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Election 2012

October 13, 2012

SPECIAL REPORT: Top 20 foreign affairs votes in the 112th Congress


12. Libya Funding Ban: Voting 199-229, members on July 7, 2011, defeated an amendment to prohibit funding in the fiscal 2012 military budget (HR 2219) for continued U.S. participation in the NATO coalition supporting rebel forces in Libya’s ongoing civil war. A yes vote was to stop funding U.S. actions in the Libyan theater.




13. Cyber-Security Impasse: Senators on Aug. 2, 2012, failed, 52-46, to reach 60 votes for ending Republican blockage of a bill (S 3414) setting up a voluntary system to help companies fend off cyber-attacks that could spread chaos throughout the United States. FBI Director Robert Mueller told Congress the possibility of cyber-attacks rivals terrorist threats as an imminent danger to the U.S. A yes vote backed the bill over U.S. Chamber of Commerce objections that it was a government overreach into the private sector.

14. Foreign Aid Cutoff: Senators on Sept. 22, 2012, refused, 10-81, to end U.S. aid to Pakistan, Egypt and Libya in response to anti-American rioting there and the murder Sept. 11 in Benghazi of U.S. Ambassador to Libya Christopher Stevens and three other Americans. A yes vote backed the aid cutoff during debate on HJ Res 117.

15. Presidential War Powers: Voting 90-10, senators on April 5, 2011, tabled (killed) a challenge by Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky., to President Obama’s authority to involve the U.S. military in Libya’s civil war without prior congressional approval. Paul sought to invoke the 1973 War Powers Resolution to end the deployment. A yes vote was to define the March 19 presidential troop deployment as constitutional. (S 493)

16. USA Patriot Act: Senators on May 26, 2011, voted, 72-23, to renew for four years the three sections of the USA Patriot Act that are not in permanent law. A yes vote was to pass a bill (S 990) permitting roving wiretaps on non-citizen terrorist suspects and spying on “lone wolf” suspects not linked to terrorist organizations. The bill also allowed the government to secretly search business records and other files in terrorism probes without first having to show probable cause.  (S 990)

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