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. 28, 2012 National HR 5949 FISA Amendments Act Reauthorization Act of 2012 Bill Passed - Senate (73 - 23)
Dec. 21, 2012 National HR 4310 National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2013 Conference Report Adopted - Senate (81 - 14)
Dec. 20, 2012 National HR 4310 National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2013 Conference Report Adopted - House (315 - 107)
Dec. 20, 2012 National HR 6684 Spending Reduction Act of 2012 Bill Passed - House (215 - 209)
Dec. 4, 2012 National Treaty Doc. 112-7 The Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities Treaty Ratification Failed - Senate (61 - 38)
Nov. 30, 2012 National HR 6429 STEM Jobs Act of 2012 Bill Passed - House (245 - 139)
Nov. 30, 2012 National S Amdt 3025 Requires Sufficient Sizing of Civilian and Contract Services Workforces Amendment Rejected - Senate (41 - 53)
Nov. 29, 2012 National S Amdt 3018 Prohibits the Indefinite Detention of Citizens and Lawful Permanent Residents Amendment Adopted - Senate (67 - 29)
Nov. 29, 2012 National S Amdt 3096 Accelerated Transition of US Military Operations to the Government of Afghanistan Amendment Adopted - Senate (62 - 33)
Nov. 29, 2012 National S Amdt 3058 Expands TRICARE Coverage of Autism Amendment Adopted - Senate (66 - 29)
Nov. 29, 2012 National S Amdt 3245 Prohibits the Use of Funds for the Transfer or Release of Individuals Detained at Guantanamo Bay Amendment Adopted - Senate (54 - 41)
Nov. 28, 2012 National S Amdt 2955 Expands the Public Safety Officers' Benefits Program Amendment Adopted - Senate (85 - 11)
Nov. 28, 2012 National S Amdt 3095 Repeals the Prohibition on Biofuel Refinery Construction Amendment Adopted - Senate (54 - 41)
Nov. 28, 2012 National S Amdt 2985 Repeals the Limit on the Use of Funds to Procure Alternative Fuel Amendment Adopted - Senate (62 - 37)
Nov. 16, 2012 National HR 6156 Russia and Moldova Jackson-Vanik Repeal and Sergei Magnitsky Rule of Law Accountability Act of 2012 Bill Passed - House (365 - 43)
Nov. 14, 2012 National S 3414 Cybersecurity Act of 2012 Cloture Not Invoked - Senate (51 - 47)
Sept. 22, 2012 National H J Res 117 Continuing Appropriations Resolution, 2013 Joint Resolution Passed - Senate (62 - 30)
Sept. 21, 2012 National HR 3409 Stop the War on Coal Act of 2012 Bill Passed - House (233 - 175)
Sept. 20, 2012 National HR 6429 STEM Jobs Act of 2012 Bill Failed - House (257 - 158)
Sept. 20, 2012 National H J Res 118 Congressional Disapproval of Department of Health and Human Services Rule to Waive Certain Requirements for the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families Program (TANF) Joint Resolution Passed - House (250 - 164)
Sept. 19, 2012 National HR 5912 Prohibits Public Funding for Political Party Conventions Bill Passed - House (310 - 95)
Sept. 14, 2012 National HR 6213 No More Solyndras Act Bill Passed - House (245 - 161)
Sept. 13, 2012 National HR 6365 National Security and Job Protection Act Bill Passed - House (223 - 196)
Sept. 12, 2012 National HR 5949 FISA Amendments Act Reauthorization Act of 2012 Bill Passed - House (301 - 118)
Aug. 2, 2012 National S 3414 Cybersecurity Act of 2012 Cloture Not Invoked - Senate (52 - 46)
Date No. Title Outcome
12/28 HR 5949 FISA Amendments Act Reauthorization Act of 2012 Bill Passed - Senate (73 - 23)
12/21 HR 4310 National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2013 Conference Report Adopted - Senate (81 - 14)
12/20 HR 4310 National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2013 Conference Report Adopted - House (315 - 107)
12/20 HR 6684 Spending Reduction Act of 2012 Bill Passed - House (215 - 209)
12/04 Treaty Doc. 112-7 The Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities Treaty Ratification Failed - Senate (61 - 38)
11/30 HR 6429 STEM Jobs Act of 2012 Bill Passed - House (245 - 139)
11/30 S Amdt 3025 Requires Sufficient Sizing of Civilian and Contract Services Workforces Amendment Rejected - Senate (41 - 53)
11/29 S Amdt 3018 Prohibits the Indefinite Detention of Citizens and Lawful Permanent Residents Amendment Adopted - Senate (67 - 29)
11/29 S Amdt 3096 Accelerated Transition of US Military Operations to the Government of Afghanistan Amendment Adopted - Senate (62 - 33)
11/29 S Amdt 3058 Expands TRICARE Coverage of Autism Amendment Adopted - Senate (66 - 29)
11/29 S Amdt 3245 Prohibits the Use of Funds for the Transfer or Release of Individuals Detained at Guantanamo Bay Amendment Adopted - Senate (54 - 41)
11/28 S Amdt 2955 Expands the Public Safety Officers' Benefits Program Amendment Adopted - Senate (85 - 11)
11/28 S Amdt 3095 Repeals the Prohibition on Biofuel Refinery Construction Amendment Adopted - Senate (54 - 41)
11/28 S Amdt 2985 Repeals the Limit on the Use of Funds to Procure Alternative Fuel Amendment Adopted - Senate (62 - 37)
11/16 HR 6156 Russia and Moldova Jackson-Vanik Repeal and Sergei Magnitsky Rule of Law Accountability Act of 2012 Bill Passed - House (365 - 43)
11/14 S 3414 Cybersecurity Act of 2012 Cloture Not Invoked - Senate (51 - 47)
9/22 H J Res 117 Continuing Appropriations Resolution, 2013 Joint Resolution Passed - Senate (62 - 30)
9/21 HR 3409 Stop the War on Coal Act of 2012 Bill Passed - House (233 - 175)
9/20 HR 6429 STEM Jobs Act of 2012 Bill Failed - House (257 - 158)
9/20 H J Res 118 Congressional Disapproval of Department of Health and Human Services Rule to Waive Certain Requirements for the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families Program (TANF) Joint Resolution Passed - House (250 - 164)
9/19 HR 5912 Prohibits Public Funding for Political Party Conventions Bill Passed - House (310 - 95)
9/14 HR 6213 No More Solyndras Act Bill Passed - House (245 - 161)
9/13 HR 6365 National Security and Job Protection Act Bill Passed - House (223 - 196)
9/12 HR 5949 FISA Amendments Act Reauthorization Act of 2012 Bill Passed - House (301 - 118)
8/02 S 3414 Cybersecurity Act of 2012 Cloture Not Invoked - Senate (52 - 46)

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