WASHINGTON — Here’s a look at how Maine’s members of Congress voted over the past week.
Along with roll call votes, the Senate also passed the Hong Kong Human Rights and Democracy Act (S. 1838), the Placing Restrictions on Teargas Exports and Crowd Control Technology to Hong Kong Act (S. 2710) to prohibit the commercial export of covered munitions items to the Hong Kong Police Force and the State and Local Government Cybersecurity Act (S. 1846) to provide for engagements with state, local, tribal and territorial governments.
The House also passed the North American Wetlands Conservation Extension Act (H.R. 925) and the Fostering Stable Housing Opportunities Act (H.R. 4300) to provide federal housing assistance on behalf of youths who are aging out of foster care.
House vote 1
TARIFFS AND SUPPORT FOR EXPORTS: The House has passed an amendment sponsored by Rep. Haley M. Stevens, D-Michigan, to the United States Export Finance Agency Act (H.R. 4863). The amendment would emphasize export financing for small businesses in sectors of the economy that have been damaged by retaliatory tariffs imposed on U.S. goods by China and other countries.
Stevens said the support would let “our small businesses reeling from the tariffs know that they are supported by the great resources of the U.S. Export Finance Agency.”
The vote, on Nov. 15, was 396 yeas to 27 nays. U.S. Reps. Chellie Pingree, a Democrat from the 1st District, and Jared Golden, a Democrat from the 2nd District, were among the yeas.
House vote 2
FINANCING EXPORTS AND IMPORTS: The House has passed the United States Export Finance Agency Act (H.R. 4863), sponsored by Rep. Maxine Waters, D-California. The bill would reauthorize through 2029 and make changes to the U.S. Export Finance Agency and its Export-Import Bank, including increasing the bank’s lending limit to $175 billion and adding provisions to finance renewable energy programs, allow the bank to remain in operation when it lacks a board of directors and finance exports from U.S. territories such as Puerto Rico and Guam.
Waters said the bill “is intended to renew the confidence of U.S. exporters in the Ex-Im Bank while also sending a message to the world that the U.S. is ready and is prepared to aggressively compete in overseas export markets.”
An opponent, Rep. Patrick McHenry, R-North Carolina, said the bill failed to prevent the bank from providing financing to companies controlled by China’s government and other “government-controlled companies that are acting contrary to our national interests.”
The vote, on Nov. 15, was 235 yeas to 184 nays. Pingree and Golden were among the yeas.
House vote 3
DISASTER ASSISTANCE GRANTS: The House has passed the Reforming Disaster Recovery Act (H.R. 3702), sponsored by Rep. Al Green, D-Texas, to codify into law the structure of the Department of Housing and Urban Development’s Community Development Block Grant Disaster Recovery program.
Green said the bill’s reforms of the block grant program sought to resolve “the persistent long-term disaster recovery crisis” that hampers the effective delivery of the federal government’s disaster recovery resources.
A bill opponent, Rep. David Rouzer, R-North Carolina, called the program a clumsy, time-consuming method of channeling long-term recovery funds to damaged communities, and called for a new approach to disaster relief efforts.
The vote, on Nov. 18, was 290 yeas to 118 nays. Pingree and Golden were among the yeas.
House vote 4
REPAYING DEFRAUDED INVESTORS: The House has passed the Investor Protection and Capital Markets Fairness Act (H.R. 4344), sponsored by Rep. Ben McAdams, D-Utah. The bill would give the Securities and Exchange Commission legal authority to attempt to force fraudulent investment companies to repay funds to investors they misled.
McAdams said the bill was needed in light of a 2017 Supreme Court ruling that questioned whether the SEC has authority to seek repayments and therefore would leave firms free to perpetrate frauds with little fear of penalty.
The vote, on Nov. 18, was 314 yeas to 95 nays. Pingree and Golden were among the yeas.
House vote 5
CORPORATE GOVERNANCE: The House has passed the Improving Corporate Governance Through Diversity Act (H.R. 5084), sponsored by Rep. Gregory W. Meeks, D-New York. The bill would require companies regulated by the Securities and Exchange Commission to make public information about the racial, ethnic, gender and veteran status makeup of their boards of directors and senior executives, and establish a Diversity Advisory Group at the SEC to report on strategies to increase gender, racial and ethnic diversity among corporate board members.
Meeks said the requirement, “through transparency and reporting, informs markets, investors, and employees about the status of diversity and inclusion across corporate America.”
The vote, on Nov. 19, was 281 yeas to 135 nays. Pingree and Golden were among the yeas.
House vote 6
GOVERNMENT FUNDING EXTENSION: The House has passed an amendment to the Senate amendment to the Commerce, Justice, Science, Agriculture, Rural Development, Food and Drug Administration, Interior, Environment, Transportation, and Housing and Urban Development Appropriations Act (H.R. 3055) to fund general government programs through Dec. 20.
A supporter, Rep. Nita M. Lowey, D-New York, said the funding extension was needed “to keep the government open and fund key priorities as we negotiate subcommittee allocations and then finalize individual appropriation bills.”
An opponent, Rep. Kay Granger, R-Texas, said that continuing the trend of temporary funding extensions would impose crippling financial uncertainty on government operations, especially the military.
The vote, on Nov. 19, was 231 yeas to 192 nays. Pingree and Golden were among the yeas.
House vote 7
TRADE IN SHARK FINS: The House has passed the Shark Fin Sales Elimination Act (H.R. 737), sponsored by Del. Gregorio Kilili Camacho Sablan, D-Northern Mariana Islands, to ban the possession or sale of shark fins without a permit, with an exception provided for certain types of dogfish fins.
Sablan called the ban “an effective way to remove the United States from the devastating global trade in shark fins at zero cost, and because it does so without stopping those who want to fish for sharks and use them for their meat.”
An opponent, Rep. Tom McClintock, R-California, said that requiring shark fishermen to throw away fins, which are 50 percent of the value of the shark catch, would either force the fishermen to go out of business or lead to overfishing of sharks in order to make up for the loss of the fins.
The vote, on Nov. 20, was 310 yeas to 107 nays. Pingree and Golden were among the yeas.
House vote 8
HONG KONG PROTESTS: The House has passed the Hong Kong Human Rights and Democracy Act (S. 1838), sponsored by Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Florida. Bill provisions would require Commerce Department and State Department monitoring of political developments in Hong Kong and possible resulting changes to Hong Kong’s treatment under U.S. law, and impose sanctions on individuals responsible for violating human rights in Hong Kong.
A supporter, Rep. Christopher H. Smith, R-New Jersey, said the bill made the statement “that beating, torturing, and jailing democracy activists is absolutely wrong,” and the U.S. government supported the people of Hong Kong protesting for democratic freedoms.
The vote, on Nov. 20, was 417 yeas to 1 nay. Pingree and Golden were among the yeas.
House vote 9
EXPORTS TO HONG KONG POLICE: The House has passed the Placing Restrictions on Teargas Exports and Crowd Control Technology to Hong Kong Act (S. 2710), sponsored by Sen. Jeff Merkley, D-Oregon, to bar licenses for exporting tear gas, rubber bullets and other crowd control equipment to Hong Kong’s police force.
A supporter, Rep. Brad Sherman, D-California, said the ban would “ensure that U.S. companies are not contributing to the suppression of Hong Kong’s people in their fight to secure their freedoms and their democracy.”
The vote, on Nov. 20, was unanimous with 417 yeas. Pingree and Golden were among the yeas.
House vote 10
HEALTH CARE SERVICES VIOLENCE: The House has passed the Workplace Violence Prevention for Heath Care and Social Service Workers Act (H.R. 1309), sponsored by Rep. Joe Courtney, D-Connecticut, to require the Labor Department to issue a rule requiring health care and social services providers to adopt plans for preventing violence to their employees.
Courtney said: “Research on the measures in this legislation have been shown to substantially cut the incidence of serious injury from workplace violence.”
An opponent, Rep. Virginia Foxx, R-North Carolina, said the bill was shaped without vital feedback from the public and stakeholders impacted by the potential rule, and “wrongly implies that Congress should impose a swift and sweeping standard immediately, ignoring that OSHA [Occupational Safety and Health Administration] is already enforcing workplace violence prevention.”
The vote, on Nov. 21, was 251 yeas to 158 nays. Pingree and Golden were among the yeas.
Senate vote 1
APPEALS COURT JUDGE: The Senate has confirmed the nomination of Robert J. Luck to serve as a judge on the U.S. Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals.
A supporter, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Kentucky, said Luck “brings an impressive and well-rounded legal record, including a clerkship on the Eleventh Circuit, service in the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of Florida, and years spent ruling from the state bench.”
The vote, on Nov. 19, was 64 yeas to 31 nays. U.S. Sen. Susan Collins, a Republican, voted yea, and U.S. Sen. Angus King, an independent who caucuses with Democrats, voted nay.
Senate vote 2
SECOND APPEALS COURT JUDGE: The Senate has confirmed the nomination of Barbara Lagoa to serve as a judge on the U.S. Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals. Lagoa has been a justice on the Florida Supreme Court since January 2019, for the previous 13 years a judge on a Florida appeals court, and prior to 2006 was a civil and criminal federal and private practice lawyer in southern Florida.
The vote, on Nov. 20, was 80 yeas to 15 nays. Collins and King were among the yeas.
Senate vote 3
AMBASSADOR TO ROMANIA: The Senate has confirmed the nomination of Adrian Zuckerman to serve as U.S. ambassador to Romania. Zuckerman, who was born in Romania and speaks Romanian, has been a commercial lawyer in New York City since 1984, specializing in real estate.
The vote, on Nov. 20, was 65 yeas to 30 nays. Collins and King were among the yeas.
Senate vote 4
GOVERNMENT FUNDING EXTENSION: The Senate has concurred in the House amendment to the Commerce, Justice, Science, Agriculture, Rural Development, Food and Drug Administration, Interior, Environment, Transportation, and Housing and Urban Development Appropriations Act (H.R. 3055) to fund general government programs through Dec. 20.
A supporter, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Kentucky, called the extension “the way to keep the government open while our important discussions continue to make progress toward closing out the appropriations process and getting full-year bills to the floor.”
The vote, on Nov. 21, was 74 yeas to 20 nays. Collins and King were among the yeas.