WASHINGTON — Here’s a look at how Maine’s members of Congress voted over the previous week.
Along with roll call votes, the House also passed the Promoting United States International Leadership in 5G Act (H.R. 3763) to direct the secretary of state to provide assistance and technical expertise to enhance the representation and leadership of the U.S. at international standards-setting bodies that set standards for fifth and future generations mobile telecommunications systems and infrastructure; and the Prison to Proprietorship for Formerly Incarcerated Act (H.R. 5065) to provide re-entry entrepreneurship counseling and training services for formerly incarcerated individuals.
The Senate also passed a resolution (S. Res. 395), recognizing the 40th anniversary of the Iran hostage crisis; the America’s Conservation Enhancement Act (H.R. 925) to improve protections for wildlife; and the Save Our Seas 2.0 Act (S. 1982) to improve efforts to combat marine debris.
House vote 1
5G WIRELESS: The House has passed the Secure 5G and Beyond Act (H.R. 2881), sponsored by Rep. Abigail Davis Spanberger, D-Virginia. The bill would require the president to develop a multi-government agency strategy to ensure the security of next generation (5G) mobile telecommunications systems and infrastructure systems.
Spanberger said the strategy would help the U.S. “successfully prevent foreign influence in our 5G networks and keep our citizens safe” from possible threats from China’s 5G technologies.
The vote, on Jan. 8, was 413 yeas to 3 nays. U.S. Reps. Chellie Pingree, a Democrat from Maine’s 1st District, and Jared Golden, a Democrat from Maine’s 2nd District, were among the yeas.
House vote 2
CONFLICT WITH IRAN: The House has passed a concurrent resolution (H. Con. Res. 83), sponsored by Rep. Elissa Slotkin, D-Michigan, to require President Donald Trump to withdraw U.S. military forces from hostilities against Iran in the absence of congressional authorization or unless forces are needed to counter an imminent attack against the U.S. by Iran.
Slotkin said of the need for the resolution: “Congress has long abdicated its responsibility as laid out in the Constitution to make the hard decisions we owe our troops when it comes to authorizing war.”
An opponent, House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy, R-California, said “concurrent resolutions are unconstitutional as a means to limit the executive branch” and that the resolution would signal a lack of House support for needed protective action against Iran.
The vote, on Jan. 9, was 224 yeas to 194 nays. Pingree and Golden were among the yeas.
House vote 3
BUSINESS TRAINING FOR PRISONERS: The House has passed the Prison to Proprietorship Act (H.R. 5078), sponsored by Nydia M. Velazquez, D-New York, to require Small Business Administration development centers to provide entrepreneurship counseling and training services to federal prisoners.
Velazquez said the training “will provide meaningful opportunities and hope for those who are committed to rebuilding their lives but are locked out of the labor market.”
The vote, on Jan. 9, was 370 yeas to 41 nays. Golden was among the yeas, while Pingree did not cast a vote.
Senate vote 1
SMALL BUSINESSES: The Senate has confirmed the nomination of Jovita Carranza to serve as the Small Business Administration’s administrator. Carranza had been U.S. treasurer since June 2017, and before that ran her own consultancy, was deputy administrator of the Small Business Administration and an executive at United Parcel Service.
A supporter, Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Florida, said Carranza was equipped to help the Administration modernize and develop “solutions that ensure that small businesses have access to the resources they need to start, to grow, and to empower our nation at large.”
The vote, on Jan. 7, was 88 yeas to 5 nays. U.S. Sens. Susan Collins, a Republican, and Angus King, an independent who caucuses with Democrats, were among the yeas.
Senate vote 2
FEDERAL CLAIMS JUDGE: The Senate has confirmed the nomination of Matthew H. Solomson to serve as a judge on the U.S. Court of Federal Claims for a 15-year term. Solomson, currently an executive at Anthem, a health insurance company, was previously a private practice lawyer in Washington, D.C., and a trial attorney in the Justice Department.
The vote, on Jan. 8, was 89 yeas to 8 nays. Collins and King were among the yeas.
Senate vote 3
SECOND FEDERAL CLAIMS JUDGE: The Senate has confirmed the nomination of Eleni Maria Roumel to serve as a judge on the U.S. Court of Federal Claims for a 15-year term. Roumel has been deputy counsel to Vice President Mike Pence since 2018; from 2012 to 2018 she was an assistant general counsel to the House, and before that a private practice lawyer in South Carolina and New York.
The vote, on Jan. 8, was 51 yeas to 47 nays. Collins was among the yeas, and King was among the nays.
Senate vote 4
THAILAND AMBASSADOR: The Senate has confirmed the nomination of Michael George DeSombre to serve as U.S. ambassador to Thailand. DeSombre, a partner at the Sullivan and Cromwell law firm since 2004, has specialized in Asian corporate mergers and acquisitions and is an active philanthropist in Hong Kong.
The vote, on Jan. 8, was 91 yeas to 7 nays. Collins and King were among the yeas.
Senate vote 5
REGULATIONS OFFICIAL: The Senate has confirmed the nomination of Paul J. Ray to serve as the administrator of the Office of Management and Budget’s Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs. Ray has been acting administrator at the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs since April 2019, and before that was the office’s associate administrator for nine months and an appellate attorney specializing in administrative law.
A supporter, Sen. Ron Johnson, R-Wisconsin, praised Ray’s record at the office of helping eliminate outdated or harmful regulations and thereby boosting U.S. economic strength and growing wage levels.
An opponent, Sen. Gary C. Peters, D-Michigan, said Ray has failed to meaningfully respond to inquiries from senators reviewing his nomination, and “it would be irresponsible to confirm Mr. Ray to OIRA without an opportunity to thoroughly evaluate his record.”
The vote, on Jan. 9, was 50 yeas to 44 nays. Collins was among the yeas, and King was among the nays.