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News / Northwest

Washington D.C. Roll Call report

By Targeted News Service
Published: June 25, 2023, 5:52am

WASHINGTON — Here’s a look at how area members of Congress voted over the week ending June 23.

Along with roll call votes this week, the House also passed these measures: the Fiscal Year 2023 Veterans Affairs Major Medical Facility Authorization Act (S. 30); the Paperwork Burden Reduction Act (H.R. 3797), to provide an alternative manner of furnishing certain health insurance coverage statements to individuals; the United States-Taiwan Initiative on 21st-Century Trade First Agreement Implementation Act (H.R. 4004); and the Employer Reporting Improvement Act (H.R. 3801), to streamline and improve the employer reporting process relating to health insurance coverage and to protect dependent privacy.

House

BUSINESS TRAINING FOR VETERANS: The House has passed the Veteran Entrepreneurship Training Act (H.R. 1606), sponsored by Rep. Bradley Scott Schneider, D-Ill., to codify into law the Small Business Administration’s Boots to Business Program for training military veterans in various fundamentals of operating a small business. Schneider said codifying the program, which began in 2013, “will fuel small-business-driven growth well into the future by creating a pipeline of skilled and hardworking entrepreneurs.” The vote, on June 20, was unanimous with 407 yeas.

YEAS:

Marie Gluesenkamp Perez, D-3rd

STUDENT LOANS VETO: The House has failed to override President Joe Biden’s veto of a resolution (H.J. Res. 45), sponsored by Rep. Bob Good, R-Va., that would have disapproved of and voided an Education Department rule issued in October that suspended or canceled payments on student loans. Good said: “President Biden simply does not have the authority to forgive student loans, and thus, spend hundreds of billions of dollars, taxpayer dollars, hard-earned taxpayer dollars, as he transfers debt to those who did not incur it.” A resolution opponent, Rep. Bobby Scott, D-Va., said repeal “would trigger a wave of delinquencies and defaults for most of our vulnerable borrowers.” The vote, on June 21, was 221 yeas to 206 nays, with a two-thirds majority required.

YEAS:

Perez

CHOICE IN HEALTH CARE: The House has passed an amendment sponsored by Rep. Chip Roy, R-Texas, to the Custom Health Option and Individual Care Expense Arrangement Act (H.R. 3799), to express the sense of Congress that free market practices in health care should be restored, and authority over healthcare decisions should lie with patients and doctors, not insurers and government regulators. Roy said such changes were needed to favor “patients and doctors over bureaucrats and corporations that are getting rich because the government is subsidizing their corporate cronyism.” An amendment opponent, Rep. Lloyd Doggett, D-Texas, called those changes “a prescription for personal bankruptcy and unlimited medical debt from policies that do not provide essential health care benefits.” The vote, on June 21, was 228 yeas to 206 nays.

YEAS:

Perez

HEALTH CARE REIMBURSEMENTS: The House has passed the Custom Health Option and Individual Care Expense Arrangement Act (H.R. 3799), sponsored by Rep. Kevin Hern, R-Okla., to give statutory authority for federal regulations to allow employers to offer their employees individual coverage health reimbursement arrangements for covering the workers’ medical expenses. Hern said the regulations put individual workers “in the driver’s seat when it comes to picking their health care plan and lets their employer financially support their decision.” An opponent, Rep. Lloyd Doggett, D-Texas, said the bill failed “to ensure that no American is discriminated against on the basis of preexisting conditions and that no employer can discriminate among groups of its employees.” The vote, on June 21, was 220 yeas to 209 nays.

NAYS:

Perez

CENSURING REPRESENTATIVE: The House has passed a resolution (H. Res. 521), sponsored by Rep. Anna Paulina Luna, R-Fla., to censure Rep. Adam Schiff, D-Calif., for falsely claiming there was evidence of President Donald Trump colluding with Russia to steal the 2016 election and become president. The resolution also directed the House Ethics Committee to investigate Schiff’s claims and allegations that he abused sensitive information obtained in his time as a senior member of the House Intelligence Committee. Luna said Schiff “exploited his position as chair of the Intel Committee at every opportunity possible, threatening national security, undermining our duly-elected president, and bringing dishonor upon the institution.” Schiff said he had “done my duty to hold a dangerous and out-of-control president accountable.” The vote, on June 21, was 213 yeas to 209 nays, with 6 voting present.

NAYS:

Perez

IMPEACHMENT RESOLUTION: The House has passed a resolution (H. Res. 503), sponsored by Rep. Chip Roy, R-Texas, to re-refer a resolution that would impeach President Joe Biden for high crimes and misdemeanors to the House Homeland Security and Judiciary Committees. Roy called Biden’s failure to secure the border with Mexico against both drug shipments and the illegal movement of foreigners into the U.S. a “dereliction of duty and a refusal to actually follow the laws of the United States.” A resolution opponent, Rep. Mary Gay Scanlon, D-Pa., called it a “deeply unserious effort to impeach a president to serve partisan political posturing and political profiteering.” The vote, on June 22, was 219 yeas to 208 nays.

NAYS:

Perez

HOUSING FOREIGNERS IN SCHOOLS: The House has passed a resolution (H. Res. 461), sponsored by Rep. Mariannette Miller-Meeks, R-Iowa, to condemn the use of public elementary and secondary school buildings to house aliens not legally residing in the U.S. Miller-Meeks said using the buildings as housing “creates a host of issues ranging from safety hazards for young children to a free fall of security issues as a result of not providing adequate accommodations or security screenings.” An opponent, Rep. Delia C. Ramirez, D-Ill., said: “This resolution does nothing to solve the crisis, and it certainly isn’t protecting our children’s education. It is just another way to criminalize asylum-seekers.” The vote, on June 22, was 223 yeas to 201 nays.

YEAS:

Perez

Senate

APPEALS COURT JUDGE: The Senate has confirmed the nomination of Julie Rikelman to be a judge on the U.S. 1st Circuit Court of Appeals. Rikelman has been the Center for Reproductive Rights’ senior litigation director since 2011; preceding that, she was a private practice lawyer and lawyer at NBC Universal. A supporter, Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass., called Rikelman “an accomplished lawyer who has significant experience in both private practice and public interest and whose career demonstrates an unwavering commitment to the rule of law.” The vote, on June 20, was 51 yeas to 43 nays.

YEAS:

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

REGULATING HEAVY-DUTY VEHICLE EMISSIONS: The Senate has failed to override President Biden’s veto of a resolution (S.J. Res. 11), sponsored by Sen. Deb. Fischer, R-Neb. The resolution would have disapproved of and voided an Environmental Protection Agency rule for restricting ozone, particulate matter, and other forms of air pollution from heavy-duty motor vehicles that was issued in January. Fischer said the rule would lay a heavy financial burden on truck drivers while doing little to reduce emissions, because “if the price of newer vehicles shoots up, the government is incentivizing businesses to hold on to their older, higher-emitting trucks.” A resolution opponent, Sen. Alex Padilla, D-Calif., called the rule “a monumental investment and significant step forward in our nation’s health and air quality that will benefit all Americans.” The vote to override the veto, on June 21, was 50 yeas to 50 nays, with a two-thirds majority needed to override.

NAYS:

Cantwell, Murray

NEW YORK JUDGE: The Senate has confirmed the nomination of Natasha Merle to be a judge on the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of New York. Merle has been a lawyer and official at the NAACP Legal Defense Fund for a decade; previously, she was a public defender in the district for a year and twice was a clerk for New York district judges. A supporter, Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand, D-N.Y., cited Merle’s “high ethical standards and reputation for fairness,” and a unique perspective on the law derived from being a former public defender. An opponent, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., called Merle “an activist lawyer with a penchant for staking out extreme and inflammatory positions that are thoroughly divorced from reality.” The vote, on June 21, was 50 yeas to 49 nays.

YEAS:

Cantwell, Murray

REGULATING FIREARM STABILIZING BRACES: The Senate has rejected a resolution (H.J. Res. 44), sponsored by Rep. Andrew S. Clyde, R-Ga., that would have disapproved of and voided a Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives rule issued in January that regulates stabilizing braces used to enable shooting a pistol from the shoulder. A supporter, Sen. Roger Marshall, R-Kan., said: “Under this ruling, the constitutional right to bear arms is null and void if you use a stabilizing brace to operate a firearm.” A resolution opponent, Sen. Dick Durbin, D-Ill., said ending the rule “would make it easier for mass shooters and criminals to access these dangerous weapons.” The vote, on June 22, was 49 yeas to 50 nays.

NAYS:

Cantwell, Murray

TAX TREATY WITH CHILE: The Senate has ratified a treaty with Chile, signed in 2010, for avoiding double taxation and evasion of income taxes and capital gains taxes. A supporter, Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., said the treaty was needed to remedy the lack of a tax agreement with Chile, which Schumer called “an unnecessary roadblock to a fruitful and economically prosperous partnership between Chile and the United States.” The vote, on June 22, was 95 yeas to 2 nays.

YEAS:

Cantwell, Murray

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