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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, November 21st, 2021

Last Week In Congress: How Cascadia’s U.S. lawmakers voted (November 15th-19th)

Good morn­ing! Here’s how Cascadia’s Mem­bers of Con­gress vot­ed on major issues dur­ing the leg­isla­tive week end­ing Fri­day, Novem­ber 19th, 2021.

In the United States House of Representatives

Chamber of the United States House of Representatives

The House cham­ber (U.S. Con­gress photo)

BUILD BACK BETTER ACT PASSES: On Fri­day, Novem­ber 21st, the House of Rep­re­sen­ta­tives passed the Build Back Bet­ter Act, which com­bines ele­ments of Pres­i­dent Biden’s Amer­i­can Jobs Plan and Amer­i­can Fam­i­lies Plan into one bill.

The Build Back Bet­ter Act is the cen­ter­piece of Pres­i­dent Biden’s 2021 leg­isla­tive agen­da, along with the Infra­struc­ture Invest­ment and Jobs Act.

The leg­is­la­tion would:

  • pro­vide child­care for chil­dren under the age of six;
  • make preschool universal;
  • expand Medicare to cov­er den­tal, hear­ing, and vision care;
  • pro­vide up to twelve weeks of paid fam­i­ly and med­ical leave;
  • low­er the cost of pre­scrip­tion drugs by requir­ing the Depart­ment of Health and Human Ser­vices to nego­ti­ate max­i­mum prices for cer­tain brand-name drugs under Medicare;
  • invest in elec­tric vehi­cle infra­struc­ture and projects to mit­i­gate cli­mate damage
  • increase Pell Grants
  • … and expand appren­tice­ship oppor­tu­ni­ties, among oth­er provisions.

“With the pas­sage of the Build Back Bet­ter Act, we – this Demo­c­ra­t­ic Con­gress – are tak­ing our place in the long and hon­or­able her­itage of our democ­ra­cy, which – with leg­is­la­tion that will be the pil­lar of health and finan­cial secu­ri­ty in Amer­i­ca.  It will be his­toric in forg­ing land­mark progress for our nation,” said Speak­er Nan­cy Pelosi, D‑California, in floor remarks urg­ing adop­tion of the bill.

“Today, Pres­i­dent Biden and House Democ­rats chose left­ist spe­cial inter­est groups and ille­gal immi­grants over the needs of hard­work­ing Amer­i­can fam­i­lies,” said House Minor­i­ty Leader Kevin McCarthy, R‑California. “While Democ­rats are ignor­ing the needs of Amer­i­can work­ers and fam­i­lies, Repub­li­cans are pay­ing atten­tion: we will con­tin­ue to fight against their rad­i­cal, failed agenda.”

The vote was 220 to 213. A yes vote was to send the leg­is­la­tion 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

CENSURING PAUL GOSAR: The House on Novem­ber 17th passed a res­o­lu­tion (H. Res. 789), spon­sored by Rep­re­sen­ta­tive Jack­ie Speier, D‑California, to cen­sure Rep­re­sen­ta­tive Paul Gosar, R‑Arizona, and remove him from two com­mit­tees, after he post­ed an altered car­toon video on his social media accounts that showed him attack­ing Pres­i­dent Biden. Speier said: “Incit­ing vio­lence begets violence.”

An oppo­nent, House Minor­i­ty Leader Kevin McCarthy, R‑California, said Gosar delet­ed the video on his own and affirmed that “he does not believe in vio­lence to any­one,” and McCarthy claimed that the House had failed to cen­sure Democ­rats for sim­i­lar­ly inflam­ma­to­ry behav­ior toward Pres­i­dent Trump.

The vote was 223 yeas to 207 nays, with two Repub­li­cans vot­ing aye.

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

ENSURING ACCESS TO EDUCATION FOR VETERANS: The House on Novem­ber 15th passed the Colonel John M. McHugh Tuition Fair­ness for Sur­vivors Act (S. 1095), spon­sored by Sen. Jer­ry Moran, R‑Kansas, to pro­vide greater tuition and job train­ing ben­e­fits for sur­vivors of deceased mil­i­tary veterans.

A sup­port­er, Rep. Mark Takano, D‑California, said the bill would “ensure the sur­vivors and depen­dents of those who brave­ly serve our coun­try are not hin­dered by tuition costs when pur­su­ing their education.”

The vote was unan­i­mous with 424 yeas.

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 (9): 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

Not Vot­ing (1): Repub­li­can Rep­re­sen­ta­tive Jaime Her­rera Beutler

Cas­ca­dia total: 15 aye votes, 2 not voting

REQUIRING VA TO OBTAIN GUIDANCE FROM VETERANS LIVING IN U.S. TERRITORIES: The House on Novem­ber 18th passed a bill (H.R. 3730), spon­sored by Del­e­gate Gre­go­rio Kilili Cama­cho Sablan, D‑Northern Mar­i­ana Islands. It would require the Depart­ment of Vet­er­ans Affairs to form an advi­so­ry com­mit­tee to con­sult the agency on issues fac­ing vet­er­ans who live in Puer­to Rico and the oth­er U.S. ter­ri­to­ries. The vote was 420 yeas to 4 nays.

The State of Idaho

Vot­ing Aye (2): Repub­li­can Rep­re­sen­ta­tives Russ Fulcher and 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 (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

IMPROVING SECURITY PROCEDURES AT U.S. AIRPORTS: The House on Novem­ber 18th passed the TSA Reach­ing Across Nation­al­i­ties, Soci­eties, and Lan­guages to Advance Trav­el­er Edu­ca­tion Act (H.R. 5574), spon­sored by Rep. Dina Titus, D‑Nevada. The bill would require the Trans­porta­tion Secu­ri­ty Admin­is­tra­tion to take mea­sures for increas­ing com­pre­hen­sion of air­port secu­ri­ty mate­ri­als, includ­ing accom­mo­da­tions for for­eign lan­guage speak­ers and those with vision or hear­ing impair­ments. The vote was 369 yeas to 49 nays.

The State of Idaho

Vot­ing Aye (2): Repub­li­can Rep­re­sen­ta­tives Russ Fulcher and 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 (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

In the United States Senate

Chamber of the United States Senate

The Sen­ate cham­ber (U.S. Con­gress photo)

GRAHAM STEELE, ASSISTANT TREASURY SECRETARY: The Sen­ate on Novem­ber 16th con­firmed the nom­i­na­tion of Gra­ham Steele to be assis­tant sec­re­tary for finan­cial insti­tu­tions at the Trea­sury Depart­ment. Steele was a senior staffer on the Sen­ate Bank­ing Com­mit­tee from 2015 to 2017, and since then has been a Fed­er­al Reserve staffer and an offi­cial at Stan­ford’s busi­ness school. A sup­port­er, Sen­a­tor Sher­rod Brown, D‑Ohio, said “the staff of many of my col­leagues on both sides of the aisle can attest to his com­mit­ment to ser­vice and the abil­i­ty to find com­mon ground.” The vote was 53 yeas to 42 nays.

The State of Idaho

Vot­ing Aye (1): Repub­li­can Sen­a­tor Mike Crapo

Vot­ing Nay (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: 5 aye votes, 1 nay vote

ROBERT BONNIE, AGRICULTURE UNDERSECRETARY: The Sen­ate on Novem­ber 16th con­firmed the nom­i­na­tion of Robert Bon­nie to serve as the Agri­cul­ture Depart­men­t’s under sec­re­tary for farm pro­duc­tion and con­ser­va­tion. Bon­nie was an Agri­cul­ture offi­cial in the Oba­ma admin­is­tra­tion, then joined a Duke Uni­ver­si­ty envi­ron­men­tal insti­tute from 2017 through 2020.

The vote was 76 yeas to 19 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

JONATHAN KANTER, ASSISTANT ATTORNEY GENERAL: The Sen­ate has con­firmed the nom­i­na­tion of Jonathan Kan­ter to serve as assis­tant attor­ney gen­er­al head­ing the antitrust divi­sion of the Jus­tice Depart­ment. Kan­ter, cur­rent­ly part­ner at his own law firm, was pre­vi­ous­ly an antitrust lawyer both in pri­vate prac­tice and at the Fed­er­al Trade Com­mis­sion. The vote was 68 yeas to 29 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

ADDITIONAL SENATE VOTES: The Sen­ate con­firmed the nom­i­na­tion of four indi­vid­u­als for posi­tions in the exec­u­tive branch on Novem­ber 17th, 2021. Two of the four nom­i­nees are from the Pacif­ic Northwest.

  • Charles F. Sams III, of Ore­gon, to be Direc­tor of the Nation­al Park Service;
  • Julianne Smith, of Michi­gan, to be Unit­ed States Per­ma­nent Rep­re­sen­ta­tive on the Coun­cil of the North Atlantic Treaty Orga­ni­za­tion, with the rank and sta­tus of Ambassador;
  • Lee Sat­ter­field, of South Car­oli­na, to be an Assis­tant Sec­re­tary of State (Edu­ca­tion­al and Cul­tur­al Affairs);
  • Jef­frey M. Hov­e­nier, of Wash­ing­ton, to be Ambas­sador to the Repub­lic of Kosovo.

These nom­i­nees were all con­firmed with­out oppo­si­tion and with­out roll call votes.

Last Week In Congress will be on hiatus next Sunday

This is Thanks­giv­ing Week, so no votes are planned this week in either the House of Rep­re­sen­ta­tives or the Sen­ate. Have a great Thanksgiving!

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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