Here’s how area members of Congress voted during the legislative week ending Jan. 18.
WASHINGTON — Here’s how area members of Congress voted during the legislative week ending Jan. 18.
Russia sanctions relief: By a vote of 362 for and 53 against, the House on Jan. 17 passed a measure (HJ Res 30) that would prevent the Treasury Department from lifting economic sanctions on aluminum and energy companies controlled by Russian tycoon Oleg Deripaska, an ally of Russian President Vladimir Putin. But the Senate (below) voted to clear the way for Treasury to grant sanctions relief starting this month in return for Deripaska relinquishing majority stakes in the three firms. U.S. sanctions on his personal assets are to remain in force. Congress and President Donald Trump imposed the sanctions to penalize the Kremlin and Putin-aligned oligarchs for actions including Russia’s interference in U.S. elections, military aggression in eastern Ukraine and seizure of Crimea. Deripaska was an associate of Trump campaign manager Paul Manafort, who has been convicted of or pleaded guilty to banking and tax-fraud charges brought by special counsel Robert Mueller. Deripaska reportedly remains under Mueller’s scrutiny.
Voting yes: Suzan DelBene, D-Medina, Rick Larsen, D-Lake Stevens, Dan Newhouse, R-Sunnyside, Jaime Herrera Beutler, R-Camas, Derek Kilmer, D-Gig Harbor, Pramila Jayapal, D-Seattle, Kim Schrier, D-Issaquah, Adam Smith, D-Bellevue, Denny Heck, D-Olympia
Voting no: None
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Racist remarks by Iowa congressman: By a vote of 424 for and 1 against, the House on Jan. 15 adopted a resolution (H Res 41) disapproving of comments by Rep. Steve King, R-Iowa, extolling white nationalism and supremacy. He said in a New York Times interview published Jan. 10: “White nationalist, white supremacist, Western civilization — how did that language become offensive?” The vote occurred the day after House Republican leaders stripped the eight-term congressman from northwestern Iowa of his committee assignments.
Voting yes: DelBene, Larsen, Herrera Beutler, Newhouse, Kilmer, Jayapal, Schrier, Smith, Heck
Voting no: None
$12.1 billion disaster aid: By a vote of 237 for and 187 against, the House on Jan. 16 passed a bill (HR 268) that would provide $12.1 billion to homeowners, businesses, farmers, local governments and other entities harmed by wildfires, hurricanes, flooding, mudslides, volcanic eruptions and typhoons in the United States and its territories in recent years. The bill drew Republican opposition because of its language to reopen closed parts of the government through Feb. 8 without providing border-wall funding requested by President Trump. The disaster aid includes $2.96 billion for rebuilding infrastructure; $2.54 billion for mitigating damages in future disasters; $1.86 billion for farmers and rural communities; $1.16 billion for community-development grants and $555 million to fund social services for displaced persons, among other outlays.
Voting yes: DelBene, Larsen, Herrera Beutler, Kilmer, Jayapal, Schrier, Smith, Heck
Voting no: Newhouse
Prohibition on wall funding: The House on Jan. 16 voted, 230 for and 197 against, to prohibit the Department of Homeland Security or Army Corps of Engineers from spending any funds in a disaster-relief bill (HR 268, above) to plan, develop or build President Trump’s proposed U.S.-Mexico border wall. The amendment was introduced after Trump said he might use previously appropriated but not yet spent disaster aid to build the wall.
Voting yes: DelBene, Larsen, Kilmer, Jayapal, Schrier, Smith, Heck
Voting no: Herrera Beutler, Newhouse
Clean bill on disaster relief: By a vote of 193 for and 231 against, the House on Jan. 16 defeated a GOP effort to reshape HR 268 (above) as a bill dealing only with disaster relief. The motion sought to strip the bill of a continuing resolution that would reopen the government at least through Feb. 8 but disregard President Trump’s request for border-wall funding. Republicans called the wall rebuff a poison pill they could not accept.
Voting yes: Herrera Beutler, Newhouse
Voting no: DelBene, Larsen, Kilmer, Jayapal, Schrier, Smith, Heck.
Russia sanctions relief: By a vote of 57 for and 42 against, the Senate on Jan. 16 failed to reach 60 votes needed to advance a Democratic-sponsored measure (SJ Res 2) that sought to retain U.S. economic sanctions on the corporate domain of Russian oligarch Oleg Deripaska. This upheld a deal soon to take effect in which the Treasury Department will remove the sanctions in return for Deripaska giving up majority interests in three firms he controls. In addition, the vote rendered as symbolic a House move (above) to nullify the sanctions deal. Deripaska is an ally of Russian President Vladimir Putin and onetime business associate of former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort.
Voting yes: Maria Cantwell, D, Patty Murray, D
Affordable Care Act and abortion: By a vote of 48 for and 47 against, the Senate on Jan 17 failed to reach 60 votes needed to advance a Republican-sponsored bill (S 109) that would prohibit federal subsidies of insurance plans sold in Affordable Care Act exchanges that provide abortion coverage. The bill would nullify the existing requirement that ACA policyholders personally pay the share of their insurance premium that reflects coverage of reproductive services. The health law is covered by the so-called Hyde Amendment, a standard part of annual appropriations bills that prohibits the expenditure of federal funds for abortions except in cases of rape or incest or to save the life of the mother.
Voting no: Cantwell, Murray
UPCOMING VOTES: The House will take up government-funding measures in the week of Jan. 21, while the Senate will consider a bill authorizing military aid to Israel.