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 Lifespan Respite Care Reauthorization Act (S. 995) to amend title XXIX of the Public Health Service Act to reauthorize the program under such title relating to lifespan respite care; a resolution (S. Res. 481) commemorating the 75th anniversary of the liberation of the Auschwitz extermination camp in Nazi-occupied Poland; and the Secure and Trusted Communications Networks Act (H.R. 4998) to prohibit certain federal subsidies from being used to purchase communications equipment or services posing national security risks.
The House also passed: the Gold Star Spouses and Spouses of Injured Servicemembers Leasing Relief Expansion Act (H.R. 2227) to authorize spouses of service members who incur a catastrophic injury or illness or die while in military service to terminate leases of premises and motor vehicles; the Legal Services for Homeless Veterans Act (H.R. 3749) to direct the Veterans Affairs secretary to make grants to entities that provide legal services for homeless veterans and veterans at risk for homelessness; the VA Reporting Transparency Act (H.R. 4613) to direct the Veterans Affairs secretary to establish and maintain a website of the department that allows the public to obtain electronic copies of certain legislatively requested reports of the Department of Veterans Affairs; and the Protecting Business Opportunities for Veterans Act (H.R. 561) to improve the oversight of contracts awarded by the Veterans Affairs secretary to small business concerns owned and controlled by veterans.
House vote 1
HATE CRIMES AND LYNCHINGS: The House has passed the Emmett Till Antilynching Act (H.R. 35), sponsored by Rep. Bobby L. Rush, D-Illinois, to deem criminal offenses that involve lynching as hate crime actions subject to associated criminal penalties.
Rush said the bill was needed to “send a resoundingly strong message about what we are as a nation, our country’s values.”
The vote, on Feb. 26, was 410 yeas to 4 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
VETERANS AND EDUCATIONAL INFORMATION: The House has passed the G.I. and Veterans Education Empowerment Act (H.R. 4852), sponsored by Rep. Norma J. Torres, D-California, to require the Veterans Affairs Department to include information about the religious affiliation, gender specific and minority serving statuses of postsecondary educational institutions on its website for GI Bill recipients.
A supporter, Rep. Mark Takano, D-California, said the requirement “addresses an overlooked cause for veterans dropping out or transferring to other institutions: cultural incongruence.”
The vote, on Feb. 26, was unanimous with 412 yeas. Pingree and Golden were among the yeas.
Senate vote 1
VIRGIN ISLANDS JUDGE: The Senate has confirmed the nomination of Robert Anthony Molloy to serve as a judge on the U.S. district court for the Virgin Islands. Molloy has been a superior court judge for the Virgin Islands since 2013.
The vote, on Feb. 25, was unanimous with 97 yeas. U.S. Sens. Susan Collins, a Republican, and Angus King, an independent who caucuses with Democrats, were among the yeas.
Senate vote 2
LATE-TERM ABORTIONS: The Senate has rejected a cloture motion to end debate on the Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act (S. 3275), sponsored by Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-South Carolina. The bill would have established criminal penalties for doctors that perform or attempt to perform an abortion of a fetus that is 20 weeks old or older, with exceptions for the life of the mother and pregnancies that result from rape or incest.
Graham said: “Medical science has determined that a child at 20 weeks is capable of feeling excruciating pain.”
An opponent, Sen. Ed Markey, D-Massachusetts, said: “Women’s reproductive health decisions should be left to women and their healthcare providers.”
The vote, on Feb. 25, was 53 yeas to 44 nays, with a three-fifths majority required to end debate. Collins and King were among the nays.
Senate vote 3
ABORTION SURVIVORS: The Senate has rejected a cloture motion to end debate on the Born-Alive Abortion Survivors Protection Act (S. 311), sponsored by Sen. Ben Sasse, R-Nebraska. The bill would have established care requirements for health care practitioners in cases of a child who survives an abortion or attempted abortion, with criminal penalties applied for failing to meet the requirements.
Sasse said it “simply says that if a baby survives an abortion, she should get the same degree of medical care that any other baby would get at that same gestational stage.”
A bill opponent, Sen. Ed Markey, D-Massachusetts, said a no vote “will safeguard the right for an individual to make their own health choices, without interference from the federal government.”
The vote, on Feb. 25, was 56 yeas to 41 nays, with a three-fifths majority required to end debate. Collins voted yea, and King voted nay.
Senate vote 4
PUERTO RICO JUDGE: The Senate has confirmed the nomination of Silvia Carreno-Coll to serve as a judge on the U.S. district court for Puerto Rico. Carreno-Coll was a federal prosecutor and Environmental Protection Agency lawyer in Puerto Rico from 1989 to 2011; since then she has been a magistrate judge on the district court.
The vote, on Feb. 25, was unanimous with 96 yeas. Collins and King voted yea.
Senate vote 5
TAX COURT JUDGE: The Senate has confirmed the nomination of Travis Greaves to serve as a judge on the U.S. Tax Court. Greaves has been an assistant attorney general at the Justice Department since May 2017. Previously, he was a private practice attorney and professor at Georgetown University.
The vote, on Feb. 27, was 85 yeas to 3 nays. Collins and King were among the yeas.