Last Week In Congress
Last Week In Congress is a long-running Sunday series on NPI's Cascadia Advocate that helps people across the Pacific Northwest and beyond follow how Washington, Oregon, and Idaho's United States lawmakers voted. The illustration above incorporates photo art depicting the U.S. Capitol from NPI's image library.

Good morn­ing! Here’s how Cascadia’s Mem­bers of Con­gress vot­ed on major issues dur­ing the leg­isla­tive week end­ing April 21st, 2023.

In the United States House of Representatives

Chamber of the United States House of Representatives
The House cham­ber (U.S. Con­gress photo)

GENDER AND SCHOOL SPORTS: The House on April 20th passed the inap­pro­pri­ate­ly-named “Pro­tec­tion of Women and Girls in Sports Act” (H.R. 734), spon­sored by Rep­re­sen­ta­tive Gre­go­ry W. Steube, R‑Florida, to con­di­tion fed­er­al fund­ing of school ath­let­ic pro­grams on those schools not allow­ing peo­ple whose bio­log­i­cal sex at birth is male to take part in female ath­let­ic programs.

Steube said the bill “pre­serves wom­en’s sports and ensures fair com­pe­ti­tion for gen­er­a­tions of women to come.” An oppo­nent, Rep­re­sen­ta­tive Mark Takano, D‑California, said: “Con­gress has no busi­ness tar­get­ing trans­gen­der women and girls and impos­ing a nation­wide ban on their par­tic­i­pa­tion in school sports.”

The vote was 219 yeas to 203 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 (4): Demo­c­ra­t­ic Rep­re­sen­ta­tives Suzanne Bonam­i­ci, Earl Blu­me­nauer, Val Hoyle, and Andrea Salinas

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, 12 nay votes

RESPONDING TO CHINESE SURVEILLANCE BALLOONS: The House on April 17th passed the Uphold­ing Sov­er­eign­ty of Air­space Act (H.R. 1151), spon­sored by Rep. Gre­go­ry Meeks, D‑New York, to con­demn Chi­na’s sur­veil­lance bal­loon flights over the U.S. since 2017 and have the State Depart­ment work with oth­er coun­tries to oppose such flights as inva­sions of sov­er­eign ter­ri­to­ry. Meeks said of the flights: “Such a vio­la­tion of inter­na­tion­al law and U.S. sov­er­eign­ty will not be tol­er­at­ed and must not hap­pen again.” The vote was 405 yeas to 6 nays.

The State of Idaho

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

The State of Oregon

Vot­ing Yea (6): Demo­c­ra­t­ic Rep­re­sen­ta­tives Suzanne Bonam­i­ci, Val Hoyle, Earl Blu­me­nauer, and Andrea Sali­nas; Repub­li­can Rep­re­sen­ta­tives Cliff Bentz and Lori Chavez-DeRemer

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: 18 yea votes

RESPONDING TO DRONE ATTACK BY RUSSIA: The House on April 17th passed a res­o­lu­tion (H. Res. 240), spon­sored by Rep­re­sen­ta­tive Bran­don Williams, R‑New York, to con­demn Rus­si­a’s recent destruc­tion of a U.S. mil­i­tary drone said to have been fly­ing in inter­na­tion­al air­space over the Black Sea.

Williams said the res­o­lu­tion would “reas­sure our allies that we are com­mit­ted to defend our­selves and our friends, and togeth­er, we will ensure the peace through deter­rence in uni­ty.” The was unan­i­mous with 410 yeas.

The State of Idaho

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

The State of Oregon

Vot­ing Yea (6): Demo­c­ra­t­ic Rep­re­sen­ta­tives Suzanne Bonam­i­ci, Val Hoyle, Earl Blu­me­nauer, and Andrea Sali­nas; Repub­li­can Rep­re­sen­ta­tives Cliff Bentz and Lori Chavez-DeRemer

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: 18 yea votes

FAILED VETO OVERRIDE OF WATERWAYS REGULATION: The House on April 18th failed to over­ride Pres­i­dent Biden’s veto of a res­o­lu­tion (H.J. Res. 27), spon­sored by Rep­re­sen­ta­tive Sam Graves, R‑Missouri., that would have void­ed an Army Corps of Engi­neers and Envi­ron­men­tal Pro­tec­tion Agency rule issued this Jan­u­ary that defines Waters of the Unit­ed States (WOTUS).

Such waters would be sub­ject to reg­u­la­tion under the Clean Water Act. Graves said the rule favored “rad­i­cal envi­ron­men­tal activists over Amer­i­ca’s fam­i­lies, small busi­ness­es, farm­ers, builders, and prop­er­ty owners.”

A res­o­lu­tion oppo­nent, the Pacif­ic North­west­’s own Rep­re­sen­ta­tive Rick Larsen, D‑Washington, said: “This res­o­lu­tion rep­re­sents a step back­ward for clean water, increas­es uncer­tain­ty for busi­ness­es, and dou­bles down on fight­ing and on chaos.” The vote was 227 yeas to 196 nays, with a two-thirds thresh­old required.

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, and Val Hoyle

Not Vot­ing (1): Demo­c­ra­t­ic Rep­re­sen­ta­tive Andrea Salinas

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

OVERRIDING DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA LAWMAKING ON POLICE REFORM: The House on April 19th passed a bill (H.J. Res. 42), spon­sored by Rep­re­sen­ta­tive Andrew Clyde, R‑Georgia, to dis­ap­prove of and void the Wash­ing­ton, D.C., Coun­cil’s adop­tion of a law chang­ing polic­ing poli­cies for D.C. police offi­cers. Clyde said the action was nec­es­sary because “the D.C. Coun­cil’s mis­guid­ed leg­is­la­tion has dri­ven out men and women in blue who pro­tect us, while dis­in­cen­tiviz­ing indi­vid­u­als to join the force.”

An oppo­nent, Rep­re­sen­ta­tive Jamie Raskin, D‑Maryland, said the Coun­cil was only try­ing to “pro­mote account­abil­i­ty for police offi­cers who use exces­sive force or abuse their pow­er, a goal that the vast major­i­ty of Amer­i­cans share.”

The vote was 229 yeas to 189 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 (4): Demo­c­ra­t­ic Rep­re­sen­ta­tives Suzanne Bonam­i­ci, Earl Blu­me­nauer, Val Hoyle, and Andrea Salinas

The State of Washington

Vot­ing Yea (4): Repub­li­can Rep­re­sen­ta­tives Dan New­house and Cathy McMor­ris Rodgers; Demo­c­ra­t­ic Rep­re­sen­ta­tives  Marie Glue­senkamp Perez and Kim Schrier

Vot­ing Nay (6): Demo­c­ra­t­ic Rep­re­sen­ta­tives Suzan Del­Bene, Rick Larsen, Derek Kilmer, Prami­la Jaya­pal, Adam Smith, and Mar­i­lyn Strickland

Cas­ca­dia total: 8 yea votes, 10 nay votes

TELECOMMUNICATIONS SECURITY: The House on April 19th passed the Coun­ter­ing Untrust­ed Telecom­mu­ni­ca­tions Abroad Act (H.R. 1149), spon­sored by Rep­re­sen­ta­tive Susan Wild, D‑Pennsylvania, to require the State Depart­ment to assist telecom­mu­ni­ca­tions infra­struc­ture install­ments that pro­mote U.S. nation­al secu­ri­ty, and require oth­er mea­sures to address secu­ri­ty risks from telecom­mu­ni­ca­tions. Wild said: “Secur­ing these net­works is imper­a­tive when it comes to nation­al secu­ri­ty and human rights, as well as for our eco­nom­ic secu­ri­ty.” The vote was 410 yeas to 8 nays.

The State of Idaho

Vot­ing Yea (1): Repub­li­can Rep­re­sen­ta­tive Russ Fulcher

Not Vot­ing (1): Repub­li­can Rep­re­sen­ta­tive Mike Simpson

The State of Oregon

Vot­ing Yea (6): Demo­c­ra­t­ic Rep­re­sen­ta­tives Suzanne Bonam­i­ci, Val Hoyle, Earl Blu­me­nauer, and Andrea Sali­nas; Repub­li­can Rep­re­sen­ta­tives Cliff Bentz and Lori Chavez-DeRemer

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

In the United States Senate

Chamber of the United States Senate
The Sen­ate cham­ber (U.S. Con­gress photo)

FIRE GRANTS AND SAFETY ACT: The Sen­ate on April 20th passed the Fire Grants and Safe­ty Act (S. 870), spon­sored by Sen­a­tor Gary C. Peters, D‑Michigan, to reau­tho­rize through fis­cal 2030 sev­er­al fed­er­al fire­fight­ing and fire man­age­ment pro­grams. Peters said: “Fire depart­ments depend on these pro­grams to address staffing needs, replace out­dat­ed equip­ment, fund fire train­ing and edu­ca­tion pro­grams, and invest in health screen­ings for fire­fight­ers in the line of duty.” The vote was 95 yeas to 2 nays.

The State of Idaho

Vot­ing Yea (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: 6 yea votes

REJECTION OF RAND PAUL’S ANTI-VACCINE AMENDMENT: The Sen­ate on April 18th reject­ed an amend­ment spon­sored by Sen. Rand Paul, R‑Kentucky, to the Fire Grants and Safe­ty Act (S. 870, above), that would have made grants to local fire depart­ments con­tin­gent on those depart­ments not hav­ing imposed COVID vac­ci­na­tion require­ments on their employees.

Paul said: “Fire­men and EMTs who chose not to be vac­ci­nat­ed were nev­er a threat to any­one, nev­er a threat to their com­mu­ni­ties. On the con­trary, these fire­fight­ers served their com­mu­ni­ties brave­ly and made their neigh­bors safe.”

An oppo­nent, Sen. Gary C. Peters, D‑Michigan, said: “This amend­ment would inter­fere with state and local gov­ern­ments’ abil­i­ty to deter­mine health poli­cies for their own employ­ees and how to best keep their com­mu­ni­ties safe.”

The vote was 45 yeas to 54 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

REJECTION OF RICK SCOTT’S COVID REDIRECTION FUNDS AMENDMENT: The Sen­ate on April 18th reject­ed an amend­ment spon­sored by Sen­a­tor Rick Scott, R‑Florida, to the Fire Grants and Safe­ty Act (S. 870, above) that would have used unspent COVID relief funds to help cov­er the cost of the bil­l’s fire­fight­ing grants pro­gram. Scott said that giv­en the more than $31 tril­lion of gov­ern­ment indebt­ed­ness, it would be finan­cial­ly pru­dent to redi­rect unob­lig­at­ed funds to sup­port fire­fight­ers, rather than add to deficit spending.

An amend­ment oppo­nent, Sen­a­tor Gary C. Peters, D‑Michigan, said: “Redis­trib­ut­ing this fund­ing could weak­en our nation’s abil­i­ty to con­tin­ue respond­ing to and recov­er­ing from the COVID-19 pan­dem­ic and would pull funds from a pro­gram that is sup­port­ing our com­mu­ni­ties, fam­i­lies, and small busi­ness­es in impor­tant ways.” The vote was 47 yeas to 49 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

RADHA IEYNGAR PLUMB, UNDERSECRETARY: The Sen­ate on April 18th con­firmed the nom­i­na­tion of Rad­ha Iyen­gar Plumb to be Deputy Under Sec­re­tary of Defense for Acqui­si­tion and Sus­tain­ment. Plumb, cur­rent­ly chief of staff to Defense’s deputy sec­re­tary, was for­mer­ly an exec­u­tive at Google and at Face­book, and a nation­al secu­ri­ty staffer at sev­er­al fed­er­al agencies.

The vote was 68 yeas to 30 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

AMY LEFKOWITZ SOLOMON, AAG: The Sen­ate on April 18th con­firmed the nom­i­na­tion of Amy Lefkowitz Solomon to be the Jus­tice Depart­men­t’s Assis­tant Attor­ney Gen­er­al for the Office of Jus­tice Pro­grams (OJP). A senior offi­cial at OJP since the start of the Biden admin­is­tra­tion, Solomon was in sim­i­lar roles at OJP dur­ing the Oba­ma admin­is­tra­tion as well. A sup­port­er, Sen. Dick Durbin, D‑Ill., called Solomon “a devot­ed pub­lic ser­vant whose pol­i­cy exper­tise and com­mit­ment to the rule of law will serve the Jus­tice Depart­ment and com­mu­ni­ties across Amer­i­ca.” The vote, on April 18, was 59 yeas to 40 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

Key votes ahead

The House plans to take up a res­o­lu­tion dis­ap­prov­ing the rule sub­mit­ted by the Depart­ment of Com­merce relat­ing to “Pro­ce­dures Cov­er­ing Sus­pen­sion of Liq­ui­da­tion, Duties and Esti­mat­ed Duties in Accord With Pres­i­den­tial Procla­ma­tion 10414” along with sev­er­al oth­er bills and res­o­lu­tions, such as the Secure Space Act and the Advanced, Local Emer­gency Response Telecom­mu­ni­ca­tions Par­i­ty Act.

The Sen­ate will take up the nom­i­na­tion of Joshua David Jacobs, of Wash­ing­ton, to be Under Sec­re­tary for Ben­e­fits of the Depart­ment of Vet­er­ans Affairs. It will also con­sid­er a motion relat­ing to S.326, the leg­isla­tive vehi­cle for a vet­er­ans package.

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. 

About the author

Targeted News Service provides comprehensive public policy coverage of government activities at the federal, congressional and state level, including weekly voting reports for NPI's Last Week In Congress series. TNS' president and editor Myron Struck has been a professional journalist since 1973, working for The Washington Post, Miami Herald, Manassas (Virginia) Journal-Messenger, Prince William (Virginia) Journal, Defense News, Defense Electronics, Roll Call, States News Service, CCH Publications (TaxDay), CD Publications and Campaigns & Elections Magazine.

Adjacent posts