WASHINGTON — Here’s how Maine’s members of Congress were recorded on major roll call votes in the week ending Feb. 7.

Medicare payments

Voting 195 for and 215 against, the House on Feb. 5 defeated a Democratic bid to increase Medicare payment levels for doctors and non-urban hospitals in a stopgap fiscal 2003 budget. Passed later on a non-record vote, the temporary measure (HJ Res 18) will fund non-defense operations at 2002 levels until Congress enacts a permanent 2003 budget.

The Democratic motion sought to avert a 4.4 percent cut scheduled for March 1 in Medicare payment rates for doctors. It also attempted to increase the base Medicare payment for rural and small-city hospitals to the level set for big-city hospitals. Both increases are under review by a House-Senate conference committee for possible inclusion in the permanent 2003 budget.

A yes vote was to increase certain Medicare payment levels in the temporary budget.

Rep. Tom Allen, D-Maine, voted yes. Rep. Michael Michaud, D-Maine, voted yes.

Columbia astronauts

The House on Feb. 5 adopted, 404-0, a resolution (H Res 51) extending condolences to the families of deceased Columbia astronauts Rick D. Husband, William C. McCool, Michael P. Anderson, David M. Brown, Kalpana Chawla, Laurel Blair Salton Clark and Ilan Ramon.

A yes vote backed the resolution.

Allen and Michaud voted yes.

Space shuttle Columbia

Voting 95-0, the Senate on Feb. 5 approved a measure (S Res 45) honoring the seven astronauts who died in the disintegration of space shuttle Columbia Feb. 1 as it re-entered the earth’s atmosphere at the close of a 16-day mission. The resolution also expressed condolences to family members.

A yes vote was to adopt the resolution.

Sen. Susan Collins, R-Maine, voted yes. Sen. Olympia Snowe, R-Maine, voted yes.

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