How They Voted
Voterama in Congress
Here's how area senators voted on major issues last week. The House was not in session.
Secretary of State Kerry: Voting 94 for and three against, the Senate confirmed Sen. John Kerry, D-Mass., as the 68th U.S. Secretary of State. Democrat Robert Casey Jr. and Republican Pat Toomey, yes.
Debt-limit suspension: Voting 64 for and 34 against, the Senate sent President Obama a bill (HB 325) to suspend the statutory debt limit until May 19, thus allowing the Treasury to borrow above the current $16.4 trillion limit until then. The borrowing will accommodate spending already approved by Congress. Casey, yes; Toomey, no.
Egypt military-aid cutoff: Voting 79 for and 19 against, the Senate tabled (killed) an attempt to end U.S. military assistance to Egypt in response to instability there under a Muslim Brotherhood-led government. Offered to HB 325 (above), the amendment sought, in part, to stop deliveries of military vehicles such as Abrams tanks and aircraft such as the F-16 fighter jet.
Opponents said the amendment would upend U.S.-Egypt relations, harm Israel and worsen chaos in the Middle East. Casey, Toomey, yes.
Dollar-for-dollar debt increase: Voting 54 for and 44 against, the Senate on Jan. 31 tabled (killed) an amendment to HB 325 (above) to cut future discretionary spending by one dollar for every dollar increase in the national debt limit. Casey, yes; Toomey, no.
Hurricane Sandy aid: Voting 62 for and 36 against, the Senate sent President Obama a bill (HB 152) to appropriate $50.5 billion in Hurricane Sandy disaster aid to areas of New Jersey, Connecticut and New York. The appropriation is emergency aid and thus would be deficit spending. About one-third of the aid would provide immediate relief to individuals, businesses, governmental units and other victims of Sandy, with the remainder to be spent on measures to curb damages from future storms. Casey, yes; Toomey, no.
Disaster-aid offset: Voting 35 for and 62 against, the Senate refused to pay the $50.5 billion cost of HB 152 (above) by cutting the same amount from military and nonmilitary discretionary spending over the next nine years. Failure of this amendment preserved in the bill the longstanding congressional practice of treating disaster aid as emergency spending to be added to the national debt rather than offset. Casey, no; Toomey, yes.n