WASHINGTON - The House was not in session. Here is how Philadelphia-area senators voted on major issues last week:

Senate

Hurricane Sandy aid. Voting 61-33, the Senate on Friday sent the House a bill (HR 1) to appropriate $60.4 billion in disaster aid that would fund recovery from Hurricane Sandy in the Northeast and benefit other parts of the country as well. At least $24 billion would be allocated to communities, homeowners and other direct victims of superstorm Sandy in New York, New Jersey and Connecticut, while $13 billion would be used to build public works there and elsewhere to prevent similar damage in future storms.

A yes vote was to pass 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.)

Government spy powers. Voting 73-23, the Senate on Friday sent President Obama a bill (HR 5949) to renew the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) through 2017. The law authorizes the National Security Agency to conduct surveillance without specific warrants on phone calls, e-mails, and other contacts between foreigners that pass through telecommunications switching points in the United States. Additionally, the bill authorizes a secret FISA court to issue blanket warrants for spying on communications between U.S. and foreign locations, while continuing the requirement that strictly domestic spying on Americans be authorized by FISA-court warrants on a case-by-case basis.

A yes vote was to pass the bill.

Voting yes: Carper, Casey, and Toomey.

Voting no: Coons and Menendez.

Not voting: Lautenberg.

Fourth Amendment protections. Voting 12-79, the Senate on Thursday refused to require the government to obtain search warrants for inspecting customer records held by third parties such as Internet service providers, banks, and credit cards. Although it was offered to HR 5949 (above), the amendment applied to all types of searches by law enforcement, not just those conducted under the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act.

A yes vote backed the amendment.

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

Not voting: Lautenberg.

Spying on Americans. Voting 43-52, the Senate on Friday refused to require minimal public disclosure of the extent to which the electronic communications of law-abiding U.S. citizens or legal residents are inadvertently spied upon during government surveillance of terrorism suspects' phone calls and Internet communications. The Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (HR 5949, above), which empowers the government to monitor worldwide communications passing through U.S. switching points, requires that incidentally collected information on Americans to be expunged or disregarded. But there is no public accounting of the extent to which incidental collections occur or on what happens to the information.

A yes vote backed the amendment.

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

Not voting: Lautenberg.

This week. There is a possibility that the 112th Congress will take up a bill to avert the so-called fiscal cliff before it gives way to the 113th Congress on Jan. 3.