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Roll Call, Week ending Aug. 13

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WASHINGTON — Here’s a look at how area members of Congress voted over the week ending Aug. 13.

After this week’s votes, the Senate is scheduled to be in recess until September. The House had already gone into recess.

There were no key votes in the House this week.

Senate

APPEALS COURT JUDGE: The Senate has confirmed the nomination of Eunice C. Lee to serve as a judge on the U.S. Second Circuit Court of Appeals. Lee has been a criminal public defense lawyer, in New York City and in the federal government, since 1998, as well as a law professor at New York University from 2003 to 2019. A supporter, Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., said Lee “will bring dynamism, brilliance, and a real diversity of experience to courts in New York.” The vote, on Aug. 7, was 50 yeas to 47 nays.

YEAS

Maria Cantwell, D-Wash.; Patty Murray, D-Wash.

BUDGETING AND INFRASTRUCTURE: The Senate has agreed to a motion to waive budgetary points of order against the substitute amendment to the Invest in America Act (H.R. 3684). A motion opponent, Sen. James Lankford, R-Okla., said $250 billion of the amendment’s roughly $1 trillion of spending was not paid for, and therefore should be eliminated. The vote, on Aug. 8, was 64 yeas to 33 nays.

YEAS

Cantwell, Murray

INFRASTRUCTURE SPENDING: The Senate has passed a substitute amendment sponsored by Sen. Kyrsten Sinema, D-Ariz., to the Invest in America Act (H.R. 3684), that would authorize $1.2 trillion of spending on various forms of infrastructure, including highways, mass transit, railroads, shipping, and broadband internet. A supporter, Sen. Roger Wicker, R-Miss., said “the investments in this legislation will generate a stronger economy and larger sums of revenue.” An opponent, Sen. Mike Braun, R-Ind., cited concerns about the level of debt incurred by the legislation, and resulting inflationary pressures. The vote, on Aug. 8, was 69 yeas to 28 nays.

YEAS

Cantwell, Murray

TRANSPORTATION: The Senate has passed the Invest in America Act (H.R. 3684), sponsored by Rep. Peter A. DeFazio, D-Ore., to authorize through fiscal 2026 surface transportation programs, including highways, mass transit, and rail, and set out fiscal 2022 spending levels on those programs. A supporter, Sen. Maria Cantwell, D-Wash., said the spending would help ensure that products quickly reach their customers, improving U.S. competitiveness against other nations. The vote, on Aug. 10, was 69 yeas to 30 nays.

YEAS

Cantwell, Murray

GREEN NEW DEAL: The Senate has passed an amendment sponsored by Sen. John Barrasso, R-Wyo., to the 2022 budget bill (S. Con. Res. 14), that would bar enactment of the Green New Deal, a proposal for large-scale changes to energy consumption in the U.S. that would generally shift the country away from the use of fossil fuel resources. Barrasso said the Green New Deal “would worsen already high inflation. It will drive a stake through the economy and eventually bankrupt the nation.” The vote, on Aug. 10, was unanimous with 99 yeas.

YEAS

Cantwell, Murray

CLIMATE EFFORTS: The Senate has passed an amendment sponsored by Sen. Tom Carper, D-Del., to the 2022 budget bill (S. Con. Res. 14), to establish a fund for addressing climate change by cutting greenhouse gas emissions and reducing fossil fuel use. Carper said: “We are in a code red situation. This is all hands on deck when it comes to the climate crisis.” An opponent, Sen. John Barrasso, R-Wyo., said: “We can protect the environment without punishing the economy, and this bill and amendment fail that test.” The vote, on Aug. 10, was 51 yeas to 48 nays.

YEAS

Cantwell, Murray

FAMILY BUSINESSES AND TAXES: The Senate has passed an amendment sponsored by Sen. John Thune, R-S.D., to the 2022 budget bill (S. Con. Res. 14). The amendment would provide for stable tax regimes regarding cross-generational transfer of business and farm ownerships, including the step-up in cost basis for inheritances. Thune said changing tax policy by imposing capital gains taxes on the increased value of inherited land would “hit generationally owned enterprises hard, particularly in rural communities. And it could force families to sell off part of the farm or business just to pay the new tax.” The vote, on Aug. 10, was unanimous with 99 yeas.

YEAS

Cantwell, Murray

FINANCIAL ACCOUNT REPORTING: The Senate has passed an amendment sponsored by Sen. Ron Wyden, D-Ore., to the 2022 budget bill (S. Con. Res. 14), that would establish requirements for the tax reporting of large financial account balances to the Internal Revenue Service. Wyden said tax avoiders would “have a much tougher time if the Congress requires that financial institutions take practical and reasonable steps to require that financial institutions report on financial accounts.” An opponent, Sen. Mike Crapo, R-Idaho, said the requirement would authorize the IRS to arbitrarily determine what qualifies as a large account balance, and violate privacy rights by requiring the disclosure of such balances to the agency. The vote, on Aug. 10, was 50 yeas to 49 nays.

YEAS

Cantwell, Murray

FRACKING OIL WELLS: The Senate has passed an amendment sponsored by Sen. Kevin Cramer, R-N.D., to the 2022 budget bill (S. Con. Res. 14), that would bar new regulations that ban hydraulic fracturing (fracking) of oil and natural gas wells. Cramer said a fracking ban “would raise Americans’ cost of living, weaken our national security, and, of course, actually enhance greenhouse gas emissions.” An amendment opponent, Sen. Bernie Sanders, ID-Vt., said: “We have got to move away from fossil fuel. We have got to end fracking.” The vote, on Aug. 10, was 57 yeas to 42 nays.

NAYS

Cantwell, Murray

SCHOOL AND LOCKDOWNS: The Senate has rejected an amendment sponsored by Sen. Tim Scott, R-S.C., to the 2022 budget bill (S. Con. Res. 14), that would have stipulated that public schools should be open throughout the 2021-2022 school year. Scott said the amendment was necessary because “thanks to labor union bosses and their unneeded and damaging school shutdowns, kids have been kept out of school, and many — far too many — have suffered psychologically.” An opponent, Sen. Patty Murray, D-Wash., said “in addition to ensuring in-person learning, we need to encourage adherence to public health guidance, especially as this delta variant is surging.” The vote, on Aug. 10, was 49 yeas to 50 nays.

NAYS

Cantwell, Murray

POWER PLANTS: The Senate has passed an amendment sponsored by Sen. John Boozman, R-Ark., to the 2022 budget bill (S. Con. Res. 14), that would bar the Agriculture Department from banning loans to build or maintain fossil fuel-burning electric power plants. Boozman said the amendment “ensures that rural Americans continue to have accessible, affordable, reliable energy to power their farms, their businesses, and broadband networks.” An opponent, Sen. Debbie Stabenow, D-Mich., said a ban would curtail the Agriculture Department’s “ability to support a transition to clean fuel economies.” The vote, on Aug. 10, was 53 yeas to 46 nays.

NAYS

Cantwell, Murray

ELECTRIC VEHICLE TAX CREDITS: The Senate has passed an amendment sponsored by Sen. Deb Fischer, R-Neb., to the 2022 budget bill (S. Con. Res. 14), that would adopt means tests for electric vehicle tax credits, including a maximum vehicle value of $40,000 and a maximum individual income of $100,000. Fischer said: “There is nothing wrong with the well-off buying fancy cars. I just don’t think America’s hard-earned taxpayer dollars should help to pay for it.” An opponent, Sen. Debbie Stabenow, D-Mich., said that without means tests on tax credits, “we eliminate more carbon pollution when people who drive trucks and SUVs choose all-electric vehicles like the great ones that are now coming out into the marketplace.” The vote, on Aug. 10, was 51 yeas to 48 nays.

NAYS

Cantwell, Murray

TERRORIST GROUPS: The Senate has passed an amendment sponsored by Sen. Rick Scott, R-Fla., to the 2022 budget bill (S. Con. Res. 14), that would prevent funding of terrorist organizations, including Hamas and Palestinian Islamic Jihad. Scott called the amendment “a commonsense way to protect American tax dollars, stand with our great ally Israel, and to continue our fight against the evils of Hamas terrorism.” The vote, on Aug. 10, was unanimous with 99 yeas.

YEAS

Cantwell, Murray

CRITICAL RACE THEORY: The Senate has passed an amendment sponsored by Sen. Tom Cotton, R-Ark., to the 2022 budget bill (S. Con. Res. 14), that would bar federal funding for the teaching of critical race theory in schools. Cotton said the funding ban “will ensure that federal funds are not used to indoctrinate kids as young as pre-K to hate America. Our future depends on the next generation of kids loving America and loving each other as fellow citizens, no matter their race.” An opponent, Sen. Patty Murray, D-Wash., said: “There are several longstanding provisions in federal education law that prohibit the federal government from mandating or directing school curriculum.” The vote, on Aug. 11, was 50 yeas to 49 nays.

YEAS

Cantwell, Murray

POWER GENERATION: The Senate has passed an amendment sponsored by Sen. John Hoeven, R-N.D., to the 2022 budget bill (S. Con. Res. 14), that would provide for federal government promotion of the expansion of baseload electric power generation, including fossil fuel-based and nuclear power plants. Hoeven said: “Instead of new taxes or the Green New Deal, we should be expanding access to power generation from resources available 24/7, regardless of weather conditions.” An opponent, Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse, D-R.I., said: “There is no reason whatsoever to put another thumb on the scales for this already heavily subsidized industry when most of these blackouts and brownouts are driven by extreme weather caused by the climate change from their pollution.” The vote, on Aug. 11, was 52 yeas to 47 nays.

NAYS

Cantwell, Murray

ILLEGAL IMMIGRATION: The Senate has passed an amendment sponsored by Sen. Bill Hagerty, R-Tenn., to the 2022 budget bill (S. Con. Res. 14), that would provide for ensuring that the Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agency has adequate resources to deport criminal illegal aliens who have been convicted of crimes committed in the U.S. Hagerty said deportations of criminal illegal aliens have declined by about 75 percent so far in 2021, and more funding would help reverse that decline. An opponent, Sen. Dick Durbin, D-Ill., said deporting every illegal alien who has committed a crime “would divert ICE from focusing its resources on the truly serious public safety and national security threats.” The vote, on Aug. 11, was 53 yeas to 46 nays.

NAYS

Cantwell, Murray

2022 BUDGET: The Senate has passed the 2022 budget bill (S. Con. Res. 14), sponsored by Sen. Bernie Sanders, ID-Vt., to set out the federal government’s fiscal 2022 budget and establish proposed budgetary levels for fiscal 2023 through 2031. Sanders said the bill “is going to provide the long-awaited-for help that working parents all over this country desperately need, and when we do that, we will substantially reduce childhood poverty in America.” An opponent, Sen. John Thune, R-S.D., criticized provisions increasing corporate tax rates and cutting taxes for the wealthy, and called the bill “the first step toward a massive and permanent expansion of government that would be paid for on the backs of ordinary Americans.” The vote, on Aug. 11, was 50 yeas to 49 nays.

YEAS

Cantwell, Murray

VOTERS AND ELECTIONS: The Senate has discharged from the Senate Rules Committee the For the People Act (S. 1), sponsored by Sen. Jeff Merkley, D-Ore. The bill would make numerous changes to voter registration and election practices in the 50 states, and establish certain ethics requirements for federal government workers, including politicians and judges. A supporter, Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., said the bill was necessary because “reactionary Republican legislatures are making it harder for poorer, younger, and nonwhite Americans to vote, while at the same time making it easier for partisan actors to steal an election.” An opponent, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., called the bill “an absurd and clumsy effort by one political party to literally rewrite the ground rules of our democracy to try to advantage them and disadvantage the other side.” The vote to discharge, on Aug. 11, was 50 yeas to 49 nays.

YEAS

Cantwell, Murray

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