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.


results per page:
Date State Bill No. Title Outcome
Dec. 3, 2012 NJ S 2157 Establishes Residential Foreclosure Bill Passed - House (43 - 32)
Oct. 25, 2012 NJ S 2157 Establishes Residential Foreclosure Bill Passed - Senate (22 - 17)
Oct. 25, 2012 NJ S 2202 Requires the HMFA to Expand Participation in the New Jersey HomeKeeper Program Bill Passed - Senate (29 - 9)
Sept. 20, 2012 National H J Res 118 Congressional Disapproval of Department of Health and Human Services Rule to Waive Certain Requirements for the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families Program (TANF) Joint Resolution Passed - House (250 - 164)
Aug. 31, 2012 CA SB 1234 Establishes Retirement Program for Private Sector Employees Bill Passed - House (48 - 29)
July 26, 2012 National HR 4078 Red Tape Reduction and Small Business Job Creation Act Bill Passed - House (245 - 172)
June 30, 2012 PA HB 1261 Repeals the General Assistance Cash Program Concurrence Vote Passed - House (102 - 91)
June 29, 2012 PA HB 1261 Repeals the General Assistance Cash Program Bill Passed - Senate (31 - 18)
June 28, 2012 NJ S 1566 Authorizes the Conversion of Foreclosed Homes into Affordable Housing Bill Passed - House (44 - 33)
June 25, 2012 NJ S 1566 Authorizes the Conversion of Foreclosed Homes into Affordable Housing Bill Passed - Senate (21 - 18)
June 19, 2012 National S Amdt 2172 Rescinds Bonuses to States for Administering Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) Amendment Rejected - Senate (41 - 58)
June 19, 2012 National S Amdt 2174 Limits Eligibility for Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) Amendment Rejected - Senate (43 - 56)
June 15, 2012 CA AB 1464 2012-2013 Budget Concurrence Vote Passed - House (50 - 28)
June 15, 2012 CA AB 1464 2012-2013 Budget Bill Passed - Senate (23 - 16)
June 13, 2012 National S Amdt 2392 Reduces Funding for Food Stamps Amendment Tabled - Senate (65 - 33)
June 12, 2012 RI S 2052 Homeless Bill of Rights Concurrence Vote Passed - Senate (33 - 2)
June 12, 2012 RI S 2052 Homeless Bill of Rights Bill Passed - House (59 - 6)
June 7, 2012 MI HB 5223 Requires Drug Testing for Certain Welfare Recipients Bill Passed - House (71 - 37)
June 6, 2012 PA SB 1310 Authorizes Repayment of Unemployment Debt to the Federal Government Concurrence Vote Passed - House (129 - 67)
June 5, 2012 PA SB 1310 Authorizes Repayment of Unemployment Debt to the Federal Government Concurrence Vote Passed - Senate (29 - 19)
May 15, 2012 LA HB 380 Requires Drug Testing for Certain Welfare Recipients Bill Passed - House (65 - 26)
May 1, 2012 CT SB 79 Prohibits Discrimination Against Unemployed Job Applicants Bill Passed - Senate (30 - 5)
April 25, 2012 MA H Amdt 804.1 Electronic Benefit Transfer Cards Amendment Adopted - House (123 - 33)
April 25, 2012 TN SB 2580 Requires Drug Testing for Welfare Recipients Bill Passed - Senate (24 - 9)
April 11, 2012 NE LB 599 Prenatal Care for Children of Undocumented Immigrants Bill Passed - Senate (31 - 15)
April 10, 2012 AL HB 433 2012-2013 Budget Bill Passed - House (56 - 47)
April 9, 2012 AK SB 203 Establishes an Energy Assistance Program Bill Passed - Senate (15 - 4)
March 29, 2012 GA HB 347 Reduces Unemployment Benefits Conference Report Adopted - House (98 - 60)
March 29, 2012 GA HB 347 Reduces Unemployment Benefits Conference Report Adopted - Senate (37 - 17)
March 29, 2012 GA HB 861 Requires Drug Testing for Certain Welfare Recipients Concurrence Vote Passed - House (110 - 56)
March 28, 2012 AZ HB 2519 Expands the Requirements for Unemployment Benefits Bill Passed - Senate (19 - 11)
March 28, 2012 NH HB 1658 Establishes a Verification System to Detect Welfare Fraud Bill Passed - House (245 - 84)
March 27, 2012 GA HB 861 Requires Drug Testing for Certain Welfare Recipients Bill Passed - Senate (36 - 15)
March 12, 2012 AZ SB 1388 Job Training for Unemployed Individuals Bill Passed - Senate (18 - 9)
March 7, 2012 GA SB 312 Require Development Activities for Certain Public Benefits Bill Passed - Senate (40 - 14)
March 7, 2012 GA HB 861 Requires Drug Testing for Certain Welfare Recipients Bill Passed - House (114 - 59)
March 7, 2012 GA SB 292 Requires Drug Tests for Certain Welfare Recipients Bill Passed - Senate (35 - 18)
March 5, 2012 WY HB 82 Requires Drug Testing of Certain Welfare Recipients Bill Failed - Senate (13 - 17)
March 5, 2012 AZ SB 1495 Requires Drug Test for Unemployment Benefits Bill Passed - Senate (18 - 10)
March 1, 2012 AZ HB 2519 Expands the Requirements for Unemployment Benefits Bill Passed - House (39 - 17)
March 1, 2012 UT HB 155 Requires Drug Testing of Certain Welfare Recipients Bill Passed - House (62 - 10)
Feb. 29, 2012 SD HB 1206 Repeals the South Dakota Sales Tax on Food Refund Program Concurrence Vote Passed - House (61 - 6)
Feb. 27, 2012 SD HB 1206 Repeals the South Dakota Sales Tax on Food Refund Program Bill Passed - Senate (24 - 9)
Feb. 27, 2012 WY HB 82 Requires Drug Testing of Certain Welfare Recipients Bill Passed - House (37 - 23)
Feb. 24, 2012 GA SB 447 Reduces Unemployment Benefits Bill Passed - Senate (34 - 13)
Feb. 23, 2012 KS HB 2638 Reduces Unemployment Benefits and Unemployment Insurance Contributions Bill Passed - House (85 - 39)
Feb. 21, 2012 MI HB 5033 Requires Asset Tests to Determine Eligibility for State Assistance Programs Bill Passed - House (67 - 39)
Feb. 17, 2012 National HR 3630 Extends Payroll Tax Cut Conference Report Adopted - House (293 - 132)
Feb. 17, 2012 National HR 3630 Extends Payroll Tax Cut Conference Report Adopted - Senate (60 - 36)
Feb. 14, 2012 VA SB 6 Requires Drug Tests for Certain Welfare Recipients Bill Passed - Senate (20 - 20)
Jan. 31, 2012 IN HB 1007 Requires Drug Testing for TANF Applicants Bill Passed - House (73 - 23)
Date No. Title Outcome
12/03 S 2157 Establishes Residential Foreclosure Bill Passed - House (43 - 32)
10/25 S 2157 Establishes Residential Foreclosure Bill Passed - Senate (22 - 17)
10/25 S 2202 Requires the HMFA to Expand Participation in the New Jersey HomeKeeper Program Bill Passed - Senate (29 - 9)
9/20 H J Res 118 Congressional Disapproval of Department of Health and Human Services Rule to Waive Certain Requirements for the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families Program (TANF) Joint Resolution Passed - House (250 - 164)
8/31 SB 1234 Establishes Retirement Program for Private Sector Employees Bill Passed - House (48 - 29)
7/26 HR 4078 Red Tape Reduction and Small Business Job Creation Act Bill Passed - House (245 - 172)
6/30 HB 1261 Repeals the General Assistance Cash Program Concurrence Vote Passed - House (102 - 91)
6/29 HB 1261 Repeals the General Assistance Cash Program Bill Passed - Senate (31 - 18)
6/28 S 1566 Authorizes the Conversion of Foreclosed Homes into Affordable Housing Bill Passed - House (44 - 33)
6/25 S 1566 Authorizes the Conversion of Foreclosed Homes into Affordable Housing Bill Passed - Senate (21 - 18)
6/19 S Amdt 2172 Rescinds Bonuses to States for Administering Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) Amendment Rejected - Senate (41 - 58)
6/19 S Amdt 2174 Limits Eligibility for Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) Amendment Rejected - Senate (43 - 56)
6/15 AB 1464 2012-2013 Budget Concurrence Vote Passed - House (50 - 28)
6/15 AB 1464 2012-2013 Budget Bill Passed - Senate (23 - 16)
6/13 S Amdt 2392 Reduces Funding for Food Stamps Amendment Tabled - Senate (65 - 33)
6/12 S 2052 Homeless Bill of Rights Concurrence Vote Passed - Senate (33 - 2)
6/12 S 2052 Homeless Bill of Rights Bill Passed - House (59 - 6)
6/07 HB 5223 Requires Drug Testing for Certain Welfare Recipients Bill Passed - House (71 - 37)
6/06 SB 1310 Authorizes Repayment of Unemployment Debt to the Federal Government Concurrence Vote Passed - House (129 - 67)
6/05 SB 1310 Authorizes Repayment of Unemployment Debt to the Federal Government Concurrence Vote Passed - Senate (29 - 19)
5/15 HB 380 Requires Drug Testing for Certain Welfare Recipients Bill Passed - House (65 - 26)
5/01 SB 79 Prohibits Discrimination Against Unemployed Job Applicants Bill Passed - Senate (30 - 5)
4/25 H Amdt 804.1 Electronic Benefit Transfer Cards Amendment Adopted - House (123 - 33)
4/25 SB 2580 Requires Drug Testing for Welfare Recipients Bill Passed - Senate (24 - 9)
4/11 LB 599 Prenatal Care for Children of Undocumented Immigrants Bill Passed - Senate (31 - 15)
4/10 HB 433 2012-2013 Budget Bill Passed - House (56 - 47)
4/09 SB 203 Establishes an Energy Assistance Program Bill Passed - Senate (15 - 4)
3/29 HB 347 Reduces Unemployment Benefits Conference Report Adopted - House (98 - 60)
3/29 HB 347 Reduces Unemployment Benefits Conference Report Adopted - Senate (37 - 17)
3/29 HB 861 Requires Drug Testing for Certain Welfare Recipients Concurrence Vote Passed - House (110 - 56)
3/28 HB 2519 Expands the Requirements for Unemployment Benefits Bill Passed - Senate (19 - 11)
3/28 HB 1658 Establishes a Verification System to Detect Welfare Fraud Bill Passed - House (245 - 84)
3/27 HB 861 Requires Drug Testing for Certain Welfare Recipients Bill Passed - Senate (36 - 15)
3/12 SB 1388 Job Training for Unemployed Individuals Bill Passed - Senate (18 - 9)
3/07 SB 312 Require Development Activities for Certain Public Benefits Bill Passed - Senate (40 - 14)
3/07 HB 861 Requires Drug Testing for Certain Welfare Recipients Bill Passed - House (114 - 59)
3/07 SB 292 Requires Drug Tests for Certain Welfare Recipients Bill Passed - Senate (35 - 18)
3/05 HB 82 Requires Drug Testing of Certain Welfare Recipients Bill Failed - Senate (13 - 17)
3/05 SB 1495 Requires Drug Test for Unemployment Benefits Bill Passed - Senate (18 - 10)
3/01 HB 2519 Expands the Requirements for Unemployment Benefits Bill Passed - House (39 - 17)
3/01 HB 155 Requires Drug Testing of Certain Welfare Recipients Bill Passed - House (62 - 10)
2/29 HB 1206 Repeals the South Dakota Sales Tax on Food Refund Program Concurrence Vote Passed - House (61 - 6)
2/27 HB 1206 Repeals the South Dakota Sales Tax on Food Refund Program Bill Passed - Senate (24 - 9)
2/27 HB 82 Requires Drug Testing of Certain Welfare Recipients Bill Passed - House (37 - 23)
2/24 SB 447 Reduces Unemployment Benefits Bill Passed - Senate (34 - 13)
2/23 HB 2638 Reduces Unemployment Benefits and Unemployment Insurance Contributions Bill Passed - House (85 - 39)
2/21 HB 5033 Requires Asset Tests to Determine Eligibility for State Assistance Programs Bill Passed - House (67 - 39)
2/17 HR 3630 Extends Payroll Tax Cut Conference Report Adopted - House (293 - 132)
2/17 HR 3630 Extends Payroll Tax Cut Conference Report Adopted - Senate (60 - 36)
2/14 SB 6 Requires Drug Tests for Certain Welfare Recipients Bill Passed - Senate (20 - 20)
1/31 HB 1007 Requires Drug Testing for TANF Applicants Bill Passed - House (73 - 23)

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