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, May 23rd, 2021

Last Week In Congress: How Cascadia’s U.S. lawmakers voted (May 17th-21st)

Good morn­ing! Here’s how Cascadia’s Mem­bers of Con­gress vot­ed on major issues dur­ing the leg­isla­tive week end­ing Fri­day, May 21st, 2021.

In the United States House of Representatives

Chamber of the United States House of Representatives

The House cham­ber (U.S. Con­gress photo)

EMERGENCY FUNDING FOR U.S. CAPITOL SECURITY: Vot­ing 213 for and 212 against, the House on May 20th nar­row­ly passed a bill (H.R. 3237) that “pro­vides $1.9 bil­lion in FY 2021 emer­gency sup­ple­men­tal appro­pri­a­tions for the leg­isla­tive branch and fed­er­al agen­cies to respond to the attack on the U.S. Capi­tol Com­plex that occurred on Jan­u­ary 6th, 2021.”

Congress.gov has sum­ma­rized the bil­l’s fis­cal pro­vi­sions as follows:

The bill pro­vides appro­pri­a­tions for pur­pos­es such as

  • secu­ri­ty-relat­ed upgrades,
  • repairs to facil­i­ties dam­aged by the attack,
  • reim­burse­ments for the costs of respond­ing to the attack,
  • sup­port for prosecutions,
  • the estab­lish­ment of a quick reac­tion force with­in the Dis­trict of Colum­bia Nation­al Guard to assist the Capi­tol Police, and
  • leg­isla­tive branch expens­es relat­ed to COVID-19 (i.e., coro­n­avirus dis­ease 2019).

In addi­tion, the bill requires Capi­tol Police offi­cers who inter­act with the pub­lic to use body-worn cameras.

Democ­rats pro­vid­ed all of the votes to pass the bill. No Repub­li­can vot­ed in sup­port. Three Democ­rats joined Repub­li­cans in vot­ing no on final passage.

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 (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

BIPARTISAN COMMISSION ON JANUARY 6TH ATTACK: Vot­ing 252 for and 175 against, the House on May 20th approved leg­is­la­tion cre­at­ing a bipar­ti­san nation­al com­mis­sion to inves­ti­gate the Jan­u­ary 6th, 2021 attack on the Unit­ed States Capi­tol (H.R. 3233). Thir­ty-five Repub­li­cans joined the House Demo­c­ra­t­ic cau­cus in sup­port­ing the bill, which faces an uncer­tain future in the Senate.

Congress.gov has sum­ma­rized the bill as follows:

The com­mis­sion must:

  1. con­duct an inves­ti­ga­tion of the rel­e­vant facts and cir­cum­stances relat­ing to the attack on the Capitol;
  2. iden­ti­fy, review, and eval­u­ate the caus­es of and the lessons learned from this attack; and
  3. sub­mit spec­i­fied reports con­tain­ing find­ings, con­clu­sions, and rec­om­men­da­tions to improve the detec­tion, pre­ven­tion, pre­pared­ness for, and response to tar­get­ed vio­lence and domes­tic ter­ror­ism and improve the secu­ri­ty pos­ture of the U.S. Capi­tol Complex.

The bill gives the com­mis­sion spec­i­fied pow­ers, includ­ing the author­i­ty to hold hear­ings, receive evi­dence, and issue sub­poe­nas. The bill also pro­vides for the com­po­si­tion of the com­mis­sion and the appoint­ment of staff, and it requires the com­mis­sion to hold pub­lic hear­ings and meet­ings to the extent that it is appro­pri­ate. The com­mis­sion must also release pub­lic ver­sions of its reports.

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

The State of Washington

Vot­ing Aye (9): Demo­c­ra­t­ic Rep­re­sen­ta­tives Suzan Del­Bene, Rick Larsen, Derek Kilmer, Prami­la Jaya­pal, Kim Schri­er, Adam Smith, and Mar­i­lyn Strick­land; Repub­li­can Rep­re­sen­ta­tives Jaime Her­rera Beut­ler and Dan Newhouse

Vot­ing Nay (1): Repub­li­can Rep­re­sen­ta­tive Cathy McMor­ris Rodgers

Cas­ca­dia total: 15 aye votes, 2 nay votes

FINAL PASSAGE OF COVID-19 HATE CRIMES ACT: Vot­ing 364 to 62, the House on May 18th gave final approval to a Sen­ate bill (S. 397) that “requires a des­ig­nat­ed offi­cer or employ­ee of the Depart­ment of Jus­tice (DOJ) to facil­i­tate the expe­dit­ed review of hate crimes and reports of hate crimes” and also stip­u­lates the the Depart­ment of Health and Human Ser­vices join Jus­tice in issu­ing “guid­ance aimed at rais­ing aware­ness of hate crimes dur­ing the COVID-19 pan­dem­ic.” The bill also sets up grants to encour­age states to cre­ate hate crimes report­ing hot­lines and enables courts to order that indi­vid­u­als con­vict­ed of hate crimes par­tic­i­pate in class­es or com­mu­ni­ty ser­vice as a con­di­tion of their release.

“Hate crimes against Asian Amer­i­cans have increased about 150% in most cities, but we know that far too many of these crimes remain unre­port­ed or unsolved.” said the Pacif­ic North­west­’s own Mar­i­lyn Strick­land, D‑Washington.

“Our com­mu­ni­ty is still reel­ing from the sick­en­ing rise in anti-AAPI hatred, vio­lence, and big­otry that has been exac­er­bat­ed by this pan­dem­ic, and pass­ing this bill is an impor­tant step towards stop­ping this dis­turb­ing pattern.”

A yes vote was to pass the bill, which was lat­er signed by Pres­i­dent Biden.

The State of Idaho

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

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 (10): Demo­c­ra­t­ic Rep­re­sen­ta­tives Suzan Del­Bene, Rick Larsen, Derek Kilmer, Prami­la Jaya­pal, Kim Schri­er, Adam Smith, and Mar­i­lyn Strick­land; Repub­li­can Rep­re­sen­ta­tives Jaime Her­rera Beut­ler, Dan New­house, and Cathy McMor­ris Rodgers

Cas­ca­dia total: 17 aye votes

AFFIRMING COMMITMENT TO COMBAT VIOLENCE AGAINST ASIAN AMERICANS AND PACIFIC ISLANDERS: Vot­ing 245 for and 180 against, the House on May 19th adopt­ed a res­o­lu­tion (H. Res 275) that con­demns the March 16th, 2021 shoot­ing spree in the Atlanta area, and reaf­firms “the House of Representative’s com­mit­ment to com­bat­ing hate, big­otry, and vio­lence against the Asian-Amer­i­can and Pacif­ic Islander com­mu­ni­ty.” Thir­ty Repub­li­cans vot­ed for the res­o­lu­tion along with the House Demo­c­ra­t­ic caucus.

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, 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 Jaime Her­rera Beutler

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

Cas­ca­dia total: 13 aye votes, 4 nay votes

REJECTING REPUBLICAN ATTEMPT TO ROLL BACK MASK GUIDANCE: Vot­ing 218 for and 210 against, the House on May 29th tabled (killed) a Repub­li­can res­o­lu­tion (H. Res 414) that sought to direct the Attend­ing Physi­cian to pro­vide “updat­ed mask wear­ing guid­ance” to mem­bers of the House, erro­neous­ly based on the notion that “those who have not yet received the vac­cine pose no real threat to those who have been vac­ci­nat­ed” (see text).

A yes vote was to reject 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, 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

In the United States Senate

Chamber of the United States Senate

The Sen­ate cham­ber (U.S. Con­gress photo)

NULLIFYING TRUMP REGIME’S EEOC “CONCILIATION” RULE: Vot­ing 50 for and 48 against, the Sen­ate on May 19th nul­li­fied a sev­er­al months old Trump regime rule that “dic­tates how a U.S. civ­il rights agency resolves work­place dis­crim­i­na­tion claims as an alter­na­tive to lit­i­ga­tion,” as char­ac­ter­ized by Bloomberg Law. The rule was put into place to force the agency to hand over more infor­ma­tion to employ­ers dur­ing dis­putes over work­place bias claims.

Sen­ate Major­i­ty Leader Chuck Schumer (D‑New York) exhort­ed the cham­ber to nix the rule. “Rather than force employ­ees to sue in court, where well-heeled cor­po­ra­tions can afford high-priced lawyers and the plain­tiff has almost no chance at win­ning, con­cil­i­a­tion gives the EEOC the pow­er to fight on work­ers’ behalf against dis­crim­i­na­to­ry behav­ior and win some speedy and effec­tive results.”

Sen­ate Minor­i­ty Leader Mitch McConnell (R‑Kentucky) lament­ed that anoth­er Trump regime scheme is like­ly going to be scrapped.

“This [rule] helps ensure the Com­mis­sion is mak­ing a good-faith effort to see if the dis­pute can be set­tled out­side of court before begin­ning a cost­ly, adver­sar­i­al process,” McConnell argued. “Appar­ent­ly even these mod­est steps were too much for my friends on the Demo­c­ra­t­ic side.”

Repub­li­can Sen­a­tors Lisa Murkows­ki and Mar­co Rubio were not present.

A yes vote was to send the nul­li­fi­ca­tion mea­sure to the House.

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

KRISTIN CLARKE, ASSISTANT ATTORNEY GENERAL: Vot­ing 50 to 48, the Sen­ate on May 18th dis­charged the nom­i­na­tion of Kris­ten M. Clarke to be an Assis­tant Attor­ney Gen­er­al from the Com­mit­tee on the Judiciary.

Clarke’s Wikipedia entry states that she “is an Amer­i­can attor­ney who is the pres­i­dent of the Lawyers’ Com­mit­tee for Civ­il Rights Under Law. She pre­vi­ous­ly man­aged the Civ­il Rights Bureau of the New York State Attor­ney Gen­er­al’s Office under Eric Schnei­der­man. In 2019, Clarke suc­cess­ful­ly rep­re­sent­ed Tay­lor Dump­son, the first Black Amer­i­can woman stu­dent body pres­i­dent of Amer­i­can Uni­ver­si­ty, in her land­mark case against white supremacists.”

Clarke would be the first woman to head DOJ’s Civ­il Rights divi­sion if confirmed.

Deb­bie Stabenow of Michi­gan and Lisa Murkows­ki of Alas­ka were not present. Susan Collins of Maine vot­ed with the Demo­c­ra­t­ic cau­cus to allow Clarke’s nom­i­na­tion to pro­ceed. A yes vote was to advance Clarke’s nomination.

The State of IdahoVot­ing 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

Key votes ahead

The House of Rep­re­sen­ta­tives will be in recess for sev­er­al weeks, although com­mit­tees will con­tin­ue to hold hear­ings and mark up bills. Tomor­row, the Sen­ate is slat­ed to resume con­sid­er­a­tion of S. 1260, the End­less Fron­tier Act, which the semi­con­duc­tor indus­try char­ac­ter­izes as “bipar­ti­san leg­is­la­tion that seeks to main­tain and build on U.S. sci­ence and tech­nol­o­gy lead­er­ship by autho­riz­ing more than $100 bil­lion for sci­ence and tech­nol­o­gy ini­tia­tives, includ­ing semi­con­duc­tor research.” The Sen­ate will also con­sid­er sev­er­al Biden nominees.

Adjacent posts

  • Enjoyed what you just read? Make a donation


    Thank you for read­ing The Cas­ca­dia Advo­cate, the North­west Pro­gres­sive Insti­tute’s jour­nal of world, nation­al, and local politics.

    Found­ed in March of 2004, The Cas­ca­dia Advo­cate has been help­ing peo­ple through­out the Pacif­ic North­west and beyond make sense of cur­rent events with rig­or­ous analy­sis and thought-pro­vok­ing com­men­tary for more than fif­teen years. The Cas­ca­dia Advo­cate is fund­ed by read­ers like you and trust­ed spon­sors. We don’t run ads or pub­lish con­tent in exchange for money.

    Help us keep The Cas­ca­dia Advo­cate edi­to­ri­al­ly inde­pen­dent and freely avail­able to all by becom­ing a mem­ber of the North­west Pro­gres­sive Insti­tute today. Or make a dona­tion to sus­tain our essen­tial research and advo­ca­cy journalism.

    Your con­tri­bu­tion will allow us to con­tin­ue bring­ing you fea­tures like Last Week In Con­gress, live cov­er­age of events like Net­roots Nation or the Demo­c­ra­t­ic Nation­al Con­ven­tion, and reviews of books and doc­u­men­tary films.

    Become an NPI mem­ber Make a one-time donation

Submit a Comment

By submitting a comment, you agree to abide by our Commenting Guidelines. If you submit any links to other websites in your comment or in the Website field, these will be published at our discretion. Please read our statement of Privacy Practices before commenting to understand how we collect and use submissions to the Cascadia Advocate. Your comment must be submitted with a name and email address as noted below. We will not publish or share your email address. *

*
*

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>

  • NPI’s essential research and advocacy is sponsored by: