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. 7, 2006 National PN 1396 Andrew von Eschenbach, Commissioner of Food and Drugs Nomination Confirmed - Senate (80 - 11)
Dec. 6, 2006 National PN 2191 Robert Gates, Secretary of Defense Nomination Confirmed - Senate (95 - 2)
Dec. 6, 2006 National HR 6099 Abortion Pain Bill Bill Failed - House (250 - 162)
Sept. 29, 2006 National HR 5441 Department of Homeland Security Appropriations Act 2007 Conference Report Adopted - House (412 - 6)
Sept. 29, 2006 National HR 6061 Secure Fence Act of 2006 Bill Passed - Senate (80 - 19)
Sept. 29, 2006 National HR 4772 Private Property Rights Implementation Act of 2006 Bill Passed - House (231 - 181)
Sept. 29, 2006 National S 3930 Military Commissions Act of 2006 Bill Passed - House (250 - 170)
Sept. 28, 2006 National S Amdt 5087 Habeas Review Amendment Amendment Rejected - Senate (48 - 51)
Sept. 28, 2006 National S Amdt 5095 Oversight of CIA Interrogation and Detention Amendment Amendment Rejected - Senate (46 - 53)
Sept. 28, 2006 National S Amdt 5104 Military Commissions Amendment Amendment Rejected - Senate (47 - 52)
Sept. 28, 2006 National S 3930 Military Commissions Act of 2006 Bill Passed - Senate (65 - 34)
Sept. 28, 2006 National HR 5825 Electronic Surveillance Modernization Act Bill Passed - House (232 - 191)
Sept. 27, 2006 National HR 6166 Military Commissions Act of 2006 Bill Passed - House (253 - 168)
Sept. 26, 2006 National HR 5631 Department Defense Appropriations Act, FY 2007 Conference Report Adopted - House (394 - 22)
Sept. 26, 2006 National HR 2679 Public Expression of Religion Act of 2006 Bill Passed - House (244 - 173)
Sept. 26, 2006 National S 403 Child Interstate Abortion Notification Act Bill Passed - House (264 - 153)
Sept. 26, 2006 National HR 4772 Private Property Rights Implementation Act of 2005 Bill Failed - House (234 - 172)
Sept. 26, 2006 National HR 5092 Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives Bill Passed - House (277 - 131)
Sept. 26, 2006 National N/A Motion to Resolve Into Secret Session Motion Rejected - House (171 - 217)
Sept. 25, 2006 National HR 5062 New Hampshire Wilderness Act Bill Failed - House (220 - 169)
Sept. 21, 2006 National S 2832 Appalachian Regional Development Act Amendments of 2006 Bill Failed - House (215 - 204)
Sept. 21, 2006 National HR 6095 Immigration Law Enforcement Act of 2006 Bill Passed - House (277 - 140)
Sept. 20, 2006 National HR 4844 Federal Election Integrity Act of 2006 Bill Passed - House (228 - 196)
Sept. 19, 2006 National HR 5684 U.S.-Oman Free Trade Agreement Implementation Bill Passed - Senate (62 - 32)
Sept. 14, 2006 National HR 6061 Secure Fence Act of 2006 Bill Passed - House (283 - 138)
Date No. Title Outcome
12/07 PN 1396 Andrew von Eschenbach, Commissioner of Food and Drugs Nomination Confirmed - Senate (80 - 11)
12/06 PN 2191 Robert Gates, Secretary of Defense Nomination Confirmed - Senate (95 - 2)
12/06 HR 6099 Abortion Pain Bill Bill Failed - House (250 - 162)
9/29 HR 5441 Department of Homeland Security Appropriations Act 2007 Conference Report Adopted - House (412 - 6)
9/29 HR 6061 Secure Fence Act of 2006 Bill Passed - Senate (80 - 19)
9/29 HR 4772 Private Property Rights Implementation Act of 2006 Bill Passed - House (231 - 181)
9/29 S 3930 Military Commissions Act of 2006 Bill Passed - House (250 - 170)
9/28 S Amdt 5087 Habeas Review Amendment Amendment Rejected - Senate (48 - 51)
9/28 S Amdt 5095 Oversight of CIA Interrogation and Detention Amendment Amendment Rejected - Senate (46 - 53)
9/28 S Amdt 5104 Military Commissions Amendment Amendment Rejected - Senate (47 - 52)
9/28 S 3930 Military Commissions Act of 2006 Bill Passed - Senate (65 - 34)
9/28 HR 5825 Electronic Surveillance Modernization Act Bill Passed - House (232 - 191)
9/27 HR 6166 Military Commissions Act of 2006 Bill Passed - House (253 - 168)
9/26 HR 5631 Department Defense Appropriations Act, FY 2007 Conference Report Adopted - House (394 - 22)
9/26 HR 2679 Public Expression of Religion Act of 2006 Bill Passed - House (244 - 173)
9/26 S 403 Child Interstate Abortion Notification Act Bill Passed - House (264 - 153)
9/26 HR 4772 Private Property Rights Implementation Act of 2005 Bill Failed - House (234 - 172)
9/26 HR 5092 Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives Bill Passed - House (277 - 131)
9/26 N/A Motion to Resolve Into Secret Session Motion Rejected - House (171 - 217)
9/25 HR 5062 New Hampshire Wilderness Act Bill Failed - House (220 - 169)
9/21 S 2832 Appalachian Regional Development Act Amendments of 2006 Bill Failed - House (215 - 204)
9/21 HR 6095 Immigration Law Enforcement Act of 2006 Bill Passed - House (277 - 140)
9/20 HR 4844 Federal Election Integrity Act of 2006 Bill Passed - House (228 - 196)
9/19 HR 5684 U.S.-Oman Free Trade Agreement Implementation Bill Passed - Senate (62 - 32)
9/14 HR 6061 Secure Fence Act of 2006 Bill Passed - House (283 - 138)

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