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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, August 8th, 2021

Last Week In Congress: How Cascadia’s U.S. lawmakers voted (August 2nd-6th)

Good morn­ing! Here’s how Cascadia’s Unit­ed States Sen­a­tors vot­ed on major issues dur­ing the leg­isla­tive week end­ing Fri­day, August 6th, 2021.

The Unit­ed States House of Rep­re­sen­ta­tives was in recess.

In the United States Senate

Chamber of the United States Senate

The Sen­ate cham­ber (U.S. Con­gress photo)

TRIBAL HEALTHCARE: The Sen­ate on August 2nd passed an amend­ment spon­sored by Sen­a­tor Alex Padil­la, D‑California, to the Invest in Amer­i­ca Act (H.R. 3684) that would expand fund­ing author­i­ty for ren­o­vat­ing and build­ing health care facil­i­ties for urban Indi­an trib­al orga­ni­za­tions. Padil­la called the expand­ed author­i­ty “an easy, no-cost, bipar­ti­san way to help ensure that this pack­age bol­sters infra­struc­ture in Indi­an country.”

The vote was 90 ayes to 7 nays.

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

STUDYING HIGHWAY USE: The Sen­ate on August 3rd passed an amend­ment spon­sored by Sen­a­tor Cyn­thia Lum­mis, R‑Wyoming, to the Invest in Amer­i­ca Act (H.R. 3684), to require the Trans­porta­tion Depart­ment to make a study of vehi­cle high­way usage and the cost of wear to high­ways caused by that usage.

Lum­mis said: “A high­way cost allo­ca­tion study pro­vides the data that we need in order to make long-term, sus­tain­able, and fis­cal­ly sound deci­sions about how best to invest in our nation’s aging infra­struc­ture.” The vote was 95 yeas to 3 nays.

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

REJECTING TRUMP’S WALL: The Sen­ate on August 4th reject­ed an amend­ment spon­sored by Sen­a­tor Ron John­son, R‑Wisconsin, to the Invest in Amer­i­ca Act (H.R. 3684), that would have barred the can­cel­la­tion of con­tracts for build­ing walls and oth­er secu­ri­ty sys­tems at the U.S. bor­der with Mexico.

John­son said: “Let’s not waste the tax­pay­ers’ mon­ey. Let’s rec­og­nize walls work. We need to com­plete the 285 miles of wall that will help secure our bor­der, that will help secure our home­land, and that will help keep Amer­i­cans safe.”

An amend­ment oppo­nent, Sen. Gary Peters, D‑Michigan, said: “We need to move for­ward with smart, bipar­ti­san invest­ments that secure both our south­ern and our north­ern bor­ders, and we must not look back­ward at the for­mer admin­is­tra­tion’s boon­dog­gle.” The amend­ment failed by a vote of 48 ayes to 49 nays.

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 Nay (2):
Demo­c­ra­t­ic Sen­a­tors Maria Cantwell and Pat­ty Murray

Cas­ca­dia total: 2 aye votes, 4 nay votes

REJECTING FISCAL CONSTRAINTS ON INFRASTRUCTURE BILL: The Sen­ate on August 4th reject­ed an amend­ment spon­sored by Sen­a­tor Rick Scott, R‑Florida, to the Invest in Amer­i­ca Act (H.R. 3684), that would have pro­hib­it­ed spend­ing autho­rized by the bill if the Con­gres­sion­al Bud­get Office finds that the spend­ing would increase infla­tion, in which case the rel­e­vant funds would instead be used to reduce the fed­er­al debt.

Scott cit­ed the need to “start doing some­thing about infla­tion” and rec­og­nize that the $1.2 tril­lion of spend­ing pro­posed by the bill could hurt con­sumers by adding to infla­tion­ary pres­sures. The amend­ment failed by a vote of 42 ayes to 55 nays.

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 Nay (2):
Demo­c­ra­t­ic Sen­a­tors Maria Cantwell and Pat­ty Murray

Cas­ca­dia total: 2 aye votes, 4 nay votes

LIMOUSINE SAFETY: The Sen­ate on August 4th passed an amend­ment spon­sored by Sen­ate Major­i­ty Leader Chuck Schumer, D‑New York, to the Invest in Amer­i­ca Act (H.R. 3684), to require the Trans­porta­tion Depart­ment to devel­op seat-belt and oth­er safe­ty require­ments for stretch limousines.

The vote was 58 yeas to 39 nays.

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

UR MENDOZA JADDOU, DHS DIRECTOR OF CITIZENSHIP AND IMMIGRATION SERVICES: The Sen­ate on July 30th con­firmed the nom­i­na­tion of Ur Men­doza Jad­dou to serve as the Home­land Secu­ri­ty Depart­men­t’s direc­tor of cit­i­zen­ship and immi­gra­tion ser­vices (USCIS).

Jad­dou was chief coun­sel for the agency dur­ing the lat­ter part of the Oba­ma admin­is­tra­tion. A sup­port­er, Sen­a­tor Dick Durbin, D‑Illinois, said that in her time as chief coun­sel, Jad­dou “not only sharp­ened her mas­tery of immi­gra­tion law, she also gained valu­able expe­ri­ence nav­i­gat­ing USCIS’s admin­is­tra­tive com­plex­i­ties and oper­a­tions.” The vote was 47 ayes to 34 nays.

The State of Idaho

Vot­ing Nay (1): Repub­li­can Sen­a­tor Mike Crapo

Not Vot­ing (1): Repub­li­can Sen­a­tor Jim Risch

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, 1 nay vote, 1 not voting

Other Senate action

Along with the week’s roll call votes, the Sen­ate also passed a res­o­lu­tion (S. Res. 310), express­ing sol­i­dar­i­ty with Cuban cit­i­zens demon­strat­ing peace­ful­ly for fun­da­men­tal free­doms, con­demn­ing the Cuban regime’s acts of repres­sion, and call­ing for the imme­di­ate release of arbi­trar­i­ly detained Cuban cit­i­zens; the RENACER Act (S. 1041), to advance the strate­gic align­ment of Unit­ed States diplo­mat­ic tools toward the real­iza­tion of free, fair, and trans­par­ent elec­tions in Nicaragua; and a bill (S. 812), to direct the Sec­re­tary of State to devel­op a strat­e­gy to regain observ­er sta­tus for Tai­wan in the World Health Organization.

Key votes ahead

The Sen­ate is sched­uled today to resume con­sid­er­a­tion of H.R. 3684, begin­ning at 9 AM Pacif­ic. Votes are expect­ed. Pro­ceed­ings can be watched on C‑SPAN 2.

“Pend­ing is the Sine­ma-Port­man sub­sti­tute amend­ment #2137, as amend­ed, post-clo­ture,” Sen­a­tor Roy Blunt’s RPC web­site advis­es. “All time dur­ing adjourn­ment, recess, and Morn­ing Busi­ness counts against the post-clo­ture time. If all post-clo­ture time is used, it will expire cir­ca 7:50 PM Eastern.”

Editor’s Note: The infor­ma­tion in NPI’s week­ly How Cascadia’s U.S. law­mak­ers vot­ed fea­ture is pro­vid­ed by Tar­get­ed News Ser­vice. 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 Tar­get­ed News Ser­vice, LLC. 

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