Here’s a look at how area members of Congress voted over the previous week.
• Semiautomatic guns: The House has passed the Assault Weapons Ban (H.R. 1808), sponsored by Rep. David N. Cicilline, D-R.I., to criminalize the purchase or possession of semiautomatic guns (also called assault weapons) or devices that feed large amounts of ammunition into a gun. Cicilline said: “These weapons have no place in our communities. They turn our streets, our schools, our grocery stores, our movie theaters and hospitals into bloody battlefield scenes.” An opponent, Rep. Andrew S. Clyde, R-Ga., called the bill an effort to “ban more guns and take more of our citizens’ unalienable constitutional rights away.”
The vote, on July 29, was 217 yeas to 213 nays. NAYS: Billy Long, R-MO (7th); Mullin, R-OK (2nd); Hartzler, R-MO (4th); LaTurner, R-KS (2nd).
• Wildfires and water management: The House has passed the Wildfire Response and Drought Resiliency Act (H.R. 5118), sponsored by Rep. Joe Neguse, D-Colo., to authorize various water management projects and change federal wildlife programs, including increasing firefighter wages. Neguse called the bill “another major effort to act on climate by responding to record-setting wildfires and drought that are impacting communities across our country.” An opponent, Rep. Bruce Westerman, R-Ark., said it “does absolutely nothing to prevent wildfires or significantly improve our resiliency to drought.”
The vote, on July 29, was 218 yeas to 199 nays. NOT VOTING: Long, R-MO (7th); Hartzler, R-MO (4th). NAYS: Mullin, R-OK (2nd); LaTurner, R-KS (2nd).
• Regulating big cats: The House has passed the Big Cat Public Safety Act (H.R. 263), sponsored by Rep. Mike Quigley, D-Ill., to tighten federal restrictions on the trade and use of large feline species, such as lions, tigers, cheetahs and mountain lions. Quigley said the stricter regulations were needed “to protect our neighborhoods from the threat of wild animals being held captive in dangerous conditions.” An opponent, Rep. Doug LaMalfa, R-Calif., said there were already adequate federal regulations for big cats, and the bill would also override state authority to legislate on the matter.
The vote, on July 29, was 278 yeas to 134 nays. NOT VOTING: Long, R-MO (7th); Hartzler, R-MO (4th). NAYS: Mullin, R-OK (2nd); LaTurner, R-KS (2nd).
• Restoring coal mine sites: The House has passed the Safeguarding Treatment for the Restoration of Ecosystems from Abandoned Mines Act (H.R. 7283), sponsored by Rep. Matt Cartwright, D-Pa., to allow states to reserve up to 30% of their federal grants for reclamation of abandoned coal mines to fund the treatment and abatement of drainage of acidic water from the mines. Cartwright said: “Cleaning up acid mine drainage always creates jobs, brings back recreation opportunities, boosts local economies and makes communities healthier and stronger and much more attractive to visitors and new investments.”
The vote, on July 29, was 391 yeas to 9 nays. NOT VOTING: Long, R-MO (7th); Hartzler, R-MO (4th). YEAS: Mullin, R-OK (2nd); LaTurner, R-KS (2nd).
• Computing infrastructure reviews: The House has passed a bill (S. 3451), sponsored by Sen. Bill Hagerty, R-Tenn., to speed regulatory reviews of computer and networking manufacturing infrastructure projects. A supporter, Rep. Bruce Westerman, R-Ark., said streamlined reviews would support a “robust domestic manufacturing sector for semiconductors and other high-tech applications.”
The vote, on July 29, was 303 yeas to 89 nays. NOT VOTING: Long, R-MO (7th); Hartzler, R-MO (4th). YEAS: Mullin, R-OK (2nd); LaTurner, R-KS (2nd).
Senate votes• Virginia judge: The Senate has confirmed the nomination of Elizabeth Hanes to be a judge on the U.S. district court for the eastern district of Virginia. Hanes has been a magistrate judge in the district for two years, and previously was a private practice lawyer, and an assistant public defender in the district for seven years.
The vote, on Aug. 2, was 59 yeas to 37 nays. NAYS: Roy Blunt, R-MO; Jerry Moran, R-KS; Jim Inhofe, R-OK; James Lankford, R-OK; Roger Marshall, R-KS. NOT VOTING: Josh Hawley, R-MO.
• Veterans and toxins: The Senate has agreed to the House amendment to the Sergeant First Class Heath Robinson Honoring our Promise to Address Comprehensive Toxics Act (S. 3373), to increase medical benefits and treatments for military veterans who were exposed to toxins in Iraq and Afghanistan. A supporter, Sen. Jon Tester, D-Mont., said of the need for the bill: “The longer we delay, the longer we are going to deny health care for our veterans, and veterans are going to continue to be in crisis and they are going to continue to die.” An opponent, Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky., questioned whether all the treatments provided under the bill were actually caused by a given veteran’s time in the military, and said it “would cost hundreds of billions of dollars at a time when the national debt is climbing over $30 trillion and inflation is at a 40-year high.”
The vote, on Aug. 2, was 86 yeas to 11 nays. YEAS: Blunt, R-MO; Moran, R-KS; Hawley, R-MO; Inhofe, R-OK; Marshall, R-KS. NAYS: Lankford, R-OK.
• New NATO members: The Senate has agreed to a resolution to have the U.S. ratify the proposal for Finland and Sweden to join the North Atlantic Treaty Organization. A supporter of ratification, Sen. Chris Van Hollen, D-Md., said of the two Nordic countries: “Their membership at this moment is critical to countering Putin’s threats to global security — and especially to nearby, vulnerable nations.”
The vote, on Aug. 3, was 95 yeas to 1 nay. YEAS: Blunt, R-MO; Moran, R-KS; Inhofe, R-OK; Lankford, R-OK; Marshall, R-KS. NAYS: Hawley, R-MO.
• Environmental regulations: The Senate has passed a joint resolution (S.J. Res. 55) sponsored by Sen. Dan Sullivan, R-Alaska, to disapprove of and cancel a Council on Environmental Quality rule, issued this April, changing procedures for the development of regulations issued under the National Environmental Policy Act. The April rule expanded the allowable scope of such regulations by, for example, requiring regulators to consider the reasonably foreseeable indirect and cumulative effects of a given regulation. Sullivan said the rule “will clearly have the effect of slowing down the permitting of infrastructure, inviting endless litigation and putting people out of work.” An opponent of canceling the rule, Sen. Tom Carper, D-Del., said it “would ensure that agencies conduct environmental review processes in a commonsense, holistic manner, one that neither sacrifices efficiency for environmental protection nor the other way around.”
The vote to cancel the rule, on Aug. 4, was 50 yeas to 47 nays. YEAS: Blunt, R-MO; Moran, R-KS; Hawley, R-MO; Inhofe, R-OK; Lankford, R-OK; Marshall, R-KS.
• Appeals court judge: The Senate has confirmed the nomination of Roopali Desai to be a judge on the U.S. Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals. Desai has been a private practice lawyer in Phoenix, specializing in elections and voting law, since 2007.
The vote, on Aug. 4, was 67 yeas to 29 nays. NAYS: Blunt, R-MO; Moran, R-KS; Hawley, R-MO; Inhofe, R-OK; Lankford, R-OK. YEAS: Marshall, R-KS.