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
July 19, 2006 National HR 810 Stem Cell Research Bill of 2005 Veto Override Failed - House (235 - 193)
May 26, 2006 National PN 1552 Michael Hayden, Director of the Central Intelligence Agency Nomination Confirmed - Senate (78 - 15)
Jan. 31, 2006 National PN 1059 Samuel Alito, Associate Justice Nomination Confirmed - Senate (58 - 42)
Dec. 6, 2006 National PN 2191 Robert Gates, Secretary of Defense Nomination Confirmed - Senate (95 - 2)
Dec. 7, 2006 National PN 1396 Andrew von Eschenbach, Commissioner of Food and Drugs Nomination Confirmed - Senate (80 - 11)
March 30, 2006 National H Res 746 Jack Abramoff Investigation Resolution Resolution Tabled - House (216 - 193)
Sept. 7, 2006 National S Amdt 4909 Media in the Middle East Amendment Bill Tabled - Senate (51 - 44)
Aug. 3, 2006 National HR 5970 Death/Estate Tax and Minimum Wage Bill Cloture Not Invoked - Senate (56 - 42)
June 7, 2006 National S J Res 1 Same Sex Marriage Resolution Cloture Not Invoked - Senate (49 - 48)
May 18, 2006 National S Amdt 4073 English as Unifying Language Amendment Amendment Adopted - Senate (58 - 39)
Feb. 2, 2006 National S Amdt 2730 Medicare Part D Amendment Motion Rejected - Senate (52 - 45)
Feb. 2, 2006 National S Amdt 2735 Tax Rate Extension Amendment Motion Rejected - Senate (44 - 53)
Feb. 2, 2006 National S Amdt 2737 Military Funding and Tax Cuts Amendment Motion Rejected - Senate (44 - 53)
March 14, 2006 National S Amdt 3013 Reinstate Pay-As-You-Go through 2011 Amendment Amendment Rejected - Senate (50 - 50)
March 16, 2006 National S Amdt 3166 National Defense Funding Amendment Amendment Rejected - Senate (50 - 50)
March 16, 2006 National S Amdt 3074 LIHEAP Funding Amendment Amendment Adopted - Senate (51 - 49)
March 16, 2006 National S Amdt 3071 Education Funding Amendment Amendment Rejected - Senate (49 - 51)
March 16, 2006 National S Amdt 3103 Natural Resources and Environment Funding Amendment Amendment Rejected - Senate (48 - 49)
March 30, 2006 National H Amdt 772 Reverse the Raid on Student Aid Amendment Amendment Rejected - House (200 - 220)
May 2, 2006 National S Amdt 3617 Sugarcane Growers Funding Amendment Amendment Rejected - Senate (40 - 59)
May 3, 2006 National S Amdt 3688 Influenza Vaccine Injury Compensation Amendment Amendment Adopted - Senate (53 - 46)
May 17, 2006 National S Amdt 3965 Employment-based Immigrant Visa Amendment Amendment Adopted - Senate (50 - 48)
May 18, 2006 National H Amdt 856 Outer Continental Shelf Amendment Amendment Adopted - House (217 - 203)
May 18, 2006 National S Amdt 4072 "State Criminal Alien Assistance Program" Amendment Amendment Rejected - Senate (43 - 52)
May 18, 2006 National S Amdt 4064 English As National Language Amendment Amendment Adopted - Senate (62 - 35)
May 18, 2006 National H Amdt 842 Outer Continental Shelf for Gas and Oil Amendment Amendment Rejected - House (141 - 279)
May 23, 2006 National S Amdt 4087 Orange Card Program Amendment Amendment Rejected - Senate (37 - 61)
May 23, 2006 National S Amdt 4177 Employer Verification Amendment Amendment Adopted - Senate (59 - 39)
May 24, 2006 National S Amdt 4095 H-2C Visa Program Amendment Amendment Rejected - Senate (48 - 49)
May 25, 2006 National S Amdt 4097 Confidentiality Requirement Amendment Amendment Rejected - Senate (49 - 49)
June 21, 2006 National S Amdt 4376 Increasing Minimum Wage Amendment Amendment Rejected - Senate (45 - 53)
June 21, 2006 National S Amdt 4322 Minimum Wage Adjustment Amendment Amendment Adopted - Senate (52 - 46)
June 22, 2006 National S Amdt 4442 Troop Redeployment Amendment Amendment Rejected - Senate (13 - 86)
June 28, 2006 National H Amdt 1156 Trigger Lock Amendment Amendment Adopted - House (230 - 191)
July 11, 2006 National S Amdt 4563 FEMA Amendment Amendment Rejected - Senate (32 - 66)
July 11, 2006 National S Amdt 4560 USEMA Amendment Amendment Adopted - Senate (87 - 11)
July 11, 2006 National H Amdt 1179 Online Gambling Ban Amendment Amendment Rejected - House (114 - 297)
July 12, 2006 National S Amdt 4587 Transit Security Amendment Amendment Rejected - Senate (50 - 50)
July 12, 2006 National S Amdt 4553 Rail and Transit Security Amendment Motion Rejected - Senate (50 - 50)
July 13, 2006 National S Amdt 4615 Firearm Confiscation Prohibition Amendment Amendment Adopted - Senate (84 - 16)
July 13, 2006 National S Amdt 4659 Double-Layered Fencing Amendment Amendment Rejected - Senate (29 - 71)
July 25, 2006 National S Amdt 4689 Teen Pregnancy Education Amendment Amendment Rejected - Senate (48 - 51)
Aug. 2, 2006 National S Amdt 4775 Triple-Layered Fencing Amendment Amendment Adopted - Senate (94 - 3)
Sept. 6, 2006 National S Amdt 4882 Cluster Munitions Amendment Amendment Rejected - Senate (30 - 70)
Sept. 13, 2006 National S Amdt 4936 National Security Amendment Motion Rejected - Senate (41 - 57)
Sept. 13, 2006 National S Amdt 4999 Security of Cargo Containers Amendment Amendment Rejected - Senate (43 - 55)
Sept. 28, 2006 National S Amdt 5087 Habeas Review Amendment Amendment Rejected - Senate (48 - 51)
Sept. 28, 2006 National S Amdt 5104 Military Commissions Amendment Amendment Rejected - Senate (47 - 52)
Sept. 28, 2006 National S Amdt 5095 Oversight of CIA Interrogation and Detention Amendment Amendment Rejected - Senate (46 - 53)
June 13, 2006 National HR 4939 Emergency Supplemental Appropriations Act, 2006 Conference Report Adopted - House (351 - 67)
Sept. 26, 2006 National HR 5631 Department Defense Appropriations Act, FY 2007 Conference Report Adopted - House (394 - 22)
March 2, 2006 National HR 3199 PATRIOT Act Reauthorization Conference Report Adopted - Senate (89 - 10)
May 10, 2006 National HR 4297 Tax Relief Extension Reconciliation Act of 2005 Conference Report Adopted - House (244 - 185)
May 11, 2006 National HR 4297 Tax Relief Extension Reconciliation Act of 2005 Conference Report Adopted - Senate (54 - 44)
Sept. 29, 2006 National HR 5441 Department of Homeland Security Appropriations Act 2007 Conference Report Adopted - House (412 - 6)
June 15, 2006 National HR 4939 Emergency Supplemental Appropriations Act, 2006 Conference Report Adopted - Senate (98 - 1)
June 22, 2006 National S 2766 Defense Department FY 2007 Authorization bill Bill Passed - Senate (96 - 0)
May 25, 2006 National S 2611 Immigration Reform Bill Bill Passed - Senate (62 - 36)
May 4, 2006 National HR 4939 Emergency Supplemental Appropriations Act, 2006 Bill Passed - Senate (77 - 21)
Feb. 2, 2006 National HR 4297 Tax Relief Extension Reconciliation Act of 2005 Bill Passed - Senate (66 - 31)
June 29, 2006 National H Res 895 Intelligence and Law Enforcement Resolution Resolution Passed - House (227 - 183)
Sept. 26, 2006 National S 403 Child Interstate Abortion Notification Act Bill Passed - House (264 - 153)
Sept. 26, 2006 National HR 2679 Public Expression of Religion Act of 2006 Bill Passed - House (244 - 173)
July 11, 2006 National HR 4411 Internet Gambling Bill Bill Passed - House (317 - 93)
Sept. 27, 2006 National HR 6166 Military Commissions Act of 2006 Bill Passed - House (253 - 168)
Dec. 6, 2006 National HR 6099 Abortion Pain Bill Bill Failed - House (250 - 162)
July 12, 2006 National HR 2990 Credit Rating Agency Duopoly Relief Act Bill Passed - House (255 - 166)
Sept. 28, 2006 National HR 5825 Electronic Surveillance Modernization Act Bill Passed - House (232 - 191)
Sept. 28, 2006 National S 3930 Military Commissions Act of 2006 Bill Passed - Senate (65 - 34)
July 13, 2006 National HR 9 Voting Rights Act Reauthorization Bill Passed - House (390 - 33)
July 18, 2006 National H J Res 88 Same-Sex Marriage Resolution Joint Resolution Failed - House (236 - 187)
July 18, 2006 National HR 810 Stem Cell Research Bill of 2005 Bill Passed - Senate (63 - 37)
July 18, 2006 National S 2754 Alternative Stem Cell Therapies Act Bill Failed - House (273 - 154)
March 8, 2006 National HR 4167 National Uniformity for Food Act Bill Passed - House (283 - 139)
July 19, 2006 National HR 2389 Pledge Protection Act of 2006 Bill Passed - House (260 - 167)
July 20, 2006 National HR 5684 U.S.-Oman Free Trade Agreement Implementation Bill Passed - House (221 - 205)
Feb. 1, 2006 National H Res 653 Budget Reconciliation Adoption Resolution Passed - House (216 - 214)
July 25, 2006 National S 403 Child Interstate Abortion Notification Act Bill Passed - Senate (65 - 34)
July 26, 2006 National HR 5682 U.S.and India Nuclear Cooperation Act of 2006 Bill Passed - House (359 - 68)
July 27, 2006 National HR 4157 Better Health Information Systems Act of 2006 Bill Passed - House (270 - 148)
July 28, 2006 National HR 4 Pension Reform Bill Bill Passed - House (279 - 131)
July 29, 2006 National HR 5970 Death/Estate Tax and Minimum Wage Bill Bill Passed - House (230 - 180)
Aug. 1, 2006 National S 3711 Gulf of Mexico Energy Security Act of 2006 Bill Passed - Senate (71 - 25)
March 7, 2006 National S 2271 PATRIOT Act Reauthorization bill Bill Passed - House (280 - 138)
March 16, 2006 National H J Res 47 Debt Limit Increase Resolution Joint Resolution Passed - Senate (52 - 48)
March 30, 2006 National HR 609 College Access and Opportunity Act of 2005 Bill Passed - House (221 - 199)
Sept. 29, 2006 National S 3930 Military Commissions Act of 2006 Bill Passed - House (250 - 170)
April 5, 2006 National HR 513 527 Reform Act of 2005 Bill Passed - House (218 - 209)
Sept. 7, 2006 National HR 503 Horse Slaughter Prohibition Bill Bill Passed - House (263 - 146)
May 3, 2006 National HR 4975 527 Reform Act of 2006 Bill Passed - House (217 - 213)
Sept. 29, 2006 National HR 4772 Private Property Rights Implementation Act of 2006 Bill Passed - House (231 - 181)
Sept. 13, 2006 National HR 4893 Restricting Indian Gaming to Homelands of Tribes Act Bill Failed - House (247 - 171)
March 16, 2006 National HR 4939 Emergency Supplemental Appropriations Act, 2006 Bill Passed - House (348 - 71)
Sept. 29, 2006 National HR 6061 Secure Fence Act of 2006 Bill Passed - Senate (80 - 19)
Sept. 14, 2006 National HR 6061 Secure Fence Act of 2006 Bill Passed - House (283 - 138)
May 18, 2006 National HR 5386 Interior Department FY2007 Appropriations Bill Bill Passed - House (293 - 128)
Sept. 19, 2006 National HR 5684 U.S.-Oman Free Trade Agreement Implementation Bill Passed - Senate (62 - 32)
Sept. 20, 2006 National HR 4844 Federal Election Integrity Act of 2006 Bill Passed - House (228 - 196)
May 23, 2006 National HR 5384 Agriculture, Rural Development, FDA Appropriations Act Bill Passed - House (378 - 46)
Sept. 21, 2006 National S 2832 Appalachian Regional Development Act Amendments of 2006 Bill Failed - House (215 - 204)
Date No. Title Outcome
7/19 HR 810 Stem Cell Research Bill of 2005 Veto Override Failed - House (235 - 193)
5/26 PN 1552 Michael Hayden, Director of the Central Intelligence Agency Nomination Confirmed - Senate (78 - 15)
1/31 PN 1059 Samuel Alito, Associate Justice Nomination Confirmed - Senate (58 - 42)
12/06 PN 2191 Robert Gates, Secretary of Defense Nomination Confirmed - Senate (95 - 2)
12/07 PN 1396 Andrew von Eschenbach, Commissioner of Food and Drugs Nomination Confirmed - Senate (80 - 11)
3/30 H Res 746 Jack Abramoff Investigation Resolution Resolution Tabled - House (216 - 193)
9/07 S Amdt 4909 Media in the Middle East Amendment Bill Tabled - Senate (51 - 44)
8/03 HR 5970 Death/Estate Tax and Minimum Wage Bill Cloture Not Invoked - Senate (56 - 42)
6/07 S J Res 1 Same Sex Marriage Resolution Cloture Not Invoked - Senate (49 - 48)
5/18 S Amdt 4073 English as Unifying Language Amendment Amendment Adopted - Senate (58 - 39)
2/02 S Amdt 2730 Medicare Part D Amendment Motion Rejected - Senate (52 - 45)
2/02 S Amdt 2735 Tax Rate Extension Amendment Motion Rejected - Senate (44 - 53)
2/02 S Amdt 2737 Military Funding and Tax Cuts Amendment Motion Rejected - Senate (44 - 53)
3/14 S Amdt 3013 Reinstate Pay-As-You-Go through 2011 Amendment Amendment Rejected - Senate (50 - 50)
3/16 S Amdt 3166 National Defense Funding Amendment Amendment Rejected - Senate (50 - 50)
3/16 S Amdt 3074 LIHEAP Funding Amendment Amendment Adopted - Senate (51 - 49)
3/16 S Amdt 3071 Education Funding Amendment Amendment Rejected - Senate (49 - 51)
3/16 S Amdt 3103 Natural Resources and Environment Funding Amendment Amendment Rejected - Senate (48 - 49)
3/30 H Amdt 772 Reverse the Raid on Student Aid Amendment Amendment Rejected - House (200 - 220)
5/02 S Amdt 3617 Sugarcane Growers Funding Amendment Amendment Rejected - Senate (40 - 59)
5/03 S Amdt 3688 Influenza Vaccine Injury Compensation Amendment Amendment Adopted - Senate (53 - 46)
5/17 S Amdt 3965 Employment-based Immigrant Visa Amendment Amendment Adopted - Senate (50 - 48)
5/18 H Amdt 856 Outer Continental Shelf Amendment Amendment Adopted - House (217 - 203)
5/18 S Amdt 4072 "State Criminal Alien Assistance Program" Amendment Amendment Rejected - Senate (43 - 52)
5/18 S Amdt 4064 English As National Language Amendment Amendment Adopted - Senate (62 - 35)
5/18 H Amdt 842 Outer Continental Shelf for Gas and Oil Amendment Amendment Rejected - House (141 - 279)
5/23 S Amdt 4087 Orange Card Program Amendment Amendment Rejected - Senate (37 - 61)
5/23 S Amdt 4177 Employer Verification Amendment Amendment Adopted - Senate (59 - 39)
5/24 S Amdt 4095 H-2C Visa Program Amendment Amendment Rejected - Senate (48 - 49)
5/25 S Amdt 4097 Confidentiality Requirement Amendment Amendment Rejected - Senate (49 - 49)
6/21 S Amdt 4376 Increasing Minimum Wage Amendment Amendment Rejected - Senate (45 - 53)
6/21 S Amdt 4322 Minimum Wage Adjustment Amendment Amendment Adopted - Senate (52 - 46)
6/22 S Amdt 4442 Troop Redeployment Amendment Amendment Rejected - Senate (13 - 86)
6/28 H Amdt 1156 Trigger Lock Amendment Amendment Adopted - House (230 - 191)
7/11 S Amdt 4563 FEMA Amendment Amendment Rejected - Senate (32 - 66)
7/11 S Amdt 4560 USEMA Amendment Amendment Adopted - Senate (87 - 11)
7/11 H Amdt 1179 Online Gambling Ban Amendment Amendment Rejected - House (114 - 297)
7/12 S Amdt 4587 Transit Security Amendment Amendment Rejected - Senate (50 - 50)
7/12 S Amdt 4553 Rail and Transit Security Amendment Motion Rejected - Senate (50 - 50)
7/13 S Amdt 4615 Firearm Confiscation Prohibition Amendment Amendment Adopted - Senate (84 - 16)
7/13 S Amdt 4659 Double-Layered Fencing Amendment Amendment Rejected - Senate (29 - 71)
7/25 S Amdt 4689 Teen Pregnancy Education Amendment Amendment Rejected - Senate (48 - 51)
8/02 S Amdt 4775 Triple-Layered Fencing Amendment Amendment Adopted - Senate (94 - 3)
9/06 S Amdt 4882 Cluster Munitions Amendment Amendment Rejected - Senate (30 - 70)
9/13 S Amdt 4936 National Security Amendment Motion Rejected - Senate (41 - 57)
9/13 S Amdt 4999 Security of Cargo Containers Amendment Amendment Rejected - Senate (43 - 55)
9/28 S Amdt 5087 Habeas Review Amendment Amendment Rejected - Senate (48 - 51)
9/28 S Amdt 5104 Military Commissions Amendment Amendment Rejected - Senate (47 - 52)
9/28 S Amdt 5095 Oversight of CIA Interrogation and Detention Amendment Amendment Rejected - Senate (46 - 53)
6/13 HR 4939 Emergency Supplemental Appropriations Act, 2006 Conference Report Adopted - House (351 - 67)
9/26 HR 5631 Department Defense Appropriations Act, FY 2007 Conference Report Adopted - House (394 - 22)
3/02 HR 3199 PATRIOT Act Reauthorization Conference Report Adopted - Senate (89 - 10)
5/10 HR 4297 Tax Relief Extension Reconciliation Act of 2005 Conference Report Adopted - House (244 - 185)
5/11 HR 4297 Tax Relief Extension Reconciliation Act of 2005 Conference Report Adopted - Senate (54 - 44)
9/29 HR 5441 Department of Homeland Security Appropriations Act 2007 Conference Report Adopted - House (412 - 6)
6/15 HR 4939 Emergency Supplemental Appropriations Act, 2006 Conference Report Adopted - Senate (98 - 1)
6/22 S 2766 Defense Department FY 2007 Authorization bill Bill Passed - Senate (96 - 0)
5/25 S 2611 Immigration Reform Bill Bill Passed - Senate (62 - 36)
5/04 HR 4939 Emergency Supplemental Appropriations Act, 2006 Bill Passed - Senate (77 - 21)
2/02 HR 4297 Tax Relief Extension Reconciliation Act of 2005 Bill Passed - Senate (66 - 31)
6/29 H Res 895 Intelligence and Law Enforcement Resolution Resolution Passed - House (227 - 183)
9/26 S 403 Child Interstate Abortion Notification Act Bill Passed - House (264 - 153)
9/26 HR 2679 Public Expression of Religion Act of 2006 Bill Passed - House (244 - 173)
7/11 HR 4411 Internet Gambling Bill Bill Passed - House (317 - 93)
9/27 HR 6166 Military Commissions Act of 2006 Bill Passed - House (253 - 168)
12/06 HR 6099 Abortion Pain Bill Bill Failed - House (250 - 162)
7/12 HR 2990 Credit Rating Agency Duopoly Relief Act Bill Passed - House (255 - 166)
9/28 HR 5825 Electronic Surveillance Modernization Act Bill Passed - House (232 - 191)
9/28 S 3930 Military Commissions Act of 2006 Bill Passed - Senate (65 - 34)
7/13 HR 9 Voting Rights Act Reauthorization Bill Passed - House (390 - 33)
7/18 H J Res 88 Same-Sex Marriage Resolution Joint Resolution Failed - House (236 - 187)
7/18 HR 810 Stem Cell Research Bill of 2005 Bill Passed - Senate (63 - 37)
7/18 S 2754 Alternative Stem Cell Therapies Act Bill Failed - House (273 - 154)
3/08 HR 4167 National Uniformity for Food Act Bill Passed - House (283 - 139)
7/19 HR 2389 Pledge Protection Act of 2006 Bill Passed - House (260 - 167)
7/20 HR 5684 U.S.-Oman Free Trade Agreement Implementation Bill Passed - House (221 - 205)
2/01 H Res 653 Budget Reconciliation Adoption Resolution Passed - House (216 - 214)
7/25 S 403 Child Interstate Abortion Notification Act Bill Passed - Senate (65 - 34)
7/26 HR 5682 U.S.and India Nuclear Cooperation Act of 2006 Bill Passed - House (359 - 68)
7/27 HR 4157 Better Health Information Systems Act of 2006 Bill Passed - House (270 - 148)
7/28 HR 4 Pension Reform Bill Bill Passed - House (279 - 131)
7/29 HR 5970 Death/Estate Tax and Minimum Wage Bill Bill Passed - House (230 - 180)
8/01 S 3711 Gulf of Mexico Energy Security Act of 2006 Bill Passed - Senate (71 - 25)
3/07 S 2271 PATRIOT Act Reauthorization bill Bill Passed - House (280 - 138)
3/16 H J Res 47 Debt Limit Increase Resolution Joint Resolution Passed - Senate (52 - 48)
3/30 HR 609 College Access and Opportunity Act of 2005 Bill Passed - House (221 - 199)
9/29 S 3930 Military Commissions Act of 2006 Bill Passed - House (250 - 170)
4/05 HR 513 527 Reform Act of 2005 Bill Passed - House (218 - 209)
9/07 HR 503 Horse Slaughter Prohibition Bill Bill Passed - House (263 - 146)
5/03 HR 4975 527 Reform Act of 2006 Bill Passed - House (217 - 213)
9/29 HR 4772 Private Property Rights Implementation Act of 2006 Bill Passed - House (231 - 181)
9/13 HR 4893 Restricting Indian Gaming to Homelands of Tribes Act Bill Failed - House (247 - 171)
3/16 HR 4939 Emergency Supplemental Appropriations Act, 2006 Bill Passed - House (348 - 71)
9/29 HR 6061 Secure Fence Act of 2006 Bill Passed - Senate (80 - 19)
9/14 HR 6061 Secure Fence Act of 2006 Bill Passed - House (283 - 138)
5/18 HR 5386 Interior Department FY2007 Appropriations Bill Bill Passed - House (293 - 128)
9/19 HR 5684 U.S.-Oman Free Trade Agreement Implementation Bill Passed - Senate (62 - 32)
9/20 HR 4844 Federal Election Integrity Act of 2006 Bill Passed - House (228 - 196)
5/23 HR 5384 Agriculture, Rural Development, FDA Appropriations Act Bill Passed - House (378 - 46)
9/21 S 2832 Appalachian Regional Development Act Amendments of 2006 Bill Failed - House (215 - 204)

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