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
Nov. 25, 2003 National HR 1 Medicare Prescription Drug bill Conference Report Adopted - Senate (54 - 44)
Nov. 22, 2003 National HR 1 Medicare Prescription Drug bill Conference Report Adopted - House (220 - 215)
Nov. 22, 2003 National S 877 Reduction of SPAM bill Bill Passed - House (392 - 5)
Nov. 21, 2003 National HR 1904 Healthy Forests Restoration Act of 2003 Conference Report Adopted - House (286 - 140)
Nov. 21, 2003 National S 1156 Department of Veterans Affairs Improvement Act of 2003 Bill Passed - House (423 - 2)
Nov. 20, 2003 National HR 2417 Intelligence Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2004 Conference Report Adopted - House (264 - 163)
Nov. 20, 2003 National HR 253 Flood Insurance Reform Act of 2003 Bill Passed - House (352 - 67)
Nov. 18, 2003 National HR 2754 Energy and Water Appropriations, FY 2004 bill Conference Report Adopted - House (387 - 36)
Nov. 18, 2003 National HR 6 Energy Omnibus bill Conference Report Adopted - House (246 - 180)
Nov. 12, 2003 National HR 1588 Defense Department FY2004 Authorization bill Conference Report Adopted - Senate (95 - 3)
Nov. 7, 2003 National HR 1588 Defense Department FY2004 Authorization bill Conference Report Adopted - House (362 - 40)
Nov. 6, 2003 National HR 1829 Federal Prison Industries Competition in Contracting Act of 2003 Bill Passed - House (350 - 65)
Nov. 5, 2003 National HR 2559 Military Construction Appropriations Act, 2004 Conference Report Adopted - House (417 - 5)
Oct. 31, 2003 National HR 3289 Emergency Supplemental Appropriations Act for Defense Conference Report Adopted - House (298 - 121)
Oct. 30, 2003 National HR 2115 Aviation Administration FY2004-2006 Authorization bill Conference Report Adopted - House (211 - 207)
Oct. 30, 2003 National HR 2691 Interior Department Appropriations, FY 2004 bill Conference Report Adopted - House (216 - 205)
Oct. 28, 2003 National PN 884 Michael Leavitt, Administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency (88 - 8)
Oct. 23, 2003 National S Amdt 1904 Congressional Pay Raise Amendment Amendment Tabled - Senate (60 - 34)
Oct. 21, 2003 National S 3 Prohibit Partial-Birth/Late Term Abortion bill Conference Report Adopted - Senate (64 - 34)
Oct. 17, 2003 National S 1689 Emergency Appropriations for Iraq and Afghanistan Bill Passed - Senate (87 - 12)
Oct. 16, 2003 National H Res 198 Iraq's Reconstruction Resolution Resolution Passed - House (394 - 31)
Oct. 2, 2003 National S 3 Prohibit Partial-Birth/Late Term Abortion bill Conference Report Adopted - House (281 - 142)
Sept. 25, 2003 National HR 3161 Do-Not-Call-Registry bill Bill Passed - House (412 - 8)
Sept. 24, 2003 National HR 2555 Homeland Security Appropriations, FY 2004 bill Conference Report Adopted - House (417 - 8)
Sept. 24, 2003 National HR 2657 Emergency Supplemental Appropriation, FY 2003 bill Conference Report Adopted - House (371 - 56)
Sept. 24, 2003 National HR 2658 Terrorism Information Awareness bill Conference Report Adopted - House (407 - 15)
Sept. 23, 2003 National HR 1409 Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians Land Exchange Act '02 Bill Passed - House (288 - 127)
Sept. 17, 2003 National HR 7 Charitable Contributions bill Bill Passed - House (408 - 13)
Sept. 16, 2003 National S J Res 17 FCC Media Ownership bill Bill Passed - Senate (55 - 40)
Sept. 9, 2003 National HR 2989 Transportation, Treasury, and Independent Agencies Appropriations Bill Passed - House (381 - 39)
July 31, 2003 National HR 6 Energy Omnibus bill Bill Passed - Senate (84 - 14)
July 31, 2003 National HR 2738 U.S.-Chile Free Trade Agreement Implementation Act Bill Passed - Senate (65 - 32)
July 31, 2003 National HR 2739 U.S.-Singapore Free Trade Agreement Implementation Act Bill Passed - Senate (66 - 32)
July 25, 2003 National HR 2210 Head Start Bill Bill Passed - House (217 - 216)
July 25, 2003 National HR 2861 Veterans Affairs and HUD Appropriations Act, 2004 Bill Passed - House (316 - 109)
July 25, 2003 National HR 2427 Imports of Prescription Drugs bill Bill Passed - House (243 - 186)
July 25, 2003 National HR 2859 Emergency Appropriations for Disaster Relief Act,2003 Bill Passed - House (352 - 60)
July 24, 2003 National HR 2739 U.S.-Singapore Free Trade Agreement Implementation Act Bill Passed - House (272 - 155)
July 24, 2003 National HR 2738 U.S.-Chile Free Trade Agreement Implementation Act Bill Passed - House (270 - 156)
July 24, 2003 National HR 2800 Foreign Operations Appropriations, FY 2004 bill Bill Passed - House (370 - 50)
July 23, 2003 National HR 2799 Appropriations for the Departments of Commerce, Justice, and State, and the Judiciary Bill Passed - House (400 - 21)
July 17, 2003 National HR 2691 Interior Department Appropriations, FY 2004 bill Bill Passed - House (268 - 152)
July 16, 2003 National HR 1950 State Department FY2004-2005 Authorizations bill Bill Passed - House (382 - 42)
July 16, 2003 National HR 2122 Project BioShield Act of 2003 Bill Passed - House (421 - 2)
July 14, 2003 National HR 2673 Agriculture, Rural Development, FDA Bill Passed - House (347 - 64)
July 11, 2003 National HR 2657 Emergency Supplemental Appropriation, FY 2003 bill Bill Passed - Senate (85 - 7)
July 10, 2003 National HR 2660 Department of Labor, HHS, and Education Appropriations Bill Passed - House (215 - 208)
July 9, 2003 National HR 438 Student Loan Forgiveness for Teachers Bill Passed - House (417 - 7)
July 9, 2003 National HR 2211 Ready to Teach Act of 2003 Bill Passed - House (404 - 17)
July 9, 2003 National HR 2657 Emergency Supplemental Appropriation, FY 2003 bill Bill Passed - House (394 - 26)
Date No. Title Outcome
11/25 HR 1 Medicare Prescription Drug bill Conference Report Adopted - Senate (54 - 44)
11/22 HR 1 Medicare Prescription Drug bill Conference Report Adopted - House (220 - 215)
11/22 S 877 Reduction of SPAM bill Bill Passed - House (392 - 5)
11/21 HR 1904 Healthy Forests Restoration Act of 2003 Conference Report Adopted - House (286 - 140)
11/21 S 1156 Department of Veterans Affairs Improvement Act of 2003 Bill Passed - House (423 - 2)
11/20 HR 2417 Intelligence Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2004 Conference Report Adopted - House (264 - 163)
11/20 HR 253 Flood Insurance Reform Act of 2003 Bill Passed - House (352 - 67)
11/18 HR 2754 Energy and Water Appropriations, FY 2004 bill Conference Report Adopted - House (387 - 36)
11/18 HR 6 Energy Omnibus bill Conference Report Adopted - House (246 - 180)
11/12 HR 1588 Defense Department FY2004 Authorization bill Conference Report Adopted - Senate (95 - 3)
11/07 HR 1588 Defense Department FY2004 Authorization bill Conference Report Adopted - House (362 - 40)
11/06 HR 1829 Federal Prison Industries Competition in Contracting Act of 2003 Bill Passed - House (350 - 65)
11/05 HR 2559 Military Construction Appropriations Act, 2004 Conference Report Adopted - House (417 - 5)
10/31 HR 3289 Emergency Supplemental Appropriations Act for Defense Conference Report Adopted - House (298 - 121)
10/30 HR 2115 Aviation Administration FY2004-2006 Authorization bill Conference Report Adopted - House (211 - 207)
10/30 HR 2691 Interior Department Appropriations, FY 2004 bill Conference Report Adopted - House (216 - 205)
10/28 PN 884 Michael Leavitt, Administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency (88 - 8)
10/23 S Amdt 1904 Congressional Pay Raise Amendment Amendment Tabled - Senate (60 - 34)
10/21 S 3 Prohibit Partial-Birth/Late Term Abortion bill Conference Report Adopted - Senate (64 - 34)
10/17 S 1689 Emergency Appropriations for Iraq and Afghanistan Bill Passed - Senate (87 - 12)
10/16 H Res 198 Iraq's Reconstruction Resolution Resolution Passed - House (394 - 31)
10/02 S 3 Prohibit Partial-Birth/Late Term Abortion bill Conference Report Adopted - House (281 - 142)
9/25 HR 3161 Do-Not-Call-Registry bill Bill Passed - House (412 - 8)
9/24 HR 2555 Homeland Security Appropriations, FY 2004 bill Conference Report Adopted - House (417 - 8)
9/24 HR 2657 Emergency Supplemental Appropriation, FY 2003 bill Conference Report Adopted - House (371 - 56)
9/24 HR 2658 Terrorism Information Awareness bill Conference Report Adopted - House (407 - 15)
9/23 HR 1409 Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians Land Exchange Act '02 Bill Passed - House (288 - 127)
9/17 HR 7 Charitable Contributions bill Bill Passed - House (408 - 13)
9/16 S J Res 17 FCC Media Ownership bill Bill Passed - Senate (55 - 40)
9/09 HR 2989 Transportation, Treasury, and Independent Agencies Appropriations Bill Passed - House (381 - 39)
7/31 HR 6 Energy Omnibus bill Bill Passed - Senate (84 - 14)
7/31 HR 2738 U.S.-Chile Free Trade Agreement Implementation Act Bill Passed - Senate (65 - 32)
7/31 HR 2739 U.S.-Singapore Free Trade Agreement Implementation Act Bill Passed - Senate (66 - 32)
7/25 HR 2210 Head Start Bill Bill Passed - House (217 - 216)
7/25 HR 2861 Veterans Affairs and HUD Appropriations Act, 2004 Bill Passed - House (316 - 109)
7/25 HR 2427 Imports of Prescription Drugs bill Bill Passed - House (243 - 186)
7/25 HR 2859 Emergency Appropriations for Disaster Relief Act,2003 Bill Passed - House (352 - 60)
7/24 HR 2739 U.S.-Singapore Free Trade Agreement Implementation Act Bill Passed - House (272 - 155)
7/24 HR 2738 U.S.-Chile Free Trade Agreement Implementation Act Bill Passed - House (270 - 156)
7/24 HR 2800 Foreign Operations Appropriations, FY 2004 bill Bill Passed - House (370 - 50)
7/23 HR 2799 Appropriations for the Departments of Commerce, Justice, and State, and the Judiciary Bill Passed - House (400 - 21)
7/17 HR 2691 Interior Department Appropriations, FY 2004 bill Bill Passed - House (268 - 152)
7/16 HR 1950 State Department FY2004-2005 Authorizations bill Bill Passed - House (382 - 42)
7/16 HR 2122 Project BioShield Act of 2003 Bill Passed - House (421 - 2)
7/14 HR 2673 Agriculture, Rural Development, FDA Bill Passed - House (347 - 64)
7/11 HR 2657 Emergency Supplemental Appropriation, FY 2003 bill Bill Passed - Senate (85 - 7)
7/10 HR 2660 Department of Labor, HHS, and Education Appropriations Bill Passed - House (215 - 208)
7/09 HR 438 Student Loan Forgiveness for Teachers Bill Passed - House (417 - 7)
7/09 HR 2211 Ready to Teach Act of 2003 Bill Passed - House (404 - 17)
7/09 HR 2657 Emergency Supplemental Appropriation, FY 2003 bill Bill Passed - House (394 - 26)

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