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Sunday, February 20th, 2022

Last Week In Congress: How Cascadia’s U.S. lawmakers voted (February 14th-18th)

Good morn­ing! Here’s how Cascadia’s Unit­ed States Sen­a­tors vot­ed on major issues dur­ing the leg­isla­tive week end­ing Fri­day, Feb­ru­ary 18th, 2022.

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)

KEEPING THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT OPEN: The Sen­ate on Feb­ru­ary 17th passed the Fur­ther Addi­tion­al Con­tin­u­ing Appro­pri­a­tions Act (H.R. 6617), spon­sored by Rep­re­sen­ta­tive Rosa L. DeLau­ro, D‑Connecticut, to extend fund­ing for the fed­er­al gov­ern­ment though March 11th. A sup­port­er, Sen. Patrick J. Leahy, D‑Vermont, said the exten­sion would give time for Con­gress to work out “the details of full-year appro­pri­a­tions bills to meet the needs of the Amer­i­can people.”

The vote was 65 yeas to 27 nays.

A yes vote was to send the leg­is­la­tion to Pres­i­dent Biden, who sub­se­quent­ly signed it into law, avert­ing an unnec­es­sary gov­ern­ment shutdown.

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

REJECTING A REPUBLICAN AMENDMENT TO BLOCK VACCINE MANDATES: The Sen­ate on Feb­ru­ary 17th reject­ed an amend­ment spon­sored by Sen­a­tor Mike Lee, R‑Utah, to the Fur­ther Addi­tion­al Con­tin­u­ing Appro­pri­a­tions Act (H.R. 6617, above) that would have barred fund­ing for the imple­men­ta­tion of fed­er­al Covid vac­ci­na­tion require­ments. Lee said the require­ments from the Biden admin­is­tra­tion were “tread­ing deeply into the per­son­al med­ical choic­es of Amer­i­cans with­out an act of Con­gress autho­riz­ing them to do so.”

An oppo­nent, Sen­a­tor Pat­ty Mur­ray, D‑Washington, said the require­ments were need­ed because “we all want this pan­dem­ic to end; we want our schools to stay open safe­ly; and we want peo­ple to be able to go to work safe­ly and go about their lives like before.” The vote was 46 yeas to 47 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

ROBERT CALIFF, FDA COMMISSIONER: The Sen­ate on Feb­ru­ary 15th con­firmed the nom­i­na­tion of Robert Califf to be the Depart­ment of Health and Human Ser­vice’s Food and Drug Admin­is­tra­tion Com­mis­sion­er. Califf was the agen­cy’s com­mis­sion­er for a year at the close of the Oba­ma admin­is­tra­tion, then became a med­ical pro­fes­sor at Duke Uni­ver­si­ty; he is a bio­med­ical scientist.

A sup­port­er, Sen­a­tor Richard Burr, R‑North Car­oli­na, said Califf “knows the agency well, under­stands the val­ue of inno­va­tion under­way in acad­e­mia, and knows first­hand how the pri­vate sec­tor is advanc­ing cut­ting-edge sci­ence that can ben­e­fit all Amer­i­cans.” An oppo­nent, Sen­a­tor Edward Markey, D‑Massachusetts, said Califf has failed to com­mit to chang­ing “FDA’s process­es to ensure it does not make the opi­oid over­dose epi­dem­ic worse than it already has.”

The vote was 50 yeas to 46 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

CELESTE WALLANDER, ASSISTANT SECRETARY OF DEFENSE: The Sen­ate has con­firmed the nom­i­na­tion of Celeste Wal­lan­der to be assis­tant sec­re­tary for inter­na­tion­al secu­ri­ty affairs at the Defense Department.

Wal­lan­der, cur­rent­ly pres­i­dent and CEO of the U.S.-Russia Foun­da­tion, was a senior offi­cial in the Oba­ma admin­is­tra­tion spe­cial­iz­ing in Russia.

A sup­port­er, Sen­ate Major­i­ty Leader Chuck Schumer, D‑New York, said: “As one of our nation’s top experts on Russ­ian affairs, her lead­er­ship is vital right now.”

The vote was 83 yeas to 13 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

DAVID HONEY, DEPUTY UNDERSECRETARY OF DEFENSE: The Sen­ate has con­firmed the nom­i­na­tion of David Hon­ey to be deputy under sec­re­tary for research and engi­neer­ing at the Defense Depart­ment. Hon­ey, a retired Air Force offi­cer, has more recent­ly been a research offi­cial at Defense and at the Defense Advanced Projects Agency.

A sup­port­er, Sen­a­tor Jeanne Sha­heen, D‑New Hamp­shire, said: “If we are tru­ly com­mit­ted to pre­serv­ing our defense tech­no­log­i­cal supe­ri­or­i­ty, it is vital that we con­firm Dr. Hon­ey as quick­ly as possible.”

The vote was 94 yeas to 1 nay.

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

ADDITIONAL VOTES IN THE SENATE: Along with the week’s roll call votes, the Sen­ate also passed (by voice vote) the Health Care for Burn Pit Vet­er­ans Act (S. 3541), to improve health care and ser­vices for vet­er­ans exposed to tox­ic sub­stances; and a res­o­lu­tion (S. Res. 519), sup­port­ing an inde­pen­dent and demo­c­ra­t­ic Ukraine against any fur­ther Russ­ian mil­i­tary invasion.

LWIC will be on hiatus next week

The Sen­ate has joined the House in recess, so Last Week In Con­gress will be on hia­tus next week. Both cham­bers are expect­ed to be back for the first week of March (which will begin with the final day of February).

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!

© 2022 Tar­get­ed News Ser­vice, LLC. 

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