WASHINGTON — Here’s a look at how Maine’s members of Congress voted over the previous week.
Along with roll call votes this week, the Senate also passed the TANF Extension Act (HR 430), to extend the program of block grants to states for temporary assistance for needy families and related programs through June 30, 2019.
The House also passed the Clean Up the Code Act (HR 498), to eliminate unused sections of the United States Code; the Caesar Syria Civilian Protection Act (HR 31), to require certain additional actions in connection with the national emergency with respect to Syria; and a bill (HR 353), to direct the Secretary of State to develop a strategy to regain observer status for Taiwan in the World Health Organization.
House vote 1
Support for NATO
The House has passed the North Atlantic Treaty Organization Support Act (HR 676), sponsored by Rep. Jimmy Panetta, D-California, to reiterate Congress’s support for NATO and block funding for U.S. withdrawal from NATO.
Panetta said the bill “reaffirms our unwavering support of NATO, not only as a defense pledge, not only as a partnership, but as a proven core for an international order that favors democracy and peace.”
The vote, on Jan. 22, was 357 yeas to 22 nays. Both Rep. Chellie Pingree, D-1st District, and Rep. Jared Golden, D-2nd District, voted yea.
House vote 2
Cybersecurity at State Department
The House has passed the Hack Your State Department Act (HR 328), sponsored by Rep. Ted Lieu, D-California, to establish a State Department bug bounty program that would award money to people who inform State of previously unidentified security vulnerabilities in State’s information systems.
Lieu said bug bounties were a good way for State to add to its methods for improving cybersecurity, and Lieu cited the precedent of significant success for a similar bug bounty program begun at the Defense Department in 2016.
The vote, on Jan. 22, was 377 yeas to 3 nays. Both Pingree and Golden voted yea.
House vote 3
Halting government shutdown
The House has passed the Further Additional Continuing Appropriations Act (HJ Res. 28), sponsored by Rep. Nita M. Lowey, D-New York. The bill would restore funding, through February, for agencies affected by the partial government shutdown.
Lowey said the temporary funding would give Congress time “to come to a full-year agreement without further jeopardizing vital services or the pay of federal employees.”
A bill opponent, Rep. Robert B. Aderholt, R-Alabama, said it was not a meaningful effort to end the shutdown because it was similar to other temporary funding measures recently passed by the House that had no chance of becoming law.
The vote, on Jan. 23, was 229 yeas to 184 nays. Both Pingree and Golden voted yea.
House vote 4
2019 government funding
The House has passed the Consolidated Appropriations Act (HR 648), sponsored by Rep. Nita M. Lowey, D-New York. The bill would provide fiscal 2019 funding for the Interior Department, State Department, Justice Department, and various other agencies that have not yet received funding.
Lowey said the bill aimed to resolve the federal budget dispute by taking the following approach: “Reopen the government, pay our federal employees, and then negotiate border security and immigration policy proposals that can command bipartisan support.”
A bill opponent, Rep. Kay Granger, R-Texas, said Congress needed to pass a compromise bill that addressed the “true humanitarian and security crisis at our border” with Mexico and also provided funding for the unfunded agencies.
The vote, on Jan. 23, was 234 yeas to 180 nays. Both Pingree and Golden voted yea.
House vote 5
Homeland Security funding
The House has passed a bill (HJ Res 31), sponsored by Rep. Lucille Roybal-Allard, D-California, to provide appropriations for the Department of Homeland Security through February, and extend several immigration programs through February as well.
Roybal-Allard said restoring full funding for Homeland Security would repair the harmful funding lapse that has been in place for over a month.
A bill opponent, Rep. Chuck Fleischmann, R-Tennessee, said the House needed to instead shape a compromise bill that resolves the humanitarian crisis at the U.S.-Mexico border.
The vote, on Jan. 24, was 231 yeas to 180 nays. Both Pingree and Golden voted yea.
Senate vote 1
Republican shutdown plan
The Senate has rejected a cloture motion to end debate on an amendment sponsored by Sen. Richard C. Shelby, R-Alabama, to the Supplemental Appropriations Act (HR 268). The amendment would have provided funding through Feb. 8 for government agencies affected by the ongoing shutdown, and provided $5.7 billion of border security funding.
Shelby called on the Senate to “put the bitterness behind us and do what is right for the American people—end the shutdown and secure the border.”
An opponent, Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-New York, said Republican insistence that border security be included in a bill to end the shutdown was holding hostage government workers who are not being paid during the shutdown.
The vote, on Jan. 24, was 50 yeas to 47 nays, with a three-fifths majority required for approval. Sen. Susan Collins, R-Maine, voted yea, Sen. Angus King, I-Maine, voted nay.
Senate vote 2
Democratic shutdown plan
The Senate has rejected a cloture motion to end debate on an amendment sponsored by Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-New York, to the Supplemental Appropriations Act (HR 268). The amendment would have provided funding through Feb. 8 for government agencies affected by the ongoing shutdown.
Schumer said the funding would restore paychecks for 760,000 government workers being unpaid during the shutdown.
An opponent, Sen. John Cornyn, R-Texas, said the amendment failed to respond to either border security needs or the need for “real immigration reform” that covers hundreds of thousands of U.S. residents who now have uncertain legal status.
The vote, on Jan. 24, was 52 yeas to 44 nays, with a three-fifths majority required to end debate. Both Collins and King voted yea.