Hassan, Shaheen split on vote to end federal COVID emergency

Published: 11/21/2022 6:29:16 PM

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

Along with roll call votes, the Senate this week also passed the following measures by voice vote: the Performance Enhancement Reform Act (H.R. 2617), to amend the description of how performance goals are achieved; and the PROTECT Our Children Act (S. 4834), to reauthorize the National Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force Program.


MISTREATING HORSES: The House has passed the Prevent All Soring Tactics Act Act (H.R. 5441), sponsored by Rep. Steve Cohen, D-Tenn., to have the Agriculture Department inspect horses at various public facilities for cases of soring, which is putting various restrictions on a horse’s legs in order to give the horse a higher gait. Cohen said: “The plague of soring has marred the Tennessee Walking Horse and related breeds for more than six decades. I am proud to lead the fight to end it.” An opponent, Rep. Scott DesJarlais, R-Tenn., said the soring law would “place an undue ban on equipment making horse shows and events impossible to put on. Equine experts themselves have said these bans are not based on scientific evidence.” The vote, on Nov. 14, was 304 yeas to 111 nays.

YEAS: Chris Pappas, D-NH, (1st); Annie Kuster D-NH (2nd)

WORKPLACE SEXUAL HARASSMENT CASES: The House has passed the Speak Out Act (S. 4524), sponsored by Sen. Kirsten E. Gillibrand, D-N.Y., to render unenforceable nondisclosure and nondisparagement clauses in employment contracts that apply to sexual harassment or sexual assault cases. A supporter, Rep. Jerrold Nadler, D-N.Y., said: “These confidentiality clauses have contributed to the culture of silence in cases involving sexual misconduct. As such, they have routinely enabled sexual predators to evade accountability.” An opponent, Rep. Jim Jordan, R-Ohio, said the bill was “too broad and will affect contractual matters completely unrelated to sexual misconduct.” The vote, on Nov. 16, was 315 yeas to 109 nays.

YEAS: Pappas, Kuster

PASSING LEGISLATION: The House has approved a motion sponsored by Rep. Troy A. Carter, D-La., to pass 7 bills en bloc, without a separate vote on each bill. Subjects covered by the bills included research by Veterans Health Administration employees, cybersecurity at the VA, establishing the DisasterAssistance.gov website, and establishing recordkeeping requirements for Amazon and other online hosts of third-party retailers. Carter said the DisasterAssistance.gov bill “is designed to put survivors first and get them back on their feet after disasters faster.” The vote, on Nov. 17, was 381 yeas to 39 nays.

YEAS: Pappas, Kuster

NAMING VA MEDICAL CENTER: The House has passed the Max Cleland VA Medical Center Act (S. 3369), sponsored by Sen. Raphael G. Warnock, D-Ga., to name the Veterans Affairs Department’s Atlanta medical center after Joseph Maxwell Cleland. Cleland, who died in 2021, was a senator, VA administrator, and veteran of the Vietnam War. A supporter, Rep. Jake Ellzey, R-Texas, said of Cleland: “His spirit served as an inspiration, and that same spirit will continue to inspire excellence at the Atlanta VA Medical Center which should proudly bear his name.” The vote, on Nov. 17, was 359 yeas to 62 nays.

YEAS: Pappas, Kuster

LYMPHEDEMA AND MEDICARE: The House has passed the Lymphedema Treatment Act (H.R. 3630), sponsored by Rep. Janice D. Schakowsky, D-Ill., to authorize Medicare coverage for expenses for using gradient compression garments and other treatments for lymphedema, which is swelling in body tissues caused by the buildup of lymph fluid. Schakowsky said Medicare coverage “will absolutely help the 3 million Americans who have lymphedema to be able to have some of the relief that they need at a cost that they can afford.” The vote, on Nov. 17, was 402 yeas to 13 nays.

YEAS: Pappas, Kuster


PUERTO RICO JUDGE: The Senate has confirmed the nomination of Maria del R. Antongiorgi-Jordan to be a judge on the U.S. district court for Puerto Rico. The district court’s chief clerk since 2019, Antongiorgi-Jordan was, from 1995 to 2018, a lawyer at the McConnell Valde law firm in San Juan, specializing in employment cases. A supporter, Sen. Dick Durbin, D-Ill., called her “a dedicated public servant and accomplished litigator who will be a tremendous asset” on the court. The vote, on Nov. 15, was 55 yeas to 43 nays.

YEAS: Maggie Hassan, D-NH; Jeanne Shaheen, D-NH

COVID EMERGENCY: The Senate has passed a resolution (S.J. Res. 63), sponsored by Sen. Roger Marshall, R-Kan., to declare an end to the national emergency regarding Covid that President Trump began in March 2020. Marshall said the resolution was needed because “this White House is more than willing and able to use this emergency declaration to advance as many of their inflationary giveaways as possible.” An opponent, Sen. Ron Wyden, D-Ore., said that by cancelling various health care measures adopted under the declared emergency, the resolution would be “a recipe for chaos in American healthcare and serious headaches for millions of patients who would have their coverage and their care upended.” The vote, on Nov. 15, was 61 yeas to 37 nays.

NAYS: Hassan

YEAS: Shaheen

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