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
Feb. 5, 1998 National HR 2631 Line Item Veto Cancellation bill Veto Override Passed - House (347 - 69)
Feb. 25, 1998 National HR 2631 Line Item Veto Cancellation bill Veto Override Passed - Senate (78 - 20)
July 23, 1998 National HR 1122 Partial-Birth/Late-Term Abortion bill Veto Override Passed - House (296 - 132)
Sept. 18, 1998 National HR 1122 Partial-Birth/Late-Term Abortion bill Veto Override Failed - Senate (64 - 36)
Feb. 10, 1998 National PN 623 David Satcher, Surgeon General of the Public Health Service Nomination Confirmed - Senate (63 - 35)
July 21, 1998 National S Amdt 3230 Gun Lock Requirement Amendment Amendment Tabled - Senate (61 - 39)
Feb. 26, 1998 National S Amdt 1646 Campaign Finance Reform Amendment Cloture Not Invoked - Senate (51 - 48)
June 24, 1998 National S Amdt 2912 Bosnia and Herzegovina Withdrawal Amendment Amendment Tabled - Senate (65 - 31)
April 1, 1998 National S Amdt 2175 School Modernization Amendment Amendment Tabled - Senate (54 - 46)
Feb. 11, 1998 National S 1601 Human Cloning Research bill Cloture Not Invoked - Senate (42 - 54)
Sept. 9, 1998 National S 1873 American Missile Protection bill Cloture Not Invoked - Senate (59 - 41)
July 29, 1998 National S Amdt 3359 Married Tax Filing Amendment Amendment Not Tabled - Senate (48 - 51)
July 30, 1998 National S Amdt 3379 Federal Election Commission Term Length Amendment Not Tabled - Senate (45 - 54)
June 4, 1998 National S Amdt 2438 Underage Tobacco Usage amendment Amendment Not Tabled - Senate (29 - 66)
May 18, 1998 National S Amdt 2417 U.S. Citizen Recruitment Amendment Amendment Tabled - Senate (59 - 39)
March 6, 1998 National S Amdt 1708 Disadvantaged Business Enterprises Amendment Amendment Tabled - Senate (58 - 37)
July 21, 1998 National H Amdt 753 National Endowment for the Arts Amendment Amendment Adopted - House (253 - 173)
July 22, 1998 National S Amdt 3263 Phone Recording Amendment Amendment Rejected - Senate (50 - 50)
July 23, 1998 National S Amdt 3266 Internet Gambling Amendment Amendment Adopted - Senate (90 - 10)
July 23, 1998 National S Amdt 3258 Temporary Farm Workers Amendment Amendment Adopted - Senate (68 - 31)
July 30, 1998 National H Amdt 747 Voter Registration Amendment Amendment Rejected - House (165 - 260)
July 24, 1998 National H Amdt 776 Patients' Bill of Rights Act Amendment Amendment Rejected - House (212 - 217)
March 4, 1998 National S Amdt 1682 Blood Alcohol Content Amendment Amendment Adopted - Senate (62 - 32)
March 12, 1998 National S Amdt 1676 Intermodal Transportation Amendment Amendment Adopted - Senate (96 - 4)
Oct. 8, 1998 National H Amdt 923 Contraceptive Amendment Amendment Adopted - House (224 - 200)
March 27, 1998 National H Amdt 542 Road Construction Amendment Amendment Adopted - House (200 - 187)
March 31, 1998 National S Amdt 2168 Tobacco Immunity Amendment Amendment Adopted - Senate (79 - 19)
March 31, 1998 National S Amdt 2165 Deficit Neutral Reserve Fund Amendment Amendment Rejected - Senate (46 - 52)
April 1, 1998 National S Amdt 2169 Medicare Choices Amendment Amendment Adopted - Senate (51 - 47)
April 1, 1998 National H Amdt 548 Disadvantaged Business Enterprise Program Amendment Amendment Rejected - House (194 - 225)
April 1, 1998 National S Amdt 2209 Personal Retirement Accounts Amendment Amendment Adopted - Senate (51 - 49)
Sept. 25, 1998 National H Amdt 914 Save Social Security Act Amendment Amendment Rejected - House (210 - 216)
May 13, 1998 National H Amdt 621 Enhance Banking Flexibility Amendment Amendment Rejected - House (140 - 281)
May 20, 1998 National H Amdt 643 Abortion Private Funding Restoration Amendment Amendment Rejected - House (190 - 232)
Feb. 25, 1998 National H Amdt 497 Death Sentence Amendment Amendment Rejected - House (113 - 300)
Sept. 17, 1998 National H Amdt 907 US Army School of the Americas Amendment Amendment Rejected - House (201 - 212)
Sept. 16, 1998 National H Amdt 887 Illegal Drug Amendment Amendment Adopted - House (291 - 133)
June 9, 1998 National S Amdt 2451 Illegal Drug Amendment Amendment Adopted - Senate (52 - 46)
June 17, 1998 National H Amdt 688 Campaign Finance Reform Commission Amendment Amendment Rejected - House (156 - 201)
Sept. 1, 1998 National S Amdt 3506 Nuclear Test Ban Treaty Amendment Amendment Adopted - Senate (49 - 44)
Aug. 7, 1998 National H Amdt 869 Illegal Drug Amendment Amendment Adopted - House (250 - 169)
Aug. 7, 1998 National H Amdt 871 Adoption Amendment Amendment Adopted - House (227 - 192)
June 24, 1998 National H Amdt 705 Chemical Inducement of Abortion Amendment Amendment Adopted - House (223 - 202)
Aug. 6, 1998 National H Amdt 865 Abortion Funding Amendment Amendment Rejected - House (180 - 243)
June 25, 1998 National S Amdt 2981 Military Closure Amendment Amendment Adopted - Senate (48 - 45)
June 25, 1998 National S Amdt 2794 Overseas Military Hospital Abortions Amendment Amendment Rejected - Senate (44 - 49)
Aug. 6, 1998 National H Amdt 862 Federal Campaign Finance Amendment Amendment Rejected - House (147 - 222)
June 25, 1998 National S Amdt 3011 Separate Housing Amendment Amendment Rejected - Senate (39 - 53)
July 7, 1998 National S Amdt 3062 Space Station Termination Amendment Amendment Rejected - Senate (33 - 66)
July 14, 1998 National H Amdt 694 Express Advocacy Amendment Amendment Rejected - House (201 - 219)
Aug. 6, 1998 National H Amdt 874 Low Income Educational Scholarship Amendment Amendment Adopted - House (214 - 208)
July 16, 1998 National H Amdt 728 Federal Health Plan Contraceptive Coverage Amendment Amendment Adopted - House (224 - 198)
July 16, 1998 National H Amdt 723 Increase FEC Funding Amendment Adopted - House (214 - 210)
Aug. 3, 1998 National H Amdt 690 Shays Amendment Amendment Adopted - House (237 - 186)
July 20, 1998 National H Amdt 716 Noncitizen Campaign Contribution Amendment Amendment Adopted - House (267 - 131)
July 20, 1998 National H Amdt 744 Labor Political Activity Amendment Amendment Rejected - House (150 - 248)
Oct. 8, 1998 National HR 4194 FY 1999 VA-HUD Appropriations Conference Report Adopted - Senate (96 - 1)
Sept. 29, 1998 National HR 4103 Defense Department FY99 Appropriations bill Conference Report Adopted - Senate (94 - 2)
April 28, 1998 National HR 1757 State Department FY98-99 Authorization bill Conference Report Adopted - Senate (51 - 49)
Sept. 28, 1998 National HR 4060 Energy FY99 Appropriations bill Conference Report Adopted - House (389 - 25)
April 30, 1998 National HR 3579 Emergency Supplemental Appropriations bill Conference Report Adopted - House (242 - 163)
Sept. 28, 1998 National HR 4103 Defense Department FY99 Appropriations bill Conference Report Adopted - House (369 - 43)
April 30, 1998 National HR 3579 Emergency Supplemental Appropriations bill Conference Report Adopted - Senate (88 - 11)
Sept. 29, 1998 National HR 6 Higher Education Programs Authorization Extension bill Conference Report Adopted - Senate (96 - 0)
Oct. 7, 1998 National HR 4104 Appropriations bill FY99, Treasury, Postal Service Conference Report Adopted - House (290 - 137)
May 12, 1998 National S 1150 Agricultural Research bill Conference Report Adopted - Senate (92 - 8)
Oct. 20, 1998 National HR 4328 Appropriations bill FY99, Omnibus Conference Report Adopted - House (333 - 95)
June 24, 1998 National HR 2646 Education Savings Accounts bill Conference Report Adopted - Senate (59 - 36)
Sept. 24, 1998 National HR 3616 Defense Department FY99 Authorization bill Conference Report Adopted - House (373 - 50)
Sept. 24, 1998 National HR 4112 Legislative Branch FY99 Appropriations bill Conference Report Adopted - House (356 - 65)
Oct. 1, 1998 National HR 3616 Defense Department FY99 Authorization bill Conference Report Adopted - Senate (96 - 2)
Oct. 2, 1998 National HR 4101 Agriculture FY99 Appropriations bill Conference Report Adopted - House (333 - 53)
June 18, 1998 National HR 2646 Education Savings Accounts bill Conference Report Adopted - House (225 - 197)
Oct. 6, 1998 National HR 4101 Agriculture FY99 Appropriations bill Conference Report Adopted - Senate (55 - 43)
May 22, 1998 National HR 2400 Transportation Reauthorization bill Conference Report Adopted - House (297 - 86)
Oct. 13, 1998 National S 1260 Securities Litigation Conference Report Adopted - House (319 - 82)
May 22, 1998 National HR 2400 Transportation Reauthorization bill Conference Report Adopted - Senate (88 - 5)
Oct. 21, 1998 National HR 4328 Appropriations bill FY99, Omnibus Conference Report Adopted - Senate (65 - 29)
Oct. 6, 1998 National HR 4194 FY 1999 VA-HUD Appropriations Conference Report Adopted - House (409 - 14)
June 4, 1998 National S 1150 Agricultural Research bill Conference Report Adopted - House (364 - 50)
Oct. 9, 1998 National HR 3150 Bankruptcy Reform bill Conference Report Adopted - House (300 - 125)
Oct. 7, 1998 National HR 3694 Intelligence FY99 Authorization bill Conference Report Adopted - House (337 - 83)
Sept. 15, 1998 National S 2073 Juvenile Crime Control and Delinquency Prevention Act Bill Passed - House (280 - 126)
March 13, 1998 National S Con Res 78 Saddam Hussein War Crime Prosecution bill Resolution Passed - Senate (93 - 0)
April 23, 1998 National HR 2646 Education Savings Accounts bill Bill Passed - Senate (56 - 43)
May 5, 1998 National HR 1385 Training Programs bill Bill Passed - Senate (91 - 7)
May 13, 1998 National S 1260 Securities Litigation Bill Passed - Senate (79 - 21)
May 18, 1998 National S 1723 Non-Immigrant Specialty Workers bill Bill Passed - Senate (78 - 20)
May 22, 1998 National HR 2709 Iran Missile Sanctions bill Bill Passed - Senate (90 - 4)
July 9, 1998 National HR 6 Higher Education Programs Authorization Extension bill Bill Passed - Senate (96 - 1)
July 21, 1998 National HR 4112 Legislative Branch FY99 Appropriations bill Bill Passed - Senate (90 - 9)
Sept. 3, 1998 National HR 4104 Appropriations bill FY99, Treasury, Postal Service Bill Passed - Senate (91 - 5)
Oct. 8, 1998 National S 442 Internet Tax Freedom bill Bill Passed - Senate (96 - 2)
July 30, 1998 National H J Res 120 Vietnam Trade Waiver Disapproval resolution Joint Resolution Failed - House (163 - 260)
July 23, 1998 National HR 4193 Interior Department FY99 Appropriations bill Bill Passed - House (245 - 181)
July 22, 1998 National H J Res 121 Disapproval of 'Normal Trade Relations' Status with China Joint Resolution Failed - House (166 - 264)
July 16, 1998 National HR 4104 Appropriations bill FY99, Treasury, Postal Service Bill Passed - House (218 - 203)
July 15, 1998 National HR 3682 Child Custody Protection Act Bill Passed - House (276 - 150)
June 25, 1998 National HR 4112 Legislative Branch FY99 Appropriations bill Bill Passed - House (235 - 179)
Aug. 6, 1998 National HR 2183 Campaign Finance Reform bill Bill Passed - House (252 - 179)
Date No. Title Outcome
2/05 HR 2631 Line Item Veto Cancellation bill Veto Override Passed - House (347 - 69)
2/25 HR 2631 Line Item Veto Cancellation bill Veto Override Passed - Senate (78 - 20)
7/23 HR 1122 Partial-Birth/Late-Term Abortion bill Veto Override Passed - House (296 - 132)
9/18 HR 1122 Partial-Birth/Late-Term Abortion bill Veto Override Failed - Senate (64 - 36)
2/10 PN 623 David Satcher, Surgeon General of the Public Health Service Nomination Confirmed - Senate (63 - 35)
7/21 S Amdt 3230 Gun Lock Requirement Amendment Amendment Tabled - Senate (61 - 39)
2/26 S Amdt 1646 Campaign Finance Reform Amendment Cloture Not Invoked - Senate (51 - 48)
6/24 S Amdt 2912 Bosnia and Herzegovina Withdrawal Amendment Amendment Tabled - Senate (65 - 31)
4/01 S Amdt 2175 School Modernization Amendment Amendment Tabled - Senate (54 - 46)
2/11 S 1601 Human Cloning Research bill Cloture Not Invoked - Senate (42 - 54)
9/09 S 1873 American Missile Protection bill Cloture Not Invoked - Senate (59 - 41)
7/29 S Amdt 3359 Married Tax Filing Amendment Amendment Not Tabled - Senate (48 - 51)
7/30 S Amdt 3379 Federal Election Commission Term Length Amendment Not Tabled - Senate (45 - 54)
6/04 S Amdt 2438 Underage Tobacco Usage amendment Amendment Not Tabled - Senate (29 - 66)
5/18 S Amdt 2417 U.S. Citizen Recruitment Amendment Amendment Tabled - Senate (59 - 39)
3/06 S Amdt 1708 Disadvantaged Business Enterprises Amendment Amendment Tabled - Senate (58 - 37)
7/21 H Amdt 753 National Endowment for the Arts Amendment Amendment Adopted - House (253 - 173)
7/22 S Amdt 3263 Phone Recording Amendment Amendment Rejected - Senate (50 - 50)
7/23 S Amdt 3266 Internet Gambling Amendment Amendment Adopted - Senate (90 - 10)
7/23 S Amdt 3258 Temporary Farm Workers Amendment Amendment Adopted - Senate (68 - 31)
7/30 H Amdt 747 Voter Registration Amendment Amendment Rejected - House (165 - 260)
7/24 H Amdt 776 Patients' Bill of Rights Act Amendment Amendment Rejected - House (212 - 217)
3/04 S Amdt 1682 Blood Alcohol Content Amendment Amendment Adopted - Senate (62 - 32)
3/12 S Amdt 1676 Intermodal Transportation Amendment Amendment Adopted - Senate (96 - 4)
10/08 H Amdt 923 Contraceptive Amendment Amendment Adopted - House (224 - 200)
3/27 H Amdt 542 Road Construction Amendment Amendment Adopted - House (200 - 187)
3/31 S Amdt 2168 Tobacco Immunity Amendment Amendment Adopted - Senate (79 - 19)
3/31 S Amdt 2165 Deficit Neutral Reserve Fund Amendment Amendment Rejected - Senate (46 - 52)
4/01 S Amdt 2169 Medicare Choices Amendment Amendment Adopted - Senate (51 - 47)
4/01 H Amdt 548 Disadvantaged Business Enterprise Program Amendment Amendment Rejected - House (194 - 225)
4/01 S Amdt 2209 Personal Retirement Accounts Amendment Amendment Adopted - Senate (51 - 49)
9/25 H Amdt 914 Save Social Security Act Amendment Amendment Rejected - House (210 - 216)
5/13 H Amdt 621 Enhance Banking Flexibility Amendment Amendment Rejected - House (140 - 281)
5/20 H Amdt 643 Abortion Private Funding Restoration Amendment Amendment Rejected - House (190 - 232)
2/25 H Amdt 497 Death Sentence Amendment Amendment Rejected - House (113 - 300)
9/17 H Amdt 907 US Army School of the Americas Amendment Amendment Rejected - House (201 - 212)
9/16 H Amdt 887 Illegal Drug Amendment Amendment Adopted - House (291 - 133)
6/09 S Amdt 2451 Illegal Drug Amendment Amendment Adopted - Senate (52 - 46)
6/17 H Amdt 688 Campaign Finance Reform Commission Amendment Amendment Rejected - House (156 - 201)
9/01 S Amdt 3506 Nuclear Test Ban Treaty Amendment Amendment Adopted - Senate (49 - 44)
8/07 H Amdt 869 Illegal Drug Amendment Amendment Adopted - House (250 - 169)
8/07 H Amdt 871 Adoption Amendment Amendment Adopted - House (227 - 192)
6/24 H Amdt 705 Chemical Inducement of Abortion Amendment Amendment Adopted - House (223 - 202)
8/06 H Amdt 865 Abortion Funding Amendment Amendment Rejected - House (180 - 243)
6/25 S Amdt 2981 Military Closure Amendment Amendment Adopted - Senate (48 - 45)
6/25 S Amdt 2794 Overseas Military Hospital Abortions Amendment Amendment Rejected - Senate (44 - 49)
8/06 H Amdt 862 Federal Campaign Finance Amendment Amendment Rejected - House (147 - 222)
6/25 S Amdt 3011 Separate Housing Amendment Amendment Rejected - Senate (39 - 53)
7/07 S Amdt 3062 Space Station Termination Amendment Amendment Rejected - Senate (33 - 66)
7/14 H Amdt 694 Express Advocacy Amendment Amendment Rejected - House (201 - 219)
8/06 H Amdt 874 Low Income Educational Scholarship Amendment Amendment Adopted - House (214 - 208)
7/16 H Amdt 728 Federal Health Plan Contraceptive Coverage Amendment Amendment Adopted - House (224 - 198)
7/16 H Amdt 723 Increase FEC Funding Amendment Adopted - House (214 - 210)
8/03 H Amdt 690 Shays Amendment Amendment Adopted - House (237 - 186)
7/20 H Amdt 716 Noncitizen Campaign Contribution Amendment Amendment Adopted - House (267 - 131)
7/20 H Amdt 744 Labor Political Activity Amendment Amendment Rejected - House (150 - 248)
10/08 HR 4194 FY 1999 VA-HUD Appropriations Conference Report Adopted - Senate (96 - 1)
9/29 HR 4103 Defense Department FY99 Appropriations bill Conference Report Adopted - Senate (94 - 2)
4/28 HR 1757 State Department FY98-99 Authorization bill Conference Report Adopted - Senate (51 - 49)
9/28 HR 4060 Energy FY99 Appropriations bill Conference Report Adopted - House (389 - 25)
4/30 HR 3579 Emergency Supplemental Appropriations bill Conference Report Adopted - House (242 - 163)
9/28 HR 4103 Defense Department FY99 Appropriations bill Conference Report Adopted - House (369 - 43)
4/30 HR 3579 Emergency Supplemental Appropriations bill Conference Report Adopted - Senate (88 - 11)
9/29 HR 6 Higher Education Programs Authorization Extension bill Conference Report Adopted - Senate (96 - 0)
10/07 HR 4104 Appropriations bill FY99, Treasury, Postal Service Conference Report Adopted - House (290 - 137)
5/12 S 1150 Agricultural Research bill Conference Report Adopted - Senate (92 - 8)
10/20 HR 4328 Appropriations bill FY99, Omnibus Conference Report Adopted - House (333 - 95)
6/24 HR 2646 Education Savings Accounts bill Conference Report Adopted - Senate (59 - 36)
9/24 HR 3616 Defense Department FY99 Authorization bill Conference Report Adopted - House (373 - 50)
9/24 HR 4112 Legislative Branch FY99 Appropriations bill Conference Report Adopted - House (356 - 65)
10/01 HR 3616 Defense Department FY99 Authorization bill Conference Report Adopted - Senate (96 - 2)
10/02 HR 4101 Agriculture FY99 Appropriations bill Conference Report Adopted - House (333 - 53)
6/18 HR 2646 Education Savings Accounts bill Conference Report Adopted - House (225 - 197)
10/06 HR 4101 Agriculture FY99 Appropriations bill Conference Report Adopted - Senate (55 - 43)
5/22 HR 2400 Transportation Reauthorization bill Conference Report Adopted - House (297 - 86)
10/13 S 1260 Securities Litigation Conference Report Adopted - House (319 - 82)
5/22 HR 2400 Transportation Reauthorization bill Conference Report Adopted - Senate (88 - 5)
10/21 HR 4328 Appropriations bill FY99, Omnibus Conference Report Adopted - Senate (65 - 29)
10/06 HR 4194 FY 1999 VA-HUD Appropriations Conference Report Adopted - House (409 - 14)
6/04 S 1150 Agricultural Research bill Conference Report Adopted - House (364 - 50)
10/09 HR 3150 Bankruptcy Reform bill Conference Report Adopted - House (300 - 125)
10/07 HR 3694 Intelligence FY99 Authorization bill Conference Report Adopted - House (337 - 83)
9/15 S 2073 Juvenile Crime Control and Delinquency Prevention Act Bill Passed - House (280 - 126)
3/13 S Con Res 78 Saddam Hussein War Crime Prosecution bill Resolution Passed - Senate (93 - 0)
4/23 HR 2646 Education Savings Accounts bill Bill Passed - Senate (56 - 43)
5/05 HR 1385 Training Programs bill Bill Passed - Senate (91 - 7)
5/13 S 1260 Securities Litigation Bill Passed - Senate (79 - 21)
5/18 S 1723 Non-Immigrant Specialty Workers bill Bill Passed - Senate (78 - 20)
5/22 HR 2709 Iran Missile Sanctions bill Bill Passed - Senate (90 - 4)
7/09 HR 6 Higher Education Programs Authorization Extension bill Bill Passed - Senate (96 - 1)
7/21 HR 4112 Legislative Branch FY99 Appropriations bill Bill Passed - Senate (90 - 9)
9/03 HR 4104 Appropriations bill FY99, Treasury, Postal Service Bill Passed - Senate (91 - 5)
10/08 S 442 Internet Tax Freedom bill Bill Passed - Senate (96 - 2)
7/30 H J Res 120 Vietnam Trade Waiver Disapproval resolution Joint Resolution Failed - House (163 - 260)
7/23 HR 4193 Interior Department FY99 Appropriations bill Bill Passed - House (245 - 181)
7/22 H J Res 121 Disapproval of 'Normal Trade Relations' Status with China Joint Resolution Failed - House (166 - 264)
7/16 HR 4104 Appropriations bill FY99, Treasury, Postal Service Bill Passed - House (218 - 203)
7/15 HR 3682 Child Custody Protection Act Bill Passed - House (276 - 150)
6/25 HR 4112 Legislative Branch FY99 Appropriations bill Bill Passed - House (235 - 179)
8/06 HR 2183 Campaign Finance Reform bill Bill Passed - House (252 - 179)

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