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


Removing ERA deadline: By a vote of 222 for and 204 against, the House on Wednesday adopted a resolution, HJ Res 17, that would remove June 30, 1982, as the deadline for states to ratify the Equal Rights Amendment. When Congress sent the ERA to the states in 1972, it set a 1979 deadline that it later moved to 1982. Up to 38 states have voted for ratification. But five rescinded their approval and Virginia’s ratification last year is undercut by a Department of Justice ruling that the 1982 deadline must be obeyed. The ERA states: “Equality of rights under the law shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or by any State on account of sex.”

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

Renewing Violence Against Women Act: By a vote of 244 for and 172 against, the House on Wednesday approved a five-year extension of the 1994 Violence Against Women Act, which uses federal grants and laws to reduce crimes directed primarily at women. In part, the bill, HR 1620, would prohibit people convicted of domestic abuse, misdemeanor stalking or dating violence from possessing firearms; ensure that those losing work because of domestic violence qualify for unemployment benefits; require shelters to admit transgender individuals in their acquired sex; strengthen tribal jurisdiction over outsiders charged with committing crimes on reservations; improve the care of children exposed to domestic violence; expand rape prevention and education programs; and step up efforts to address sexual violence on campuses.

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

Voting no: Herrera Beutler, Newhouse, McMorris Rodgers

Protecting “Dreamers,” other immigrants: By a vote of 228 for and 197 against, the House on Thursday passed a bill, HR 6, that would grant permanent legal status and a path to citizenship to up to 2.1 million “Dreamers,” who were brought illegally to the United States as children and face potential deportation. The bill would grant relief to those who were younger than 18 when they entered the United States and meet other qualifications. In addition, the bill would provide the same deportation protection and citizenship path to hundreds of thousands of people living illegally in the United States under a humanitarian program known as Temporary Protected Status.


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

Voting no: Herrera Beutler, McMorris Rodgers

Prohibiting gang members from entering U.S. illegally: By a vote of 203 for and 216 against, the House on Thursday defeated a Republican motion that sought to prevent members of criminal gangs from using a law designed to protect “Dreamers,” HR 6, as a subterfuge for acquiring legal status. Democrats said the bill already has safeguards to prohibit people living in the U.S. illegally who are a threat to national security, including gang members, from obtaining green cards and path to citizenship.

Voting yes: Herrera Beutler, Newhouse, McMorris Rodgers

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

Overhauling farmworker visas: By a vote of 247 for and 174 against, the House on Thursday passed a bill, HR 1603, that would overhaul the H-2A visa program, which admits migrants in the country illegally for temporary U.S. agricultural jobs the domestic workforce is unable or unwilling to fill. Over time, the bill could enable hundreds of thousands of these workers to apply for legal residency for themselves, spouses and minor children. In addition to meeting labor shortages, the bill would establish a mandatory federal E-Verify system by which agricultural employers could determine workers’ immigration status.

Under the bill, migrants employed in U.S. farm work, including at dairies, for at least 180 days over the two preceding years would qualify for Certified Agricultural Worker status, which they could continually renew by working at least 100 days annually in farm jobs. In addition, immigrants who entered the country illegally (and spouses and minor children) employed in U.S. agriculture before the law takes effect would qualify to pursue legal status. All applicants would have to clear several hurdles, including criminal and national-security background checks.

Voting yes: DelBene, Larsen, Herrera Beutler, Newhouse, McMorris Rodgers, Kilmer, Jayapal, Schrier, Smith, Strickland

Approving medals for police in Capitol: The House on Wednesday voted, 413 for and 12 against, to award three Congressional Gold Medals in honor of U.S. Capitol and District of Columbia police who defended the Capitol against an armed insurrection on Jan. 6. Those voting against the bill, HR 1085, were Republicans Andy Biggs of Arizona; Matt Gaetz and Greg Steube of Florida; Marjorie Taylor Greene and Andrew Clyde of Georgia; Thomas Massie of Kentucky; Andy Harris of Maryland; John Rose of Tennessee; Bob Good of Virginia; and Louie Gohmert, Michael Cloud and Lance Gooden of Texas.

Voting yes: DelBene, Larsen, Herrera Beutler, Newhouse, McMorris Rodgers, Kilmer, Jayapal, Schrier, Smith, Strickland



Confirming Interior secretary: By a vote of 51 for and 40 against, the Senate on Monday confirmed Rep. Deb Haaland, D-N.M., as secretary of the Department of the Interior. Haaland, 60, is the first Native American appointed to a Cabinet position, and in 2018, she and Sharice Davids, D-Kan., became the first Native American women elected to Congress. A member of the Laguna Pueblo Nation, she identifies herself as a 35th-generation New Mexican.

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

Confirming Department of Health and Human Services secretary: By a vote of 50 for and 49 against, the Senate on Thursday confirmed Xavier Becerra, the attorney general of California, as secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services, the first Latino to hold that position. Becerra, 62, was a Democratic congressman from California between 1993 and 2018.

Voting yes: Cantwell, Murray

Confirming SBA head: By a vote of 81 for and 17 against, the Senate on Tuesday confirmed Isabel C. Guzman, 49, as administrator of the Small Business Administration. She was a top official at the SBA during the Obama administration and worked most recently as director of the Office of the Small Business Advocate in California.

Voting yes: Cantwell, Murray