1. FY 2004 Budget Resolution Adoption—Cuts on Railroad Retirement Benefits/Transportation Programs (H.Con.Res. 95) – The House passed a resolution for the FY 2004 budget which cut job programs by over $500 billion in order to make room for the President’s $726 billion tax cut. As adopted, the House FY 2004 budget resolution cut funding for all non-defense programs (including all education, job training, and health care programs) by $244 billion over the next ten years and an additional $265 billion in so-called mandatory spending for Medicaid, veterans’ benefits, and pensions and benefits for federal employees and railroad employees. This resolution did not include funds to help states address their financial crises and only inadequate funds for infrastructure investments that can create jobs. On March 21, 2003 the resolution was passed 215-212. A vote against passage of the bill is a right “R” vote.
2. Unemployment Benefits – Recommit (H.R. 2185) – The House rejected a motion offered by Congressman Ben Cardin (D-MD) to send back to the House Ways and Means Committee the bill with instructions to add language that would provide an additional 26 weeks of federal aid to workers who had exhausted their 26 weeks of state unemployment benefits. On May 22, 2003 the motion was rejected 205-222. A vote in support of the motion is a right “R” vote.
3. Amendment to Block Appropriations for the DOL to Erode the Overtime Pay Classification (H.R. 2660) – The House rejected an amendment offered by Congressman Dave Obey (D-WI) that would have blocked the use of funds for the Department of Labor (DOL) to implement a March 31 proposal that would make it easier for employers to reclassify some workers as “executive, administrative or professional employees” exempt from overtime pay. The proposed rule would eliminate overtime protection under the Fair Labor Standards Act for eight million workers. On July 10, 2003 the amendment was rejected 210-213. A vote in support of the amendment is a right “R” vote.
4. Final Passage FY 2004 Department of Labor Appropriations (H.R. 2660) – The House passed a bill that provided critical under-funding for vital Department of Labor programs that create jobs and training for rail workers. The bill also eliminates funds for DOL’s international initiatives that help foreign countries fight child labor, educate their workers about dangers of infections illness such as HIV/AIDS and develop core labor standards. On July 10, 2003 the bill was adopted 215-208. A vote against adoption of the bill is a right “R” vote.
5. FY 2004 Transportation-Treasury Appropriations/Amtrak Funding (H.R. 2989) – The House rejected an amendment offered by Congressman Thomas Tancredo (R-CO) that would reduce funding in the bill for Amtrak by $320 million from the $900 million allocated by the Administration. The $320 million would be reallocated toward highway projects. This amendment to reduce funding for Amtrak was an effort to weaken, eventually privatize and finally kill Amtrak as has been advocated by the Bush Administration. On September 4, 2003 the amendment was rejected 90-322. A vote against adoption of the amendment is a right “R” vote.
6. FY 2004 Transportation Appropriations/Reduce Amtrak Funding (H.R. 2989) – The House rejected an amendment offered by Congressman Mark Kennedy (R-MN) that would have reduced funding for Amtrak in the bill to $580 million and increase funding to combat terrorism financing, provide tax counseling and enhance drug prevention. On September 04, 2003 the amendment was rejected 89-325. A vote against adoption of the amendment is a right “R” vote.
7. Overtime Pay/Motion to Instruct (H.R. 2660) – Congressman Dave Obey (D-WI) offered a motion to instruct House conferees to agree to the Senate provision that prohibits funds in the bill from being used to promulgate or implement any regulation that would take away overtime protection from workers who currently qualify. On October 2, 2003 the motion passed 221-203. A vote in support of the motion is a right “R” vote.