Voting Record: Ken Salazar

During his tenure as a U.S. Senator from Colorado (2005-2009), Ken Salazar voted on a variety of key pieces of legislation as follows:

Energy and Environment Issues:

  • against a 2007 proposal to permit natural gas exploration and extraction at least fifty miles off the coast of Virginia
  • in favor of a 2007 proposal to eliminate federal subsidies for oil and gas exploration — on the theory that oil companies were gouging the public and thus earning record profits
  • against a 2005 proposal to allow an oil-leasing program in Alaska’s ANWR region
  • in favor of a 2007 proposal (which he co-sponsored) to designate the ANWR area as protected wilderness
  • in favor of a 2005 proposal to reduce oil usage in the U.S. by 40 percent within 20 years
  • against a 2008 amendment to increase spending levels on certain energy-related programs, including the development of natural gas off the coast of Virginia and the development of oil shale resources on public lands
  • in favor of taking measures to cut carbon-dioxide emissions in the United States, without regard to whether the world’s other leading CO2 producers — India and China — would agree to abide by similar restrictions

Military and National Security Issues:

  • in favor of a 2006 proposal to create military commissions to try unlawful enemy combatants for war crimes they had committed against the U.S.
  • against separate proposals (in 2006 and 2007) to impose an arbitrary timetable for the withdrawal of U.S. troops from Iraq
  • in favor of a 2006 proposal to reauthorize the Patriot Act

Immigration Issues:

  • against separate bills (in 2006 and 2008) to finance the construction of several hundred miles of fencing along the U.S.-Mexico border, as well as additional measures to stem the flow of illegal immigration
  • against an amendment to prohibit illegal aliens convicted of serious crimes, from gaining legal status in the U.S.
  • in favor of a 2006 proposal to allow illegal aliens to qualify for Social Security benefits based on work they performed while  unlawfully present in the United States

Gun-Rights Issues:

  • in favor of a 2005 proposal to ban lawsuits against gun manufacturers, distributors, dealers, and importers for damages resulting from the misuse of their products by others

Taxation Issues:

  • in favor of a 2008 bill imposing a 25 percent tax on the “windfall profits” of major oil companies
  • in favor of tax-cut proposals in 2005 and 2006

Interest-Group Ratings:

Salazar’s tax-related votes earned him the following ratings from various interest groups whose primary focus is tax policy:

  • In 2008, Salazar received a 2 percent rating from Citizens Against Government Waste, whose mission is to eliminate waste, mismanagement, and inefficiency in the federal government.”
  • In 2007-08, Salazar received a 13 percent rating from the National Tax Limitation Committee, which aims to “maximize” people’s opportunity to “enjoy the fruits of [their] labors free from an intrusive, coercive government.”
  • In 2007, Salazar received a 0 percent rating from Americans for Tax Reform, which contends that the government’s “power to tax … should be minimized.”
  • In 2007, Salazar received a 0 percent rating from FreedomWorks, which “fights for lower taxes, less government and more economic freedom for all Americans.”
  • In 2007, Salazar received a grade of F from the National Taxpayers Union, which works for “for lower taxes and smaller government at all levels.”

For a more comprehensive look at Salazar’s voting record and interest-group ratings, visit Project VoteSmart.

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