November 17, 2019
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How Maine’s members of Congress voted over the past week

Composite photo | BDN
Composite photo | BDN
Clockwise from top left, Chellie Pingree, Jared Golden, Susan Collins and Angus King.

WASHINGTON — Here’s a look at how Maine’s members of Congress voted over the previous week.

Along with roll call votes, the Senate also passed the Combat Online Predators Act (S. 134).

The House also passed: the Veteran Treatment Court Coordination Act (H.R. 886) to direct the attorney general to establish and carry out a Veteran Treatment Court Program; the Preventing Online Sales of E–Cigarettes to Children Act (H.R. 3942) to apply requirements relating to delivery sales of cigarettes to delivery sales of electronic nicotine delivery systems; the Financial Inclusion in Banking Act (H.R. 4067) to direct the Office of Community Affairs to identify causes leading to, and solutions for, underbanked, unbanked and underserved consumers; and the Women’s Suffrage Centennial Commemorative Coin Act (H.R. 2423) to require the Treasury secretary to mint coins in commemoration of ratification of the 19th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, giving women the right to vote.

House votes

House vote 1

MAINTAINING HARBORS: The House has passed the Full Utilization of the Harbor Maintenance Trust Fund Act (H.R. 2440), sponsored by Rep. Peter A. DeFazio, D-Oregon, to require the use of the government’s Harbor Maintenance Trust Fund to pay for operations and maintenance expenses at federally authorized harbors.

DeFazio said the spending was needed to deepen harbors in order to improve the country’s ability to efficiently import and export goods overseas.

An opponent, Rep. Steve Womack, R-Arkansas, said: “This bill would increase the deficit by up to $10 billion, which I believe is unacceptable, given our fiscal condition.”

The vote, on Oct. 28, was 296 yeas to 109 nays. Both U.S. Reps. Chellie Pingree, a Democrat from the 1st Congressional District, and Jared Golden, a Democrat from the 2nd Congressional District, were among the yeas.

House vote 2

PRESCRIPTION DRUG PAYMENTS: The House has passed the Public Disclosure of Drug Discounts Act (H.R. 2115), sponsored by Rep. Abigail Davis Spanberger, D-Virginia, to require the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services to make public information about drug discounts, rebates and other payments that involve pharmacy benefit managers and prescription drugs.

Spanberger said: “By sharing this information online with American consumers and businesses, we would give seniors, families, and pharmacists a better sense of how [pharmacy benefit managers] could be influencing excessive prices. And we would start to address one of the root causes of our prescription drug affordability crisis.

The vote, on Oct. 28, was unanimous with 403 yeas.

House vote 3

ARMENIAN GENOCIDE: The House has passed a resolution (H. Res. 296), sponsored by Rep. Adam Schiff, D-California, affirming the United States record on the fact of the Armenian genocide perpetrated by the Ottoman Empire from 1915 to 1923, and encouraging activities to increase knowledge of the genocide.

Schiff said: “It is our solemn responsibility to remember those who were lost, to seek justice and restitution, and to educate Americans and those around the world about the crime of genocide.”

The vote, on Oct. 29, was 405 yeas to 11 nays. Both Pingree and Golden were among the yeas.

House vote 4

TURKEY SANCTIONS: The House has passed the Protect Against Conflict by Turkey Act (H.R. 4695), sponsored by Rep. Eliot L. Engel, D-New York, to impose sanctions, including the denial of weapons exports and financial and visa restrictions, on Turkey’s government and other Turkish parties involved in Turkey’s military invasion of northern Syria.

Engel said the sanctions “are specifically designed to target the Turkish officials and institutions responsible for the bloodshed in Syria without senselessly hurting the Turkish people.”

The vote, on Oct. 29, was 403 yeas to 16 nays. Both Pingree and Golden were among the yeas.

House vote 5

NEW MEXICO GOVERNMENT LANDS: The House has passed the Chaco Cultural Heritage Area Protection Act (H.R. 2181), sponsored by Rep. Ben Ray Lujan, D-New Mexico, to withdraw 316,000 acres of federal government land in New Mexico from leasing for mineral or geothermal development.

Lujan said the withdrawal was needed to protect lands near the Chaco Culture National Historical Park that are “at risk of being hurt, of being desecrated, of being destroyed.”

A bill opponent, Rep. Bruce Westerman, R-Arkansas, said its ban on oil and gas development would effectively bar the Navajo tribe from developing its own mineral resources, and potentially do long-term damage to New Mexico.

The vote, on Oct. 30, was 245 yeas to 174 nays. Both Pingree and Golden were among the yeas.

House vote 6

ARIZONA GOVERNMENT LANDS: The House has passed the Grand Canyon Centennial Protection Act (H.R. 1373), sponsored by Rep. Raul M. Grijalva, D-Arizona, to withdraw a million acres of federal government land in Arizona from leasing for mineral or geothermal development.

Grijalva said the bill aimed at “protecting clean water, protecting the health of our communities, and protecting the public lands and environment on which we all rely.”

An opponent, Rep. Paul Gosar, R-Arizona, called the bill “a specific, targeted attempt to prevent access to the highest grade and largest quantity of uranium reserves in the country,” with resulting harm to U.S. military and energy security.

The vote, on Oct. 30, was 236 yeas to 185 nays. Both Pingree and Golden were among the yeas.

House vote 7

IMPEACHMENT RESOLUTION: The House has passed a resolution (H. Res. 660), sponsored by Rep. James P. McGovern, D-Massachusetts, directing the House Intelligence Committee and other House committees to continue investigations into the possible impeachment of President Trump.

McGovern said: “This is about protecting our national security and safeguarding our elections. That is why the Intelligence Committee has been gathering evidence and hearing testimony.”

An opponent, Rep. Tom Cole, R-Oklahoma, said the resolution unfairly “provides fewer process protections and fewer protections for minority rights than what we have seen in previous impeachment efforts.”

The vote, on Oct. 31, was 232 yeas to 196 nays. Both Pingree and Golden were among the yeas.

House vote 8

COLORADO GOVERNMENT LANDS: The House has passed the Colorado Outdoor Recreation and Economy Act (H.R. 823), sponsored by Rep. Joe Neguse, D-Colorado. The bill would designate two new wildlife conservation areas in Colorado, and withdraw about 400,000 acres of federal government land in Colorado from leasing for mineral development.

Neguse said the bill’s wilderness protections were backed by an array of state groups, including “local elected officials, community members, businesses, outdoor recreation and conservation groups, ranchers, sportsmen.”

An opponent, Rep. Scott Tipton, R-Colorado, said the protections could curtail the military’s ability to use an aviation training site in the Rockies that gives pilots a unique chance to “learn how to fly safely in mountainous, high-altitude environments.”

The vote, on Oct. 31, was 227 yeas to 182 nays. Both Pingree and Golden were among the yeas.

Senate votes

Senate vote 1

FARMLAND OWNERSHIP: The Senate has passed an amendment sponsored by Sen. Doug Jones, D-Alabama, to the Commerce, Justice, Science, Agriculture, Rural Development, Food and Drug Administration, Interior, Environment, Military Construction, Veterans Affairs, Transportation, and Housing and Urban Development Appropriations Act (H.R. 3055). The amendment would provide $5 million of funding for the Agriculture Department’s program for making loans to groups such as credit unions and farming cooperatives so they can lend the funds in order to help resolve ownership and succession issues on farmland among minority groups.

Jones said the loans were needed to remedy a situation in which informal hereditary ownership of farmland, especially in African-American families in the South, has left those families with unclear titles to their land, leading to legal problems and potentially the loss of ownership of that land.

The vote, on Oct. 28, was 91 yeas to 1 nay. Both U.S. Sens. Susan Collins, a Republican, and Angus King, an independent who caucuses with Democrats, were among the yeas.

Senate vote 2

OBAMACARE WAIVERS: The Senate has rejected a resolution (S.J. Res. 52) sponsored by Sen. Mark Warner, D-Virginia. The resolution would have voided a July 2019 rule issued by the Treasury Department and Health and Human Services Department to authorize states to waive certain provisions of the 2010 health care reform law if the waivers meet criteria that are intended to preserve the quality for consumers of available health insurance plans.

Warner said the rule “is a direct effort to undermine the stability of the insurance market and is an attack on the viability of protections for Americans with preexisting conditions.”

A resolution opponent, Sen. Lamar Alexander, R-Tennessee, said the 12 states that have received waivers have seen insurance rates decline significantly, “and in no case did it affect pre-existing conditions.”

The vote, on Oct. 30, was 43 yeas to 52 nays. Both Collins and King were among the yeas.

Senate vote 3

2020 APPROPRIATIONS: The Senate has passed the Commerce, Justice, Science, Agriculture, Rural Development, Food and Drug Administration, Interior, Environment, Military Construction, Veterans Affairs, Transportation, and Housing and Urban Development Appropriations Act (H.R. 3055), sponsored by Rep. Jose E. Serrano, D-New York, to fund various agencies in fiscal 2020.

A supporter, Sen. Patrick J. Leahy, D-Vermont, said the bill made responsible investments that “back up our commitment to invest in rural communities and farms, law enforcement, and the environment.”

The vote, on Oct. 31, was 84 yeas to 9 nays. Both Collins and King were among the yeas.

 



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