The Free Press, Mankato, MN

State, national news

March 2, 2014

How They Voted: week ending Feb. 28

(Continued)

Hank Johnson, D-Ga., said the bill takes aim at "rules that would protect the health and safety of people throughout America, not just workers, but people who have to eat ... to drink ... to breathe. The benefits of regulation far outweigh the costs."

A yes vote was to send the bill to the Senate, where it is likely to die.

Voting yes: Kline, Paulsen, Bachmann, Peterson

Voting no: Walz, McCollum, Ellison, Nolan

Not voting: None

Rules to help veterans, seniors, women

Voting 187 for and 229 against, the House on Feb. 27 defeated a Democratic bid to prevent HR 2804 (above) from interfering with regulations that expedite veterans' benefits; protect the health and safety of seniors, children and consumers; ensure pay equity for women; provide refunds and rebates to taxpayers; aid small businesses; prevent discrimination; safeguard drinking water and protect food supplies from food-borne diseases.

Elizabeth Esty, D-Conn., called the underlying bill "an ideological attempt to weaken and delay all regulations, even those that protect consumers and small businesses, help veterans and keep our families safe."

Bob Goodlatte, R-Va., said: "Vote against this motion. ... Vote for this bill. Take Americans' hard-earned dollars out of the hands of Washington's bureaucrats who want to flush (them) down the regulatory drain."

A yes vote backed the motion.

Voting yes: Walz, McCollum, Ellison, Nolan

Voting no: Kline, Paulsen, Bachmann, Peterson

Not voting: None

Rules for tax-exempt organizations

Voting 243 for and 176 against, the House on Feb. 26 passed a GOP bill (HR 3865) to delay new rules for the treatment of non-profit organizations under section 501(c)4 of the Internal Revenue Code. Existing law allows these groups to receive tax-exempt status and keep their donors secret if they are primarily or exclusively engaged in promoting social welfare. The proposed new rules would clarify the distinction between overt political advocacy and activities that promote social welfare. Republicans urged delay until they finish their probe of IRS targeting of conservative groups' 501(c)4 applications. Democrats said in debate the IRS has acknowledged also giving special scrutiny to progressive groups' applications for tax-exempt status.

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