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.
Continuing U.S. Support of NATO
Voting 357 for and 22 against, the House on Jan. 22 passed a measure (HR 676) declaring congressional support of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization and attempting to block any effort to withdraw the United States from the 70-year-old mutual defense pact. President Trump has criticized other NATO members for relying on the United States to protect them and reportedly has discussed withdrawing from the alliance.
The United States was a founding member of NATO, which includes 29 European and North American countries and was formed as a bulwark against the former Soviet Union. Today, it seeks to counter Russia’s military and cyber aggression, including electoral interference in Western democracies. But Trump has called NATO an “obsolete” drain on U.S. taxpayers and military resources.
Michael McCaul, R-Texas, said: “NATO was born out of the chaos of World War II and built to fortify European democracies against Soviet totalitarianism. Time and again, the alliance has proven that the free peoples of the world are strongest when they stand together.”
None of the 22 members who voted no, all Republicans, spoke against the bill.
A yes vote was to send the bill to the Senate.
Voting yes: Bradley Byrne, R-1, Martha Roby, R-2, Mike Rogers, R-3, Robert Aderholt, R-4, Mo Brooks, R-5, Gary Palmer, R-6, Terri Sewell,
Voting no: None
Democratic Bill to End Shutdown
The House on Jan. 23 voted, 234 for and 180 against, to provide funding through Sept. 30 for eight cabinet departments and numerous agencies that have been closed since Dec. 22. The bill would deny President Trump’s request for border-wall funding but provide $1.6 billion for U.S.-Mexico border security including $524.2 million for construction at points of entry and $563.4 million for hiring more immigration judges. The bill would leave the Department of Homeland Security (below) as the only department not fully funded for the remainder of fiscal 2019.
David Price, D-North Carolina, said the bill “reflects bicameral and bipartisan priorities. It is time for Republicans and President Trump to finally take yes for an answer.”
Kay Granger, R-Texas, called the bill “shameful gamesmanship” that could not become law because it omits border-wall funding.
A yes vote was to send HR 648 to the Senate.
Voting yes: Sewell
Voting no: Byrne, Roby, Rogers, Aderholt, Brooks, Palmer
GOP Measure to Pay Civil Servants
Voting 200 for and 215 against, the House on Jan. 23 defeated a Republican-sponsored attempt to greatly reduce the scope of HR 648 (above) so that it would only fund back pay for more than 800,000 federal workers sidelined in the current government shutdown. The measure would have continued the shutdown while delivering paychecks at least through Jan. 23.
Kay Granger, R-Texas, said “federal employees should not suffer because of the Democrats’ refusal to negotiate” a shutdown solution.
Nita Lowey, D-New York, said the motion “will ensure the government remains closed.”
A yes vote was to adopt the GOP motion.
Voting yes: Byrne, Roby, Rogers, Aderholt, Brooks, Palmer
Voting no: Sewell
Stopgap Homeland Security Budget
Voting 231 for and 180 against, the House on Jan. 24 adopted a continuing resolution (HJ Res 31) that would fund the Department of Homeland Security through Feb. 28 while providing back pay to DHS employees deprived of compensation during the government shutdown.
Lucille Roybal-Allard, D-California, said, “There are billions of dollars for border security in this continuing resolution.”
Chuck Fleischmann, R-Tennessee, said: “Call it a wall, call it a fence, it is something that the American people want” because “these walls do work.”
A yes vote was to send the stopgap measure to the Senate.
Voting yes: Sewell
Voting no: Byrne, Roby, Aderholt, Brooks, Palmer
Not voting: Rogers
Trump Plan to Reopen Government
Voting 50 for and 47 against, the Senate on Jan. 24 failed to reach 60 votes needed to advance a measure offered by President Trump and Republican leaders that would provide funding through September for closed departments and agencies. The amendment to HR 268 would appropriate $5.7 billion for building a wall on the southwest border; grant three years’ legal status to hundreds of thousands of “dreamers” and so-called “TPS” aliens mainly from Central America; impose tougher rules on residents of Central America seeking U.S. asylum; extend the Violence Against Women Act through September and approve $12.7 billion in aid for victims of natural disasters in several states and U.S. territories.
Susan Collins, R-Maine, said: “We already have more than 650 miles of physical barriers. What this bill would provide is funding for 234 additional miles of fences, walls and other kinds of physical barriers that have been specifically identified as needed by the experts at Customs and Border Patrol.”
Jack Reed, D-Rhode Island, said: “If Congress capitulates to (Trump’s) demands because he has shut down the government, he will be emboldened to use the same tactic again and again and again. If he succeeds, then every president who follows will feel justified in using the same ploy. Rather than ending one shutdown, we will be inviting more in the future.”
A yes vote backed the Trump plan for reopening the government.
Voting yes: Richard Shelby, R
Voting no: Doug Jones, D
Democratic Plan to Reopen Government
Voting 52 for and 44 against, the Senate on Jan. 24 failed to reach 60 votes needed to advance a Democratic-sponsored amendment to HR 268 that would provide regular budgets through Feb. 8 for departments and agencies closed since Dec. 22 while disregarding President Trump’s request for border-wall funding.
Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-New York, said Trump’s approach is “government by extortion,” while the Democratic plan “demands nothing before we reopen the government.”
Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Kentucky, called the measure “a dead-end proposal that stands no chance of earning the president’s signature and ending the partial shutdown.”
A yes vote backed the Democratic plan for reopening the government.
Voting yes: Jones
Voting no: Shelby
KEY VOTES AHEAD
House and Senate legislative schedules for the week of Jan. 28 were likely to include votes on funding measures designed to end the current government shutdown.