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News / Northwest

Washington D.C. roll call report

By Targeted News Service
Published: May 18, 2024, 5:37am

WASHINGTON — Here’s a look at how area members of Congress voted over the week ending May 17.

This week, the House also passed these measures without a roll call vote: the Consumer Safety Technology Act (H.R. 4814), to direct the Consumer Product Safety Commission to establish a pilot program to explore the use of artificial intelligence in support of the mission of the Commission and to direct the Secretary of Commerce and the Federal Trade Commission to study and report on the use of blockchain technology and digital tokens, respectively; the Critical Infrastructure Manufacturing Feasibility Act (H.R. 5390), to direct the Secretary of Commerce to conduct a study on the feasibility of manufacturing in the United States products for critical infrastructure sectors; the Awning Safety Act (H.R. 6132), to require the Consumer Product Safety Commission to promulgate a mandatory consumer product safety standard with respect to retractable awnings; and a resolution (H. Con. Res. 106), expressing support for local law enforcement officers and condemning efforts to defund local law enforcement agencies.

House

POLICE RECRUITMENT GRANTS: The House has passed the Recruit and Retain Act (S. 546), sponsored by Sen. Deb Fischer, R-Neb., to authorize issuance of Community Oriented Policing Services (COPS) grants to law enforcement agencies for police recruitment purposes. A supporter, Rep. Wesley Hunt, R-Texas, said the grants “would leverage the COPS Hiring program to ensure the program is responsive to the latest hiring challenges that law enforcement agencies are experiencing nationwide.” The vote, on May 14, was 370 yeas to 18 nays.

YEAS:

Marie Gluesenkamp Perez D-3rd

FAA REAUTHORIZATION: The House has agreed to the Senate amendment to the Securing Growth and Robust Leadership in American Aviation Act (H.R. 3935), sponsored by Rep. Sam Graves, R-Mo. The bill would reauthorize the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) and National Transportation Safety Board through fiscal 2028, and set out an array of policy directives for the FAA and the Transportation Department, including updated regulations for drone aircraft and vertical takeoff and landing aircraft. Graves said: “This bill is vital to America’s airport infrastructure, to our economy, and to the future of American leadership in aviation.” An opponent, Rep. Donald S. Beyer, D-Va., criticized a provision allowing more flights at Reagan National Airport near Washington, D.C., which he said “directly harms our airport and the passengers who use it.” The vote, on May 15, was 387 yeas to 26 nays.

YEAS:

Perez

WASHINGTON, D.C., CRIMINAL LAW: The House has passed the D.C. Criminal Reforms to Immediately Make Everyone Safe Act (H.R. 7530), sponsored by Rep. Byron Donalds, R-Fla. The bill would change the criminal code for Washington, D.C., by defining as a juvenile those age 18 or younger, and by barring the D.C. Council from changing the District’s criminal liability jail sentences. Currently, those age 19 through 24 are defined as juveniles. Donalds said: “This bill is a great step toward ensuring our capital city is going to be safe.” An opponent, Rep. Jamie Raskin, D-Md., said the bill permanently ends the D.C. government’s authority to make its own criminal laws. The vote, on May 15, was 225 yeas to 181 nays.

YEAS:

Perez

BORDER SECURITY RESOLUTION: The House has passed a resolution (H. Res. 1210), sponsored by Rep. Clay Higgins, R-La., to condemn as a crisis, caused by the Biden administration, immigration and other security problems at the border with Mexico, and advocate for support for law enforcement at the border and elsewhere who are responding to the crisis. Higgins said the resolution acknowledges that law enforcement officers “have been horribly impacted by the Biden administration policies at our southern border which have brought generational trauma upon our country and an era of misery we may never forget.” An opponent, Rep. Jerrold Nadler, D-N.Y., called it “just another excuse for Republicans to play politics with the southern border and to sound tough without actually doing anything.” The vote, on May 15, was 223 yeas to 185 nays, with 1 voting present.

YEAS:

Perez

ATTACKS ON POLICE: House has passed the Improving Law Enforcement Officer Safety and Wellness Through Data Act (H.R. 7581), sponsored by Rep. Dan Bishop, R-N.C., to require the attorney general to provide Congress with a report on nationwide criminal attacks against law enforcement officers that includes recommendations for ways to prevent such attacks. Bishop said the bill would help Congress “develop the information necessary so that we can protect the officers who serve us, who risk their lives every day.” An opponent, Rep. Pramila Jayapal, D-Wash., said there were already adequate reporting programs, and Jayapal asserted that “absolutely nothing in this bill makes a single police officer safer or invests a single dollar in officer wellness.” The vote, on May 15, was 356 yeas to 55 nays.

YEAS:

Perez

IMMIGRATION AND POLICE VIOLENCE: The House has passed the Detain and Deport Illegal Aliens Who Assault Cops Act (H.R. 7343), sponsored by Rep. Jeff Van Drew, R-N.J. The bill would direct the Homeland Security Department to deport any unauthorized U.S. resident who has been charged with or convicted of assaulting a police officer or other type of first responder. Van Drew called it “an important step in ensuring that we have zero tolerance for those in our country who break our laws and assault those who are sworn to protect and to serve our American communities.” An opponent, Rep. Pramila Jayapal, D-Wash., said deportation was already a penalty for such assaults, and she faulted the bill for lacking “provisions to protect those who are mistakenly arrested and are released without charges.” The vote, on May 15, was 265 yeas to 148 nays.

YEAS:

Perez

SODIUM NITRITE: The House has passed the Youth Poisoning Protection Act (H.R. 4310), sponsored by Rep. Lori Trahan, D-Mass., to ban the sale to consumers of products that have at least a 10 percent concentration of sodium nitrite. Trahan said the bill “solely seeks to end the straight-to-consumer sale of highly concentrated sodium nitrite that is helping fuel the efforts of anonymous suicide forum users pushing vulnerable people to end their lives.” The vote, on May 15, was 376 yeas to 33 nays.

YEAS:

Perez

REGULATING LITHIUM BATTERIES: The House has passed the Setting Consumer Standards for Lithium-Ion Batteries Act (H.R. 1797), sponsored by Rep. Ritchie Torres, D-N.Y., to require the Consumer Product Safety Commission to establish safety regulations for mobility products such as electric scooters. Torres cited a rapid increase in the number of fires in urban areas, such as New York City, caused by lithium-ion batteries used in e-mobility products, and said “the fire hazard here has become too glaring to ignore.” The vote, on May 15, was 378 yeas to 34 nays.

YEAS:

Perez

PROMOTING BLOCKCHAINS: The House has passed the Deploying American Blockchains Act (H.R. 6572), sponsored by Rep. Larry Bucshon, R-Ind., to require the Commerce Department to adopt measures to promote the position of U.S. blockchain technologies. Blockchains, such as bitcoin, use distributed electronic ledgers to keep track of user activity without a centralized private database. Bucshon said the share of global blockchain developers based in the U.S. has been declining, and the bill sought to reverse that trend by increasing U.S. competitiveness. The vote, on May 15, was 334 yeas to 79 nays.

YEAS:

Perez

PRICES FOR EVENT TICKETS: The House has passed the Transparency In Charges for Key Events Ticketing Act (H.R. 3950), sponsored by Rep. Gus M. Bilirakis, R-Fla. The bill would require sellers of tickets to entertainment events to disclose, during the purchasing process, the total ticket price and the elements that make up the total price. Bilirakis said: “This bill will have an immediate impact on providing market transparency and enhancing the event ticketing experience for consumers.” The vote, on May 15, was 388 yeas to 24 nays.

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YEAS:

Perez

CONCEALED CARRY AND POLICE OFFICERS: The House has passed the Law Enforcement Officer Safety Act Reform Act (H.R. 354), sponsored by Rep. Don Bacon, R-Neb., to allow qualified law enforcement officers to carry concealed firearms in various federally regulated locations, such as national parks and federal buildings. A supporter, Rep. Barry Moore, R-Ala., said: “At a time when violent crimes continue to plague our nation, we must support our active and retired law enforcement officers and ensure that they are able to protect themselves and others.” An opponent, Rep. Jerrold Nadler, D-N.Y., said the bill “intrudes on the states’ ability to make their own judgments about public safety, concealed firearms, and the regulation of their own law enforcement.” The vote, on May 16, was 221 yeas to 185 nays.

YEAS:

Perez

BORDER IMPACTS FOR LAW ENFORCEMENT: The House has passed the Police Our Border Act (H.R. 8146), sponsored by Rep. Anthony D’Esposito, R-N.Y., to require the attorney general to submit to Congress a report on the impact of problems at the border with Mexico on federal, state, local, and tribal law enforcement agencies. D’Esposito said the report would “make sure that law enforcement agencies throughout the country have the ability and have the information that they need to effectively protect and serve the communities they represent.” An opponent, Rep. Pramila Jayapal, D-Wash., said the bill “is full of empty rhetoric, it makes no policy changes to address the outdated immigration system, and it provides no funding of any kind.” The vote, on May 16, was 254 yeas to 157 nays.

YEAS:

Perez

MILITARY AID TO ISRAEL: The House has passed the Israel Security Assistance Support Act (H.R. 8369), sponsored by Rep. Ken Calvert, R-Calif., to bar federal workers from cancelling the delivery of military goods and services to Israel. Calvert said: “This bill reverses President Biden’s misguided attempts to withhold vital security assistance to Israel as they fight to defend their citizens from terrorists.” An opponent, Rep. Gregory W. Meeks, D-N.Y., called the bill an effort by Republicans “to sow division and use the United States-Israel relationship and American security assistance to advance their own political agenda.” The vote, on May 16, was 224 yeas to 187 nays.

YEAS:

Perez

Senate

UNESCO REPRESENTATIVE: The Senate has confirmed the nomination of Courtney O’Donnell to be U.S. Permanent Representative to the United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization (UNESCO). O’Donnell has been a senior aide to Douglas Emhoff in the Biden administration and to Jill Biden in the Obama administration, as well as an executive at Airbnb. A supporter, Sen. Benjamin L. Cardin, D-Md., said: “She has a proven track record of working to counter anti-Semitism and Holocaust denialism through her work on the U.S. national strategy to combat anti-Semitism.” The vote, on May 15, was 49 yeas to 45 nays.

YEAS:

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

NEW YORK JUDGE: The Senate has confirmed the nomination of Sanket Bulsara to be a judge on the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of New York. Bulsara was a private practice lawyer for about a decade before, in 2015, becoming a lawyer at the Securities and Exchange Commission. He was named a federal magistrate judge for the Eastern District in 2017. The vote, on May 15, was 51 yeas to 42 nays.

YEAS:

Cantwell, Murray

SOUTH DAKOTA JUDGE: The Senate has confirmed the nomination of Eric Schulte to be a judge on the U.S. District Court for South Dakota. Schulte has been a private practice lawyer in Sioux Falls, specializing in commercial law, for the past two decades. A supporter, Sen. John Thune, R-S.D., said Schulte “has the experience and knowledge to be a district judge; and, crucially, I believe that he has the character and impartiality for a lifetime appointment on the federal bench.” The vote, on May 15, was 61 yeas to 33 nays.

YEAS:

Cantwell, Murray

REGULATING COVID AID FUNDS: The Senate has rejected a resolution (S.J. Res. 57), sponsored by Sen. Eric Schmitt, R-Mo., that would have disapproved of and voided a Treasury Department rule allowing for covid state and local fiscal recovery money that was included in the 2021 American Rescue Plan Act to be used by local governments to cover regulatory costs. Schmitt said Treasury’s rule would grant more power to overreaching bureaucrats in “an insult to Congress and those who believe in our Constitution as well as a complete misuse of taxpayer dollars.” An opponent, Sen. Ron Wyden, D-Ore., said the resolution would lead to cancelling “smart investments for the future” by disrupting planned infrastructure spending projects. The vote, on May 15, was 46 yeas to 49 nays.

NAYS:

Cantwell, Murray

SECOND SOUTH DAKOTA JUDGE: The Senate has confirmed the nomination of Camela Theeler to be a judge on the U.S. District Court for South Dakota. Theeler has been a circuit judge in South Dakota’s court system since 2018; previously, she was an assistant U.S. attorney in South Dakota and a private practice lawyer. The vote, on May 16, was 90 yeas to 4 nays.

YEAS:

Cantwell, Murray

SEC ACCOUNTING RULE: The Senate has passed a resolution (H.J. Res. 109), sponsored by Rep. Mike Flood, R-Neb., to disapprove of and void a Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) rule that issued accounting guidance requiring banks to place digital assets, such as cryptocurrencies, that they hold in custody on their own balance sheets. A resolution supporter, Sen. Cynthia Lummis, R-Wyo., said that putting cryptocurrencies on bank balance sheets would endanger customer assets in the event of a bank’s bankruptcy, by leaving the assets exposed to creditors’ claims. An opponent, Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass., said cancelling the SEC’s guidance “would deprive investors of accurate information on the risks of holding cryptoassets and corrode public trust in our financial system and our institutions.” The vote, on May 16, was 60 yeas to 38 nays.

NAYS:

Cantwell, Murray

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