WASHINGTON - Here is how Philadelphia-area members of Congress voted on major issues last week:
Ozone layer depletion. Voting 229-182, the House on Wednesday failed to reach a two-thirds majority needed to pass a bill (HR 6190) allowing the sell-off of inventories of a certain asthma inhaler that has been banned from sale since Dec. 31, 2011, because its chlorofluorocarbon emissions damage the ozone layer. The product is Primatene Mist, a "CFC epinephrine" inhaler manufactured by Armstrong Pharmaceuticals. This bill would legalize the sale of existing stocks of more than one million units through July 2013. The Environmental Protection Agency has banned the sale of Primatene Mist and more than a dozen other inhalers containing CFCs under a U.S. law that implements the Montreal Protocol on Substances that Deplete the Ozone Layer.
A yes vote was to pass the bill.
Voting yes: Charles W. Dent (R., Pa.), Frank A. LoBiondo (R., N.J.), 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.), Michael Fitzpatrick (R., Pa.), Jim Gerlach (R., Pa.), Pat Meehan (R., Pa.), and Allyson Y. Schwartz (D., Pa.).
Not voting: Tim Holden (D., Pa.) and Joseph R. Pitts (R., Pa.).
Protection of Afghan women. Voting 399-4, the House on Thursday called upon the U.S. military to step up efforts to ensure the rights and physical safety of women and girls in Afghanistan during and after the transition of power from coalition to Afghan security forces. With this nonbinding vote, members endorsed language to protect Afghan women and girls that is in the Senate version but not the House version of the fiscal 2013 military authorization bill (HR 4310). Now in a House-Senate conference committee, the $631.6 billion military budget was expected to receive final congressional passage within days.
A yes vote backed the amendment.
Voting yes: Andrews, Brady, Dent, Fattah, Fitzpatrick, Gerlach, LoBiondo, Meehan, Runyan, Schwartz, and Smith.
Not voting: Carney, Holden, and Pitts.
Unlimited deposit insurance. Voting 50-42, the Senate on Thursday failed to advance a bill (S 3637) to extend the Transaction Account Guarantee (TAG) program through 2014. This effectively ends the program, which was begun during the 2008 financial collapse as a temporary measure to boost liquidity in a failing banking system. TAG provides unlimited federal deposit insurance above the standard cap of $250,000 per depositor per institution - for non-interest-bearing accounts held by large corporations, small businesses, local governments, nonprofits and wealthy individuals in banks and credit unions.
A yes vote was to advance the bill.
Voting yes: Thomas Carper (D., Del.), Bob Casey (D., Pa.), Chris Coons (D., Del.), and Robert Menendez (D., N.J.).
Voting no: Pat Toomey (R., Pa.).
Not voting: Frank Lautenberg (D., N.J.).
This week. Both chambers will take up the conference report on the fiscal 2013 defense budget. They also may vote on a fiscal cliff bill, aid to victims of Hurricane Sandy, and the Violence Against Women Act, among other measures. House and Senate leaders say Congress will not adjourn this year until it has resolved fiscal issues.