Category: CongressionalWatch

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.

Congressional Votes for the Week Ending Sept. 14

WASHINGTON – Alabama’s U.S. senators and representatives, with the exception of Rep. Mo Brooks, R-Huntsville, threw their support behind a $147 billion appropriations bills for next year.

The bill increases money for veterans’ programs and includes money for energy and water programs, including a revolving loan fund to help communities upgrade drinking-water systems and outlays to help schools replace lead-poisoned drinking fountains. Read how area members of Congress voted on major issues during the week ending Sept. 14.

Congressional Votes for the Week Ending Sept. 7

WASHINGTON – Alabama’s House delegation voted together, and with the vast majority of other representatives, to pass a bill that would require couseling of parents and students participating in federal student-loan programs. Students receiving loans and Pell grants also would have to go through online counseling on their loan obligations.

The House split, however, on a proposal to expand the bill to offer specialized counseling for veterans. Rep. Terri Sewell, Alabama’s only Democratic representative, also was the only member of the state’s delegation who voted in favor of the proposed provision, which failed.

Here’s how area members of Congress voted on that and other major issues during the week ending Sept. 7. Read more.