Category: CongressionalWatch

House OK’s Funding to Avoid Government Shutdown, Bill Goes to Senate

Voterama in Congress

WASHINGTON — Most of Alabama’s House delegation voted in favor of a bill to fund the government on a stopgap basis for the first 10 weeks of fiscal 2021, which begins Oct. 1.

The House approved the bill (HR 8337) in a 359-57 vote on Sept. 22, and it is expected to be taken up by the Senate this week. The continuing resolution became necessary because Congress did not pass regular appropriations bills for the new budget year. The measure will fund agencies at 2020 spending levels through Dec. 11. Read more.

House Condemn Racism Against Asian-Americans, Including References to ‘Chinese Virus’

Voterama in Congress

WASHINGTON — The U.S. House of Representatives voted 243-184 on Sept. 17 to adopt a non-binding resolution (H Res 908) to condemn expressions of racism, discrimination or religious intolerance against Asian-Americans related to the COVID-19 pandemic. That includes terms such as “Chinese Virus,” “Wuhan Virus” and ”Kung-flu.” Read more.

Republican-Backed Coronavirus Relief Bill Dies on Party-Line Vote

Voterama in Congress

WASHINGTON — Alabama’s senators split along party lines this week as the Senate failed to reach 60 votes needed to advance a Republican-sponsored coronavirus relief package.

Sen. Richard Shelby, R, voted to advance the bill, and Sen. Doug Jones, D, voted against it. Overall, the vote, held Thursday, was 52 for and 47 against.

Consisting of $300 billion in new spending and $350 billion in recycled funds, S178 stopped well short of a competing $3.4 trillion measure passed by House Democrats in May. Read more.

House Passes Bill Protecting Postal Service in Mostly Partisan Vote

Voterama in Congress

WASHINGTON – Alabama’s members of the U.S. House of Representatives, as with much of the House membership, voted mostly along party lines Saturday to shore up the postal service as the country nears an election when more ballots are expected to be mailed than ever before.

The vote on HR 8015 was 257 for and 150 against. It would prohibit the U.S. Postal Service from reducing service below levels in effect at the start of the year and require it to treat official election envelopes as first-class mail in this fall’s balloting. In addition, the bill would provide $25 billion requested by the postal service for coping with the coronavirus outbreak in the budget year starting Oct. 1. Read more.

House Takes Up Child Care Funding Bills

Voterama in Congress

WASHINGTON — The House last week took up three bills that would provide help for child care providers or parents returning to work.

The first, HR 7027, was passed on a vote of 249 for and 163 against. It would appropriate $50 billion to help child care providers stay in business during the pandemic so that parents can return to work. The funding would be used to subsidize in-home services as well as licensed child care operations of all sizes, and it could be used to prop up functioning centers or reopen those forced to close because of the pandemic.

Bradley Byrne, R-Ala., opposed the bill. “Child care is essential as parents begin returning to the workplace; however, this bill spends too much taxpayer money and places an undue and unworkable regulatory burden on facilities, federal agencies and, yes, on families,” he said. Read more.

House Votes on Removing Confederate Statues From the Capitol, Military Funding

Voterama in Congress

KEY VOTES AHEAD: The House will take up fiscal 2021 spending bills in the week of July 27, while the Senate will vote on judicial nominations. Both chambers are expected to start work on a coronavirus-relief package.

WASHINGTON — Alabama’s representatives in the U.S. House split along party lines on a vote last week to remove from the Capitol building a bust of former Supreme Court Chief Justice Roger B. Taney, the author of the Dred Scott vs. Sandford ruling in 1857 that Blacks could not be citizens of the United States or sue in federal courts.

Under the bill, the Taney bust on the Senate side of the Capitol would be replaced with one of Thurgood Marshall, the first Black Supreme Court justice.

The House on July 22 voted 305 for and 113 against to pass HR 7573 and send it to the Senate. Read more.

Senate Agrees to Debate Funding Bill to Maintain National Parks

WASHINGTON — Alabama’s senators split along party lines June 10 on a vote to start debate on HR 1957, which would greatly increase financial support of federal land agencies including the National Park Service and boost U.S. government funding of federal, state and local efforts to purchase and protect unspoiled acreage. Read more.

Alabama’s House Delegation Votes Along Party Lines on 3rd Relief Package

The House on Friday narrowly approved a $3 trillion coronavirus relief package (HR 6800). Alabama’s representatives voted along party lines, with Democrat Rep. Terri Sewell voting to approve and the Republicans voting against the matter. The measure is unlikely to become law. Republican senators oppose it, and President Trump has said he would veto it. Read more.