WASHINGTON — Here’s a look at how area members of Congress voted over the week ending Aug. 26.
TRIBAL CHILDREN: The House has passed a bill (S. 325), sponsored by Sen. Lisa Murkowski, R-Alaska, to extend to five years the deadline for the Alyce Spotted Bear and Walter Soboleff Commission on Native Children to submit its report to the federal government on federal programs and policies that involve American Indian children. A supporter, Rep. Don Young, R-Alaska, said the extension would give the commission needed time to meet with tribes and other parties to make well-considered recommendations. The vote, on Aug. 23, was 418 yeas to 7 nays.
Jaime Herrera Beutler, R-3
BUDGETING PROCESS: The House has passed the Congressional Budget Justification Transparency Act (S. 272), sponsored by Sen. Gary C. Peters, D-Mich., to require federal government agencies to publish their budget justification materials on the internet. A supporter, Rep. James Comer, R-Ky., said: “Requiring each agency to provide detailed plain language explanations of how they intend to spend taxpayer dollars ensures Americans can review those decisions at any time.” The vote, on Aug. 23, was 423 yeas to 1 nay.
REVIEWING VOTING PRACTICES: The House has passed the John R. Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act (H.R. 4), sponsored by Rep. Terri A. Sewell, D-Ala. The bill would change the criteria for federal review of changes to voting procedures by state and local governments by requiring those governments to seek federal pre-approval before making changes, if they are found to have violated voting rights too many times in the past 25 years. Sewell said of the need for greater federal oversight: “While literacy tests and poll taxes no longer exist, certain states and local jurisdictions have passed laws that are modern-day barriers to voting.” A bill opponent, Rep. Buddy Carter, R-Ga., called it “a radical and unprecedented federal power grab over state-administered elections under the guise of updating the Voting Rights Act of 1965.” The vote, on Aug. 24, was 219 yeas to 212 nays.
There were no key votes in the Senate this week.