WASHINGTON — Here’s how the state’s members of Congress voted on major issues in the week ending Jan. 15.
Mountaintop-removal coal mining
By a vote of 235 for and 188 against, the House on Jan. 12 passed a GOP-sponsored bill (HR 1644) that would shelve a new federal rule aimed at protecting streams and drinking water from pollution caused by mountaintop-removal coal mining. The rule addresses the practice of companies blasting mountaintops and then dumping rocks and other debris into nearby streams and valleys.
Voting yes: Dan Newhouse, R-Sunnyside; Cathy McMorris Rodgers, R-Spokane
Voting no: Suzan DelBene, D-Medina; Rick Larsen, D-Lake Stevens; Jaime Herrera Beutler, R-Camas; Derek Kilmer, D-Gig Harbor; Jim McDermott, D-Seattle; Dave Reichert, R-Auburn; Denny Heck, D-Olympia
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Not voting: Adam Smith, D-Bellevue
Dispute over Clean Water Act
The House on Jan. 13 voted, 253 to 166, to kill a new Environmental Protection Agency rule that gives protection under the 1972 Clean Water Act to headwaters, wetlands and other waters upstream of navigable waters. (The act already covers navigable waters.) The rule does not apply to nonnavigable waters used in farming. This vote sent a GOP-sponsored resolution of disapproval (SJ Res 22) to President Obama, who said he would veto it.
Voting yes: Herrera Beutler, Newhouse, McMorris Rodgers, Reichert
Voting no: DelBene, Larsen, Kilmer, McDermott, Heck
Not voting: Smith
North Korean economic sanctions
By a vote of 418 to 2, the House on Jan. 12 passed a bill (HR 757) that would expand U.S. economic sanctions on businesses and countries engaged in transactions that directly or indirectly bolster the North Korean military and supply Pyongyang with hard currency.
Voting yes: DelBene, Larsen, Herrera Beutler, Newhouse, McMorris Rodgers, Kilmer, McDermott, Reichert, Heck
Not voting: Smith
Congressional audit of Federal Reserve
Voting 53 to 44, the Senate on Jan. 12 failed to reach 60 votes needed to advance a bill (S 2232) that would authorize a full congressional audit of the Federal Reserve System. The bill would inject politicians into internal Fed deliberations. Established in 1913 as both an independent agency and central bank, the Fed is charged with setting U.S. monetary policy, with fiscal policy left to the legislative and executive branches.
Voting no: Maria Cantwell, D; Patty Murray, D