For example, if most Democrats voted "NO" and the vote failed, they "won" the vote. If most Republicans voted yes and the vote passed, they "won" the vote.
Key Senate votesView all Senate votes
August 3, 2007
This amendment to the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act of 1978 passed 60-28 on August 3. The bill gives U.S. spy agencies expanded power to eavesdrop on foreign suspects without a court order. The bill gives the Director of National Intelligence and the Attorney General authorization for periods up to one year, to information concerning suspected terrorists outside the United States. The existing Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act contained a 30-year-old statute requiring a warrant to monitor calls intercepted in the United States, regardless of their origin. The new Protect America Act amends this stipulation, allowing U.S. intelligence officials to monitor suspicious communication originating inside the U.S. The Bush administration argued that it needs the expanded power to confront terrorist threats. Civil liberties and privacy advocates argue the bill jeopardizes the Fourth Amendment privacy rights and allows for the warrantless monitoring of virtually any form of communication originating in the United States. Democrats managed a minor victory requiring a sunset clause effective 180 days after the bill is signed. In place of a court's approval, the National Security Agency plans to institute a system of internal bureaucratic controls. The bill passed in the House 227-183, and was sent to the White House soon after to be signed into law.
August 2, 2007
In this 68 to 31 vote the Senate passed an expansion of the State Children's Health Insurance Program. The bill also passed the House by a vote of 265 to 159. The bill increases total funding for the program to $60 billion over the next five years and provides health insurance for 9 million currently uninsured American children. The $7 billion yearly expansions were a major sticking point for the White House and ultimately lead to the fourth presidential veto from the Bush administration. The measure is a key agenda item for the Democratic majority in Congress, and Democratic leaders have vowed to push for a veto override, which would require a two-thirds vote. White House press secretary Dana Perino criticized Democrats for sending the president a bill she said they knew would be dead on arrival. “They made their political point,” Perino said. The White House contended that the 61-cent increase in the federal tobacco tax would not be able to recoup the required funds needed to fund the bill. White House officials also argued the measure would push millions of children already covered by private health insurance into publicly financed health care program
July 26, 2007
This amendment to the Homeland Security Act of 2002 was made in order to implement the recommendations made by the 9/11 commission. Different versions of the bill were passed in the House on Jan. 9 and in the Senate on July 9. A modified version of the bill, with conference report changes, was revisited on July 27 and passed by a vote of 85-8. The bill requires the inspection of all cargo traveling on passenger aircrafts and establishes the Privacy and Civil Liberties Oversight Board. This panel, suggested by the 9/11 commission, is responsible for advising the president and senior White House officials maintaining respect for privacy laws and civil liberties. Other provisions of the bill include grants to states, urban areas, regions, or directly eligible tribes to be used to improve the ability for first responders to react to and prevent terrorist attacks, according to the Congressional Research Service. The bill also outlined details regarding the detention and treatment of captured terrorists. The bill was signed into law by President Bush on August 3.
June 11, 2007
With this vote Democrats and some Republicans in the Senate sought to move forward on a measure that would have registered the Senate's official opposition to Attorney General Alberto Gonzales, whose tenure was plagued by controversy. The Washington Post reported that “Democrats fell seven votes short of the 60 needed to invoke cloture and begin the debate on a resolution condemning Gonzales.” Seven Republicans distanced themselves from the Bush administration and refused to support the attorney general who had been a target of sharp criticism for five months. Gonzales came under fire for his involvement in administration policies such as harsh interrogation policies, secret overseas prisons, and a domestic surveillance program. But his most controversial action was the firings of nine U.S. attorneys last year. The attorney general's critics claimed he fired the prosecutors for political reasons. If passed, the resolution would have done nothing more than send a public rebuke to Bush and Gonzales. But enough Republicans were able oppose "cloture," effectively killing the measure. As the Post reported, “Democrats were aware that victory on the vote was unlikely, but they claimed a symbolic triumph in getting more than a handful of Republicans to join the effort to publicly shame the attorney general.” Gonzales, who initially claimed he would not step down amid the controversies, announced his resignation on August 27.
June 7, 2007
This cloture vote would have moved the Comprehensive Immigration Reform Act of 2007 forward to an "up or down" vote on the Senate floor. But the cloture vote failed, 34 to 61, leaving the bill subject to unlimited debate and effectively killing it. The bill set forth border security measures and enforcement provisions which were seen as controversial on both sides of the aisle. The bill called for a crack down on the hiring of illegal immigrants and would have required $10-15 billion in total spending, GOP aides told The Washington Post. If passed, the bill would have, “tightened border security, cracked down on the hiring of illegal immigrants and provided a path for such immigrants to stay and work legally in the United States,” reported the Washington Post. The bill also allowed for a guest-worker program to be established after five years and explicitly made it “unlawful to knowingly hire, recruit, or refer for a fee an unauthorized alien” according to the Congressional Research Service. The bill was defeated by opposition from conservative and liberal causes alike. From the Democratic side, labor unions protested the guest-worker program as a threat to American jobs. For conservatives of both parties, the path-to-citizenship provision was interpreted as "amnesty" for lawbreakers. President Bush threw his full support behind this bill, even making a rare visit to Capitol Hill in hopes of bolstering support after it appeared doomed. Despite his attempts, Bush found his major domestic initiative blocked by most members of his own party as well as a few Democrats.