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Sunday, May 8th, 2022

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

Good morn­ing! Here’s how Cascadia’s Unit­ed States Sen­a­tors vot­ed on major issues dur­ing the leg­isla­tive week end­ing Fri­day, May 6th, 2022.

The House of Rep­re­sen­ta­tives was in recess.

In the United States Senate

Chamber of the United States Senate

The Sen­ate cham­ber (U.S. Con­gress photo)

JOSHUA FROST, ASSISTANT TREASURY SECRETARY: The Sen­ate on May 3rd con­firmed the nom­i­na­tion of Joshua Frost to serve as the Trea­sury Depart­men­t’s assis­tant sec­re­tary for finan­cial mar­kets. Frost has been an offi­cial at the Fed­er­al Reserve’s New York bank since 1999, with respon­si­bil­i­ties includ­ing over­sight of mon­ey mar­kets and Trea­sury debt mar­kets. An oppo­nent, Sen­a­tor Chuck Grass­ley, R‑Iowa, said: “I will vote against his nom­i­na­tion out of grow­ing con­cerns that the Trea­sury Depart­ment has been derelict in its respon­si­bil­i­ties to the Sen­ate Finance Com­mit­tee and its members.”

The vote was 54 yeas to 42 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

ELIZABETH BHARGAVA, ASSISTANT HUD SECRETARY: The Sen­ate on May 3rd con­firmed the nom­i­na­tion of Eliz­a­beth Bhar­ga­va to be assis­tant sec­re­tary of admin­is­tra­tion at the Depart­ment of Hous­ing and Urban Devel­op­ment (HUD). Bhar­ga­va, most recent­ly New York’s Deputy Sec­re­tary for Labor & Work­force, has been a New York state and city gov­ern­ment offi­cial for over twen­ty years. A sup­port­er, Sen­a­tor Sher­rod Brown, D‑Ohio, said Bhar­ga­va “rec­og­nizes that the pro­gram con­ti­nu­ity depends on strong lead­er­ship at the top and meet­ing the depart­men­t’s urgent staffing needs.” The vote was 62 yeas to 34 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

DISAPPROVING OF HEAD START MASKING RULE: The Sen­ate on May 3rd passed a res­o­lu­tion (S.J. Res. 39) spon­sored by Sen­a­tor John Thune, R‑South Dako­ta, that would dis­ap­prove of and void a Health and Human Ser­vices Depart­ment rule requir­ing face masks to be worn indoors and out­doors by chil­dren and work­ers in Head Start pro­grams, and requir­ing Head Start work­ers to have received vac­ci­na­tions against COVID-19.

Thune said: “The sci­en­tif­ic evi­dence for mask­ing tod­dlers is shaky at best. The World Health Orga­ni­za­tion does not rec­om­mend mask­ing for chil­dren under five. The con­cerns about the effect on speech and chil­dren’s devel­op­ment are real.” A res­o­lu­tion oppo­nent, Sen­a­tor Pat­ty Mur­ray, D‑Wash., said: “Once our youngest chil­dren can get ful­ly vac­ci­nat­ed, it prob­a­bly makes sense to revis­it some of these require­ments, but we are not there yet.” The vote was 55 yeas to 41 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

BACKING MORE OIL AND NATURAL GAS LEASES: The Sen­ate on May 4th passed a motion, spon­sored by Sen. John Bar­ras­so, R‑Wyoming, to instruct Sen­ate con­fer­ees with the House nego­ti­at­ing the two cham­bers’ ver­sions of the Amer­i­ca Com­petes Act (H.R. 4521). The motion insist­ed on the final bill includ­ing pro­vi­sions for the sale of oil and nat­ur­al gas pro­duc­tion leas­es on the Out­er Con­ti­nen­tal Shelf of U.S. waters, includ­ing the Gulf of Mex­i­co and off­shore Alaska.

Bar­ras­so said the motion was need­ed because the Biden admin­is­tra­tion has failed to make a 5‑year leas­ing plan that would increase Amer­i­can ener­gy pro­duc­tion and decrease depen­dence on “oil from our ene­mies, like Iran and Venezuela.” An oppo­nent, Sen­a­tor Edward Markey, D‑Massachusetts, said: “We need to focus on deliv­er­ing clean ener­gy, effi­cient solu­tions to com­mu­ni­ties, not under­cut­ting fed­er­al process­es and giv­ing more hand­outs to Big Oil.”

The vote to instruct was 53 yeas to 44 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

ADDRESSING COOPERATION BETWEEN CHINA AND IRAN: The Sen­ate on May 4th passed a motion, spon­sored by Sen­a­tor Ted Cruz, R‑Texas, to instruct Sen­ate con­fer­ees with the House nego­ti­at­ing the two cham­bers’ ver­sions of the Amer­i­ca Com­petes Act (H.R. 4521). The motion insist­ed on the final bill includ­ing pro­vi­sions for com­bat­ing coop­er­a­tion between Chi­na and Iran with sanc­tions and oth­er mea­sures. Cruz said the pro­vi­sions were need­ed because “Chi­na is our most sig­nif­i­cant geopo­lit­i­cal foe for the next 100 years. Iran is the world’s lead­ing state spon­sor of ter­ror­ism.” A motion oppo­nent, Sen­a­tor Christo­pher Mur­phy, D‑Connecticut, said: “To tie our Iran ter­ror­ism sanc­tions to our Chi­na pol­i­cy would have the effect, real­ly, of mud­dy­ing the waters about the pur­pose of ter­ror­ism sanc­tions.” The vote to instruct was 86 yeas to 12 nays.

The State of Idaho

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

The State of Oregon

Vot­ing Aye (1): Demo­c­ra­t­ic Sen­a­tor Ron Wyden

Vot­ing Nay (1): Demo­c­ra­t­ic Sen­a­tor Jeff Merkley

The State of Washington

Vot­ing Aye (2):
Demo­c­ra­t­ic Sen­a­tors Maria Cantwell and Pat­ty Murray

Cas­ca­dia total: 5 aye votes, 1 nay vote

BLOCKING FUNDING FOR INTERNATIONAL CLIMATE ACTION: The Sen­ate on May 4th passed a motion, spon­sored by Sen­a­tor Tom Cot­ton, R‑Arkansas, to instruct Sen­ate con­fer­ees with the House nego­ti­at­ing the two cham­bers’ ver­sions of the Amer­i­ca Com­petes Act (H.R. 4521).

The motion insist­ed on the final bill includ­ing pro­vi­sions reject­ing autho­riza­tion for spend­ing on the Green Cli­mate Fund and autho­riz­ing $8 bil­lion for mil­i­tary research on weapons sys­tems that counter China.

Cot­ton said: “Instead of giv­ing that $8 bil­lion to the Unit­ed Nations to waste on cli­mate schemes and cor­rup­tion, we should send it to our troops and help rebuild our mil­i­tary.” A motion oppo­nent, Sen. Shel­don White­house, D‑Rhode Island, said: “Our nation­al secu­ri­ty and our eco­nom­ic advan­tage are both served by actu­al­ly sup­port­ing the inter­na­tion­al cli­mate fund and help­ing the world work its way through the predica­ment that the fos­sil fuel indus­try has foist­ed on us.”

The vote to instruct was 50 yeas to 44 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

HAMPERING JCPOA NEGOTIATIONS WITH IRAN: The Sen­ate on May 4th  passed a motion, spon­sored by Sen­a­tor James Lank­ford, R‑Oklahoma, to instruct Sen­ate con­fer­ees with the House nego­ti­at­ing the two cham­bers’ ver­sions of the Amer­i­ca Com­petes Act (H.R. 4521).

The motion insist­ed on the final bill includ­ing pro­vi­sions requir­ing that a nuclear weapons agree­ment with Iran main­tain sanc­tions on Iran’s Islam­ic Rev­o­lu­tion­ary Guard Corps and address Iran’s sup­port for ter­ror­ism and its oth­er malign activ­i­ties. Lank­ford cit­ed Iran’s use of the Corps to attack and kill U.S. sol­diers in the Iraq war as rea­son to main­tain the sanctions.

A motion oppo­nent, Sen­a­tor Christo­pher Mur­phy, D‑Connecticut, said: “To deny this admin­is­tra­tion the abil­i­ty to enter into a nuclear agree­ment isn’t just fol­ly; it is down­right dan­ger­ous.” The vote to instruct was 62 yeas to 33 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 (1): Demo­c­ra­t­ic Sen­a­tor Ron Wyden

Vot­ing Nay (1): Demo­c­ra­t­ic Sen­a­tor Jeff Merkley

The State of Washington

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

Cas­ca­dia total: 2 aye votes, 3 nay votes, 1 not voting

INTERFERING WITH EXECUTIVE BRANCH ACTION ON CLIMATE: The Sen­ate on May 4th passed a motion, spon­sored by Sen­a­tor Shel­ley Moore Capi­to, R‑West Vir­ginia, to instruct Sen­ate con­fer­ees with the House nego­ti­at­ing the two cham­bers’ ver­sions of the Amer­i­ca Com­petes Act (H.R. 4521).

The motion insist­ed on the final bill includ­ing pro­vi­sions stat­ing that the pres­i­dent can not declare a nation­al emer­gency or a pub­lic health emer­gency due to cli­mate change. Capi­to said: “We should address cli­mate change, but ced­ing broad author­i­ty over to the exec­u­tive [branch] is not the way to go.” A motion oppo­nent, Sen­a­tor Jeff Merkley, D‑Oregon, said: “Tak­ing away the abil­i­ty for the pres­i­dent to declare major dis­as­ters or health emer­gen­cies or nation­al emer­gen­cies when there are dis­as­ters strik­ing our peo­ple is a ter­ri­ble idea.”

The vote to instruct was 49 yeas to 47 nays.

The State of Idaho

Vot­ing Aye (1): Repub­li­can Sen­a­tor Mike Crapo

Not Vot­ing (1): Repub­li­can Sen­a­tor Jim Risch

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: 1 aye vote, 4 nay votes, 1 not voting

KATHRYN HUFF, ASSISTANT ENERGY SECRETARY: The Sen­ate on May 5th con­firmed the nom­i­na­tion of Kathryn Huff to be the Ener­gy Depart­men­t’s assis­tant sec­re­tary for nuclear ener­gy. Huff was a nuclear engi­neer­ing pro­fes­sor at the Uni­ver­si­ty of Illi­nois before, a year ago, join­ing the Ener­gy Depart­ment as a senior offi­cial. A sup­port­er, Sen­a­tor John Bar­ras­so, R‑Wyoming, said: “We need to be look­ing for oppor­tu­ni­ties to expand our use of nuclear ener­gy. Dr. Huff is ready and able to take on that respon­si­bil­i­ty.” The vote was 80 yeas to 11 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

Key votes ahead

The Sen­ate is expect­ed to vote again on the Wom­en’s Health Pro­tec­tion Act, which Repub­li­cans are expect­ed to fil­i­buster with the help of Joe Manchin.

The House of Rep­re­sen­ta­tives is expect­ed to con­sid­er a res­o­lu­tion rec­og­niz­ing con­gres­sion­al work­ers’ right to orga­nize along with the Fed­er­al Fire­fight­ers Fair­ness Act of 2022, Rights for the TSA Work­force Act of 2022, and the Com­mu­ni­ty Ser­vices Block Grant Mod­ern­iza­tion Act of 2022.

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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