U.S. Capitol Building

U.S. Capitol Building

WASHINGTON — Here’s how area members of Congress voted on major issues during the legislative week ending June 7:


Legal status for Dreamers, other immigrants. Voting 237 for and 187 against, the House on June 4 passed a Democratic bill (HR 6) that would grant permanent legal status and a path to citizenship to as many as 2.1 million so-called Dreamers who were brought illegally to the United States as children and face potential deportation under a Trump administration directive now on hold. The bill would grant relief to undocumented aliens who were younger than 18 when they entered the United States; have been continuously present in the U.S. for at least four years; have clean law enforcement records; and have received a high school or equivalent degree and met other conditions.

In addition, the bill would provide the same deportation protection and citizenship path to a few hundred thousand aliens who have been allowed to remain in the U.S. in recent decades for humanitarian reasons. There are 3,600 Liberians shielded by “deferred enforced departure status” and 300,000 immigrants from countries including El Salvador, Nicaragua and Haiti receiving “temporary protected status.” Federal courts have stayed administration efforts to designate these individuals for deportation.

President Donald Trump on Sept. 5, 2017, revoked former President Barack Obama’s executive order known as Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, which temporarily shielded Dreamers from potential deportation and gave them the right to work legally. Trump allowed Congress six months to either write protections into law or stand aside as removals go forward. He said he would work with Democratic lawmakers to enact legislation safeguarding Dreamers, but set terms they would not accept. Courts have temporarily blocked Trump’s order.

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

Voting yes: Abigail Spanberger, D-7th.

Voting no: Denver Riggleman, R-5th.

Prohibitions on alien gang members. Voting 202 for and 221 against, the House on June 4 defeated a Republican motion that sought to make it more difficult for members of criminal gangs to use HR 6 (above) as a subterfuge for unlawfully gaining legal status. Democrats said the bill already has safeguards to prohibit undocumented aliens who are a threat to national security, including gang members, from obtaining green cards and path to citizenship,

A yes vote was to adopt the motion. 

Voting yes: Riggleman.

Voting no: Spanberger.

$19.1 billion in disaster aid. Voting 354 for and 58 against, the House on June 3 approved $19.1 billion in disaster aid to homeowners, farmers, businesses, local governments and other entities in more than 40 states and territories struck by natural disasters such as wildfires, flooding, hurricanes and tornadoes in recent years. In part, the bill provides $1.4 billion to Puerto Rico, including $600 million in food assistance, along with aid to repair storm damage at military bases and funding to mitigate the impact of future disasters in and near cities such as Houston.

A yes vote was to send HR 2157 to Trump. 

Voting yes: Riggleman, Spanberger.


Saul for Social Security commissioner. Voting 77 for and 16 against, the Senate on June 4 confirmed Andrew M. Saul, 72, a partner in a New York City-based family investment firm, for a six-year term as commissioner of the Social Security Administration. During the George W. Bush administration, Saul was chairman of the Federal Retirement Thrift Investment Board, which oversees retirement plans for several million active and retired civil servants and military personnel. Saul also served as vice chairman of the Metropolitan Transit Authority in New York, and he has been a Republican Party fund-raiser and congressional candidate. He drew Democratic opposition, in part, because of his refusal to take a stand on escalating labor-management disputes that he will encounter at the SSA.

A yes vote was to confirm the nominee.

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



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