How They Voted
Voterama in Congress
Here's how area members of Congress voted on major issues last week.
Violence against women: Voting 286 for and 138 against, the House sent President Obama a bill (S 47) renewing the Violence Against Women Act through fiscal year 2018. The law is designed to prevent domestic and dating violence, stalking and sexual assaults and help victims recover when those crimes occur. The bill expands VAWA to cover gays, lesbians and transsexuals while empowering tribal courts to prosecute and issue protection orders against non-indigenous persons accused of assaulting Native American and Alaska native women in their native communities. The bill provides funding to help reduce backlogs in lab testing of DNA evidence taken from rape victims. No, Joe Pitts, R-16th District; yes, Patrick Meehan, R-7th District.
GOP anti-violence bill: Voting 166 for and 257 against, the House defeated a GOP version of the Violence Against Women Act (S 47, above) that differed by providing fewer safeguards for victims on Indian reservations and college campuses or for gays, lesbians and battered illegal immigrants. Yes, Pitts. No, Meehan.
Defense Secretary Hagel: By a vote of 58 for and 41 against, the Senate confirmed Chuck Hagel as the nation's 24th secretary of defense. Hagel, 66, a former GOP senator from Nebraska, becomes the first former enlisted man and first Vietnam veteran to hold this post. Yes, Robert Casey Jr. (D). No, Pat Toomey (R).
Treasury Secretary Lew: Voting 71 and 26 against, the Senate confirmed Jacob L. Lew, 57, as secretary of the Treasury. Lew served previously as White House chief of staff for President Obama and as director of the Office of Management and Budget under presidents Obama and Clinton.Yes, Casey and Toomey.
Democratic sequestration plan: Voting 51 for and 49 against, the Senate failed to reach 60 votes for advancing a Democratic bill (S 388) to prevent $85 billion in blind, across-the-board cuts in defense, domestic and foreign-affairs spending for fiscal year 2013 from taking effect March 1. Yes, Casey. No, Toomey.
GOP sequestration plan: Voting 38 for and 62 against, the Senate turned back a GOP bill (S 16) that locked in $85 billion in defense and nondefense spending cuts set for March 1 but ceded to President Obama the "power of the purse" to decide how and where to make them. The president's specific cuts would be subject to a vote of disapproval in Congress, and he could not propose tax increases. No, Casey. Yes, Toomey.n