Here’s how area senators voted on major issues in the week ending Sept. 22.
WASHINGTON — Here’s how area senators voted on major issues in the week ending Sept. 22. The House was in recess.
Military budget: By a vote of 89 for and 8 against, the Senate on Sept. 18 authorized a $700 billion military budget (HR 2810) for fiscal 2018, including $60 billion in emergency spending for war-fighting in countries such as Afghanistan, Iraq and Syria; $50 billion-plus for active-duty and retiree health care; $8.5 billion for missile defense; funding of a 2.1 percent pay raise for uniformed personnel; $500 million in military aid including weapons for Ukraine and $100 million to bolster Baltic defenses against any Russian aggression. The bill requires the administration to develop what apparently would be its first comprehensive strategy to counter Russia’s undermining of Western democracies and institutions. In addition, the bill would bar the transfer of detainees from the Guantánamo Bay, Cuba, military prison; fund programs for military victims of sexual assault; prohibit base closures and authorize tens of billions of dollars to fund conventional and nuclear weapons programs.
Voting yes: Maria Cantwell, D, Patty Murray, D
Solicitor General: By a vote of 50 for and 47 against, the Senate on Sept. 19 confirmed Noel J. Francisco, 48, as the 48th solicitor general of the United States, a post that involves representing the U.S. government in litigation before the Supreme Court. A former law clerk to Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia, Francisco previously worked in private practice in Washington and in the White House under President George W. Bush.
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Voting no: Cantwell, Murray
Labor relations: The Senate on Sept. 19 voted, 49 for and 44 against, to advance the nomination of William J. Emanuel to serve a five-year term on the National Labor Relations Board, which is charged with overseeing collective bargaining and protecting workplace rights of both labor and management. The Senate is expected to vote soon to confirm the nominee, giving Republicans control of the five-member NLRB for the first time since 2008. It is customary for the party occupying the White House to hold a majority on the board. Emanuel had been an attorney in private practice in Los Angeles, specializing in labor-management litigation.
Voting no: Cantwell, Murray
KEY VOTES AHEAD: In the week of Sept. 25, the Senate will vote on a bill that would largely repeal the Affordable Care Act and convert Medicaid to a block grant program run by the states. The House schedule was to be announced.