Key Votes

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Vote Smart provides easy access to congressional and state voting records and maintains a collection of key votes grouped by issue. Vote Smart uses the following criteria to select key votes:

  1. The vote should be helpful in portraying how a member stands on a particular issue
  2. The vote should be clear for any person to understand
  3. The vote has received media attention
  4. The vote was passed or defeated by a very close margin
  5. Occasionally, if a specific bill is consistently inquired about on the Voter's Research Hotline, the vote will be added

Vote Smart provides a summary of the version of the bill text associated with each selected key vote. Our summaries are written by Vote Smart's staff and interns, who adhere to our strict policies and procedures in order to guarantee absolute impartiality and accuracy. They do not necessarily reflect the content of the final version of the bill, but rather the version voted on in that stage. While many procedural votes take place before a full chamber vote, our voting stages reflect the final reading of each chamber vote. Each key vote selection is reviewed by the project's community of advisors, who are political scientists and journalists from all fifty states.

For more information about the legislative process, see here.


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Date State Bill No. Title Outcome
Dec. 20, 2011 National HR 3630 Temporary Payroll Tax Cut Extension Nonconcurrence Vote Passed - House (229 - 193)
Dec. 17, 2011 National S Amdt 1465 Temporary Payroll Tax Cut Extension Amendment Adopted - Senate (89 - 10)
Dec. 14, 2011 National S J Res 10 Proposing a Balanced Budget Amendment to the U.S. Constitution (Hatch Bill) Amendment Rejected - Senate (47 - 53)
Dec. 14, 2011 National S J Res 24 Proposing a Balanced Budget Amendment to the U.S. Constitution (Udall Bill) Amendment Rejected - Senate (21 - 79)
Dec. 13, 2011 MI HB 4701 Amends the State Employee Retirement System Concurrence Vote Passed - Senate (23 - 15)
Dec. 13, 2011 National HR 3630 Reduces Payroll Taxes and Unemployment Benefits Bill Passed - House (234 - 193)
Dec. 8, 2011 MI HB 4770 Prohibits Public Employers from Providing Medical Benefits to Public Employees Concurrence Vote Passed - House (63 - 45)
Dec. 7, 2011 MI HB 4770 Prohibits Public Employers from Providing Medical Benefits to Public Employees Bill Passed - Senate (27 - 9)
Dec. 1, 2011 MI SB 806 Reduces Unemployment Benefits Bill Passed - Senate (23 - 11)
Nov. 30, 2011 NH CACR 14 Constitutional Amendment Authorizing the Legislature to Set Standards for Public Education Amendment Rejected - House (114 - 264)
Nov. 18, 2011 National H J Res 2 Proposing a Balanced Budget Amendment to the U.S. Constitution Joint Resolution Failed - House (261 - 165)
Nov. 3, 2011 MI HB 4701 Amends the State Employee Retirement System Bill Passed - House (63 - 45)
Oct. 26, 2011 CT SB 1401 Establishes the Connecticut Bioscience Collaboration Program Bill Passed - House (101 - 41)
Oct. 26, 2011 CT SB 1401 Establishes the Connecticut Bioscience Collaboration Program Bill Passed - Senate (21 - 14)
Oct. 26, 2011 PA SB 1 Charter School Guidelines Bill Passed - Senate (27 - 22)
Oct. 18, 2011 PA SB 1151 Fiscal Emergency Bill Concurrence Vote Passed - Senate (37 - 13)
Oct. 12, 2011 NH SB 198 Amends Eligibility Requirements for TANF Bill Passed - House (237 - 126)
Oct. 4, 2011 National HR 2608 Continuing Appropriations Act of 2012 Concurrence Vote Passed - House (352 - 66)
Sept. 26, 2011 National HR 2608 Continuing Appropriations Act of 2012 Concurrence Vote Passed - Senate (79 - 12)
Sept. 23, 2011 National HR 2608 Stopgap Spending and Disaster Relief Concurrence Vote Passed - House (219 - 203)
Sept. 23, 2011 MO SB 7 Incentives for Science-Based Businesses Bill Passed - House (94 - 48)
Sept. 23, 2011 National S Amdt 655 Continuing Appropriations Act of 2012 Amendment Tabled - Senate (59 - 36)
Sept. 23, 2011 National H Amdt 800 Requires the EPA to Consider Costs and Feasibility of Air Quality Standards Amendment Adopted - House (227 - 192)
Sept. 23, 2011 MO HA 1 to SB 7 Prohibits Public Funding for Certain Life Science Research Projects Amendment Rejected - House (68 - 74)
Sept. 22, 2011 National S Amdt 634 Sale of F-16 Aircraft to Taiwan Amendment Rejected - Senate (48 - 48)
Sept. 21, 2011 National HR 2608 Stopgap Spending and Disaster Relief Concurrence Vote Failed - House (195 - 230)
Sept. 15, 2011 National S Amdt 613 Reducing Appropriations for Foreign Assistance Programs Amendment Rejected - Senate (20 - 78)
Sept. 15, 2011 MA S 2018 Massachusetts Pension System Bill Passed - Senate (24 - 10)
Sept. 14, 2011 National H J Res 77 Disapproval of the President's Authority to Raise the Debt Limit Joint Resolution Passed - House (232 - 186)
Sept. 9, 2011 MO HB 6 Appropriations for Missouri Disaster Relief Bill Passed - House (127 - 22)
Sept. 2, 2011 CA AB 6 Repeals Fingerprinting Requirement for CalFresh Benefits Concurrence Vote Passed - House (50 - 26)
Aug. 31, 2011 CA AB 6 Repeals Fingerprinting Requirement for CalFresh Benefits Bill Passed - Senate (27 - 11)
Aug. 2, 2011 National S 365 Budget Control Act of 2011 Concurrence Vote Passed - Senate (74 - 26)
Aug. 1, 2011 National S 365 Budget Control Act of 2011 Bill Passed - House (269 - 161)
July 31, 2011 National S 627 Increasing the Debt Ceiling (Reid Bill) Cloture Not Invoked - Senate (50 - 49)
July 29, 2011 National S 627 Increasing the Debt Ceiling (Boehner Bill) Bill Tabled - Senate (59 - 41)
July 29, 2011 National S 627 Increasing the Debt Ceiling (Boehner Bill) Bill Passed - House (218 - 210)
July 22, 2011 National HR 2560 Cut, Cap and Balance Act of 2011 Bill Tabled - Senate (51 - 46)
July 22, 2011 National HR 2551 2011-2012 Congressional Budget Bill Passed - House (252 - 159)
July 19, 2011 MN HF 25 2011-2013 Health and Human Services Biennium Budget Bill Passed - Senate (37 - 27)
July 19, 2011 MN HF 26 2011-2013 Biennium Education Budget Bill Passed - Senate (36 - 28)
July 19, 2011 MN SF 2 2011-2013 Biennium Budget Bill Passed - House (76 - 50)
July 19, 2011 MN HF 20 2011-2013 Biennium Budget Bill Passed - Senate (37 - 27)
July 19, 2011 MN HF 4 Higher Education Appropriations Bill Passed - Senate (35 - 30)
July 19, 2011 MN HF 4 Higher Education Appropriations Bill Passed - House (71 - 57)
July 19, 2011 MN HF 20 2011-2013 Biennium Budget Bill Passed - House (71 - 57)
July 19, 2011 MN HF 26 2011-2013 Biennium Education Budget Bill Passed - House (71 - 56)
July 19, 2011 MN HF 25 2011-2013 Health and Human Services Biennium Budget Bill Passed - House (71 - 57)
July 19, 2011 National HR 2560 Cut, Cap and Balance Act of 2011 Bill Passed - House (234 - 190)
July 19, 2011 MN SF 2 2011-2013 Biennium Budget Bill Passed - Senate (42 - 23)
July 13, 2011 MI HB 4409 Amending the Social Welfare Act Bill Passed - Senate (24 - 12)
July 13, 2011 MI HB 4410 Amending the Jet Program of the Social Welfare Act Bill Passed - Senate (24 - 12)
June 30, 2011 PA HB 960 Public Assistance Program Amendments Concurrence Vote Passed - House (130 - 66)
June 30, 2011 PA HB 960 Public Assistance Program Amendments Bill Passed - Senate (35 - 15)
June 29, 2011 OH HB 153 2011-2013 Budget Conference Report Adopted - House (59 - 40)
June 29, 2011 PA HB 1485 2011-2012 Budget Concurrence Vote Passed - House (109 - 92)
June 29, 2011 NJ S 4000 2011-2012 Budget Bill Passed - House (46 - 32)
June 29, 2011 NJ S 4000 2011-2012 Budget Bill Passed - Senate (24 - 15)
June 28, 2011 OH HB 153 2011-2013 Budget Conference Report Adopted - Senate (22 - 11)
June 28, 2011 PA HB 1485 2011-2012 Budget Bill Passed - Senate (30 - 20)
June 23, 2011 LA SB 259 Establishes a Commission to Repeal Income Taxes Motion Rejected - House (46 - 32)
June 22, 2011 NH HB 2 Recertification of Employer Retirement Contribution Rates Conference Report Adopted - House (259 - 119)
June 22, 2011 NH HB 2 Recertification of Employer Retirement Contribution Rates Conference Report Adopted - Senate (19 - 5)
June 21, 2011 National S 782 Economic Development Revitalization Act Cloture Not Invoked - Senate (49 - 51)
June 20, 2011 OR SB 909 Appropriates Education Funds Bill Passed - Senate (21 - 8)
June 16, 2011 WI AB 40 2011-2013 Biennium Budget Bill Passed - Senate (19 - 14)
June 16, 2011 TX HB 5 Interstate Health Care Compact Bill Passed - House (92 - 43)
June 15, 2011 NC HB 200 2011-2013 Budget Veto Override Passed - Senate (31 - 19)
June 15, 2011 NC HB 200 2011-2013 Budget Veto Override Passed - House (73 - 46)
June 15, 2011 NY S 5596 Revising The Metropolitan Commuter Transportation Mobility Tax Bill Passed - Senate (40 - 22)
June 14, 2011 WI AB 40 2011-2013 Biennium Budget Bill Passed - House (60 - 38)
June 10, 2011 TX SB 1 2011-2013 Biennium Education Budget Bill Passed - House (83 - 62)
June 9, 2011 AL HB 414 Increasing Retirement Contributions for Public Employees Conference Report Adopted - Senate (19 - 12)
June 9, 2011 TX SB 7 Health Care Bill Passed - House (89 - 41)
June 8, 2011 CT SB 1152 Funding for Construction at the University of Connecticut Health Center Bill Passed - House (97 - 45)
June 8, 2011 IA HF 697 State Budget for 2011-2012 Bill Passed - House (54 - 38)
June 7, 2011 OR SB 99 Establishes the Oregon Health Insurance Exchange Bill Passed - House (48 - 12)
June 5, 2011 NV AB 580 2011-2013 Biennium Budget Bill Passed - Senate (15 - 6)
June 5, 2011 NV AB 580 2011-2013 Biennium Budget Bill Passed - House (36 - 6)
June 3, 2011 TX SB 1 2011-2013 Biennium Education Budget Bill Passed - Senate (19 - 12)
June 2, 2011 AL HB 414 Increasing Retirement Contributions for Public Employees Conference Report Adopted - House (51 - 48)
June 1, 2011 CT SB 1152 Funding for Construction at the University of Connecticut Health Center Bill Passed - Senate (24 - 11)
May 31, 2011 National HR 1954 Increasing the Debt Limit Motion Rejected - House (97 - 318)
May 29, 2011 TX SB 1811 Reduces Funding for State Agencies Conference Report Adopted - House (84 - 63)
May 28, 2011 TX HB 1 2011-2013 Budget Conference Report Adopted - House (97 - 53)
May 28, 2011 TX HB 1 2011-2013 Budget Conference Report Adopted - House (97 - 53)
May 28, 2011 TX HB 1 2011-2013 Budget Conference Report Adopted - Senate (20 - 11)
May 28, 2011 TX HB 1 2011-2013 Budget Conference Report Adopted - Senate (20 - 11)
May 27, 2011 CT HB 6650 Appropriations for Judicial Branch and Other Agencies Bill Passed - Senate (21 - 14)
May 26, 2011 MI HB 4325 Education Appropriations for 2011-2013 Conference Report Adopted - Senate (21 - 17)
May 26, 2011 MI HB 4325 Education Appropriations for 2011-2013 Conference Report Adopted - House (59 - 50)
May 26, 2011 MI HB 4526 2011-2012 Budget Conference Report Adopted - Senate (23 - 15)
May 26, 2011 MI HB 4526 2011-2012 Budget Conference Report Adopted - House (62 - 47)
May 25, 2011 National H Con Res 34 2011-2012 Budget Motion Rejected - Senate (40 - 57)
May 25, 2011 National S Con Res 21 2012 Budget Motion Rejected - Senate (42 - 55)
May 23, 2011 NJ S 2899 Medicaid Coverage for Family Planning Services Bill Passed - Senate (26 - 13)
May 19, 2011 MN SF 760 2011-2012 Health and Human Services Budget Conference Report Adopted - House (69 - 63)
May 18, 2011 MN SF 760 2011-2012 Health and Human Services Budget Conference Report Adopted - Senate (36 - 28)
May 18, 2011 NV SB 75 Investment in Private Equity Firms Bill Passed - Senate (13 - 8)
May 17, 2011 TX SB 420 Eligibility for Indigent Health Care Bill Passed - House (102 - 40)
Date No. Title Outcome
12/20 HR 3630 Temporary Payroll Tax Cut Extension Nonconcurrence Vote Passed - House (229 - 193)
12/17 S Amdt 1465 Temporary Payroll Tax Cut Extension Amendment Adopted - Senate (89 - 10)
12/14 S J Res 10 Proposing a Balanced Budget Amendment to the U.S. Constitution (Hatch Bill) Amendment Rejected - Senate (47 - 53)
12/14 S J Res 24 Proposing a Balanced Budget Amendment to the U.S. Constitution (Udall Bill) Amendment Rejected - Senate (21 - 79)
12/13 HB 4701 Amends the State Employee Retirement System Concurrence Vote Passed - Senate (23 - 15)
12/13 HR 3630 Reduces Payroll Taxes and Unemployment Benefits Bill Passed - House (234 - 193)
12/08 HB 4770 Prohibits Public Employers from Providing Medical Benefits to Public Employees Concurrence Vote Passed - House (63 - 45)
12/07 HB 4770 Prohibits Public Employers from Providing Medical Benefits to Public Employees Bill Passed - Senate (27 - 9)
12/01 SB 806 Reduces Unemployment Benefits Bill Passed - Senate (23 - 11)
11/30 CACR 14 Constitutional Amendment Authorizing the Legislature to Set Standards for Public Education Amendment Rejected - House (114 - 264)
11/18 H J Res 2 Proposing a Balanced Budget Amendment to the U.S. Constitution Joint Resolution Failed - House (261 - 165)
11/03 HB 4701 Amends the State Employee Retirement System Bill Passed - House (63 - 45)
10/26 SB 1401 Establishes the Connecticut Bioscience Collaboration Program Bill Passed - House (101 - 41)
10/26 SB 1401 Establishes the Connecticut Bioscience Collaboration Program Bill Passed - Senate (21 - 14)
10/26 SB 1 Charter School Guidelines Bill Passed - Senate (27 - 22)
10/18 SB 1151 Fiscal Emergency Bill Concurrence Vote Passed - Senate (37 - 13)
10/12 SB 198 Amends Eligibility Requirements for TANF Bill Passed - House (237 - 126)
10/04 HR 2608 Continuing Appropriations Act of 2012 Concurrence Vote Passed - House (352 - 66)
9/26 HR 2608 Continuing Appropriations Act of 2012 Concurrence Vote Passed - Senate (79 - 12)
9/23 HR 2608 Stopgap Spending and Disaster Relief Concurrence Vote Passed - House (219 - 203)
9/23 SB 7 Incentives for Science-Based Businesses Bill Passed - House (94 - 48)
9/23 S Amdt 655 Continuing Appropriations Act of 2012 Amendment Tabled - Senate (59 - 36)
9/23 H Amdt 800 Requires the EPA to Consider Costs and Feasibility of Air Quality Standards Amendment Adopted - House (227 - 192)
9/23 HA 1 to SB 7 Prohibits Public Funding for Certain Life Science Research Projects Amendment Rejected - House (68 - 74)
9/22 S Amdt 634 Sale of F-16 Aircraft to Taiwan Amendment Rejected - Senate (48 - 48)
9/21 HR 2608 Stopgap Spending and Disaster Relief Concurrence Vote Failed - House (195 - 230)
9/15 S Amdt 613 Reducing Appropriations for Foreign Assistance Programs Amendment Rejected - Senate (20 - 78)
9/15 S 2018 Massachusetts Pension System Bill Passed - Senate (24 - 10)
9/14 H J Res 77 Disapproval of the President's Authority to Raise the Debt Limit Joint Resolution Passed - House (232 - 186)
9/09 HB 6 Appropriations for Missouri Disaster Relief Bill Passed - House (127 - 22)
9/02 AB 6 Repeals Fingerprinting Requirement for CalFresh Benefits Concurrence Vote Passed - House (50 - 26)
8/31 AB 6 Repeals Fingerprinting Requirement for CalFresh Benefits Bill Passed - Senate (27 - 11)
8/02 S 365 Budget Control Act of 2011 Concurrence Vote Passed - Senate (74 - 26)
8/01 S 365 Budget Control Act of 2011 Bill Passed - House (269 - 161)
7/31 S 627 Increasing the Debt Ceiling (Reid Bill) Cloture Not Invoked - Senate (50 - 49)
7/29 S 627 Increasing the Debt Ceiling (Boehner Bill) Bill Tabled - Senate (59 - 41)
7/29 S 627 Increasing the Debt Ceiling (Boehner Bill) Bill Passed - House (218 - 210)
7/22 HR 2560 Cut, Cap and Balance Act of 2011 Bill Tabled - Senate (51 - 46)
7/22 HR 2551 2011-2012 Congressional Budget Bill Passed - House (252 - 159)
7/19 HF 25 2011-2013 Health and Human Services Biennium Budget Bill Passed - Senate (37 - 27)
7/19 HF 26 2011-2013 Biennium Education Budget Bill Passed - Senate (36 - 28)
7/19 SF 2 2011-2013 Biennium Budget Bill Passed - House (76 - 50)
7/19 HF 20 2011-2013 Biennium Budget Bill Passed - Senate (37 - 27)
7/19 HF 4 Higher Education Appropriations Bill Passed - Senate (35 - 30)
7/19 HF 4 Higher Education Appropriations Bill Passed - House (71 - 57)
7/19 HF 20 2011-2013 Biennium Budget Bill Passed - House (71 - 57)
7/19 HF 26 2011-2013 Biennium Education Budget Bill Passed - House (71 - 56)
7/19 HF 25 2011-2013 Health and Human Services Biennium Budget Bill Passed - House (71 - 57)
7/19 HR 2560 Cut, Cap and Balance Act of 2011 Bill Passed - House (234 - 190)
7/19 SF 2 2011-2013 Biennium Budget Bill Passed - Senate (42 - 23)
7/13 HB 4409 Amending the Social Welfare Act Bill Passed - Senate (24 - 12)
7/13 HB 4410 Amending the Jet Program of the Social Welfare Act Bill Passed - Senate (24 - 12)
6/30 HB 960 Public Assistance Program Amendments Concurrence Vote Passed - House (130 - 66)
6/30 HB 960 Public Assistance Program Amendments Bill Passed - Senate (35 - 15)
6/29 HB 153 2011-2013 Budget Conference Report Adopted - House (59 - 40)
6/29 HB 1485 2011-2012 Budget Concurrence Vote Passed - House (109 - 92)
6/29 S 4000 2011-2012 Budget Bill Passed - House (46 - 32)
6/29 S 4000 2011-2012 Budget Bill Passed - Senate (24 - 15)
6/28 HB 153 2011-2013 Budget Conference Report Adopted - Senate (22 - 11)
6/28 HB 1485 2011-2012 Budget Bill Passed - Senate (30 - 20)
6/23 SB 259 Establishes a Commission to Repeal Income Taxes Motion Rejected - House (46 - 32)
6/22 HB 2 Recertification of Employer Retirement Contribution Rates Conference Report Adopted - House (259 - 119)
6/22 HB 2 Recertification of Employer Retirement Contribution Rates Conference Report Adopted - Senate (19 - 5)
6/21 S 782 Economic Development Revitalization Act Cloture Not Invoked - Senate (49 - 51)
6/20 SB 909 Appropriates Education Funds Bill Passed - Senate (21 - 8)
6/16 AB 40 2011-2013 Biennium Budget Bill Passed - Senate (19 - 14)
6/16 HB 5 Interstate Health Care Compact Bill Passed - House (92 - 43)
6/15 HB 200 2011-2013 Budget Veto Override Passed - Senate (31 - 19)
6/15 HB 200 2011-2013 Budget Veto Override Passed - House (73 - 46)
6/15 S 5596 Revising The Metropolitan Commuter Transportation Mobility Tax Bill Passed - Senate (40 - 22)
6/14 AB 40 2011-2013 Biennium Budget Bill Passed - House (60 - 38)
6/10 SB 1 2011-2013 Biennium Education Budget Bill Passed - House (83 - 62)
6/09 HB 414 Increasing Retirement Contributions for Public Employees Conference Report Adopted - Senate (19 - 12)
6/09 SB 7 Health Care Bill Passed - House (89 - 41)
6/08 SB 1152 Funding for Construction at the University of Connecticut Health Center Bill Passed - House (97 - 45)
6/08 HF 697 State Budget for 2011-2012 Bill Passed - House (54 - 38)
6/07 SB 99 Establishes the Oregon Health Insurance Exchange Bill Passed - House (48 - 12)
6/05 AB 580 2011-2013 Biennium Budget Bill Passed - Senate (15 - 6)
6/05 AB 580 2011-2013 Biennium Budget Bill Passed - House (36 - 6)
6/03 SB 1 2011-2013 Biennium Education Budget Bill Passed - Senate (19 - 12)
6/02 HB 414 Increasing Retirement Contributions for Public Employees Conference Report Adopted - House (51 - 48)
6/01 SB 1152 Funding for Construction at the University of Connecticut Health Center Bill Passed - Senate (24 - 11)
5/31 HR 1954 Increasing the Debt Limit Motion Rejected - House (97 - 318)
5/29 SB 1811 Reduces Funding for State Agencies Conference Report Adopted - House (84 - 63)
5/28 HB 1 2011-2013 Budget Conference Report Adopted - House (97 - 53)
5/28 HB 1 2011-2013 Budget Conference Report Adopted - House (97 - 53)
5/28 HB 1 2011-2013 Budget Conference Report Adopted - Senate (20 - 11)
5/28 HB 1 2011-2013 Budget Conference Report Adopted - Senate (20 - 11)
5/27 HB 6650 Appropriations for Judicial Branch and Other Agencies Bill Passed - Senate (21 - 14)
5/26 HB 4325 Education Appropriations for 2011-2013 Conference Report Adopted - Senate (21 - 17)
5/26 HB 4325 Education Appropriations for 2011-2013 Conference Report Adopted - House (59 - 50)
5/26 HB 4526 2011-2012 Budget Conference Report Adopted - Senate (23 - 15)
5/26 HB 4526 2011-2012 Budget Conference Report Adopted - House (62 - 47)
5/25 H Con Res 34 2011-2012 Budget Motion Rejected - Senate (40 - 57)
5/25 S Con Res 21 2012 Budget Motion Rejected - Senate (42 - 55)
5/23 S 2899 Medicaid Coverage for Family Planning Services Bill Passed - Senate (26 - 13)
5/19 SF 760 2011-2012 Health and Human Services Budget Conference Report Adopted - House (69 - 63)
5/18 SF 760 2011-2012 Health and Human Services Budget Conference Report Adopted - Senate (36 - 28)
5/18 SB 75 Investment in Private Equity Firms Bill Passed - Senate (13 - 8)
5/17 SB 420 Eligibility for Indigent Health Care Bill Passed - House (102 - 40)

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