Here’s how area members of Congress voted during the legislative week ending Feb. 15.
WASHINGTON — Here’s how area members of Congress voted during the legislative week ending Feb. 15.
$333 billion appropriations package: Voting 300 for and 128 against, the House on Feb. 14 gave final congressional approval to a $333 billion appropriations package (HJ Res 31) to fund eight Cabinet departments and numerous agencies in fiscal 2019, ending the threat of another government shutdown. The bill provides $49.4 billion or the Department of Homeland Security, including $7.6 billion for U.S. Customs and Immigration Enforcement (ICE); $1.325 billion for building 55 miles of physical barriers along the southwest border; $564 million for electronic drug inspections of vehicles and cargo at ports of entry from Mexico; $415 million in humanitarian aid including medical care for immigrants detained at the border; and funding for an annual average of 45,274 beds for immigrants being held while their status is under review. In addition, the bill requires ICE to grant admission to any member of Congress for border facilities where children are being housed, publicly report the number and types of immigrants in its custody, and preserve all records of sexual assaults occurring under its custody. A yes vote was to send the bill to President Trump.
Voting yes: Suzan DelBene, D-Medina, Rick Larsen, D-Lake Stevens, Jaime Herrera Beutler, R-Camas, Dan Newhouse, R-Sunnyside, Cathy McMorris Rodgers, R-Spokane, Derek Kilmer, D-Gig Harbor, Kim Schrier, D-Issaquah, Adam Smith, D-Bellevue, Denny Heck, D-Olympia
Voting no: Pramila Jayapal, D-Seattle
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U.S. withdrawal from Yemen: The House on Feb. 13 adopted, 248-177, a measure that would end U.S. military support of a Saudi-led coalition waging war on Iran-backed forces in Yemen unless the action receives congressional approval. If the Senate were to go along, it would mark the first time Congress has used the 1973 War Powers Resolution to stop a military action. A yes vote was to send HJ Res 37 to the Senate.
Voting yes: DelBene, Larsen, Kilmer, Jayapal, Schrier, Smith, Heck
Voting no: Herrera Beutler, Newhouse, Rodgers
Anti-Semitism condemned: By a unanimous vote of 424 for and none against, the House on Feb. 13 adopted a Republican-sponsored motion to HJ Res 37 (above) stating, in part, that anti-Semitism is a challenge to the basic principles of tolerance, pluralism and democracy, and the shared values that bind Americans together, and that it is in the foreign policy interest of the United States to continue to emphasize the importance of combating anti-Semitism in bilateral and multilateral relations around the globe. The bill was then amended to include the repudiation of anti-Semitism. A yes vote was to adopt the motion.
Voting yes: DelBene, Larsen, Herrera Beutler, Newhouse, Rodgers, Kilmer, Jayapal, Schrier, Smith, Heck
Appropriations package: Voting 83 for and 16 against, the Senate on Feb. 14 adopted the conference report on a measure (HJ Res 31, above) that would appropriate $333 billion in fiscal 2019 for the departments of Homeland Security, Treasury, Justice, Agriculture, Commerce, Interior, State, Transportation and Housing and Urban Development, and also fund scores of agencies including the Food and Drug Administration, Environmental Protection Agency, and Transportation Security Administration. The bill would fund a 1.9 percent pay raise for federal civilian workers while appropriating $3.82 billion for conducting the 2020 Census; $17 billion for improving roads, bridges, highways, railways and mass transit; $16.6 billion for the Federal Emergency Management Agency; $12 billion in disaster relief; $73.5 billion for the income-support program known as food stamps; $159 million for climate research by the National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration; $9.6 billion for the Federal Bureau of Investigation; $2.3 billion for the Drug Enforcement Administration; $75 million for upgrading the National Instant Criminal Background Check System for gun purchases; $21.5 billion for the National Aeronautics and Space Administration; $3.22 billion for the National Park Service; $5.1 billion for the Department of State; and $1.05 billion for food-safety inspections.
Voting yes: Maria Cantwell, D, Patty Murray, D x
William Barr, Attorney General: Voting 54-45, the Senate on Feb. 14 confirmed William P. Barr as the 85th U.S. attorney general. Barr, 68, will assume control of Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s probe of Russian interference in the 2016 U.S. presidential election. Republicans expressed confidence he will act properly in bridging the gap between Trump and Mueller. But Democrats criticized him over a memo he wrote last June asserting Mueller lacks authority to investigate Trump for obstruction of justice A yes vote was to confirm Barr.
Voting no: Cantwell, Murray
Protecting natural resources on federal lands: Voting 92 for and eight against, the Senate on Feb. 12 approved a 662-page package (S 47) of over 100 bills that would improve the management and conservation of natural resources on federal lands including national parks, wilderness areas, national monuments, wild and scenic rivers, and wildlife preserves. The bill would set aside 1.3 million acres for wilderness protection; create 367 miles of wild and scenic rivers; establish four new national monuments; prohibit mining near national parks in Montana and Washington; and expand hunting, fishing and other recreational access to federal lands. In addition, the bill would protect fish populations and endangered species; upgrade warning systems for volcanic eruptions; protect facilities at historically black colleges and universities; allow land transfers to improve water-resources management; and offer fourth-graders and their families free entrance to certain federal lands. The bill also would reauthorize the Land and Water Conservation Fund, which uses offshore-drilling royalties to help state, local and federal agencies acquire land and easements for conservation and recreational purposes.
Voting yes: Cantwell, Murray
Congress is in Presidents Day recess until the week of Feb. 25.