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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 May 12.

In addition to the week’s roll call votes, the Senate also passed, by unanimous consent, a resolution (S. Res. 23), demanding that China’s government immediately release U.S. citizen Mark Swidan from custody.

House

OCEAN ACIDIFICATION: The House has passed the Coastal Communities Ocean Acidification Act (H.R. 676), sponsored by Rep. Chellie Pingree, D-Maine. The bill would require the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration to work with state and local governments to assess the acidification of oceans and other waterways, and develop responses to acidification. Pingree said the effort was needed to “support the current efforts of coastal communities already facing the impacts of ocean acidification, particularly underserved and rural coastal communities, and better equip them with the resources to respond.” The vote, on May 9, was 351 yeas to 58 nays.

YEAS:

Marie Gluesenkamp Perez, D-3rd

WEATHER PREDICTION COMPUTING: The House has passed the Advanced Weather Model Computing Development Act (H.R. 1715), sponsored by Rep. Max Miller, R-Ohio. The bill would direct the Energy Department and National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration to do research on using machine learning and computing to improve prediction of the weather and climate. Miller said the bill “leverages existing federal research dollars to advance weather and climate science that will protect American lives and property.” The vote, on May 9, was 356 yeas to 50 nays.

YEAS:

Perez

BORDER SECURITY: The House has passed the Secure the Border Act (H.R. 2), sponsored by Rep. Mario Diaz-Balart, R-Fla. The bill would require the resumption of construction of a wall at the border with Mexico, limit asylum claims by persons seeking U.S. residency, increase penalties for overstaying a residency visa, and bar the Homeland Security Department from processing the entry of foreigners who arrive in the U.S. other than at a port of entry. Diaz-Balart said the bill “provides real solutions to restore order to the southern border, strengthen our national security, enhance our broken immigration system, and protect innocent minors while enforcing the rule of law.” An opponent, Rep. Sylvia Garcia, D-Texas, said: “This bill will separate families, put human lives at risk, lead to more unlawful migration by blocking off lawful pathways to protection, and waste taxpayer dollars on an ineffective wall that can’t even withstand wind much less criminal smuggling cartels.” The vote, on May 11, was 219 yeas to 213 nays.

NAYS:

Perez

UNEMPLOYMENT BENEFITS: The House has passed the Protecting Taxpayers and Victims of Unemployment Fraud Act (H.R. 1163), sponsored by Rep. Jason Smith, R-Mo., to provide various financial incentives for states to recover excessive unemployment insurance benefits issued during Covid lockdowns, and expand to 10 years the period for recovering erroneously paid benefits. Smith said: “Criminal organizations and foreign fraudsters exploited the pandemic to steal hundreds of billions in payments intended to keep workers afloat amidst government lockdowns, and the victims need our help.” An opponent, Rep. Danny Davis, D-Ill., said the bill “guts federal funding to fight fraud, weakens state unemployment systems, privatizes American public service jobs, and sends cruel surprise bills to innocent workers who were unemployed during the pandemic.” The vote, on May 11, was 230 yeas to 200 nays.

YEAS:

Perez

IDENTIFYING ILLICIT DRUGS: The House has passed the Testing, Rapid Analysis, and Narcotic Quality Research Act (H.R. 1734), sponsored by Rep. Mike Collins, R-Ga., to require the National Institute of Standards and Technology to fund research into the potential use of methods to identify xylazine, a veterinary tranquilizer drug also known as tranq, novel synthetic opioids, and other illicit drugs that pose health concerns. Collins said: “By understanding what these additives are, how to test for them, and how to safely handle them, we can better protect our first responders.” The vote, on May 11, was unanimous with 425 yeas.

YEAS:

Perez

Senate

INTERNATIONAL DEVELOPMENT: The Senate has confirmed the nomination of L. Felice Gorordo to be the U.S. alternate executive director of the International Bank for Reconstruction and Development for a two-year term. Gorordo has been a CEO of multiple technology companies involved in immigration and entrepreneurship, as well as a government official during the George W. Bush and Obama administrations. A supporter, Sen. Robert Menendez, D-N.J., said of Gorordo: “His understanding of finance, economic statecraft, and technology will help the United States and its like-minded partners make the concerted push to prevent economic collapse in the developing world.” The vote, on May 10, was 52 yeas to 45 nays.

YEAS:

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

SPECIAL EDUCATION: The Senate has confirmed the nomination of Glenna Laureen Wright-Gallo to be the Education Department’s assistant secretary for special education and rehabilitative services. Gallo has been a senior special education official for public schools in Washington and Utah. The vote, on May 10, was 52 yeas to 44 nays.

YEAS:

Cantwell, Murray

NATIONAL ARCHIVIST: The Senate has confirmed the nomination of Colleen Shogan to the archivist of the United States. The archivist manages the National Archives and Records Administration, which stores federal government documents considered to be of permanent importance. Shogan is a senior official at the White House Historical Association; previously, she worked at the Library of Congress, Congressional Research Service, and the Senate. A supporter, Sen. Tom Carper, D-Del., called Shogan “a dedicated public servant” with extensive qualifications to lead the NARA. The vote, on May 10, was 52 yeas to 45 nays.

YEAS:

Cantwell, Murray

WOMEN’S ISSUES DIPLOMAT: The Senate has confirmed the nomination of Geeta Rao Gupta to be the U.S. ambassador at large for Global Women’s Issues. Gupta, currently a senior fellow at the U.N. Foundation, is also co-chair of a World Health Organization advisory committee on health emergencies. A supporter, Sen. Robert Menendez, D-N.J., said Gupta “would bring decades of experience working to empower women. She has fought to increase the economic security and political participation of women.” The vote, on May 10, was 51 yeas to 47 nays.

YEAS:

Cantwell, Murray

ENDANGERED SPECIES REGULATION: The Senate has passed a resolution (S.J. Res. 23), sponsored by Sen. Cynthia Lummis, R-Wyo., to disapprove of and void a 2022 National Marine Fisheries Service rule regulating the listing of endangered and threatened species, and critical habitat for those species. Lummis said the rule has created “an ad hoc system that creates decreased property values and predatory legal challenges for American families and businesses. In fact, it incentivizes landowners to make sure that their land could never be habitat for threatened or endangered species.” A resolution opponent, Sen. Tom Carper, D-Del., said: “When a species’ habitat range shifts as a result of climate change, our federal wildlife protection agencies may need to account for this shift when they decide what potential habitat we should protect to support their long-term recovery.” The vote, on May 11, was 51 yeas to 49 nays.

NAYS:

Cantwell, Murray

LONG-EARED BAT: The Senate has passed a resolution (S.J. Res. 24), sponsored by Sen. Markwayne Mullin, R-Okla., to disapprove of and void a Fish and Wildlife Service rule listing the northern long-eared bat as an endangered species. An opponent, Sen. Tom Carper, D-Del., cited the bat’s beneficial role in controlling farm pest populations, and said: “By protecting this species, we are protecting our farmers, our agricultural communities, and the revenues that they depend on.” The vote, on May 11, was 51 yeas to 49 nays.

NAYS:

Cantwell, Murray

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