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Sunday, February 25, 2024
Feb. 25, 2024

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Washington, D.C., roll call report

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WASHINGTON — Here’s a look at how area members of Congress voted over the week ending June 2.

House

DEFINING SMALL COMPANIES: The House has passed the Small Entity Update Act (H.R. 2792), sponsored by Rep. Ann Wagner, R-Mo., to require the Securities and Exchange Commission to update, every five years, its definition of “small entity” for the purposes of regulation. Wagner said the requirement “will lead to a more targeted regulatory framework for these entities and help make the American Dream a reality for all entrepreneurs.” The vote, on May 30, was 367 yeas to 8 nays.

YEAS:

Marie Gluesenkamp Perez, D-3rd

SHAREHOLDER VOTING PRACTICES: The House has passed the Enhancing Multi-Class Share Disclosures Act (H.R. 2795), sponsored by Rep. Gregory W. Meeks, D-N.Y. Under the bill, a publicly traded company that has multiple classes of shareholders, with differing amounts of power over the company, would be required to provide more information about those classes of shareholders. Meeks said: “More robust information is always best for investors. This bill will ensure that Main Street can make an informed decision as they look to invest in tomorrow’s next successful business.” The vote, on May 30, was 347 yeas to 30 nays.

YEAS:

Perez

INVESTING IN SMALL BUSINESS: The House has passed the Promoting Opportunities for Non-Traditional Capital Formation Act (H.R. 2796), sponsored by Rep. Maxine Waters, D-Calif. The bill would require a Securities and Exchange Commission office for investment in small business to expand efforts to help some types of small business, including those in rural areas and those hurt by natural disasters, raise private capital. Waters said it “will encourage the SEC to better serve the needs of underserved small businesses, coordinate better with state regulators, all the while protecting investors.” The vote, on May 30, was 309 yeas to 67 nays.

YEAS:

Perez

JEWS AND ANTISEMITISM: The House has passed a resolution (H. Res. 382), sponsored by Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz, D-Fla., recognizing the contributions Jews have made to American society and calling on civic, political, and religious leaders to oppose antisemitism. Wasserman Schultz said: “While this resolution will not stop hate or antisemitism in its tracks, it uses the full voice of Congress to say that there is more that unites us than divides us.” The vote, on May 31, was unanimous with 429 yeas.

YEAS:

Perez

BUDGET, DEBT LIMIT LEGISLATION: The House has passed the Fiscal Responsibility Act (H.R. 3746), sponsored by Rep. Patrick T. McHenry, R-N.C. The bill would suspend the federal debt limit through 2024, cancel some unspent funding for the Internal Revenue Service and Covid response programs, and create caps on discretionary federal spending in fiscal 2024 and fiscal 2025. McHenry said it “contains spending cuts that take a step in the right direction toward restoring fiscal sanity in Washington” and curbs regulatory overreach by the executive branch, while also reforming the appropriations process in Congress. An opponent, Rep. Chip Roy, R-Texas, said of the bill: “At best, we have a two-year spending freeze that is full of loopholes and gimmicks that would allow for increased funding for the federal bureaucracy in order to receive a $4 trillion increase in the debt by Jan. 1, 2025.” The vote, on May 31, was 314 yeas to 117 nays.

YEAS:

Perez

QUALIFYING PRIVATE INVESTORS: The House has passed the Equal Opportunity for All Investors Act (H.R. 2797), sponsored by Rep. Mike Flood, R-Neb., to expand eligibility for individuals to qualify as an accredited investor, eligible to purchase privately offered securities, by passing an examination from the Securities and Exchange Commission. Flood said the change “brings more investors into the accredited investor pool but also contains guardrails that would filter out individuals that do not fully understand private offerings and the investment risks associated with them.” The vote, on May 31, was 383 yeas to 18 nays.

YEAS:

Perez

Senate

LOUISIANA JUDGE: The Senate has confirmed the nomination of Darrel Papillion to be a judge on the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Louisiana. Papillion has been a private practice lawyer in Baton Rogue for more than two decades, focused on civil and commercial law, including injury and wrongful death cases. A supporter, Sen. Dick Durbin, D-Ill., said Papillion “has deep ties to Louisiana and decades of legal experience that will serve him well on the federal bench.” The vote, on May 30, was 59 yeas to 31 nays.

YEAS:

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

CANCELING STUDENT LOANS RULE: The Senate has passed a resolution (H.J. Res. 45), sponsored by Rep. Bob Good, R-Va., to disapprove of and void an Education Department rule issued in October that suspended or canceled payments on student loans. A resolution supporter, Sen. John Cornyn, R-Texas, said: “It is fundamentally unfair to expect taxpayers with zero student debt to cover the cost of someone else’s degree.” An opponent, Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass., called it a move “to force nearly 40 million hardworking Americans to immediately pay back months of student loan payments and interest and restore an estimated $20 billion of student debt to the balances of tens of thousands of public servants.” The vote, on June 1, was 52 yeas to 46 nays.

NAYS:

Cantwell, Murray

MILITARY, IRS FUNDING: The Senate has rejected an amendment sponsored by Sen. Dan Sullivan, R-Alaska, to the Fiscal Responsibility Act (H.R. 3746), that would have reduced funding for the Internal Revenue Service while increasing funding for the Defense Department. Sullivan said more military funding was needed because of hazards created by Russia and other adversaries, “and yet this bill cuts defense spending in inflation-adjusted terms by approximately 3 percent this year and 5 percent next year.” An opponent, Sen. Ron Wyden, D-Ore., said: “At a time when Congress is supposed to be debating fiscal responsibility, this amendment double counts billions and billions of dollars by increasing the deficit with more spending on defense contractors and bigger handouts to wealthy tax cheats.” The vote, on June 1, was 49 yeas to 48 nays, with a three-fifths majority required for approval.

NAYS:

Cantwell, Murray

WELFARE WORK REQUIREMENT: The Senate has rejected an amendment sponsored by Sen. John Kennedy, R-La., to the Fiscal Responsibility Act (H.R. 3746), that would have made permanent a requirement for single adults to be employed in order to receive food stamp benefits. Kennedy said of the benefit of a work requirement: “The best social program is a job. Free enterprise has lifted more people out of poverty than all the social programs put together.” An amendment opponent, Sen. Debbie Stabenow, D-Mich., said “it is very irresponsible for us to change something” in the bill and create the risk of defaulting on the federal debt by delaying a lifting of the debt ceiling. The vote, on June 1, was 46 yeas to 51 nays.

NAYS:

Cantwell, Murray

REMOVING COVID FUNDING: The Senate has rejected an amendment sponsored by Sen. Ted Budd, R-N.C., to the Fiscal Responsibility Act (H.R. 3746), that would have canceled unspent funding for Covid relief programs. Budd said: “If we really want the Fiscal Responsibility Act to live up to its name, the least we can do is to rescind the taxpayer dollars that remain to fight a pandemic that everyone knows is over.” An opponent, Sen. Ron Wyden, D-Ore., said: “This amendment would take an ax to nearly all of the funding in the Recovery Act and several other Covid bills, even if the communities are still depending or planning on using that money.” The vote, on June 1, was 47 yeas to 52 nays.

NAYS:

Cantwell, Murray

BUDGET, DEBT LIMIT LEGISLATION: The Senate has passed the Fiscal Responsibility Act (H.R. 3746), sponsored by Rep. Patrick T. McHenry, R-N.C. The bill would suspend the federal debt limit through 2024, cancel some unspent funding for the Internal Revenue Service and Covid response programs, and create caps on discretionary federal spending in fiscal 2024 and fiscal 2025. A supporter, Sen. Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa, called the bill “a bipartisan agreement to address the debt ceiling while imposing meaningful brakes on government spending largesse.” A bill opponent, Sen. James Lankford, R-Okla., said its spending reductions were inadequate and could be illusory due to various escape provisions and the ability of future Congresses to erase caps on spending after 2025. The vote, on June 1, was 63 yeas to 36 nays.

YEAS:

Cantwell, Murray

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