U.S. Capitol Building

VOTES IN CONGRESS

WASHINGTON — Here’s how area members of Congress voted on major issues during the legislative week ending June 28.

HouseProtecting U.S. elections against attacks. Voting 225 for and 184 against, the House on June 27 passed a Democratic bill (HR 2722) that would authorize a $600 million, multi-year program to bolster state and local voting systems against attacks by adversaries including Russia. In return for federal grants, authorities would be required to start converting vulnerable, aging electronic voting machines to ones using paper ballots, which could be verified by voters on the spot and audited by election officials. The bill requires voting infrastructure to be manufactured in the United States and sold from a list of vendors certified by the Department of Homeland Security and Election Assistance Commission. In addition, the bill would prohibit internet connectivity to devices on which votes are marked or tabulated, and it would allocate $175 million to states and localities every two years for maintaining their electoral systems.

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

Voting yes: Abigail Spanberger, D-7th.

Voting no: Denver Riggleman, R-5th.

$4.5 billion for southwest border. Voting 230 for and 195 against, the House on June 25 approved a $4.5 billion emergency package to address a humanitarian crisis centered on hundreds of thousands of migrants who have arrived in the United States in recent months, mainly from Central America. Drafted by Democrats, the bill excluded funding of Immigration and Customs Enforcement procedures for dealing with individuals seeking asylum in the United States. But the House later shelved this measure and, instead, sent President Donald Trump a Senate-passed version of HR 3401 (below) that funded both humanitarian needs and his immigration-enforcement policies.

This version of the bill allocated about $3 billion for shelter, food, medical care and other services for unaccompanied migrant children held in Department of Health and Human Services custody. In addition, the bill provided about $1 billion to U.S. Customs and Border Protection for dealing with the detention, care and processing of individuals applying for asylum under federal and international law.

The bill would require stricter oversight of private firms operating detention centers, allow members of Congress to conduct unannounced inspections of holding facilities and require Congress to be notified within 24 hours when a migrant child dies in federal custody. In addition, the bill would provide $200 million to develop more orderly and humane procedures for overseeing migrant families and unaccompanied children, enlisting the help of nonprofit organizations in the effort.

A yes vote was to pass the bill.

Voting yes: Spanberger.

Voting no: Riggleman.

$383.3 billion spending package. Voting 227 for and 194 against, the House on June 25 approved a $383.3 billion package consisting of five of the 12 appropriations bills that will fund government operations in fiscal year 2020, which starts Oct. 1. In part, the bill (HR 3055) provides $80.4 billion for veterans health care; $50.1 billion for the Department of Housing and Urban Development; $32 billion for the Department of Justice including $9.46 billion for FBI salaries and expenses; $22.3 billion for the National Aeronautics and Space Administration; $17.7 billion for the Federal Aviation Administration; $16.4 billion for the Department of Commerce including $8.45 billion for the Census Bureau; and $9.5 billion for the Environmental Protection Agency.

Addressing gun violence, the bill fully funds the FBI’s National Instant Criminal Background Check System while providing $80 million in grants to help states supply data to the system; $125 million to fund the STOP School Violence Act; $100 million for youth-mentoring programs and $20 million for police programs in active-shooter training.

A yes vote was to pass the bill.

Voting yes: Spanberger.

Voting no: Riggleman.

Hiring more immigration judges. Voting 201 for and 220 against, the House on June 25 defeated a Republican motion to add $75 million to HR 3055 (above) for hiring more immigration judges and expanding courtroom capacity. The funds were to be taken from the 2020 census budget. The underlying bill already provides $110 million over 2019 levels to address a backlog of 800,000 immigration cases, many of which involve asylum seekers from Central America or persons who have overstayed their visas or entered the United States illegally.

A yes vote was to transfer $75 million from census to immigration accounts.

Voting yes: Riggleman, Spanberger.

Final vote on $4.5 billion for southwest border. Voting 305 for and 102 against, the House on June 27 approved a bipartisan $4.5 billion emergency package to address a humanitarian crisis on the southwest border centered on hundreds of thousands of migrants from Central America who have entered the United States in recent months to apply for asylum protections under federal and international law. The bill (HR 3401) allocated about $3 billion for shelter, food, medical care and other services for unaccompanied migrant children held in Department of Health and Human Services custody, and as much as $1 billion to agencies including U.S. Customs and Border Protection and U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement. This was a mild version of a Democratic bill passed earlier in the week, but then shelved, that raised standards for the administration’s treatment of migrants and denied funding to ICE.

A yes vote was to send the bill to President Trump.

Voting yes: Riggleman, Spanberger.

Senate

$4.5 billion for southwest border. Voting 84 for and eight against, the Senate on June 26 passed a bill (HR 3401) that would appropriate $4.5 billion in emergency funding to help U.S. Customs and Border Protection, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement and the departments of Health and Human Services and Defense cope with an influx this year of hundreds of thousands of migrants on the southwest border. The bill combines humanitarian aid with funding to carry out administration policies for dealing with individuals mainly from Central America who seek asylum in the United States.

A yes vote was to pass a bill that the House later approved and sent to President Donald Trump.

Voting yes: Mark R. Warner (D); Tim Kaine (D).

$750 billion for military. Voting 86 for and eight against, the Senate on June 27 authorized a $750 billion military budget for fiscal 2020, including $75.9 billion for war-fighting overseas and more than $57 billion for active-duty and retiree health care. The bill (S 1790) would establish a United States Space Force within the Air Force; set a 3.1 percent pay raise for uniformed personnel; authorize $10 billion for procuring 94 fifth-generation Joint Strike Fighter aircraft; expand and modernize the U.S. nuclear arsenal; fund programs for military victims of sexual assault and replace $3.6 billion President Trump diverted from military programs to wall construction.

A yes vote was to pass the bill.

Voting yes: Warner, Kaine.

Authorization of force against Iran. Voting 50 and 40 against, the Senate on June 28 failed to reach 60 votes needed to advance an amendment to S 1790 (above) that sought to require the administration to receive congressional authorization in advance of any military action President Trump orders against Iran.

A yes vote was to require a congressional authorization for use of military force against Iran.

Voting yes: Warner, Kaine.

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