WASHINGTON - Here is how Philadelphia-area members of Congress voted on major issues last week:

House

Dispute over rural dust. Voting 268-150, the House on Thursday sent the Senate a Republican bill (HR 1633) to bar any new Environmental Protection Agency regulation of coarse-particle dust generated by farming and certain other activities in rural areas. Republicans advanced the bill even after EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson said there would be no such regulation. The bill addresses particulate matter greater than 2.5 micrometers in diameter.

A yes vote was to pass the bill.

Voting yes: Charles W. Dent (R., Pa.), Michael Fitzpatrick (R., Pa.), Jim Gerlach (R., Pa.), Tim Holden (D., Pa.), Frank A. LoBiondo (R., N.J.), Pat Meehan (R., Pa.), Joseph R. Pitts (R., Pa.), Jon Runyan (R., N.J.), and Christopher H. Smith (R., N.J.).

Voting no: Robert E. Andrews (D., N.J.), Robert A. Brady (D., Pa.), John Carney (D., Del.), Chaka Fattah (D., Pa.), and Allyson Y. Schwartz (D., Pa.).

Congressional veto of regulations. Voting 241-184, the House on Wednesday sent the Senate a bill (HR 10) that would empower either chamber to kill major new rules proposed by agencies. Under present law, major rules take effect unless Congress votes disapproval. Under this bill, they could take effect only if Congress votes approval, and either chamber could kill a new rule by sitting on it for 70 days. Agencies issue an average of 80 major rules each year to implement laws enacted by Congress.

Robert E. Andrews (D., N.J.) said that "for all these terrible regulations we keep hearing about that have been introduced this year, do you know how many times the [Republican] majority has brought to the floor a resolution to reject one of those regulations? Once."

A yes vote was to pass the bill.

Voting yes: Dent, Fitzpatrick, Gerlach, LoBiondo, Meehan, Pitts, Runyan, and Smith.

Voting no: Andrews, Brady, Carney, Fattah, Holden, and Schwartz.

Senate

Consumer protection chief. Voting 53-45, the Senate on Thursday failed to end GOP blockage of the nomination of Richard Cordray to head the new Consumer Finance Protection Bureau. Cordray, 52, is a former Ohio attorney general. Congress created the bureau as part of the 2010 Dodd-Frank financial-regulation law.

The bureau is based in and draws its budget from the Federal Reserve, but has independent powers to write and enforce rules against any firm "significantly involved" in selling financial services, such as companies dealing in home mortgages, Wall Street investing, and payday lending. The director answers directly to the president.

A yes vote was to advance the nomination.

Voting yes: Thomas Carper (D., Del.), Bob Casey (D., Pa.), Chris Coons (D., Del.), Frank Lautenberg (D., N.J.), and Robert Menendez (D., N.J.).

Voting no: Pat Toomey (R., Pa.).

Democratic payroll rates. Voting 50-48, the Senate on Thursday failed to reach 60 votes for passing a Democratic bill (S 1944) to extend and expand this year's temporary lowering of Social Security payroll taxes. In 2011, employees are contributing 4.2 percent of their pay up to $106,800 to the Social Security Trust Fund - down 2 percentage points from the standard 6.2 percent rate that will return Jan. 1 unless Congress renews the break.

A yes vote was to advance the bill.

Voting yes: Carper, Casey, Coons, Lautenberg, and Menendez.

Voting no: Toomey.

Republican payroll rates. Voting 22-76, the Senate on Thursday defeated a Republican bill (S 1931) to renew for one year the existing law under which employees contribute 4.2 percent of their pay to the Social Security Trust Fund. The plan also would raise Medicare premiums for millionaires and billionaires.

A yes vote was to pass the bill.

Voting no: Carper, Casey, Coons, Lautenberg, Menendez, and Toomey.

Caitlin Halligan nomination. Voting 54-45, the Senate on Tuesday failed to reach 60 votes for ending a Republican filibuster against the nomination of Caitlin J. Halligan, 44, for a seat on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia. That court is regarded as the most powerful appellate panel because it hears federal cases with major nationwide impacts. Halligan is general counsel for the New York County District Attorney's Office in Manhattan.

A yes vote was to advance the nomination.

Voting yes: Carper, Casey, Coons, Lautenberg, and Menendez.

Voting no: Toomey.

This week. Both chambers will vote on the fiscal 2012 military budget, a renewal of this year's Social Security payroll-tax reduction, an extension of jobless benefits, and 2012 appropriations bills. Congress hopes to adjourn for the year at week's end.