Friday, December 10, 2010

Senator Joe Manchin - He's No Rubberstamp Democrat

West Virginia's new Senator, Joe Manchin, took office November 15th filling the balance of late Senator Robert Byrd. In a year in which dark money. funded by phantom donors, drove up the already high cost of campaigns Senator Manchin's win was of pivotal importance to maintaining a Democratic majority in the United States Senate. Resources were so scarce that the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee had to pull resources out of states like Missouri. Robin Carnahan lost to Roy Blunt, one of Washington's most corrupt Members of Congress - ever!!

Here's a look at the Record Votes cast by Senator Manchin since he was sworn into office.

Record Vote Number 249 was a vote on a Motion to Invoke Cloture on the Motion to Proceed to S. 3772, or limit debate, on, the Paycheck Fairness Act. This is a bill to amend the Fair Labor Standards Act of 1938 to provide more effective remedies to victims of discrimination in the payment of wages on the basis of sex, and for other purposes.

Joe Manchin voted Yea. A three fifths majority is needed to invoke cloture. Sixty votes were needed and there were only 58 votes to invoke cloture. Nebraska's Democratic Senator Ben Nelson voted Nay. All of the Republicans voted Nay except Alaska's Lisa Murkowski who did not vote.

Record Vote Number 250 was a vote on a Motion to Invoke Cloture on the Motion to Proceed to S. 510, the FDA Food Safety Modernization Act. Like the title says, this is a major overhaul of food safety in America. Cloture was invoked by a vote of 74 in favor to 25 against with 1 Senator not voting. Senator Manchin voted to invoke cloture.

Record Vote Number 251was on a Motion to Proceed to S. 510. This measure passed on a vote of 57 in favor to 27 against with 16 Senators not voting.

Record Vote Number 252 was on the Motion to Invoke Cloture on the Harkin Amendment, No. 4715 S. 510. Senator Harkin's Amendment was in the nature of a substitute. Cloture was invoked by a vote of 69 in favor to 26 against with 5 Senators not voting. Senator Manchin voted Yea.

Record Vote Number 253 was on a Motion to Suspend Rule XXII Re: Senator Johanns Amendment. No. 4702. Senator Johanns' Amendment sought to repeal the expansion of information reporting requirements for payments of $600 or more to corporations, or at least that's what the Senate blurb says. If you read Amendment 4702 you learn this is an early attempt to begin dismantling Health Care Reform. Johann's Amendment wants to repeal Section 9006 of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, and the amendments made thereby, and the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 shall be applied as if such section, and amendments, had never been enacted. Section 9006 requires businesses that pay any amount greater than $600 during the year to corporate and non-corporate providers of property and services to file an information report with each provider and with the IRS. Information reporting is already required on payments for services to non-corporate providers. all businesses will have to issue 1099 tax forms not just to contractors but to any individual or corporation from which they buy more than $600 in goods or services in a tax year. Currently forms 1099 need only be issued to individuals, not corporations.

Under a suspension of the rules a supermajority of ⅔ is required. This measure failed by a vote of 61in favor to 35 against with 4 Senators not voting. 64 votes were required. Senator Manchin, and 17 other Democratic Senators voted to repeal § 9006.

Record Vote 254 was on a Motion to Suspend Rule XXII Re: Baucus Amendment No. 4713, to S. 510. This was a second attempt to gut § 9006. This amendment failed by a vote of 44 in favor to 53 against with 3 Senators not voting.

Record Vote 255 was on a Motion to Suspend Rule XXII Re: Coburn Amendment. No. 4697 to S. 510. That amendment sought to establish an Earmark Moratorium for the period of fiscal years 2011 through 2013. This amendment failed on a vote of 39 in favor and 56 against with 5 Senators not voting. Senator Manchin voted Nay.

Record Vote 256 was on a vote on a Motion to Suspend Rule XXII Re: Coburn Amendment. No. 4696 to S. 510. In this case Senator Coburn's Amendment is in the nature of a substitute, to modernize Federal food safety efforts without placing unnecessary burdens on food producers, increasing food prices, or saddling taxpayers with additional debt. This amendment was rejected on a vote of 36 in favor and 62 against with 2 Senators not voting. Senator Manchin voted Nay.

Record Vote 257 was on Passage of S. 510 as amended. The bill passed on a vote of 73 in favor 25 against and 2 Senators not voting. Senator Manchin voted Yea.

Record Vote 258 was on a Motion to Invoke Cloture on Motion to Concur in the House Amendment to Senate Amendment With Amendment No. 4727 to H.R. 4853. This was the Senate's version of the Middle Class Tax Cut. The motion failed on a vote of 53 in favor and 36 against with 11 Senators not voting. Senator Manchin voted Nay. Four other Democratic Senators voted Nay. Had all the Democratic Senators voted Yea the measure would have still failed. No Republicans stood up for America's Middle Class in the Senate.

Record Vote 259 was on a Motion to Invoke Cloture on Amendment No. 4728. This was the compromise proposed by Senate Democrats on the Middle Class Tax Cut which raised the threshold from $250,000 of reportable earned income to $1,000,000. The motion failed on a vote of 53 in favor and 37 against with 10 Senators not voting. Senator Manchin voted Yea. Once again no Republicans stood up for America's Middle Class in the Senate.

Record Vote 260 was on a Motion to Disaggregate the Articles of Impeachment Against Judge Thomas G. Porteous. Recall that impeachments begin in the House of Representatives they are in the nature of charges not unlike indictments. In this case the Articles of Impeachment, four of them, are listed in H. Res. 1031, a resolution impeaching G. Thomas Porteous, Jr., judge of the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Louisiana, for high crimes and misdemeanors.

This motion failed by a vote of 94 negative votes to 0 votes in favor, with 6 Senators not voting. Senator Manchin voted Nay.

Record Vote 261 was on the question of Guilty or Not Guilty (Article I, Articles of Impeachment v. Judge G. Thomas Porteous ). This Article of Impeachment alleges engaged in a pattern of conduct that is incompatible with the trust and confidence placed in him as a Federal judge by accepting cash and other things of values from attorneys with cases being tried in his courtroom.

Judge Porteous was found guilty on a vote of 96 to 0 with 4 Senators not voting. Senator Manchin voted to find Judge Porteous guilty.

Record Vote 262 was on the was on the question of Guilty or Not Guilty (Article II, Articles of Impeachment v. Judge G. Thomas Porteous ). Article II alleged that Judge Porteous engaged in a corrupt relationship with bail bondsman Louis M. Marcotte, III, and his sister Lori Marcotte.

As part of this corrupt relationship, Judge Porteous solicited and accepted numerous things of value, including meals, trips, home repairs, and car repairs, for his personal use and benefit, while at the same time taking official actions that benefitted the Marcottes.

These official actions by Judge Porteous included, while on the State bench, setting, reducing, and splitting bonds as requested by the Marcottes, and improperly setting aside or expunging felony convictions for two Marcotte employees (in one case after Judge Porteous had been confirmed by the Senate but before being sworn in as a Federal judge).

In addition, both while on the State bench and on the Federal bench, Judge Porteous used the power and prestige of his office to assist the Marcottes in forming relationships with State judicial officers and individuals important to the Marcottes' business. As Judge Porteous well knew and understood, Louis Marcotte also made false statements to the Federal Bureau of Investigation in an effort to assist Judge Porteous in being appointed to the Federal bench.

Judge Porteous was found guilty by the Senate on a vote of 69 guilty votes to 27 not guilty votes with 4 Senators not voting. Senator Manchin voted not guilty.

Record Vote 263 was on the was on the question of Guilty or Not Guilty (Article III, Articles of Impeachment v. Judge G. Thomas Porteous ). Article III alleged that while a Federal judge in the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Louisiana, G. Thomas Porteous, Jr., engaged in a pattern of conduct inconsistent with the trust and confidence placed in him as a Federal judge by knowingly and intentionally making material false statements and representations under penalty of perjury related to his personal bankruptcy filing and by repeatedly violating a court order in his bankruptcy case. Judge Porteous did so by -- (1) using a false name and a post office box address to conceal his identity as the debtor in the case; (2) concealing assets; (3) concealing preferential payments to certain creditors; (4) concealing gambling losses and other gambling debts; and (5) incurring new debts while the case was pending, in violation of the bankruptcy court's order.

Judge Porteous was found guilty by the Senate on a vote of 88 guilty votes to 8 not guilty votes, with 4 Senators not voting. Senator Manchin voted not guilty.

Record Vote 264 was on the was on the question of Guilty or Not Guilty (Article IV, Articles of Impeachment v. Judge G. Thomas Porteous ). Article IV alleged that Porteous knowingly made material false statements about his past to both the United States Senate and to the Federal Bureau of Investigation in order to obtain the office of United States District Court Judge.

Judge Porteous was found guilty by the Senate on a vote of 90 guilty votes to 6 not guilty votes, with 4 Senators not voting. Senator Manchin voted guilty.

Record Vote 265 was on the Motion to Forever Disqualify G. Thomas Porteous, Jr. to Hold and Enjoy Any Office of Honor, Trust, or Profit Under the United States. The motion was agreed to by a vote of 94 Yeas to 2 Nays with 4 Senators not voting. Senator Manchin voted Yea.

Record Vote 266 was on Motion to Invoke Cloture on the Motion to Proceed to S. 3991, the Public Safety Employer-Employee Cooperation Act of 2010. This is a bill to amend the Fair Labor Standards Act of 1938 to provide more effective remedies to victims of discrimination in the payment of wages on the basis of sex, and for other purposes. The cloture motion was rejected by a vote of 58 Yeas to 41 Nays with 1 Senator not voting. Senator Manchin voted Yea.

Record Vote 267 was on a Motion to Invoke Cloture on the Motion to Proceed to S. 3985, the Emergency Senior Citizens Relief Act of 2010. In lieu of a cost of living adjustment [COLA] this bill provides for an emergency offset by sending each Social Security recipient a check for $250. The motion was rejected by a vote of 53 Years to 45 Nays with 2 Senators not voting.

Record Vote 268 was on Motion to Table the Motion to Proceed to S. 3992 the Senate's version of the DREAM Act; a bill to authorize the cancellation of removal and adjustment of status of certain alien students who are long-term United States residents and who entered the United States as children and for other purposes. The Senate Tabled the Dream Act, meaning it will not be considered, by a vote of 59 in favor to 40 opposed with 1 Senator not voting. Senator Manchin voted to table the bill.

Record Vote 269 was on a Motion to Invoke Cloture on the Motion to Proceed to H.R. 847, the James Zadroga 9/11 Health and Compensation Act of 2010 . This is the bill making provisions for the emergency responders on 9/11. Cloture on the Motion to Proceed was rejected by a vote of 57 in favor to 42 against with 1 Senator not voting. Senator Manchin voted Yea.

Record Vote 270 was Upon Reconsideration, a Motion to Invoke Cloture on the Motion to Proceed to S. 3454, the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2011. For the first time in 48 years a defense authorization bill is being held up in the Senate. This House version of this bill, H. R. 5136, contains language repealing the Don't Ask Don't Tell policy of excluding gays and lesbians from military service.

The motion to invoke cloture was rejected by a vote of 57 in favor to 40 opposed with 3 Senators not voting. Senator Manchin was the only Democratic Senator voting against invoking cloture.

Record Vote 271 was on a Motion to Table the Motion to Refer the House Message on H.R. 4853 to the Committee on Finance. Senator Reid wanted to send the bill to the Finance Committee so they could come back with Senate Amendment 4729. That amendment was tabled by Record Vote 271. The Amendment sought to study the impact of any delay in extending tax cuts to middle income Americans with incomes up to $250,000.

The Motion to Table was Agreed to by a vote of 65 in favor and 11 opposed with 24 Senators not voting. Senator Manchin voted in favor of tabling the amendment.

Joe Manchin looks like he's trying to figure this deal out. He missed badly on the Middle Class Tax Cut and Don't Ask Don't Tell. Nevertheless those issues didn't get torpedoed by him. The truth is that it is going to take 60 votes to do business in the Senate. Right now Senate Republicans are holding American hostage. That's obstinance not governance. 

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