WASHINGTON — Here’s a look at how area members of Congress voted over the week ending Sept. 15.
IRANIAN MISSILE PROGRAM: The House has passed the Fight and Combat Rampant Iranian Missile Exports Act (H.R. 3152), sponsored by Rep. Michael T. McCaul, R-Texas, to impose sanctions on foreign individuals and government entities that help Iran acquire missile or drone weapons. McCaul said that with existing United Nations-based restrictions on Iran’s missile activities about to expire, “we need to prevent these weapons sales now before these deadly missiles and drones are on the battlefield” in Ukraine. The vote, on Sept. 12, was 403 yeas to 8 nays.
YEAS: Marie Gluesenkamp Perez, D-3rd
CONDEMNING IRAN: The House has passed a resolution (H. Res. 492), sponsored by Rep. Janice Schakowsky, D-Ill., to condemn Iran for violating human rights and persecuting the country’s Baha’i religious population, and call for sanctions on Iranians responsible for those violations. A supporter, Rep. Madeleine Dean, D-Pa., said: “We stand in solidarity with the persecuted Baha’i minority in Iran and demand the Iranian government end its intolerable persecution of their people and religion.” The vote, on Sept. 12, was 413 yeas to 2 nays.
WILDFIRE FUELS: The House has passed the Accurately Counting Risk Elimination Solutions Act (H.R. 1567), sponsored by Rep. Thomas P. Tiffany, R-Wis. The bill would require reports from the Agriculture Department and Interior Department on their efforts to reduce the volume of hazardous wildfire fuels on government lands. Tiffany cited indications that agencies have not kept good track of fuel-reduction efforts, and said “accurate reporting is necessary to broadly track the progress made on our larger wildfire mitigation targets, as well as individual projects.” The vote, on Sept. 13, was 406 yeas to 4 nays.
REGULATING AUTOMOBILES: The House has passed the Preserving Choice in Vehicle Purchases Act (H.R. 1435), sponsored by Rep. John Joyce, R-Pa. The bill would stipulate that states proposing regulations under the Clean Air Act that effectively ban the sale of new automobiles that use internal combustion engines cannot receive waivers from the Environmental Protection Agency to adopt such regulations. Joyce said without the bill, a plan by California to ban nonelectric vehicle sales by 2035 “would create a de facto ban on all gas-powered vehicles in the United States” at that time. An opponent, Rep. Doris O. Matsui, D-Calif., said: “This bill would keep dirty gas and diesel cars on the road forever, dooming our children to face the worst impacts of climate change.” The vote, on Sept. 14, was 222 yeas to 190 nays.
VA DEPUTY SECRETARY: The Senate has confirmed the nomination of Tanya J. Bradsher to be deputy secretary at the Department of Veterans Affairs. Bradsher is currently the VA’s chief of staff; she has been on the National Security Council and was in the Army for 20 years. A supporter, Sen. Jon Tester, D-Mont., said Bradsher’s impressive record in the military and in government showed she could “ensure that the VA is upholding its mission to the veterans and their families.” An opponent, Sen. Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa, cited “her failure to protect sensitive veteran information, and her penchant for providing misleading information to the Senate.” The vote, on Sept. 12, was 50 yeas to 46 nays.
YEAS: Maria Cantwell, D-Wash., Patty Murray, D-Wash.
ILLINOIS JUDGE: The Senate has confirmed the nomination of Jeffrey Cummings to be a judge on the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois. Cummings was a lawyer at a Chicago civil rights law firm until 2019, when he became a magistrate judge on the Northern District. A supporter, Sen. Dick Durbin, D-Ill., said: “Given his vast litigation background and experience on the bench, he will be a tremendous addition to the court.” The vote, on Sept. 12, was 50 yeas to 45 nays.
YEAS: Cantwell, Murray
GOVERNMENT APPROPRIATIONS: The Senate has passed a motion to proceed to consideration of the Military Construction, Veterans Affairs, and Related Agencies Appropriations Act (H.R. 4366), sponsored by Rep. John R. Carter, R-Texas. The bill would provide fiscal 2024 funding for military construction programs, as well as the Veterans Affairs, Agriculture, Transportation, and Housing and Urban Development departments. A supporter, Sen. Susan M. Collins, R-Maine, said the bill “keeps our commitment to our veterans by funding VA medical care and veterans’ benefits, including disability compensation programs, education benefits and vocational rehabilitation, and employment training.” The vote, on Sept. 14, was 91 yeas to 7 nays.
YEAS: Cantwell, Murray