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Representative Rubén Hinojosa

Democrat of Texas District 15

Liberal Action Score: 37/100
Conservative Action Score: 17/100

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These Liberal and Conservative Ratings for the House of Representatives are frequently updated as new bills are introduced, members of the House cosponsor existing bills, and new roll call votes are held. Our most recent update: September 13, 2012.
That's My Congress: independent information on legislators, legislation and congressional campaigns for the 112th Congress

Democratic Representative Rubén Hinojosa of Texas

Rep. Hinojosa's Liberal Action Score: 37
The Liberal Action Score is calculated by compiling a series of measured liberal actions (both roll call voting and bill cosponsorship) in the 112th Congress and comparing Rubén Hinojosa's behavior against a liberal standard:
  • Respect for constitutional protections of American civil liberty
  • Transparency and public access in government
  • Equal treatment of people under law
  • The respect and pursuit of empirical knowledge through support for science and education
  • Protection of the Earth's environmental richness
  • Strengthening of economic opportunity for all
  • Pursuit of peaceful solutions and opposition to militarism in policy
A score of 37 means that Representative Hinojosa has participated in 37% of our slate of liberal actions in the 112th Congress.

Liberal Actions Taken by Congressman Hinojosa during the 112th Congress of 2011-2012:

H. Amdt 16 to H.R. 1

It's hard to think of a better example of military waste: Spending billions of dollars for two separate manufacturing systems in two separate companies to make two versions of an engine, with identical performance, for the same airplane – the F-35, an airplane that only requires one engine in the first place. Yet that's just what Congress has favored for years, because a second engine aids well-placed corporations in powerful members' districts and because some members of Congress are unwilling to vote any military project down. In February of 2011, Representative Tom Rooney of Florida followed the example of Chellie Pingree in the 111th Congress by introducing an amendment cutting funding for the second redundant F-35 engine. A yes vote on the Rooney Amendment is a vote to cut military pork spending. A no vote is a vote to preserve pork.

Rep. Hinojosa has taken a liberal course of action by voting for this bill.




H.R. 471

In a roll-call vote in 2010, the U.S. Senate ended the federally-mandated voucher program for Washington DC called the “DC Opportunity Scholarships.” In this voucher program, public money was taken away from of public schools and given to private schools — 82% of which were religious schools in 2009. Studies by the Institute for Education Sciences found no difference in math or reading scores between voucher students and public school students in 2007 and no difference in math or reading scores between the groups in 2008. In 2009, there was no difference in math scores at all between voucher students and public school students, and while there was a positive difference in reading scores for voucher students, the positive difference was only for voucher students who hadn’t come from underperforming schools. There was no difference between students coming from underperforming public schools and those who stayed there. There was also no improvement shown by underperforming students who used the program. In short, there were no effects of the program at all in two out of three years, and improvement was shown in only one year, in only one subject area, and only for already well-performing kids coming from already well-performing schools. Apart from the fact that the DC voucher program didn’t accomplish its stated purpose of rescuing underperforming kids from underperforming public schools, it also used public money to send 82% of these kids to schools where they were made the target of religious indoctrination and proselytization. Many of those schools were run by the DC division of the Catholic Church, which mandates that no one may be hired who would “violate the principles or tenets” of the Catholic Church. That’s hiring discrimination on the taxpayer’s tab. Using federal taxpayers' money to support religious schools that indoctrinate children according to a particular parochial religion, that engage in hiring discrimination on the basis of religion, and that don't do any better at educating kids than the DC public schools? Who would ever think that's a good idea? The members of Congress who voted for H.R. 471, that's who. On March 30, the House voted to reinstate the old taxpayer-money-for-broken-religious-indoctrination-schools experiment in Washington, DC.

Rep. Hinojosa has taken a liberal course of action by voting against this bill.


H.Amdt. 88

House Amendment 88, tacked on to House spending bill H.R. 1, prohibits the Environmental Protection Agency from spending any money to enforce its standards regarding the reduction of mercury emissions from cement plants in the United States. After a considerable number of scientific studies and dozens of public hearings and comment periods, the EPA determined that American cement plants release enough mercury dust into the atmosphere to kill between 1,000 and 2,500 people every year. The cement industry in America can afford to make the fixes EPA proposes in order to prevent those 1,000-2,500 deaths each year: the industry is profitable and resisting imports, which are now as low as they have been for 19 years. Those who voted for H.Amdt. 88 voted to prevent the fixes to cement plants that would protect the environment and save American lives.

Rep. Hinojosa has taken a liberal course of action by voting against this bill.


H.Amdt. 327

Section 1034 of the National Defense Authorization Act of 2011 gives the President of the United States perpetual authority to use military force anywhere in the world that the President believes holds terrorists. Section 1034 abrogates Congress' constitutional authority and duty to declare war, handing significant power to the president to unleash war wherever and whenever he sees fit, without congressional authorization.

House Amendment 327 was offered in May of 2011 during debate on the National Defense Authorization Act. It would have removed Section 1034 and its authorization of endless war from the bill. A YES vote is a vote to remove the endless war authorization. A NO vote is a vote to preserve the president's endless war powers.

Rep. Hinojosa has taken a liberal course of action by voting for this bill.




H.R. 2112

If passed into law, H.R. 2112 would cut funding for a number of FDA and USDA programs. Food aid programs to children, pregnant women, and senior citizens would be slashed. Tried-and-true programs to assure food safety would be gutted. Newly programs to improve meat, dairy and egg safety inspections would be scrapped. More people would go hungry and get sick in America as a result.

Rep. Hinojosa has taken a liberal course of action by voting against this bill.


H.Amdt. 642

While the world spirals into an ever-hotter and more destabilized climate, funding for scientific research into sources of energy other than offending fossil fuels has been cut by Congress for the last two years in a row. As it is, Edward Royce, who introduced an amendment to cut the alternative energy science budget by another $10 million. That $10 million is an extremely small amount in the scale of the federal budget, but can fund important scientific breakthroughs that in the long term save us money and ameliorate climate disasters. In the end, Royce's anti-science amendment was voted down.

Rep. Hinojosa has taken a liberal course of action by voting against this bill.


H.Amdt. 563

In July of 2011, Rep. Barney Frank introduced an amendment to H.R. 2219 which would have cut the U.S. military budget by $8.5 billion, stipulating that no cuts were to be taken from pay or benefit programs supporting members and veterans of the armed forces. These cuts would have reduced the emphasis of the U.S. budget on weapons programs and also furthered the declared aim of Tea Party and GOP politicians to reduce spending. Yet a majority of Tea Party and GOP politicians blocked the cuts: their support for military spending trumped their aim of fiscal restraint.

Rep. Hinojosa has taken a liberal course of action by voting for this bill.


H.R. 2417

H.R. 2417 is entitled Better Use Of Light Bulbs Act but is the opposite of better in three ways. The bill promoted the use of less efficient light bulbs, which by no measure is better use. It was based on a claim that a ban on incandescent light bulbs was imminent, but incandescent light bulbs are not being banned. Finally, H.R. 2417 was rushed onto the floor of the House of Representatives without any hearings or committee review, gutting legislative process as well as energy efficiency.

Rep. Hinojosa has taken a liberal course of action by voting against this bill.


H.Amdt. 632

In July of 2011, the House of Representatives voted to pass H.R. 2018, a bill to exclude corporate polluters from regulation by the Environmental Protection Agency. An amendment by Rep. Jared Polis would have limited the deregulation bill so that corporations with a significant history of illegal pollution practices would still be subject to EPA regulation. Polis' amendment would have allowed the conservative majority to proceed with deregulation while preserving the ability of the government to go after corporate America's biggest illegal polluters. But a conservative majority of 219 Republicans and 12 Democrats voted the Polis amendment down.

Rep. Hinojosa has taken a liberal course of action by voting for this bill.


H.Amdt. 683

What's wrong with efficiency, the use of fewer resources at less cost to achieve the same ends? 181 Republican members of Congress found something wrong with energy efficiency, something sufficiently disturbing to lead them to vote YES on House Amendment 683. If passed, H.Amdt. 683 would have banned government websites that children about energy efficiency. That wasn't a majority, but it came awfully close.

Rep. Hinojosa has taken a liberal course of action by voting against this bill.


H.R. 1540

On December 14 2011 House of Representatives voted to let the agents of the President imprison people forever without charge, whether they are citizens or not, whether they are arrested on foreign soil or right here in America. All that the government has to do is accuse this person of being a terrorist and they can be tossed into detention, without charges, forever. They'll never be charged with a crime. They'll never have the right to have the evidence against them judged by a jury of their peers in the constitutionally-guaranteed process of a trial. Constitutional guarantees just don't mean what they used to any more. This is the definition of ultimate and unaccountable government power over its people. This act turns empowered citizens into vulnerablle subjects. This is what those who voted for H.R. 1540 have unleashed.

Rep. Hinojosa has taken a liberal course of action by voting against this bill.


H.R. 2273

H.R. 2273, the Coal Residuals Reuse and Management Act, is a bill to block federal regulations for the disposal of coal ash. Lax state regulations would take the place of those federal regulations, exposing Americans to a variety of dangerous pollutants.

The danger is real. Just 17 days after the House voted to pass H.R. 2273, a mudslide at WE Energies' Oak Creek Power Plant released a large amount of toxic coal ash containing poisonous heavy metals into Lake Michigan. WE Energies' careless method of coal ash storage would be par for the course if this bill were signed into law.

Rep. Hinojosa has taken a liberal course of action by voting against this bill.


H.Amdt 935 to H.R. 3408

On February 15 2012, Representative Mike Doyle of Pennsylvania attempted to improve H.R. 3408, a bill forcing the development of the Keystone XL tar sands pipeline. Doyle's amendment would have simply required that at least 75% of the iron and steel used in the portion of the pipeline in the USA be produced in North America, preserving American jobs on an American project. The Canadian part of the pipeline could be made with steel and iron from anywhere, and even in the U.S. portion, 25 percent of the metals could still have come from China, or Pakistan, or anywhere else on Earth. But a majority of the members of the House of Representatives voted the amendment down.

Rep. Hinojosa has taken a liberal course of action by voting for this bill.


H.AMDT.1135 to H.R. 4310

On May 18 2012 Amendment 1135 to H.R. 4310 was passed in the House of Representatives, shortly before the passage of H.R. 4310 itself. This amendment eliminates funding for programs in which the United States cooperates with Russia to prevent the proliferation of nuclear weapons. The amount of spending required for the benefit of protection from nuclear weapons proliferation is minimal and yet, as Rep. Adam Smith of Washington State noted, "it has been a very successful program," quietly preventing the disastrous proliferation of weapons of mass destruction. Many of the same members of Congress who voted for the Iraq War debacle under the false pretense that Iraq had WMDs are now voting to gut a program to prevent the proliferation of actual WMDs.

Rep. Hinojosa has taken a liberal course of action by voting against this bill.


H. Amdt 1096 to H.R. 5326

In May of 2011, the House of Representatives approved Amendment 1096 to H.R. 5326, shortly before H.R. 5326 itself passed the House. Amendment 1096 forbids the President from directing the Department of Justice to resist the Defense of Marriage Act. This amendment is dedicated to preventing the principle of equal rights for gay and lesbian Americans from being implemented.

Rep. Hinojosa has taken a liberal course of action by voting against this bill.


H.Amdt. 1313 to H.R. 4480

Two years after the disaster of the BP oil spill, Congress is already ignoring its lessons.

On June 21, Rep. Jackie Speier of California took to the floor of the House of Representatives to introduce an amendment to H.R. 4480. If H.R. 4480 becomes law, any energy corporation's application to drill for oil or gas on U.S. soil will be automatically approved if engineers hired by the Department of the Interior take longer than 60 days to review the application to ensure that the drilling will be done safely.

Automatically approving an oil drilling application after 60 days is a setup. It's pretty much guaranteed that the safety review for any drilling will take longer than 60 days, not only because ensuring safety is complicated and requires diligent attention but also because the Congress has gutted the Interior Department's budget so it can't hire enough engineers to review oil drilling applications on time. As Speier noted in her speech to the floor, acceleration of oil drilling approvals isn't necessary -- the U.S. already has more drilling than ever before, with oil corporations already sitting on thousands of approved drilling sites they haven't started work on. H.R. 4480 is written to make empirical sense; it's written to allow oil drilling on U.S. soil without safety review. H.R. 4480 is legislation driven by big oil money in the direction of another environmental disaster.

Rep. Speier's amendment would have taken the automatic-approval provision out of H.R. 4480. A vote for the Speier amendment is a vote to maintain some safety in oil drilling. A vote against the Speier amendment is a vote to accelerate drilling even further, heedless of the danger to the nation's land, its wildlife and its people.

Rep. Hinojosa has taken a liberal course of action by voting for this bill.


Liberal Bills Congressman Hinojosa has failed to support through cosponsorship:

H.R. 261

Contrary to the predictions of defenders of offshore drilling, expansion of offshore drilling has done little to drive down the price of oil. Since President Obama announced that new deepwater drilling for oil will be allowed, the price of oil has gone up, not down. The cost of a barrel of oil is now nearing 100 dollars. If we want to control the cost of energy, we need diversification of energy sources, not just the same old desperate search for oil. Offshore drilling needs to be phased out, not pumped up. Given the continuing influence of big oil companies over Congress and the White House, is there anything be done to move the USA away from the dangers of offshore drilling? Yes. There are leaders in the House of Representatives who are seeking who are working to reduce the risk created by offshore drilling. H.R. 261 would prohibit new leases for offshore drilling in American waters.

Rep. Hinojosa has failed to cosponsor H.R. 261. After you read the bill, call Rep. Hinojosa's office at 956-682-5545 and ask him to support it by adding his cosponsorship.


H.R. 336

H.R. 336 is a bill that responds to incidents of financial corporations raising interest rates as many as 30 percentage points on credit card users, even when those holding credit cards keep up with their payments and aren't late sending in their checks. If passed into law, the bill would cap annual interest rates for credit cards and other lines of credit in America to 15%, inclusive of fees. Also known as the Interest Rate Reduction Act, this bill would preserve the ability of credit card corporations to make a profit while protecting Americans from usurious financial exploitation.

Rep. Hinojosa has failed to cosponsor H.R. 336. After you read the bill, call Rep. Hinojosa's office at 956-682-5545 and ask him to support it by adding his cosponsorship.


H.R. 492

It's a dirty little secret: oil companies have a special law passed that lets them off the hook for the damage caused by their regular disasters. Thanks to that special law, oil companies aren't liable for environmental and other damages over $75 million caused by their practices. H.R. 492, the Big Oil Bailout Prevention Act, would remove that cap in liability for offshore drilling disasters, so that oil companies would pay for the damage they inflict.

Rep. Hinojosa has failed to cosponsor H.R. 492. After you read the bill, call Rep. Hinojosa's office at 956-682-5545 and ask him to support it by adding his cosponsorship.


H.R. 555

There’s no better investment in our society than an investment in the education of a young child. Children who get early schooling do better later on, both educationally and professional, strengthening our nation’s economic productivity. Parents benefit too, able to work more, making contributions of their own to society, and reducing their dependence on social programs.

If parents have to pay for preschool that’s as expensive as their income, early education becomes a very difficult choice. H.R. 555, introduced this week by Dennis Kucinich, seeks to fill in that gap by supporting state governments in their efforts to provide universally affordable but not mandatory year-round pre-K school.

Rep. Hinojosa has failed to cosponsor H.R. 555. After you read the bill, call Rep. Hinojosa's office at 956-682-5545 and ask him to support it by adding his cosponsorship.




H.R. 572

As it is currently written, the Federal Motor Carrier Act does not allow states and municipalities to establish environmental safeguards for ports that are more stringent than the federal standard. H.R. 572, the Clean Ports Act, removes this impediment so communities can add environmental protections for the ports whose cleanliness and integrity they rely upon.

Rep. Hinojosa has failed to cosponsor H.R. 572. After you read the bill, call Rep. Hinojosa's office at 956-682-5545 and ask him to support it by adding his cosponsorship.


H.R. 601

The oil industry is one of the most profitable enterprises on the planet, and yet the same oil industry gets a load of special tax breaks from its friends in government. H.R. 601, the End Big Oil Tax Subsidies Act, cuts nearly $40 billion in subsidies to the oil industry, ending rewards for environmentally dirty practices and restoring some balance to the federal budget.

Rep. Hinojosa has failed to cosponsor H.R. 601. After you read the bill, call Rep. Hinojosa's office at 956-682-5545 and ask him to support it by adding his cosponsorship.


H.R. 1084

Did you know that there is an exemption for hydraulic fracturing written into the Safe Drinking Water Act? The procedure commonly known as "fracking" involves the injection of a variety of toxic chemicals into the ground in order to fracture underground shale and extract natural gas. These toxic chemicals can enter an area's underground drinking water supply or later be dumped as wastewater into America's rivers. H.R. 1084 would require the contents of fracking fluids to be publicly disclosed as needed to protect the public health, just as with other toxic discharges.

Rep. Hinojosa has failed to cosponsor H.R. 1084. After you read the bill, call Rep. Hinojosa's office at 956-682-5545 and ask him to support it by adding his cosponsorship.


H.R. 996

The problem with cluster bombs is threefold:

1. When used, they are distributed in large numbers across terrain;
2. They have a high failure rate, leaving many unexploded bombs;
3. They are small and typically shiny, disproportionately attracting the hands of curious children.

Cluster bombs are designed to kill people, not to damage buildings or roads. Like land mines, they continue to kill people long after the battle in which they were used. It is typical for a large number of these smaller bombs to remain undetonated, waiting to explode, after their initial deployment.

The Federation of American Scientists' report on the matter makes clear the danger of cluster munitions: "40 percent of the duds on the ground are hazardous and for each encounter with an unexploded submunition there is a 13 percent probability of detonation. Thus, even though an unexploded submunition is run over, kicked, stepped on, or otherwise disturbed, and did not detonate, it is not safe. Handling the unexploded submunition may eventually result in arming and subsequent detonation."

Cluster bombs kill civilians when they are used. Our government knows this, and yet our government continues to manufacture, use and sell cluster bombs to foreign countries.

The Cluster Munitions Civilian Protection Act forbids the United States government from spending money to use, sell or transfer cluster bombs unless the following requirements are met:

  • The cluster bombs are proven to have a 1 percent or lower rate of malfunction
  • The cluster bombs will not be used against anything but a clearly defined military target, in an area where there are no civilians and in places where civilians do not ordinarily live
  • A plan is submitted, with the costs included, for cleaning up all the undetonated explosives that come from cluster bombs, whether they are used by the US military, or by other countries to whom the United States has supplied the cluster bombs


There is a waiver in the law for the first requirement (for the malfunctioning rate of 1 percent or lower), in cases in which it is "vital" to use cluster bombs in order to protect the security of the United States. However, even in such cases, the President is required to submit a report to Congress which explains how civilians will be protected from the cluster bombs, and revealing the failure rate of the cluster bombs, as well as whether the cluster bombs are equipped with self-destruct functions.

Rep. Hinojosa has failed to cosponsor H.R. 996. After you read the bill, call Rep. Hinojosa's office at 956-682-5545 and ask him to support it by adding his cosponsorship.


H.R. 2665

In 2010 there were 22,000 mercenaries hired by the USA in Iraq and Afghanistan; in 2011 the number of hired mercenaries climbed to more than 28,000. By March 2011, there were more private military contractors paid by the U.S. in Iraq than there were U.S. soldiers. Jan Schakowsky, the sponsor of this bill to end the use of mercenaries for traditional military security and combat roles, explains why this is a problem:

"Military officers in the field have said contractors operate like cowboys, using unnecessary and excessive force uncharacteristic of enlisted soldiers. In 2007, guards working for a firm then known as Blackwater were accused of killing 17 Iraqis, damaging the U.S. mission in Iraq and hurting our reputation around the world. Later that year, a contractor employed by DynCorp International allegedly shot and killed an unarmed taxi driver."

Military contractors have often acted with disregard for human dignity and when they break the law have frequently used loopholes to escape accountability. The result is inexcusable, violence in the name of the United States with no calls for justice. H.R. 2665 would finally bring this physical, psychological and political disaster to an end.

Rep. Hinojosa has failed to cosponsor H.R. 2665. After you read the bill, call Rep. Hinojosa's office at 956-682-5545 and ask him to support it by adding his cosponsorship.




Rep. Hinojosa's Conservative Action Score: 17
The Conservative Action Score is calculated by compiling a series of observably conservative roll call votes and bill cosponsorships in the 112th Congress and comparing Rubén Hinojosa's behavior against that conservative standard:
  • Disregard for constitutional protections of American civil liberty
  • Secrecy and exclusion of citizens from government
  • Support for discriminatory policy
  • The symbolic denigration and practical undermining of science and education in America
  • Active harm to the environment or passive allowance for environmental destruction
  • Pursuit of further advantage for those in America who are already its richest
  • Dismissal of peaceful possibilities and obeiscance to the military-industrial complex
A score of 17 means that Representative Hinojosa has taken 17% of the possible conservative actions identified on the That's My Congress scorecard.

H.R. 514

On February 14 2011, Speaker of the House John Boehner brought H.R. 514 to the floor for a vote after mere minutes of debate, despite a lack of any committee consideration and without any provision for amendment. This bill reauthorizes provisions of the Patriot Act, a law that allows agents of the U.S. government to spy on, search and seize the property, papers and communications of individuals without a constitutionally-guaranteed finding of probable cause for that action.

Rep. Hinojosa has followed a conservative course by voting for this bill.


Gutierrez Amendment to H.R. 1

On February 15 2011, Rep. Luis Gutierrez offered an amendment to H.R. 1 in the House of Representatives. H.Amdt 13 would have reduced the Navy and Air Force aircraft procurement budgets by $415,083,000 and moved that money into the Defense Department's spending reduction account. Here's a place for cuts to a huge military program: the Pentagon itself agrees that its aircraft procurement budget is bloated. In particular, Gutierrez's amendment would have finally scrapped the long, drawn-out production of the V-22 Osprey, an airplane/helicopter hybrid that might look really cool as a transformer-like model on your kid's bookshelf but that costs a whopping $120 million per plane and has never met its production standards in deployment. Besides, it has frequently killed the people it is carrying. And yet Congress continues to vote it forward because production is distributed strategically across a number of members' districts, and because few members of Congress are brave enough to go on the record voting down any program that has the words "United States military" stamped on it.

Rep. Hinojosa has followed a conservative course by voting against this bill.


H.R. 2021

H.R. 2021, the JEPA Act, is an effort to speed up offshore drilling at the expense of clean air. If passed into law, H.R. 2021 will exempt icebreaking ships in the Arctic from current regulation under the Clean Air Act, allowing their pollution to expand without restraint. 25 members of Congress crossed political party lines in a vote to approve H.R. 2021.

Rep. Hinojosa has followed a conservative course by voting for this bill.


H.Amdt. 719

On July 25 2011, Representative Kathy Hochul introduced an amendment to Interior appropriations bill H.R. 2584. Hochul's amendment sought to reduce the federal government's burden to spend money on private drilling firms' permit approval processes at a time when it's been found that drilling permits had gone forward without required environmental impact analysis. Hochul’s amendment, if approved, would have required oil drilling companies to pay for the cost of that impact permitting process instead, ensuring that the process was sufficiently funded by those industries that benefit from the process.

Rep. Hinojosa has followed a conservative course by voting against this bill.


H.Con.Res. 13

On the first of November 2011, the House of Representatives voted to pass H.Con.Res. 13, the full text of which contains the following Congressional affirmations:
  • "The people of the United States have turned to God as their source for sustenance, protection, wisdom, strength, and direction"
  • "God, our Creator, as the source of our rights"
  • "Without God, there could be no American form of government"
These affirmations, as passed in H.Con.Res. 13, establish official Congressional reverence for the God character that is specific to Judaism, Christianity and Islam and contradictory to the religious beliefs of agnostics, atheists and the practitioners of dozens of American and international religions. H.Con.Res. directly contradicts the First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, which mandates that the Congress shall pass no law establishing religion. But only 11 out of the 435 members of the House opposed H.Con.Res. 13 by voting NO or PRESENT.

Rep. Hinojosa has followed a conservative course by voting for this bill.


H.R. 347

The first amendment to the Constitution declares that the people of the United States have a right to assemble, speak and petition the government for redress of grievance that cannot be abridged. But with the passage of H.R. 347, the Congress has gone ahead and abridged that right anyway. H.R. 347 declares that whoever knowingly engages in protest near a building where the president (or the vice president, or a major presidential candidate, or a visiting world leader) is doing his business is guilty of a federal crime if the protest "impedes" or "disrupts" the flow of government business or official functions. No more demonstrating at presidential appearances. No more demonstrating even near wherever the president is, even if nobody gets hurt, even if no property is damaged, even if nobody trespasses. Raise your voice too loud and bother the president as he goes about his business and you can get tossed in federal prison for a year. The members of Congress who voted for H.R. 347 struck against a blow against freedom of assembly, freedom of protest, and freedom of speech.

Rep. Hinojosa has followed a conservative course by voting for this bill.


H.R. 4310

You may remember how in 2011 Republicans in Congress pushed Democrats into what was called a compromise. The deal was that a Special Committee from the House and Senate would be authorized to come up with a plan for reducing the budget deficit, through increases in revenue or through reductions in spending. If that committee couldn't come up with its plan, there would be automatic spending reductions for both Medicare and the U.S. Military. After this so-called compromise, Republicans on that Special Committee refused to take action to pass any plan, and so in 2012 there were supposed to be automatic reductions in money for Medicare and for the military alike. Then came H.R. 4310, which re-engineered the compromise after the fact to remove all compromise. Under the terms of H.R. 4310, all the budget cuts for Medicare are preserved, but all the budget cuts for the military are removed. A vote for H.R. 4310 puts a heavier economic burden on the shoulders of Americans struggling out of poverty, while allowing the military-industrial complex to keep right on chugging from the trough. This is a massive benefit to massive corporations: in 2011, the top 10 corporate contractors were all military contractors. These 10 megacorporations alone received 28% of all federal contracting dollars: a whopping $150 billion. That's the corporate largesse preserved by H.R. 4310. If your representative is among those voting yes, ask him or her how that vote could possibly count as fiscally responsible.

Rep. Hinojosa has followed a conservative course by voting for this bill.


H.R. 5949

The FISA Amendments Act gives the federal government the power to set up a massive electronic surveillance dragnet, grabbing private information from Americans’ personal electronic communications without a judge's warrant. Your activity on cell phones, GPS devices, smart phones, online shopping, emails, internet browsing and even your ebooks on your Kindle is vulnerable to being spied upon, and you don't have to be a criminal to be watched. The government doesn't have to prove any suspicion of terrorism or other dastardly act.

When Barack Obama was a U.S. senator, he justified his vote to pass the FISA Amendments Act with a promise to reform it once he became President. H.R. 5949 reauthorizes the FISA Amendments Act for five years, long past Barack Obama's last day in office -- and it contains no reforms at all.

The 4th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution declares that We The People have the right to be free of search and seizure of our papers and communications unless there is a warrant specifying a reason, a time and a place. The FISA Amendments Act violates all of these constitutional guarantees. A vote to reauthorize the FISA Amendments Act without reforms is a vote against Americans' constitutional freedom.

Rep. Hinojosa has followed a conservative course by voting for this bill.



Recent legislative news in which Rubén Hinojosa plays a part:

79 House Democrats Vote To Keep Afghanistan War Going On Even Longer
For quite some time now, the majority of Americans has supported an end to the war in Afghanistan. The war is almost eleven years old now, and the goal of defeating the Taliban is no closer now than it was during the first year of the war. In order to deal with this problem, U.S. Representative Barbara Lee proposed an amendment to H.R. 4310, the National Defense Authorization Act for 2013. The Lee amendment, if passed, would have prohibited the military for spending any money in Afghanistan except for on non-combat humanitarian activities, and on activities leading to the withdrawal of American military forces from the country. more]

21 Democrats Help Tar Oil XL Pipeline And Wildlife Refuge Drilling
A few minutes ago, the U.S. House of Representatives passed H.R 3408, with the torturously long name of the Protecting Investment in Oil Shale the Next Generation of Environmental, Energy, and Resource Security Act. The legislation is an assault on the environmental integrity of the United States, doing the following: - Approving the XL Pipeline, which is designed to carry oil derived from tar sands in Canada, all the way from Alberta down to refineries in Texas, across the Ogllala Aquifer. - Pushing offshore drilling for oil and gas into even larger areas along America's shores than the recently expanded zones approved by President Barack Obama. No safety regulations have been passed by Congress to try to prevent a repetition of the Deepwater Horizon explosion and oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico. - Opening up the... [more]

Roll Call Of Valentine's Day Patriot Act Vote
The passage of H.R. 514, a renewal of the Patriot Act's most abusive spying powers for the federal government, was like a valentine for Big Brother, given how it came at about dinner time on February 14 this year. The extension was rather insulting to everyone else, though, given how it came on the heels of new information about how often the Patriot Act is being abused - at the cost of Americans' privacy. congress loves big brotherThe Electronic Freedom Frontier searched through documents it forced the federal government to hand over through a Freedom of Information Act lawsuit, and found indications of tens... [more]

House Democrats Split In Two On Taxes
Late last night, the House of Representatives voted to approve the legislation embodying Barack Obama's deal with congressional Republicans to pass a package of tax cuts that includes tax cuts for extremely wealthy Americans, with lowered contributions from investment income and no tax paid at all by heirs inheriting up to 10 million dollars. The tax deal is heavily weighted to favor the extremely wealthy, with typical American families getting a pittance of a benefit in comparison to the rewards given to the rich. Democrats in the House failed to significantly amend the Obama-GOP agreement to make it less regressive. Pete DeFazio represented liberal fury at the House Democratic leadership's acquiescence to the irresponsible tax legislation, saying, "It will be a disaster for the American people. It is a bad deal... [more]

House Dems Who Voted For Patriot Act Extension Without Reform
Yesterday, the House of Representatives sneaked through a legislative amendment on a non-related bill to extend the Patriot Act without reforming it at all. In past years, progressive activists might have believed that such votes could never take place in a majority-Democrat Congress. They worked hard to get Democrats elected in the hope that those Democrats would then work to undo the Patriot Act and other attacks against the Constitution from the Bush years. Such a belief can no longer be maintained, given the actions of the majority-Democrat Congress to maintain George W. Bush's regime of government secrecy, arbitrary imprisonment, unjust trials, and widespread surveillance against law-abiding citizens. Yesterday's Patriot Act vote was another clear indication that the... [more]

List of the 163 Democrats Who Spent Time Promoting Theocracy Instead Of Creating Jobs
The Democratic Party has promised us that it would do whatever it takes to create jobs and improve the economy. Democrats in Congress said that they would work to get a good jobs bill passed, and not waste time with frivolous matters. That's not what happened this week. This week, the House of Representatives spent the better part of a day debating, and then voting on, a resolution that has no force in law, but declares that "the people of the United States have turned to God". The fact is that the American people are increasingly turning away from belief in God. The American... [more]

Which Democrats Support The Save Our Climate Act? Which Democrats Are Slacking Off?
If you want economic justice, if you want corporations to be forced to take responsibility, if you want to see strong action to confront climate change, then you should support H.R. 3242, the Save Our Climate Act. The brutal economic fact is this: We are all paying a carbon tax already. Only, it's not called a carbon tax. It's a hidden tax. When residents of Southern states pay huge electric bills running their air conditioners as the temperature soars above 100 degrees for weeks on end, they're paying a carbon tax. When peoples' homes are destroyed in tornadoes and floods, they're paying a carbon tax. When entire neighborhoods are burned to the ground by increasing numbers of wildfires, the people who live there are paying a carbon... [more]

AntiWar GOP and ProWar Democrats?
Yesterday, the U.S. House of Representatives rejected legislation to authorize Barack Obama's entry of the U.S. military into the Libyan civil war. Of Republicans who voted on the legislation, 95.7 percent voted against authorization. 62.2 percent of voting Democrats voted for war authorization. libya civil warSo,... [more]

Offshore Drilling Should Pollute More, Says Congress
One year ago, the blown out pipe from the British Petroleum's Deepwater Horizon offshore oil drilling rig was spewing toxic crude oil into the Gulf of Mexico. The pollution went on for months. This week, Congress finally took action on the pollution caused by offshore drilling. The action, however, was to make offshore drilling even more dangerous and dirty. The House of Representatives voted to approve H.R. 2021, a law that provides new loopholes to offshore drilling companies. These loopholes are explicitly designed to allow offshore... [more]

Roll Call: U.S. House Passes Patriot Act Extension With No Reforms!
Yes, it's confusing. They call the bill the "Small Business Additional Temporary Extension Act of 2011, S. 990, but it's really the bill to extend the Patriot Act without any reforms, without any chance of amendment. Harry Reid introduced his bill to continue the extreme surveillance regime of the Patriot Act without any reforms just a few days ago. The bill didn't go through committee. Reid didn't give any U.S. senators time to offer amendments, circumventing the processes of representative democracy by slapping the Patriot Act onto the small business legislation and moving it to the floor of the Senate, lickety split. Senator Reid and his fellow fans of the Patriot Act unconstitutional spy powers had months to pass their... [more]