How our legislators voted

  • Tuesday, October 5, 2021 4:35pm
  • News

Here’s a look at how area members of Congress voted over the previous week Sept. 24-30)

Along with the week’s roll call votes, the House also passed these measures by voice vote: the K–12 Cybersecurity Act (S-1917), to establish a K–12 education cybersecurity initiative; the Homeland Security for Children Act (HR 4426), to amend the Homeland Security Act of 2002 to ensure that the needs of children are considered in homeland security planning; and the Unmanned Aerial Security Act (HR 4682), to prohibit the Secretary of Homeland Security from operating or procuring certain foreign-made unmanned aircraft systems.

House votes

• Women’s Health Protection Act (HR 3755)

Sponsored by Rep. Judy Chu (D-Calif), this bill would remove various restrictions on abortion, including those based on time after gestation, established by state and local governments. Chu said: “This bill respects our right and the freedom to make our own choices about our bodies, and it leaves those decisions up to us and our doctors.” An opponent, Rep. Tim Walberg (R-Mich.), said the bill “would ban virtually all conscience protections for medical personnel and enable the use of taxpayer money to fund abortion procedures, violating sincerely held beliefs of millions of Americans on the sanctity of human life.” The vote passed on Sept. 24, 218-211.

Derek Kilmer (D-WA, 6th) Yes

• Eliminating a Quantifiably Unjust Application of the Law Act (HR 1693)

Sponsored by Rep. Hakeem S. Jeffries (D-N.Y.), this bill proposes to change federal criminal sentencing standards by equalizing the standards for crack cocaine and powder cocaine. Jeffries said: “There is no policy justification for punishing crack cocaine offenses more harshly than the same offense involving powder cocaine.” The vote passed on Sept. 28, 361-66.

Kilmer Yes

War Crimes Rewards Expansion Act (HR 4250)

The House passed a bill sponsored by Rep. Virginia Foxx (R-N.C.) to expand authority for rewards offered by the State Department for information that leads to the conviction of foreigners accused of war crimes. Foxx said the bill “will help make America safer and bring perpetrators of war crimes, crimes against humanity, and genocide to justice.” The vote passed on Sept. 28, 412-9.

Kilmer Yes

Libya Stabilization Act (HR 1228)

Sonsored by Rep. Theodore E. Deutch (D-Fla.), a bill passed by the House imposes sanctions on foreigners believed to have destabilized Libya and require federal agencies to commit resources on behalf of peace and democracy in Libya. Deutch said Libyans “deserve a future free from foreign meddling, from conflict and corruption, and from economic turmoil. They deserve to choose their leaders in free and fair elections.” The Sept. 28 vote passed 386-35.

Kilmer Yes

District of Columbia Chief Financial Officer Salary Home Rule Act (HR 1204)

The House rejected legislation sponsored by Del. Eleanor Holmes Norton (D-D.C.), to allow the government of Washington, D.C., to set the level of pay for its chief financial officer. Norton said the District’s chief financial officer has unusually broad powers but also unusually low compensation, and establishing competitive compensation for the position would help attract better candidates. The vote on Sept. 29, was 259 for and 170 against, failing to meet the two-thirds majority required for approval.

Kilmer Yes

Debt ceiling bill (S 1301)

The House has passed a bill sponsored by Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-Ohio) to suspend the federal government’s debt ceiling through Dec. 16, 2022. A supporter, Rep. Richard E. Neal, D-Mass., said: “Ensuring that the government can finance its existing obligations is a responsibility that we share jointly in this chamber.” An opponent, Rep. Kevin Brady, R-Calif., said: “It is irresponsible to keep raising the debt limit, keep on spending without any framework, or any discussion about this explosion of America’s debt.” The vote passed on Sept. 29, 219-212.

Kilmer Yes

Extending Government Funding and Delivering Emergency Assistance Act (HR 5305)

The House concurred in the Senate an to HR 5305 that would fund the federal government through Dec. 3 and add emergency supplemental funding to deal with the withdrawal from Afghanistan and recent weather events. An opponent, Rep. Kay Granger, R-Texas, said the Senate amendment failed to include funding for Israel’s Iron Dome missile defense system. The votepassed on Sept. 30, 254-175.

Kilmer Yes

Senate votes

Nominations confirmed

The Senate has confirmed the nomination of Karen Erika Donfried to serve as the Assistant Secretary of State for European Affairs and Eurasian Affairs. Donfried has been president of the German Marshall Fund of the United States for seven years. A supporter, Sen. Robert Menendez, D-N.J., called Donfried’s nomination “a testament to the Biden administration’s effort to rebuild the transatlantic relationship” with Europe. The vote passed on Sept. 28, 73-26.

Maria Cantwell (D-WA) Yes

Patty Murray (D-WA) Yes

The Senate also confirmed the nomination of Monica Medina to serve as Assistant Secretary of State for Oceans and International Environmental and Scientific Affairs. Medina has been a senior official at the Commerce Department, Defense Department, and other governmental and private groups. A supporter, Sen. Robert Menendez, D-N.J., cited Medina’s experience “in a broad variety of leadership roles focused on ocean conservation, environmental policy, and science.” The vote passed on Sept. 28, 61-36.

Cantwell (D-WA) Yes

Murray (D-WA) Yes

The Senate confirmed the nomination of Mary Phee to serve as Assistant Secretary of State for African Affairs. Phee was ambassador to South Sudan from 2015-2017; her other diplomatic postings include positions in Afghanistan, Iraq and Ethiopia. A supporter, Sen. Robert Menendez, D-N.J., said Phee would “be promoting the views of America’s democracy, human rights, rule of law, investment, trade, and opportunity” at a vital time for Africa. The vote passed on Sept. 28, 67-31.

Cantwell (D-WA) Yes

Murray (D-WA) Yes

The Senate also confirmed the nomination of Todd D. Robinson to serve as the Assistant Secretary of State for International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Affairs. Robinson has served as a diplomat in numerous Latin American and European countries, including, from 2014-2017, ambassador to Guatemala. A supporter, Sen. Robert Menendez, D-N.J., said confirming Robinson “is critical to our international efforts to combat narcotics, to deal with fentanyl, and to deal with the trafficking routes that extend through Mexico and all the way back to China.” The vote passed on Sept. 28, 53-41

Cantwell (D-WA) Yes

Murray (D-WA) Yes

The Senate has confirmed the nomination of Jessica Lewis to serve as Assistant Secretary of State for Political-Military Affairs. Lewis has been a staffer on Senate and House foreign policy committees and to individual senators since 2002. A supporter, Sen. Robert Menendez, D-N.J., said Lewis “is recognized across party lines as one of the most effective and trusted leaders on Capitol Hill.” The vote passed on Sept. 29, 70-27.

Cantwell (D-WA) Yes

Murray (D-WA) Yes

The Senate confirmed the nomination of Robert Anderson to serve as the Interior Department’s solicitor. Anderson has been Interior’s principal deputy solicitor since the start of the Biden administration. An opponent, Sen. John Barrasso, R-Wyo., criticized Anderson for indicating that he might move to end existing programs for leasing federal lands for oil and natural gas production, which Barrasso said “simply and unfortunately but truly ignores the law of the land.” The vote passed on Sept. 29, 53-44.

Cantwell (D-WA) No

Murray (D-WA) No

The Senate confirmed the nomination of Rohit Chopra to serve as director of the Bureau of Consumer Financial Protection for a five-year term. Chopra has served on the Federal Trade Commission since May 2018; previously, he was an assistant director at the Bureau. A supporter, Sen. Sherrod Brown, D-Ohio, said Chopra “has a deep understanding of financial markets, a strong record of protecting consumers and workers and small businesses, promoting competitive markets, and holding bad actors accountable.” An opponent, Sen. Pat Toomey, R-Pa., said that as director, “Chopra would very likely return the CFPB to the rogue, unaccountable, anti-business agency it was during the Obama administration. We have every reason to believe he would continue to disregard legitimate congressional oversight requests.” The vote passed on Sept. 30, 50-48.

Cantwell (D-WA) Yes

Murray (D-WA) Yes

The Senate also confirmed the nomination of Tracy Stone-Manning to serve as director of the Bureau of Land Management. Stone-Manning was a senior aide to Sen. Jon Tester, D-Mont, from 2007-2012; since then, she has been a senior official in Montana’s state government and at the National Wildlife Federation. Tester said Stone-Manning “can get the job done. She can bring people together of all political ilks, and she can do what is necessary for the American people.” An opponent, Sen. John Barrasso, R-Wyo., said Stone-Manning had “collaborated with ecoterrorists, lied to the U.S. Senate, wrote in favor of population control as a problem related to the climate, and promoted the idea that homes built in the forest should be left to burn.” The vote passed on Sept. 30, 50-45.

Cantwell (D-WA) Yes

Murray (D-WA) Yes

Extending Government Funding and Delivering Emergency Assistance Act (HR 5305)

Sponsored by Rep. Rosa L. DeLauro (D-Conn), the Senate passed HR 5305 that would fund the federal government through Dec. 3 and add emergency supplemental funding to deal with the withdrawal from Afghanistan and recent weather events. A supporter, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) praised the withdrawal of “the poison pill of a debt limit increase” from the version of the bill that had previously passed the House. The vote passed on Sept. 30, 65-35.

Cantwell (D-WA) Yes

Murray (D-WA) Yes

The Senate rejected an amendment sponsored by Sen. Roger Marshall (R-Kan.) to HR 5305 that would have barred funding for the adoption of governmental Covid-19 vaccination requirements for private employers. Marshall said: “No precedent exists in American history for punishing private employers that don’t enforce government vaccination edicts.” An opponent, Sen. Patrick J. Leahy, D-Vt., said: “We need to end this pandemic, and getting people vaccinated is one of the most important things we can do to accomplish that.” The vote on Sept. 30 was 50-50, with a three-fifths majority required for approval.

Cantwell (D-WA) Yes

Murray (D-WA) Yes.

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