Full Text of Legislation visit: S. 812).  The bill was passed on a 78-21 vote. (To view how your senators voted visit: http://www.senate.gov/legislative/vote1072/vote_00201.html) 

The measure revises provisions concerning the timing of generic drug availability to the Federal Food, Drugs and Cosmetic Act.  Also, to permit pharmacists and wholesalers to reimport U.S.-made prescription drugs into the U.S. from Canada, it amends the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act.

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Public Company Accounting and Investor Protection Act of 2002 (S.2673)  

The Senate, on July 15, 2002, voted on the Public Company Accounting and Investor Protection Act of 2002. (For Full Text Of Legislation visit: S. 2673).  For public companies the measure is to improve quality and transparency in financial reporting and independent audits and accounting services.  It creates a Public Company Accounting Oversight Board, to enhance the standard setting process for accounting practices, to strengthen the independence of firms that audit public companies, to increase corporate responsibility and the usefulness of corporate financial disclosure, to protect the objectivity and independence of securities analysts, to improve Securities and Exchange Commission resources and oversight, and for other purposes.  The measure was approved on a 97-0 vote. (To view how your senators voted visit: http://www.senate.gov/legislative/vote1072/vote_00176.html)


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Yucca Mountain Bill  (S.J. Res.34) 

For the development of a repository for the disposal of high-level radioactive waste and spent nuclear fuel, pursuant to the Nuclear Waste Policy Act of 1982, the Senate voted on a joint resolution (S.J.Res. 34) approving the site at Yucca Mountain, Nevada on July 9, 2002.  The Senate passed the resolution on a  69-39 vote. (To view how your senators voted visit: http://www.senate.gov/legislative/vote1072/vote_00167.html) 

Yucca Mountain would be designated as the nation's first nuclear repository site, ending two decades of debate and $7 billion in studies.   In the desert mountain 90 miles northwest of Las Vegas, the plan sets out to store more than 77,000 tons of high-level waste from across the nation.

(Audrey Hudson, “ Senate OKs Yucca as nuclear waste site,” The Washington Times, July 10, 2002)

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Pledge of Allegiance bill (S.2690) 

The Senate on June 27, 2002, voted on a bill to reaffirm the reference to one Nation under God in the Pledge of Allegiance. (Full text of legislation).  The measure was approved on a 99-0 vote. .(To view how your senators voted visit: http://www.senate.gov/legislative/vote1072/vote_00166.html)


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Pledge of Allegiance resolution (S.Res.292) 

On June 26, 2002 the Senate voted on a resolution expressing support for the Pledge of Allegiance. (S.Res. 292) The resolution passed on a 99-0 vote.(To view how your senators voted visit: http://www.senate.gov/legislative/vote1072/vote_00163.html)

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The National Defense Authorization Act of Fiscal Year 2003 (S.2514)

On June 21, 2002, rejecting the current ban on almost all abortions services at military facilities abroad, the Senate voted to allow U.S. servicewomen to get privately funded abortions in overseas military hospitals.

On a 52-40, vote the amendment S.Amdt. 3927 was passed as part of the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2003, S. 2514). (To view how your senators voted visit: http://www.senate.gov/legislative/vote1072/vote_00160.html)

(Vicki Allen ,”Senate Rejects Ban on Military Abortions Abroad,”  Reuters, June 21, 2002)

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The American Servicemembers' Protection Act of 2002 (Warner Amdt.  S.Amdt. 3597) 

The Senate voted on The American Servicemembers' Protection Act of 2002 (Warner Amdt.  S.Amdt. 3597) on June 6, 2002.  The Senate approved the amendment on a 75-19 vote. (To view how your senators voted visit: http://www.senate.gov/legislative/vote1072/vote_00140.html)

 

The amendment protects members of the Armed Forces of the United States from being prosecuted by the International Criminal Court especially when they are deployed around the world to protect the vital national interests of the United States.


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Andean Trade Promotion and Drug Eradication Act (H.R.3009)

For older workers who lose their jobs because of trade the Senate voted on May 16, 2002, on S.AMDT.3401, as part of a trade bill, to create a two-year program of wage insurance.

By a vote of 58-38, the wage insurance provision would allow workers over age 50 who lose jobs as a result of trade and then get a lower-paying job, to receive 50 percent of the difference between the two wage levels; up to $5,000 annually.  This pilot program would cost no more than $50 million and last two years. (To view how your senators voted visit: http://www.senate.gov/legislative/vote1072/vote_00114.html)

(Helen Dewar, “Senate Backs Wage Insurance for Workers Hit By Trade,” The Washington Post, May 17, 2002)

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To express solidarity with Israel in its fight against terrorism (Lieberman Amdt. No. 3389)

The Senate on May 2, 2002, voted on an amendment to express solidarity with Israel in its fight against terrorism. (S.Amdt. 3389).  The amendment was approved by a 94-2 vote. (To view how your senators voted visit: http://www.senate.gov/legislative/vote1072/vote_00102.html) Concerns by the Bush administration that the declaration of support for Israel would complicate efforts to reach any agreements in the Middle East were brushed aside by the lawmakers.

(Dave Boyer, “House, Senate pass pro-Israel resolution,” The Washington Times, May 3, 2002)

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Securing America's Future Energy Act of 2001(SAFE Act of 2001, H.R. 4)

On April 25, 2002, the Senate passed Securing America's Future Energy Act of 2001(SAFE Act of 2001, H.R. 4), an energy bill that rejected the Bush administration’s proposal to develop oil in part of an Arctic Wildlife refuge but featured tax breaks to conserve and produce energy and direct more use of ethanol. (Full text of legislation). 

On a 88-11 vote, the Senate approved the energy package (To view how your senators voted visit: http://www.senate.gov/legislative/vote1072/vote_00094.html ).  The measure provides $14 billion in tax breaks over 10 years almost equally divided between conservation programs and the traditional fossil-fuel energy producers and renewable energy.

(“Senate passes energy bill, sets up battle with House,” The Associated Press, April 26, 2002)

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