NPI's Cascadia Advocate

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 9th, 2019

Last week (June 3rd-7th) in Congress: How Cascadia’s U.S. lawmakers voted

Good morn­ing! Here’s how Cas­ca­di­a’s Mem­bers of Con­gress vot­ed on major issues dur­ing the leg­isla­tive week end­ing Fri­day, June 7th, 2019.

In the United States House of Representatives

Chamber of the United States House of Representatives

The House cham­ber (U.S. Con­gress pho­to)

LEGAL STATUS FOR DREAMERS, OTHER IMMIGRANTS: Vot­ing 237 for and 187 against, the House on June 4th passed a Demo­c­ra­t­ic bill (H.R. 6) that would grant per­ma­nent legal sta­tus and a path to cit­i­zen­ship to as many as 2.1 mil­lion Dream­ers who were brought ille­gal­ly to the Unit­ed States as chil­dren and face poten­tial depor­ta­tion under a Trump admin­is­tra­tion direc­tive now on hold.

The bill would grant relief to new Amer­i­cans who were younger than eigh­teen when they entered the Unit­ed States; have been con­tin­u­ous­ly present in the Unit­ed States for at least four years; have clean law enforce­ment records and have received a high school or equiv­a­lent degree and met oth­er con­di­tions.

In addi­tion, the bill would pro­vide the same depor­ta­tion pro­tec­tion and cit­i­zen­ship path to a few hun­dred thou­sand aliens who have been allowed to remain in the Unit­ed States in recent decades for human­i­tar­i­an rea­sons.

They are 3,600 Liberi­ans shield­ed by “deferred enforced depar­ture sta­tus” and 300,000 immi­grants from coun­tries includ­ing El Sal­vador, Nicaragua and Haiti receiv­ing “tem­po­rary pro­tect­ed sta­tus.” Fed­er­al courts have stayed admin­is­tra­tion efforts to des­ig­nate these indi­vid­u­als for depor­ta­tion.

On Sep­tem­ber 5th, 2017, Don­ald Trump revoked for­mer Pres­i­dent Barack Oba­ma’s exec­u­tive order known as Deferred Action for Child­hood Arrivals (DACA), which tem­porar­i­ly shield­ed dream­ers from poten­tial depor­ta­tion and gave them the right to work legal­ly. Trump allowed Con­gress six months to either to write pro­tec­tions into law or stand aside as removals go for­ward. He said he would work with Demo­c­ra­t­ic law­mak­ers to enact leg­is­la­tion safe­guard­ing dream­ers, but set terms they would not accept. Courts have tem­porar­i­ly blocked Trump’s order.

Zoe Lof­gren, D‑California, said immi­grants pro­tect­ed by this bill and their house­holds “con­tribute around $17.4 bil­lion per year in fed­er­al tax­es and $9.7 bil­lion per year in state and local tax­es. Annu­al­ly, these house­holds gen­er­ate over $75 bil­lion in spend­ing pow­er. That mon­ey helps to fuel local economies, cre­at­ing new jobs and bring­ing new eco­nom­ic pros­per­i­ty to every­one liv­ing and work­ing” with these indi­vid­u­als.

Ken Buck, R‑Colorado, said: “Repub­li­cans are for a com­pas­sion­ate solu­tion to help DACA recip­i­ents, but that solu­tion must be paired with com­mon­sense bor­der secu­ri­ty, inte­ri­or enforce­ment and changes in pol­i­cy to stem the tide of ille­gal bor­der cross­ings, human smug­gling and friv­o­lous claims of asy­lum. Trag­i­cal­ly, this bill does noth­ing to address the cri­sis at our south­ern bor­der.”

A yes vote was to send the bill to the Sen­ate.

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 (8): Demo­c­ra­t­ic Rep­re­sen­ta­tives Suzan Del­Bene, Rick Larsen, Derek Kilmer, Prami­la Jaya­pal, Kim Schri­er, Adam Smith, and Den­ny Heck; Repub­li­can Rep­re­sen­ta­tive Dan New­house

Vot­ing Nay (1): Repub­li­can Rep­re­sen­ta­tive Cathy McMor­ris Rodgers

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

Cas­ca­dia total: 12 aye votes, 4 nay votes, 1 not vot­ing

PROHIBITIONS ON ALIEN GANG MEMBERS: Vot­ing 202 for and 221 against, the House on June 4 defeat­ed a Repub­li­can motion that sought to make it more dif­fi­cult for mem­bers of crim­i­nal gangs to use H.R. 6 (above) as a sub­terfuge for unlaw­ful­ly gain­ing legal sta­tus. Democ­rats said the bill already has safe­guards to pro­hib­it undoc­u­ment­ed aliens who are a threat to nation­al secu­ri­ty, includ­ing gang mem­bers, from obtain­ing green cards and a path to cit­i­zen­ship,

Spon­sor Ben Cline, R‑Virginia, said mem­bers vot­ing against his motion “can­not look their con­stituents in the eye and hon­est­ly say that crim­i­nals will not get green cards.” But Joe Neguse, D‑Colorado, said that by read­ing the bill, Repub­li­cans would learn “that gang mem­bers are not eli­gi­ble even if they have not been con­vict­ed of a crime.” A yes vote was to adopt the motion.

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

$19.1 BILLION DISASTER AID: Vot­ing 354 for and 58 against, the House on June 3rd approved $19.1 bil­lion in dis­as­ter aid to home­own­ers, farm­ers, busi­ness­es, local gov­ern­ments and oth­er enti­ties in more than 40 states and ter­ri­to­ries struck by nat­ur­al dis­as­ters such as wild­fires, flood­ing, hur­ri­canes and tor­na­does in recent years. In part, the bill pro­vides $1.4 bil­lion to Puer­to Rico, includ­ing $600 mil­lion in food assis­tance, along with aid to repair storm dam­age at mil­i­tary bases and fund­ing to mit­i­gate the impact of future dis­as­ters in and near cities such as Hous­ton. A yes vote was to send H.R. 2157 to Don­ald Tru­mo.

Nita Lowey, D‑New York, said this vote repu­di­ates “the polit­i­cal stunts and grand­stand­ing that have made it dif­fi­cult to deliv­er much-need­ed dis­as­ter relief to fam­i­lies and com­mu­ni­ties across Amer­i­ca.”

Chip Roy, R‑Texas, said it was wrong to “spend $19 bil­lion that is not paid for when we are rack­ing up approx­i­mate­ly $100 mil­lion an hour in nation­al debt.”

A yes vote was to send H.R. 2157 to Don­ald Trump.

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)

ANDREW SAUL, SOCIAL SECURITY COMMISSIONER: Vot­ing 77 for and 16 against, the Sen­ate on June 4 con­firmed Andrew M. Saul, 72, a part­ner in a New York City-based fam­i­ly invest­ment firm, for a six-year term as com­mis­sion­er of Social Secu­ri­ty. Dur­ing the George W. Bush admin­is­tra­tion, Saul was chair­man of the Fed­er­al Retire­ment Thrift Invest­ment Board, which man­ages retire­ment plans for sev­er­al mil­lion active and retired civ­il ser­vants and mil­i­tary per­son­nel.

Saul also served as vice chair­man of the Met­ro­pol­i­tan Tran­sit Author­i­ty in New York, and he has been a Repub­li­can Par­ty fund-rais­er and con­gres­sion­al can­di­date. He drew some Demo­c­ra­t­ic oppo­si­tion, in part, because of his refusal to take a stand on esca­lat­ing labor man­age­ment dis­putes that he will encounter at the SSA.

Sen­ate Major­i­ty Leader Mitch McConnell, R‑Kentucky, said Saul “has spent decades build­ing a suc­cess­ful career in busi­ness and in pub­lic admin­is­tra­tion,” includ­ing over­sight of retire­ment pro­grams “relied upon by lit­er­al­ly mil­lions of Amer­i­cans” in the fed­er­al work­force.

Chris Van Hollen, D‑Maryland, said that when asked about “attacks on the rights of Social Secu­ri­ty work­ers, Mr. Saul pro­vid­ed only vague state­ments that includ­ed no com­mit­ments to take mean­ing­ful action to improve labor prac­tices at Social Secu­ri­ty.” Hollen led a group of six­teen Democ­rats in oppo­si­tion to Saul.

A yes vote was to con­firm the nom­i­nee.

The State of Idaho

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

The State of Oregon

Vot­ing Aye (1): Demo­c­ra­t­ic Sen­a­tor Ron Wyden

Vot­ing Nay (1): Demo­c­ra­t­ic Sen­a­tor Jeff Merkley

The State of Washington

Vot­ing Aye (1): Demo­c­ra­t­ic Sen­a­tor Maria Cantwell

Vot­ing Nay (1): Demo­c­ra­t­ic Sen­a­tor Pat­ty Mur­ray

Cas­ca­dia total: 4 aye votes, 2 nay votes

Key votes ahead

The House is expect­ed to vote dur­ing the week of June 10th on whether to hold Attor­ney Gen­er­al William Barr and for­mer White House coun­sel Don McGahn in con­tempt of Con­gress, while the Sen­ate will con­sid­er a mea­sure block­ing arms sales to Bahrain and Qatar.

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.

Adjacent posts

  • Donate now to support The Cascadia Advocate


    Thank you for read­ing The Cas­ca­dia Advo­cate, the North­west Pro­gres­sive Insti­tute’s jour­nal of world, nation­al, and local pol­i­tics.

    Found­ed in March of 2004, The Cas­ca­dia Advo­cate has been help­ing peo­ple through­out the Pacif­ic North­west and beyond make sense of cur­rent events with rig­or­ous analy­sis and thought-pro­vok­ing com­men­tary for more than fif­teen years. The Cas­ca­dia Advo­cate is fund­ed by read­ers like you: we have nev­er accept­ed adver­tis­ing or place­ments of paid con­tent.

    And we’d like it to stay that way.

    Help us keep The Cas­ca­dia Advo­cate edi­to­ri­al­ly inde­pen­dent and freely avail­able by becom­ing a mem­ber of the North­west Pro­gres­sive Insti­tute today. Or make a dona­tion to sus­tain our essen­tial research and advo­ca­cy jour­nal­ism.

    Your con­tri­bu­tion will allow us to con­tin­ue bring­ing you fea­tures like Last Week In Con­gress, live cov­er­age of events like Net­roots Nation or the Demo­c­ra­t­ic Nation­al Con­ven­tion, and reviews of books and doc­u­men­tary films.

    Become an NPI mem­ber Make a one-time dona­tion