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Originally published Saturday, March 23, 2013 at 2:46 PM

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How your U.S. lawmaker voted

Voterama in Congress

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WASHINGTON — Here’s how Washington state’s members of Congress voted on major issues in the week ending Saturday.


Fiscal 2013 stopgap spending

By a vote of 318 for and 109 against, the House on Thursday sent President Obama a stopgap appropriations bill to keep the government running for the final six months of fiscal 2013 at an annual level of $982 billion. While the bill (HR 933) locks in across-the-board spending cuts inflicted by the sequester on military, foreign-affairs and domestic programs, it also makes targeted cuts designed to undercut the Affordable Care Act and shackle the Dodd-Frank financial-reform law.

Voting yes: Suzan DelBene, D-Medina; Rick Larsen, D-Lake Stevens; Jaime Herrera Beutler, R-Camas; Cathy McMorris Rodgers, R-Spokane; Derek Kilmer, D-Gig Harbor; Dave Reichert, R-Auburn; Adam Smith, D-Bellevue; Denny Heck, D-Olympia

Voting no: Doc Hastings, R-Pasco; Jim McDermott, D-Seattle

2014 Republican budget

By a vote of 221 for and 207 against, the House on Thursday approved a Republican budget plan (H Con Res 25) that would reach balance by fiscal 2023 through steps such as changing Medicare into a voucher program; cutting Medicaid and food stamps and converting them to block-grant programs run by the states; repealing the Dodd-Frank financial-regulation law and parts of the 2010 health law; cutting farm subsidies and slashing most discretionary spending programs other than defense. The fiscal plan opens the door to possible changes in Social Security. For 2014, it sets federal spending at $3.53 trillion and projects a $528 billion deficit.

Authored by Rep. Paul Ryan, R-Wis., this budget bars any tax increases while cutting the top individual tax rate from 39.6 percent to 25 percent; reducing the corporate rate from 35 percent to 25 percent; cutting taxes on corporate profits earned overseas; repealing the Alternative Minimum Tax and repealing tax measures in the 2010 health law. Ryan said he would reform the tax code to pay the nearly $6 trillion, 10-year cost of those and other tax cuts, but left it up to the Ways and Means Committee to determine how that would be done.

Voting yes: Herrera Beutler, Hastings, McMorris Rodgers, Reichert

Voting no: DelBene, Larsen, Kilmer, McDermott, Smith, Heck

2014 Democratic budget

By a vote of 165 for and 253 against, the House on Wednesday rejected a Democratic budget that differed from the Republican plan (H Con Res 25, above) by increasing spending on programs such as education, transportation and scientific research; continuing traditional fee-for-service Medicare, Medicaid, food stamps and other safety-net programs as presently structured; levying $1.2 trillion in tax increases mainly on corporations and the wealthy; and injecting $200 billion of stimulus into the economy to reduce unemployment. This budget would gradually lower annual deficits but would take decades to reach balance.

Voting yes: Larsen, Kilmer, McDermott, Smith, Heck

Voting no: DelBene, Herrera Beutler, Hastings, McMorris Rodgers, Reichert

Conservatives’ 2014 budget

By a vote of 104 for and 132 against, members on Wednesday defeated a budget authored by the Republican Study Committee, a caucus of the most conservative House members, that reached balance in four years by steps such as doubling nondefense cuts in the sequester, closing unspecified tax loopholes, opening the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge to drilling and requiring the Keystone pipeline between Canada and the Gulf Coast to be built.

This budget reinstated Bush-era tax cuts for the wealthy; established a flatter tax code that taxpayers could choose instead of the existing one; repealed estate taxes; and indexed the capital-gains rate to inflation. Additionally, it permanently lowered the corporate tax rate from 35 percent to 25 percent and, for one year, allowed U.S. corporations to repatriate profits from overseas at a 5.25 percent tax rate.

Voting no: Herrera Beutler, Hastings, McMorris Rodgers, Reichert

Not voting: DelBene, Larsen, Kilmer, McDermott, Smith, Heck

Progressives’ 2014 budget

By a vote of 84 for and 327 against, the House on Wednesday defeated a liberal budget sponsored by the Congressional Progressive Caucus. With a goal of creating 7 million jobs, this budget would immediately inject $544 billion into the economy for purposes such as hiring teachers, building public works and reviving neighborhoods. Additionally, progressives would reduce military spending to 2006 levels, expand unemployment insurance, repeal the sequester’s cuts in nondefense programs, add a public option to the 2010 health law and require lower, negotiated drug prices for Medicare recipients.

This budget would tax capital gains and dividends as ordinary income; raise taxes on incomes over $1 million and levy new taxes on carbon and financial transactions.

Voting yes: McDermott

Voting no: DelBene, Larsen, Herrera Beutler, Hastings, McMorris Rodgers, Kilmer, Reichert, Smith, Heck

Congressional Black Caucus budget

By a vote of 105 for and 305 against, the House on Wednesday defeated a fiscal blueprint authored by the Congressional Black Caucus (CBC). This budget increased revenue by $2.7 trillion over 10 years by steps such as closing corporate tax loopholes and ending preferential tax rates for capital gains and dividends. While not reaching balance, it achieved more deficit reduction over 10 years than recommended by the Simpson-Bowles commission. The CBC budget canceled the sequester, launched a $500 billion jobs bill, blocked changes sought by Republicans in Medicare and Medicaid and averted the GOP’s planned cuts in domestic programs.

Voting yes: McDermott

Voting no: DelBene, Larsen, Herrera Beutler, Hastings, McMorris Rodgers, Kilmer, Reichert, Smith, Heck


Democrats’ 2014 budget

By a vote of 50 for and 49 against, the Senate on Saturday approved a Democratic budget for fiscal 2014 and later years. The budget (SCR 8) levies $975 billion in new taxes over 10 years, mainly by reforming the tax code and increasing taxes on corporations and wealthy individuals; replaces the sequester’s across-the-board cuts with targeted austerity; authorizes $100 billion in infrastructure spending to create jobs; and protects the Medicare guarantee. This budget leads to an annual deficit of $566 billion after 10 years.

Voting yes: Maria Cantwell, D; Patty Murray, D

Tax rates, jobless rates

Senators on Friday defeated, 45 for and 54 against, a GOP amendment that sought to prohibit any of the tax increases in SCR 8 (above) from taking effect until the unemployment rate falls below 5.5 percent.

Voting yes: None

Voting no: Cantwell, Murray

Republicans’ 2014 budget

By a vote of 46 for and 53 against, the Senate on Thursday rejected a Republican bid to replace the Democratic budget (SCR 8, above) with a measure similar to the GOP budget approved the same day by the House. Known as “the Paul Ryan budget,” that fiscal plan purports to balance in four years while repealing much of the Affordable Care Act, slashing domestic spending, raising military spending, privatizing Medicare after 10 years, sending Medicaid and food stamps to the states as block grants, and barring tax increases.

Voting no: Cantwell, Murray

Fiscal 2013 stopgap spending

By a vote of 73 for and 26 against, the Senate on Wednesday sent the House a bill (HR 933, above) to fund the government between March 28-Oct. 1 at an annual rate of $982 billion. The bill implements the deep, blind cuts known as sequestration, but gives five departments flexibility to ensure they accomplish essential missions. They are the departments of Defense, Veterans’ Affairs, Homeland Security, Justice and Commerce. The bill also extends existing limits on law-enforcement authorities in their dealings with gun dealers and owners in areas such as inventory controls and the handling of evidence in gun crimes.

Voting yes:Cantwell, Murray

Spending for military biofuels

By a vote of 40 for and 59 against, the Senate on Wednesday refused to transfer $25 million in HR 933 (above) from a Pentagon project to build biofuels refineries to accounts for military operations and maintenance. The project is designed to help the Department of Defense, the world’s largest single oil customer, achieve energy independence. This amendment was offered to HR 933 (above).

Voting no: Cantwell, Murray

White House tours

By a vote of 45 for and 54 against, the Senate on Tuesday refused to fund a resumption of public tours of the White House and visitor services at national parks that have been suspended because of spending cuts in the sequester. The money was to be shifted from a National Park Service account for preserving cultural and historical sites. The amendment was offered to a bill (HR 933), later passed, that would fund government operations for the final six months of fiscal 2013.

Voting yes: None

Voting no: Cantwell, Murray

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