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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, May 28th, 2023

Last Week In Congress: How Cascadia’s U.S. lawmakers voted (May 22nd-26th)

Good morn­ing! Here’s how Cascadia’s Mem­bers of Con­gress vot­ed on major issues dur­ing the leg­isla­tive week end­ing May 26th, 2023.

The Unit­ed States Sen­ate was in recess.

In the United States House of Representatives

Chamber of the United States House of Representatives

The House cham­ber (U.S. Con­gress photo)

FORCING STUDENTS TO PAY BACK LOANS: The House on May 24th passed a res­o­lu­tion (H.J. Res. 45), spon­sored by Rep­re­sen­ta­tive Bob Good, R‑Virginia, to dis­ap­prove of and void an Edu­ca­tion Depart­ment rule issued last Octo­ber that sus­pend­ed or can­celled pay­ments on stu­dent loans.

Good said: “Con­gress must reclaim its pow­er and act today to stop the uni­lat­er­al action of Pres­i­dent Biden that is exac­er­bat­ing the high­er edu­ca­tion finan­cial cri­sis.” A res­o­lu­tion oppo­nent, Rep­re­sen­ta­tive James Clyburn, D‑South Car­oli­na, said: “Pres­i­dent Biden’s stu­dent loan debt relief plan will help alle­vi­ate the yoke of stu­dent loan debt for mil­lions of Amer­i­cans.” The vote was 218 yeas to 203 nays.

Marie Glue­senkamp Perez (D‑Washington) and Jared Gold­en (D‑Maine) were the only Democ­rats to vote in favor of the resolution.

The State of Idaho

Vot­ing Yea (1): Repub­li­can Rep­re­sen­ta­tive Russ Fulcher

Not Vot­ing (1): Repub­li­can Rep­re­sen­ta­tive 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 (3): Demo­c­ra­t­ic Rep­re­sen­ta­tive Marie Glue­senkamp Perez; Repub­li­can Rep­re­sen­ta­tives Dan New­house and Cathy McMor­ris Rodgers

Vot­ing Nay (7): Demo­c­ra­t­ic Rep­re­sen­ta­tives Suzan Del­Bene, Rick Larsen, Derek Kilmer, Prami­la Jaya­pal, Kim Schri­er, Adam Smith, and Mar­i­lyn Strickland

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

VOIDING ANOTHER RULE TO PROTECT AMERICANS FROM POLLUTION: The House on May 23rd passed a res­o­lu­tion (S.J. Res. 11), spon­sored by Sen­a­tor Deb Fis­ch­er, R‑Nebraska, to dis­ap­prove of and void an Envi­ron­men­tal Pro­tec­tion Agency (EPA) rule for restrict­ing ozone, par­tic­u­late mat­ter, and oth­er forms of air pol­lu­tion from heavy-duty motor vehi­cles that was issued this January.

A res­o­lu­tion sup­port­er, Rep­re­sen­ta­tive Bill John­son, R‑Ohio, called the rule an imprac­ti­cal mea­sure that would cre­ate heavy costs for “trucks that not only deliv­er all the goods we rely on but also trucks for our farm­ers and ranch­ers, build­ing con­trac­tors and land­scap­ers, and count­less oth­er work­ers and small businesses.”

An oppo­nent, Rep­re­sen­ta­tive Frank Pal­lone Jr., D‑New Jer­sey, said: “This res­o­lu­tion is yet anoth­er extrem­ist, Repub­li­can attack on com­mon­sense steps EPA is tak­ing to pro­tect Amer­i­cans’ health and the environment.”

The vote was 221 yeas to 203 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 (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: 5 yea votes, 12 nay votes, 1 not voting

PUNISHMENTS FOR USING FENTANYL-LIKE SUBSTANCES: The House has passed the Halt All Lethal Traf­fick­ing of Fen­tanyl Act (H.R. 467), spon­sored by Rep­re­sen­ta­tive Mor­gan Grif­fith, R‑Virginia. The bill would clas­si­fy fen­tanyl-relat­ed sub­stances as a sched­ule 1 con­trolled sub­stance, deemed to have a high poten­tial for abuse, with no med­ical val­ue, and sub­ject to cer­tain legal penal­ties as a result.

Grif­fith said assign­ing per­ma­nent sched­ule 1 sta­tus to the sub­stances “will strength­en law enforce­men­t’s abil­i­ty to pros­e­cute fen­tanyl traf­fick­ers and act as a deter­rent” to traf­fick­ing. A bill oppo­nent, Rep­re­sen­ta­tive Frank Pal­lone Jr., D‑New Jer­sey, said it “will leave our com­mu­ni­ties worse off and exac­er­bate exist­ing inequities in our crim­i­nal jus­tice sys­tem” by lead­ing to dis­pro­por­tion­ate crim­i­nal penal­ties for minor­i­ty groups. The vote was 289 yeas to 133 nays.

The State of Idaho

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

The State of Oregon

Vot­ing Yea (4): Repub­li­can Rep­re­sen­ta­tives Cliff Bentz and Lori Chavez-DeRe­mer; Demo­c­ra­t­ic Rep­re­sen­ta­tives Andrea Sali­nas and Val Hoyle

Vot­ing Nay (2): Demo­c­ra­t­ic Rep­re­sen­ta­tives Suzanne Bonam­i­ci and Earl Blumenauer

The State of Washington

Vot­ing Yea (8): Repub­li­can Rep­re­sen­ta­tives Dan New­house and Cathy McMor­ris Rodgers; Demo­c­ra­t­ic Rep­re­sen­ta­tives Suzan Del­Bene, Rick Larsen, Marie Glue­senkamp Perez, Derek Kilmer, Kim Schri­er, and Mar­i­lyn Strickland

Vot­ing Nay (2): Demo­c­ra­t­ic Rep­re­sen­ta­tives Prami­la Jaya­pal and Adam Smith

Cas­ca­dia total: 14 yea votes, 4 nay votes

FENTANYL TRAFFICKING: The House on May 22nd passed the Pre­vent­ing the Financ­ing of Ille­gal Syn­thet­ic Drugs Act (H.R. 1076), spon­sored by Rep­re­sen­ta­tive Mon­i­ca De La Cruz, R‑Texas, to require the Gov­ern­ment Account­abil­i­ty Office to study the role of illic­it financ­ing of traf­fick­ing in fen­tanyl, metham­phet­a­mine, and sim­i­lar dan­ger­ous syn­thet­ic drugs. De La Cruz said the study “will help law enforce­ment pin­point the busi­ness mod­el of the traf­fick­ers, how they move and hide their prof­its, and what the U.S. can do to stop fen­tanyl mon­ey laundering.”

The vote was 402 yeas to 2 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

SYSTEMIC RISKS ON U.S. FINANCIAL STABILITY FROM CHINA: The House has passed the Chi­na Finan­cial Threat Mit­i­ga­tion Act (H.R. 1156), spon­sored by Rep­re­sen­ta­tive Abi­gail Davis Span­berg­er, D‑Virginia. The bill would require the Trea­sury Depart­ment to make a report on the impacts Chi­na’s finan­cial sec­tor could have on the U.S. and its finan­cial sta­bil­i­ty, as well as ways for the U.S. to work with oth­er coun­tries to mit­i­gate risks posed by China.

A sup­port­er, Rep­re­sen­ta­tive Joyce Beat­ty, D‑Ohio, said: “We must have a clear pic­ture of the sys­temic risks we face so we can respond appro­pri­ate­ly to safe­guard our eco­nom­ic inter­ests and mit­i­gate these threats.”

The vote was 400 yeas to 5 nays.

The State of Idaho

Vot­ing Yea (2): 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

FAILED OVERRIDE OF SOLAR PANEL IMPORTS RESOLUTION VETO: The House on May 24th failed to over­ride Pres­i­dent Biden’s veto of a res­o­lu­tion (H.J. Res. 39), spon­sored by Rep­re­sen­ta­tive Bill Posey, R‑Florida, to dis­ap­prove of and void a Com­merce Depart­ment rule sus­pend­ing duties on imports of solar pan­els that were assem­bled in South­east Asia and used com­po­nents made in China.

Posey said Chi­na has been using forced labor to make the poly­sil­i­con that is used to assem­ble pan­els in neigh­bor­ing coun­tries and cir­cum­vent U.S. tar­iffs on Chi­nese-made pan­els. There­fore, “if we pass this res­o­lu­tion, we can help put a stop to Chi­na’s cheat­ing and slave labor.” An oppo­nent, Rep­re­sen­ta­tive Mike Thomp­son, D‑California, said: “We all want solar prod­ucts man­u­fac­tured right here at home; but in the short run, our domes­tic indus­try can’t increase pro­duc­tion rapid­ly enough to meet demand or to meet our cli­mate goals.”

The vote, on May 24, was 214 yeas to 205 nays, with a two-thirds thresh­old required to over­ride the veto. The thresh­old was not met.

The State of Idaho

Vot­ing Yea (1): Repub­li­can Rep­re­sen­ta­tive Russ Fulcher

Not Vot­ing (1): Repub­li­can Rep­re­sen­ta­tive 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 (3): Demo­c­ra­t­ic Rep­re­sen­ta­tive Marie Glue­senkamp Perez; Repub­li­can Rep­re­sen­ta­tives Dan New­house and Cathy McMor­ris Rodgers

Vot­ing Nay (7): Demo­c­ra­t­ic Rep­re­sen­ta­tives Suzan Del­Bene, Rick Larsen, Derek Kilmer, Prami­la Jaya­pal, Kim Schri­er, Adam Smith, and Mar­i­lyn Strickland

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

VETERANS AND TECHNOLOGY EDUCATION: The House on May 24th passed the VET-TEC Autho­riza­tion Act (H.R. 1669), spon­sored by Rep­re­sen­ta­tive Juan Cis­co­mani, R‑Arizona, to require the Vet­er­ans Affairs Depart­ment to make per­ma­nent a pro­gram for pro­vid­ing aid to up to 8,000 vet­er­ans for enrolling in non-degree train­ing or skills cours­es that are relat­ed to com­put­er pro­gram­ming, media appli­ca­tion, data pro­cess­ing, or infor­ma­tion sciences.

Cis­co­mani said that since it began in 2019, “not only has this pro­gram been ben­e­fi­cial for our vet­er­ans, but it is cru­cial for our employ­ers, as well. We need a skilled work­force work­ing in the tech indus­try, and our vet­er­ans are the per­fect fit.” The vote was 409 yeas to 9 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

Not Vot­ing (1): Demo­c­ra­t­ic Rep­re­sen­ta­tive Kim Schrier

Cas­ca­dia total: 15 yea votes, 2 not voting

Key votes ahead

On Wednes­day, the House is slat­ed to take up the debt ceil­ing deal agreed to “in prin­ci­ple” by the White House and Speak­er Kevin McCarthy’s office.

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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