Barack Obama holds a press conference in a Chicago restaurant in 2004. At the meeting, he unveiled a plan to help small business owners provide health insurance for their employees.

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Voting Record of Barack Obama: Immigration and Health Care

Immigration:

  • In 2007, Obama voted yes on a bill that restricts commercial trucks from Mexico to commercial-only zones in the border area (S. Amendment 2797) [source: U.S. Senate].
  • He voted in favor of a failed bill for comprehensive immigration reform in 2007 (S. 1639), which would have introduced guest-worker-visa and path-to-citizenship programs for illegal immigrants already residing in the country, as well as increased border security [source: U.S. Senate].
  • Obama also voted for the Secure Fence Act in 2006 (H.R. 6061), which approved $1.2 billion for a 700-mile-long (1,127-km) fence along the U.S./Mexico border [source: The Washington Post].
  • He voted in favor of S. Amdt. 1183, a failed bill that sought to reclassify spouses and minor children of legal immigrants as immediate relatives, giving them legal status in the U.S. -- so-called "chain migration" [source: U.S. Senate].

Health Care:

  • In 2007, Obama voted for an unsuccessful bill that would have expanded funding for the State Children's Healthcare Insurance Program (SCHIP) by increasing the tobacco tax (S. Amdt. 536 ) [source: U.S. Senate].
  • He voted against another unsuccessful bill in 2007, which eliminated federal payments matching state funds for non-pregnant adults via SCHIP, but allowed states to expand mental and dental coverage of children in SCHIP (S. Con. Res. 21) [source: U.S. Senate].
  • In 2006, he voted in favor of an amendment to provide compensation for people who had been harmed by flu vaccines [source: Obama Senate].
  • Obama voted in favor of establishing a fund for reserving avian flu vaccine in 2006 (S. Amdt. 3114) [source: U.S. Senate].
  • In 2007, he voted in favor of S. Amdt. 990, which allows seniors to purchase and import cheaper prescription drugs from Canada and other countries [source: U.S. Senate].

On the next page, we'll look at Barack Obama's voting record with regard to ethics and morality questions, as well as veterans' issues.