Congress

Sunlight shines on the U.S. Senate wing of the Capitol building on Capitol Hill in Washington, Wednesday, Oct. 27, 2021.

WASHINGTON — Here's a look at how area members of Congress — Rep. David McKinley, R-1, Senators Shelley Moore Capito, R-W.Va. and Joe Manchin, D-W.Va. — voted over the previous week.

House Votes

Trafficking Penalties: The House passed a bill (S. 4785), sponsored by Sen. Amy Klobuchar, D-Minn., to extend until the end of September a $5,000 federal penalty against criminals found guilty of sexual abuse or human trafficking violations. The penalty had expired on Sept. 11. The vote, on Sept. 13, was unanimous with 415 yeas.

Yea: McKinley

Drone Road Inspections: The House passed the Drone Infrastructure Inspection Grant Act (H.R. 5315), sponsored by Rep. Greg Stanton, D-Ariz., to create Transportation Department grant programs for using drone aircraft to inspect roads and other infrastructure. Stanton said: "Utilizing drones reduces the cost of infrastructure inspections by 74 percent and the time needed to conduct the inspection by 88 percent." The vote, on Sept. 13, was 308 yeas to 110 nays.

Yea: McKinley

Wildfires: The House passed the Wildfire Recovery Act (H.R. 1066), sponsored by Rep. Joe Neguse, D-Colo., to increase federal government fire assistance grants by stipulating that the grants will account for at least 75% of the eligible cost of wildfire recovery efforts. A supporter, Del. Eleanor Holmes Norton, D-D.C., said: "Providing more federal assistance in the wake of the worst fires will assist stretched local budgets." The vote, on Sept. 13, was 328 yeas to 88 nays.

Yea: McKinley

Passing Legislation: The House passed a motion sponsored by Rep. Steny Hoyer, D-Md., to pass a set of eight bills en bloc, without an individual roll call vote for each bill. The bills covered such topics as: military veterans and education and mortgages, payments to survivors of deceased veterans, and animal health in disasters. The vote, on Sept. 14, was 397 yeas to 29 nays.

Yea: McKinley

Aviation and Disease: The House passed the National Aviation Preparedness Plan Act (H.R. 884), sponsored by Rep. Rick Larsen, D-Wash., to require the Transportation Department to develop an aviation preparedness plan for handling U.S. outbreaks of communicable diseases. The vote, on Sept. 14, was 293 yeas to 133 nays.

Yea: McKinley

Post-Disaster Housing: The House passed the Expediting Disaster Recovery Act (H.R. 5774), sponsored by Rep. Garret Graves, R-La., to have the Federal Emergency Management Agency provide financial aid for meeting housing needs following disasters that have destroyed housing in a given area. Graves said the bill was intended to make it so that "the dollars can get immediately to the disaster victims, so we stop seeing years and years of federal government dollars being shelled out for temporary housing and temporary recovery efforts." The vote, on Sept. 14, was 406 yeas to 20 nays.

Yea: McKinley

Emergency Reservists: The House passed the Civilian Reservist Emergency Workforce Act (S. 2293), sponsored by Sen. Gary C. Peters, D-Mich., to expand employment rights for reservists for the Federal Emergency Management Agency who are deployed for agency work and therefore must temporarily leave their normal jobs. A supporter, Rep. Rick Crawford, R-Ark., said the bill "will help support FEMA's intermittent workforce and enable the agency to better meet its mission to respond to disasters." The vote, on Sept. 14, was 387 yeas to 38 nays.

Yea: McKinley

Lighting Federal Buildings: The House passed the Bulb Replacement Improving Government with High-efficiency Technology Act (S. 442), sponsored by Sen. Gary C. Peters, D-Mich., to require federal government buildings to use the most life-cycle cost effective and energy efficient lighting systems. The vote, on Sept. 14, was 347 yeas to 78 nays.

Yea: McKinley

Government Worker Schedule F: The House passed the Preventing a Patronage System Act (H.R. 302), sponsored by Rep. Gerald E. Connolly, D-Va. The bill would cancel an executive order issued by President Trump in October 2020 that created a new Schedule F excepted service classification for government workers, and applied to employees in executive agency jobs that have to do with making policy and are not normally replaced when a new president enters office. Connolly said: "Changing the nature and operations of the civil service is rare, important, and should require express congressional participation through legislation." A bill opponent, Rep. James Comer, R-Ky., said the Schedule F classification "simply made it easier to discipline or remove civil service officials in our government's policymaking roles." The vote, on Sept. 15, was 225 yeas to 204 nays.

Yea: McKinley

Census: The House passed the Ensuring a Fair and Accurate Census Act (H.R. 8326), sponsored by Rep. Carolyn B. Maloney, D-N.Y. The bill would set out various restrictions on the Census Bureau's ability to add new questions to the Census, and prevent the Bureau's director from being removed for non-cause reasons. Maloney said: "Partisan manipulation of the Census is simply wrong. My bill would protect the Census and ensure this cannot happen again." An opponent, Rep. James Comer, R-Ky., said: "The bill severely constrains the ability of future Censuses to include important new questions, such as the citizenship question, which a majority of Americans want asked on the Census." The vote, on Sept. 15, was 220 yeas to 208 nays.

Nay: McKinley

Government Whistleblowers: The House passed the Whistleblower Protection Improvement Act (H.R. 2988), sponsored by Rep. Carolyn B. Maloney, D-N.Y., to establish various measures intended to increase a federal government whistleblower employee's protections against punitive retaliation by politicians and supervisors. Maloney said the bill "would enact long-overdue reforms to protect whistleblowers from retaliation to the greatest extent possible, and to provide meaningful remedies if whistleblowers still encounter retaliation." An opponent, Rep. James Comer, R-Ky., said the bill would wrongly "prohibit opening an investigation into someone who claims to be a whistleblower, even if there is good reason to investigate the employee's conduct." The vote, on Sept. 15, was 221 yeas to 203 nays.

Nay: McKinley

Senate Votes

Appeals Court Judge: The Senate confirmed the nomination of Salvador Mendoza to be a judge on the U.S. Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals. Mendoza has been a judge on the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Washington since 2014; he was briefly a county court judge before that, and had his own private law practice. The vote, on Sept. 12, was 46 yeas to 40 nays.

Yea: Manchin

Nay: Capito 

Second Appeals Court Judge: The Senate rejected the nomination of Arianna Freeman to be a judge on the U.S. Third Circuit Court of Appeals. Freeman has been a federal community defender attorney in Philadelphia since 2009. A supporter, Sen. Bob Casey, D-Pa., cited Freeman's "extensive legal experience, keen intellect, and dedication to the principles of fairness and equal justice." The vote, on Sept. 13, was 47 yeas to 50 nays.

Yea: Manchin

Nay: Capito

Third Appeals Court Judge: The Senate confirmed the nomination of Lara Montecalvo to be a judge on the U.S. First Circuit Court of Appeals. Montecalvo has been in the Rhode Island government's public defender's office since 2004, and is currently the state's Public Defender. A supporter, Sen. Jack Reed, D-R.I., called Montecalvo "someone with great integrity, intellect, and capacity for judicial independence." The vote, on Sept. 14, was 52 yeas to 47 nays.

Yea: Manchin

Nay: Capito

Fourth Appeals Court Judge: The Senate confirmed the nomination of Sarah Merriam to be a judge on the U.S. Second Circuit Court of Appeals. Merriam, a U.S. district court judge for Connecticut since last October, was previously a federal magistrate judge and assistant federal defender in Connecticut. A supporter, Sen. Dick Durbin, D-Ill., said Merriam "has shown that she has the qualifications, experience, and fidelity to the rule of law needed to administer justice on the Second Circuit." The vote, on Sept. 15, was 53 yeas to 44 nays.

Yea: Manchin

Nay: Capito

TSA Administrator: The Senate has confirmed the nomination of David Pekoske to be the Transportation Security Administration's administrator for a five-year term. Pekoske had been in the post since August 2017, following a career at the Coast Guard. A supporter, Sen. Maria Cantwell, D-Wash., said Pekoske's "confirmation and continued leadership of this team will enable the TSA to further its ongoing and important mission." The vote, on Sept. 15, was 77 yeas to 18 nays.

Yea: Manchin, Capito

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