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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. The summary does not necessarily reflect the content of the final version of the bill. Summaries are written by Vote Smart's staff and interns, who adhere to the project's strict policies and procedures in order to guarantee absolute impartiality and accuracy. Each key vote selection is reviewed by the project's community of advisors, who are political scientists and journalists from all fifty states.


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Date State Bill No. Title Outcome
Dec. 10, 2008 National HR 7321 Automotive Industry Financing Bill Passed - House (237 - 170)
Oct. 3, 2008 National HR 6867 Emergency Extended Unemployment Compensation Bill Passed - House (368 - 28)
Oct. 3, 2008 National HR 1424 Financial Asset Purchase Authority and Tax Law Amendments Concurrence Vote Passed - House (263 - 171)
Oct. 1, 2008 National HR 2095 Amtrak Reauthorization Concurrence Vote Passed - Senate (74 - 24)
Oct. 1, 2008 National HR 1424 Financial Asset Purchase Authority and Tax Law Amendments Bill Passed - Senate (74 - 25)
Oct. 1, 2008 National HR 7081 United States - India Nuclear Agreement Bill Passed - Senate (86 - 13)
Sept. 29, 2008 National HR 3997 Financial Asset Purchase Authority Concurrence Vote Failed - House (205 - 228)
Sept. 27, 2008 National HR 2638 Continuing Appropriations Concurrence Vote Passed - Senate (78 - 12)
Sept. 27, 2008 National HR 7081 United States - India Nuclear Agreement Bill Passed - House (298 - 117)
Sept. 26, 2008 National HR 7060 Renewable Energy Credits and Other Business and Individual Credits Bill Passed - House (257 - 166)
Sept. 24, 2008 National HR 2638 Continuing Appropriations Concurrence Vote Passed - House (370 - 58)
Sept. 24, 2008 National S 3001 Defense Authorizations Bill Bill Passed - House (392 - 39)
Sept. 23, 2008 National HR 5244 Credit Card Regulations Bill Passed - House (312 - 112)
Sept. 18, 2008 National HR 6604 Commodity Markets Speculation Bill Bill Passed - House (283 - 133)
Sept. 17, 2008 National S 3001 Defense Authorizations Bill Bill Passed - Senate (88 - 8)
Sept. 17, 2008 National HR 6842 Repealing Portions of the D.C. Firearm Ban Bill Passed - House (266 - 152)
Sept. 16, 2008 National HR 6899 Offshore Oil and Gas Drilling and Extending Certain Renewable Energy Tax Credits Bill Passed - House (236 - 189)
July 31, 2008 National HR 4137 Higher Education Act Amendments and Extensions Conference Report Adopted - Senate (83 - 8)
July 31, 2008 National HR 4137 Higher Education Act Amendments and Extensions Conference Report Adopted - House (380 - 49)
July 31, 2008 National HR 4040 Consumer Product Safety Commission Bill Conference Report Adopted - Senate (89 - 3)
July 31, 2008 National HR 1338 Employment Discrimination Law Amendments Bill Passed - House (247 - 178)
July 30, 2008 National HR 1108 FDA Regulation of Tobacco Bill Passed - House (326 - 102)
July 26, 2008 National S 3186 Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Funding Cloture Not Invoked - Senate (50 - 35)
July 26, 2008 National HR 3221 Housing Bill with Energy Tax Credit Extensions Concurrence Vote Passed - Senate (72 - 13)
July 24, 2008 National HR 5501 Funding to Combat AIDS, Malaria, and Tuberculosis Concurrence Vote Passed - House (303 - 115)
July 24, 2008 National HR 3999 National Highway Bridge Reconstruction and Inspection Act Bill Passed - House (367 - 55)
July 23, 2008 National HR 3221 Housing Bill with Energy Tax Credit Extensions Concurrence Vote Passed - House (272 - 152)
July 23, 2008 National HR 6532 Restoring the Highway Trust Fund Balance Bill Passed - House (387 - 37)
July 17, 2008 National HR 6515 Oil Exploration in the National Petroleum Reserve - Alaska Bill Failed - House (244 - 173)
July 16, 2008 National H Amdt 1114 Allowing the Use of Certain Terms in Within the Intelligence Community Amendment Adopted - House (249 - 180)
July 16, 2008 National S Amdt 5077 Funding Amendment to AIDS, Tuberculosis, and Malaria Bill Amendment Rejected - Senate (31 - 64)
July 16, 2008 National HR 5501 Funding to Combat AIDS, Malaria, and Tuberculosis Bill Passed - Senate (80 - 16)
July 16, 2008 National HR 415 Adding Parts of the Taunton River to the National Wild and Scenic Rivers System Bill Passed - House (242 - 175)
July 15, 2008 National HR 6331 Medicare Bill Veto Override Passed - Senate (70 - 26)
July 15, 2008 National HR 6331 Medicare Bill Veto Override Passed - House (383 - 41)
July 15, 2008 National S Amdt 5078 Limiting Countries for HIV/Aids, Tuberculosis, and Malaria Funding Amendment Tabled - Senate (70 - 24)
July 15, 2008 National HR 5803 Backup Paper Ballots Bill Failed - House (248 - 170)
July 10, 2008 National PN 1641 Nomination of General Petraeus as Military Leader of the Middle East Nomination Confirmed - Senate (95 - 2)
July 9, 2008 National HR 6331 Medicare Bill Cloture Invoked - Senate (69 - 30)
July 9, 2008 National S Amdt 5064 Striking Telecom Immunity from the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Bill Amendment Rejected - Senate (32 - 66)
July 9, 2008 National HR 6304 Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act Amendments Bill Passed - Senate (69 - 28)
July 9, 2008 National HR 5811 Electronic Communications Preservation Act Bill Passed - House (286 - 137)
June 26, 2008 National HR 2642 Iraq and Afghanistan War Funding, Unemployment Benefits Extension, and GI Bill Concurrence Vote Passed - Senate (92 - 6)
June 26, 2008 National HR 6251 Oil Production Leases Bill Failed - House (223 - 195)
June 26, 2008 National HR 6377 Energy Futures Trading Bill Passed - House (402 - 19)
June 26, 2008 National HR 6052 Public Transportation and Alternative Fuel Grants Bill Passed - House (322 - 98)
June 25, 2008 National S Amdt 4983 Housing Foreclosure Assistance Programs Amendment Adopted - Senate (79 - 16)
June 25, 2008 National HR 6275 Alternative Minimum Tax Bill Bill Passed - House (233 - 189)
June 25, 2008 National HR 2176 Bay Mills Indian Community Land Claim Bill Bill Failed - House (121 - 298)
June 24, 2008 National HR 6331 Medicare Bill Bill Passed - House (355 - 59)
Date No. Title Outcome
12/10 HR 7321 Automotive Industry Financing Bill Passed - House (237 - 170)
10/03 HR 6867 Emergency Extended Unemployment Compensation Bill Passed - House (368 - 28)
10/03 HR 1424 Financial Asset Purchase Authority and Tax Law Amendments Concurrence Vote Passed - House (263 - 171)
10/01 HR 2095 Amtrak Reauthorization Concurrence Vote Passed - Senate (74 - 24)
10/01 HR 1424 Financial Asset Purchase Authority and Tax Law Amendments Bill Passed - Senate (74 - 25)
10/01 HR 7081 United States - India Nuclear Agreement Bill Passed - Senate (86 - 13)
9/29 HR 3997 Financial Asset Purchase Authority Concurrence Vote Failed - House (205 - 228)
9/27 HR 2638 Continuing Appropriations Concurrence Vote Passed - Senate (78 - 12)
9/27 HR 7081 United States - India Nuclear Agreement Bill Passed - House (298 - 117)
9/26 HR 7060 Renewable Energy Credits and Other Business and Individual Credits Bill Passed - House (257 - 166)
9/24 HR 2638 Continuing Appropriations Concurrence Vote Passed - House (370 - 58)
9/24 S 3001 Defense Authorizations Bill Bill Passed - House (392 - 39)
9/23 HR 5244 Credit Card Regulations Bill Passed - House (312 - 112)
9/18 HR 6604 Commodity Markets Speculation Bill Bill Passed - House (283 - 133)
9/17 S 3001 Defense Authorizations Bill Bill Passed - Senate (88 - 8)
9/17 HR 6842 Repealing Portions of the D.C. Firearm Ban Bill Passed - House (266 - 152)
9/16 HR 6899 Offshore Oil and Gas Drilling and Extending Certain Renewable Energy Tax Credits Bill Passed - House (236 - 189)
7/31 HR 4137 Higher Education Act Amendments and Extensions Conference Report Adopted - Senate (83 - 8)
7/31 HR 4137 Higher Education Act Amendments and Extensions Conference Report Adopted - House (380 - 49)
7/31 HR 4040 Consumer Product Safety Commission Bill Conference Report Adopted - Senate (89 - 3)
7/31 HR 1338 Employment Discrimination Law Amendments Bill Passed - House (247 - 178)
7/30 HR 1108 FDA Regulation of Tobacco Bill Passed - House (326 - 102)
7/26 S 3186 Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Funding Cloture Not Invoked - Senate (50 - 35)
7/26 HR 3221 Housing Bill with Energy Tax Credit Extensions Concurrence Vote Passed - Senate (72 - 13)
7/24 HR 5501 Funding to Combat AIDS, Malaria, and Tuberculosis Concurrence Vote Passed - House (303 - 115)
7/24 HR 3999 National Highway Bridge Reconstruction and Inspection Act Bill Passed - House (367 - 55)
7/23 HR 3221 Housing Bill with Energy Tax Credit Extensions Concurrence Vote Passed - House (272 - 152)
7/23 HR 6532 Restoring the Highway Trust Fund Balance Bill Passed - House (387 - 37)
7/17 HR 6515 Oil Exploration in the National Petroleum Reserve - Alaska Bill Failed - House (244 - 173)
7/16 H Amdt 1114 Allowing the Use of Certain Terms in Within the Intelligence Community Amendment Adopted - House (249 - 180)
7/16 S Amdt 5077 Funding Amendment to AIDS, Tuberculosis, and Malaria Bill Amendment Rejected - Senate (31 - 64)
7/16 HR 5501 Funding to Combat AIDS, Malaria, and Tuberculosis Bill Passed - Senate (80 - 16)
7/16 HR 415 Adding Parts of the Taunton River to the National Wild and Scenic Rivers System Bill Passed - House (242 - 175)
7/15 HR 6331 Medicare Bill Veto Override Passed - Senate (70 - 26)
7/15 HR 6331 Medicare Bill Veto Override Passed - House (383 - 41)
7/15 S Amdt 5078 Limiting Countries for HIV/Aids, Tuberculosis, and Malaria Funding Amendment Tabled - Senate (70 - 24)
7/15 HR 5803 Backup Paper Ballots Bill Failed - House (248 - 170)
7/10 PN 1641 Nomination of General Petraeus as Military Leader of the Middle East Nomination Confirmed - Senate (95 - 2)
7/09 HR 6331 Medicare Bill Cloture Invoked - Senate (69 - 30)
7/09 S Amdt 5064 Striking Telecom Immunity from the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Bill Amendment Rejected - Senate (32 - 66)
7/09 HR 6304 Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act Amendments Bill Passed - Senate (69 - 28)
7/09 HR 5811 Electronic Communications Preservation Act Bill Passed - House (286 - 137)
6/26 HR 2642 Iraq and Afghanistan War Funding, Unemployment Benefits Extension, and GI Bill Concurrence Vote Passed - Senate (92 - 6)
6/26 HR 6251 Oil Production Leases Bill Failed - House (223 - 195)
6/26 HR 6377 Energy Futures Trading Bill Passed - House (402 - 19)
6/26 HR 6052 Public Transportation and Alternative Fuel Grants Bill Passed - House (322 - 98)
6/25 S Amdt 4983 Housing Foreclosure Assistance Programs Amendment Adopted - Senate (79 - 16)
6/25 HR 6275 Alternative Minimum Tax Bill Bill Passed - House (233 - 189)
6/25 HR 2176 Bay Mills Indian Community Land Claim Bill Bill Failed - House (121 - 298)
6/24 HR 6331 Medicare Bill Bill Passed - House (355 - 59)

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