WASHINGTON — Here’s a look at how area members of Congress voted over the week ending Dec. 8.
Along with the week’s roll call votes, the House also passed by voice vote the following measures: the I-27 Numbering Act (S. 992), to designate the Texas and New Mexico portions of the future interstate-designated segments of the Port-to-Plains Corridor as Interstate Route 27; the DOE and USDA Interagency Research Act (H.R. 1713), to provide for Department of Energy and Department of Agriculture joint research and development activities; and agreed to the Senate amendment to the TRANQ Research Act (H.R. 1734), to require coordinated National Institute of Standards and Technology science and research activities regarding illicit drugs containing xylazine, novel synthetic opioids, and other substances of concern.
The Senate also confirmed several hundred senior officer nominations in the military’s various branches.
SMALL BUSINESSES AND CREDIT: The House has passed a resolution (S.J. Res 32), sponsored by Sen. John Kennedy, R-La., to disapprove of and void a Consumer Financial Protection Bureau agency rule issued in May that requires banks and other financial companies to submit small-business credit application information to the bureau. A resolution supporter, Rep. Roger Williams, R-Texas, said the rule was overly broad, burdensome, discouraged lending because of compliance costs, contained implementation problems, and could leave lenders vulnerable to unjust attacks from left-wing activist groups. An opponent, Rep. Maxine Waters, D-Calif., said the rule “would simply require lenders to collect and report data on small-business lending. This data will help drive competition in the market, lowering small-business costs, and help combat discrimination.” The vote, on Dec. 1, was 221 yeas to 202 nays, with 1 voting present.
YEAS: Marie Gluesenkamp Perez, D-3rd
EXPELLING REPRESENTATIVE: The House has passed a resolution (H. Res. 878), sponsored by Rep. Michael Guest, R-Miss., to expel Rep. George Santos, R-N.Y., from the House. The cited grounds for removal included: campaign finance fraud, false statements on House financial disclosure forms, and lying to receive unemployment benefits. Guest said there was “a complex web of unlawful activity involving Representative Santos’ campaign, personal, and business finances.” Santos said: “I have done the best I can to serve in this body and to deliver the best I can in my campaign promises to vote as a conservative voice in this body.” The vote to expel Santos, on Dec. 1, was 311 yeas to 114 nays, with 2 voting present.
NEW JERSEY TRANSIT OPTIONS: The House has passed the One Seat Ride Act (H.R. 1547), sponsored by Rep. Thomas H. Kean, R-N.J., to require the Transportation Department to study commuter rail services, including an analysis of the costs and benefits of establishing single-seat trips on the New Jersey Transit Raritan Valley line that don’t require a transfer. Keane said that currently, New Jersey residents commuting to and from Manhattan by using multiple rail lines “are regularly frustrated with unnecessary delays mainly due to the aged infrastructure, often making weekly commutes hours longer than they need to be.” The vote, on Dec. 5, was 356 yeas to 61 nays.
PAYMENTS TO HOMELESS VETERANS: The House has passed the Housing our Military Veterans Effectively Act (H.R. 3848), sponsored by Rep. Lori Chavez-DeRemer, R-Ore., to authorize the Veterans Affairs Department to provide added funding for homeless military veterans to receive housing and supportive services and products. Chavez-DeRemer said with the bill, “we can empower our nation’s heroes and ensure they all have a place to call home.” The vote, on Dec. 5, was 408 yeas to 10 nays.
CHANGING VETERANS CAREGIVER PROGRAMS: The House has passed the Elizabeth Dole Home Care Act (H.R. 542), sponsored by Rep. Julia Brownley, D-Calif., to make various changes to Veterans Affairs Department home and community care programs for disabled and elderly veterans, including increased funding for alternatives to nursing home care, and higher payments to caregivers. Brownley said: “The bill will significantly expand access to the programs disabled and aging veterans need to live their lives at home and with their families.” The vote, on Dec. 5, was 414 yeas to 5 nays.
ANTISEMITISM AND ISRAEL: The House has passed a resolution (H. Res. 894), sponsored by Rep. David Kustoff, R-Tenn., strongly condemning and denouncing the drastic rise of antisemitism in the United States and abroad, and stating that anti-Zionism is antisemitism. Kustoff said “it is absolutely important that we send a clear and firm message to the world that the United States House of Representatives stands shoulder to shoulder with the Jewish community here in the United States and abroad.” An opponent, Rep. Jerrold Nadler, D-N.Y., called the resolution “another attempt in a long series of veiled efforts by the GOP to weaponize Jewish lives for political gains.” The vote, on Dec. 5, was 311 yeas to 14 nays, with 92 voting present.
HIGHER EDUCATION AND TERRORIST GROUPS: The House has passed an amendment sponsored by Rep. Marcus J. Molinaro, R-N.Y., to the Defending Education Transparency and Ending Rogue Regimes Engaging in Nefarious Transactions Act (H.R. 5933). The amendment would require foreign entities contributing to U.S. colleges and universities to disclose any ties to a terrorist organization, such as Hamas and al-Qaida. Molinaro said the amendment was needed “in light of the disgustingly callous and vile pro-Hamas demonstrations seen on college campuses across the country” recently. An opponent, Rep. Bobby Scott, D-Va., said: “It is hard to imagine how a college could always know exactly who has an affiliation with what” group designated as terrorist by the government. The vote, on Dec. 6, was 372 yeas to 39 nays.
OTHER COUNTRIES AND HIGHER EDUCATION: The House has passed the Defending Education Transparency and Ending Rogue Regimes Engaging in Nefarious Transactions Act (H.R. 5933), sponsored by Rep. Michelle Steel, R-Calif., to require colleges and universities to inform the Education Department when they receive gifts from countries deemed to be of concern, including Russia and China, and adopt other measures restricting contracts and gifts with foreign sources generally. Steel said the bill, by imposing stricter reporting requirements, paired with fines for noncompliance, took “meaningful steps to protect our students, research, and national security.” An opponent, Rep. Bobby Scott, D-Va., said the reporting requirements were “excessive and burdensome — to say nothing about the potential discriminatory effect — and would disincentivize universities from conducting critical research using collaborative partners from around the world.” The vote, on Dec. 6, was 246 yeas to 170 nays.
VEHICLE EMISSIONS RULE: The House has passed the Choice in Automobile Retail Sales Act (H.R. 4468), sponsored by Rep. Tim Walberg, R-Mich., to bar the Environmental Protection Agency from finalizing a proposed rule restricting emissions from passenger vehicles made from 2027 onward. Walberg called the rule an electric vehicle mandate that was both breathtaking federal regulation of the auto industry and “unaffordable, unattainable, and unrealistic for American consumers.” An opponent, Rep. Haley M. Stevens, D-Mich., called the bill “dangerous legislation, particularly because the EPA serves as a critical partner to our automakers during this very transformative time” of transitioning away from internal combustion engines. The vote, on Dec. 6, was 221 yeas to 197 nays.
CENSURING REPRESENTATIVE: The House has passed a resolution (H. Res. 914), sponsored by Rep. Lisa C. McClain, R-Mich., to censure Rep. Jamaal Bowman, D-N.Y., for pulling a fire alarm in the Capitol building in late September and thereby disrupting a House vote, and violating Washington, D.C., law as well. McClain said: “As conviction demonstrates, Representative Bowman sought to cause panic to delay official proceedings of this House.” Bowman said: “The legal process on this matter has played out. In no way did I obstruct official proceedings.” The vote, on Dec. 7, was 214 yeas to 191 nays, with 5 voting present.
REPAYING STUDENT LOANS: The House has passed a resolution (H.J. Res. 88), sponsored by Rep. Lisa C. McClain, R-Mich., to disapprove of and void an Education Department rule issued this summer that created an income-based plan, Saving on a Valuable Education, for repaying higher education loans. McClain said the rule is “the most expensive regulation in our nation’s history and is a back-door attempt to ram the administration’s socialist free college fantasy down the throats of hardworking taxpayers.” An opponent, Rep. Bobby Scott, D-Va., said: “House Republicans are trying to saddle millions of Americans and future borrowers with more debt by repealing the SAVE Plan.” The vote, on Dec. 7, was 210 yeas to 189 nays.
APPEALS COURT JUDGE: The Senate has confirmed the nomination of Irma Carrillo Ramirez to be a judge on the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals. Ramirez has been a U.S. District Court judge in north Texas for two decades, after having been an assistant U.S. attorney in Dallas for seven years. The vote, on Dec. 4, was 80 yeas to 12 nays.
YEAS: Maria Cantwell, D-Wash., Patty Murray, D-Wash.
D.C. JUDGE: The Senate has confirmed the nomination of Loren L. AliKhan to be a judge on the U.S. District Court for Washington, D.C. AliKhan has been a judge on the D.C. Court of Appeals for just under two years; previously, she was the District’s solicitor general, a private practice lawyer in the District, and a Justice Department lawyer. The vote, on Dec. 5, was 50 yeas to 50 nays, with Vice President Harris casting a 51st yea vote.
YEAS: Cantwell, Murray
AMBASSADOR TO CROATIA: The Senate has confirmed the nomination of Nathalie Rayes to be the U.S. ambassador to Croatia. Rayes has been a senior official at numerous Hispanic groups, and is currently a board member on the U.S. Institute of Peace. The vote, on Dec. 6, was 53 yeas to 47 nays.
YEAS: Cantwell, Murray
SUPPLEMENTAL APPROPRIATIONS: The Senate has rejected a motion to invoke cloture and proceed to a bill (H.R. 815) that would provide supplemental appropriations for federal government spending, including further aid to Ukraine for its war with Russia. A supporter, Sen. Dick Durbin, D-Ill., said the bill offered “critical military assistance to keep Ukraine from falling to Russian tyranny.” An opponent, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., said it “fails to address America’s top national security priorities in a serious way,” including the lack of measures to secure the border with Mexico. The vote to proceed, on Dec. 6, was 49 yeas to 51 nays.
YEAS: Cantwell, Murray
INTERVENTION IN SYRIA: The Senate has rejected a motion to discharge from committee a resolution (S.J. Res. 51), sponsored by Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky., to order the removal from Syria of U.S. soldiers absent congressional authorization for their presence there. Paul said the War Powers Act required a vote in Congress “on whether or not troops should be put into harm’s way or into a conflict without the approval of this body.” The vote to discharge, on Dec. 7, was 13 yeas to 84 nays.
NAYS: Cantwell, Murray