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, July 26th, 2020

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

Good morn­ing! Here’s how Cascadia’s Mem­bers of Con­gress vot­ed on major issues dur­ing the leg­isla­tive week end­ing Fri­day, July 24th.

In the United States House of Representatives

Chamber of the United States House of Representatives

The House cham­ber (U.S. Con­gress pho­to)

REMOVING CONFEDERATE STATUES FROM CAPITOL: Vot­ing 305 for and 113 against, the House on July 22nd passed a bill (H.R. 7573) that would remove from the Capi­tol build­ing a bust of for­mer Supreme Court Chief Jus­tice Roger B. Taney, the author of the Dred Scott v. Sand­ford rul­ing in 1857 that African-Amer­i­cans could not be cit­i­zens of the Unit­ed States or sue in fed­er­al courts.

The bill also would ban­ish from the Capi­tol the stat­ues or busts of Con­fed­er­ate and/or pro-slav­ery lead­ers includ­ing Gen. Robert E. Lee, the Con­fed­er­ate com­man­der; Jef­fer­son Davis, the Con­fed­er­a­cy pres­i­dent and a U.S. sen­a­tor and House mem­ber; John C. Cal­houn of South Car­oli­na, a U.S. vice pres­i­dent and sen­a­tor; John C. Breck­en­ridge of Ken­tucky, a U.S. vice pres­i­dent and Con­fed­er­ate war sec­re­tary; for­mer North Car­oli­na Gov­er­nor Charles B. Aycock, and for­mer Arkansas gov­er­nor and U.S. sen­a­tor James P. Clarke.

Under the bill, the Taney bust on the Sen­ate side of the Capi­tol would be replaced with one of Thur­good Mar­shall, the first African-Amer­i­can Supreme Court jus­tice. All removals would have to occur with­in forty-five or one hun­dred and twen­ty days and the stat­ues would be returned to their donor states.

James Clyburn, D‑South Car­oli­na, said: “I am not for destroy­ing any statue.…Put them where they can be studied.…But do not hon­or [these indi­vid­u­als]. Do not glo­ri­fy them. Take them out of this great school­house so that the peo­ple who vis­it here can be uplift­ed by what this coun­try is all about.”

Tom McClin­tock, R‑California, said: “If we remove memo­ri­als to every per­son in this build­ing who ever made a bad deci­sion… this will be a very bar­ren place, indeed. It is only by the bad things in our his­to­ry that we can tru­ly mea­sure all of the good things in our his­to­ry.”

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

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, and 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: 16 aye votes, 1 nay vote

APPROVING $741 BILLION FOR MILITARY IN 2021: Vot­ing 295 for and 125 against, the House on July 21st approved a $741 bil­lion mil­i­tary bud­get (HR 6395) for fis­cal 2021 that includes $60 bil­lion-plus for active-duty and retiree health care, a $1 bil­lion fund for deal­ing with present and future pan­demics and hun­dreds of bil­lions for weapons sys­tems and per­son­nel costs.

In addi­tion, the bill would:

  • require Con­fed­er­ate names to be removed from U.S. bases with­in one year;
  • pro­hib­it pub­lic dis­play of the Con­fed­er­ate flag on mil­i­tary prop­er­ty;
  • treat cli­mate dam­age as a nation­al secu­ri­ty threat;
  • com­bat for­eign inter­fer­ence in U.S. elec­tions;
  • fund a three per­cent pay raise for uni­formed per­son­nel;
  • expand pro­grams for mil­i­tary vic­tims of sex­u­al assault;
  • require a Pen­ta­gon report on alleged Russ­ian boun­ty pay­ments for the killing of U.S. troops in Afghanistan and pro­vide Ukraine with $250 mil­lion for defend­ing itself against Russ­ian bel­liger­ence.

The bill would add a “vio­lent extrem­ism” arti­cle cov­er­ing hate crimes and oth­er offens­es to the Uni­form Code of Mil­i­tary Jus­tice, and install an inspec­tor gen­er­al to probe white suprema­cist activ­i­ties in the armed forces and review racial and eth­nic dis­par­i­ties in the admin­is­tra­tion of mil­i­tary jus­tice.

A yes vote was to pass the bill.

The State of Idaho

Vot­ing Aye (1): Repub­li­can Rep­re­sen­ta­tive Mike Simp­son

Vot­ing Nay (1): Repub­li­can Rep­re­sen­ta­tive Russ Fulcher

The State of Oregon

Vot­ing Aye (3): Demo­c­ra­t­ic Rep­re­sen­ta­tives Peter DeFazio and Kurt Schrad­er; Repub­li­can Rep­re­sen­ta­tive Greg Walden

Vot­ing Nay (2): Demo­c­ra­t­ic Rep­re­sen­ta­tives Suzanne Bonam­i­ci and Earl Blu­me­nauer

The State of Washington

Vot­ing Aye (8): Demo­c­ra­t­ic Rep­re­sen­ta­tives Suzan Del­Bene, Rick Larsen, Derek Kilmer, Kim Schri­er, Adam Smith, and Den­ny Heck; Repub­li­can Rep­re­sen­ta­tives Jaime Her­rera Beut­ler and Dan New­house

Vot­ing Nay (2): Demo­c­ra­t­ic Rep­re­sen­ta­tive Prami­la Jaya­pal; Repub­li­can Rep­re­sen­ta­tive Cathy McMor­ris Rodgers

Cas­ca­dia total: 12 aye votes, 5 nay votes

PROHIBITING UNDERGROUND NUCLEAR TESTING: The House on July 20 vot­ed, 227 for and 179 against, to deny fund­ing of Trump admin­is­tra­tion plans to pos­si­bly lift a twen­ty-eight-year mora­to­ri­um on the under­ground test­ing of nuclear weapons. The amend­ment was added to H.R. 6395 (above).

Since 1992, fed­er­al weapons lab­o­ra­to­ries have used tech­no­log­i­cal sim­u­la­tions and sci­en­tif­ic probes to ensure the safe­ty and poten­cy of the nation’s aging nuclear arse­nal. But a Sen­ate ver­sion of next year’s mil­i­tary bud­get includes $10 mil­lion to pre­pare for a resump­tion of explo­sive under­ground test­ing that was com­mon through­out the Cold War but out­lawed for rea­sons hav­ing to do with arms con­trol and pro­tect­ing pub­lic health and the envi­ron­ment.

Dina Titus, D‑Nevada, said: “Con­duct­ing an explo­sive nuclear test encour­ages our adver­saries, like Rus­sia and Chi­na, to do the same. There is no good rea­son to risk the restart of a glob­al arms race, espe­cial­ly at a time when we have the tech­no­log­i­cal advan­tage.”

Liz Cheney, R‑Wyoming, said: “If this amend­ment becomes law, the Unit­ed States los­es the abil­i­ty to ensure that we can test, if nec­es­sary, to ensure that our deter­rent is reli­able and, there­fore, cred­i­ble. That… embold­ens our adver­saries and it under­mines our allies’ faith in the nuclear umbrel­la.”

A yes vote was to adopt the amend­ment.

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 Jaime Her­rera-Beut­ler and Cathy McMor­ris Rodgers

Not Vot­ing (1): Repub­li­can Rep­re­sen­ta­tive Dan New­house

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

REPAIRING NATIONAL PARKS, FUNDING PUBLIC LANDS: Vot­ing 310 for and 107 against, the House on July 22nd passed a bill (H.R. 1957) that would autho­rize $9.5 bil­lion over five years for repair­ing facil­i­ties at the Nation­al Park Ser­vice, oth­er fed­er­al land agen­cies and Indi­an Edu­ca­tion Ser­vice schools.

In addi­tion, the bill would per­ma­nent­ly require an annu­al bud­get of at least $900 mil­lion for the Land and Water Con­ser­va­tion Fund, which pro­vides fed­er­al and non-fed­er­al agen­cies with rev­enue for acquir­ing unde­vel­oped land for con­ser­va­tion and recre­ation­al pur­pos­es.

All fund­ing in the bill would come from roy­al­ties from oil and gas drilling oper­a­tions on fed­er­al prop­er­ty. The bill would set aside about $6.5 bil­lion over five years for long-neglect­ed repairs at scores of nation­al parks and relat­ed prop­er­ties, gen­er­at­ing tens of thou­sands of pri­vate-sec­tor jobs and halv­ing the park ser­vice’s $12.5 bil­lion back­log of unfund­ed main­te­nance.

A yes vote was to send the bill to Don­ald Trump for his expect­ed sig­na­ture.

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, and 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 Jaime Her­rera Beut­ler and Cathy McMor­ris Rodgers

Vot­ing Nay (1): Repub­li­can Rep­re­sen­ta­tive Dan New­house

Cas­ca­dia total: 15 aye votes, 2 nay votes

NULLIFYING BANS ON MUSLIM-MAJORITY IMMIGRATION: Vot­ing 233 for and 183 against, the House on July 22nd passed leg­is­la­tion (H.R. 2486; H.R. 2214) that would nul­li­fy exec­u­tive orders by Pres­i­dent Trump pro­hibit­ing per­ma­nent immi­gra­tion into the Unit­ed States by res­i­dents of twelve named coun­tries, many of which have Mus­lim-major­i­ty pop­u­la­tions.

In addi­tion, the bill would lim­it the abil­i­ty of pres­i­dents to use Sec­tion 212(f) of the Immi­gra­tion and Nation­al­i­ty Act to close Amer­i­can bor­ders to immi­grants who pose no threat to U.S. pub­lic safe­ty or nation­al secu­ri­ty.

Our own Prami­la Jaya­pal, D‑Washington, called for an end to “dis­crim­i­na­to­ry bans that send the repug­nant mes­sage that our foun­da­tion­al val­ues of free­dom of reli­gion and lib­er­ty and jus­tice for all do not apply.”

Andy Big­gs, R‑Arizona, cred­it­ed Trump with “deci­sive action to help ensure the secu­ri­ty of our immi­gra­tion pro­grams and, thus, the safe­ty of our coun­try. Every time he does so, my Demo­c­ra­t­ic friends cry foul.”

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 (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

ENSURING LEGAL COUNSEL AT PORTS OF ENTRY: Vot­ing 231 for and 184 against, the House on July 22 passed leg­is­la­tion (H.R. 2486; H.R. 5581) that would ensure that law­ful per­ma­nent res­i­dents and oth­er hold­ers of U.S. visas can obtain prompt access to coun­sel when they are held by Cus­toms and Bor­der Pro­tec­tion for screen­ing at U.S. ports of entry last­ing more than one hour.

Jer­rold Nadler, D‑New York, said: “All this bill says is that if some­one is held in sec­ondary inspec­tion for at least an hour, they must be giv­en an oppor­tu­ni­ty to call coun­sel, to call oth­er peo­ple, to call their broth­er-in-law, to call who­ev­er, and to com­mu­ni­cate.”

Andy Big­gs, R‑Arizona, said only 17 mil­lion of the 400 mil­lion per­sons enter­ing the Unit­ed States each year receive sec­ondary screen­ing, and that per­mit­ting them “to con­sult with coun­sel or some oth­er inter­est­ed par­ty will bring legit­i­mate trade and trav­el to a grind­ing halt.”

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 (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

Chamber of the United States Senate

The Sen­ate cham­ber (U.S. Con­gress pho­to)

APPROVING $741 BILLION FOR MILITARY IN 2021: Vot­ing 86 for and 14 against, the Sen­ate on July 23rd approved a $740.5 bil­lion mil­i­tary bud­get for fis­cal 2021 that includes $69 bil­lion to fund com­bat oper­a­tions over­seas and hun­dreds of bil­lions for weapons, per­son­nel and research and devel­op­ment.

The bill (S. 4049) would autho­rize a three per­cent pay raise for uni­formed per­son­nel; pro­hib­it U.S. troop deploy­ments against Amer­i­cans exer­cis­ing their con­sti­tu­tion­al right to peace­ably protest and fund prepa­ra­tions for pos­si­bly end­ing the 1992 mora­to­ri­um on under­ground nuclear test­ing.

In addi­tion, the bill would require the removal over three years of Con­fed­er­ate names from ten Army bases named after offi­cers who waged war against the Unit­ed States, and from oth­er U.S. mil­i­tary assets — includ­ing naval ves­sels — named in com­mem­o­ra­tion of Con­fed­er­ate mil­i­tary fig­ures or bat­tle­field prowess.

James Inhofe, R‑Oklahoma, said Amer­i­ca needs “a cred­i­ble mil­i­tary deter­rent that tells Rus­sia and Chi­na and any­one else who would do us harm: You just can’t win. We are going to win. We will beat you.…That is what this [bill] does.”

Eliz­a­beth War­ren, D‑Massachusetts, said: “It has been more than 150 years since the end of the Civ­il War, but ten U.S. Army posts around this coun­try cur­rent­ly bear the names of offi­cers of the Con­fed­er­ate States of Amer­i­ca.… who took up arms against the Unit­ed States to defend slav­ery.”

A yes vote was to pass the bill.

The State of Idaho

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

The State of Oregon

Vot­ing Nay (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

OUTLAWING TRANSFER OF MILITARY WEAPONS TO LOCAL POLICE: Vot­ing 51 for and 49 against, the Sen­ate on July 21st failed to reach six­ty votes need­ed to adopt an amend­ment to S. 4049 (above) that would per­ma­nent­ly out­law the U.S. mil­i­tary’s trans­fer of com­bat-lev­el weapons and equip­ment to local police at no cost. The untrans­fer­able items would include bay­o­nets, tear gas, tanks, armed drones, grenade launch­ers and explo­sives.

But police depart­ments could con­tin­ue to receive non-lethal items such as high­wa­ter vehi­cles, cold-weath­er gear, com­put­ers, first-aid kits and flash­lights under what is called the “1033 Pro­gram.”

Bri­an Schatz, D‑Hawaii, said: “The last month has made clear that weapons of war don’t belong in police depart­ments.… We saw the ter­ri­fy­ing images of police in mil­i­tary gear storm­ing the streets, com­bat vehi­cles rum­bling down city blocks, rounds and rounds of tear gas shot at peace­ful pro­test­ers, fre­quent­ly with­out warn­ing and often unpro­voked.…  Our com­mu­ni­ties are not bat­tle­fields. The Amer­i­can peo­ple are not ene­my com­bat­ants.”

James Inhofe, R‑Oklahoma, called the pro­gram “an effec­tive use of tax­pay­ers’ mon­ey” which, since 1990, has recy­cled more than $7 bil­lion worth of vehi­cles, desks, boots, com­put­ers and oth­er items to local police.

“This is mil­i­tary equip­ment that the mil­i­tary no longer needs and that these [local­i­ties] would be pur­chas­ing any­way,” Inhofe argued. “The equip­ment is always demil­i­ta­rized so that it is appro­pri­ate for pub­lic-safe­ty use.”

A yes vote was to adopt the amend­ment.

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 take up fis­cal 2021 spend­ing bills in the week that begins on July 27th, while the Sen­ate will vote on judi­cial nom­i­na­tions. Both cham­bers are expect­ed to start work on a coro­n­avirus (SARS-CoV­‑2) relief pack­age.

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.

Adjacent posts

  • Enjoyed what you just read? Make a donation


    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 and trust­ed spon­sors. We don’t run ads or pub­lish con­tent in exchange for mon­ey.

    Help us keep The Cas­ca­dia Advo­cate edi­to­ri­al­ly inde­pen­dent and freely avail­able to all 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

Submit a Comment

By submitting a comment, you agree to abide by our Commenting Guidelines. If you submit any links to other websites in your comment or in the Website field, these will be published at our discretion. Please read our statement of Privacy Practices before commenting to understand how we collect and use submissions to the Cascadia Advocate. Your comment must be submitted with a name and email address as noted below. We will not publish or share your email address. *

*
*

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>