Category: CongressionalWatch

Electoral College Vote Certified in Tumultuous Week on Capitol Hill

WASHINGTON — Sen. Richard Shelby, a Republican, and Rep. Terri Sewell, a Democrat, were the only two of Alabama’s congressmen who voted last week to accept presidential election results certified by the states of Arizona and Pennsylvania.

But Electoral College votes eventually were certified and President-elect Joe Biden was declared winner of the election.

Opponents of accepting, or certifying, the votes said Congress should appoint a commission to audit the 2020 presidential balloting in Arizona and five other states Biden narrowly carried.

The votes occurred the night an armed mob of Trump supporters streamed through the Capitol, destroying property, defiling historical spaces and forcing lawmakers to shelter in place for extended periods, many behind barricaded doors. Read more.

Congress Overrides Trump Veto of Military Spending Bill

Voterama in Congress

WASHINGTON — The U.S. Senate and House overrode President Donald Trump’s veto of the $740.5 billion military budget for fiscal 2021 (HR 6395). The Senate vote, held Friday, was 81 for and 13 against the override. The House voted 322 for and 87 against Monday. This was the first of Trump’s nine vetoes to meet with congressional disapproval. Read more.

Most of Alabama’s Delegates in Washington Vote for Coronavirus Relief

Voterama in Congress

WASHINGTON — The U.S. House and Senate on Dec. 21 gave approval to a $900 billion COVID-19 relief package that would start delivering benefits immediately. The House voted 359 for and 53 against HR 133 and the Senate voted 92 for and six against. U.S. Rep. Mo Brooks, R-5, was the only member of Alabama’s delegation who voted against the bill. Read more.

House Passes Stopgap Funding, COVID-19 Relief

Voterama in Congress
WASHINGTON — The U.S. House last week passed a bill to fund the government on a stopgap basis through Dec. 18, with Alabama’s delegation splitting down the middle on the vote.

Overall, the vote was 343 for and 67 against. In Alabama’s delegation, Reps. Martha Roby, R; Mike Rogers, R; and Terri Sewell, D, voted for the bill. Reps. Bradley Byrne, R; Mo Brooks, R; and Gary Palmer, R, voted against it. Rep. Robert Aderholt, R, was under quarantine and not present for the vote.

In addition to averting a shutdown, the vote gives leaders more time to negotiate another round of emergency relief for individuals and households facing economic hardship as a result of COVID-19. Read more.

House OKs Apprenticeship Program Opposed by the GOP

Voterama in Congress

WASHINGTON – Voting 246 for and 140 against, the House on Nov 20 passed a bill (HR 8294) that would authorize $3.5 billion over five years to expand federally funded apprenticeship programs. While the bill would prepare workers for jobs in traditional industries such as manufacturing, transportation and construction, it also would fund instruction and on-the-job training for specialized fields such as early childhood education, advanced health care and green energy. The House also rejected a Republican-backed alternative to the plan.

The Senate, meanwhile, approved President Trump’s nominee to the U.S. Court of International Trade and rejected his nominee to the Federal Reserve System Board of Governors. Read more.

Senate Confirmation of Barrett for the Supreme Court

Voterama in Congress

WASHINGTON — Voting 52 for and 48 against, the Senate on Oct. 26 confirmed Amy Coney Barrett, 48, as an associate justice of the Supreme Court, replacing the late Ruth Bader Ginsburg. Barrett had been a federal appeals judge since 2018 and University of Notre Dame law professor starting in 2002. Alabama Sen. Richard Shelby, R, voted to confirm Barrett; Sen. Doug Jones, D, voted against the confirmation. Read more.

Senate Defeats $500 Billion Stimulus Bill

WASHINGTON — The U.S. Senate split along party lines last week on a $500 billion Republican-backed coronavirus-relief bill, and Alabama’s senators were no exception. Sixty votes were needed to pass the bill, but the vote was 51 for and 44 against. Democrats complained there wasn’t enough money in the bill, including its lack of $1,200 in direct payments to individuals. Sen. Richard Shelby, R, voted for it. Sen. Doug Jones, D, voted against it. Read more.

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.