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Rahm Emanuel's Congressional Voting Record
By Discover The Networks
2009



Following is an overview of Emanuel’s congressional voting record from 2003 through 2008, as per key pieces of legislation covering a wide array of issues.

Abortion and the Rights of the Unborn

In April 2000, June 2003, and October 2003, Emanuel voted against legislation to ban the late-term abortion procedure commonly known as partial-birth abortion (a.k.a. “intact dilation and extraction”). According to the Alan Guttmacher Institute, in the year 2000 this procedure was performed approximately 2,200 times in the United States.

In February 2004 Emanuel voted against the Unborn Victims of Violence Act, which proposed to make it an added criminal offense for someone to injure or kill a fetus while carrying out a crime against a pregnant woman.

In April 2005 and September 2006, Emanuel voted against the Child Interstate Abortion Notification Act, whose purpose was to prohibit the transportation of a minor across state lines to obtain an abortion without a parent’s (or a legal guardian’s) consent. 

In December 2006 Emanuel voted against the Abortion Pain Bill, which mandated that abortion providers, prior to performing an abortion on a fetus older than 20 weeks, inform the mother that: (a) the fetus might feel pain during the procedure, and (b) the use of some pain-reducing drugs may have health risks associated with them.

As a result of his unwavering support for the unrestricted right to abortion-on-demand under any and all circumstances, Emanuel has consistently received ratings of 100 percent from NARAL and Planned Parenthood. These ratings indicate that Emanuel’s votes and stated positions on abortion-related matters have mirrored, literally without exception, the positions of these organizations. Indeed, since at least 1995 Emanuel has supported the agendas of Planned Parenthood 100 percent of the time.

Gay Marriage

In September 2004 Emanuel voted against a bill that would have prohibited same-sex marriage. In July 2006 he voted against a proposed constitutional amendment defining marriage in America exclusively as the union of one man and one woman.

Taxes

In May 2003 Emanuel voted against a $350 billion tax cut. This bill contained, among other things, a provision to eliminate the so-called “marriage tax penalty” by making the standard deduction for married couples twice that of a single filer.

In May 2004 he voted against a proposal to extend the alternative minimum tax relief that had been available in 2003 and 2004.

Also in May 2004, he voted against a proposal to make the $1,000-per-child tax credit permanent rather than letting it decline to $700 in 2005. Four months later he voted against another bill calling for a five-year extension on the $1,000 child tax credit.

In October 2004 he voted against a ten-year, $145 billion tax cut for domestic manufacturers and small corporations.

In April 2005 he voted against a proposal to permanently repeal the estate tax.

In November 2005 he voted against a bill calling for a $49.91 billion reduction in federal spending over a five-year period. Twelve months later he voted against a similar five-year proposal for $56.1 billion in federal spending reductions; that bill also called for the retention of a reduced tax rate on capital gains and dividends.

In May 2006 he voted against $69.96 billion in tax cuts and credits through 2010, including reductions of 15 percent on capital gains taxes and 5 percent on dividends taxes.

In June 2006 he voted against a proposal to reduce estate taxes beginning in 2010; that proposal would have set the new rates at 15 percent for estates worth up to $25 million, and 30 percent for estates valued at more than $25 million.

The most notable exception to Emanuel’s generally doctrinaire espousal of high taxation occurred in January 2008, when he voted in favor of a bill giving single taxpayers a tax credit of up to $600, and joint filers a tax credit of up to $1,200.

In 2007, Americans for Tax Reform, which generally “opposes all tax increases as a matter of principle,” gave Emanuel a grade of 5 percent.

That same year, FreedomWorks, an organization that “fights for lower taxes, less government and more economic freedom for all Americans,” gave Emanuel a rating of 10 percent.

Also in 2007, the National Taxpayers Union, which seeks to “reduce government spending, cut taxes, and protect the rights of taxpayers,” gave Emanuel a grade of F.

In 2005-06, the National Tax Limitation Committee, which lobbies against “intrusive, coercive government,” gave Emanuel a rating of 6 percent.

Citizens Against Government Waste, an organization that seeks “to eliminate waste, mismanagement, and inefficiency in the federal government,” gave Emanuel a rating of 4 percent in 2007.

And also in 2007, the Business-Industry Political Action Committee, which “identifies and supports pro-business candidates,” gave Emanuel a 7 percent rating.

Fossil Fuels

In May 2006 Emanuel voted against a proposal to provide funds for offshore oil exploration along the Outer Continental Shelf; instead, he favored a continuation of President Clinton’s 1998 moratorium on oil drilling.

In October 2005 and June 2006, Emanuel voted against the construction of new oil refineries.

Mortgages

In September 2007 Emanuel voted in favor of a bill calling on money lenders “to use risk-based pricing to more effectively reach underserved borrowers.” In other words, he was endorsing subprime loans to under-qualified borrowers—the very practice that eventually would lead to the cataclysmic collapse of Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac, and the mortgage industry.

Emanuel has received a 100 percent rating from ACORN, the political cult that for many years has played a major role in pressuring banks to make subprime loans.

Military Commissions

In September 2006 Emanuel voted against a bill authorizing the President to establish military commissions to try enemy combatants captured in the war on terror. In Emanuel’s view, such tribunals trample on the civil rights and liberties of defendants who, he contends, should be entitled to all the rights and protections afforded by the American criminal court system—where the standards that govern the admissibility of evidence are considerably stricter than the counterpart standards in military tribunals.

Counter-Terrorism & Homeland Security

In July 2005 Emanuel voted in favor of reauthorizing the post-9/11 anti-terrorism measure known as the Patriot Act.

In September 2006 he voted against an amendment to the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) of 1978; this amendment called for allowing the government to use electronic surveillance to investigate suspected terrorist operatives.

In August 2007 he voted against a bill permitting the Director of National Intelligence and the Attorney General to monitor foreign electronic communications which are routed through the United States—provided that the purpose of such monitoring was to obtain “foreign intelligence information” about suspected terrorists. In June 2008 he voted in favor of a bill specifically prohibiting this type of surveillance.

The Center for Security Policy, which is committed to “promoting international peace through American strength,” has given Emanuel ratings ranging, over the years, from 17 percent to 35 percent.

The American Security Council, which “serves as educational secretariat of the Congressional Caucus on National Security,” gives Emanuel a 10 percent rating.

Iraq War / War on Terror

In June 2006 Emanuel voted against a resolution which stated that it was not in America’s national security interest to set an arbitrary date for the withdrawal of its troops from Iraq, and that a better course of action would be to withdraw the troops only upon the “completion of the mission to create a sovereign, free, secure and united Iraq.”

In February 2007 he voted to disapprove of President Bush’s decision to move ahead with the so-called troop “surge”—the deployment of some 21,500 additional U.S. soldiers in an effort to quell the violent insurgents in Iraq.

In May 2007 Emanuel voted in favor a proposal to expedite the transfer of all prisoners currently being held in the Guantanamo Bay detention center, most of whom are, as Gordon Cucullu writes in The American Enterprise, “not innocent foot soldiers” but rather “Islamic fundamentalists from across the Middle East, rabid jihadists who have dedicated their lives to the destruction of America and Western civilization.”

That same month, Emanuel voted in favor of an amendment to withdraw U.S. troops from Iraq within 90 days.

In July 2007 he voted to begin dramatically reducing the presence of U.S. troops in Iraq by April 1, 2008.

In June 2008 he voted in favor of exploring the possibility of impeaching President Bush on grounds that he had lied about U.S. intelligence on Iraq so as to justify the March 2003 American invasion.

Illegal Immigration

In May 2004 Emmanuel voted “No” on requiring hospitals to report (to the federal government) illegal aliens who receive emergency medical treatment.

In February 2005 he voted against the Real ID Act, which proposed to: set minimal security requirements for state driver licenses and identification cards; require asylum applicants suspected of affiliating with terrorist groups to prove that they are indeed seeking to escape persecution in their homeland; and ensure that physical barriers to prevent illegal immigration would be expeditiously constructed where needed along the U.S.-Mexico border.

In December 2005 he voted against a bill calling for: the construction of some 700 miles of fencing along America’s southern border; the establishment of a system requiring business owners to verify the legal status of all their employees; the detention of any person attempting to enter the U.S. illegally after October 1, 2006; an increase in the penalties on anyone attempting to smuggle illegal aliens into the U.S.; the annual provision of $250 million to pay state and local police agencies for their assistance in enforcing federal immigration laws; and funding for a program to deport “removable criminal aliens” in prison following the completion of their sentences, rather than releasing them into American communities.

The American Civil Liberties Union, which opposes the foregoing provisions, has given Emanuel a perfect grade of 100 percent.

In June 2006 Emanuel voted in favor of an amendment prohibiting the U.S. government from tipping off Mexican officials as to the whereabouts of operatives working for the Minuteman Project, a nonviolent organization of American citizens who alert the U.S. Border Patrol to the presence of unauthorized border-crossers in the Southwestern states.

In September 2006 Emanuel again voted against a bill authorizing the construction of 700 miles of double-layered fencing between the U.S. and Mexico.

That same month, he voted against a proposal to grant state and local officials the authority to investigate, identify, and arrest illegal immigrants.

The U.S. Border Control, which “is dedicated to ending illegal immigration by securing our nation’s borders and reforming our immigration policies,” gives Emanuel a rating of 8 percent.

The Federation for American Immigration Reform, which “seeks to improve border security, to stop illegal immigration, and to promote immigration levels consistent with the national interest [about 300,000 a year],” gives Emanuel a rating of 0.

By contrast, the American Immigration Lawyers Association, which promotes open borders and an expansion of rights and liberties for illegal aliens, gives Emanuel a 100 percent rating.

Guns


In April 2003 and again in October 2005, Emanuel voted “No” on banning lawsuits against gun manufacturers as punishment for violence that is committed with guns.

Overall Record

All told, Rahm Emanuel compiled a lifetime American Conservative Union score of 13 percent.


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