1996 ACU HOUSE VOTE DESCRIPTIONS
- EDUCATIONAL CHOICE. HR 2546 (CQ House Vote 22), FY 1996 District of Columbia Appropriations. Dixon (D-CA) motion to recommit the conference report on the bill, with instructions to delete the bills provisions concerning school-choice vouchers for low-income students. Rejected 180-232, Jan. 31, 1996. ACU opposed the motion.
- LOBBYING WITH FEDERAL GRANTS. HR 3019 (CQ House Vote 52), Fiscal 1996 Omnibus Appropriations. Istook (R-OK) amendment to require private groups that receive federal grants to report the amount of money they spend on lobbying the federal government or any state or local government, on advocating the defeat or election of any candidate for public office, or on advocating the defeat or passage of any ballot proposition. The measure was designed to ensure that taxpayer funds are not used for lobbying or electioneering activities. Adopted 211-209, March 7, 1996. ACU supported the amendment.
- RESTRUCTURING THE STATE DEPARTMENT. HR 1561 (CQ House Vote 59), State Department Authorization. Adoption of the Conference Report on the bill to require the President to abolish one of three international affairs agencies (the Agency for International Development, the U.S. Information Agency, or the Arms Control and Disarmament Agency) and to shift its activities to the State Department. Adopted 226-172, March 12, 1996. ACU supported the legislation.
- DEATH PENALTY DELAYS. HR 2703 (CQ House Vote 64), Anti-Terrorism Act. Watt (D-NC) amendment to strike the bills habeas corpus provisions that place strict limits on the ability of state death-row and other prisoners to challenge in federal court the constitutionality of their sentence. Rejected 135-238, March 14, 1996. ACU opposed the amendment.
- REPEALING THE "ASSAULT WEAPONS" BAN. HR 125 (CQ House Vote 92), the Second Amendment Enforcement Act. Passage of the bill to repeal the current ban on certain semi-automatic assault-style weapons and eliminate the prohibition on selling or manufacturing such guns. The bill also requires mandatory minimum sentences for committing violent crimes with certain firearms and increases penalties for subsequent offenses. Passed 239-173, March 22, 1996. ACU supported the legislation.
- PRODUCT LIABILITY OVERHAUL. HR 956 (CQ House Vote 110), Product Liability Reform. Adoption of the Conference Report to limit punitive damages in product liability cases to two times compensatory damages or $250,000, whichever is greater, with lower limits for small businesses. The bill also would abolish joint and several liability for non-economic damages. Adopted 259-158, March 29, 1996. ACU supported the legislation.
- TAX LIMITATION CONSTITUTIONAL AMENDMENT. HJRes 159 (CQ House Vote 117), Tax Limitation Constitutional Amendment. Passage of the joint resolution proposing a constitutional amendment requiring a two-thirds majority vote in both House and Senate in order to raise taxes. Congress would be able to waive this super-majority requirement to pass a tax increase during a period of declared war between the United States and another country or when Congress and the President enact a joint resolution stating that the U.S. is engaged in a military conflict that threatens national security. Rejected 243-177 (a constitutional amendment requires a two-thirds majority of those present and voting, in this case 280 votes), April 15, 1996. ACU supported the resolution.
- FISCAL 1997 BUDGET. HConRes 178 (CQ House Vote 179), FY 1997 Budget Resolution. Adoption of the concurrent resolution to adopt a six-year budget plan that would balance the budget by 2002 by cutting projected spending by $714 billion and cutting taxes by $124 billion, for a net deficit reduction of $592 billion. Projected spending cuts would come from reductions of $158 billion to Medicare, $72 billion to Medicaid, and $311 billion to discretionary spending. The resolution also calls for the elimination of the Commerce and Energy Departments and more than 130 programs, including the Goals 2000 school reform program, the Americorps national service program, and the Legal Services Corporation. Adopted 226-195, May 16, 1996. ACU supported the resolution.
- MINIMUM WAGE INCREASE. HR 1227 (CQ House Vote 192), Employee Commuting Act/Minimum Wage Increase. Riggs (R-CA) amendment to increase the minimum wage by 90 cents per hour over two years. Adopted 266-162, May 23, 1996. ACU opposed the amendment.
- SMALL BUSINESS EXEMPTIONS. HR 1227 (CQ House Vote 194), Employee Commuting Act/Minimum Wage Increase. Goodling (R-PA) amendment to exempt employees of businesses with annual gross sales under $500,000 from the minimum wage and overtime law. Rejected 196-229, May 23, 1996. ACU supported the amendment.
- MISSILE DEFENSES. HR 3610 (CQ House Vote 246), FY 1997 Defense Appropriations. DeFazio (D-OR) amendment, as amended by the Dicks (D-WA) amendment, to prohibit the use of funds under the National Missile Defense program to procure space-based interceptors or space-based directed-energy weapons. Rejected 190-208, June 13, 1996. ACU opposed the amendment.
- TERMINATING AMERICORPS. HR 3666 (CQ House Vote 276), FY 1997 VA-HUD Appropriations. Hostettler (R-IN) amendment to eliminate the bills $367 million for the Americorps National Service program, thereby terminating this program which pays "volunteers" to work. Rejected 183-240, June 26, 1996. ACU supported the amendment.
- WELFARE REFORM. HR 3734 (CQ House Vote 331), Budget Reconciliation. Passage of the bill to save about $61 billion through fiscal 2002 by ending the federal entitlement to welfare programs and sending the administration of these various programs back to the states, which would have broad discretion over their own programs through block grants. The legislation requires welfare recipients to work within two years of receiving benefits and generally limits recipients to five years of lifetime welfare benefits. Passed 256-170, July 18, 1996. ACU supported the legislation.
- INCREASING LEGAL SERVICES FUNDING. HR 3814 (CQ House Vote 341), FY 1997 Commerce-State-Justice Appropriations. Mollohan (D-WV) amendment to increase by $109 million the $141 million provided in the bill for the Legal Services Corporation, thereby breaking the budget agreement reached just last year, which had called for a two-year phase-out of funding for the LSC. Adopted 247-179, July 23, 1996. ACU opposed the amendment.
- WELFARE FOR POLITICIANS. HR 3820 (CQ House Vote 363), Campaign Finance Reform. Fazio (D-CA) substitute amendment to reform the federal campaign finance system by setting voluntary spending limits and providing taxpayer subsidies for postage and discounted rates for broadcast time. Rejected 177-243, July 25, 1996. ACU opposed the legislation.
- OFFICIAL ENGLISH. HR 123 (CQ House Vote 391), English as the Official Language of Government. Passage of the bill to declare English as the official language of the U.S. Government and to require the federal government to conduct most of its official business in English. The bill also would eliminate the current requirement that bilingual voting ballots be provided in areas populated by large numbers of voters whose first language is not English. Passed 259-169, Aug. 1, 1996. ACU supported the legislation.
- U.N. INSIGNIA ON U.S. UNIFORMS. HR 3308 (CQ House Vote 404), U.N. Commanders. Bartlett (R-MD) amendment to prohibit members of the U.S. Armed Forces from being forced to wear a United Nations uniform or insignia unless specifically authorized by Congress. Adopted 276-130, Sept. 5, 1996. ACU supported the amendment.
- PARTIAL BIRTH ABORTION. HR 1833 (CQ House Vote 422), Partial Birth Abortion Ban Veto Over-Ride. Passage, over President Clintons April 10 veto, of the bill banning a late-term abortion procedure, where the physician partially delivers the fetus before completing the abortion. An exception would be granted when the procedure is necessary to save the life of the mother, provided no other medical procedure can be used. Passed 285-137, Sept. 19, 1996. (A two-thirds majority of those present and voting 282, in this case of both houses is required to override a veto.) ACU supported the legislation.
- RESTRICTIONS ON EDUCATION FOR ILLEGAL IMMIGRANTS. HR 4134 (CQ House Vote 433), Illegal Immigrant Education Restrictions. Passage of the bill to permit states to bar illegal immigrants from public education, beginning with enrollments after July 1, 1997. States would not be permitted to prevent previously enrolled students from completing their schooling. Passed 254-175, Sept. 25, 1996. ACU supported the legislation.
- PREVENTING U.N. CONTROL OF U.S. LANDS. HR 3752 (CQ House Vote 442), U.N. Conservation Restrictions. Young (R-AK) motion to suspend the rules and pass the bill to prohibit federal officials from nominating U.S. lands for protection under United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization conservation programs without previous congressional approval. Motion rejected 246-178, Sept. 26, 1996. (A two-thirds majority of those present and voting 283 in this case is required for passage under suspension of the rules.) ACU supported the legislation.
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