Pro-Life Voting Index -- US House

July 7, 2008 - 8:02 PM

Life Advocacy's House voting record index for 1999, the first session of the 106th Congress. (See also the Senate Index.)

A clear signal that pro-life strength has been slipping in the House is the fact that the pro-life position lost a significant number of roll call votes on the floor. Of the 20 House votes in which a Life issue was at stake, the pro-life position prevailed on only 14. The 1999 session also witnessed some of the closest floor votes ever on Life-related issues. For example, Rep. Steve Largent's (R-OK) amendment to protect children in the District of Columbia from being jointly adopted by two or more persons who are unrelated to each other was defeated 215 to 213, while Rep. Tom Coburn's (R-OK) amendment to prevent the Food and Drug Administration from approving drugs intended to induce abortion carried by a razor-thin 217 to 214.

The strongest issues for pro-lifers were the Pain Relief Promotion Act, jointly sponsored by Representatives Henry Hyde (R-IL) and Bart Stupak (D-MI), which passed with 271 votes in favor and 156 opposed; the Child Custody Protection Act, sponsored by Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R-FL), which passed on a 270 to 159 vote; and Rep. Lindsey Graham's (R-SC) Unborn Victims of Violence Act, adopted by a 254 to 172 margin. A total of eight floor votes were taken on those three bills, and the pro-life position prevailed on all of them.

The toughest votes for pro-lifers were those connected with population control. Rep. Ron Paul's (R-TX) amendment to eliminate population control funding entirely was rejected by a lopsided 272 to 145 margin; the loss was not unexpected, as Rep. Paul's identical amendment met the same fate by an almost identical margin in 1998.

Far worse, Rep. Joe Pitts's (R-PA) very modest and humane proposal to stop foreign aid agents from raiding the urgently needed funds designated for Child Survival and using those dollars to supplement their population control budgets was also defeated on a vote of 237 to 187. The issue Rep. Pitts raised has never before been considered by the House and there is reason to hope that even a minor effort to alert Members of Congress to this practice might produce a different outcome next year.

Rep. Chris Smith (R-NJ) once again led a tireless effort to prevent population control funds from going to foreign abortion lobbyists. He won that fight on the floor by a solid margin of 228 to 200, but first he had to win a behind-the-scenes procedural struggle to allow his amendment to be voted on separately from a deceptive substitute (which would have had zero effect) offered by Rep. Jim Greenwood (R-PA). As it turned out, the Greenwood amendment also passed, 221 to 208, on a vote that was purely for display purposes and had no practical effect. Far more important, at the end of Rep. Smith's five-year struggle to impose some anti-abortion limits on population control funds, Congressional negotiators succeeded in getting the President to sign a compromise version of the Smith amendment in the final appropriations bill of the year.

That was the one and only substantive victory of the year for the pro-life cause, and it was unfortunately balanced by a bitterly disappointing defeat. The major pro-life gain of 1998 was elimination of US funding of the United Nations Population Fund, which contributes to Red China's forced-abortion pogrom. But that gain was reversed when the House approved, 221 to 198, a deceptive amendment by Rep. Tom Campbell (R-CA) giving UNFPA $25 million as long as they promised not to spend it in Communist China. What made that defeat even more galling was the subsequent discovery that UNFPA had actively and knowingly collaborated with the Milosevic regime in its campaign of "ethnic cleansing" (genocide) against Albanians in Kosovo. Several Members of Congress who had voted for the Campbell amendment were willing to reconsider their position in light of those revelations, but by that time it was too late, as the legislation was by then in the not-so-tender hands of the rabidly anti-life Senator Arlen Specter (R-PA).

The anti-life faction descended into mean-spirited pettiness with an amendment offered by Rep. Nita Lowey (D-NY) to alter compromise language that had been worked out on a "conscience clause" in connection with the mandate Mrs. Lowey had won in 1998 to force all federal employee health insurance plans to cover a broad array of contraceptives and abortifacients. The 1999 Lowey amendment sought to eliminate the term "moral" from the agreed-to "religious or moral" basis for seeking exemption from the mandate. Her objective, obviously, was to prevent the exercise of conscience by any party that could not claim a sectarian religious requirement. To its shame, the House agreed with Lowey in restricting the rights of conscience by a margin of 217 to 200, the first time we are aware of that the US House has weakened a conscience clause related to Life.

One more disappointment in 1999 was that there was no vote at all on the question of whether parents have a right to know what the government is doing to their minor children when it dispenses contraceptives to them. This has been an annual battle since 1995, and pro-life strength has grown every year as grass-roots Americans have become aware of how their government has been secretly debauching their children. But Rep. John Porter (R-IL), the leading advocate of the practice of clandestine pimping by government agents, managed to dodge the bullet this year by getting the House Leadership to agree not to allow his bloated Labor/HHS/Education Appropriations bill even to be brought to the House floor. Pro-family advocates are determined to get at least one vote on this critical question in 2000.

THE PRO-LIFE VOTING BASE IN THE HOUSE amounts to just over one-third of the 435 Members in the entire House. One hundred thirteen House Members were present and voting the pro-life position on all 20 roll calls; another 24 Members had perfect pro-life records except for missing one or more votes. Thus, 137 House members voted consistently pro-life. Another 72 Members voted pro-life at least 75% of the time. These Members identify themselves as pro-life but tended to stray from the pro-life position on foreign aid or adoption issues, which they failed to perceive as genuine Life issues. Even with this group added to the base, the fairly reliable element comprises less than a majority of the House. That is why in the 106th Congress-in contrast to the 104th and 105th Congresses-there have been so many doubtful votes. Members who are conflicted on the issue of Life, whose votes are hard to predict, have become the decisive element in the House. During the preceding four years, it had almost always been possible for the pro-life position to prevail even if all the "conflicted" votes went to the anti-life side.

Our index is listed according to the breakdown of the House in these voting blocs. We begin by listing the votes; roll call numbers cited are the official House identification for these votes and do not reflect bill numbers.

Key to Index of Recorded Votes ("$" = Appropriation Bill, "Amd" = Amendment)

Roll Call #
a. 173 (6/8/99) Agriculture $
Coburn Amd --- to prohibit FDA from proceeding on RU-486
Voting "yes" (pro-life) 217 / Voting "no" (pro-abortion) 214

b. 184 (6/9/99) Defense $
Meek/Sanchez Amd --- to allow abortions in military facilities
Voting "no" (pro-life) 225 / Voting "yes" (pro-abortion) 203

c. 260 (6/30/99) Child Custody Protection Act
Jackson-Lee Substitute Amd --- gutting bill
Voting "no" (pro-life) 268/ Voting "yes" (pro-abortion) 164

d. 261 (6/30/99) Child Custody Protection Act
Ros-Lehtinen --- Final Passage
Voting "yes" (pro-life) 270 / Voting "no" (pro-abortion) 159

e. 301 (7/15/99) Treasury/Postal $
DeLauro Amd --- to cover abortion in Federal Employee Health Benefits (FEHB)
Voting "no" (pro-life) 230 / Voting "yes" (pro-abortion) 188

f. 303 (7/15/99) Treasury/Postal $
Lowey Amd --- to narrow conscience protection in contraception mandate
Voting "no" (pro-life) 200 / Voting "yes" (pro-abortion) 217

g. 312 (7/20/99) Foreign Ops $
Campbell Amd --- to give UNFPA $25 million
Voting "no" (pro-life) 198 / Voting "yes" (pro-abortion) 221

h. 346 (7/29/99) District of Columbia $
Largent Amd --- to protect children from adoption by unrelated people
Voting "yes" (pro-life) 213 / Voting "no" (pro-abortion) 215

i. 349 (7/29/99) Foreign Ops $
Chris Smith Amd --- to stop funding foreign abortion lobbyists
Voting "yes" (pro-life) 228 / Voting "no" (pro-abortion) 200

j. 350 (7/29/99) Foreign Ops $
Greenwood Amd --- to fund foreign abortion lobbyists (superseded by "i")
Voting "no" (pro-life) 208 / Voting "yes" (pro-abortion) 221

k. 353 (7/29/99) Foreign Ops $
Pitts Amd --- to protect Child Survival funds from raids for depopulation
Voting "yes" (pro-life) 187 / Voting "no" (pro-abortion) 237

l. 360 (8/3/99) Foreign Ops $
Paul Amd --- to eliminate population control programs
Voting "yes" (pro-life) 145 / Voting "no" (pro-abortion) 272

m. 373 (8/4/99) Comm/Justice/State $
DeGette Amd --- to require tax funding of abortions on prisoners
Voting "no" (pro-life) 268 / Voting "yes" (pro-abortion) 160

n. 380 (8/5/99) Comm/Justice/State $
Tony Hall Amd --- to allow UN dues payment without pro-life reforms
Voting "no" (pro-life) 221 / Voting "yes" (pro-abortion) 206

o. 463 (9/30/99) Unborn Victims of Violence Act
Canady (technical perfecting) Amd
Voting "yes" (pro-life) 269 / Voting "no" (pro-abortion) 158

p. 464 (9/30/99) Unborn Victims of Violence Act
Lofgren Substitute Amd --- gutting bill
Voting "no" (pro-life) 224 / Voting "yes" (pro-abortion) 201

q. 465 (9/30/99) Unborn Victims of Violence Act
Graham --- Final Passage
Voting "yes" (pro-life) 254 / Voting "no" (pro-abortion) 172

r. 542 (10/27/99) Pain Relief Promotion Act
Scott Substitute Amd --- gutting bill
Voting "no" (pro-life 268 / Voting "yes" (pro-euthanasia) 160

s. 543 (10/27/99) Pain Relief Promotion Act
Nancy Johnson Substitute Amd --- gutting bill
Voting "no" (pro-life 239 / Voting "yes" (pro-euthanasia) 188

t. 544 (10/27/99) Pain Relief Promotion Act
Hyde/Stupak --- Final Passage
Voting "yes" (pro-life 271 / Voting "no" (pro-euthanasia) 156

Perfect records (113):
Republicans (104)
(AL) Aderholt, Bachus, Everett, Riley
(AR) Dickey, Hutchinson
(AZ) Hayworth, Salmon, Shadegg(CA) Calvert, Doolittle, Hunter, Gary Miller, Packard, Pombo, Radanovich, Rogan
(CO) Hefley, Tancredo
(FL) Bilirakis, Canady, Mica, Stearns, Weldon
(GA) Barr, Chambliss, Collins, Deal, Kingston, Linder, Norwood
(IL) Crane, Hyde, LaHood, Manzullo, Shimkus
(IN) Buyer, Hostettler, McIntosh, Pease, Souder
(IA) Nussle
(KS) Moran, Ryun, Tiahrt
(KY) Fletcher, Lewis, Rogers
(LA) McCrery, Vitter
(MD) Bartlett
(MI) Hoekstra
(MN) Gutknecht
(MO) Blunt, Emerson, Talent
(MT) Hill
(NE) Barrett, Terry
(NJ) LoBiondo, Saxton
(NM) Wicker
(NY) Fossella, King, Reynolds
(NC) Burr, Hayes, Jones, Myrick, Taylor
(OH) Boehner, Chabot, Ney, Portman
(OK) Coburn, Istook, Largent, Watkins, Watts
(PA) Goodling, Pitts
(SC) DeMint, Graham, Spence
(SD) Thune
(TN) Bryant, Duncan, Hilleary, Jenkins, Wamp
(TX) Archer, Armey, DeLay, Sam Johnson, Sessions
(UT) Cannon, Hansen
(VA) Bliley, Goodlatte
(WA) Hastings
(WI) Green, Petri, Ryan, Sensenbrenner

Democrats (9)
(IL) Costello, Lipinski, Phelps
(KY) Lucas
(MN) Peterson
(MS) Shows, Taylor
(TX) Hall
(VA) Goode

100% Pro-Life when voting (24), but with some absences (lower-case letters after "/" indicate absent votes):

Republicans (24)
(AK) Young/l
(CA) Cunningham/l, Herger/p
(CO) Schaffer/f
(FL) McCollum/a,b, Scarborough/o,p,q,r,s,t
(IL) Hastert*, Weller/p
(IN) Burton/f
(IA) Latham/e,f
(LA) Baker/g
(MS) Pickering/l,s
(NJ) Smith/l
(NY) Quinn/e
(NC) Coble/e,f,g
(OH) Kasich/b
(OK) Lucas/d
(PA) English/g, Peterson/f,g,h,i,j,k,l,m,n, Sherwood/b
(TX) Barton/e,k, Combest/g
(VA) Wolf/l
(WY) Cubin/k

*The Speaker traditionally does not vote. On roll calls a, i and n, Speaker Hastert voted pro-Life.
Usually Pro-Life (voting pro-Life on 75% or more) (72) (lower-case letters after "/" indicate anti-Life votes; capital letters following anti-Life votes indicate absences):
Republicans (49)
(AL) Callahan/l
(AZ) Stump/t
(CA) Bono/b,f,o,p,q, Cox/l;E, Dreier/l, Gallegly/f,k,l, McKeon/l, Rohrabacher/l,r,s,t, Royce/l;F
(CO) McInnis/k,p
(FL) Diaz-Balart/k,l, Goss/l, Ros-Lehtinen/k,l, Young/l
(ID) Chenoweth/r;A,E,F,I,J,O,P,Q, Simpson/f,k,l
(IL) Ewing/h,l
(IA) Ganske/a,f,g,k,l
(KY) Northup/l, Whitfield/h
(LA) Tauzin/l
(MI) Camp/h, Ehlers/l,n, Knollenberg/l, Smith/k,l
(MO) Hulshof/l
(NH) Sununu/l
(NE) Bereuter/f,g,i,k,l
(NM) Skeen/j,k,l
(NY) McHugh/l, Walsh/l
(NC) Ballenger/l
(OH) Gillmor/k,l, LaTourette/f,g,k,l, Oxley/h,l, Regula/g,h,j,k,l
(PA) Gekas/l, Shuster/s,t;K, Toomey/a,j,l, Weldon/l
(SC) Sanford/k,s,t
(TX) Bonilla/e,h, Brady/l, Smith/l, Thornberry/l
(UT) Cook/f
(VA) Bateman/k,l
(WA) Metcalf/r,s,t, Nethercutt/f,j,l

Democrats (23)
(AR) Berry/f,g,k,l,n
(IN) Roemer/f,h,k,l,n
(LA) John/l
(MI) Barcia/h,l, Kildee/h,l,n, Stupak/h,l,n
(MN) Oberstar/g,h,k,l,n
(MO) Danner/a,f,h,k,p, Skelton/l,n;H,I,J,K
(NY) Forbes/h,n, LaFalce/h,l,n
(NC) McIntyre/l
(OH) Hall/l,n, Kucinich/h,k,l,n, Traficant/h,l
(PA) Doyle/g,h,k,l,n, Holden/l,n;G, Mascara/l;R,S,T, Murtha/g,h,l,n
(TX) Ortiz/l;G, Stenholm/l,n
(WV) Mollohan/h;L,N, Rahall/h;I

Conflicted (50) (lower-case letters after "/" indicate anti-Life votes; capital letters following anti-Life votes indicate absences; unspecified votes, pro-Life)

Republicans (29)
(AZ) Kolbe/a,b,f,g,h,i,j,k,l,p,q,r,s,t
(CA) Bilbray/a,f,g,h,i,j,k,p;L,M,N, Lewis/g,h,i,j,k,l;D, Ose/a,b,e,f,g,h,i,j,k,l,n,p,q, Thomas/a,b,g,h,j,k,l,p,s
(FL) Foley/a,b,e,f,g,h,j,k,l,p,q, Fowler/a,b,f,g,j,k,l, Miller/a,b,e,f,g,h,j,l, Shaw/b,f,g,j,k,l,s
(GA) Isakson/a,b,f,g,i,j,k,l
(IA) Leach/a,b,g,h,i,j,k,l,n,p
(LA) Cooksey/g,h,j,k,l,,n,s,t;E,F
(MD) Ehrlich/a,b,e,f,g,i,j,k,l,s,t
(MI) Upton/a,g,j,k,l,p
(MN) Ramstad/a,b,e,f,g,i,j,k,l,p
(NV) Gibbons/a,f,g,j,k,l,p
(NJ) Franks/a,b,e,f,g,h,i,j,l, Roukema/a,b,e,f,g,i,j,k,l,n,p,q
(NM) Wilson/a,g,h,j,k,l
(NY) Kelly/a,b,e,f,g,h,i,j,k,l,m,o,p,q, Lazio/a,e,f,g,j,k,l,p, Sweeney /a,e,g,j,k,l,p
(OH) Hobson/f,g,h,i,j,k,l,p, Pryce/a,b,e,f,g,h,i,j,k,n,p;L
(OR) Walden/b,f,k,l,r,s,t
(TX) Granger/a,f,g,k,l,p; Paul/d,o,q,r,s,t
(VA) Davis/a,e,g,i,k,l,p,s
(WA) Dunn/b,f,j,k,l,p

Democrats (21)
(AL) Cramer/a,b,e,f,g,i,j,k,l,n,s
(FL) Davis/a,b,e,f,g,h,i,j,k,l,m,n,p,q
(IN) Hill/a,b,e,f,g,i,j,k,l,n,p
(MA) Moakley/a,f,g,h,j,k,l,n,s, Neal/a,b,f,g,h,i,j,k,l,n,s
(MI) Bonior/a,b,f,g,h,j,k,l,n,p,r,s,t, Dingell/ a,b,c,e,f,g,h,i,j,k,l,n,q
(NY) Crowley/c,d,f,g,h,j,k,l,n,p,r,s, McNulty/g,h,i,j,k,l,n,p;E,F
(ND) Pomeroy/a,b,e,f,g,h,i,j,k,l,n,p
(OH) Kaptur/a,d,f,g,h,j,k,l,n,p,r,s,t
(PA) Borski/f,g,h,j,k,l,n, Kanjorski/f,g,h,k,l,n, Klink/f,g,h,k,l,n
(RI) Weygand/f,h,k,l,n,p
(SC) Spratt/a,b,e,f,g,i,j,k,l,m,n,p,s
(TN) Clement/a,b,e,f,g,i,j,k,l,n, Gordon/a,b,e,g,i,j,k,l,n,p,s/F, Tanner/a,b,e,f,g,i,j,k,l,n,p,r,s,t
(TX) Turner/a,b,g,i,j,k,l,n,p
(WI) Kleczka/a,b,f,g,h,i,j,k,l,n,p

Usually Anti-Life (60) (lower-case letters after "/" indicate pro-Life votes; capital letters following pro-Life votes indicate absences; unspecified votes, anti-Life):

Republicans (14)
(CA) Campbell/n,o, Horn/d,n, Kuykendall/c,d,n,r,t
(CT) Johnson/o;L, Shays/f
(DE) Castle/h,m,n,o,q
(IL) Biggert/n,r
(MD) Gilchrest/n,o,q,r;E,F
(NH) Bass/c,m,o,r
(NJ) Frelinghuysen/c,d,r,t
(NY) Boehlert/r,t, Gilman/n,t, Houghton/c,o,r,t
(PA) Greenwood/t

Democrats (46)
(AL) Hilliard/d;E
(AR) Snyder/c,d,m,o
(CA) Condit/c,d,r, Martinez/r,s,t;C,D
(CT) Maloney/o,r,t
(FL) Boyd/c,d,m, Thurman/m;E,F
(GA) Bishop/d,o,t
(IL) Schakowsky/r,s,t
(IN) Visclosky/m,p,t;B
(IA) Boswell/c,d,r,s,t
(KS) Moore/h,m,t
(LA) Jefferson/m,t;G,O,P,Q
(ME) Baldacci/t
(MD) Hoyer/f,t, Wynn/f,t
(MI) Rivers/c
(MN) Luther/q;E,F, Minge/d,o,q, Vento/d
(NJ) Andrews/t, Pascrell/d,e,m,r,t
(NM) Udall/m
(NY) McCarthy/r,t
(NC) Etheridge/d,h,m, Price/f,r, Watt /p
(OH) Strickland/d,o,r,t
(PA) Brady/t, Hoeffel/r,s,t
(TX) Bentsen/r, Edwards/e,m,r, Frost/m;E,F, Green/r,t, E.B. Johnson/i, Lampson/e,m,t, Reyes/c,d,t;M,N, Sandlin/d,h,o
(VA) Moran/o, Pickett/g,h,p,s, Scott/p, Sisisky/h,r,t
(WA) McDermott/E,F,G,H,I,J,K,L,M,N, Smith/f,o
(WV) Wise/t
(WI) Kind/o,q, Obey/c,d,m,o,q

Consistently Anti-Life (115) (capital letters after "/" indicate absences):

Republicans (2)
(IL) Porter
(MD) Morella

Democrats (112)
(AZ) Pastor
(CA) Becerra, Berman, Capps, Dixon, Dooley, Eshoo, Farr, Filner, Lantos/L,M,N, Lee, Lofgren, Matsui, Millender-McDonald, George Miller, Napolitano, Pelosi, Roybal-Allard, Sanchez, Sherman, Stark/B,G, Tauscher, Thompson, Waters/A, Waxman, Woolsey
(CO) DeGette
(CT) DeLauro, Gejdenson, Larson, Udall
(FL) Brown, Deutsch, Hastings, Meek/N, Wexler
(GA) Lewis/G, McKinney
(HI) Abercrombie, Mink
(IL) Blagojevich, Davis, Evans, Gutierrez/K, Jackson, Rush/K,R,S,T
(IN) Carson
(ME) Allen
(MD) Cardin, Cummings
(MA) Capuano, Delahunt/R,S,T, Frank/L, Markey, McGovern, Meehan, Olver, Tierney
(MI)Conyers, Kilpatrick, Levin, Stabenow
(MS) Thompson/L
(MO) Clay, Gephardt, McCarthy
(NV) Berkley
(NJ) Holt, Menendez, Pallone, Payne, Rothman
(NY) Ackerman, Engel, Hinchey/B,G,L, Lowey, Maloney, Meeks/O,P,Q, Nadler, Owens/L, Rangel, Serrano, Slaughter, Towns/G, VelazquezNY, Weiner
(NC) Clayton
(OH) Brown, Jones/H,I, Sawyer
(OR) Blumenauer, DeFazio, Hooley, Wu/O,P,Q
(PA) Coyne, Fattah
(RI) Kennedy/G,T
(SC) Clyburn
(TN) Ford/D,K,Q
(TX) Doggett, Gonzalez, Hinojosa/R,S,T, Jackson-Lee, Rodriguez
(VA) Boucher
(WA) Baird, Dicks, Inslee
(WI) Baldwin/E,F, Barrett Independent/Socialist (1)
(VT) Sanders

Cast No Votes This Session (1 Democrat):
(CA) Brown (passed away mid-term)