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Congressional Roll Call: April 13, 2018


Targeted News Service
Sunday, April 15, 2018

Here’s a look at how area members of Congress voted over the previous week.

House

Finance and Human Trafficking: The House has passed the End Banking for Human Traffickers Act (H.R. 2219), sponsored by Rep. Edward R. Royce, R-Calif. The bill would require the State Department and other federal agencies to develop strategies to prevent money laundering related to human trafficking. Royce said that with trafficking producing an estimated $150 billion of criminal profits globally each year, the U.S. had a responsibility to cut off traffickers’ access to the banking system and help end their illegal operations.

The vote, on Tuesday, was 408 yeas to 2 nays.

Voting yes: Annie Kuster, a Democrat

Not voting: Carol Shea-Porter, a Democrat

Penalties For Stalking Children: The House has passed the Combat Online Predators Act (H.R. 4203), sponsored by Rep. Brian K. Fitzpatrick, R-Pa., to increase by 5 years the maximum allowable prison sentence for cases in which a stalker’s victim is a minor under 18 years old. Fitzpatrick said tougher penalties for those who stalk minors were a needed “first step in making the internet a safer environment for all users, especially our children.”

The vote, on Tuesday, was 409 yeas to 2 nays.

Voting yes: Kuster

Not voting: Shea-Porter

Regulating Financial Firms: The House has passed the Financial Stability Oversight Council Improvement Act (H.R. 4061), sponsored by Rep. Dennis A. Ross, R-Fla. The bill would require the government’s Financial Stability Oversight Council to consider, when it is deliberating whether to designate a given nonbank financial company as systematically important to the U.S., the feasibility of other approaches to regulating that company. Ross said the systematically important designation was often inappropriate for insurers, asset managers, and other non-bank firms, and imposed misguided and burdensome regulations on those firms without a corresponding improvement in security for the U.S. financial system.

A bill opponent, Rep. Maxine Waters, D-Calif., said its move to relax regulation of some of the same firms that caused the 2007-2009 financial crisis could “jeopardize our country’s strong economy.”

The vote, on Wednesday, was 297 yeas to 121 nays.

Voting yes: Kuster

Not voting: Shea-Porter

Stress Tests For Banks: The House has passed the Stress Test Improvement Act (H.R. 4293), sponsored by Rep. Lee M. Zeldin, R-N.Y. The bill would reduce the Dodd-Frank financial reform law’s imposition of financial soundness stress tests on nonbank financial companies and bank holding companies. Zeldin said its changes to the stress testing process would improve the transparency, consistency, and fairness of regulation of financial firms, with the result of protect the soundness of the banking system while removing negative unintended consequences of the Dodd-Frank law.

A bill opponent, Rep. Maxine Waters, D-Calif., said it sought to “line Wall Street’s pockets by weakening a critical tool to prevent a future financial crisis.”

The vote, on Wednesday, was 245 yeas to 174 nays.

Voting no: Kuster

Not voting: Shea-Porter

Balanced Budget Amendment: The House has rejected a resolution (H.J. Res 2) sponsored by Rep. Bob Goodlatte, R-Va., that would have proposed adding a balanced budget amendment to the Constitution, requiring that each year’s fiscal budget does not create a deficit, unless a three-fifths majority of both the House and Senate authorize the deficit.

The vote, on Thursday, was 233 yeas to 184 nays, with a two-thirds majority required for approval

Voting no: Kuster

Not voting: Shea-Porter

Senate

Kentucky District Judge: The Senate has confirmed the nomination of Claria Horn Boom to serve as a judge on the U.S. district court for the Eastern and Western Districts of Kentucky. Boom, a former assistant U.S. attorney for Kentucky, has also been a private practice lawyer in Atlanta and Lexington, Ky.

The vote, on Tuesday, was 96 yeas to 1 nay.

Voting yes: Maggie Hassan, a Democrat; Jeanne Shaheen, a Democrat

Labor Relations Board: The Senate has confirmed the nomination of John Ring to serve as a member of the National Labor Relations Board for a five-year term ending in late 2022. A supporter, Sen. Lamar Alexander, R-Tenn., cited Ring’s 30 years of experience as a private labor and management relations lawyer, and said Ring would help return the Board to its proper role of being “a neutral umpire in labor disputes” and not the overly partisan entity it was during the Obama administration.

An opponent, Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass., criticized Ring for expressing a belief “that the Board has been too friendly to workers and that corporations have gotten the short end of the stick.”

The vote, on Wednesday, was 50 yeas to 48 nays.

Voting no: Hassan, Shaheen

Deputy Labor Secretary: The Senate has confirmed the nomination of Patrick Pizzella to serve as Deputy Labor Secretary. A supporter, Sen. Lamar Alexander, R-Tenn., said Pizzella had many years of experience as a Labor Department official, most recently as chairman of the Federal Labor Relations Authority, and said his leadership and experience would greatly help Labor fulfill its mission.

An opponent, Sen. Benjamin Cardin, D-Md., called Pizzella “a vocal advocate of so-called right-to-work laws” that hurt workers and claimed that Pizzella has an antipathy to federal government workers and their unions.

The vote, on Thursday, was 50 yeas to 48 nays.

Voting no: Hassan, Shaheen

Deputy EPA Administrator: The Senate has confirmed the nomination of Andrew Wheeler to serve as Deputy Environmental Protection Agency Administrator. Wheeler has worked as an EPA employee, staff director for the House Environment and Public Works Committee, and most recently as an energy policy consultant. A supporter, Sen. James Inhofe, R-Okla., said Wheeler would help the EPA “in continuing to implement President Trump’s vision of returning EPA to an agency of the people, subject to the rule of law.”

An opponent, Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse, D-R.I., said Wheeler’s nomination “continues the Trump administration’s essentially complete subservience to the fossil fuel industry in the entire environmental arena.”

The vote, on Thursday, was 53 yeas to 45 nays.

Voting no: Hassan, Shaheen