On The Road To 2008 - Commentary on issues as we countdown to the next opportunity to change the direction of America

Sunday, July 06, 2008

The Truth Behind Reichert's Voting Record - Part 6

This is the long overdue sixth in a series of postings that seek to look more closely at Dave Reichert's voting record. You can read the first five postings here:
  • Part 1 - H.R. 1, Implementing the 9/11Commission Recommendations Act, and H.R. 2, Fair Minimum Wage Act
  • Part 2 - H.R. 6, Creating Long-Term Energy Alternatives for the Nation Act
  • Part 3 - H.J.Res 20, Further Continuing Appropriations for FY 2007
  • Part 4 - H.R. 1361, Relief for Entrepreneurs: Coordination of Objectives and Values for Effective Recovery Act
  • Part 5 - H.R. 1592, To provide Federal assistance to States, local jurisdictions, and Indian tribes to prosecute hate crimes
You can also read my thoughts about why these vote switches matter.

Votes on this bill, H.R.1684, known as the Department of Homeland Security Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2008, followed the same pattern I've described in detailed previously, where Dave Reichert voted with his Republican colleagues against the bill every step of the way, until the final passage vote, at which time he flipped his vote when it was clear the bill would pass regardless. Roll calls 310, 311 and 314 through 318 taken May 9, 2007 provide the details.

The first order of business was H.Res.382, providing for consideration of the bill. After an hour of debate, the previous question was ordered and passed 217-199, with all Republicans, including Reichert, voting against. The resolution then passed 222-197, again with total Republican opposition.

After voting on a couple of amendments that were proposed, one of which would have deleted a provision that requires that identification cards, uniforms, protective gear, and badges of Homeland Security personnel be manufactured in the United States, and failed across party lines, and another that passed along party lines, Republican congressman Charlie Dent (PA-15) made a motion to recommit the bill with instructions to Homeland Security, inserting a section pertaining to an automated targeting system for persons entering or departing the United States. The motion passed with all Republicans voting to recommit the bill. However, an amendment was then passed by voice vote to include the section contained in the Dent motion to recommit, allowing the bill to come up for a final passage vote, at which point Reichert flipped from his previous opposition, and voted for the bill, which passed 296-126, but with a majority of Republicans still voting against it.

So here's Dave Reichert, a member of the Subcommittee on Intelligence, Information Sharing and Terrorism Risk Assessment, voting against a bill that came out of the Committee on Homeland Security, that he sits on, with unanimous consent, before finally voting for it on final passage in the House.

You'd think that this seeming incongruity would be covered by the local press, but it never was.

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