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. 21, 2005 National HR 2863 Defense Department FY2006 Appropriations Bill Cloture Not Invoked - Senate (56 - 44)
Dec. 21, 2005 National HR 2863 Defense Department FY2006 Appropriations Bill Conference Report Adopted - Senate (93 - 0)
Dec. 21, 2005 National S 1932 Budget Reconciliation Bill Concurrence Vote Passed - Senate (51 - 50)
Dec. 21, 2005 National S Con Res 74 Removal of ANWR Provision from HR 2863 Joint Resolution Passed - Senate (48 - 45)
Dec. 19, 2005 National S 1932 Budget Reconciliation Bill Conference Report Adopted - House (212 - 206)
Dec. 19, 2005 National HR 1815 Defense Department FY2006 Authorization Bill Conference Report Adopted - House (374 - 41)
Dec. 19, 2005 National HR 2863 Defense Department FY2006 Appropriations Bill Conference Report Adopted - House (308 - 106)
Dec. 16, 2005 National HR 3199 PATRIOT Act Reauthorization Cloture Not Invoked - Senate (52 - 47)
Dec. 16, 2005 National HR 4437 Border Security Bill Bill Passed - House (239 - 182)
Dec. 14, 2005 National HR 3199 PATRIOT Act Reauthorization Conference Report Adopted - House (251 - 174)
Dec. 14, 2005 National HR 3010 Labor, HHS and Education FY 2006 Appropriations Bill Conference Report Adopted - House (215 - 213)
Dec. 8, 2005 National HR 4297 Tax Relief Extension Reconciliation Act of 2005 Bill Passed - House (234 - 197)
Nov. 18, 2005 National S 2020 Tax Reconciliation Bill Bill Passed - Senate (64 - 33)
Nov. 18, 2005 National HR 4241 Budget Reconciliation Bill Bill Passed - House (217 - 215)
Nov. 17, 2005 National S Amdt 2602 Hurricane Victims Tax Benefit Amendment Motion Rejected - Senate (44 - 55)
Nov. 17, 2005 National S Amdt 2626 Temporary Tax on Crude Oil Amendment Motion Rejected - Senate (50 - 48)
Nov. 17, 2005 National S Amdt 2601 Medicare Prescription Drug Benefit Amendment Motion Rejected - Senate (51 - 47)
Nov. 17, 2005 National S Amdt 2610 Tax Rate Amendment Motion Rejected - Senate (40 - 59)
Nov. 17, 2005 National S Amdt 2612 Price-Gouging During Emergencies Amendment Motion Rejected - Senate (57 - 42)
Nov. 17, 2005 National S Amdt 2650 Pay As You Go Amendment Motion Rejected - Senate (50 - 48)
Nov. 17, 2005 National S Amdt 2616 Earned Income Tax Credit Amendment Motion Rejected - Senate (55 - 43)
Nov. 17, 2005 National S Amdt 2634 Additional Funding For Veterans Amendment Motion Rejected - Senate (43 - 55)
Nov. 17, 2005 National HR 3010 Labor, HHS and Education FY 2006 Appropriations Bill Conference Report Rejected - House (209 - 224)
Nov. 16, 2005 National HR 2862 Commerce, Justice and Science Appropriations Bill, FY 2006 Conference Report Adopted - Senate (94 - 5)
Nov. 15, 2005 National S Amdt 2518 Iraq Progress Reports Amendment Amendment Adopted - Senate (79 - 19)
Nov. 15, 2005 National S Amdt 2523 Judicial Review of Detainees Amendment Amendment Rejected - Senate (44 - 54)
Nov. 15, 2005 National S Amdt 2524 Guantanamo Bay Detainees Amendment Amendment Adopted - Senate (84 - 14)
Nov. 15, 2005 National S Amdt 2519 Reporting Matters in Iraq Amendment Amendment Rejected - Senate (40 - 58)
Nov. 15, 2005 National S 1042 Defense Department FY2006 Authorization Bill Bill Passed - Senate (98 - 0)
Nov. 10, 2005 National S Amdt 2516 Detainees at Guantanamo Bay Amendment Amendment Adopted - Senate (49 - 42)
Nov. 10, 2005 National S Amdt 2476 Investigating Contracts in Iraq Amendment Amendment Rejected - Senate (44 - 53)
Nov. 10, 2005 National HR 3057 Foreign Operations FY 2006 Appropriations Bill Conference Report Adopted - Senate (91 - 0)
Nov. 9, 2005 National HR 2419 Energy and Water Appropriations Bill FY 2006 Conference Report Adopted - House (339 - 17)
Nov. 9, 2005 National HR 2862 Commerce, Justice and Science Appropriations Bill, FY 2006 Conference Report Adopted - House (397 - 19)
Nov. 8, 2005 National S Amdt 2430 National Commission on Detainees Amendment Amendment Rejected - Senate (43 - 55)
Nov. 4, 2005 National HR 3057 Foreign Operations FY 2006 Appropriations Bill Conference Report Adopted - House (358 - 39)
Nov. 3, 2005 National S Amdt 2381 Prescription Drug Plan Amendment Motion Rejected - Senate (43 - 56)
Nov. 3, 2005 National S Amdt 2400 Alaska Judicial Review of Oil Revenue Amendment Amendment Rejected - Senate (48 - 51)
Nov. 3, 2005 National S Amdt 2351 Pay As You Go Amendment Motion Rejected - Senate (50 - 49)
Nov. 3, 2005 National S Amdt 2357 Medicare Premiums Amendment Amendment Rejected - Senate (49 - 50)
Nov. 3, 2005 National S Amdt 2348 Medicaid Generic Drug Amendment Amendment Rejected - Senate (49 - 50)
Nov. 3, 2005 National S Amdt 2409 Targeted Case Management Amendment Amendment Rejected - Senate (46 - 52)
Nov. 3, 2005 National S Amdt 2371 Medicare Prescription Drug Amendment Motion Rejected - Senate (51 - 48)
Nov. 3, 2005 National S Amdt 2365 Medical Assistance and Prescription Drug Amendment Amendment Adopted - Senate (54 - 45)
Nov. 3, 2005 National S Amdt 2358 ANWR Amendment Amendment Rejected - Senate (48 - 51)
Nov. 3, 2005 National S Amdt 2356 Hurricane Health Care for Survivors Amendment Motion Rejected - Senate (48 - 51)
Nov. 3, 2005 National HR 2744 Agriculture, Rural Development and FDA Appropriations Act Conference Report Adopted - Senate (81 - 18)
Nov. 3, 2005 National S 1932 Budget Reconciliation Bill Bill Passed - Senate (52 - 47)
Nov. 2, 2005 National HR 1606 Online Freedom of Speech Act Bill Failed - House (225 - 182)
Oct. 28, 2005 National HR 2744 Agriculture, Rural Development and FDA Appropriations Act Conference Report Adopted - House (318 - 63)
Date No. Title Outcome
12/21 HR 2863 Defense Department FY2006 Appropriations Bill Cloture Not Invoked - Senate (56 - 44)
12/21 HR 2863 Defense Department FY2006 Appropriations Bill Conference Report Adopted - Senate (93 - 0)
12/21 S 1932 Budget Reconciliation Bill Concurrence Vote Passed - Senate (51 - 50)
12/21 S Con Res 74 Removal of ANWR Provision from HR 2863 Joint Resolution Passed - Senate (48 - 45)
12/19 S 1932 Budget Reconciliation Bill Conference Report Adopted - House (212 - 206)
12/19 HR 1815 Defense Department FY2006 Authorization Bill Conference Report Adopted - House (374 - 41)
12/19 HR 2863 Defense Department FY2006 Appropriations Bill Conference Report Adopted - House (308 - 106)
12/16 HR 3199 PATRIOT Act Reauthorization Cloture Not Invoked - Senate (52 - 47)
12/16 HR 4437 Border Security Bill Bill Passed - House (239 - 182)
12/14 HR 3199 PATRIOT Act Reauthorization Conference Report Adopted - House (251 - 174)
12/14 HR 3010 Labor, HHS and Education FY 2006 Appropriations Bill Conference Report Adopted - House (215 - 213)
12/08 HR 4297 Tax Relief Extension Reconciliation Act of 2005 Bill Passed - House (234 - 197)
11/18 S 2020 Tax Reconciliation Bill Bill Passed - Senate (64 - 33)
11/18 HR 4241 Budget Reconciliation Bill Bill Passed - House (217 - 215)
11/17 S Amdt 2602 Hurricane Victims Tax Benefit Amendment Motion Rejected - Senate (44 - 55)
11/17 S Amdt 2626 Temporary Tax on Crude Oil Amendment Motion Rejected - Senate (50 - 48)
11/17 S Amdt 2601 Medicare Prescription Drug Benefit Amendment Motion Rejected - Senate (51 - 47)
11/17 S Amdt 2610 Tax Rate Amendment Motion Rejected - Senate (40 - 59)
11/17 S Amdt 2612 Price-Gouging During Emergencies Amendment Motion Rejected - Senate (57 - 42)
11/17 S Amdt 2650 Pay As You Go Amendment Motion Rejected - Senate (50 - 48)
11/17 S Amdt 2616 Earned Income Tax Credit Amendment Motion Rejected - Senate (55 - 43)
11/17 S Amdt 2634 Additional Funding For Veterans Amendment Motion Rejected - Senate (43 - 55)
11/17 HR 3010 Labor, HHS and Education FY 2006 Appropriations Bill Conference Report Rejected - House (209 - 224)
11/16 HR 2862 Commerce, Justice and Science Appropriations Bill, FY 2006 Conference Report Adopted - Senate (94 - 5)
11/15 S Amdt 2518 Iraq Progress Reports Amendment Amendment Adopted - Senate (79 - 19)
11/15 S Amdt 2523 Judicial Review of Detainees Amendment Amendment Rejected - Senate (44 - 54)
11/15 S Amdt 2524 Guantanamo Bay Detainees Amendment Amendment Adopted - Senate (84 - 14)
11/15 S Amdt 2519 Reporting Matters in Iraq Amendment Amendment Rejected - Senate (40 - 58)
11/15 S 1042 Defense Department FY2006 Authorization Bill Bill Passed - Senate (98 - 0)
11/10 S Amdt 2516 Detainees at Guantanamo Bay Amendment Amendment Adopted - Senate (49 - 42)
11/10 S Amdt 2476 Investigating Contracts in Iraq Amendment Amendment Rejected - Senate (44 - 53)
11/10 HR 3057 Foreign Operations FY 2006 Appropriations Bill Conference Report Adopted - Senate (91 - 0)
11/09 HR 2419 Energy and Water Appropriations Bill FY 2006 Conference Report Adopted - House (339 - 17)
11/09 HR 2862 Commerce, Justice and Science Appropriations Bill, FY 2006 Conference Report Adopted - House (397 - 19)
11/08 S Amdt 2430 National Commission on Detainees Amendment Amendment Rejected - Senate (43 - 55)
11/04 HR 3057 Foreign Operations FY 2006 Appropriations Bill Conference Report Adopted - House (358 - 39)
11/03 S Amdt 2381 Prescription Drug Plan Amendment Motion Rejected - Senate (43 - 56)
11/03 S Amdt 2400 Alaska Judicial Review of Oil Revenue Amendment Amendment Rejected - Senate (48 - 51)
11/03 S Amdt 2351 Pay As You Go Amendment Motion Rejected - Senate (50 - 49)
11/03 S Amdt 2357 Medicare Premiums Amendment Amendment Rejected - Senate (49 - 50)
11/03 S Amdt 2348 Medicaid Generic Drug Amendment Amendment Rejected - Senate (49 - 50)
11/03 S Amdt 2409 Targeted Case Management Amendment Amendment Rejected - Senate (46 - 52)
11/03 S Amdt 2371 Medicare Prescription Drug Amendment Motion Rejected - Senate (51 - 48)
11/03 S Amdt 2365 Medical Assistance and Prescription Drug Amendment Amendment Adopted - Senate (54 - 45)
11/03 S Amdt 2358 ANWR Amendment Amendment Rejected - Senate (48 - 51)
11/03 S Amdt 2356 Hurricane Health Care for Survivors Amendment Motion Rejected - Senate (48 - 51)
11/03 HR 2744 Agriculture, Rural Development and FDA Appropriations Act Conference Report Adopted - Senate (81 - 18)
11/03 S 1932 Budget Reconciliation Bill Bill Passed - Senate (52 - 47)
11/02 HR 1606 Online Freedom of Speech Act Bill Failed - House (225 - 182)
10/28 HR 2744 Agriculture, Rural Development and FDA Appropriations Act Conference Report Adopted - House (318 - 63)

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