Series & Special Reports

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

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.

Vot­ing Nay (2): Repub­li­can Rep­re­sen­ta­tives Russ Fulcher and Mike Simpson

Vot­ing Aye (4): Demo­c­ra­t­ic Rep­re­sen­ta­tives Suzanne Bonam­i­ci, Earl Blu­me­nauer, Peter DeFazio, and Kurt Schrader

Vot­ing Nay (1): Repub­li­can Rep­re­sen­ta­tive Cliff Bentz

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.

Vot­ing Nay (2): Repub­li­can Rep­re­sen­ta­tives Russ Fulcher and Mike Simpson

Vot­ing Aye (4): Demo­c­ra­t­ic Rep­re­sen­ta­tives Suzanne Bonam­i­ci, Earl Blu­me­nauer, Peter DeFazio, and Kurt Schrader

Vot­ing Nay (1): Repub­li­can Rep­re­sen­ta­tive Cliff Bentz

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.

Vot­ing Aye (1): Repub­li­can Rep­re­sen­ta­tive Russ Fulcher

Not Vot­ing (1): Repub­li­can Rep­re­sen­ta­tive Mike Simpson

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

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.

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

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

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.

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

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

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

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.

Vot­ing Aye (1): Repub­li­can Sen­a­tor Mike Crapo

Vot­ing Nay (1): Repub­li­can Sen­a­tor Jim Risch

Vot­ing Aye (2):
Demo­c­ra­t­ic Sen­a­tors Ron Wyden and Jeff Merkley

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.

Vot­ing Aye (2):
Repub­li­can Sen­a­tors Jim Risch and Mike Crapo

Vot­ing Aye (2):
Demo­c­ra­t­ic Sen­a­tors Ron Wyden and Jeff Merkley

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.

Vot­ing Nay (2):
Repub­li­can Sen­a­tors Jim Risch and Mike Crapo

Vot­ing Aye (2):
Demo­c­ra­t­ic Sen­a­tors Ron Wyden and Jeff Merkley

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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