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Sunday, September 20th, 2020

Last Week In Congress: How Cascadia’s U.S. lawmakers voted (September 14th-18th)

Good morn­ing! Here’s how Cascadia’s Mem­bers of Con­gress vot­ed on major issues dur­ing the leg­isla­tive week end­ing Fri­day, Sep­tem­ber 18th, 2020.

In the United States House of Representatives

Chamber of the United States House of Representatives

The House cham­ber (U.S. Con­gress pho­to)

CONDEMNING RACISM AGAINST ASIAN-AMERICANS: Vot­ing 243 for and 164 against, the House on Sep­tem­ber 17th adopt­ed a non-bind­ing Demo­c­ra­t­ic-spon­sored mea­sure (House Res­o­lu­tion 908) to con­demn expres­sions of racism, dis­crim­i­na­tion or reli­gious intol­er­ance against Asian-Amer­i­cans relat­ed to the COVID-19 pan­dem­ic, includ­ing the use of such terms as “Chi­nese Virus,” “Wuhan Virus,” and ”Kung-flu.”

Mark Takano, D‑California, said the mea­sure would counter “the xeno­pho­bic anti-Asian rhetoric that Pres­i­dent Trump and his allies have been using to dis­tract us from their woe­ful­ly inad­e­quate response to COVID-19.…fueling racism and inspir­ing vio­lent attacks on Asian Amer­i­cans and Asian immi­grants.”

Minor­i­ty Leader Kevin McCarthy, R‑California, said: “At the heart of this res­o­lu­tion is an absurd notion that refer­ring to the virus as the Wuhan virus or the Chi­na virus is the same as con­tribut­ing to vio­lence against Asian Amer­i­cans, which I will tell you nobody on this side of the aisle sup­ports.”

A yes vote was in sup­port of the res­o­lu­tion.

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, and Kurt Schrad­er; Repub­li­can Rep­re­sen­ta­tive Greg Walden

Not Vot­ing (1): Demo­c­ra­t­ic Rep­re­sen­ta­tive Peter DeFazio

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, 4 nay votes, 1 not vot­ing

ALLOWING THE FILING PRIVATE LAWSUITS AGAINST SCHOOL BIAS: Vot­ing 232 for and 188 against, the House on Sep­tem­ber 16th passed a bill (H.R. 2574) that would autho­rize pri­vate indi­vid­u­als to file “dis­parate impact” law­suits under Title VI of the Civ­il Rights Act of 1964.

This legal doc­trine comes into play when gov­ern­ment poli­cies that appear neu­tral on the sur­face have the effect of dis­crim­i­nat­ing against pro­tect­ed groups. Seem­ing­ly neu­tral poli­cies affect­ing pub­lic schools are often alleged to have an unlaw­ful dis­parate impact on minori­ties. This bill would over­ride the 2001 Supreme Court rul­ing in Alexan­der v. San­doval that denies pri­vate cit­i­zens the right to bring dis­parate impact claims against fed­er­al­ly fund­ed pro­grams.

Bob­by Scott, D‑Virgina, said the bill “will restore the right of stu­dents and par­ents to address racial inequities in pub­lic schools,” where “dis­crim­i­na­tion increas­ing­ly comes in the form of cod­ed ter­mi­nol­o­gy, struc­tur­al inequal­i­ty and implic­it bias rather than explic­it big­otry.”

Vir­ginia Foxx, R‑North Car­oli­na, said: “The cre­ation of a pri­vate right of action would lead to addi­tion­al bur­dens on already taxed state and local agen­cies, espe­cial­ly school sys­tems who would have to defend them­selves against ten­u­ous alle­ga­tions advanced by par­ents and activists.”

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 (3): Demo­c­ra­t­ic Rep­re­sen­ta­tives Suzanne Bonam­i­ci, Earl Blu­me­nauer, and Kurt Schrad­er

Vot­ing Nay (1): Repub­li­can Rep­re­sen­ta­tive Greg Walden

Not Vot­ing (1): Demo­c­ra­t­ic Rep­re­sen­ta­tive Peter DeFazio

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: 10 aye votes, 6 nay votes, 1 not vot­ing

ADDRESSING ANTI-SEMITISM UNDER TITLE VI: Vot­ing 255 for and 164 against, the House on Sep­tem­ber 16th broad­ened the duties of offi­cials empow­ered by H.R. 2574 (above) to mon­i­tor com­pli­ance with Title VI of the Civ­il Rights Act of 1964. Under the Repub­li­can-spon­sored motion, these over­seers would have to treat anti-Semi­tism as pro­hib­it­ed dis­crim­i­na­tion under Title VI, even though the Depart­ment of Edu­ca­tion and Depart­ment of Jus­tice start­ed doing that as ear­ly as 2010, accord­ing to the Anti-Defama­tion League.

Title VII is the part of the Civ­il Rights Act focused on reli­gious dis­crim­i­na­tion.

Title VI pro­hibits dis­crim­i­na­tion on the basis of race, col­or or nation­al ori­gin in pro­grams receiv­ing fed­er­al assis­tance.

Spon­sor Vir­ginia Foxx, R‑North Car­oli­na, said that under her mea­sure, “We can ensure that recip­i­ents of fed­er­al edu­ca­tion fund­ing are doing all they can to pro­tect mem­bers of our com­mu­ni­ties from hor­rif­ic anti-Semi­tism.”

Bob­by Scott, D‑Virginia., called the motion “a polit­i­cal attempt to insert reli­gion into Title VI” and divert atten­tion “from that core idea that peo­ple who have been dis­crim­i­nat­ed against ought to be able to get into court.”

A yes vote was to adopt the motion.

The State of Idaho

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

The State of Oregon

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

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

Not Vot­ing (1): Demo­c­ra­t­ic Rep­re­sen­ta­tive 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, 9 nay votes, 1 not vot­ing

ACCOMMODATING PREGNANCY IN THE WORKPLACE: Vot­ing 329 for and 73 against, the House on Sep­tem­ber 17th passed a bill (H.R. 2694) that would require pri­vate-sec­tor firms and gov­ern­ment agen­cies with at least 15 employ­ees to pro­vide rea­son­able accom­mo­da­tions for work­ers and job appli­cants who are preg­nant or have recent­ly giv­en birth. The bill would not require employ­ers to make accom­mo­da­tions that impose undue hard­ship on their oper­a­tions.

Our own Suzanne Bonam­i­ci, D‑Oregon, said: “Rea­son­able accom­mo­da­tions can range from pro­vid­ing seat­ing, water, and light duty to excus­ing preg­nant work­ers from tasks that involve dan­ger­ous sub­stances. But when preg­nant work­ers do not have access to the accom­mo­da­tions they need, they are at risk of los­ing their job, being denied a pro­mo­tion, or not being hired in the first place.”

Vir­ginia Foxx, R‑N.C., said: “House Repub­li­cans have long sup­port­ed pro­tec­tions in fed­er­al law for all work­ers, but espe­cial­ly preg­nant work­ers,” not­ing that “there are already impor­tant pro­tec­tions under fed­er­al law to pre­vent work­place dis­crim­i­na­tion, includ­ing fed­er­al laws that right­ful­ly pro­tect preg­nant work­ers.”

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 (4): Demo­c­ra­t­ic Rep­re­sen­ta­tives Suzanne Bonam­i­ci, Earl Blu­me­nauer, and Kurt Schrad­er; Repub­li­can Rep­re­sen­ta­tive Greg Walden

Not Vot­ing (1): Demo­c­ra­t­ic Rep­re­sen­ta­tive Peter DeFazio

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: 15 aye votes, 1 nay vote, 1 not vot­ing

GRANTING EXEMPTION BASED ON RELIGION: Vot­ing 177 for and 226 against, the House on Sep­tem­ber 17th defeat­ed a Repub­li­can bid to exempt employ­ers from hav­ing to make rea­son­able accom­mo­da­tions under H.R. 2694 (above) in cas­es where to do so would deprive them of reli­gious free­dom pro­tect­ed under the Title VII of the Civ­il Rights Act of 1964.

Vir­ginia Foxx, R‑North Car­oli­na, said the bill “does not cur­rent­ly include a long­stand­ing pro­vi­sion from the Civ­il Rights Act that pro­tects reli­gious orga­ni­za­tions from being forced to make employ­ment deci­sions that con­flict with their faith,” and there­fore it would “cre­ate legal risks for reli­gious orga­ni­za­tions and their reli­gious­ly backed employ­ment deci­sions.”

Bob­by Scott, D‑Virginia., said the motion “would jeop­ar­dize wom­en’s health and risk their preg­nan­cies in order to pro­vide a reli­gious exemp­tion for employ­ers.” He said “the bill does not in any way amend or change the under­ly­ing exemp­tions in title VII of the Civ­il Rights Act or Amer­i­cans with Dis­abil­i­ties Act or any oth­er [law].”

A yes vote was to adopt the Repub­li­can motion.

The State of Idaho

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

The State of Oregon

Vot­ing Aye (1): Repub­li­can Rep­re­sen­ta­tive Greg Walden

Vot­ing Nay (3): Demo­c­ra­t­ic Rep­re­sen­ta­tives Suzanne Bonam­i­ci, Earl Blu­me­nauer, and Kurt Schrad­er

Not Vot­ing (1): Demo­c­ra­t­ic Rep­re­sen­ta­tive 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: 6 aye votes, 10 nay votes, 1 not vot­ing

PROMOTING INTEGRATION IN PUBLIC SCHOOLS: Vot­ing 248 for and 167 against, the House on Sep­tem­ber 15th estab­lished a grant pro­gram to pro­mote inte­gra­tion in school dis­tricts where oppor­tu­ni­ty is sharply divid­ed along racial and eco­nom­ic lines. The bill (H.R. 2639) would pro­vide a lim­it­ed num­ber of dis­tricts with fund­ing to devel­op strate­gies for increas­ing the diver­si­ty of stu­dent pop­u­la­tions shaped by de fac­to seg­re­ga­tion. The bill is pat­terned after a $10-mllion-per-year Oba­ma admin­is­tra­tion pro­gram, killed by the Trump admin­is­tra­tion, in which up to twen­ty school dis­tricts received grants to devel­op pilot pro­grams for increas­ing racial and eco­nom­ic diver­si­ty.

Mar­cia Fudge, D‑Ohio, said: “Racial seg­re­ga­tion in pub­lic edu­ca­tion has been ille­gal for more than 66 years in the Unit­ed States. Still, Amer­i­can pub­lic schools are more seg­re­gat­ed today than at any time since the 1960s.…[Not] because the law requires it. They are seg­re­gat­ed by their ZIP Codes.”

Vir­ginia Foxx, R‑North Car­oli­na called the bill a “man­date that would have the fed­er­al gov­ern­ment decide how best to address the issues of racial and socioe­co­nom­ic iso­la­tion in Amer­i­ca’s schools.…Creating more gov­ern­ment pro­grams that have to scram­ble for fund­ing in order to oper­ate suc­cess­ful­ly is the last thing we need to fos­ter the best envi­ron­ment for all stu­dents to learn. ”

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

The State of Idaho

Vot­ing Nay (1): Repub­li­can Rep­re­sen­ta­tive Russ Fulcher

Not Vot­ing (1): Repub­li­can Rep­re­sen­ta­tive Mike Simp­son

The State of Oregon

Vot­ing Aye (4): Demo­c­ra­t­ic Rep­re­sen­ta­tives Suzanne Bonam­i­ci, Earl Blu­me­nauer, and Kurt Schrad­er; Repub­li­can Rep­re­sen­ta­tive Greg Walden

Not Vot­ing (1): Demo­c­ra­t­ic Rep­re­sen­ta­tive Peter DeFazio

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, 3 nay votes, 2 not vot­ing

DEFEATING REPUBLICAN DIVERSITY PLAN: Vot­ing 171 for and 243 against, the House on Sep­tem­ber 15th defeat­ed a Repub­li­can alter­na­tive to H.R. 2639 (above) that pro­posed open-end­ed fund­ing in the form of block grants rather than nar­row­ly defined cat­e­gor­i­cal grants to increase diver­si­ty in K‑12 class­rooms.

Spon­sor Rick Allen, R‑Georgia, said his amend­ment is need­ed because “Democ­rats have decid­ed the teach­ers unions are more impor­tant to them than real fam­i­lies who are des­per­ate for access to a bet­ter edu­ca­tion for their chil­dren.”

Mar­cia Fudge, D‑Ohio, said: “I have no idea what bill [Repub­li­cans] are read­ing. There is noth­ing in this bill about teach­ers unions or any­thing else that they are talk­ing about.”

A yes vote was to adopt the amend­ment.

The State of Idaho

Vot­ing Aye (1): Repub­li­can Rep­re­sen­ta­tive Russ Fulcher

Not Vot­ing (1): Repub­li­can Rep­re­sen­ta­tive Mike Simp­son

The State of Oregon

Vot­ing Aye (1): Repub­li­can Rep­re­sen­ta­tive Greg Walden

Vot­ing Nay (3): Demo­c­ra­t­ic Rep­re­sen­ta­tives Suzanne Bonam­i­ci, Earl Blu­me­nauer, and Kurt Schrad­er

Not Vot­ing (1): Demo­c­ra­t­ic Rep­re­sen­ta­tive 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: 5 aye votes, 10 nay votes, 2 not vot­ing

In the United States Senate

Chamber of the United States Senate

The Sen­ate cham­ber (U.S. Con­gress pho­to)

CONFIRMING JUDGE VALDERRAMA: Vot­ing 68 for and 26 against, the Sen­ate on Sep­tem­ber 17th con­firmed Franklin U. Valder­ra­ma, a Cir­cuit Court judge in Cook Coun­ty, Illi­nois as a Unit­ed States Dis­trict Judge for the North­ern Dis­trict of Illi­nois. Valder­ra­ma was an attor­ney in pri­vate prac­tice before join­ing the Cook Coun­ty bench in 2007, and he has taught pre-tri­al civ­il lit­i­ga­tion at the Uni­ver­si­ty of Illi­nois-Chica­go John Mar­shall Law School.

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 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: 6 aye votes

Key votes ahead

This week, the House will take up a clean ener­gy bill and join the Sen­ate in debat­ing stop­gap gov­ern­ment fund­ing for the fis­cal year start­ing Octo­ber 1st.

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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