Here’s how area members of Congress voted on major issues during the week ending Sept. 7:
WASHINGTON — Here’s how area members of Congress voted on major issues during the week ending Sept. 7.
Small-scale natural gas exports: By a vote of 260 for and 146 against, the House on Sept. 6 passed a bill (HR 4606) that would speed Department of Energy approval of applications to export relatively small quantities of liquefied natural gas (LNG) to countries with which the United States does not have free trade agreements. This would codify a departmental regulation under which such applications are automatically approved if they are deemed compliant with environmental laws and certain other requirements. The bill is designed to boost LNG exports on smaller vessels mainly to countries in South America, Central America and the Caribbean whose ports cannot accommodate large tankers. It would apply to applications for shipping up to 51.75 billion cubic feet per year of liquefied fuel that would be converted back to a gaseous state after importation.
Voting yes: Rick Larsen, D-Lake Stevens, Jaime Herrera Beutler, R-Camas, Dan Newhouse, R-Sunnyside, Cathy McMorris Rodgers, R-Spokane, Dave Reichert, R-Auburn
Voting no: Suzan DelBene, D-Medina, Derek Kilmer, D-Gig Harbor, Pramila Jayapal, D-Seattle, Adam Smith, D-Bellevue, Denny Heck, D-Olympia
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Curbs on methane emissions: By a vote of 195 for and 210 against, the House on Sept. 6 defeated an amendment to HR 4606 (above) that sought to require export applications to show that the natural gas was produced using technology to minimize methane emissions from leaks, venting and flaring. A greenhouse gas, methane is a cause of climate change when it escapes into the atmosphere.
Voting yes: DelBene, Larsen, Kilmer, Jayapal, Reichert, Smith, Heck
Voting no: Herrera Beutler, Newhouse, McMorris Rodgers
Mandatory student-loan counseling: By a vote of 406 for and four against, the House on Sept. 5 passed a bill (HR 1635) that would require parents and students participating in federal student-loan programs to receive online counseling before signing up. In addition, students receiving loans and Pell grants would have to undergo annual online counseling on their loan obligations as a condition of continuing to receive aid.
Voting yes: DelBene, Larsen, Herrera Beutler, Newhouse, McMorris Rodgers, Kilmer, Jayapal, Reichert, Smith, Heck
Voting no: None
Counseling tailored to veterans: By a vote of 187 for and 224 against, the House on Sept. 5 defeated a Democratic effort to expand HR 1635 (above) to provide student-loan counseling tailored to veterans in higher education, who differ from other students in that they are older and often have financial obligations including family expenses and home mortgages.
Voting yes: DelBene, Larsen, Kilmer, Jayapal, Smith, Heck
Voting no: Herrera Beutler, Newhouse, McMorris Rodgers, Reichert
Sharper Definition of Violent Crime: Voting 247-152, the House on Sept. 7 passed a bill (HR 6691) that would more precisely define what constitutes a violent crime in the U.S. criminal code while listing the violent crimes for which noncitizens — both undocumented immigrants and legal permanent residents — could be deported. The bill responds to a Supreme Court ruling in April, in Sessions v. Dimaya, that the law requiring the deportation of immigrants convicted of certain crimes of violence is so vague it is unconstitutional. Debate touched on the fact that the Republican leadership waited five months to bring a corrective measure to the floor, then did so without having held hearings on the far-reaching bill. A yes vote was to pass the bill.
Voting yes: Herrera Beutler, Newhouse, McMorris Rodgers, Reichert
Voting no: DelBene, Larsen, Kilmer, Jayapal, Smith, Heck
Not voting: None
Elad Roisman, securities regulator: By a vote of 85 for and 14 against, the Senate on Sept. 5 confirmed Elad L. Roisman, 37, the chief counsel of the Senate Banking Committee, for a five-year term on the Securities and Exchange Commission, whose mission is to protect investors, maintain orderly markets and foster capital formation. Roisman worked most recently as chief counsel of the Senate Banking Committee, where he helped advance GOP legislation that repealed parts of the 2010 Dodd-Frank financial-regulation law.
Voting yes: Maria Cantwell, D, Patty Murray, D
KEY VOTES AHEAD: The Senate will vote on the nomination of Charles Rettig to be commissioner of Internal Revenue and an opioids bill in the week of Sept. 10. The House schedule was to be announced.