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Sunday, June 16th, 2019

Last week (June 10th-14th) in Congress: How Cascadia’s U.S. lawmakers voted

Happy Father’s Day! Here’s how Cascadia’s Members of Congress voted on major issues during the legislative week ending Friday, June 14th, 2019.

In the United States House of Representatives

Chamber of the United States House of Representatives

The House chamber (U.S. Congress photo)

SEEKING COURTS’ HELP TO ENFORCE SUBPOENAS: Voting 229 for and 191 against, the House on June 11th adopted a resolution (H Res 430) authorizing its committees to ask federal courts to enforce committee subpoenas for documents and testimony from the Trump administration and its current and former officials. The action came in response to the administration’s refusals to comply with House Democrats’ requests for information and witness appearances in more than a dozen areas of inquiry, including Russian interference in U.S. elections, the addition of a citizenship question to the 2020 census, an administration-backed lawsuit challenging the Affordable Care Act and the separation of immigrant families on the southwest border.

Democrats say the subpoenas embody Congress’s constitutional duty to oversee the executive branch, while President Trump has cited executive privilege to block testimony of his current and former advisers and thwart legislative-branch scrutiny.

On a related track, the Judiciary Committee on May 8 approved civil contempt of Congress charges against Attorney General William Barr for not complying with its subpoena for the entire unredacted report by Special Counsel Robert Mueller and underlying materials. The full House has delayed a vote on citing Barr pending the outcome of negotiations to obtain his voluntary cooperation.

A yes vote was to adopt the resolution, which took effect immediately.

The State of Idaho

Voting Nay (2): Republican Representatives Russ Fulcher and Mike Simpson

The State of Oregon

Voting Aye (4): Democratic Representatives Suzanne Bonamici, Earl Blumenauer, Peter DeFazio, Kurt Schrader

Voting Nay (1): Republican Representative Greg Walden

The State of Washington

Voting Aye (7): Democratic Representatives Suzan DelBene, Rick Larsen, Derek Kilmer, Pramila Jayapal, Kim Schrier, Adam Smith, and Denny Heck

Voting Nay (2): Republican Representatives Dan Newhouse and Cathy McMorris Rodgers

Not Voting (1): Republican Representative Jaime Herrera-Beutler

Cascadia total: 11 aye votes, 5 nay votes, 1 not voting

PUBLIC EDUCATION ABOUT VACCINES: The House on June 12 voted, 341 for and 83 against, to increase spending by $5 million next fiscal year on a government program to educate the public about the effectiveness and safety of vaccines. The amendment was intended to combat misinformation being spread about vaccinations on social media. The vote occurred during debate on a bill (HR 2740) appropriating $99.4 billion for the Department of Health and Human Services in fiscal 2020 that remained in debate.

Adam Schiff, D-California, said: “The scientific and medical communities are in overwhelming consensus that vaccines are both effective and safe. There is no evidence to suggest that vaccines cause life-threatening or disabling diseases, and the dissemination of unfounded or debunked theories about the dangers of vaccination pose a great risk to the public health.”

No member spoke against the amendment.

A yes vote was to increase spending on vaccine education.

The State of Idaho

Voting Aye (1): Republican Representative Mike Simpson

Voting Nay (1): Republican Representative Russ Fulcher

The State of Oregon

Voting Aye (5): Democratic Representatives Suzanne Bonamici, Earl Blumenauer, Peter DeFazio, Kurt Schrader; Republican Representative Greg Walden

The State of Washington

Voting Aye (9): Democratic Representatives Suzan DelBene, Rick Larsen, Derek Kilmer, Pramila Jayapal, Kim Schrier, Adam Smith, and Denny Heck; Republican Representatives Dan Newhouse and Cathy McMorris Rodgers

Not Voting (1): Republican Representative Jaime Herrera-Beutler

Cascadia total: 15 aye votes, 1 nay vote, 1 not voting

“CONSCIENCE RULE” FOR DENYING HEALTHCARE: Voting 192 for and 230 against, the House on June 12th refused to uphold a proposed Trump administration rule under which doctors and workers at hospitals, clinics and other health facilities could deny care to patients that conflicts with their religious or moral beliefs. Scheduled to take effect July 22th, the co-called “conscience rule” would override existing laws and policies that strike a balance between protecting the religious convictions of providers and delivering care in areas including reproductive services. On this vote, the House defeated a Republican-sponsored attempt to fund the rule as part of H.R. 2740 (above).

Phil Roe, R-Tennessee, said:

“We have a First Amendment right to practice our religion in America, and the government forcing someone to act in a way that violates those beliefs is in direct opposition to the very foundation of our Constitution.”

Lois Frankel, D-Florida, said:

“Under this Trump rule, a pharmacist could refuse to fill a prescription for birth control, a receptionist could refuse to schedule an abortion for a child rape victim, an ambulance driver could refuse to take a patient suffering from miscarriage to the hospital, all based upon their personal beliefs, not the patient’s welfare.”

A yes vote was to allow the rule to take effect next month.

The State of Idaho

Voting Aye (2): Republican Representatives Russ Fulcher and Mike Simpson

The State of Oregon

Voting Aye (1): Republican Representative Greg Walden

Voting Nay (4): Democratic Representatives Suzanne Bonamici, Earl Blumenauer, Peter DeFazio, Kurt Schrader

The State of Washington

Voting Aye (2): Republican Representatives Dan Newhouse and Cathy McMorris Rodgers

Voting Nay (7): Democratic Representatives Suzan DelBene, Rick Larsen, Derek Kilmer, Pramila Jayapal, Kim Schrier, Adam Smith, and Denny Heck

Not Voting (1): Republican Representative Jaime Herrera-Beutler

Cascadia total: 5 aye votes, 11 nay votes, 1 not voting

CLAMPDOWN ON FETAL TISSUE RESEARCH: The House on June 13th voted, 225 for and 193 against, to block funding to implement a newly announced clampdown by the Trump administration on federal support of fetal tissue research. The vote occurred during debate on HR 2740 (above).

In part, the policy would prohibit National Institutes of Health scientists from conducting such research while subjecting academic scientists to an additional layer of ethics and bureaucratic review when they apply for NIH research grants.

Under a 1993 law, the NIH last year funded more than 150 projects by university scientists using fetal tissue donated after elective abortions to pursue treatments and cures for diseases including Alzheimer’s, ALS and Parkinson’s.

Rosa DeLauro, D-Connecticut, said the administration’s new policy puts “personal ideology ahead of public health.”

Andy Harris, R-Maryland, said additional ethics review is warranted for “one of the most controversial areas of research.”

A yes vote was to adopt the amendment in support of fetal tissue research.

The State of Idaho

Voting Nay (2): Republican Representatives Russ Fulcher and Mike Simpson

The State of Oregon

Voting Aye (4): Democratic Representatives Suzanne Bonamici, Earl Blumenauer, Peter DeFazio, Kurt Schrader

Voting Nay (1): Republican Representative Greg Walden

The State of Washington

Voting Aye (7): Democratic Representatives Suzan DelBene, Rick Larsen, Derek Kilmer, Pramila Jayapal, Kim Schrier, Adam Smith, and Denny Heck

Voting Nay (2): Republican Representatives Dan Newhouse and Cathy McMorris Rodgers

Not Voting (1): Republican Representative Jaime Herrera-Beutler

Cascadia total: 11 aye votes, 5 nay votes, 1 not voting

REPORTING MIGRANT CHILDREN’S DEATHS: Voting 355 for and 68 against, the House on June 13 adopted an amendment to H.R. 2740 (above) requiring the Office of Refugee Resettlement in the Department of Health and Human Services to promptly inform Congress and the public when migrant children die while in the custody of U.S. immigration officials.

Sponsor Joaquin Castro, D-Texas, said that in September 2018, “a young 10-year-old girl died. This Congress and the American people were not told for seven or eight months about that young girl’s death.”

Andy Harris, R-Maryland, called the amendment “make-believe” because “this administration reports the deaths” of migrant children.

A yes vote was to adopt the amendment.

The State of Idaho

Voting Aye (1): Republican Representative Mike Simpson

Voting Nay (1): Republican Representative Russ Fulcher

The State of Oregon

Voting Aye (5): Democratic Representatives Suzanne Bonamici, Earl Blumenauer, Peter DeFazio, Kurt Schrader; Republican Representative Greg Walden

The State of Washington

Voting Aye (9): Democratic Representatives Suzan DelBene, Rick Larsen, Derek Kilmer, Pramila Jayapal, Kim Schrier, Adam Smith, and Denny Heck; Republican Representatives Dan Newhouse and Cathy McMorris Rodgers

Not Voting (1): Republican Representative Jaime Herrera-Beutler

Cascadia total: 15 aye votes, 1 nay vote, 1 not voting

In the United States Senate

Chamber of the United States Senate

The Senate chamber (U.S. Congress photo)

$300 MILLION ARMS TO BAHRAIN: Voting 43 for and 56 against, the Senate on June 13 turned back a measure (S.J. Res 20) that sought to block the administration’s planned sale of $300 million in U.S. arms to Bahrain. The package consists mainly of surface-to-surface missiles and mobile rocket launching units along with American technical support. Bahrain, which belongs to a Saudi-led coalition waging war in Yemen, is host to the U.S. Navy’s 5th Fleet. Backers called this a proxy vote against American involvement in Yemen’s civil war, while advocates of the arms sale it would benefit a key U.S. ally in the Middle East.

A yes vote was to advance a measure blocking the arms sale.

The State of Idaho

Voting Nay (2):
Republican Senators Jim Risch and Mike Crapo

The State of Oregon

Voting Aye (2):
Democratic Senators Ron Wyden and Jeff Merkley

The State of Washington

Voting Aye (2):
Democratic Senators Maria Cantwell and Patty Murray

Cascadia total: 4 aye votes, 2 nay votes

Key votes ahead

The House will debate fiscal 2020 appropriations bills in the week of June 17th, while the Senate will vote on judicial nominations.

Editor’s Note: The information in NPI’s weekly How Cascadia’s U.S. lawmakers voted feature is provided by Voterama in Congress, a service of Thomas Voting Reports. All rights are reserved. Reproduction of this post is not permitted, not even with attribution. Use the permanent link to this post to share it… thanks!

© 2019 Thomas Voting Reports.

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