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News / Northwest

Washington D.C. roll call report

By Targeted News Service
Published: May 25, 2024, 5:39am

WASHINGTON — Here’s a look at how area members of Congress voted over the week ending May 24.

House

POLICE FATALITIES: The House has passed a resolution (H. Res. 1213), sponsored by Rep. Pete Stauber, R-Minn., to condemn calls to defund the police and resulting increases in violence against law enforcement officers. Stauber said: “The honorable men and women in law enforcement in America deserve better treatment.” An opponent, Rep. Glenn Ivey, D-Md., said the resolution was disrespectful to federal law enforcement officers in agencies such as the Federal Bureau of Investigation, because it did not mention such officers. The vote, on May 17, was 337 yeas to 61 nays.

YEAS:

Marie Gluesenkamp Perez D-3rd

TAXES AND DISASTER AID: The House has passed the Federal Disaster Tax Relief Act (H.R. 5863), sponsored by Rep. Gregory W. Steube, R-Fla. The bill would exempt money that has been received as compensation for losses resulting from wildfire disasters or the February 2023 train derailment in East Palestine, Ohio, from being counted as gross income for income tax purposes. Steube said: “This bill helps everyday Americans and provides them the ability to deduct their expenses from a natural disaster from their taxes.” The vote, on May 21, was 382 yeas to 7 nays.

YEAS:

Perez

OVERSIGHT OF FEDERAL PRISONS: The House has passed the Federal Prison Oversight Act (H.R. 3019), sponsored by Rep. Lucy McBath, D-Ga., to adopt an oversight and prison inspections program at the federal Bureau of Prisons, including establishing a Justice Department ombudsman who will receive complaints and investigate complaints of wrongdoing at the prisons. McBath said the bill was a response to “alarming corruption, misconduct, and a lack of oversight in this country’s prison systems that has led to tragedy and loss for far too many families across this nation.” The vote, on May 21, was 392 yeas to 2 nays.

YEAS:

Perez

REGULATING COMMODITIES: The House has passed an amendment sponsored by Rep. Scott Perry, R-Pa., to the Financial Innovation and Technology for the 21st Century Act (H.R. 4763). The amendment would state Congress’s intent that the bill not be used to authorize regulation of any non-digital commodities. Perry said of regulators such as the CFTC: “We cannot allow these agencies to take more and more power in the absence of express Congressional approval.” An opponent, Rep. Brad Sherman, D-Calif., claimed it would allow financial firms trading traditional physical commodities to evade regulation by linking them to digital commodities. The vote, on May 22, was 225 to 191 nays.

YEAS:

Perez

REGULATING DIGITAL CURRENCIES: The House has passed the Financial Innovation and Technology for the 21st Century Act (H.R. 4763), sponsored by Rep. Glenn Thompson, R-Pa. The bill would direct the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) to regulate as a commodity any digital asset that uses a decentralized blockchain ledger. The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) would regulate digital assets that have centralized blockchain ledgers. Thompson said the bill sought “to provide clear guidelines and robust protections, fostering a future where innovation can thrive responsibly within our borders.” An opponent, Rep. Maxine Waters, D-Calif., said the bill’s weakened regulatory regime for digital assets would mean fewer protections for investors and less ability for government to punish fraud and other malfeasance. The vote, on May 22, was 279 yeas to 136 nays.

NAYS:

Perez

CENTRAL BANK DIGITAL CURRENCY: The House has passed the CBDC Anti-Surveillance State Act (H.R. 5403), sponsored by Rep. Tom Emmer, R-Minn., to bar U.S. Federal Reserve banks from issuing a central bank digital currency (CBDC) or selling products or services to individuals. Emmer cited the example of China using such a currency to surveil its citizens, and said a similar currency in the U.S. “could give the federal government the ability to surveil and restrict Americans’ transactions and monitor every aspect of their daily lives.” An opponent, Rep. Stephen Lynch, D-Mass., said such surveillance concerns did not apply to the U.S., and a digital dollar currency could yield “benefits including instant payment settlement, provide a medium for cross-border transactions, and for greater financial inclusion.” The vote, on May 23, was 216 yeas to 192 nays.

YEAS:

Perez

D.C. VOTER ELIGIBILITY: The House has passed a bill (H.R. 192), sponsored by Rep. August Pfluger, R-Texas, to repeal a 2023 Washington, D.C., law that allowed non-U.S. citizens living in the District to vote in D.C. elections. Pfluger said: “Noncitizen voting, whether it is one vote or a million votes, dilutes the voting power of the citizen.” A bill opponent, Rep. Jamie Raskin, D-Md., said the District’s lawmakers merely “want people who are living there indefinitely to be engaged in local government” by voting in its elections. The vote, on May 23, was 262 yeas to 143 nays.

YEAS:

Perez

Senate

APPEALS COURT JUDGE: The Senate has confirmed the nomination of Seth Aframe to be a judge on the U.S. First Circuit Court of Appeals: the First Circuit includes several New England states. Aframe is currently a federal prosecutor in New Hampshire, a role he has had since 2007. A supporter, Sen. Margaret Hassan, D-N.H., said Aframe has demonstrated an “unwavering commitment to fairness, to justice time and again in his work at the U.S. Attorney’s Office, including when he argued cases before the First Circuit.” The vote, on May 20, was 49 yeas to 40 nays.

YEAS:

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

ARIZONA JUDGE: The Senate has confirmed the nomination of Krissa Lanham to be a judge on the U.S. District Court for Arizona. Lanham has been a lawyer in the U.S. Attorney’s Office for Arizona since 2010, most recently as its appellate chief. The vote, on May 21, was 66 yeas to 26 nays.

YEAS:

Cantwell, Murray

REGULATING HOME HEATING FURNACES: The Senate has passed a resolution (S.J. Res. 58), sponsored by Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, to disapprove of and void an Energy Department rule from December 2023 setting energy efficiency standards for consumer furnaces. Cruz said the rule was an effective ban on affordable natural gas furnaces, and blocking it was necessary “to help alleviate the unending assault on American families from President Biden and the Democrats’ radical energy agenda.” An opponent, Sen. Edward Markey, D-Mass., said: “A vote for this resolution is a vote for higher costs for American families, a vote for higher temperatures for future generations, and a vote for scaremongering over science.” The vote, on May 21, was 50 yeas to 45 nays.

NAYS:

Cantwell, Murray

SECOND ARIZONA JUDGE: The Senate has confirmed the nomination of Angela M. Martinez to be a judge on the U.S. District Court for Arizona. Martinez has been a magistrate judge for the court for 1 year; she was previously an assistant U.S. attorney in the Arizona district. The vote, on May 22, was 66 yeas to 28 nays.

YEAS:

Cantwell, Murray

CALIFORNIA JUDGE: The Senate has confirmed the nomination of Dena Coggins to be a judge on the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of California. Coggins has variously been a private practice lawyer, administrative law judge for California, aide to the state’s governor, county superior court judge, and member of the California Victim Compensation Board over the past two decades. A supporter, Sen. Laphonza Butler, D-Calif., said: “Her legal intellect, her composure, her record as an effective, efficient, thoughtful jurist makes her a strong nominee.” The vote, on May 22, was 50 yeas to 44 nays.

YEAS:

Cantwell, Murray

AIR FORCE OFFICIAL: The Senate has confirmed the nomination of Melissa Dalton to be the Air Force’s Under Secretary. Dalton, currently the Defense Department’s Assistant Secretary for Homeland Defense and Hemispheric Affairs, was formerly a staffer at the Center for Strategic and International Studies and the Council on Foreign Relations. A supporter, Sen. Jack Reed, D-R.I., said Dalton would provide “thoughtful, resolute leadership with a deep understanding of the issues.” The vote, on May 23, was 56 yeas to 39 nays.

YEAS:

Cantwell, Murray

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