WASHINGTON - Here is how Philadelphia-area members of Congress voted on major issues last week:
Small-business credit. Voting 237-187, the House sent President Obama a deficit-neutral bill (HR 5297) authorizing Treasury lending of up to $30 billion to community banks to leverage up to $300 billion in new credit for small businesses. As collateral, the Treasury would receive dividend-paying preferred stock redeemable within 10 years. Financial institutions with assets under $10 billion would be eligible for the program. The bill also provides dozens of small-business tax breaks totaling $12 billion over 10 years, which are paid for by measures such as closing corporate tax loopholes.
A yes vote was to pass the bill.
Voting yes: John Adler (D., N.J.), Robert E. Andrews (D., N.J.), Robert A. Brady (D., Pa.), Chaka Fattah (D., Pa.), Tim Holden (D., Pa.), Patrick Murphy (D., Pa.), Allyson Y. Schwartz (D., Pa.), and Joe Sestak (D., Pa.).
Voting no: Michael N. Castle (R., Del.), Charles W. Dent (R., Pa.), Jim Gerlach (R., Pa.), Frank A. LoBiondo (R., N.J.), and Christopher H. Smith (R., N.J.).
GOP military filibuster. Voting 56-43, the Senate failed to reach 60 votes for advancing a $725.7 billion military budget (S 3454) for the fiscal year beginning Oct. 1, which includes $159.3 billion for the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq. Republicans voted unanimously to block the bill and were joined by three Democrats. The opposition stemmed largely from the bill's repeal of the "don't ask, don't tell" policy barring gay men and lesbians from serving openly in the armed forces.
A yes vote was to debate the 2011 defense budget.
Voting yes: Thomas Carper (D., Del.), Bob Casey (D., Pa.), Ted Kaufman (D., Del.), Frank Lautenberg (D., N.J.), Robert Menendez (D., N.J.), and Arlen Specter (D., Pa.).
Campaign-finance disclosures. Voting 59-39, the Senate failed to reach 60 votes for ending Republican blockage of a House-passed bill (S 3628) requiring corporations, unions and interest groups to publicly disclose within 24 hours their role in funding campaign commercials.
A yes vote was to advance the bill.
Voting yes: Carper, Casey, Kaufman, Lautenberg, Menendez, and Specter.
Union elections. Voting 43-56, the Senate defeated a measure (S J Res 30) to block a new collective-bargaining rule that makes it easier for transportation workers to form unions. The National Mediation Board, which resolves labor disputes in the railroad and airline industries, approved the rule in May. The rule allows transportation workers to form unions if a majority of those casting ballots vote to certify.
A yes vote was to block the new rule.
Voting no: Carper, Casey, Kaufman, Lautenberg, Menendez, and Specter.