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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, January 24th, 2021

Last Week In Congress: How Cascadia’s U.S. lawmakers voted (January 18th-22nd)

Good morn­ing! Here’s how Cascadia’s Mem­bers of Con­gress vot­ed on major issues dur­ing the leg­isla­tive week end­ing Fri­day, Jan­u­ary 22nd, 2021.

In the United States House of Representatives

Chamber of the United States House of Representatives

The House cham­ber (U.S. Con­gress photo)

WAIVER FOR SECRETARY OF DEFENSE: Vot­ing 326 for and 78 against, the House on Jan­u­ary 21st approved a waiv­er (H.R. 335) allow­ing retired Army Gen­er­al Lloyd J. Austin III to serve as sec­re­tary of defense even though he has been out of uni­form for less than the sev­en-year hia­tus required by law in keep­ing with the Amer­i­can prin­ci­ple dat­ing to 1783 of civil­ian con­trol of the military.

Austin retired in April 2016.

House Speak­er Nan­cy Pelosi, D‑California, said: “In my con­ver­sa­tions [Austin] assured me he under­stands, respects and will uphold the crit­i­cal pri­or­i­ty of civil­ian con­trol of the mil­i­tary… In the face of the many threats both for­eign and domes­tic con­fronting our nation it is essen­tial that [he] be imme­di­ate­ly confirmed.”

Mike Gal­lagher, R‑Wisconsin, said: “I vot­ed in favor of the exemp­tion for [for­mer Defense] Sec­re­tary [James] Mat­tis… So it’s fair to ask, what has changed? Well, a lot has changed. First, per­haps most impor­tant­ly, the threat from Chi­na is far greater and we need a sec­re­tary with Indo-Pacif­ic Com­mand expe­ri­ence. The nom­i­nee has admit­ted he’s not expe­ri­enced in that regard.”

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

The State of Idaho

Vot­ing Aye (1): Repub­li­can Rep­re­sen­ta­tive Russ Fulcher

Not Vot­ing (1): Repub­li­can Rep­re­sen­ta­tive Mike Simpson

The State of Oregon

Vot­ing Aye (5): Demo­c­ra­t­ic Rep­re­sen­ta­tives Suzanne Bonam­i­ci, Earl Blu­me­nauer, Peter DeFazio, and Kurt Schrad­er; Repub­li­can Rep­re­sen­ta­tive Cliff Bentz

The State of Washington

Vot­ing Aye (8): Demo­c­ra­t­ic Rep­re­sen­ta­tives Suzan Del­Bene, Rick Larsen, Derek Kilmer, Kim Schri­er, Adam Smith, and Mar­i­lyn Strick­land; Repub­li­can Rep­re­sen­ta­tives Jaime Her­rera Beut­ler and Cathy McMor­ris Rodgers

Vot­ing Nay (2): Demo­c­ra­t­ic Rep­re­sen­ta­tive Prami­la Jaya­pal and Repub­li­can Rep­re­sen­ta­tive Dan Newhouse

Cas­ca­dia total: 14 aye votes, 2 nay votes, 1 not voting

In the United States Senate

Chamber of the United States Senate

The Sen­ate cham­ber (U.S. Con­gress photo)

WAIVER FOR SECRETARY OF DEFENSE: Vot­ing 69 for and 27 against, the Sen­ate on Jan­u­ary 21st joined the House (above) in grant­i­ng a waiv­er (H.R. 335) allow­ing retired Army Gen­er­al Lloyd J. Austin III to serve as sec­re­tary of defense even though sev­en years have not lapsed since his retire­ment as the law requires in keep­ing with the Amer­i­can prin­ci­ple dat­ing to 1783 of civil­ian con­trol of the mil­i­tary. Austin retired in April 2016. There was no debate on 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 (1): Demo­c­ra­t­ic Sen­a­tor Maria Cantwell

Vot­ing Nay (1): Demo­c­ra­t­ic Sen­a­tor Pat­ty Murray

Cas­ca­dia total: 3 aye votes, 3 nay votes

AVRIL HAINES, DIRECTOR OF NATIONAL INTELLIGENCE: Vot­ing 84 for and 10 against, the Sen­ate on Jan­u­ary 20th con­firmed Avril D. Haines, fifty-one, as direc­tor of nation­al intel­li­gence, ele­vat­ing her as the first woman to lead the U.S. intel­li­gence com­mu­ni­ty. Cre­at­ed in response to Sep­tem­ber 11th attacks, her office is charged with over­see­ing six­teen U.S. civil­ian and mil­i­tary spy agencies.

An attor­ney and trained physi­cist, Haines was deputy direc­tor of the Cen­tral Intel­li­gence Agency from 2013–2015, the first woman to hold that office, and before that a top aide to for­mer Pres­i­dent Barack Oba­ma on secu­ri­ty issues.

Chris Van Hollen, D‑Maryland, said:

“After a tumul­tuous four years and a pres­i­dent who rou­tine­ly scorned the work of our intel­li­gence com­mu­ni­ty, it is crit­i­cal to restore pro­fes­sion­al lead­er­ship who will work with the admin­is­tra­tion and Con­gress, deliv­er hon­est assess­ments and speak truth to pow­er. Ms. Haines is the right woman for the job.”

No sen­a­tor spoke against the nominee.

A yes vote was to con­firm Haines.

The State of Idaho

Vot­ing Aye (1): Repub­li­can Sen­a­tor Jim Risch

Not Vot­ing (1): Repub­li­can Sen­a­tor 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: 5 aye votes, 1 not voting

LLOYD AUSTIN, SECRETARY OF DEFENSE: Vot­ing 92 for and 2 against, the Sen­ate on Jan­u­ary 22nd con­firmed retired Army Gen­er­al Lloyd J. Austin III as sec­re­tary of defense. He is the first African-Amer­i­can to hold the posi­tion in its sev­en­ty-four-year his­to­ry. When Austin, six­ty-sev­en, retired from active duty in April 2016, he was leader of the Unit­ed States Cen­tral Command.

He was the last com­mand­ing gen­er­al in Iraq between 2010–2011 and direct­ed the draw­down of U.S. troops there.

Dan Sul­li­van, R‑Alaska, said: “We are liv­ing through… a pan­dem­ic, racial ten­sions, riots, tur­moil at the top of the Pen­ta­gon and ris­ing dan­gers from Chi­na, Rus­sia and Iran. Mr. Austin’s con­fir­ma­tion won’t solve all of these prob­lems, but it will help. He rep­re­sents the best of Amer­i­ca, a man of integri­ty, humil­i­ty and char­ac­ter and a wealth of rel­e­vant experience.”

No sen­a­tor spoke against the nominee.

A yes vote was to con­firm Austin.

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

The Sen­ate will vote on Biden admin­is­tra­tion nom­i­nees in the week of Jan­u­ary 25th, while the House will be in recess.

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 Civic Impulse, LLC. 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!

© 2021 Civic Impulse, LLC. 

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