The Free Press, Mankato, MN

State, national news

March 2, 2014

How They Voted: week ending Feb. 28

(Continued)

Charles Boustany, R-La., said the bill seeks delay "until we complete the investigation and we have all the facts" about the IRS's targeting of conservative organizations

Sander Levin, D-Mich., said the purpose of the bill was to "preserve the secrecy around the Republicans' big campaign efforts" that utilize 501(c)4 organizations.

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

Voting yes: Kline, Paulsen, Bachmann, Peterson

Voting no: Walz, Nolan

Not voting: McCollum, Ellison

Secret political funding

Voting 191 for and 230 against, the House on Feb. 26 defeated a Democratic bid to ensure that no provision of HR 3865 (above) would prohibit the Department of the Treasury from proposing rules that require political donors to organizations to be publicly identified.

Chris Van Hollen, D-Md., said voters "have a right to know who is bankrolling these campaign efforts."

Dave Camp, R-Mich., said the motion "permits the government to restrict the free speech of Americans."

A yes vote backed the Democratic motion.

Voting yes: Walz, Peterson, Nolan

Voting no: Kline, Paulsen, Bachmann

Not voting: McCollum, Ellison

Senate

Expanded veterans' benefits

Voting 56 for and 41 against, against, the Senate on Feb. 27 failed to reach 60 votes needed to overcome Republican blockage of a bill (S 1982) that would expand veterans' benefits at a cost of $21 billion over several years in areas such as physical and mental healthcare, college-tuition assistance, transition to civilian employment and military-retirement pay. To pay for itself, the bill would cut other veterans' programs and tap into savings resulting from U.S. troop withdrawals in Iraq and Afghanistan. But GOP critics said the entire "pay for" should come from actual budget cuts. Republicans also objected to Democrats not allowing a vote on a bipartisan amendment that would impose new economic sanctions on Iran during ongoing U.S. negotiations with Tehran over curbing the Iranian nuclear program.

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