Good morning! Here’s how Cascadia’s Members of Congress voted on major issues during the legislative week ending Friday, November 22nd.
In the United States House of Representatives
APPROVING AGENCY FUNDING THRU DECEMBER 20TH: Voting 231 for and 192 against, the House on November 19th approved stopgap appropriations (H.R. 3055) to fund the government at fiscal 2019 levels between November 21st and December 20th, giving negotiators more time to seek agreement on a regular, full-year budget for fiscal 2020, which began about seven weeks ago.
One sticking point is President Trump’s request, opposed by Democrats, for $9 billion in Department of Homeland Security funding for a border wall. In addition to averting another federal government shutdown, the bill adds money to ensure a “fair and accurate” 2020 Census, respond to an ebola virus outbreak in Africa and fund a 3.1 percent military pay raise that took effect October 1st
Majority Leader Steny Hoyer, D‑Maryland, said: “I hope we use these days that are left between today and December 20th in a productive, effective way so that the appropriations process can be concluded on December 20th or before.”
Steve Womack, R‑Arkansas, objected to increasing mandatory spending by $76 billion without offsetting cuts and expressed doubt that Congress “will enact a full-year defense spending bill, which the military so desperately needs right now.”
A yes vote was to pass the bill.
Voting Aye (1): Republican Representative Mike Simpson
Voting Nay (1): Republican Representative Russ Fulcher
Voting Aye (2): Democratic Representatives Suzanne Bonamici and Kurt Schrader
Voting Nay (3): Democratic Representatives Peter DeFazio and Earl Blumenauer; Republican Representative Greg Walden
Voting Aye (8): Democratic Representatives Suzan DelBene, Rick Larsen, Derek Kilmer, Pramila Jayapal, Kim Schrier, Adam Smith, and Denny Heck; Republican Representative Jaime Herrera-Beutler
Voting Nay (2): Republican Representatives Dan Newhouse and Cathy McMorris Rodgers
Cascadia total: 14 aye votes, 3 nay votes
PREVENTING WORKPLACE VIOLENCE AT HOSPITALS, SOCIAL AGENCIES: Voting 251 for and 158 against, the House on November 21st passed a bill (H.R. 1309) requiring the Department of Labor to issue a rule designed to reduce workplace violence at medical facilities including hospitals, nursing homes and outpatient clinics, where attacks occur far more frequently than in the overall workplace, according to federal statistics.
The rule would also apply to social services facilities including vocational-rehabilitation and child day-care services and community food and housing agencies. The bill defines workplace violence as acts or threats of forcible action that could cause physical injury of psychological trauma or stress.
The bill directs the Occupational Health and Safety Agency to put the rule in operation within two years of enactment.
Mark DeSaulnier, D‑California, said “there is an epidemic of violence against healthcare and social workers in the United States. Last year, Department of Labor statistics show they were nearly five times as likely to suffer a serious workplace violence injury than workers in other industries.”
Michael Burgess, R‑Texas, said: “We can all agree that there is a need for OSHA to issue proper workplace violence prevention regulations,” but objected to the expedited timetable for putting the rule into effect.
A yes vote was to pass the bill.
Voting Nay (2): Republican Representatives Mike Simpson and Russ Fulcher
Voting Aye (5): Democratic Representatives Suzanne Bonamici, Earl Blumenauer, Peter DeFazio, Kurt Schrader; Republican Representative Greg Walden
Voting Aye (10): Democratic Representatives Suzan DelBene, Rick Larsen, Derek Kilmer, Pramila Jayapal, Kim Schrier, Adam Smith, and Denny Heck; Republican Representatives Jaime Herrera-Beutler, Dan Newhouse, and Cathy McMorris Rodgers
Cascadia total: 15 aye votes, 2 nay votes
FAULTING DEMOCRATS’ LEGISLATIVE PRIORITIES: Voting 222 for and 188 against, the House on November 21st effectively killed a Republican motion to HR 1309 (above) asserting that House Democrats were wrongly “prioritizing impeachment of the president’ over advancing measures to fund the Pentagon, lower prescription-drug prices, secure the southwestern border and approve the pending United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement on free trade.
On this vote, the House sustained a point of order raised by Democrats that the Republican motion was not germane to the substance of bill therefore out of order.
Joe Courtney, D‑Connecticut, said: “On behalf of America’s nurses, doctors and social workers, who are begging for relief from unprecedented levels of workplace violence, I insist upon my point of order.”
Mike Kelly, R‑Pennsylvania, said Democrats were shirking legislative obligations “while we have wasted precious time and millions of hardworking American taxpayer dollars on a pursuit of an effort to impeach” President Trump.
A yes vote was to turn back a nonbinding statement offered by Republicans.
Voting Nay (2): Republican Representatives Russ Fulcher and Mike Simpson
Voting Aye (4): Democratic Representatives Suzanne Bonamici, Earl Blumenauer, Peter DeFazio, Kurt Schrader
Voting Nay (1): Republican Representative Greg Walden
Voting Aye (7): Democratic Representatives Suzan DelBene, Rick Larsen, Derek Kilmer, Pramila Jayapal, Kim Schrier, Adam Smith, and Denny Heck
Voting Nay (3): Republican Representatives Jaime Herrera-Beutler, Dan Newhouse, and Cathy McMorris Rodgers
Cascadia total: 11 aye votes, 6 nay votes
In the United States Senate
SENDING STOPGAP BILL TO PRESIDENT TRUMP: Voting 74 for and 20 against, the Senate on November 21st joined the House (above) in passing a bill (H.R. 3055) that would fund agencies on a stopgap basis from November 21st through December 20th. In addition to its funding authority, the bill keeps the Export-Import Bank in operation until December 20th and extends until March 15th certain Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act anti-terrorism provisions that otherwise would expire December 15th.
John Cornyn, R‑Texas, said:
“I hope that good faith [budget] negotiations can resume and we can fund the remainder of the fiscal year by Christmas because the last stocking stuffer we want to give the American people is another government shutdown.”
No senator spoke against the overall bill.
A yes vote was to send the bill to Donald Trump, who signed it into law.
Voting Aye (1): Republican Senator Mike Crapo
Voting Nay (1): Republican Senator Jim Risch
Voting Aye (2):
Voting Aye (2):
Cascadia total: 5 aye votes, 1 nay vote
SHIFTING $12 BILLION TO INFRASTRUCTURE PROJECTS: Voting 73 for and 20 against, the Senate on November 21st tabled (killed) an amendment to HR 3055 (above) that sought to cut 1 percent from fiscal 2019 agency budgets and allocate the $12 billion savings to road, bridge and water projects funded by the Highway Trust Fund and Environmental Protection Agency. The across-the-board cut would be inflicted retroactively on all domestic, military and foreign-affairs accounts on the discretionary-spending side of the federal budget.
Patrick Leahy, D‑Vermont, called the proposed blanket cut “a simplistic tool that ignores the complexities of our federal budget. It is not a way we should govern.”
Amendment sponsor Rand Paul, R‑Kentucky, said “infrastructure in America is falling behind. Everyone knows it, but like so many things, Washington can’t figure out how tofind the money to fix it.” He said his plan “doesn’t increase taxes and doesn’t increase our debt. The penny plan for infrastructure pays for it with money we have already allocated.”
A yes vote was to kill the amendment.
Voting Nay (2):
Voting Aye (2):
Voting Aye (2):
Cascadia total: 4 aye votes, 2 nay votes
Last Week In Congress will be on hiatus next weekend
Congress is in Thanksgiving Day recess in the week of November 25th.
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!
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