Politics & Government

How Kentucky lawmakers voted

House

Rep. Ed Whitfield, R-Hopkinsville: (202) 225-3115; (270) 885-8079

Rep. Brett Guthrie, R-Bowling Green: (202) 225-3501; (270) 842-9896

Rep. John Yarmuth, D-Louisville: (202) 225-5401; (502) 582-5129

Rep. Geoff Davis, R-Hebron: (202) 225-3465; (859) 426-0080

Rep. Hal Rogers, R-Somerset: (202) 225-4601; (606) 679-8346

Rep. Ben Chandler, D-Versailles: (202) 225-4706; (859) 219-1366

Senate

Sen. Mitch McConnell, Republican: (202) 224-2541; (859) 224-8286

Sen. Jim Bunning, Republican: (202) 224-4343; (859) 341-2602

The House was in recess last week,. Here's how Kentucky senators were recorded on major roll call votes last week:

Senate

HEALTH-CARE PASSAGE: Voting 60 for and 39 against, the Senate on Dec. 24 passed a bill (HR 3590) that would provide affordable medical insurance to about 31 million legal U.S. residents who are now uninsured. The bill is projected to cost $871 billion over ten years, but would pay for itself and reduce annual deficits by $132 billion over that period. When the bill reaches its full effect, about 94 percent of legal residents not covered by Medicare would have health insurance, compared to 83 percent today.

Under the bill, insurance companies would have to spend at least 80 percent of their premium revenues on medical costs. While most of the bill's new programs and benefits would be delayed until 2014, its taxes would begin before then, some as early as 2010.

A yes vote was to send the bill to a House- Senate conference.

Voting no: McConnell

Not voting: Bunning

HEALTH-BILL FILIBUSTER: Voting 60 for and 40 against, the Senate on Dec. 21 ended a Republican filibuster against passage of HR 3590 (above). This vote provided Democrats with the parliamentary breakthrough they needed to pass the bill three days later.

A yes vote was to end GOP delay.

Voting no: McConnell, Bunning

HEALTH-BILL CONSTITUTIONALITY: Voting 39 for and 60 against, the Senate on Dec. 23 defeated a Republican bid to declare HR 3590 (above) unconstitutional on grounds that it usurps powers reserved to the states under the Tenth Amendment. Republicans specifically faulted the bill's levying of fines on individuals who fail to obtain federally subsidized policies in the 50 state exchanges established by the bill. Under the bill, the insurance is regulated state-by-state.

A yes vote was to declare the bill unconstitutional.

Voting yes: McConnell

Not voting: Bunning

HEALTH-BILL EARMARKS: Voting 53 for and 46 against, the Senate on Dec. 23 tabled (killed) a Republican bid to bar earmarks in HR 3590 (above). In part, the GOP objected to special benefits and funding that Sens. Mary Landrieu, (D-La.), and Ben Nelson (D-Neb.) secured for their states.

A yes vote opposed the GOP measure.

Voting no: McConnell

Not voting: Bunning

2010 MILITARY APPROPRIATIONS: Voting 88 for and 10 against, the Senate on Dec. 19 sent President Obama the conference report on a $636.3 billion fiscal 2010 military appropriations bill (HR 3326) that includes $128.3 billion for war in Iraq and Afghanistan and $28.3 billion for service members' health care. The bill funds a 3.4 percent military pay raise; prohibits the torture of prisoners; bars permanent U.S. bases in Iraq or Afghanistan; caps production of the F-22 Raptor fighter jet; funds C-17 cargo jets over Pentagon objections and appropriates $15 billion for procuring seven Navy ships and $6.3 billion for buying 6,600 Mine Resistant Ambush Protected (MRAP) all-terrain vehicles.

In non-military provisions, the bill eases the terms of Small Business Loans; temporarily extends the National Flood Insurance Program; temporarily extends rules that permit satellite TV viewers to receive broadcasts of local channels, and expands federal-state nutrition programs to meet growing demand during the recession.

Additionally, the bill extends certain expiring sections of the USA Patriot Act until March 1, delays deep cuts in Medicare payments to doctors until March 1 and extends jobless checks and COBRA health benefits for the long-term unemployed until March 1.

A yes vote was to adopt the conference report.

Voting yes: McConnell, Bunning

NATIONAL DEBT LIMIT: The Senate on Dec. 24 voted, 60-39, to join the House in raising the national debt limit by $290 billion to $12.39 trillion. The bill (HR 4314) extends Treasury borrowing authority until about Feb. 11, at which time Congress will vote again to raise the debt ceiling.

A yes vote was to raise the federal debt ceiling.

Voting no: McConnell

Not voting: Bunning

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