How Barack Obama Works

By: Josh Clark

Voting Record of Barack Obama: Ethics, Morality and Veterans

Obama speaks at a hearing in Washington on the 2006 budget for Veterans Affairs in February 2005.
Obama speaks at a hearing in Washington on the 2006 budget for Veterans Affairs in February 2005.
Alex Wong/Getty Images

Ethics and Morality Issues:

  • Obama voted for a successful bill in 2006 that allowed for federal funding of research using embryonic stem cells [source: U.S. Senate].
  • He voted to create the Hate Crimes Prevention Act of 2007, which included crimes against individuals based on their sexual orientation [source: U.S. Senate].
  • In 2006, he voted against a Constitutional amendment that would have given Congress the power to outlaw flag burning (SJ Res 12) [source: The Washington Post].
  • In 2006, he voted against the proposal to amend the Constitution to include the definition of marriage as that of a "union of a man and a woman" (SJ Res 1) [source: U.S. Senate].
  • Obama voted for an unsuccessful amendment in 2005 to expand funding for family planning and access to birth control (S Con Res 18) [source: Project Vote Smart].
  • In 2008, Obama missed a close vote on HR 2082, a successful bill that bans Americans from using waterboarding and other interrogation techniques not allowed in the Army Field Manual [source: U.S. Senate]. The bill was vetoed by President George W. Bush the following month [source: AP].


  • Obama didn't vote for the Military Construction and Veterans Affairs Appropriations Act of 2008 (H.R. 2642), a bill that passed without his vote. It provided funding for military construction and the VA budget [source: U.S. Senate].
  • Obama voted for a failed amendment (S. Amendment 3141 -- 2006) to assure a steady stream of funding for future veterans' health care services by rolling back tax breaks [source: U.S. Senate].
  • He voted against a rejected amendment in 2006 (S. Amdt. 3704), which provided $20 million for the medical facilities for the Veterans Administration [source: U.S. Senate].
  • In 2005, he voted in favor of a motion to waive an amendment to provide an additional $500 million per year from 2006 to 2010 to be used for mental health services for veterans [source: U.S. Senate].

On the next page, we'll look at Sen. Obama's record on environmental and judiciary issues.