Congressional Votes for the Week Ending June 8

By Voterama in Congress

WASHINGTON – Here’s how area members of Congress voted on major issues in the week ending June 8.


$145.4 Billion Spending Package

Voting 235 for and 179 against, the House on June 8 approved a $145.4 billion package that includes three of the 12 appropriations bills that will fund the government in fiscal 2019, which starts Oct. 1. In part, the bill (HR 5895) would provide $72.1 billion to fund health care for seven million veterans; $24.8 billion for other veterans’ programs; $10.3 billion for construction projects at military bases; $7.28 billion for Army Corps of Engineers public-works projects and $3.8 billion for operating the House and congressional support agencies including a boost in funding to defend Capitol Hill against mounting cyberattacks.

The bill increases funding for fossil-fuel technologies while cutting energy-efficiency and renewable-energy programs. In policy directives, it would allow firearms to be carried at Army Corps of Engineers sites, fund development of a nuclear-waste repository at Yucca Mountain in Nevada and exempt most farmland from regulation under the Clean Water Act.

Michael Burgess, R-Texas, said: “Importantly, this bill provides more than $71 billion for veterans … medical care and more than $1 billion in funding for the Department of Veterans Affairs to deploy a new electronic health records system that aligns with the Department of Defense.”

Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., said the bill “cuts vital clean-energy initiatives” and “permits deadly firearms to be carried on public lands, assaults the clean water our children drink, encourages pollution of our oceans and pushes our nation’s already endangered species toward extinction.”

A yes vote was to pass the bill.

Voting yes: Bradley Byrne, R-1; Martha Roby, R-2; Mike Rogers, R-3; Robert Aderholt, R-4 and Gary Palmer, R-6.

Voting no: Mo Brooks, R-5.

Not voting: Terri Sewell, D-7.

Audit of Robert Mueller’s Office

Voting 207 for and 201 against, the House on June 8 amended HR 5895 (above) to require the Government Accountability Office, the investigative arm of Congress, to conduct semi-annual audits of the office of United States Special Counsel Robert Mueller, which is probing any ties between President Trump’s White House campaign and Russian interests, among other areas of inquiry.


Amendment sponsor Mark Meadows, R-North Carolina, said: “While the work of an independent counsel is indeed important, it is just as important that we properly take account of where the hardworking American taxpayers’ dollars go.”

Tim Ryan, D-Ohio, said “these improprieties aren’t with the special counsel. The problems are with Russia and the people in our country, our political system and our current administration who repeatedly communicated and met with Russian operatives during the presidential campaign.”

A yes vote was to require congressional audits of Mueller’s office.

Voting yes: Byrne, Roby, Rogers, Aderholt, Brooks and Palmer.

Voting no: None.

Not voting: Sewell.

Social Cost Of Carbon

Voting 212 for and 201 against, the House on June 8 amended HR 5895 (above) to prohibit any funds in the bill from being spent on programs that would regulate or provide guidance on the social cost of carbon.

Amendment sponsor Louie Gohmert, R-Texas, said any tax to discourage carbon emissions is “ultimately a tax on the nation’s poor. The rich, they can handle these added, superfluous costs that come out of the nebulous areas of bureaucrats’ minds, but the real ultimate cost is actually to the nation’s poor.”

Marcy Kaptur, D-Ohio said the amendment “is tantamount to saying that weather changes and climate change have no cost and no one will get hurt. …. Tell that to citizens in Puerto Rico who lost businesses, homes and loved ones after Hurricane Maria, that there is no cost from weather changes.”

A yes vote was to oppose regulations putting a social cost on carbon emissions.

Voting yes: Byrne, Roby, Rogers, Aderholt, Brooks and Palmer.

Voting no: None.

Not voting: Sewell.

Democratic Spotlight on Infrastructure

Voting 224 for and 176 against, the House on June 6 blocked a Democratic bid for floor debate on a measure putting a spotlight on infrastructure, an issue President Trump and the GOP-controlled 115th Congress have not yet addressed. Had Democrats prevailed on this vote, the House would have considered their non-binding 10-point plan (H Con Res 63) for “creating millions of new jobs through investments in roads, bridges, and 21st century projects” that are “not paid for at the expense of Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid, or any other vital program….”

Ted Lieu, D-California, said: “When it comes to infrastructure, the president and this GOP majority has been all talk, no action. America deserves better. We have to fix our roads and highways, water infrastructure, schools, transit systems and VA facilities. We have to have key principles for this infrastructure.”

No member spoke on the other side of the issue.

A yes vote was to block an advisory measure on infrastructure,

Voting yes: Byrne, Rogers, Aderholt and Palmer.

Voting no: Sewell.

Not voting: Roby and Brooks

Reclaiming Unspent Funds

Voting 210 for and 206 against, the House on June 7 passed a GOP-drafted bill (HR 3) that would claw back $14.5 billion in unspent appropriations from previous years. For technical budgetary reasons, the measure would reduce budget deficits by no more than $1.2 billion over 10 years. The rescissions would reduce budget authority for numerous domestic programs, with the Children’s Health Insurance Program receiving the largest single cut, about $7 billion. No children would lose CHIP coverage, according to the Congressional Budget Office, but the move would prevent reallocations to children’s programs including expanded early childhood education.

Steve Scalise, R-Louisiana, said: “I know some (Democrats) are feigning concern over the Children’s Health Insurance Program. … In fact, (Republicans) overfunded the CHIP program” by extending it for 10 years on an $18 billion budget.

Nita Lowey, D-New York, said: “Just months after exploding annual deficits to the tune of $1.5 trillion and lavishing massive tax breaks to big corporations with their tax scam, Republicans are now proposing to make children and families pay with a $7 billion cut to CHIP.”

A yes vote was to send the bill to the Senate.

Voting yes: Byrne, Roby, Rogers, Aderholt, Brooks and Palmer.

Voting no: None.

Not voting: Sewell.



Kenneth Marcus, Assistant Education Secretary

Voting 50 for and 46 against, the Senate on June 7 confirmed Kenneth L. Marcus as assistant secretary of education for civil rights, a post he held in the George W. Bush administration. Marcus was employed most recently as head of the Louis D. Brandeis Center for Human Rights Under Law in Washington.

Lamar Alexander, R-Tennessee, said that, after running the Brandeis center and holding previous federal posts charged with civil rights enforcement, Marcus “has a deep understanding of civil rights law….”

Cory Booker, D-New Jersey, said that, at this confirmation hearing, Marcus “couldn’t find a single disagreement in the way that Donald Trump demeaned Americans with disabilities or how the president has spoken about Mexicans or even the way the president has issued policies that attack the rights of Muslims or the rights of LGBTQ Americans.”

A yes vote was to confirm the nominee.

Voting yes: Richard Shelby, R.

Voting no: Doug Jones, D.


The House will take up bills on opioid addiction in the week of June 11, while the Senate will debate the 2019 military budget.