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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, December 19th, 2021

Last Week In Congress: How Cascadia’s U.S. lawmakers voted (December 13th-17th)

Good morn­ing! Here’s how Cascadia’s Mem­bers of Con­gress vot­ed on major issues dur­ing the leg­isla­tive week end­ing Fri­day, Decem­ber 17th, 2021.

In the United States House of Representatives

Chamber of the United States House of Representatives

The House cham­ber (U.S. Con­gress photo)

MEADOWS CONTEMPT RESOLUTION: The House on Decem­ber 14th passed a res­o­lu­tion (H. Res. 851), spon­sored by Rep­re­sen­ta­tive Ben­nie G. Thomp­son, D‑Miss., to find Mark Mead­ows, Pres­i­dent Trump’s chief of staff, in con­tempt of Con­gress for not com­ply­ing with a sub­poe­na from the House Select Com­mit­tee to Inves­ti­gate the Jan­u­ary 6th Attack on the Unit­ed States Capitol.

Thomp­son said: “This is about Mr. Mead­ows refus­ing to com­ply with a sub­poe­na to dis­cuss the records he him­self turned over. Now he is hid­ing behind excuses.”

An oppo­nent, Rep­re­sen­ta­tive Jim Banks, R‑Indiana, said the select com­mit­tee had no legal author­i­ty because it had failed to meet the House char­ter that required it to have 13 mem­bers rather than its actu­al nine.

The vote was 222 yeas to 208 nays.

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

COMBATING ISLAMOPHOBIA: The House on Decem­ber 14th passed the Com­bat­ing Inter­na­tion­al Islam­o­pho­bia Act (H.R. 5665), spon­sored by Rep­re­sen­ta­tive Ilhan Omar, D‑Minnesota, to estab­lish the Office to Mon­i­tor and Com­bat Islam­o­pho­bia at the State Department.

Omar said: “Islam­o­pho­bia is glob­al in scope and we must lead the glob­al effort to address it.” An oppo­nent, Rep­re­sen­ta­tive Michael McCaul, R‑Texas, said: “This leg­is­la­tion is dan­ger­ous­ly vague and unnec­es­sar­i­ly duplica­tive. It does­n’t frame things in terms of anti-Mus­lim persecution.”

The vote was 219 yeas to 212 nays.

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

RAISING THE DEBT CEILING: The House on Decem­ber 15th passed a res­o­lu­tion (S.J. Res. 33), spon­sored by Sen. Chuck Schumer, D‑N.Y., to increase the fed­er­al gov­ern­men­t’s debt ceil­ing by $2.5 trillion.

A sup­port­er, Rep­re­sen­ta­tive Sheila Jack­son Lee, D‑Texas, said the increase was need­ed to “pre­serve the sanc­ti­ty of the full faith and cred­it of the Unit­ed States, pro­tect Amer­i­can jobs and busi­ness­es of all sizes, and ensure the con­tin­ued growth of the economy.”

An oppo­nent, Rep­re­sen­ta­tive Kevin Brady, R‑Texas, said the increase was “about mak­ing room for new waste­ful spend­ing, tril­lions that will pour more fuel on the infla­tion fire that marks Joe Biden’s pres­i­den­cy, the high­est rate in decades.”

The vote was 221 yeas to 209 nays.

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)

RAISING THE DEBT CEILING: The Sen­ate on Decem­ber 15th passed a res­o­lu­tion (S.J. Res. 33, above), spon­sored by Sen­ate Major­i­ty Leader Chuck Schumer, D‑New York, to increase the fed­er­al gov­ern­men­t’s debt ceil­ing by $2.5 tril­lion. Schumer said the increase was need­ed to pre­vent default on the debt.

An oppo­nent, Sen­a­tor Mike Lee, R‑Utah, said the increase was exces­sive and, by requir­ing only a bare major­i­ty rather than a 60-vote major­i­ty, would dam­age the Sen­ate’s use of the fil­i­buster going for­ward. The vote was 50 yeas to 49 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

LUCY KOH, APPEALS COURT JUDGE: The Sen­ate on Decem­ber 13th con­firmed the nom­i­na­tion of Lucy Koh to serve as a judge on the U.S. Ninth Cir­cuit Court of Appeals. Koh, cur­rent­ly a fed­er­al dis­trict judge for north­ern Cal­i­for­nia, was pre­vi­ous­ly a pri­vate prac­tice attor­ney and a fed­er­al prosecutor.

A sup­port­er, Sen. Alex Padil­la, D‑California, said Koh “is well known, not only in her dis­trict but across the coun­try as tal­ent­ed, thought­ful, smart, and fair.” An oppo­nent, Sen­a­tor Dan Sul­li­van, R‑Alaska, crit­i­cized the White House for fail­ing to afford him the chance to meet with Koh to eval­u­ate her before the con­fir­ma­tion vote, and said Koh lacked famil­iar­i­ty with the unique laws that apply to Alaska’s native tribes. The vote, on Decem­ber 13th, was 50 yeas to 45 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

2022 NDAA (DEFENSE SPENDING): The Sen­ate on Decem­ber 15th agreed to the House amend­ment to the Nation­al Defense Autho­riza­tion Act (S. 1605), spon­sored by Sen­a­tor Rick Scott, R‑Fla., to autho­rize fis­cal 2022 spend­ing on the mil­i­tary, mil­i­tary con­struc­tion projects, and mil­i­tary-relat­ed pro­grams at the Ener­gy Depart­ment. A sup­port­er, Sen. Jack Reed, D‑Rhode Island, said the bill “autho­rizes sig­nif­i­cant increas­es in mil­i­tary con­struc­tion projects, mod­ern­iz­ing our nuclear tri­ad and mis­sile defense sys­tems, and invest­ing in cut­ting-edge tech­nolo­gies such as arti­fi­cial intel­li­gence, micro­elec­tron­ics, advanced mate­ri­als, 5G, and biotech­nol­o­gy.” The vote was 88 yeas to 11 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 Aye (2):
Demo­c­ra­t­ic Sen­a­tors Maria Cantwell and Pat­ty Murray

Cas­ca­dia total: 4 aye votes, 2 nay votes

JENNIFER SUNG, APPEALS COURT JUDGE: The Sen­ate on Decem­ber 15th con­firmed the nom­i­na­tion of Jen­nifer Sung to serve as a judge on the U.S. Ninth Cir­cuit Court of Appeals. Since 2007, Sung has been a pri­vate prac­tice lawyer spe­cial­iz­ing in labor law and work­ers’ rights. A sup­port­er, Sen­a­tor Dick Durbin, D‑Illinois, called Sung “a dis­tin­guished jurist who will bring a vital, and under­rep­re­sent­ed, per­spec­tive to the fed­er­al bench.”

The vote was 50 yeas to 49 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

SAMANTHA ELLIOTT, U.S. DISTRICT COURT JUDGE: The Sen­ate on Decem­ber 15th con­firmed the nom­i­na­tion of Saman­tha Elliott to serve as a judge on the U.S. dis­trict court for New Hampshire.

Elliott has been a pri­vate prac­tice lawyer since 2006, focus­ing on com­mer­cial and employ­ment law. A sup­port­er, Sen­a­tor Dick Durbin, D‑Illinois, said: “With her deep knowl­edge of the state’s legal sys­tem and her even­hand­ed approach to the law, she will make an out­stand­ing fed­er­al judge.”

The vote  was 62 yeas to 37 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

NICHOLAS BURNS, AMBASSADOR TO CHINA: The Sen­ate on Decem­ber 16th con­firmed the nom­i­na­tion of Nicholas Burns to serve as the U.S. ambas­sador to Chi­na. Burns, a long­time diplo­mat in the State Depart­ment, has been an ambas­sador to NATO and to Greece. A sup­port­er, Sen­a­tor James Risch, R‑Idaho, said Burns “has done an out­stand­ing job, has an out­stand­ing rep­u­ta­tion amongst the cadre of ambas­sadors,” and could han­dle a dif­fi­cult assign­ment in China.

The vote was 75 yeas to 18 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

RAMIN TOLOUI, ASSISTANT SECRETARY OF STATE: The Sen­ate has con­firmed the nom­i­na­tion of Ramin Toloui to serve as Assis­tant Sec­re­tary of State for Eco­nom­ic and Busi­ness Affairs. Toloui, cur­rent­ly an eco­nom­ics pro­fes­sor at Stan­ford Uni­ver­si­ty, was pre­vi­ous­ly an invest­ment man­ag­er at PIMCO and a Trea­sury Depart­ment offi­cial dur­ing the Oba­ma administration.

A sup­port­er, Sen­a­tor Robert Menen­dez, D‑N.J., said Toloui would help the gov­ern­ment “rein­vig­o­rate the instru­ments of our eco­nom­ic diplomacy.”

The vote was 76 yeas to 13 nays.

The State of Idaho

Vot­ing Aye (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: 5 aye votes, 1 not voting

RASHAD HUSSAIN, AMBASSADOR AT-LARGE: The Sen­ate on Decem­ber 16th con­firmed the nom­i­na­tion of Rashad Hus­sain to serve as the State Depart­men­t’s Ambas­sador at Large for Inter­na­tion­al Reli­gious Free­dom. Hus­sain was a senior offi­cial in sev­er­al roles dur­ing the Oba­ma admin­is­tra­tion, includ­ing Spe­cial Envoy to the Orga­ni­za­tion of Islam­ic Cooperation.

A sup­port­er, Sen­a­tor Robert Menen­dez, D‑New Jer­sey, said: “Through­out his impres­sive pub­lic ser­vice, Mr. Hus­sain has demon­strat­ed his strong com­mit­ment to pro­tect­ing the rights of reli­gious and eth­nic minorities.”

The vote was 85 yeas to 5 nays.

The State of Idaho

Vot­ing Aye (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: 5 aye votes, 1 not voting

ADDITIONAL SENATE VOTES: Along with this week’s roll call votes, the Sen­ate also passed by voice vote the fol­low­ing leg­is­la­tion: a bill (H.R. 6256), to ensure that goods made with forced labor in the Xin­jiang Uyghur Autonomous Region of Chi­na do not enter the Unit­ed States mar­ket; and the Accel­er­at­ing Access to Crit­i­cal Ther­a­pies for ALS Act (H.R. 3537), to direct the Health and Human Ser­vices Depart­ment to sup­port research on, and expand­ed access to, inves­ti­ga­tion­al drugs for amy­otroph­ic lat­er­al sclerosis.

LWIC will be on hiatus until 2022

Con­gress has adjourned for the year, so there will be no fur­ther install­ments of Last Week In Con­gress until the new year. Sea­son’s greet­ings from NPI!

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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