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News / Northwest

Washington, D.C. Roll Call Report

By Targeted News Service
Published: September 23, 2023, 5:41am

WASHINGTON — Here’s a look at how area members of Congress voted over the week ending Sept. 22.

Along with roll call votes this week, the House also passed: the Wounded Knee Massacre Memorial and Sacred Site Act (H.R. 3371), to direct the Secretary of the Interior to complete all actions necessary for certain land to be held in restricted fee status by the Oglala Sioux Tribe and Cheyenne River Sioux Tribe; and a bill (H.R. 2872), to amend the Permanent Electronic Duck Stamp Act to allow states to issue electronic stamps under the Act.

The Senate also, by voice vote, confirmed the nomination of Philip S. Hadji to be a judge on the U.S. Court of Federal Claims for a 15-year term.

House

OVERSIGHT OF EDUCATION FOR VETERANS: The House has passed the Isakson-Roe Education Oversight Expansion Act (H.R. 3981), sponsored by Rep. Morgan McGarvey, D-Ky., to adopt added requirements for educational institutions with military veterans who are using GI Bill benefits to help pay for their tuition. McGarvey said the bill sought to ensure “that the men and women who put on the uniform of our country aren’t defrauded by dishonest institutions that fail to set our veterans up for success.” The vote, on Sept. 18, was unanimous with 410 yeas.

YEAS:

Marie Gluesenkamp Perez, D-3rd

INDIAN FAMILY SAFETY PROGRAMS: The House has passed the Native American Child Protection Act (H.R. 663), sponsored by Rep. Ruben Gallego, D-Ariz., to reauthorize, through fiscal 2028, several programs having to do with American Indian child protection and family violence programs, and make certain revisions to the programs. Gallego said the programs “give tribes the tools to treat, prevent, investigate, and prosecute child abuse and family violence involving Native American children.” The vote, on Sept. 18, was 378 yeas to 32 nays.

YEAS:

Perez

SPINA BIFIDA: The House has passed a bill (S. 112), sponsored by Sen. Mike Braun, R-Ind., to provide Veterans Affairs (VA) Department benefits to offspring of Vietnam War veterans who were born with spina bifida or other birth defects. A supporter, Rep. Mike Bost, R-Ill., said the bill would improve on the VA’s current program “by establishing care and coordination teams for these children to ensure they have the care and support and continued connections that they need for their entire lives.” The vote, on Sept. 19, was unanimous with 422 yeas.

YEAS:

Perez

DISABILITY BENEFITS FOR VETERANS: The House has passed the Veterans Benefits Improvement Act (H.R. 1530), sponsored by Rep. Morgan Luttrell, R-Texas, to require changes to Veterans Affairs Department procedures for determining whether a given veteran qualifies for medical disability benefits. Luttrell cited the current roadblocks to qualifying for disability benefits, and said the bill “takes important steps to identify and break down these barriers in the disability exam process, ensuring our veterans receive the highest quality care and support.” The vote, on Sept. 20, was unanimous with 423 yeas.

YEAS:

Perez

MILITARY APPROPRIATIONS: The House has rejected a resolution to consider the Department of Defense Appropriations Act (H.R. 4365), sponsored by Rep. Ken Calvert, R-Calif., as well as two other bills. The appropriations bill would spend $826 billion on military programs in fiscal 2024, including a 5.2 percent pay increase for military members. A resolution supporter, Rep. Tom Cole, R-Okla., said: “Providing funding for our national defense is both Congress’ privilege and its responsibility. In order for our brave men and women in uniform to do their jobs, Congress must do its job.” An opponent, Rep. James P. McGovern, D-Mass., said: “This bill has horrible, harmful policy riders that strip people’s rights and push MAGA culture wars.” The vote, on Sept. 21, was 212 yeas to 216 nays.

NAYS:

Perez

Senate

CONNECTICUT JUDGE: The Senate has confirmed the nomination of Vernon D. Oliver to be a judge on the U.S. District Court for Connecticut. Oliver has been a superior court judge in the state since 2009; previously, he was an attorney in Connecticut’s government. A supporter, Sen. Richard Blumenthal, D-Conn., said Oliver “is a phenomenal person, not just an extraordinary judge.” The vote, on Sept. 19, was 53 yeas to 44 nays.

YEAS:

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

CALIFORNIA JUDGE: The Senate has confirmed the nomination of Rita Lin to be a judge on the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California. Lin spent 10 years as a private practice lawyer; since then, she has been a federal prosecutor in the Northern District and, for the past five years, a county superior court judge in San Francisco. A supporter, Sen. Dick Durbin, D-Ill., said: “Her evenhanded approach to judicial decisionmaking and significant experience litigating both civil and criminal matters in federal court will serve the Northern District of California well.” The vote, on Sept. 19, was 52 yeas to 45 nays.

YEAS:

Cantwell, Murray

JOINT CHIEFS OF STAFF: The Senate has confirmed the nomination of Charles Q. Brown, Jr., to be reappointed as chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff and to be appointed as a general in the Air Force. Brown, currently a member of the Joint Chiefs of Staff and chief of staff for the Air Force, has been a pilot and senior officer in the Air Force since 1984. The vote, on Sept. 20, was 83 yeas to 11 nays.

YEAS:

Cantwell, Murray

ARMY CHIEF OF STAFF: The Senate has confirmed the nomination of Randy George to be the Army’s chief of staff. George had regiment and division commander roles in the Iraq and Afghanistan wars; he had been the Army’s vice chief of staff for 13 months. A supporter, Sen. Joni Ernst, R-Iowa, said: “I have full confidence that he will continue to modernize the Army and maintain our highly trained and lethal force to fight and win our nation’s wars.” The vote, on Sept. 21, was 96 yeas to 1 nay.

YEAS:

Cantwell, Murray

MARINE COMMANDER: The Senate has confirmed the nomination of Eric Smith to be Commandant of the Marine Corps. Smith, who has been acting commandant for the past two months, was previously assistant commandant, and has been a commissioned officer in the Marines since 1987, including service in the Iraq and Afghanistan wars. A supporter, Sen. Dan Sullivan, R-Alaska, said Smith had command experience at every level of the Marines, and his substantial combat experience in Iraq and Afghanistan highlighted a stellar career thus far. The vote, on Sept. 21, was unanimous with 96 yeas.

YEAS:

Cantwell, Murray

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