ROLL CALL REPORT SYNDICATE
Published: 03 December 2011 05:25 PM

Here is how area members of Congress voted on major issues in the week ending Dec. 2.

HOUSE

RULES FOR UNION ELECTIONS: Voting 235 for and 188 against, the House on Nov. 30 passed a Republican bill (HR 3094) to block a proposed National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) rule to quicken the pace of union elections. Now before the Senate, the bill targets a labor-relations rule that could take effect by year’s end. Under the rule, elections on whether to form into a collective-bargaining unit could be held as soon as 10 days after the NLRB certifies the election petition. The bill would require a wait of at least 35 days to give employers more time to attempt to persuade workers to reject unionization, and it would give employers more say in determining which workers are eligible for the bargaining unit.

A yes vote was to pass the bill.

Voting yes: Jerry Lewis, R-Redlands, Ken Calvert, R-Corona, Mary Bono Mack, R-Palm Springs, Darrell Issa, R-Vista.

Voting no: Joe Baca, D-Rialto.

REPEAL OF POST-WATERGATE LAW: Voting 235 for and 190 against, the House on Dec. 1 passed a Republican bill (HR 3463) to repeal the post-Watergate law under which taxpayers voluntarily divert $3 of their federal taxes to the public funding of presidential-election campaigns and nominating conventions. The bill also would repeal the Election Assistance Commission, which Congress established in response to voter-registration and vote-counting fiascos in Florida and other states in the 2000 George W. Bush-Al Gore presidential race. The commission provides funding and best-practices guidance to help states and localities upgrade electoral procedures and voting equipment. The ending of voluntary taxpayer funding of presidential campaigns is projected to raise Treasury receipts by $617 million over 10 years.

The $3 taxpayer checkoff generates a fund for primary candidates who agree to curb spending and general-election candidates who refuse to accept private contributions except to cover certain in-house expenses. Additionally, next year’s Democratic and GOP nominating conventions already have agreed to accept $18 million each from the fund.

A yes vote was to pass the bill.

Voting yes: Lewis, Calvert, Bono Mack, Issa.

Voting no: Baca.

SENATE

DEMOCRATS’ PAYROLL RATES: Voting 51 for and 49 against, the Senate on Dec. 1 failed to reach 60 votes for passing a Democratic bill (S 1917) to extend and expand this year’s temporary lowering of Social Security payroll taxes. In 2011, employees are contributing 4.2 percent of their pay up to $106,800 to the Social Security Trust Fund — down 2 percentage points from the standard 6.2 percent rate that will return Jan. 1 unless Congress renews the break. The Democratic bill would cut the Social Security tax on employees still further to 3.1 percent and expand the break to also cover the employers’ share of Social Security withholding. Thus both employees and employers next year would pay at 3.1 percent of payroll up to $106,800. Democrats would recover lost revenue by imposing a 3.25percent tax on income over $1 million.

A yes vote was to pass the Democratic bill.

Voting yes: Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif., Barbara Boxer, D-Calif.

To read entire report, click here.