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Sunday, April 26th, 2020

Last Week In Congress: How Cascadia’s U.S. lawmakers voted (April 20th-24th)

Good morn­ing! Here’s how Cascadia’s Unit­ed States Rep­re­sen­ta­tives vot­ed on major issues dur­ing the leg­isla­tive week end­ing Fri­day, April 24th.

In the United States House of Representatives

Chamber of the United States House of Representatives

The House cham­ber (U.S. Con­gress pho­to)

OVERSEEING TRILLIONS IN CORONAVIRUS SPENDING: Vot­ing 212 for and 182 against, the House on April 23rd adopt­ed a res­o­lu­tion (H. Res 938) that would cre­ate a spe­cial com­mit­tee armed with sub­poe­na pow­er to over­see the admin­is­tra­tions dis­tri­b­u­tion of coro­n­avirus relief fund­ing expect­ed to top $3 tril­lion this year. The pan­el also will exam­ine any pri­vate-sec­tor price goug­ing.

The House Select Com­mit­tee on the Coro­n­avirus Cri­sis, com­prised of mem­bers from both par­ties, will be chaired James Clyburn, D‑South Car­oli­na, and con­trolled by the Demo­c­ra­t­ic major­i­ty.

Speak­er Nan­cy Pelosi, D‑California, said it would be pat­terned after a com­mit­tee estab­lished by then-Sen­a­tor Har­ry Tru­man of Mis­souri to police fraud and waste in the Roo­sevelt Admin­is­tra­tions World War II mil­i­tary spend­ing. But Repub­li­cans called it a vehi­cle to dis­par­age Don­ald Trump in a pres­i­den­tial elec­tion year.

James Com­er, R‑Kentucky, said: “Amer­i­ca’s fam­i­lies are suf­fer­ing right now. But instead of help­ing Amer­i­can fam­i­lies, Speak­er Pelosi wants to set up a new, cost­ly, unnec­es­sary select com­mit­tee. This is an out­ra­geous attempt to yet again use Con­gress to smear Pres­i­dent Trump in an elec­tion year, just like their impeach­ment cha­rade a few months ago.”

Jim McGov­ern, D‑Massachusetts, said: “When it comes to $2 tril­lion, I don’t think there can be enough over­sight. My con­stituents are puz­zled as to why some of the mon­ey that was designed to go to small busi­ness­es end­ed up going to mega-busi­ness­es like Shake Shack or Ruth’s Chris Steak House.

A yes vote was to estab­lish a coro­n­avirus over­sight com­mit­tee.

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 (3): Repub­li­can Rep­re­sen­ta­tives Jaime Her­rera-Beut­ler, Dan New­house, and Cathy McMor­ris Rodgers

Cas­ca­dia total: 11 aye votes, 6 nay votes

APPROVING $484 BILLION IN CORONAVIRUS RELIEF: Vot­ing 388 for and five against, the House on April 23rd approved a $484 bil­lion pack­age to help hos­pi­tals, small busi­ness­es, farms and oth­er recip­i­ents cope with eco­nom­ic mis­for­tune over the next few months of the coro­n­avirus pan­dem­ic.

The bill (H.R. 266) would pro­vide:

  • $321 bil­lion for a sec­ond round of Pay­check Pro­tec­tion Pro­gram (PPP) for­giv­able loans to busi­ness­es with 500 or few­er employ­ees, includ­ing a $60 bil­lion set-aside for minor­i­ty-owned com­pa­nies and oth­er enter­pris­es over­looked in the first round because they lacked clout with banks. The loans will be con­vert­ed to grants if the recip­i­ent retains work­ers now employed and rehires ones already dis­missed dur­ing the pan­dem­ic.
  • $75 bil­lion to reim­burse hos­pi­tals and oth­er med­ical providers for loss­es attrib­ut­able to the pan­dem­ic.
  • $25 bil­lion for state-lev­el coro­n­avirus test­ing while requir­ing an admin­is­tra­tion strat­e­gy for the large-scale, nation­wide COVID-19 test­ing deemed nec­es­sary for sus­tained eco­nom­ic recov­ery.
  • $62 bil­lion to lever­age hun­dreds of mil­lions in repayable Small Busi­ness Admin­is­tra­tion dis­as­ter loans to fal­ter­ing enter­pris­es includ­ing fam­i­ly farms and agribusi­ness spreads.

Con­gress has now enact­ed four coro­n­avirus relief pack­ages total­ing more than $2.7 tril­lion since March 6. It pre­vi­ous­ly approved:

  • $8.3 bil­lion for pur­pos­es includ­ing the pro­vi­sion of test kits, masks and ven­ti­la­tors; research into vac­cines and diag­nos­tic and ther­a­peu­tic pro­ce­dures; expan­sion of hos­pi­tal surge capac­i­ty, and sup­port of state and local pre­pared­ness.
  • $100 bil­lion to fund, in part, free virus test­ing for all Amer­i­cans who request it along with paid sick leave and paid fam­i­ly and med­ical leave for work­ers impact­ed by the pan­dem­ic at firms with few­er than 500 employ­ees.
  • $2.2 tril­lion to fund round one of the PPP for small busi­ness­es; direct pay­ments to larg­er com­pa­nies; $600 week­ly in added job­less ben­e­fits, and pay­ments of $1,200 to indi­vid­u­als and $2,400 to cou­ples plus $500 per child up to spec­i­fied earn­ing lev­els.

Brad Sher­man, D‑California, praised the lat­est bill but said “we need to shift from the eco­nom­ic to the bio­log­i­cal focus on defeat­ing this dis­ease. So far, only one-tenth of 1 per­cent of the coro­n­avirus mon­ey has gone for med­ical research to pre­vent and treat the virus.”

Andy Big­gs, R‑Arizona, said the bill leaves unan­swered “the ques­tion of how much longer the Amer­i­can peo­ple acqui­esce to uncon­sti­tu­tion­al and crush­ing gov­ern­ment action. We need to open up Amer­i­ca now. I call on our gov­er­nors to free their cit­i­zens imme­di­ate­ly.”

A yes vote was to send the bill to Don­ald Trump, who signed it into law. The Sen­ate had already passed the bill on a non-record vote.

The State of Idaho

Vot­ing Aye (2): Repub­li­can Rep­re­sen­ta­tives Mike Simp­son and 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 (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: 17 aye votes

Last Week In Congress will be on hiatus again next week

Con­gress is in recess until the week of May 4th.

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!

© 2020 Thomas Vot­ing Reports.

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