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WASHINGTON – Here are the recent votes of Western New York’s three members of the House of Representatives and the state’s two U.S. senators on major legislation in Congress. A “Y” means the member voted for the measure; an “N” means the member voted against the measure; an “A” means the member did not vote.

House

REVIEWING ANIMAL DRUGS: The House passed the Animal Drug and Animal Generic Drug User Fee Reauthorization Act sponsored by Sen. Tom Harkin, D-Iowa. The bill would reauthorize the Food and Drug Administration’s programs for charging user fees to review applications for new and generic animal drugs.

The vote June 3 was 390 yeas to 12 nays.

Rep. Brian Higgins, D-Buffalo, Y; Rep. Chris Collins, R-Clarence, Y; Rep. Tom Reed, R-Corning, Y.

VETERANS AFFAIRS STAFFING LEVELS: The House passed an amendment sponsored by Rep. Mark E. Amodei, R-Nev., to the Military Construction and Veterans Affairs and Related Agencies Appropriations Act. The amendment would increase funding for regional offices of the Department of Veterans Affairs by $44 million, offset by a $44 million cut in funding for the general operating expenses account of the Veterans Benefits Administration.

Higgins, N; Collins, Y; Reed, Y.

GUANTANAMO DETAINEES: The House rejected an amendment sponsored by Rep. James P. Moran, D-Va., to the Military Construction and Veterans Affairs and Related Agencies Appropriations Act. The amendment would have struck a bill provision barring funding for U.S. prison facilities to house suspected terrorists currently detained at the Navy’s Guantanamo Bay facility in Cuba.

Higgins, A; Collins, N; Reed, N.

WAGE REQUIREMENTS FOR CONSTRUCTION CONTRACTORS: The House rejected an amendment sponsored by Rep. Steve King, R-Iowa, to the Military Construction and Veterans Affairs and Related Agencies Appropriations Act. The amendment would have barred funding in the bill for measures to adopt prevailing wage requirements for contractors working on government construction projects.

Higgins, N; Collins, Y; Reed, Y.

VETERANS, MILITARY CONSTRUCTION PROGRAMS: The House passed the Military Construction and Veterans Affairs and Related Agencies Appropriations Act sponsored by Rep. John Culberson, R-Texas. The bill would provide $73.3 billion for the Department of Veterans Affairs in 2014 and also fund military construction programs in 2014.

Culberson said the bill “is fiscally conservative and responsible yet fully funds and takes care of our men and women in uniform and our veterans in a way that they deserve,” cutting funding for unnecessary construction projects while caring for disabled and other veterans.

The vote June 4 was 421 yeas to 4 nays.

Higgins, Y; Collins, Y; Reed, Y.

ILLEGAL IMMIGRATION: The House rejected an amendment sponsored by Rep. Jared Polis, D-Colo., to the Department of Homeland Security Appropriations Act. The amendment would have cut funding for the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s salaries and expenses account by $43.6 million, eliminated funding for an ICE partnership program that authorizes state and local police to remove illegal immigrants and increased funding for the Office of Civil Rights and Civil Liberties by $4.36 million.

Higgins, Y; Collins, N; Reed, N.

KANSAS BIODEFENSE FACILITY: The House rejected an amendment sponsored by Rep. Timothy H. Bishop, D-N.Y., to the Department of Homeland Security Appropriations Act. The amendment would have eliminated funding for the planned National Bio- and Agro-Defense Facility in Kansas and applied the resulting $404 million of savings to deficit reduction.

Bishop said cost estimates for the facility have more than doubled and cited the duplicative nature of the facility and its security risks to local residents and livestock in calling for its construction to be abandoned.

Higgins, Y; Collins, N; Reed, N.

GUANTANAMO DETAINEES: The House has rejected an amendment sponsored by Rep. James P. Moran, D-Va., to the Department of Homeland Security Appropriations Act. The amendment would have barred funding for the transport or release of any detainee who was transferred to the Navy’s Guantanamo Bay facility in Cuba from 2006 onward.

Higgins, Y; Collins, N; Reed, N.

FLOOD INSURANCE PREMIUMS: The House passed an amendment sponsored by Rep. Bill Cassidy, R-La., to the Department of Homeland Security Appropriations Act. The amendment would bar 2014 funding of a federal flood insurance program for homeowners that phases in an increase in flood insurance premiums over the course of five years.

Cassidy said the program’s implementation should be delayed to allow the Federal Emergency Management Agency time to reform its rate-setting process and thereby provide certainty for homeowners and builders for the cost of flood insurance.

Higgins, Y; Collins, Y; Reed, Y.

WILDFIRE PREPAREDNESS: The House passed an amendment sponsored by Rep. Ben Ray Lujan, D-N.M., to the Department of Homeland Security Appropriations Act. The amendment would increase by $10 million the funding for the Federal Emergency Management Agency’s program to provide grants for state and local wildfire preparedness programs and would offset the increase with a $10 million cut to Homeland Security’s Office of the Chief Financial Officer.

Higgins, Y; Collins, Y; Reed, N.

ENFORCEMENT OF IMMIGRATION LAWS: The House passed an amendment sponsored by Rep. Steve King, R-Iowa, to the Department of Homeland Security Appropriations Act. The amendment would bar funding to implement President Obama’s so-called Morton memos, which would provide amnesty from prosecution to illegal immigrants who have lived in the U.S. for more than five years, received a high school or a GED degree, been honorably discharged from the military, or arrived in the U.S. before they turned 16.

King said: “The president does not have the authority to waive immigration law, nor does he have the authority to create it out of thin air, and he’s done both with these Morton memos.”

Higgins, N; Collins, Y; Reed, Y.

HOMELAND SECURITY: The House passed the Department of Homeland Security Appropriations Act sponsored by Rep. John R. Carter, R-Texas. The bill would provide $38.9 billion for Homeland Security programs in fiscal 2014, including $6.2 billion for the Federal Emergency Management Agency’s disaster relief fund.

Carter said the bill addressed the need to ensure security and enforce laws by increasing spending on vital programs, and cut millions of dollars of wasteful spending at Homeland Security.

An opponent, Rep. Nita Lowey, D-N.Y., said the bill would inadequately fund operational accounts and certain other programs at Homeland Security and failed to replace the budget sequester with a more responsible budget plan.

The vote June 6 was 245 yeas to 182 nays.

Higgins, N; Collins, Y; Reed, Y.

Senate

CROP INSURANCE FOR ALFALFA: The Senate passed an amendment sponsored by Sen. Jerry Moran, R-Kan., to the Agriculture Reform, Food and Jobs Act. The amendment would require the Federal Crop Insurance Corporation to perform research and development for the possible creation of an alfalfa crop insurance program.

The vote June 3 was 72 yeas to 18 nays.

Sen. Kirsten E. Gillibrand, D, Y; Sen. Charles E. Schumer, D, Y.

SETTING STUDENT LOAN INTEREST RATE: The Senate rejected a motion to end debate on the Comprehensive Student Loan Protection Act sponsored by Sen. Tom Coburn, R-Okla. The bill would have set the interest rate charged on federal Stafford loans to undergraduate students at the interest rate for 10-year Treasury note bonds plus 3 percent.

Sen. Lamar Alexander, R-Tenn., said the bill would reduce student loan costs by providing a permanent solution for how to determine the amount of interest to charge on student loans.

An opponent, Sen. Tom Harkin, D-Iowa, said the bill would harm students by increasing their borrowing costs.

The vote June 6 was 40 yeas to 57 nays, with a three-fifths majority required to end debate.

Gillibrand, N; Schumer, N.

STUDENT LOANS: The Senate rejected a motion to end debate on the Student Loan Affordability Act sponsored by Sen. Jack Reed, D-R.I. The bill would have extended through June 2015 the current interest rate charged on federal Stafford loans to undergraduate students.

The vote June 6 was 51 yeas to 46 nays, with a three-fifths majority required to end debate.

Gillibrand, Y; Schumer, Y.

– Targeted News Service