How They Voted 2008 - Senate

Each Senate vote used in the ratings is described separately and is identified by a number that corresponds to the numbers at the top of the columns of tabular information.

Key to Symbols

+"Correct" vote, supporting the Chamber's position'08%Percentage of correct votes of total cast by member on Chamber-selected issues during 2008, the second session of the 110th Congress.
-"Wrong" vote, contrary to the Chamber's position
?No recorded voteCUM%Average annual percentage of correct votes cast by member on Chamber-selected issues since the Chamber began rating members in 1965, or since that member's first year in Congress, through 2008.
SSpeaker did not vote
PVoted "present"
   Note: The percentage calculations were made using only + and - votes. The ?, S, and P votes were not included in the calculations.
   

 

ALABAMA12345678

'08 %

Cum %
Shelby (R)-++++++-7572
Sessions (R)-+-++-+-5079
ALASKA          
Stevens (R)+++?++++10078
Murkowski (R)+++?+++-8693
ARIZONA          
McCain (R)++?????+10082
Kyl (R)++-++-+-6387
ARKANSAS          
Lincoln (D)+++--+++7571
Pryor (D)+++--+++7568
CALIFORNIA          
Feinstein (D)+++--+-+6349
Boxer (D)+-+--+?+5730
COLORADO          
Allard (R)-++++++-7590
Salazar (D)+++--+-+6366
CONNECTICUT          
Dodd (D)+++----+5032
Lieberman (I)+++--+++7548
DELAWARE          
Biden (D)+++?-+-+7136
Carper (D)+++---++6354
FLORIDA          
Nelson (D)-++--+-+5055
Martinez (R)+++-++++8893
GEORGIA          
Chambliss (R)++++++++10092
Isakson (R)++-+++++8893
HAWAII          
Inouye (D)+++--+?+7133
Akaka (D)+-+--+-+5032
IDAHO          
Craig (R)+++?+++-8693
Crapo (R)-++++++-7589
ILLINOIS          
Durbin (D)+++--+-+6334
Obama (D)++??-???6732
INDIANA          
Lugar (R)++++++++10091
Bayh (D)+++--+-+6358
IOWA          
Grassley (R)++++++++10085
Harkin (D)+-+--+-+5037
KANSAS          
Brownback (R)-+++++++8895
Roberts (R)-+++++++8893
KENTUCKY          
McConnell (R)++++++++10092
Bunning (R)-++++-++7589
LOUISIANA          
Landrieu (D)-+++-+++7573
Vitter (R)-+++++++8890
MAINE          
Snowe (R)++P--+++7169
Collins (R)+++--+++7580
MARYLAND          
Mikulski (D)+++--+-+6335
Cardin (D)+++--+-+6335
MASSACHUSETTS          
Kennedy (D)????-+-+5024
Kerry (D)+++--+-+6338
MICHIGAN          
Levin (D)+++--+-+6333
Stabenow (D)-++--+-+5030
MINNESOTA          
Coleman (R)++??-+++8391
Klobuchar (D)++?--+-+5751
MISSISSIPPI          
Cochran (R)-+++++++8887
Wicker (R)-+++++++8895
MISSOURI          
Bond (R)++++++?+10094
McCaskill (D)+++--+++7542
MONTANA          
Baucus (D)+++--+++7545
Tester (D)-++--+++6347
NEBRASKA          
Hagel (R)++?+?++-8396
Nelson (D)+++--++?7177
NEVADA          
Reid (D)+++-++-+7537
Ensign (R)+++++++-8886
NEW HAMPSHIRE          
Gregg (R)+++?+++-8688
Sununu (R)+++--+++7586
NEW JERSEY          
Lautenberg (D)+++--+-+6334
Menendez (D)+++--+-+6338
NEW MEXICO          
Domenici (R)++?+++++10085
Bingaman (D)+-+--+-+5044
NEW YORK          
Schumer (D)+++--+-+6336
Clinton (D)++??-???6746
NORTH CAROLINA          
Dole (R)-++-+?++7187
Burr (R)++++++++10088
NORTH DAKOTA          
Conrad (D)+-+?-+-+5743
Dorgan (D)--++-+-+5037
OHIO          
Voinovich (R)+++++-++8889
Brown (D)+-++-+-+6331
OKLAHOMA          
Inhofe (R)-+-++++-6388
Coburn (R)++-++++-7573
OREGON          
Wyden (D)-++--+-+5041
Smith (R)+++--+++7588
PENNSYLVANIA          
Specter (R)+++?-+++8666
Casey (D)+++--+-+6350
RHODE ISLAND          
Reed (D)+-+--+-+5036
Whitehouse (D)+-+--+-+5043
SOUTH CAROLINA          
Graham (R)+++?++++10084
DeMint (R)-+-?+++-5785
SOUTH DAKOTA          
Johnson (D)-+++-+++7551
Thune (R)++++++++10089
TENNESSEE          
Alexander (R)++-++-++7591
Corker (R)++-++++-7579
TEXAS          
Hutchison (R)++++++++10096
Cornyn (R)+++?++++10092
UTAH          
Hatch (R)++++++++10093
Bennett (R)++++++++10098
VERMONT          
Leahy (D)+-+--+-+5033
Sanders (I)--+--+-+3817
VIRGINIA          
Warner (R)+++-++++8890
Webb (D)+++--+-+6354
WASHINGTON          
Murray (D)+++--+-+6350
Cantwell (D)-++--+-+5056
WEST VIRGINIA          
Byrd (D)+-+?--++5732
Rockefeller (D)+++--+-+6341
WISCONSIN          
Kohl (D)+++--+-+6347
Feingold (D)--+--+-+3824
WYOMING          
Enzi (R)-++++++-7587
Barrasso (R)-++++++-7575

Vote Descriptions - Senate

(1) EMERGENCY ECONOMIC STABILIZATION-H.R. 1424

In the midst of a looming financial crisis, the Senate passed H.R. 1424, the Emergency Economic Stabilization Act by a vote of 74-25. The Chamber strongly backed this legislation, which contains provisions necessary to stabilize the U.S. financial system and unlock frozen credit markets that severely restrict the availability of credit to Main Street businesses and their customers.

The legislation established the Troubled Asset Relief Program to remove as much as $700 billion in illiquid and impaired assets from the system. In addition to provisions to shore up the financial system and preserve the flow of credit to the economy, this legislation increases FDIC insurance coverage; protects millions of Americans from the AMT; provides disaster tax relief; and extends expiring tax provisions, which are essential to businesses across the country. The bipartisan vote in the Senate was a major step toward preventing catastrophic disruption in the financial markets and a steep and prolonged decline in the economy.

The House subsequently approved H.R. 1424, and it was signed into law on October 3.

 

(2) UNITED STATES-INDIA NUCLEAR AGREEMENT-H.R. 7081

 

By a vote of 86-13, the Senate approved H.R. 7081, the United States-India Nuclear Cooperation Approval and Nonproliferation Enhancement Act, clearing the way for the president to sign this bill into law on October 8.

The Chamber supported this legislation because it brings India into the international nuclear nonproliferation mainstream and enhances the safety of India's civil nuclear program. Also, of specific importance to the business community, the bill helps revitalize the U.S. nuclear industry and create thousands of high-tech American jobs.

Enactment of H.R. 7081 represents a historic step to strengthen the growing partnership between the world's oldest and largest democracies and support thousands of U.S. jobs in the process.

 

(3) COLLEGE OPPORTUNITY AND AFFORDABILITY-H.R. 4137

 

On July 31, the Senate passed the conference report on H.R. 4137, the College Opportunity and Affordability Act by an 83-8 vote. The bill reauthorizes and amends the Higher Education Act of 1965 by providing financial relief for students, enhancing access to and affordability of higher education, and creating more flexibility within the higher education system.

The Chamber supported the conference report because it allows employees to align their educational goals with the needs of American business. Many of the programs highlighted in H.R. 4137-especially those related to science, technology, engineering, and mathematics-help reduce the education gap. This legislation also assists in developing long-term solutions to expand the pool of educated and qualified American workers and improve excellence in education.

The president signed the conference report into law on August 14.

 

(4) CLIMATE CHANGE-S. 3036

 

After many questions were left unanswered about the feasibility and economic impact of controlling greenhouse gas emissions, on June 6, the Senate failed to invoke cloture on the Boxer amendment to S. 3036, the Lieberman-Warner Climate Security Act, by a 48-36 vote.

The Chamber opposed the Boxer amendment because it contained onerous new mandates, reporting requirements, and regulations that would have significantly increased costs for the business community. The amendment would have restricted the use of fossil fuels while providing inadequate support for research and development of new technologies necessary to continue powering the U.S. economy.

Following the failed cloture vote on the Boxer amendment, S. 3036 was referred to the Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works.

 

(5) PAY DISCRIMINATION LAWSUITS-H.R. 2831

 

By a vote of 56-42, the Senate failed to invoke cloture on H.R. 2831, the Ledbetter Fair Pay Act on April 23. This legislation purported to overturn a Supreme Court decision supporting commonsense limitations on the time period within which an alleged paycheck discrimination claim must be filed.

The Chamber opposed this legislation because it would have effectively abolished the statute of limitations in many cases, allowing a lawsuit to be filed years after an alleged act of pay discrimination occurs, even decades after an individual ceased to work for an employer. By also expanding the criteria under which paycheck discrimination cases could be brought, this legislation would have led to an explosion of litigation second-guessing legitimate employment and personnel decisions.

The legislation was referred back to the Senate Judiciary Committee after cloture failed.

(6) RENEWABLE ENERGY AMENDMENT-H.R. 3221

 

On April 10, the Senate approved a Chamber-supported amendment to H.R. 3221, the Foreclosure Prevention Act, by a vote of 88-8.

This amendment contained important incentives that would have aided the development of renewable and alternative energy technologies essential to our nation's future. Although this amendment was adopted by the Senate, it was excluded from the final version of H.R. 3221, which the president signed into law on July 30.

 

(7) MORTGAGE MODIFICATION AMENDMENT-H.R. 3221

 

On April 3, the Senate voted 58-36 to table an amendment to H.R. 3221, the Foreclosure Prevention Act, which would have expanded the bankruptcy code by allowing judges to modify the terms of existing mortgages, a practice sometimes referred to as a cram down.

The Chamber opposed the amendment because it would have created greater risk in the lending market, which ultimately would have led to higher mortgage costs to offset this risk.

Both the House and the Senate approved H.R. 3221 without including cram down provisions, and the president signed the bill into law on July 30.

 

(8) ECONOMIC STIMULUS REBATES-H.R. 5140

 

The Senate overwhelmingly passed H.R. 5140, the Recovery Rebates and Economic Stimulus for the American People Act, on February 7 by a vote of 81-16. This legislation provides incentives to encourage consumer spending, increase business investment, and promote job growth, all of which are critical to improving the nation's economic outlook.

The Chamber supported this bill because it includes bonus depreciation and increased expensing provisions, which reduce the amount of time required for businesses to recover investment costs. In addition, the legislation increases loan limits for government-sponsored enterprises and for the Federal Housing Administration.

The bipartisan vote in the Senate cleared the way for the president to sign this important bill into law on February 13.