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Offering commentary and analysis from Washington, Oregon, and Idaho, The Cascadia Advocate provides the Northwest Progressive Institute's uplifting perspective on world, national, and local politics.

Sunday, March 26th, 2023

Last Week In Congress: How Cascadia’s U.S. lawmakers voted (March 20th-24th)

Good morn­ing! Here’s how Cascadia’s Mem­bers of Con­gress vot­ed on major issues dur­ing the leg­isla­tive week end­ing March 24th, 2023.

In the United States House of Representatives

Chamber of the United States House of Representatives

The House cham­ber (U.S. Con­gress photo)

POLITICS OVER PARENTS LEGISLATION: The House on March 24th passed the Par­ents Bill of Rights Act (H.R. 5), spon­sored by Rep­re­sen­ta­tive Julia Let­low, R‑Louisiana, to make fed­er­al fund­ing for local ele­men­tary and sec­ondary schools con­tin­gent on them noti­fy­ing a stu­den­t’s par­ents of their rights regard­ing aware­ness and over­sight of the school’s poli­cies, finances, and procedures.

Let­low said: “This bill aims to bring more trans­paren­cy and account­abil­i­ty to edu­ca­tion, allow­ing par­ents to be informed and, when they have ques­tions and con­cerns, to law­ful­ly bring them to their local school boards.”

An oppo­nent, Rep­re­sen­ta­tive Bob­by Scott, D‑Virginia, called the bill “an edu­ca­tion­al gag order across the nation which will pre­vent stu­dents from learn­ing and pre­vent teach­ers from teach­ing.” The vote was 213 yeas to 208 nays.

The State of Idaho

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

The State of Oregon

Vot­ing Yea (2): Repub­li­can Rep­re­sen­ta­tives Cliff Bentz and Lori Chavez-DeRemer

Vot­ing Nay (3): Demo­c­ra­t­ic Rep­re­sen­ta­tives Suzanne Bonam­i­ci, Earl Blu­me­nauer, Val Hoyle, and Andrea Salinas

Not Vot­ing (1): Demo­c­ra­t­ic Rep­re­sen­ta­tive Earl Blumenauer

The State of Washington

Vot­ing Yea (2): Repub­li­can Rep­re­sen­ta­tives Dan New­house and Cathy McMor­ris Rodgers

Vot­ing Nay (8): Demo­c­ra­t­ic Rep­re­sen­ta­tives Suzan Del­Bene, Rick Larsen, Marie Glue­senkamp Perez, Derek Kilmer, Prami­la Jaya­pal, Kim Schri­er, Adam Smith, and Mar­i­lyn Strickland

Cas­ca­dia total: 6 yea votes, 11 nay votes, 1 not voting

TRILATERAL PARTNERSHIP REPORTBACK: The House on March 22nd passed a bill (H.R. 1093), spon­sored by Rep­re­sen­ta­tive Michael T. McCaul, R‑Texas, to have the State Depart­ment report to Con­gress on State’s imple­men­ta­tion of a tri­lat­er­al U.S. secu­ri­ty part­ner­ship with Aus­tralia and the Unit­ed King­dom that includes coop­er­a­tion for devel­op­ing advanced mil­i­tary tech­nolo­gies. McCaul said the mea­sure “will begin to address numer­ous long-stand­ing chal­lenges in our arms exports to our clos­est allies and poten­tial­ly serve as a roadmap for work­ing with oth­er close allies and partners.”

The vote was 393 yeas to 4 nays.

The State of Idaho

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

The State of Oregon

Vot­ing Yea (3): Demo­c­ra­t­ic Rep­re­sen­ta­tive Andrea Sali­nas; Repub­li­can Rep­re­sen­ta­tives Cliff Bentz and Lori Chavez-DeRemer

Not Vot­ing (3): Demo­c­ra­t­ic Rep­re­sen­ta­tives Suzanne Bonam­i­ci, Val Hoyle, and Earl Blumenauer

The State of Washington

Vot­ing Yea (10): Demo­c­ra­t­ic Rep­re­sen­ta­tives Suzan Del­Bene, Rick Larsen, Marie Glue­senkamp Perez, Derek Kilmer, Prami­la Jaya­pal, Kim Schri­er, Adam Smith, and Mar­i­lyn Strick­land; Repub­li­can Rep­re­sen­ta­tives Dan New­house and Cathy McMor­ris Rodgers

Cas­ca­dia total: 14 yea votes, 3 not voting

TAIWAN POLICY GUIDANCE: The House on March 22nd passed a bill (H.R. 1159), spon­sored by Rep­re­sen­ta­tive Ann Wag­n­er, R‑Missouri, to require the State Depart­ment to peri­od­i­cal­ly update its guid­ance to Con­gress regard­ing U.S. pol­i­cy toward Tai­wan. Wag­n­er said changed guid­ance was need­ed giv­en Chi­na’s threats against Tai­wanese inde­pen­dence, and the bill would “ensure the Unit­ed States engages Tai­wan in a way that deep­ens our rela­tion­ship with this impor­tant part­ner.” The vote was 404 yeas to 7 nays.

The State of Idaho

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

The State of Oregon

Vot­ing Yea (5): Demo­c­ra­t­ic Rep­re­sen­ta­tives Suzanne Bonam­i­ci, Val Hoyle, and Andrea Sali­nas; Repub­li­can Rep­re­sen­ta­tives Cliff Bentz and Lori Chavez-DeRemer

Not Vot­ing (1): Demo­c­ra­t­ic Rep­re­sen­ta­tive Earl Blumenauer

The State of Washington

Vot­ing Yea (9): Demo­c­ra­t­ic Rep­re­sen­ta­tives Suzan Del­Bene, Rick Larsen, Marie Glue­senkamp Perez, Derek Kilmer, Prami­la Jaya­pal, Adam Smith, and Mar­i­lyn Strick­land; Repub­li­can Rep­re­sen­ta­tive Dan Newhouse

Not Vot­ing (1): Repub­li­can Rep­re­sen­ta­tive Cathy McMor­ris Rodgers

Cas­ca­dia total: 15 yea votes, 2 not voting

SUPPORTING ASEAN DIPLOMACY: The House on March 23rd passed the Pro­vid­ing Appro­pri­ate Recog­ni­tion and Treat­ment Need­ed to Enhance Rela­tions with ASEAN Act (H.R. 406), spon­sored by Rep. Joaquin Cas­tro, D‑Texas, to pro­vide var­i­ous legal immu­ni­ties and priv­i­leges to the Asso­ci­a­tion of South­east Asian Nations. A sup­port­er, Rep. Ann Wag­n­er, R‑Mo., said it “will accord ASEAN rep­re­sen­ta­tives in the Unit­ed States the same diplo­mat­ic immu­ni­ties we pro­vide oth­er region­al orga­ni­za­tions, such as the EU or the Orga­ni­za­tion of Amer­i­can States. This is a tan­gi­ble demon­stra­tion of our com­mit­ment to that organization.”

The vote was 388 yeas to 33 nays.

The State of Idaho

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

The State of Oregon

Vot­ing Yea (5): Demo­c­ra­t­ic Rep­re­sen­ta­tives Suzanne Bonam­i­ci, Val Hoyle, and Andrea Sali­nas; Repub­li­can Rep­re­sen­ta­tives Cliff Bentz and Lori Chavez-DeRemer

Not Vot­ing (1): Demo­c­ra­t­ic Rep­re­sen­ta­tive Earl Blumenauer

The State of Washington

Vot­ing Yea (10): Demo­c­ra­t­ic Rep­re­sen­ta­tives Suzan Del­Bene, Rick Larsen, Marie Glue­senkamp Perez, Derek Kilmer, Prami­la Jaya­pal, Kim Schri­er, Adam Smith, and Mar­i­lyn Strick­land; Repub­li­can Rep­re­sen­ta­tives Dan New­house and Cathy McMor­ris Rodgers

Cas­ca­dia total: 17 yea votes, 1 not voting

FAILED VETO OVERRIDE ATTEMPT: The House on March 23rd failed to over­ride Pres­i­dent Biden’s veto of a res­o­lu­tion (H.J. Res. 30), spon­sored by Rep­re­sen­ta­tive Andy Barr, R‑Kentucky, to dis­ap­prove of and void a Labor Depart­ment rule issued in Decem­ber 2022 that autho­rized fidu­cia­ries of retire­ment plans to con­sid­er envi­ron­men­tal, social, and gov­er­nance (ESG) issues in their man­age­ment of the plans. Barr said pre­serv­ing the rule would put Amer­i­cans “into less diver­si­fied, high­er fees, and low­er-per­form­ing port­fo­lios at pre­cise­ly the time that we need to max­i­mize finan­cial secu­ri­ty for Amer­i­cans approach­ing retirement.”

A res­o­lu­tion oppo­nent, Rep­re­sen­ta­tive Bob­by Scott, D‑Virginia, said it “sought to nul­li­fy a pop­u­lar and sen­si­ble rule that enabled retire­ment plan man­agers to make ful­ly informed invest­ment decisions.”

The vote was 219 yeas to 200 nays, with a two-thirds thresh­old required to over­ride the veto. The thresh­old was not met and the veto was sustained.

The State of Idaho

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

The State of Oregon

Vot­ing Yea (2): Repub­li­can Rep­re­sen­ta­tives Cliff Bentz and Lori Chavez-DeRemer

Vot­ing Nay (3):  Demo­c­ra­t­ic Rep­re­sen­ta­tives Suzanne Bonam­i­ci, Earl Blu­me­nauer, Val Hoyle, and Andrea Salinas

Not Vot­ing (1): Demo­c­ra­t­ic Rep­re­sen­ta­tive Earl Blumenauer

The State of Washington

Vot­ing Yea (2): Repub­li­can Rep­re­sen­ta­tives Dan New­house and Cathy McMor­ris Rodgers

Vot­ing Nay (8): Demo­c­ra­t­ic Rep­re­sen­ta­tives Suzan Del­Bene, Rick Larsen, Marie Glue­senkamp Perez, Derek Kilmer, Prami­la Jaya­pal, Kim Schri­er, Adam Smith, and Mar­i­lyn Strickland

Cas­ca­dia total: 6 yea votes, 11 nay votes, 1 not voting

In the United States Senate

Chamber of the United States Senate

The Sen­ate cham­ber (U.S. Con­gress photo)

GORDAN GALLAGHER, U.S. DISTRICT COURT JUDGE: The Sen­ate on March 22nd con­firmed the nom­i­na­tion of Gor­dan P. Gal­lagher to be a judge on the U.S. Dis­trict Court for Col­orado. A fed­er­al mag­is­trate judge in the dis­trict since 2012, Gal­lagher had pre­vi­ous­ly been a prac­ti­tion­er at his own law firm and a pros­e­cu­tor for Col­orado’s gov­ern­ment. A sup­port­er, Sen­a­tor Michael F. Ben­net, D‑Colorado, cit­ed Gal­lagher’s “stel­lar rep­u­ta­tion in Col­orado and near­ly 25 years in ser­vice to oth­ers.” The vote was 53 yeas to 43 nays.

The State of Idaho

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

The State of Oregon

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

The State of Washington

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

Cas­ca­dia total: 4 yea votes, 2 nay votes

GRAHAM AMENDMENT TO REVOCATION OF FORCE AUTHORIZATION BILL: The Sen­ate on March 22nd reject­ed an amend­ment spon­sored by Sen. Lind­sey Gra­ham, R‑South Car­oli­na, to a bill (S. 316) that would have repealed the 2002 autho­riza­tion of use of mil­i­tary force against Iraq and replaced it with an autho­riza­tion to use mil­i­tary force against mili­tias in Iraq that are sup­port­ed by Iran. Gra­ham said the new autho­riza­tion would “tell the Shi­ite mili­tias: You come after our troops, we are com­ing after you.”

An oppo­nent, Sen­a­tor Tim­o­thy Kaine, D‑Virginia, said a new autho­riza­tion was unnec­es­sary because the exec­u­tive branch already had ample pow­ers under arti­cle II of the Con­sti­tu­tion to take mea­sures against the militias.

The vote was 36 yeas to 60 nays.

The State of Idaho

Vot­ing Yea (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 yea votes, 4 nay votes

LEE AMENDMENT TO REVOCATION OF FORCE AUTHORIZATION BILL: The Sen­ate on March 23rd reject­ed an amend­ment spon­sored by Sen­a­tor Mike Lee, R‑Utah, to a bill (S. 316) that would have stip­u­lat­ed that no future autho­riza­tion of use of mil­i­tary force could extend beyond two years.

Lee said that by exer­cis­ing Con­gress’s prop­er con­trol of mil­i­tary action, the amend­ment would “ensure that all Amer­i­cans have a voice in mat­ters of great impor­tance, espe­cial­ly when it comes to mat­ters of war and peace, and that no pres­i­dent has the pow­er his­tor­i­cal­ly reserved for mon­archs, despots, and tyrants.”

The vote was 19 yeas to 76 nays.

The State of Idaho

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

The State of Oregon

Vot­ing Yea (1): Demo­c­ra­t­ic Sen­a­tor Jeff Merkley

Vot­ing Nay (1): Demo­c­ra­t­ic Sen­a­tor Ron Wyden

The State of Washington

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

Cas­ca­dia total: 1 yea vote, 5 nay votes

RISCH AMENDMENT TO REVOCATION OF FORCE AUTHORIZATION BILL: The House on March 23rd reject­ed an amend­ment spon­sored by Sen­a­tor James E. Risch, R‑Idaho, to a bill (S. 316) that would have con­di­tioned repeal of the 2002 autho­riza­tion to use mil­i­tary force against Iraq on assur­ances that repeal would not harm U.S. abil­i­ty to detain ter­ror­ists. Risch said the con­di­tion sought to put the U.S. in “as strong a posi­tion as we pos­si­bly could when we are in deten­tion or lit­i­ga­tion” against sus­pect­ed ter­ror­ists. An oppo­nent, Sen­a­tor Tim­o­thy Kaine, D‑Virginia, said it was unnec­es­sary because no ter­ror­ists were being detained under the 2002 autho­riza­tion. The vote was 41 yeas to 52 nays.

The State of Idaho

Vot­ing Yea (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 yea votes, 4 nay votes

Key votes ahead

The House is plan­ning to take up Steve Scalise’s “Low­er Ener­gy Costs Act” (H.R. 1) a bad bill that seeks to pre­vent the exec­u­tive branch from act­ing to pre­vent the destruc­tive prac­tice of frack­ing (hydraulic frac­tur­ing). Read more about this leg­is­la­tion here. The House is also expect­ed to con­sid­er the PRC Is Not a Devel­op­ing Coun­try Act, the Stop Forced Organ Har­vest­ing Act of 2023, and the Under­sea Cable Con­trol Act, which won’t be as controversial.

The Sen­ate will resume con­sid­er­a­tion of S.316 (above), which would final­ly repeal the autho­riza­tions for use of mil­i­tary force against Iraq. Votes are expect­ed on a set of six Repub­li­can amend­ments to the bill.

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!

© 2023 Tar­get­ed News Ser­vice, LLC. 

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