How our legislators voted

  • Wednesday, October 27, 2021 1:30am
  • News

Here’s a look at how area members of Congress voted over the previous week (Oct. 15-21):

Along with this week’s roll call votes, the Senate also passed the Prison Camera Reform Act (S 2899), requiring the Director of the Bureau of Prisons to address deficiencies and make necessary upgrades to the security camera and radio systems of the Bureau of Prisons to ensure the health and safety of employees and inmates.

House votes

Free Veterans from Fees Act (HR 1029) — Sponsored by Rep. Gregory W. Steube (R-Fla.), the House has passed this bill that would waive special use permit fees for military veterans events at war memorials on federal land in the Washington, D.C., area. A supporter, Rep. Ron Kind, D-Wis., said: “It is the right thing to do, to try to reduce the cost for a lot of these important commemorative occasions happening right here in our nation’s capital.” The vote passed on Oct. 19, 421-3.

Derek Kilmer (D-WA, 6th) Yes

Darren Drake Act (HR 4089) — Sponsored by Rep. Josh Gottheimer (D-N.J.), this bill requires the Homeland Security Department to issue guidelines to car rental companies on strategies for preventing acts of terrorism that use vehicles they rent to individuals. Gottheimer said the guidelines “will provide rental companies and car dealers with the vital information they need to flag and stop potential terrorist threats in their tracks.” The vote passed on Oct. 19,-51.

Kilmer (D-WA, 6th) Yes

National Centers of Excellence in Continuous Pharmaceutical Manufacturing Ac (HR 4369) — Sponsored by Rep. Frank Pallone Jr. ( D-N.J.), this legislation would have the Food and Drug Administration designate and fund certain colleges and universities as centers for the development of continuous manufacturing of pharmaceutical drugs. Pallone said establishing the centers “will improve the quality of our pharmaceuticals, reduce drug shortages, and help to produce more nimble and efficient manufacturing processes that could be replicated throughout the nation.” The vote passed on Oct. 19, 368-56.

Kilmer (D-WA, 6th) Yes

State Opioid Response Grant Authorization Act (HR 2379) — Sponsored by Rep. David J. Trone (D-Md.), this bill would reauthorize through 2027 the federal government’s opioid response program for sending grant money to states, and expand the program to include both opioid and other forms of substance abuse. Trone said the bill sought to give states “the consistent, necessary funding they need to meet their specific needs” for preventing abuse. The vote passed on Oct. 20, 380-46.

Kilmer (D-WA, 6th) Yes

Drug-Free Communities Pandemic Relief Act (HR 654) — Sponsored by Rep. David P. Joyce (R-Ohio), this legislation provides for waiving requirements local governments must meet to receive federal matching funding under the Drug-Free Communities Support Program. Joyce said the waiver was needed because “with more Americans dying from drug overdoses than ever before, it is critical that we do everything we can to support and empower those working on the front lines in our communities to reduce and prevent addiction among our children.” The vote passed on Oct. 20, 395-30.

Kilmer (D-WA, 6th) Yes

Strengthening Americas Strategic National Stockpile Act (HR 3635) — Sponsored by Rep. Elissa Slotkin (D-Mo.), the bill changes operation of the federal government’s stockpile of equipment and drugs for use in medical emergencies, including setting out required stockpiling levels and plans for distribution. The vote passed on Oct. 20, 397-22.

Kilmer (D-WA, 6th) Yes

Open RAN Outreach Act (HR 4032) — Sponsored by Rep. Colin Z. Allred (D-Texas), this bill requires the federal government to work with small telecommunications providers on their deployment of Open Radio Access Network (RAN) wireless technology to their customers. Allred said the bill sought to help the providers shift away from reliance on Chinese equipment manufacturers and instead use Open RAN systems that have a more diverse and competitive set of manufacturers. The vote passed on Oct. 20, 410-17.

Kilmer (D-WA, 6th) Yes

Information and Communication Technology Strategy Act (HR 4028) — Sponsored by Rep. Billy Long (R-Mo.), HR 4028 requires the Commerce Department to create a government-wide strategy for improving the U.S. information and communications technology sector. Long said of the need for a strategy: “With all the supply chain disruptions we have seen this past year, it is important to know how our domestic production of this crucial equipment can be strengthened in the future.” The vote passed on Oct. 20, 413-14.

Kilmer (D-WA, 6th) Yes

Sponsored by Rep. Bennie G. Thompson (D-Miss.), the House has passed a resolution (H. Res. 730) to find Steve Bannon in contempt of Congress for declining to obey a subpoena issued by the House Select Committee to Investigate the January 6th Attack on the United States Capitol. Thompson said that “unlike other witnesses who have engaged and worked with our team to find a way to cooperate, Mr. Bannon told us he wouldn’t comply because the former president told him not to.” A resolution opponent, Rep. Jim Banks, R-Ind., said: “The select committee despises Steve Bannon’s politics, so they are abusing their power to put him in jail.” The vote passed on Oct. 21, 229-202.

Kilmer (D-WA, 6th) Yes

Senate votes

The Senate confirmed the nomination of Gustavo A. Gelpi to serve as a judge on the U.S. First Circuit Court of Appeals. Gelpi has been a federal district judge in Puerto Rico since 2006. A supporter, Sen. Dick Durbin, D-Ill., said of Gelpi: “Leaders on both sides of the aisle trust that he will rule impartially and without regard for partisanship.” The vote passed on Oct. 18, 52-41.

Maria Cantwell (D-WA) Yes

Patty Murray (D-WA) Yes

The Senate confirmed the nomination of Christine P. O’Hearn to serve as a judge on the U.S. district court for New Jersey. O’Hearn has been a private practice lawyer in Camden since 1993, specializing in labor and employment law. A supporter, Sen. Robert Menendez, D-N.J., said O’Hearn’s “professional credentials, combined with her compassion and commitment to the fair and impartial administration of justice, will make her an outstanding judge.” The vote, on Oct. 19, was 53 yeas to 44 nays.

Cantwell (D-WA) Yes

Murray (D-WA) Yes

The Senate confirmed the nomination of Catherine Lhamon to be assistant secretary for civil rights at the Education Department. Lhamon served in the same post during President Obama’s second term, is a former chair of the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights, and, since 2019, has been California’s legal affairs secretary. A supporter, Sen. Patty Murray (D-WA), said Lhamon “has a long track record that proves she is a champion for students through and through, and that is exactly what our students need.” The vote passed on Oct. 20, 50-50, with Vice President Harris casting a 51st yea vote.

Cantwell (D-WA) Yes

Murray (D-WA) Yes

Freedom to Vote Act (S 2747) — The Senate rejected a cloture motion to end debate on a motion to consider the Freedom to Vote Act, legislation sponsored by Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.). The bill would make numerous changes to voting and election procedures, including declaring Election Day in November as a federal holiday, stipulating that only felons currently under sentence can be deemed ineligible to vote due to criminal offenses, and establishing new criminal offenses for hindering people from voting. Klobuchar said the bill was needed “because the freedom to vote is fundamental to all of our freedoms, and it is currently under attack.” A bill opponent, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., said it was a wrongful attempt to have the federal government usurp states’ authority over elections and voting law. The vote failed on Oct. 20, with 49 yeas to 51 nays.

Cantwell (D-WA) Yes

Murray (D-WA) Yes

The Senate confirmed the nomination of Tana Lin to serve as a judge on the U.S. district court for the western district of Washington. Lin has been a private practice lawyer at a Seattle law firm since 2004. Sen. Murray (D-WA) said Lin “will bring integrity, independence, and compassion to the Seattle courthouse.” The vote passed on Oct. 21, 52-45.

Cantwell (D-WA) Yes

Murray (D-WA) Yes

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