WASHINGTON — Here’s how state members of Congress voted on major issues during the legislative week that ended Saturday.


Expanding voting rights, overhauling campaign finance: By a vote of 220 for and 210 against, the House on Wednesday passed a bill, HR 1, designed to broadly expand participation in U.S. elections and make limited changes in the way campaigns are financed. The bill would increase registration opportunities, require voting systems to be backed up with auditable paper ballots, qualify felons who have served their time to vote in federal elections, require presidential and vice presidential candidates to disclose personal and any corporate tax returns, modernize voting equipment and harden systems against cyberattacks, and prohibit influence peddling by inaugural committees. The bill would apply primarily to federal elections but also affect state and local balloting in major ways. In other provisions, the bill would:

Gerrymandering: Require states to use 15-member bipartisan commissions rather than partisan gerrymandering to redraw congressional districts following the decennial census.

Voter registration: Authorize $750 million over five years on state programs to make voter registration easier. States would have to allow no-excuse absentee voting, automatically register residents who sign up for government services including education, allow registration applications online and in person on Election Day, and provide at least 15 days’ early voting.

Public campaign financing: Impose a surcharge on penalties paid by corporate and high-income tax cheats and use the projected $2 billion in revenue over 10 years to partially finance House general and primary election campaigns. Incumbents and challengers who agree to a $200 limit on individual contributions would receive $6 in public funds for each $1 raised privately.

Facebook, Google, Twitter: Require large social media platforms, including Facebook, Google and Twitter, to compile public databases of foreign actors and other entities seeking to purchase at least $500 annually in political ads and identify anonymous “dark money” financiers of political ads to the public.


Voting yes: Suzan DelBene, D-Medina; Rick Larsen, D-Lake Stevens; Derek Kilmer, D-Gig Harbor; Pramila Jayapal, D-Seattle; Kim Schrier, D-Issaquah; Adam Smith, D-Bellevue; Marilyn Strickland, D-Olympia

Voting no: Jaime Herrera Beutler, R-Camas; Dan Newhouse, R-Sunnyside; Cathy McMorris Rodgers, R-Spokane

Removing democracy panel: By a vote of 207 for and 218 against, the House on Tuesday refused to remove from HR 1 a proposed commission for protecting U.S. democratic institutions against foreign interference. The amendment was sponsored by Republicans, who said ample defenses are in place to fend off manipulation from abroad.

Voting yes: Herrera Beutler, Newhouse, McMorris Rodgers

Voting no: DelBene, Larsen, Kilmer, Jayapal, Schrier, Smith, Strickland

Preventing, punishing misconduct by police: The House on Wednesday passed, 220 for and 212 against, a bill, HR 1280, that would set federal rules and guidelines for policing practices at all levels of government. In addition to addressing misconduct by federal officers, the bill would use the high levels of police funding in federal programs to induce state and local changes. Dubbed the George Floyd Justice in Policing Act, the bill would:

Chokeholds: Prohibit federal police from using chokeholds or other applications of pressure on the carotid arteries, throats or windpipes of persons being restrained, and use federal financial incentives to encourage state and local police to do the same. The use of chokeholds based on race would be defined as a civil rights violation.

Qualified immunity: Eliminate the “qualified immunity” defense from federal and nonfederal civil litigation in which a police officer is sued for damages based on misconduct including excessive use of force.


Lynching, no-knock drug warrants: Make lynching a federal crime and prohibit no-knock warrants in federal drug cases while using federal funding to induce states and localities to do the same.

Subpoena power: Give the Department of Justice subpoena power for investigating discriminatory and brutal patterns and practices by local departments, and fund efforts by state attorneys general to investigate troubled departments.

Registry of misconduct: Establish a National Police Misconduct Registry of officers fired by local departments for reasons including excessive use of force.

Racial, religious profiling: Prohibit racial, religious and discriminatory profiling by federal and nonfederal law enforcement; aggrieved individuals could bring civil actions for declaratory or injunctive relief.

Use of force: Require police to justify use of force on grounds it was “necessary” rather than merely “reasonable” and require state and local police to report use-of-force data by race, sex, disability, religion and age to a Department of Justice database.

Evidence standard: Lower the criminal-intent standard of evidence in police misconduct prosecutions under federal law from “willful” to “reckless.”


Camera rules: Require uniformed federal police to wear body cameras and marked federal police cars to mount dashboard cameras, while giving state and local departments financial incentives to do the same.

Local oversight: Fund local task forces to develop practices based on community policing rather than the use of force.

Military equipment: Limit the Pentagon’s transfer of combat-level equipment to state and local police.

Sexual misconduct: Make it a crime for a federal officer to engage in sex, even if it is consensual, with an individual under arrest or in custody, and use financial incentives to encourage states to enact the same prohibition.

Voting yes: DelBene, Larsen, Kilmer, Jayapal, Schrier, Smith, Strickland

Voting no: Herrera Beutler, Newhouse, McMorris Rodgers


Advancing coronavirus relief: By a tally of 51 for and 50 against, with Vice President Kamala Harris casting the deciding vote, the Senate on Thursday advanced a $1.9 trillion coronavirus relief package, HR 1219, toward a vote on final passage. In contrast to a House-passed version, the bill, dubbed the American Rescue Plan, would leave the $7.25-an-hour federal minimum wage unchanged.

Voting yes: Maria Cantwell, D, Patty Murray, D

Secretary of education: By a vote of 64 for and 33 against, the Senate on Monday confirmed Miguel Cardona, 45, as secretary of education, the first Latino to hold that position. An educator in public schools for 20 years, he served most recently as Connecticut’s commissioner of education. A bilingual son of Puerto Rican parents, he was raised in public housing in Connecticut.


Voting yes: Cantwell, Murray

Secretary of commerce: By a vote of 84 for and 15 against, the Senate on Tuesday confirmed Gina Raimondo, 49, the first woman governor of Rhode Island, as secretary of commerce. Formerly a venture capitalist, she has an undergraduate degree in economics from Harvard College and is a graduate of Yale Law School.

Voting yes: Cantwell, Murray

Chief economic adviser: By a vote of 95 for and four against, the Senate on Tuesday confirmed Cecilia Rouse, 57, as chair of the Council of Economic Advisers, a White House unit that determines administration economic policies. The dean of the Princeton School of Public and International Affairs and a specialist in labor economics, Rouse also served former Presidents Bill Clinton and Barack Obama as an economic adviser.

Voting yes: Cantwell, Murray

Federal minimum wage: Voting 42 for and 58 against, the Senate on Friday failed to include a proposed raise in the federal minimum wage — from $7.25 an hour to $15 an hour by 2025 — in HR 1319, the coronavirus relief package. The amendment sought to overcome a parliamentary ruling that found the wage hike to be not germane to the bill.

Voting yes: Cantwell, Murray

Approving $1.9 trillion in coronavirus relief: Voting 50 for and 49 against, the Senate on Saturday approved a $1.9 trillion coronavirus relief package, HR 1319, that would expand unemployment benefits by $300 a week from March 14 through Sept. 6; deliver payments of $1,400 a person to individuals with incomes up to $75,000, single parents earning up to $112,500 and couples up to $150,000; increase the Child Tax Credit in a way designed to eventually cut child poverty nearly in half; deliver $350 billion to state, county, city, tribal and territorial governments; establish a $25 billion grant program for the restaurant industry; increase Affordable Care Act premium subsidies for a large number of the uninsured; fund the reopening of K-12 schools; provide $25 billion in rental aid to avert evictions and $10 billion to help landlords meet their expenses; and fund programs to vaccinate against the coronavirus and slow the spread of the virus.

Voting yes: Maria Cantwell, D, Patty Murray, D