About the Initiatives and Votes
- A “+” indicates representative signed a November 13th letter that encouraged Rep. Nita Lowey (D-NY), chairwoman of the Foreign Operations subcommittee, to insist upon the most aid possible for rural development, victims and strengthening the judicial system during conference negotiations between the House and Senate. The letter was initiated by Reps. Jim McGovern (D-MA) and Sam Farr (D-CA).
- A “+” indicates representative co-sponsored H. Res. 618 on recognizing the importance of addressing the plight of Afro-Colombians, which was introduced by Rep. Donald Payne (D-NJ) on August 3rd. Besides urging the Colombian government to do more to protect Afro-Colombians from human rights violations, the resolution also called on the U.S. government to consult with Afro-Colombians while developing policies that could affect their communities. The resolution is still pending.
Internally Displaced Persons
- A “+” indicates representative co-sponsored H. Res. 426 on recognizing 2007 as the Year of the Rights of Internally Displaced Persons in Colombia, which was introduced by Rep. Jim McGovern (D-MA) on May 22nd. The resolution called on the U.S. to increase aid to the internally displaced to help them rebuild their lives successfully. (Listed here are co-sponsors when the resolution went to the floor. The resolution was passed by voice vote.)
Human Rights Defenders
- A “+” indicates representative signed July 17th letter, sponsored by Rep. Jim Langevin (D-RI), to President Uribe expressing concern over a series of politically-motivated break-ins targeting human rights and peace organizations. The letter also urged the president to condemn such attacks and publicly express support for the work of human rights organizations.
Cuba Democracy Assistance Amendment HR 2764
- A “+” indicates member of Congress opposed increasing funds for the mis-managed “democracy assistance” funds to the Cuban dissidents. This amendment to the Foreign Operations Appropriations bill was offered by Lincoln Diaz-Balart (R-FL) and passed 254-170; the amount of assistance was increased to $45 million.
Cuba Ag Sales Amendment HR 2419
- A “+” indicates member of Congress voted in favor of Congressman Charlie Rangel’s (D-NY) amendment to facilitate the sales of agricultural products to Cuba. This amendment to the Farm Bill failed (182-245).
Freedom to Travel Bill HR 654
- A “+” indicates member of Congress is a co-sponsor of Congressmen Charlie Rangel (D-NY) and Jeff Flake’s (R-AZ) bill that would make travel to Cuba legal for all Americans. This bill was not voted on.
- An “+” indicates that the member of Congress cosponsored the Development, Relief, and Education for Alien Minors Act (DREAM Act), H.R. 1275 and S. 774. An another incarnation of the DREAM Act, S.2205, was sponsored by Senators Durbin, Hagel, Leahy and Lugar. S.2205 stalled on a procedural vote in the Senate in October. If enacted, the DREAM Act would provide a path to legal status for undocumented high school graduates who were brought to the United States as children. These students would be eligible for a 6-year conditional status following high school graduation and then be eligible for permanent resident status if they completed 2 or more years of college or military service during this 6-year period.
- An “+” indicates that the representative signed on to a July 2007 letter to President Felipe Calderón initiated by Rep. Hilda Solis (D-CA). The letter asked President Calderón to step up investigations into the murders and disappearances of over 400 women in Ciudad Juárez and Chihuahua over the past fifteen years. The letter also requested that the new administration strengthen efforts to combat violence against women throughout Mexico.
- An “+” indicates that the representative is NOT a cosponsor of the Secure America Through Verification and Enforcement (SAVE) Act of 2007 (HR4088). The SAVE Act is an enforcement-only bill that calls for expansion of border and interior enforcement, increased detention space, and broad use of an employer verification program.
NOTE: List of co-sponsors current as of January 2008