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Offering commentary and analysis from Washington, Oregon, and Idaho, The Cascadia Advocate is the Northwest Progressive Institute's unconventional perspective on world, national, and local politics.

Sunday, June 16th, 2019

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

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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