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 2nd, 2020

Last Week In Congress: How Cascadia’s U.S. lawmakers voted (July 27th-31st)

Good morn­ing! Here’s how Cascadia’s Mem­bers of Con­gress vot­ed on major issues dur­ing the leg­isla­tive week end­ing Fri­day, July 31st.

In the United States House of Representatives

Chamber of the United States House of Representatives

The House cham­ber (U.S. Con­gress photo)

EXPANDING TAX CREDITS FOR CHILDCARE: Vot­ing 250 for and 161 against, the House on July 29th passed a bill (H.R. 7327) that would:

  • make the child and depen­dent care tax cred­it ful­ly refundable;
  • cre­ate a new tax cred­it to help child­care providers pay rent, mort­gage and util­i­ty costs;
  • guar­an­tee $10 bil­lion per year over five years in infra­struc­ture grants to help child­care cen­ters address health haz­ards such as mold, lead paint and inad­e­quate ventilation;
  • des­ig­nate child­care per­son­nel as “essen­tial work­ers” eli­gi­ble for ben­e­fits includ­ing pay bumps because they per­form a haz­ardous pub­lic ser­vice dur­ing the pandemic,
  • … and reim­burse these essen­tial work­ers for their own child­care costs.

At present, house­holds fil­ing fed­er­al tax returns can claim a child and depen­dent care cred­it of up to $3,000 per child twelve years or younger or $6,000 for two or more chil­dren in the same age range.

In addi­tion, they can claim a $3,000 or $6,000 cred­it to off­set the cost of car­ing for spous­es or depen­dents old­er than twelve who are men­tal­ly or phys­i­cal­ly inca­pable of self-care. By mak­ing these cred­its ful­ly refund­able, the bill enables low-income work­ing fam­i­lies to receive Trea­sury checks of $3,000 per qual­i­fied indi­vid­ual (or $6,000 for mul­ti­ple indi­vid­u­als) even if they have no tax liability.

Richard Neal, D‑Mass., said to par­ents: “We have heard you loud­ly and clear­ly. This child­care cri­sis is… push­ing many of you to the break­ing point.…We are all in this togeth­er, and we have got your back.”

Adri­an Smith, R‑Neb., said he was “sad­dened” by such an “unre­al­is­tic” bill, and he com­plained that “no Repub­li­can input was sought” dur­ing the leg­isla­tive process.

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 (5): Demo­c­ra­t­ic Rep­re­sen­ta­tives Suzanne Bonam­i­ci, Earl Blu­me­nauer, Peter DeFazio, Kurt Schrad­er; 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 Jaime Her­rera Beutler

Vot­ing Nay (2): Repub­li­can Rep­re­sen­ta­tives Dan New­house and Cathy McMor­ris Rodgers

Cas­ca­dia total: 13 aye votes, 4 nay votes

PROVIDING $50 BILLION FOR CHILD CARE: Vot­ing 249 for and 163 against, the House on July 29th passed a bill (H.R. 7027) that would appro­pri­ate $50 bil­lion in Fis­cal Year 2020 to help child­care providers stay in busi­ness dur­ing the pan­dem­ic so that par­ents can return to work.

The fund­ing would be used to sub­si­dize in-home ser­vices as well as licensed child­care oper­a­tions of all sizes, and it could be used to prop up func­tion­ing cen­ters or reopen those forced to close because of the pandemic.

Jen­nifer Wex­ton, D‑Virginia, said the bill is need­ed because “near­ly half of all child­care providers have closed at some point dur­ing this pan­dem­ic, and those that have reopened are fac­ing increased costs to imple­ment new safe­ty measures.”

Bradley Byrne, R‑Alabama, said:

“Child­care is essen­tial as par­ents begin return­ing to the work­place; how­ev­er, this bill spends too much tax­pay­er mon­ey and places an undue and unwork­able reg­u­la­to­ry bur­den on facil­i­ties, fed­er­al agen­cies and, yes, on families.”

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 Jaime Her­rera Beutler

Vot­ing Nay (2): Repub­li­can Rep­re­sen­ta­tives Dan New­house and Cathy McMor­ris Rodgers

Cas­ca­dia total: 12 aye votes, 5 nay votes

DEFEATING REPUBLICAN CHILDCARE ALTERNATIVE: Vot­ing 195 for and 212 against, the House on July 29th defeat­ed (killed) a pack­age of pro­posed Repub­li­can changes to H.R. 7027 (above) that sought, in part, to qual­i­fy unli­censed child­care sites run by church­es and pub­lic camps to receive grants under the bill and require grant recip­i­ents to demon­strate com­pe­tence in rec­og­niz­ing and address­ing child abuse.

Cathy McMor­ris Rodgers, R‑Washington, said the pro­posed changes would “ensure we are focused on rec­og­niz­ing and address­ing child abuse and neglect.”

Johana Hayes, D‑Connecticut, said that because they are licensed, providers eli­gi­ble for fund­ing under the bill already would be trained in iden­ti­fy­ing and report­ing inci­dents of child abuse.

A yes vote was to approve the Repub­li­can child­care plan.

The State of Idaho

Vot­ing Aye (2): Repub­li­can Rep­re­sen­ta­tives Russ Fulcher and Mike Simpson

The State of Oregon

Vot­ing Aye (2): Repub­li­can Rep­re­sen­ta­tive Greg Walden; Demo­c­ra­t­ic Rep­re­sen­ta­tive Kurt Schrader

Vot­ing Nay (3): Demo­c­ra­t­ic Rep­re­sen­ta­tives Suzanne Bonam­i­ci, Earl Blu­me­nauer, and Peter DeFazio

The State of Washington

Vot­ing Aye (3): Repub­li­can Rep­re­sen­ta­tives Jaime Her­rera Beut­ler, 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

Cas­ca­dia total: 7 aye votes, 10 nay votes

DEFUNDING PATIENT PROTECTION LITIGATION: The House on July 30th vot­ed, 234 for and 181 against, to deny fund­ing of the Depart­ment of Jus­tice’s par­tic­i­pa­tion in a law­suit brought by Repub­li­can gov­er­nors and attor­neys gen­er­al to over­turn the Patient Pro­tec­tion and Afford­able Care Act.

The suit is pend­ing before the Supreme Court, and the Trump admin­is­tra­tion has filed a brief there call­ing for the law to be struck down. The defund­ing lan­guage was added to a bill (H.R. 7617), lat­er passed, that would appro­pri­ate $33.2 bil­lion for the depart­ment along with more than $1 tril­lion to fund the bud­gets of numer­ous oth­er cab­i­net depart­ments and agen­cies in fis­cal 2021.

Lau­ren Under­wood, D‑Illinois, said “over four mil­lion Amer­i­cans have been diag­nosed with the coro­n­avirus, a new pre-exist­ing con­di­tion. Over 30 million…have lost their jobs, and over five mil­lion have lost their health insur­ance at the worst pos­si­ble time. And while this health cri­sis has been unfold­ing, the Trump admin­is­tra­tion will not stop until they destroy the Afford­able Care Act.”

Robert Ader­holt, R‑Alabama, said: “Unfor­tu­nate­ly, [the PPA] has been an unlaw­ful fail­ure, but for­tu­nate­ly, this admin­is­tra­tion remains com­mit­ted to pro­vid­ing more afford­able health­care options to all Amer­i­cans… It is not appro­pri­ate for Con­gress to tell the exec­u­tive branch what posi­tion it should take in court. Lit­i­ga­tion strat­e­gy is [the] respon­si­bil­i­ty and pre­rog­a­tive of the Depart­ment of Justice.”

A yes vote was to block the funding.

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)

CONFIRMING TRUMP BUDGET OFFICIAL: Vot­ing 71 for and 21 against, the Sen­ate on July 30th con­firmed Derek Tai-Ching Kan as deputy direc­tor of the Office of Man­age­ment and Bud­get, putting him sec­ond in charge of an agency that directs bud­get and reg­u­la­to­ry poli­cies for the White House.

Kan joined the admin­is­tra­tion in 2017 to serve as a Depart­ment of Trans­porta­tion under­sec­re­tary, and before that he was an Amtrak board mem­ber and exec­u­tive with the Lyft trans­porta­tion company.

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 Nay (2):
Demo­c­ra­t­ic Sen­a­tors Maria Cantwell and Pat­ty Murray

Cas­ca­dia total: 2 aye votes, 4 nay votes

Key votes ahead

In the leg­isla­tive week begin­ning Mon­day, August 3rd, Con­gress is ten­ta­tive­ly sched­uled to take up a coro­n­avirus relief pack­age that would, in part, renew expand­ed job­less ben­e­fits and a mora­to­ri­um on evic­tions that expired July 31st.

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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One Comment

  1. Tax cred­its for child­care is good plan for the peo­ple of the Unit­ed States.

    # by Lachlan Mahmoud :: August 3rd, 2020 at 8:33 PM