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How Craig Thomas voted on key votes

Member Most DEMS
Most REPS
Agreed to VOTE 181

On the Motion

This $120 billion dollar package was passed in the Senate by an 80-14 vote on May 24. The bill primarily focuses on funding for the Iraq war but also addresses other unrelated topics. A previous war funding bill was vetoed by the president because it included troop withdrawal deadlines, which were largely supported by anti-war Democrats. Ten Democrats opposed this new bill with no withdrawal deadlines, while 37 supported its passage. Congress had to act to replace war funding that would have ended May 28. According to the Washington Post, this bill includes 18 “benchmarks that the Iraqi government must meet to continue receiving reconstruction aid.” One hundred billion dollars in funding is slated to support continuing military operations in Iraq and Afghanistan. The bill says that the President and Congress must not take any action that will endanger the troops and that they provide any funds necessary for training, equipment and other types of support to ensure their safety and the effectiveness of their missions. The president is required to give a first report on the Iraqis' progress in meeting the benchmarks to Congress on July 15. Seventeen billion dollars in the package is for domestic spending. Out of this funding, $6.4 billion is for Gulf Coast hurricane relief efforts, $3 billion in emergency aid for farmers, $1 billion to upgrade port and mass transit security, $3 billion towards converting closing U.S. military bases to other uses, and $650 million to increase funding for children’s health care. A Congressional Research Service summary states that the “other domestic beneficiaries include state HIV grant programs, mine safety research, youth violence prevention activities, and pandemic flu protection.” Sens. Barack Obama (Ill.) and Hilary Clinton (N.Y.) were among the 14 who opposed the bill.

Agreed to VOTE 147

H R 1591

<p>House and Senate conferees approved this legislation providing $124.2 billion primarily for the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan and setting benchmarks and a timetable for the withdrawal of troops from Iraq, but President Bush vetoed the bill on May 1. </p> <p>The measure, which also addresses a wide variety of unrelated issues, makes emergency supplemental appropriations for the fiscal year ending Sept. 30.</p> <p>The conference agreement on H.R. 1591 also aims to improve health care for returning soldiers and veterans. It addresses needs related to hurricane recovery for the Gulf Coast, bolsters homeland security programs and provides emergency drought relief for farmers.</p> <p>The legislation says that troops in Iraq would not have their service extended beyond a year for any tour of duty. It also mandates that the president must certify that the Iraqi government is meeting certain diplomatic and security benchmarks. If that certification is made, deployment would begin no later than Oct. 1, 2007, with a goal of completing the redeployment by within 180 days. Some U.S. forces could remain in Iraq for special counterterrorism efforts along with protection, training and equipping Iraqi troops.</p> <p>According to a bill summary provided by the House Appropriations Committee, the legislation seeks to make it possible for the U.S. military to focus resources on al-Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden and to destroy his base of operations in Afghanistan. </p> <p>The conference report also provides $3 billion for special vehicles designed to withstand roadside bombs, and it increases from 20 to 270 the number of heavy and light armored vehicles authorized to be purchased for force protection purposes in Iraq and Afghanistan. It prohibits government funds from being used to establish any military installation or base for a permanent stationing of U.S. armed forces in Iraq and does not allow funds to be used to exercise U.S. control over any Iraqi oil resource.</p> <p>It does not fund two Joint Strike fighters and five of six electronic attack airplanes because lawmakers say they are not urgent.</p> <p>The conference agreement provides $268 million for the FBI, that’s about $150 million above the president’s request. The agency’s budget includes $10 million for the FBI to implement the Office of Inspector General’s recommendations about the use of special secret subpoenas called national security letters.</p> <p>On the homeland security front, it provides funding for port and mass transit security as well as other similar investments for a total of $2.25 billion.</p> <p>Meanwhile, farmers and ranchers would get $3.5 billion to help ameliorate agricultural disasters. The agreement also includes emergency funding for forest firefighting, low-income home energy assistance and pandemic flu preparations.</p> <p>The legislation includes $5 billion for health care for returning troops and veterans, $8.9 billion for victims of hurricanes Katrina and Rita. It also offers approximately $650 million for a children’s state health insurance program.</p> <p>It phases in a federal minimum wage increase to $7.25 an hour and applies the increase to the Northern Mariana Islands. It also amends tax law to allow certain benefits for small businesses that were not included in the House or Senate bills.</p> <p>It provides an additional $17 million for domestic violence programs.</p> <p>Among many other things, it makes additional fiscal 2008 appropriations for the U.S. Agency for International Development along with funding for a program aiding Africa, and monies for international narcotics control and enforcement, refugee assistance and international broadcasting operations.</p>

Passed VOTE 126

Iraq Accountability Act

<p>This $122 billion war spending bill calls for combat troops to begin withdrawing from Iraq this summer. The 51-47 vote fell mostly along party lines. Two Republicans -- Sens. Chuck Hagel of Nebraska and Gordon Smith of Oregon -- joined Democrats in support of the package, which would fund U.S. military activity in Iraq and Afghanistan. But Democrats also attached language that would start troop withdrawals within 120 days of passage, with a March 31, 2008, goal for completing the process.</p> <p>The bill addresses many unrelated issues. It offers funds for disaster relief and recovery stemming from hurricanes Katrina and Rita, funds influenza pandemic response programs, offers disaster assistance for livestock and crops, and makes appropriations to bolster Medicare and Medicaid.</p> <p>It also requires the secretary of Defense to inspect military medical treatment facilities and housing. It prohibits the use of funds in this or any other act to change essential services at Walter Reed Army Medical Center until certain requirements are met.</p> <p>It requires the Congressional Budget Office to report to appropriators on anticipated funds necessary for the departments of Defense and Veterans Affairs to continue providing health care to Iraq and Afghanistan war veterans.</p> <p>It also requires the Coast Guard to exercise competition for contracts related to the Integrated Deepwater System Program.</p> <p>Lastly, among many other things, it provides funds to assist Liberia, Jordan and Lebanon.</p>

Defeated VOTE 75

S J RES 9

This non-binding resolution would have revised U.S. policy on Iraq. However, it was defeated 48-50. The measure had directed the president to begin a phased redeployment of U.S. forces from Iraq within 120 days of the resolution’s enactment. The measure’s main sponsor, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid of Nevada, sought redeployment by Mar. 31, 2008, of all U.S. combat forces from Iraq. It included exceptions for certain forces charged with protecting coalition members as well as those who support infrastructure, conduct training, equip Iraqi forces and conduct counter-terrorism operations. The resolution also had directed the president to report to Congress on the progress of the suggested plan. Sens. John McCain (R-Ariz.) and Tim Johnson (D-S.D.) did not vote.

Passed VOTE 42

Vote on the amended minimum wage bill

This bill would increase the federal minimum wage from $5.15 an hour to $7.25 an hour over two years. It would increase the minimum wage in three increments. Sixty days after enactment, the minimum wage is to be raised to $5.85. A year after that it will be $6.55, and a year after that it will be $7.25. This would be the first change to the Fair Labor Standards Act of 1938 since 1997 when the federal minimum wage was increased from $4.75 to $5.15 an hour. The bill would also apply the federal minimum wage to the Northern Mariana Islands, a territory of the United States. The legislation passed in the Senate on Feb. 1, 2007, on a 94-3 vote. The Senate measure includes about $8 billion over 10 years in tax breaks for businesses like restaurants, which is likely to be a sticking point when the chamber tries to reconcile its version with the House. The House passed its version of the bill on Jan. 10, 2007, with a vote of 315-116. Every House Democrat voted in favor of the proposal along with 82 Republicans.

Passed VOTE 19

S 1

The measure is designed to provide greater transparency in the legislative process and is commonly known as the “ethics reform” bill. <br> <br> The bill amends Senate rules in an effort to make more transparent legislative earmarks. It also aims to make clearer the relationship of lobbyists and lawmakers by changing rules governing meals and travel that lobbyists provide to lawmakers and their staff. The bill also makes some restrictions on post-employment for members and staff. <br> <br> For example, the bill amends a current rule so that if a member’s spouse or immediate family member is a registered lobbyist or works for a lobbyist, that the lawmaker’s staff is not allowed to have any official contact with the lawmaker’s spouse or immediate family member. <br> <br> Among other things, the measure requires all Senate bills or conference reports to include a list of earmarks in the measure, to list the lawmaker who introduced the earmark, and to explain why the earmark is essential. <br> <br> It also requires public disclosure of a senator’s intent to object to proceeding to a measure or matter. <br> <br> The bill also requires that conference reports be posted on the Internet for at least 48 hours before the Senate considers the report.

Passed VOTE 262

Secure Fence Act of 2006

H.R. 6061; Secure Fence Act of 2006

Passed VOTE 259

Military Tribunals and Interrogations Bill

S. 3930 As Amended; Military Commissions Act of 2006

Rejected VOTE 229

On the Cloture Motion

Motion to Invoke Cloture on the Motion to Proceed to Consider H.R.5970; Estate Tax and Extension of Tax Relief Act of 2006

Passed VOTE 206

H R 810

This legislation would allow federal funding for research on stem cell lines derived from embryos that would otherwise be destroyed.

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