Category: CongressionalWatch

Congressional Votes for the Week Ending Jan. 25

WASHINGTON – The U.S. House and Senate last week voted for a continuing resolution that reopened federal government operations through Feb. 15.

However, there were no roll-call votes on the final version of HJ Res 28, so the votes of senators and representatives were not recorded.

The House and Senate approved the measure Jan. 25 and President Trump signed it into law the same day, ending a 35-day government shutdown.

There were votes last week on other unsuccessful bills aimed at reopening the federal government. Here’s how area members of Congress voted on those and other bills during the legislative week ending Jan. 25. Read more.

Congressional Votes for the Week Ending Jan. 18

WASHINGTON – Alabama’s House delegation, along with many members of the House, had party-line votes last week on bills to fund disaster relief for businesses and residents harmed by wildfires, hurricanes, flooding, mudslides, volcanic eruptions and typhoons.

Republicans opposed the original measure because it would have opened closed portions of the government temporarily without allocating money to build Trump’s wall. Democrats also passed an amendment that would prohibit the president from using disaster relief funds to build the wall, which he has speculated he might do. Republicans failed in an attempt to pass an alternate disaster relief funding bill that would not temporarily reopen government offices but without providing funding for a border wall.

In Alabama’s delegation, each of those votes cast Rep. Terri Sewell, D-Birmingham, on the opposite side from the state’s six other representatives. Read more.

Congressional Votes for the Week Ending Jan. 11

WASHINGTON – The U.S. House of Representatives took up a litany of funding bills last week despite the federal government’s partial shutdown. Among them was a Republican move to increase funding for rural broadband by $125 million, to a total of $565 million.

Robert Aderholt, R-Alabama, spoke in favor of the move, saying. “You might not find a great deal of agreement between the parties of President Trump and former President Obama, but the vital need for rural broadband is one of those things.”

Nonetheless, the House defeated the measure on a largely party-line vote.

There was near unanimous support for one bill to ensure federal employees will be given backpay once their departments are fully reopened. All of Alabama’s representatives approved that measure, which now goes to the president.

Read more about how area members of Congress voted during the legislative week ending Jan. 11.

Congressional Votes for the Week Ending Jan. 4

WASHINGTON – In a partisan vote, the House last week agreed to a continuing resolution (HJ Res 1) that would fund the Department of Homeland Security through Feb. 8, giving Congress and President Trump more time to negotiate his request for up to $5.7 billion this year for building a wall on the U.S.-Mexico border. The department has been partially closed since Dec. 22. Alabama’s representatives also voted along party lines on the bill, with Democratic Rep. Terri Sewell approving it and the rest opposing.

Congressional Votes for the week ending Dec. 21

WASHINGTON – Members of the U.S. House and Senate have gone home for Christmas, leaving a government in partial shut-down because of a dispute over funding of a wall to block Mexican immigrants from crossing over into the U.S.

Before they did, the House approved a short-term funding bill, but it did not win approval in the Senate. The Alabama vote split along party lines, with Democratic Rep. Terry Sewell the only Alabama voice against the bill that would have included funding for the wall. Read more.

Congressional Votes for the Week Ending Dec. 14

WASHINGTON – Alabama’s senators last week split on a vote over the country’s involvement in the war in Yemen.

Democratic Sen. Doug Jones voted for the resolution requiring the administration to end U.S. military support of a Saudi-led coalition waging war against Iran-backed Houthi forces in Yemen, unless Congress authorizes the action under the 1973 War Powers Act

Republican Sen. Richard Shelby voted against the resolution.

On a 56-41 vote, the Senate sent the resolution to the House for consideration.

Read about how area members of Congress voted on major issues during the legislative week ending Dec. 14.

Congressional Votes for the Week Ending Nov. 30

WASHINGTON – Alabama’s congressional Representatives split on a measure to extend the National Flood Insurance Program to Dec. 7. Without approval of that bill, the program would have closed Nov. 30.

The House on Nov. 29 voted 350 for and 46 against to approve the short-term extension. The House last year passed a long-term extension, which has stalled in the Senate. That bill was controversial because it would partially privatize the federally run program.

Already, more than $20 billion in debt despite a recent taxpayer bailout of $16 billion, the program – without reforms – is expected to take on red ink at an accelerated pace as hurricanes and flooding become increasingly destructive as a result of global warming, which the GOP-led Congress has declined to address with legislation.
Nearly five million residential and commercial properties located in flood plains in 22,000 communities are covered by national flood insurance.
Read more about how senators voted on key issues in the week ending Nov. 30.

Jones, Shelby Split on Kavanaugh Confirmation

Alabama’s senators, like most of the senators from across the country, split along party lines this weekend as the body voted to confirm Brett Kavanaugh as the newest U.S. Supreme Court Justice.

Sen. Doug Jones, a Democrat from Alabama, decried the process that he called a “rush to confirmation” during a 25-minute address to the Senate before Friday’s vote to limit debate on the nomination. He lamented that millions of dollars had been spent both on campaigns to get Kavanaugh confirmed to the court and to block that confirmation.

“I think that this kind of political campaign for a seat on the Supreme Court of the United States, a political campaign run by either political party, should be condemned as completely contrary to the independence of the judicial branch of our government,” Jones said in his speech.

He said he believed Americans from both parties were “disgusted” by the political process.

“I am deeply disappointed and concerned by the process, the posturing and the partisanship that has degraded what should be one of the most serious, deliberate and thoughtful decisions that we as the United States Senate are entrusted to make,” he said.
Republican Sen. Richard Shelby, who at first took a “wait and see” approach to Kavanaugh’s nomination after allegations of sexual misconduct surfaced, supported the confirmation in the end.

“During the hearings, I found Judge Kavanaugh’s testimony to be credible,” Shelby said in a statement after the vote. “It is evident that the accusations against Judge Kavanaugh are uncorroborated, and there is no confirmation of any of the alleged misconduct,” he said.

Read more about the Senate’s 50-48 vote to confirm Kavanaugh’s nomination and how senators voted on other key issues in the week ending Oct. 6, 2018. The House was in recess. Read more.

Congressional Votes for the Week Ending Sept. 28

WASHINGTON – Alabama’s congressional delegation had an “odd man out” on more votes than usual last week.

Rep. Terri Sewell, D-Birmingham, broke from the delegation on a couple of the week’s biggest votes, including on universal savings accounts, which would allow more types of tax-exempt investments but cost the treasury more than $21 billion over 10 years. She also voted against bringing the Violence Against Women Act up for debate in the House at that time.

Rep. Gary Palmer, R-Hoover, also found himself on the other side of a vote on the proposed $854 billion spending bill; Rep. Mo Brooks, R-Huntsville, also split from the delegation on a bill to fund aviation programs, disaster aid and FEMA.

Sen. Doug Jones, D-Alabama, also broke ranks and voted against confirming Peter Feldman’s nomination to the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission.

Read more about how area congressmen voted on key issues in the week ending Sept. 28.