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. 22, 1995 National HR 1058 Legal Reform bill Veto Override Passed - Senate (68 - 30)
Dec. 22, 1995 National HR 4 Welfare Reform Bill Conference Report Adopted - Senate (52 - 47)
Dec. 21, 1995 National HR 4 Welfare Reform Bill Conference Report Adopted - House (245 - 178)
Dec. 20, 1995 National HR 1058 Legal Reform bill Veto Override Passed - House (319 - 100)
Dec. 19, 1995 National HR 1530 Authorization bill FY96, Defense Department Conference Report Adopted - Senate (51 - 43)
Dec. 15, 1995 National HR 1530 Authorization bill FY96, Defense Department Conference Report Adopted - House (267 - 149)
Dec. 14, 1995 National HR 2099 Veterans Affairs, HUD FY '96 Appropriations bill Conference Report Adopted - Senate (54 - 44)
Dec. 14, 1995 National HR 1977 Interior Department FY96 Appropriations bill Conference Report Adopted - Senate (58 - 40)
Dec. 14, 1995 National HR 1561 Authorization bill, FY96-97, Foreign Relations Bill Passed - Senate (82 - 16)
Dec. 13, 1995 National HR 1977 Interior Department FY96 Appropriations bill Conference Report Adopted - House (244 - 181)
Dec. 13, 1995 National S J Res 44 Deployment of US Armed Forces in Bosnia-Herzegovina Joint Resolution Passed - Senate (69 - 30)
Dec. 13, 1995 National HR 2770 Troop Deployment in Bosnia Bill Bill Failed - House (210 - 218)
Dec. 12, 1995 National S J Res 31 Flag Desecration Joint Resolution Failed - Senate (63 - 36)
Dec. 7, 1995 National HR 2099 Veterans Affairs, HUD FY '96 Appropriations bill Conference Report Adopted - House (227 - 190)
Dec. 7, 1995 National HR 2076 Appropriations bill FY96, Commerce, Justice, State Conference Report Adopted - Senate (50 - 48)
Dec. 7, 1995 National HR 1833 Partial-Birth/Late-Term Abortion Ban Act of 1995 Bill Passed - Senate (54 - 44)
Dec. 6, 1995 National HR 2076 Appropriations bill FY96, Commerce, Justice, State Conference Report Adopted - House (256 - 166)
Dec. 6, 1995 National HR 1058 Legal Reform bill Conference Report Adopted - House (320 - 102)
Dec. 6, 1995 National HR 660 Housing for Older Persons Act of 1995 Bill Passed - Senate (94 - 3)
Dec. 5, 1995 National HR 1058 Legal Reform bill Conference Report Adopted - Senate (65 - 30)
Nov. 29, 1995 National HR 2564 Lobbying Disclosure Act of 1995 Bill Passed - House (421 - 0)
Nov. 28, 1995 National H Amdt 903 Prohibit Federal Funds for Lobbying Amendment Amendment Rejected - House (190 - 238)
Nov. 17, 1995 National S 440 National Highway System Designation Act of 1995 Conference Report Adopted - Senate (80 - 16)
Nov. 17, 1995 National HR 2606 U.S. Troops in Bosnia Funding Bill Bill Passed - House (243 - 171)
Nov. 16, 1995 National HR 2126 Appropriations bill FY96, Defense Conference Report Adopted - Senate (59 - 39)
Date No. Title Outcome
12/22 HR 1058 Legal Reform bill Veto Override Passed - Senate (68 - 30)
12/22 HR 4 Welfare Reform Bill Conference Report Adopted - Senate (52 - 47)
12/21 HR 4 Welfare Reform Bill Conference Report Adopted - House (245 - 178)
12/20 HR 1058 Legal Reform bill Veto Override Passed - House (319 - 100)
12/19 HR 1530 Authorization bill FY96, Defense Department Conference Report Adopted - Senate (51 - 43)
12/15 HR 1530 Authorization bill FY96, Defense Department Conference Report Adopted - House (267 - 149)
12/14 HR 2099 Veterans Affairs, HUD FY '96 Appropriations bill Conference Report Adopted - Senate (54 - 44)
12/14 HR 1977 Interior Department FY96 Appropriations bill Conference Report Adopted - Senate (58 - 40)
12/14 HR 1561 Authorization bill, FY96-97, Foreign Relations Bill Passed - Senate (82 - 16)
12/13 HR 1977 Interior Department FY96 Appropriations bill Conference Report Adopted - House (244 - 181)
12/13 S J Res 44 Deployment of US Armed Forces in Bosnia-Herzegovina Joint Resolution Passed - Senate (69 - 30)
12/13 HR 2770 Troop Deployment in Bosnia Bill Bill Failed - House (210 - 218)
12/12 S J Res 31 Flag Desecration Joint Resolution Failed - Senate (63 - 36)
12/07 HR 2099 Veterans Affairs, HUD FY '96 Appropriations bill Conference Report Adopted - House (227 - 190)
12/07 HR 2076 Appropriations bill FY96, Commerce, Justice, State Conference Report Adopted - Senate (50 - 48)
12/07 HR 1833 Partial-Birth/Late-Term Abortion Ban Act of 1995 Bill Passed - Senate (54 - 44)
12/06 HR 2076 Appropriations bill FY96, Commerce, Justice, State Conference Report Adopted - House (256 - 166)
12/06 HR 1058 Legal Reform bill Conference Report Adopted - House (320 - 102)
12/06 HR 660 Housing for Older Persons Act of 1995 Bill Passed - Senate (94 - 3)
12/05 HR 1058 Legal Reform bill Conference Report Adopted - Senate (65 - 30)
11/29 HR 2564 Lobbying Disclosure Act of 1995 Bill Passed - House (421 - 0)
11/28 H Amdt 903 Prohibit Federal Funds for Lobbying Amendment Amendment Rejected - House (190 - 238)
11/17 S 440 National Highway System Designation Act of 1995 Conference Report Adopted - Senate (80 - 16)
11/17 HR 2606 U.S. Troops in Bosnia Funding Bill Bill Passed - House (243 - 171)
11/16 HR 2126 Appropriations bill FY96, Defense Conference Report Adopted - Senate (59 - 39)

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