2013 House Votes

 Dec. 12 — H.R. Res. 59, the Bipartisan Budget Act of 2013, also known as the Ryan-Murray budget, passed the House on a vote of 332-94, roll call vote 640. Nebraska Reps. Terry and Fortenberry voted for the budget; Rep. Adrian Smith voted no. Passed by the Senate on Dec. 18, roll call vote 281, on a vote of 64-36. Sens. Mike Johanns and Deb Fischer voted against it. It is awaits the president’s signature.

Dec. 11 — H.R. 1992, the Israel QME Enhancement Act, passed the House 399-0, with the support of Reps. Terry, Smith and Fortenberry. (Roll call vote 636). H.R. 1992 was referred to the Senate Foreign Relations Committee. It would increase the frequency or presidential assessments of Israel’s readiness to meet military threats from every four years to every two years.

Dec. 11 — H.R. 3212, the Sean and David Goldman International Child Abduction Prevention and Return Act f 2013, passed the House 398-0, with the support of Reps. Smith and Fortenberry. Lee Terry did not vote. (Roll call vote 635) It calls for the establishment of procedures for the return of children abducted from the U.S. in compliance with the 1980 Hague Convention on the Civil Aspects of International Child Abduction. It is pending in the Senate Foreign Relations Committee.

Dec. 11 — S. 1471, the Alicia Dawn Koehl Respect for National Cemeteries Act, passed the House 398-1, with the support of Reps. Terry, Fortenberry and Smith.(Roll call vote 634). It passed the Senate on Nov. 18 by unanimous consent, and was signed into law by the president on Dec. 20. S. 1471 bars anyone who commits a capital crime but is not convicted of that crime from being buried in a national cemetery. Alicia Koehl was one of four people murdered by Michael LaShawn Anderson in Indianapolis in 2012. Anderson then killed himself and was buried with full military honors at Fort Custer National Cemetery in Michigan. S. 1421 directs that Anderson’s body be removed from the cemetery. The law already prohibits anyone convicted of a capital crime from burial in a national cemetery.

Dec. 11 — H.R. 2319, to amend the Native American Veterans’ Memorial Establishment Act of 1994, which passed the House 398-0, with the support of Reps. Terry, Fortenberry and Smith. It authorizes fundraising by a native group toward the construction of a memorial to native military veterans. Roll call vote 633. It passed the Senate by unanimous consent on Dec. 20, and was signed into law by President Obama on Dec. 26, 2013.

Dec. 11 — H.R. 2019, the Gabriella Miller Kids First Research Act, passed the House 295-103, with Nebraska Reps. Fortenberry, Terry and Smith voting yes. Roll call vote 632. It has been placed on the Senate’s legislative calendar.

Dec. 10 — Adopted H.R. 1402, the VA Expiring Authorities Extension Act of 2013 on a vote of 353-0, with the support of Reps. Terry, Fortenberry and Smith. H.R. 1402 passed the Senate on Dec. 18 by unanimous consent, and was signed into law by the president on Dec. 20. This law appropriates $2 million for disabled veterans to participate in the Paralympics and gives an additional $8 million to U.S. Paralympics Inc. The Paralympics is a sporting competition for disabled people.

Dec. 5 — H.R. 3309, the Innovation Act, which attempts to eliminate patent trolls, passed the House 325-91, with the support of Reps. Fortenberry, Terry and Smith. Patent trolls are companies that acquire patents primarily for the purpose of suing others for patent infringement. H.R. 3309 is supported by the Obama administration. It is before the Senate Judiciary Committee.

Dec. 2 — H.R. 3588, the Community Fire Safety Act of 2013. Amends the Safe Drinking Water Act to exempt fire hydrants from some standards involving lead in the pipes, solder and flux.  Passed the House 384-0, with the votes of Reps. Fortenberry, Smith and Terry. Passed the Senate on Dec. 17 by unanimous consent and was signed into law on Dec. 20, 2013.

Dec. 2 — H.R.3547, the Space Launch Liability Indemnification Extension Act, passed the House 376-5, with the votes of Reps. Terry, Smith and Fortenberry. (Roll call vote 612.) It would extend through 2014 the application deadline for licenses under a federal Department of Transportation program that pays insurance claims above the coverage purchased by companies that perform commercial space launches. It was amended by the Senate and passed by unanimous consent.

Nov. 21 — H.R. 1900, the Natural Gas Pipeline Permitting Reform Act, passed the House 252-165, with the votes of Reps. Terry, Smith and Fortenberry. (Roll call vote 611). H.R. 1900 would amend the Natural Gas Act to speed up the permitting process of natural gas pipelines by setting deadlines for federal agencies and other measures. It is pending in the Senate Commerce, Science and Transportation Committee.

Nov. 20 — H.R. 2728, the Protecting States Rights to Promote American Energy Security Act.  It passed the House 235-187, with the support of Nebraska Reps. Terry, Fortenberry and Smith. (Roll call vote 604). Twelve Democrats voted for H.R. 2728; 2 Republicans voted against it. It is on the Senate legislative calendar.
This bill would strip the Department of the Interior from any ability to regulate hydraulic fracturing (fracking) in states that had their own regulatory process for fracking.  It would also strip Interior’s regulatory authority over fracking on federal land in those states. Fracking is the process of pumping water, chemicals and other material underground to disrupt rock formations and retrieve oil and natural gas.

Nov. 20 — H.R. 1965, the Federal Lands Job and Security Act passed the House 228-192, roll call vote 600. Nebraska Reps. Fortenberry, Smith and Terry all voted for it.  H.R. 1965 would make it easier for oil and gas companies to drill on public lands by granting automatic approval to drilling applications that were not processed by the Department of the Interior within 60 days. It would open public land to shale-oil drilling, which has been banned since the Hoover administration, and would require anyone wanting to appeal a permit for a lease, easement or drill site to post a $5,000 documentation fee. Environmentalists oppose the bill because shale-oil emits more carbon than other fossil fuels and the fracking procedure uses three barrels of water for every barrel of shale oil produced. H.R. 1965 is on the Senate legislative calendar.

Nov. 19 — Approved on a voice vote S. 1545, PEPFAR Stewardship and Oversight Act of 2013. It was passed by unanimous consent in the Senate on Nov. 18, and was signed into law by the president. The bill extends a federal program to combat HIV/AIDS, tuberculosis and malaria abroad.

Nov. 18 — Approved H.R. 3487, an act extending the Federal Election Commission’s authority to levy fines for violations of campaign finance violations through 2018. Passed the House on a voice vote. Passed the Senate on Dec. 20 by unanimous consent, and was signed into law by President Obama on Dec. 26.

Nov. 18 –Adopted H.R. 3343, to amend the District of Columbia Home Rule Act to clarify the rules for setting the salary of DC’s chief financial officer. Passed the House on a voice vote Nov. 18, passed the Senate on Dec. 20 by unanimous consent, and signed into law by the president on Dec. 26, 2013.

Nov. 18 — Adopted H.R. 2061, the Digital Accountability and Transparency Act of 2013 on a vote of 388-1. Nebraska Reps. Fortenberry, Terry and Smith all voted for it. Roll call vote 588. It is pending in the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee.

Nov. 15 — Approved H.R. 3350, the Keep Your Health Plan Act of 2013. Would allow people to renew health insurance plans they had in January 2013 for another year, even if they do not comply with the Affordable Care Act. Passed the House 261-157, with the support of Nebraska Reps. Terry, Smith and Fortenberry. Thirty-nine Democrats joined 222 Republican members voting in favor. Roll call vote 587. Pending in the Senate’s Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee.

Nov. 14 — Approved H.R. 2655, the Lawsuit Abuse Reduction Act of 2013 by a margin of 228-195. Three Democrats joined  225 Republicans voting in favor of the bill. Those voting in favor included Nebraska Reps. Terry, Fortenberry and Smith.  Roll call vote 581. It is pending in the Senate Judiciary Committee.

Nov. 13 — Approved H.R. 982, the Furthering Asbestos Claims Transparency Act or FACT Act. This legislation would make it more difficult for Americans to file and win court cases against big asbestos companies for damages caused by exposure to asbestos. It passed 221-199, with the support of Nebraska Reps. Fortenberry and Smith. Rep. Lee Terry voted against H.R. 982, which is now pending in the Senate Judiciary Committee.

Nov. 12 — S. 893, the Veterans’ Compensation Cost of Living Adjustment Act of 2014. Passed the Senate on Oct. 28 by unanimous consent, passed the House on Nov.12 by a voice vote, and was signed into law by the president.

Nov. 12 — Approved S. 252, an amended version of  the PREEMIE Reauthorization Act on a voice vote. The Senate passed the bill Sept. 25 on a voice vote, and agreed to the House’s amended version by unanimous consent on Nov. 14, and was signed into law by the president. PREEMIE stands for Prematurity Research Expansion and Education for Mothers who deliver Infants Early.

Nov. 12 — Approved S. 330, the HIV Organ Policy Equity Act on a voice vote. Passed the Senate June 17 by unanimous consent, and was signed into law by the president.

Oct. 31 — Approved H.R. 992, the Swaps Regulatory Improvement Act, which would repeal restrictions on the ability of banks to trade derivatives that were imposed by the 2010 Dodd-Frank law. Democrats opposed the repeal, saying it would undo regulation necessary to prevent the risky trading that  led to the 2008 financial crisis. Republicans said the regulation adds costs to companies and users of derivatives. It is pending in the Senate’s Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs Committee.

Oct. 30 — Approved H.R. 2374, the Retail Investor Protection Act. It passed on a vote of 254-166. (Roll call vote 567.) The measure would delay regulations requiring retirement account broker-dealers to put the interests of their clients ahead of their own. Nebraska Reps. Terry, Smith and Fortenberry were among the 224 Republican House members voting for the measure. It awaits action in the Senate’s Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs Committee.

Oct. 29 — Approved H.R. 623, the Alaska Native Tribal Health Consortium Land Transfer Act. Passed the House on a voice vote, passed the Senate on Dec. 12 by unanimous consent and signed into law by the president on Dec. 26, 2013. It transfers real estate in Anchorage from the federal government to the health consortium.

Oct. 28 — Approved H.R. 3304, the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal year 2014, was adopted on a voice vote. Amended by the Senate and adopted on a voice vote Nov. 19, differences between the two versions were reconciled, and it passed the Senate again Dec. 19 on a vote of 84-15, with the support of Sens. Fischer and Johanns. It was signed into law by President Obama on Dec. 26.

Oct. 28 — Approved H.R. 2189, a measure to establish in the Department of Veterans Affairs a commission or task force to evaluate the backlog of disability claims at the department. Passed the House on a vote of 404-1, with the support of Reps. Fortenberry, Smith and Terry. Now pending in the Senate Committee on Veterans Affairs.

Oct. 28 — Approved H.R. 1742, the Vulnerable Veterans Housing Reform Act of 2013, passed the House on a voice vote. Now pending in the Senate Committee on Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs. It would exclude from income limits certain payments from the VA, and provide for higher allowances for utility consumption.

Oct. 28 — Approved H.R. 2481, the Veterans Economic Opportunity Act of 2013. Changes provisions of the post-9/11 GI Bill educational benefits. Adopted on a voice vote, now pending in the Senate Veterans’ Affairs Committee.

Oct. 28 — Approved H.R. 1405, to amend the process by which Veterans Affairs sends notice when it denies a benefits application, and to improve the supervision of fiduciaries who oversee the dispersal of benefits to certain veterans. Passed the House on a voice vote. Now pending action in the Senate Committee on Veterans’ Affairs.

Oct. 28 — Approved H.R. 2011, the Veterans’ Advisory Committee on Education Improvement Act of 2013. Extends the committee’s work through the end of 2015, and requires its membership to include veterans of Iraq and Afghanistan. Passed 404-2, with the support of Reps. Fortenberry, Terry and Smith. Now pending in the Senate Veterans’ Affairs committee.

Oct. 23 –H.R. 3080, the Water Resource Reform and Development Act of 2013., passed the House Oct. 23, by a margin of 417-3. Nebraska’s members of Congress, Reps. Terry, Smith and Fortenberry all voted for the measure. Roll Call Vote  560. Amended and passed by the Senate by unanimous consent on Dec. 31. H.R. 3080 ended 2013 in conference committee to reconcile differences.

Oct. 22 — Adopted H.R 3302,  an act to name the veterans affairs medical center in Bay Pines, Fla., the C.W. Bill Young Department of Veterans Affairs Medical Center. Young had represented his Florida district in the House since 1971 and was the longest-serving Republican House member when he died Oct. 18, 2013. It passed the House on a voice vote, passed the Senate Oct. 31 by unanimous consent, and was signed into law by the president Nov. 13, 2013.

Oct. 22 — Adopted H.R, 185, an act designating the federal courthouse in Sherman, Texas, as the Paul Brown United States Courthouse. Passed 402-1, with the support of Reps. Fortenberry, Smith and Terry. Passed the Senate by unanimous consent on Dec. 17, and was signed into law by President Obama on Dec. 20, 2013.

Oct. 14 — Adopted H.R. 3190, the U.S. Parole Commission Extension Act of 2013  without objection. Passed the Senate by unanimous consent on Oct. 30, and was signed into law by the president Oct. 31, 2013

30-Sept — S. 1348, the Congressional Award Program Reauthorization Act of 2013, which extended through the 2018 fiscal year a youth award program. The $500,000-a-year program gives honorary congressional coins to young people 13 to 23 who complete, at home, a series of requirements in physical fitness, public service, personal development, and “exploration/expedition,” which typically involves hiking, camping or another outdoor activity. Passed by the Senate Sept. 26 by unanimous consent, passed by the House on Sept. 30 on a vote of 387-35. Nebraska Reps. Terry, Smith and Fortenberry all voted for the program’s extension. Signed into law by the president.

29-Sept — H.R. 2848 — Department of State Operations and Embassy Security Authorization Act, Fiscal Year 2014, passed on a vote of 384-37, with the support of all three Nebraska congressmen. Roll call vote 500. The measure now awaits action in the Senate Foreign Relations Committee.

28-Sept — Adopted H.R. 2251, an act designating the federal courthouse in Fergus Falls, Minn., the Edward J. Devitt United Sates Courthouse. The vote was 416-4, with Reps. Terry, Fortenberry and Smith voting yes. It passed the Senate on Dec. 17 by unanimous consent, and was signed into law on Dec. 20, 2013.

20-Sept. — H.J. Res. 59 — Continuing Appropriations Act, 2014, which would continue to fund the government through Dec. 15 while also defunding the Affordable Care Act. The measure passed 230-189, with the support of the entire Nebraska delegation, Reps. Fortenberry, Smith and Terry. H.J. Res. 59 is expected to see action in the Senate next week, but President Obama has pledged to veto any measure that does not include money for the implementation of Obamacare. Also, because it only funds the government through Dec. 15, Americans would have to endure another holiday season budget drama.

19-Sept — H.R. 3102, the Nutrition Reform and Work Opportunity Act of 2013, which would cut federal food stamp spending by $40 billion during the next 10 years. The bill passed the House on a 217-210 vote, with Nebraska Reps. Lee Terry and Adrian Smith supporting the measure. No Democrats voted for the provision, and 15 Republicans voted against it, including Nebraska Rep. Jeff Fortenberry. Under HR 3102, an estimated 3 million people would lose benefits entirely and another 850,000 would lose some of their benefits. It is pending action by the Senate Committee on Agriculture, Nutrition and Forestry.

18-Sept — H.R. 301, to establish a State Department special envoy to promote freedom and non-discrimination for religious minorities in the Near East and South Central Asia. Passed the House 402-22, with the support of Nebraska Reps. Fortenberry, Terry and Smith.  Rep. Fortenberry was one of bill’s 72 co-sponsors. In the Senate, it was referred to the foreign relations committee.

18-Sept — H.R. 761, the National Strategic and Critical Minerals Production Act of 2013. Designates American mines where strategic and critical minerals are produced as infrastructure projects under President Obama’s 2012 Presidential Order “Improving Performance and Federal Permitting and Review of Infrastructure Projects.” Passed the House 246-178, with the support of all three of Nebraska’s congressmen.  It was referred to the Senate’s energy and natural resources committee.

17-Sept — S. 793, the Organization of American States Revitalization and Reform Act of 2013. Passed the Senate by unanimous consent July 8. Amended and passed by the House on Sept. 17 on a vote of 383-24. All three Nebraska congressmen voted for the proposal. Roll call vote 462. The Senate agreed to the House’s amended version by unanimous consent on Sept. 25, and it was signed into law by the president on Oct. 2.

17-Sept — HR. 3092 — Missing Children’s  Assistance Authorization Act of 2013. reauthorizes the act and funds operations through 2018. Passed the House 407-2, with the support of Nebraska Reps. Smith, Terry and Fortenberry. Passed the Senate by unanimous consent on  Sept. 25, and signed into law by the president on Sept. 30.

10-Sept — H.R. 2747, Streamlining Claims Processing for Federal Contractor Employees Act, passed the House 396-10. Reps. Smith, Terry and Fortenberry voted for it. Passed the Senate by unanimous consent Nov. 5, and signed into law by the president on Nov. 21.

09-Sept — HR 2844, the Federal Communications Commission Consolidated Reporting Act of 2013, passed 415-0 with the support of Reps. Fortenberry, Smith and Terry. It awaits action in the Senate’s Commerce, Science and Transportation Committee.

09-Sept — HR 2052, the Global Investment in American Jobs Act of 2013, passed the House on a vote of 379-32. Nebraska Rep. Lee Terry (1st District) is the sponsor of the bill; all three Nebraska congressman voted for the bill, record vote 449. It is pending in the Senate Commerce, Science and Transportation Committee.

01-Aug — H.R. 1897, the Vietnam Human Rights Act of 2013 Limits non-humanitarian aid to Vietnam until the government there adopts a more lenient policy toward religious and political dissidents. Passed 405-3 with the support of Nebraska Reps. Fortenberry, Smith and Terry. Pending in the Senate Foreign Relations Committee.

01-Aug — H.R.  1582, the Energy Consumers Relief Act of 2013, would limit the EPA’s rule-making authority if the rule adversely affects the economy. Prohibits the EPA from factoring the costs or benefits from reduced carbon dioxide emissions in its financial analyses. Passed mostly along party lines 232-281 with the support of Reps. Fortenberry, Smith and Terry. Pending in the Senate’s Environment and Public Works Committee.

02-Aug — H. R. 2009, the Keep the IRS Off Your Health Care Act of 2013. Would prohibit the secretary of the Treasury from enforcing any provisions of Obamacare. Passed on a mostly party-line vote of 232-185, with the support of Reps. Fortenberry, Smith and Terry. Pending action in the Senate.

02-Aug — H.R. 367, the Regulations from the Executive in Need of Scrutiny Act. With some exceptions, the REINS Act would require approval by both Houses of Congress to all significant rules changes proposed by the president or federal agencies. Passed along a mostly party-line vote of 232-183, with the support of Reps. Fortenberry, Smith, and Terry. Pending action in the Senate Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs.

02-Aug — H.R. 2879, the  Stop Government Abuse Act, which allows the public to secretly record conversations or telephone calls with federal employees, and requires government agencies to tell people of their right to record. (Recording laws are most generally set by the states.) Also, limits bonuses to federal employees during sequestration and changes procedures for the suspension of federal employees. Passed on a mostly party-line vote of 239-176, with the support of Reps. Fortenberry, Smith and Terry. Awaiting action in the Senate Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs.

31-July — H.R. 850. the Nuclear Iran Prevention Act of 2013, which expands economic sanctions against Iran. Passed 400-20, with the support of all three Nebraska congressmen. Fortenberry, Smith and Terry were also among 378 sponsors of the bill. H.R. 850 awaits action in the Senate Committee on Banking, Commerce and Urban Affairs.

30-July — Adopted H.R. 2094, the School Access to Emergency Epinephrine Act. on a voice vote. It passed the Senate by unanimous consent on Oct. 31, and was signed by the president Nov. 13, 2013.

16-July — Adopted H.R. 1848, the Small Airplane Revitalization Act of 2013 on a vote of 411-0, with the support of Nebraska Reps. Terry, Smith and Fortenberry. (Roll call vote 355.) Amended and passed by the Senate by unanimous consent Oct. 4. The House approved the amended version without objection on Nov. 14. Signed into law by the President.

28-June — H.R. 2231, the Offshore Energy and Jobs Act, which would greatly expand oil and gas drilling off the Pacific and Atlantic coasts, including areas off California, South Carolina and Virginia. All three of Nebraska’s House members voted for the measure, which would also put limits on legal claims stemming from the program and institute a “loser pays” penalty on those filing suit. Roll Call Vote 304, passed 235-186. It has been referred to the Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources.

20-June — H.R. 1947, the Federal Agriculture Reform and Risk Management Act of 2013, the House’s first attempt to pass a farm bill this year, failed 195-234, roll call vote 286. Nebraska Reps. Lee Terry, Jeff Fortenberry and Adrian Smith voted for it. H.R. 1947 was a five-year, $939 billion reauthorization of farm and nutrition programs. Largely because of steep cuts to the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, all but 24 Democrats voted against it. Sixty-two Republicans also voted against it, saying cuts were not deep enough. This bill would have cut $33 billion from the overall farm bill, including $20.5 billion in SNAP benefits, consolidate several rural conservation programs, and replace direct payments to farmers with a revenue-protection program that would kick in when county ag revenues fall 15 percent to 25 percent. A farm bill of the same name but numbered H.R. 2642 was in reconciliation with the Senate’s version of a farm bill when 2013 ended.

18-June — H.R. 1797, the Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act, passed the House 228-196, with the support of Reps. Smith, Terry and Fortenberry. Pending in the Senate Judiciary Committee. Would ban abortion after 20 weeks’ gestation except in the case that the woman had reported a rape to authorities or the woman’s life as in danger. Would impose a fine or a prison sentence of up to five years on physicians who violate the law. The 20-week ban is based on contested claims by abortion foes that a fetus feels pain at that age.

20-May — H.R. 1062, the SEC Regulatory Accountability Act, passed the House 235-161, with the support of Nebraska Reps. Terry, Smith and Fortenberry. (Roll call vote 160.) It is before the Senate Committee on Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs. H.R. 1062 would amend the Securities and Exchange Commission’s charter to force the agency to conduct cost-benefit analyses before issuing new regulations.

16-May — H.R. 45, to Repeal the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act and health care-related provisions of the Health Care and Education Reconciliation Act of 2010. Passed on a vote of 229-195, with the support of Reps. Fortenberry, Terry and Smith, roll call vote  154. It was placed on the Senate calendar.

15-May — HR. 767, a bill to amend the Energy Policy Act  to relocate two pilot project offices in Wyoming and Montana to other cities within those states. Passed the House on a vote of 415-1, with the support of Reps. Terry, Smith and Fortenberry. It passed the Senate on Dec. 20, and was signed into law Dec. 26, 2013.

15-March — H.R. 803, the Supporting Knowledge and Investing Lifelong Skills Act or SKILLS Act. Passed the house 215-202, with the support of Nebraska Reps. Terry, Smith and Fortenberry. Awaiting action in the Senate’s Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee. This controversial bill would combine dozens of federal jobs training programs and send the money to states in block grants. It passed along a party-line vote. Democrats and President Obama opposed the bill, saying it went too far to cut programs addressing the particular needs of vulnerable populations.

13-March — H.R. 890, the Preserving the Welfare Work Requirement and TANF Extension Act of 2013. Passed the House 246-181, with the support of Nebraska Reps. Terry, Smith and Fortenberry. Awaiting action in the Senate Finance Committee. Prohibits the federal Department of Health and Human Services from allowing states to grant waivers for work requirements — flexibility that was requested by state governors. Also reauthorized TANF through the end of the year.

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