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News / Northwest

Washington, D.C., Roll Call report

By Targeted News Service
Published: June 17, 2023, 5:38am

WASHINGTON — Here’s a look at how area members of Congress voted over the week ending June 16.

Along with roll call votes this week, the Senate also confirmed the nomination of Stephen Eberle to be U.S. Marshal for the Western District of Pennsylvania for a four-year term; and adopted a resolution (S. Res. 252), celebrating the 246th anniversary of the creation of the U.S. flag and supporting the Pledge of Allegiance.

House

MIDDLE EAST DIPLOMACY: The House has passed the Special Envoy for the Abraham Accords Act (H.R. 3099), sponsored by Rep. Michael Lawler, R-N.Y., to create at the State Department the role of Special Envoy for the Abraham Accords, who would seek to expand and strengthen Israel’s relations with neighboring and overseas Muslim-majority countries. Lawler said: “Having a point person at the State Department is key to ensuring the Accords maintain a priority in this administration and all future administrations.” The vote, on June 13, was 413 yeas to 13 nays.

YEAS:

Marie Gluesenkamp Perez, D-3rd

REGULATING FIREARM STABILIZING BRACES: The House has passed a resolution (H.J. Res. 44), sponsored by Rep. Andrew S. Clyde, R-Ga., to disapprove of and void a Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives (ATF) rule issued this January that regulates stabilizing braces used to enable shooting a pistol from the shoulder. Clyde said allowing the rule to remain in force would put law-abiding gun owners in danger of large fines and prison sentences as penalties for failing to register their braced guns with the ATF. A resolution opponent, Rep. James McGovern, D-Mass., said it “makes it easier for the next mass shooter to kill more people.” The vote, on June 13, was 219 yeas to 210 nays.

NAYS:

Perez

D.C. CRIME POLICIES VETO: The House has failed to override President Biden’s veto of a resolution (H.J. Res 42), sponsored by Rep. Andrew S. Clyde, R-Ga., to disapprove of and void the Washington, D.C., Council’s adoption of a law changing policing policies for D.C. police officers. Clyde said the action was necessary because “the D.C. Council’s misguided legislation has driven out men and women in blue who protect us, while disincentivizing individuals to join the force.” An opponent, Del. Eleanor Holmes Norton, D-D.C., called the measure “a profoundly undemocratic, paternalistic resolution” in its move to have actions by locally elected politicians in D.C. overridden by Congress. The vote, on June 13, was 233 yeas to 197 nays, with a two-thirds majority to override the veto.

YEAS:

Perez

NATURAL GAS STOVES: The House has passed the Gas Stove Protection and Freedom Act (H.R. 1615), sponsored by Rep. Kelly Armstrong, R-N.D., to bar funding for actions by the Consumer Product Safety Commission to deem natural gas-fueled stoves a hazardous, banned product, or to issue regulations that significantly increase the cost of the stoves. Armstrong cited indications from the Commission that it “would consider substantial regulatory actions on gas stoves categorically” as part of what Armstrong called “a green climate agenda with the goal to further restrict natural gas.” A bill opponent, Rep. Frank Pallone Jr., D-N.J., said it would prevent the Commission from adopting “a safety standard that has any possibility of leading to a ban of some type of gas stove.” The vote, on June 13, was 248 yeas to 180 nays.

YEAS:

Perez

RUSSIA DETENTION OF U.S. CITIZENS: The House has passed a resolution (H. Res. 377), sponsored by Rep. Michael T. McCaul, R-Texas, calling for Russia to immediately release Evan Gershkovich, a reporter for the Wall Street Journal held since late March 2023, and the release of several other U.S. citizens detained in Russia and other countries. McCaul said that with the resolution, “We send a strong message to Vladimir Putin that America, Republicans and Democrats alike, will not tolerate his corrupt regime holding U.S. citizens hostage under false pretenses.” The vote, on June 13, was unanimous with 422 yeas.

YEAS:

Perez

VACCINATION MANDATES: The House has approved an amendment sponsored by Rep. Chip Roy, R-Texas, to the Regulations From the Executive in Need of Scrutiny Act (H.R. 277), that would include measures likely to result in mandatory vaccinations in the bill’s definition of “major rule.” Roy said: “We should stand up to the tyranny of an executive branch that overstepped its bounds and restricted the freedom and liberties of the American people and harmed them” with Covid vaccination requirements. An amendment opponent, Rep. Jerrold Nadler, D-N.Y., said it “would just serve to undermine necessary health and safety rules.” The vote, on June 14, was 219 yeas to 217 nays.

NAYS:

Perez

FEDERAL REGULATIONS: The House has passed the Regulations From the Executive in Need of Scrutiny Act (H.R. 277), sponsored by Rep. Kat Cammack, R-Fla., to require approval from Congress before any major rule from a federal agency can take effect, with “major” defined as a rule likely to have at least a $100 million annual impact or a significant impact on the U.S. economy. Cammack called the bill a way for “Congress to reassert its role by placing new checks on the regulatory actions and the regulatory regime that negatively impact Americans in all walks of life across the country.” An opponent, Rep. Jerrold Nadler, D-N.Y., said: “This legislation is just the latest effort by Republicans to dismantle and destroy the regulatory process, a process that protects our health and safety each and every day.” The vote, on June 14, was 221 yeas to 210 nays.

NAYS:

Perez

REGULATING ENERGY USED IN COOKING: The House has passed the Save Our Gas Stoves Act (H.R. 1640), sponsored by Rep. Debbie Lesko, R-Ariz., to bar the Energy Department from establishing regulations that would make unavailable stoves and ovens that use natural gas or another specific type of fuel, and bar it from adopting its proposed rule to establish energy efficiency standards for stoves and ovens. Lesko said the proposed rule “would effectively eliminate nearly all gas stoves and gas cooktops on the market today” by making the vast majority of cooktops out of compliance with the efficiency standards. An opponent, Rep. Frank Pallone Jr., D-N.J., said the rule “would lower energy bills, improve Americans’ health, and cut pollution,” without significantly restricting cooktop availability. The vote, on June 14, was 249 yeas to 181 nays.

YEAS:

Perez

CENSURING REPRESENTATIVE: The House has approved a motion to table a resolution (H. Res. 489), sponsored by Rep. Anna Paulina Luna, R-Fla., that would have censured Rep. Adam Schiff, D-Calif., for falsely claiming there was evidence of President Trump colluding with Russia to steal the 2016 election and become president. The vote to table, on June 14, was 225 yeas to 196 nays, with 7 voting present.

YEAS:

Perez

REGULATORY AGENCY POWERS: The House has passed the Separation of Powers Restoration Act (H.R. 288), sponsored by Rep. Scott Fitzgerald, R-Wis. The bill would expand the authority of courts to review a federal agency’s regulations and other actions by removing deference to the agency’s own interpretation of the laws under which it acts. Fitzgerald said: “Since 1984 when the Supreme Court ruled that courts must defer to an agency’s interpretation of an ambiguous statute rather than what Congress intended, the executive branch has begun usurping the legislative branch to issue regulations with the force of law.” A bill opponent, Rep. Madeleine Dean, D-Pa., said: “If passed, federal agencies would have a harder time protecting Americans from threats to our health, safety, and our well-being.” The vote, on June 15, was 220 yeas to 211 nays.

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NAYS:

Perez

Senate

STATE DEPARTMENT OFFICIAL: The Senate has confirmed the nomination of Elizabeth Allen to be the State Department’s Under Secretary for Public Diplomacy and Public Affairs. Allen was a communications official in the Obama administration throughout its eight years, then became a partner at a private communications and public affairs business. A supporter, Sen. Robert Menendez, D-N.J., called Allen “a highly quality professional with a distinguished career and extensive experience in both public and private sectors.” The vote, on June 13, was 66 yeas to 33 nays.

YEAS:

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

CALIFORNIA JUDGE: The Senate has confirmed the nomination of Hernan D. Vera to be a judge on the U.S. District Court for the Central District of California. A judge on the Los Angeles County Superior Court since 2020, Vera was previously a senior attorney at several law firms, including Public Counsel. A supporter, Sen. Dick Durbin, D-Ill., said: “Judge Vera has extensive litigation experience and a proven track record of independent decisionmaking on the bench.” An opponent, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., said: “Throughout his legal career, Mr. Vera has made no effort to hide his willingness to pick progressive activism over the rule of law.” The vote, on June 13, was 51 yeas to 48 nays.

YEAS:

Cantwell, Murray

ECONOMIC ADVISER TO PRESIDENT: The Senate has confirmed the nomination of Jared Bernstein to chair the Council of Economic Advisors to the White House. A member of the Council since 2021, Bernstein previously was a fellow at the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities for a decade, and before that was a social welfare official at various think tanks and government agencies. A supporter, Sen. Sherrod Brown, D-Ohio, said Bernstein “has devoted his career to working on economic policies that ensure growth reaches all Americans, fighting to make our economy fairer.” An opponent, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., said Bernstein “can more accurately claim expertise in partisan warfare than economics” given his lack of an economics Ph.D., and said Bernstein would support policies that damage the U.S. economy. The vote, on June 13, was 50 yeas to 49 nays.

YEAS:

Cantwell, Murray

SECOND CALIFORNIA JUDGE: The Senate has confirmed the nomination of P. Casey Pitts to be a judge on the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California. Pitts has been a lawyer at a San Francisco law firm since 2010, with a focus on labor law. A supporter, Sen. Alex Padilla, D-Calif., said: “His life experience, his credentials, and his record of fighting for the American people will no doubt make him a phenomenal jurist.” The vote, on June 14, was 53 yeas to 46 nays.

YEAS:

Cantwell, Murray

NEW YORK JUDGE: The Senate has confirmed the nomination of Dale E. Ho to be a judge on the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York. Ho has been an official at the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), focused on voting legislation and policies, since 2013; previously, he was a private practice lawyer and lawyer at the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP). A supporter, Sen. Dick Durbin, D-Ill., called Ho “a highly skilled litigator who has experience in complex civil litigation and has a significant appellate practice.” The vote, on June 14, was 50 yeas to 49 nays.

YEAS:

Cantwell, Murray

SECOND NEW YORK JUDGE: The Senate has confirmed the nomination of Nusrat Jahan Choudhury to be a judge on the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of New York. Choudhury has been an American Civil Liberties Union lawyer and official since 2009, most recently as its legal director in Illinois. A supporter, Sen. Dick Durbin, D-Ill., praised “her courtroom experience and commitment to ensuring equal justice under law.” An opponent, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., said Choudhury “has made statements ranging from reckless suggestions that crimes like theft do not threaten public safety to false and inflammatory assertions that police kill black men ‘every day’ in America.” The vote, on June 15, was 50 yeas to 49 nays.

YEAS:

Cantwell, Murray

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