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 Supporting Veterans in STEM Careers Act (S. 153) to promote veteran involvement in STEM education, computer science and scientific research; the Global Hope Act (H.R. 5338) to authorize the secretary of state to pursue public-private partnerships, innovative financing mechanisms, research partnerships and coordination with international and multilateral organizations to address childhood cancer globally; a bill (H. Res. 752) supporting the rights of the people of Iran to free expression and condemning the Iranian regime for its crackdown on legitimate protests; and the Keeping Girls in School Act (H.R. 2153) to support empowerment, economic security and educational opportunities for adolescent girls around the world.
There were no key votes in the Senate.
House vote 1
HOLOCAUST EDUCATION PROGRAMS: House has passed the Never Again Education Act (H.R. 943), sponsored by Rep. Carolyn B. Maloney, D-New York, to require the Education Department to award grants for Holocaust education programs at public schools.
Maloney said: “Our children are not born with hate in their hearts, and it is up to us to make sure that they never learn it.”
The vote, on Jan. 27, was 393 yeas to 5 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
SUICIDE RESEARCH: The House has passed the Advancing Research to Prevent Suicide Act (H.R. 4704), sponsored by Rep. Ben McAdams, D-Utah, to require the National Science Foundation to issue grants to colleges and universities for funding research that aims to prevent suicide.
McAdams said the grants “will contribute to the foundational research that we need to give our mental health professionals the tools to save lives.”
The vote, on Jan. 27, was 385 yeas to 8 nays. Pingree and Golden were among the yeas.
House vote 3
TIBETAN POLICY: The House has passed the Tibetan Policy and Support Act (H.R. 4331), sponsored by Rep. James P. McGovern, D-Massachusetts, to change a variety of elements of U.S. policy on Tibet and its relationship to China, with the general goals of advancing human rights, religious freedom and economic development for Tibetans.
McGovern called the bill an “important step to strengthen U.S. policy in support of the Tibetan people” in the face of oppression by China’s government.
The vote, on Jan. 28, was 392 yeas to 22 nays. Pingree and Golden were among the yeas.
House vote 4
CONSUMER CREDIT REPORTS: The House has passed the Comprehensive CREDIT Act (H.R. 3621), sponsored by Rep. Ayanna Presley, D-Massachusetts. The bill’s measures include a ban on consumer credit reports including information about delinquent or defaulted private education loans taken out by borrowers who meet a standard for loan repayment, restrictions on employee credit checks by employers and other changes to the formation and use of consumer credit reports.
Presley said the measures were needed to “ensure a more equitable and transparent credit reporting system for all.”
A bill opponent, Rep. Patrick T. McHenry, R-North Carolina, said the changes “will destroy the accuracy and completeness of consumer credit files. This will lead to a weaker financial system.”
The vote, on Jan. 29, was 221 yeas to 189 nays. Pingree and Golden were among the yeas.
House vote 5
REGULATING FENTANYL ANALOGUES: The House has passed the Temporary Reauthorization and Study of the Emergency Scheduling of Fentanyl Analogues Act (S. 3201), sponsored by Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-South Carolina. The bill would extend until May 2021 the Drug Enforcement Administration’s temporary scheduling order regulating fentanyl-like substances as schedule I drugs.
A supporter, Rep. Ann M. Kuster, D-New Hampshire, said the extension would give the federal government “the opportunity to better understand the full range of implications that come with classwide scheduling of these substances” that are a large threat to public health.
The vote, on Jan. 29, was 320 yeas to 88 nays. Pingree and Golden were among the yeas.
House vote 6
CONFLICT WITH IRAN: The House has passed an amendment sponsored by Rep. Ro Khanna, D-California, to the Merchant Mariners of World War II Congressional Gold Medal Act (H.R. 550) that would bar spending on military force against Iran in the absence of declaration of war by Congress or specific legal authorization from Congress.
Khanna said the amendment sought to avoid a repetition of the unending and very costly wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.
An opponent, Rep. Michael T. McCaul, R-Texas, said it “takes legitimate options off the table for the executive branch. In doing so, it shows America divided in the face of mounting Iranian threats, making our nation less safe.”
The vote, on Jan. 30, was 228 yeas to 175 nays. Pingree and Golden were among the yeas.
House vote 7
REPEALING IRAQ WAR AUTHORIZATION: The House has passed an amendment sponsored by Rep. Barbara Lee, D-California, to the Merchant Mariners of World War II Congressional Gold Medal Act (H.R. 550) that would repeal the 2002 law that authorized the war with Iraq.
Lee called the 2002 authorization outdated and unnecessary, and said “not only is it not needed for any current counterterrorism operations, but repealing it would have absolutely no impact on the administration’s ongoing military operations.”
An amendment opponent, Rep. Michael T. McCaul, R-Texas, said repealing the 2002 authorization without a new authorization for counterterrorism actions “endangers not only the United States’ national security, but our coalition partners, most notably, Iraq.”
The vote, on Jan. 30, was 236 yeas to 166 nays. Pingree and Golden were among the yeas.