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, August 9th, 2020

Last Week In Congress: How Cascadia’s U.S. lawmakers voted (August 3rd-7th)

Good morn­ing! Here’s how Cascadia’s Unit­ed States Sen­a­tors vot­ed on major issues dur­ing the leg­isla­tive week end­ing Fri­day, August 7th.

In the United States Senate

Chamber of the United States Senate

The Sen­ate cham­ber (U.S. Con­gress pho­to)

CONFIRMING DEPUTY SECRETARY OF ENERGY: Vot­ing 79 for and 16 against, the Sen­ate on August 4th con­firmed Mark W. Menezes as deputy sec­re­tary of ener­gy. His duties will include over­see­ing the $35 bil­lion Depart­ment of Ener­gy bud­get and help­ing to man­age the U.S. nuclear arse­nal.

Menezes had served as an under sec­re­tary of ener­gy since 2017, and before that he was chief coun­sel on the House Ener­gy and Com­merce Com­mit­tee and worked for the Amer­i­can Elec­tric Pow­er Com­pa­ny and Berk­shire Hath­away Ener­gy.

Lisa Murkows­ki, R‑Alaska, a sup­port­er of the nom­i­nee, said Menezes has been a leader in advanc­ing renew­able and nuclear ener­gy and defend­ing Amer­i­ca’s ener­gy infra­struc­ture against cyber­se­cu­ri­ty threats, and is well qual­i­fied to guide the depart­ment through the COVID-19 pan­dem­ic.

No sen­a­tor spoke against Menezes. 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 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

BARRING TIKTOK FROM GOVERNMENT DEVICES: On a non-record vote, the Sen­ate on August 6th passed a bill (S. 3455) that would require fed­er­al agen­cies to remove the Chi­nese social mes­sag­ing app Tik­Tok from gov­ern­ment-issued smart­phones and com­put­ers, as the Depart­ment of Defense already has done. Tik­Tok, which is used to make music videos, resides on more than eighty mil­lion devices in Amer­i­ca includ­ing some oper­at­ed by fed­er­al work­ers.

Crit­ics say Tik­Tok col­lects volu­mi­nous per­son­al data on users for poten­tial or actu­al shar­ing with the Chi­nese gov­ern­ment and Chi­nese Com­mu­nist Par­ty.

The com­pa­ny is explor­ing the pos­si­ble sale of its oper­a­tions in the Unit­ed States and cer­tain oth­er coun­tries to Microsoft.

Josh Haw­ley, R‑Missouri, said Tik­Tok “is cur­rent­ly a major secu­ri­ty risk, both to our data secu­ri­ty and to our nation­al security…at a time when we need to be clear-eyed about the threat from the Chi­nese Com­mu­nist Par­ty.”

No sen­a­tor spoke against the bill, which is now before the House.

Edi­tor’s Note: Because this was not a record­ed vote, there is no roll call to share. We can only know how our Pacif­ic North­west sen­a­tors vot­ed by con­tact­ing their offices and ask­ing them for their views on S. 3455. 

Key votes ahead; timing uncertain

The House and Sen­ate are cur­rent­ly in recess while await­ing the out­come of nego­ti­a­tions between Demo­c­ra­t­ic lead­ers and the White House on a new round of coro­n­avirus relief for recip­i­ents includ­ing the unem­ployed, renters, schools, med­ical providers and state and local gov­ern­ments.

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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