Here are three instances where Dean Heller and Shelley Berkley voted together:
1. Emergency Unemployment Compensation
Heller and Berkley voted on July 1, 2010, in favor of extending emergency unemployment benefits to nearly 2 million out-of-work Americans whose benefits were set to expire within two weeks. Republicans, including Heller, tried to have the additional cost taken from stimulus funds. When that effort failed, Heller voted in favor of the bill. It passed 270-153 with 29 Republicans in support.
2. Debbie Smith Reauthorization Act
Berkley and Heller were among 48 co-sponsors of legislation in 2008 to provide $151 million in grants to state and local law enforcement to reduce their backlog in analyzing DNA samples taken from crime scenes and rape kits. The bill passed on a voice vote on July 14, 2008.
3. HAMP Termination Act
Berkley and Heller voted on March 29, 2011, to end the Home Affordable Modification Program that was launched two years earlier but failed to deliver promised relief to homeowners whose mortgages were underwater. Berkley supported fixing the flaws rather than canceling the program, but that approach was rejected. The vote to end the program was approved, 252-170, with 18 Democrats in favor.
HELLER, THE MAVERICK
Here are three instances where Dean Heller voted contrary to the majority of House Republicans:
1. Patriot Act
Heller voted on Feb. 17, 2011, against a 90-day extension of expiring provisions of the USA Patriot Act. Those provisions allow for warrantless wiretaps and permit government agents to seek certain business records and gather intelligence on "lone wolf" terrorist suspects. The bill passed 279-143 with 26 Republicans in opposition.
2. Housing and Economic Recovery Act
Heller voted on July 23, 2008, in favor of legislation aimed at stabilizing the mortgage industry and homeownership. The motion to move the bill forward passed, 272-152, with 45 Republicans in favor. The majority of Republicans opposed it as a bailout to Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac.
3. Stem Cell Research Enhancement Act
Heller voted on Jan. 11, 2007, in favor of the federal government supporting medical research that utilizes stem cells derived from human embryos donated from in vitro fertilization clinics and other sources. The bill passed 253-174 with 37 Republicans in favor.
BERKLEY, THE MAVERICK
Here are three instances where Shelley Berkley voted contrary to the majority of House Democrats:
1. Patriot Act
Berkley voted on Feb. 17, 2011, in favor of a 90-day extension of expiring provisions of the USA Patriot Act. Those provisions allow for warrantless wiretaps and permit government agents to seek certain business records and gather intelligence on "lone wolf" terrorist suspects. The bill passed 279-143 with 68 Democrats in support.
2. Estate Tax
Berkley in 2010 embraced a reworking of the estate tax that would set the tax rate at 35 percent, with an exemption for the first $5 million in individual inheritance, or $10 million for a couple. Most Democrats preferred a higher rate of 45 percent with a $3 million exemption. On Dec. 16, 2010, Berkley was among 60 Democrats who helped kill by a 233-194 vote an amendment to impose the higher rate.
3. Robert C. Byrd Mine Safety Protection Act
Berkley on Dec. 8, 2010, voted against passage of a bill seeking to improve mine safety in the aftermath of a West Virginia accident that killed 29 coal miners. Opponents complained it favored punishment over prevention. The bill was rejected 214-193 with a two-thirds majority needed for passage. Berkley was one of 27 Democrats to oppose it.