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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, May 2nd, 2021

Last Week In Congress: How Cascadia’s U.S. lawmakers voted (April 26th-30th)

Good morn­ing! Here’s how Cascadia’s Unit­ed States Sen­a­tors vot­ed on major issues dur­ing the leg­isla­tive week end­ing Fri­day, April 30th, 2021.

In the United States Senate

Chamber of the United States Senate

The Sen­ate cham­ber (U.S. Con­gress photo)

OIL & GAS INDUSTRY EMISSIONS: Vot­ing 52 for and 42 against, the Sen­ate on April 28th passed and sent to the House a mea­sure (S J Res 14) to restore the Envi­ron­men­tal Pro­tec­tion Agen­cy’s abil­i­ty to reg­u­late methane emis­sions from the oil and gas indus­try. The leg­is­la­tion would nul­li­fy a Trump admin­is­tra­tion action that scrapped reg­u­la­tions imposed by the Oba­ma administration.

Methane, the prin­ci­pal com­po­nent of nat­ur­al gas, is a potent con­trib­u­tor to cli­mate change that can escape into the atmos­phere dur­ing oil and gas pro­duc­tion, trans­mis­sion and storage.

To restore the Oba­ma pol­i­cy and EPA’s author­i­ty to poten­tial­ly write addi­tion­al rules, Democ­rats are using the Con­gres­sion­al Review Act, which gives a new Con­gress and pres­i­dent a win­dow of time to leg­isla­tive­ly can­cel reg­u­la­tions from the clos­ing days of the pre­vi­ous administration.

Repub­li­can law­mak­ers and for­mer Pres­i­dent Trump used the pro­ce­dure 14 times in 2017 to wipe out Oba­ma admin­is­tra­tion actions.

Mar­tin Hein­rich, D‑New Mex­i­co, said: “Restor­ing and strength­en­ing nation­al stan­dards at the EPA will be one of the most pow­er­ful steps we can take… to con­front the exis­ten­tial threat posed by green­house gas pol­lu­tion and a warm­ing planet.”

Shel­ley Moore Capi­to, R‑West Vir­ginia, called the mea­sure “noth­ing more than polit­i­cal pos­tur­ing: that would “lay the ground­work for a planned reg­u­la­to­ry war on oil and gas.”

A yes vote was to rein­state reg­u­la­tion of methane emissions.

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 (1): Demo­c­ra­t­ic Sen­a­tor Pat­ty Murray

Not Vot­ing (1): Demo­c­ra­t­ic Sen­a­tor Maria Cantwell

Cas­ca­dia total: 3 aye votes, 2 nay votes, 1 not voting

WATER SYSTEMS FUNDING: Vot­ing 89 for and 2 against, the Sen­ate on April 29th passed a bipar­ti­san bill (S 914) that calls for spend­ing rough­ly $35 bil­lion over five years to improve drink­ing water and waste­water treat­ment infra­struc­ture, pri­mar­i­ly by mak­ing EPA grants and loans to states, local com­mu­ni­ties and tribes to expand and upgrade out­dat­ed systems.

The leg­is­la­tion empha­sizes improv­ing water sys­tems in rur­al and poor com­mu­ni­ties and would help water sys­tems resist dam­age from the increase in severe weath­er attrib­uted to cli­mate change.

The mea­sure includes $710 mil­lion to reduce lead in drink­ing water. Anoth­er $550 mil­lion annu­al­ly is ear­marked to help bring more house­holds onto pub­lic water and sew­er sys­tems or to install or upgrade their own systems.

Tam­my Duck­worth, D‑Illinois, said: “Access to clean water is a human right, and every Amer­i­can deserves access to clean water, no mat­ter their zip code, the col­or of their skin or their income. It’s long past time we turned that right into real­i­ty by invest­ing in projects that would put Amer­i­cans back to work rebuild­ing our crum­bling water infrastructure.”

No sen­a­tor spoke in oppo­si­tion. A yes vote was to pass 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 Pat­ty Murray

Not Vot­ing (1): Demo­c­ra­t­ic Sen­a­tor Maria Cantwell

Cas­ca­dia total: 5 aye votes, 1 not voting

COLIN KAHL, UNDER SECRETARY OF DEFENSE: Vot­ing 49 for and 45 against, the Sen­ate on April 27th con­firmed Col­in Kahl to be under sec­re­tary for pol­i­cy, the third-rank­ing civil­ian posi­tion in the Depart­ment of Defense.

Kahl, 49, was deputy assis­tant sec­re­tary of defense for the Mid­dle East and lat­er nation­al secu­ri­ty advis­er to the vice pres­i­dent dur­ing the Oba­ma admin­is­tra­tion. His nom­i­na­tion drew crit­i­cism from Repub­li­cans who argued that his post­ings on Twit­ter indi­cat­ed he lacked the right tem­pera­ment for a posi­tion of responsibility.

A yes vote was to con­firm the nominee.

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 (1): Demo­c­ra­t­ic Sen­a­tor Pat­ty Murray

Not Vot­ing (1): Demo­c­ra­t­ic Sen­a­tor Maria Cantwell

Cas­ca­dia total: 3 aye votes, 2 nay votes, 1 not voting

JANET MCCABE, EPA DEPUTY ADMINISTRATOR: Vot­ing 52 for and 42 against, the Sen­ate on April 27th con­firmed Janet McCabe as deputy admin­is­tra­tor, the sec­ond-rank­ing posi­tion at the Envi­ron­men­tal Pro­tec­tion Agency.

McCabe was an EPA offi­cial dur­ing the Oba­ma admin­is­tra­tion, serv­ing as act­ing assis­tant admin­is­tra­tor of the Office of Air and Radi­a­tion, where she worked on the admin­is­tra­tion’s plan to reduce car­bon emis­sions from pow­er plants.

A yes vote was to con­firm the nominee.

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

SAMANTHA POWER, USAID ADMINISTRATOR: By a vote of 68 for and 26 against, the Sen­ate on April 28th con­firmed the nom­i­na­tion of Saman­tha Pow­er as admin­is­tra­tor of the Unit­ed States Agency for Inter­na­tion­al Development.

Pow­er, 51, is a for­mer jour­nal­ist and Har­vard pro­fes­sor who was a Nation­al Secu­ri­ty Coun­cil mem­ber and ambas­sador to the Unit­ed Nations dur­ing the Oba­ma administration.

A yes vote was to con­firm the nomination.

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

JASON MILLER, OMB DEPUTY DIRECTOR FOR MANAGEMENT: Vot­ing 81 for and 13 against, the Sen­ate on April 27th con­firmed the nom­i­na­tion of Jason Miller to be deputy direc­tor for man­age­ment at the Office of Man­age­ment and Bud­get. Miller was deputy assis­tant to the pres­i­dent and deputy direc­tor of the Nation­al Eco­nom­ic Coun­cil dur­ing the Oba­ma administration.

A yes vote was to con­firm the nomination.

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

LWIC will be on hiatus next week

No votes are sched­uled in Con­gress dur­ing the week of May 3rd.

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!

© 2021 Thomas Vot­ing Reports.

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