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, February 7th, 2021

Last Week In Congress: How Cascadia’s U.S. lawmakers voted (February 1st-5th)

Good morn­ing! Here’s how Cascadia’s Mem­bers of Con­gress vot­ed on major issues dur­ing the leg­isla­tive week end­ing Fri­day, Feb­ru­ary 5th, 2021.

In the United States House of Representatives

Chamber of the United States House of Representatives

The House cham­ber (U.S. Con­gress photo)

REMOVING MARJORIE TAYLOR GREENE FROM COMMITTEES: Vot­ing 230 for and 198 against, the House of Rep­re­sen­ta­tives on Feb­ru­ary 4th removed Mar­jorie Tay­lor Greene, R‑Georgia., from the Bud­get and Edu­ca­tion and Labor com­mit­tees as pun­ish­ment for her string of false, shock­ing and vio­lent pub­lic com­ments and Face­book post­ings in recent years, includ­ing her endorse­ment of calls for House Speak­er Nan­cy Pelosi to be shot and for­mer Pres­i­dent Barack Oba­ma and Demo­c­ra­t­ic pres­i­den­tial can­di­date Hillary Clin­ton to be lynched.

Greene has claimed that an air­plane nev­er struck the Pen­ta­gon on Sep­tem­ber 11th, the Clin­tons were behind the plane crash that killed John F. Kennedy, Jr., the Sandy Hook and Park­land school shoot­ings nev­er occurred and a Jew­ish-guid­ed laser beam caused Cal­i­for­nia wildfires.

She aligned her­self as recent­ly as July with the con­spir­a­cy cult Q‑Anon.

This vote to adopt H Res­o­lu­tion 72 left the first-term law­mak­er from Geor­gia’s 14th Con­gres­sion­al Dis­trict with no com­mit­tee assign­ments. The mea­sure was backed by all Democ­rats who vot­ed and eleven Republicans.

Jim McGov­ern, D‑Massachusetts, said:

“Con­gress­woman Greene says this res­o­lu­tion could set a prece­dent for the future. I hope it does because if this isn’t the bot­tom, then I don’t know what the hell is… Any­one who sug­gests putting a bul­let in the head of a mem­ber should­n’t sit on any com­mit­tee, peri­od. That’s the stan­dard we’re set­ting here today, and I’m bet­ting it’s a stan­dard the Amer­i­can peo­ple want us to uphold.”

Greene said:

“These were words of the past, and these things do not rep­re­sent me… If this Con­gress is to tol­er­ate mem­bers that con­done riots that have hurt Amer­i­can peo­ple, attacked police offi­cers, occu­pied fed­er­al prop­er­ty, burned busi­ness­es and cities, but yet wants to con­demn me and cru­ci­fy me in the pub­lic square for words that I said and I regret a few years ago, then I think we [have] a real big problem.”

A yes vote was to strip Greene of her com­mit­tee assignments.

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, and Kurt Schrader

Vot­ing Nay (1): Repub­li­can Rep­re­sen­ta­tive Cliff Bentz

The State of Washington

Vot­ing Aye (7): Demo­c­ra­t­ic Rep­re­sen­ta­tives Suzan Del­Bene, Rick Larsen, Derek Kilmer, Prami­la Jaya­pal, Kim Schri­er, Adam Smith, and Mar­i­lyn Strickland

Vot­ing Nay (3): Repub­li­can Rep­re­sen­ta­tives Jaime Her­rera Beut­ler, Dan New­house, and Cathy McMor­ris Rodgers

Cas­ca­dia total: 11 aye votes, 6 nay votes

ADVANCING PLAN FOR BUDGET RECONCILIATION: Vot­ing 218 for and 212 against, the House on Feb­ru­ary 3rd adopt­ed a fis­cal 2021 bud­get res­o­lu­tion (H Con Res 11) that would allow Pres­i­dent Biden’s $1.9 tril­lion pack­age of COVID-19 relief mea­sures to pass the Sen­ate on a sim­ple major­i­ty vote in com­ing weeks.

The res­o­lu­tion trig­gers the “bud­get rec­on­cil­i­a­tion” process that pro­tects spec­i­fied mea­sures from fil­i­busters. Rec­on­cil­i­a­tion is used to expe­dite com­plex leg­is­la­tion that affects spend­ing and rev­enue lev­els and the nation­al debt.

Rec­on­cil­i­a­tion can be used once per fis­cal year. The cur­rent fis­cal year began last Octo­ber 1st, and anoth­er bud­get res­o­lu­tion for fis­cal 2022 is due this spring.

John Yarmuth, D‑Kentucky, said:

“We will have sev­er­al weeks to reach a bipar­ti­san [COVID-19 relief] agree­ment. I hope we can. But this is Plan B. And we will pro­ceed with it because the Amer­i­can peo­ple can’t wait as long as the Repub­li­cans seem to be able to.”

Ben Cline, R‑Virginia, said farm­ers and small busi­ness­es are “suf­fer­ing,” but “what they don’t need is a $1.9 tril­lion package…of Demo­c­rat [sic] wish-list items that will crip­ple our econ­o­my, includ­ing a min­i­mum wage increase that would destroy 1.3 mil­lion jobs…”

A yes vote was to adopt the bud­get 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, Peter DeFazio, and Kurt Schrader

Vot­ing Nay (1): Repub­li­can Rep­re­sen­ta­tive Cliff Bentz

The State of Washington

Vot­ing Aye (7): Demo­c­ra­t­ic Rep­re­sen­ta­tives Suzan Del­Bene, Rick Larsen, Derek Kilmer, Prami­la Jaya­pal, Kim Schri­er, Adam Smith, and Mar­i­lyn Strickland

Vot­ing Nay (3): Repub­li­can Rep­re­sen­ta­tives Jaime Her­rera Beut­ler, Dan New­house, and Cathy McMor­ris Rodgers

Cas­ca­dia total: 11 aye votes, 6 nay votes

EXPANDING FEDERALLY FUNDED APPRENTICESHIPS: Vot­ing 247 for and 173 against, the House of Rep­re­sen­ta­tives on Feb­ru­ary 5th passed a bill (H.R. 447) that would autho­rize $3.5 bil­lion over five years to expand fed­er­al­ly fund­ed appren­tice­ship programs.

While the bill would pre­pare work­ers for employ­ment in tra­di­tion­al indus­tries such as man­u­fac­tur­ing and con­struc­tion, it also funds appren­tice­ships in spe­cial­ized fields includ­ing ear­ly child­hood edu­ca­tion, advanced health care and green ener­gy. In addi­tion, the bill would pro­mote work oppor­tu­ni­ties for per­sons with diverse back­grounds and crim­i­nal records tra­di­tion­al­ly left out of appren­tice­ship programs.

The bill drew Repub­li­can oppo­si­tion, in part, because it quashed Don­ald Trump’s Indus­try Rec­og­nized Appren­tice­ship Pro­grams (IRAPs), which receive fed­er­al fund­ing but oper­ate with few reg­u­la­tions and are unwel­com­ing to unions.

Andy Levin, D‑Michigan, said “at least sev­en mil­lion of the jobs lost dur­ing the Covid-19 pan­dem­ic will not come back… We must use every tool we have to help work­ers find jobs and pre­pare for the high-qual­i­ty jobs and employ­ment oppor­tu­ni­ties of the future. The most suc­cess­ful of these tools, with­out ques­tion, is our reg­is­tered appren­tice­ship program.”

Vir­ginia Foxx, R‑North Car­oli­na, said the bill “favors grant fund­ing for enti­ties part­ner­ing with unions. Turn­ing the bil­l’s grant pro­gram into a union slush fund would also block count­less poten­tial par­tic­i­pants from access­ing grant mon­ey. Even worse, [the bill] will force job cre­ators to deal with over­ly pre­scrip­tive require­ments, addi­tion­al bureau­cra­cy and time-con­sum­ing paperwork.…”

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, and Kurt Schrader

Vot­ing Nay (1): Repub­li­can Rep­re­sen­ta­tive Cliff Bentz

The State of Washington

Vot­ing Aye (8): Demo­c­ra­t­ic Rep­re­sen­ta­tives Suzan Del­Bene, Rick Larsen, Derek Kilmer, Prami­la Jaya­pal, Kim Schri­er, Adam Smith, and Mar­i­lyn Strick­land; Repub­li­can Rep­re­sen­ta­tive Dan Newhouse

Vot­ing Nay (2): Repub­li­can Rep­re­sen­ta­tives Jaime Her­rera Beut­ler and Cathy McMor­ris Rodgers

Cas­ca­dia total: 12 aye votes, 5 nay votes

In the United States Senate

Chamber of the United States Senate

The Sen­ate cham­ber (U.S. Con­gress photo)

ADVANCING PLAN FOR BUDGET RECONCILIATION: Vot­ing 51 for and 50 against, the Sen­ate on Feb­ru­ary 5th adopt­ed a fis­cal 2021 bud­get res­o­lu­tion (S Con Res 5) under which Pres­i­dent Biden’s $1.9 tril­lion coro­n­avirus-relief bill could be passed by sim­ple major­i­ty vote in com­ing weeks.

Vice Pres­i­dent Kamala Har­ris cast the tie-break­ing vote.

The res­o­lu­tion trig­gers the “bud­get rec­on­cil­i­a­tion” process that pro­tects spec­i­fied mea­sures from fil­i­busters. Rec­on­cil­i­a­tion is used to expe­dite com­plex leg­is­la­tion that affects spend­ing and rev­enue lev­els and the nation­al debt. Rec­on­cil­i­a­tion can be used once per fis­cal year. The cur­rent fis­cal year began last Oct. 1, and anoth­er bud­get res­o­lu­tion for fis­cal 2022 is due this spring.

The Pacif­ic North­wet’s Ron Wyden, D‑Oregon, said “some sen­a­tors sug­gest that the bud­get res­o­lu­tion is bad for uni­ty. My answer to that is, the only place where big, bold eco­nom­ic relief is a divi­sive propo­si­tion is with­in the four walls of the U.S. Sen­ate… What you see in this bud­get res­o­lu­tion is exact­ly the kind of plan that Amer­i­cans vot­ed for and the over­whelm­ing major­i­ty of Amer­i­cans support.”

Rob Port­man, R‑Ohio, said “try­ing to jam through this $1.9 tril­lion legislation…sets exact­ly the wrong tone for the coun­try and also for the admin­is­tra­tion. I think Pres­i­dent Biden has a real oppor­tu­ni­ty to help heal our coun­try — I real­ly do. By the way, I think he sin­cere­ly wants to. That is why I don’t under­stand this [rec­on­cil­i­a­tion] process.”

A yes vote was to advance the admin­is­tra­tion’s pan­dem­ic-relief legislation.

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

CONFIRMING ALEJANDRO MAYORKAS FOR HOMELAND SECURITY: Vot­ing 56 for and 43 against, the Sen­ate on Feb­ru­ary 2nd con­firmed Ale­jan­dro N. May­orkas, six­ty-one, as Sec­re­tary of Home­land Secu­ri­ty. The son of a holo­caust sur­vivor and native of Cuba, he is the first Lati­no and immi­grant to hold the posi­tion. May­orkas was deputy DHS sec­re­tary and direc­tor of U.S. Cit­i­zen­ship and Immi­gra­tion Ser­vices under for­mer Pres­i­dent Barack Obama.

Richard Durbin, D‑Illinois, the Major­i­ty Whip, said all DHS sec­re­taries who served before the Trump admin­is­tra­tion, two Democ­rats and two Repub­li­cans, have endorsed May­orkas for the post. “They said he is a man of integri­ty, expe­ri­ence and com­pas­sion and a proven leader… You would hard­ly believe that if you lis­tened to some of the things said” by Repub­li­can critics.

Minor­i­ty Leader Mitch McConnell, R‑Kentucky, said May­orkas “did his best to turn U.S. Cit­i­zen­ship and Immi­gra­tion Ser­vices into an uneth­i­cal favor fac­to­ry” by politi­ciz­ing the EB‑5 Invest­ment Visa Pro­gram dur­ing the Barack Oba­ma pres­i­den­cy. The pro­gram enables qual­i­fied for­eign investors to obtain per­ma­nent U.S. res­i­den­cy by invest­ing heav­i­ly in the cre­ation of Amer­i­can jobs.

A yes vote was to con­firm Mayorkas.

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

CONFIRMING PETE BUTTIGIEG AS TRANSPORTATION SECRETARY: Vot­ing 86 for and 13 against, the Sen­ate on Feb­ru­ary 2nd approved the nom­i­na­tion of Pete Buttigieg, thir­ty-nine, as the next fed­er­al Sec­re­tary of Trans­porta­tion, mak­ing him the first open­ly gay per­son to be con­firmed to a Cab­i­net post in U.S. his­to­ry. The for­mer may­or of South Bend, Indi­ana, was a Demo­c­ra­t­ic pres­i­den­tial can­di­date in 2020.

The Pacif­ic North­west­’s Maria Cantwell, D‑Washington, said Buttigieg “is the right choice for this job because he was may­or of South Bend. He dealt with infra­struc­ture where the rub­ber meets the road, man­ag­ing state, fed­er­al, and local resources to help build infra­struc­ture in his community.”

No sen­a­tor spoke against the nomination.

A yes vote was to con­firm Buttigieg.

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 con­duct an impeach­ment tri­al for for­mer Pres­i­dent Don­ald Trump in the week of Feb­ru­ary 8th, while the House sched­ule was to be announced.

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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