WASHINGTON, July 15 – Here’s a look at how area members of Congress voted over the previous week:

Along with roll call votes this week, the House also passed the Airport Perimeter and Access Control Security Act (H.R. 5056); passed the Strengthening Transparency in Higher Education Act (H.R. 3178), to streamline information about institutions of higher education provided by the Education Department; passed the Simplifying the Application for Student Aid Act (H.R. 5528), to simplify the FAFSA; and passed the Solar Fuels Innovation Act (H.R. 5638), to establish the Solar Fuels Basic Research Initiative at the Energy Department.

The Senate also passed the Waterfront Community Revitalization and Resiliency Act (S. 1935) to require Commerce Department activities to support waterfront community revitalization and resiliency; passed the Emmett Till Unsolved Civil Rights Crimes Reauthorization Act (S. 2854); passed the Housing Opportunity Through Modernization Act (H.R. 3700), to provide housing opportunities by modernizing various housing programs; passed a bill (S. Con. Res. 46), expressing support for the goal of ensuring that all Holocaust victims live with dignity, comfort, and security in their remaining years; and passed the Indian Employment, Training and Related Services Consolidation Act (S. 1443), to facilitate the ability of Indian tribes to integrate employment, training, and related services from diverse federal government sources.

HOUSE VOTES

House Vote 1

COMBATING HEROIN, PRESCRIPTION DRUG ABUSE: The House has agreed to the conference report for the Comprehensive Addiction and Recovery Act (S. 524), sponsored by Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse, D-R.I. The bill would direct the Justice Department to issue grants to state and local governments for treatment, training, education and other programs that respond to the growing public health threat caused by use of heroin and opioid prescription drugs. A supporter, Rep. Fred Upton, R-Mich., said an epidemic of heroin and opioid abuse was killing many Americans and devastating communities across the country. Upton said the bill was “attacking this public health crisis from every side, from zeroing in on treatment for addiction and overdoses to reforming prescription practices in the delivery of medicines and working with law enforcement.” The vote, on July 8, was 407 yeas to 5 nays.

YEAS: Chellie Pingree, D-1st District, Bruce Poliquin, R-2nd District

House Vote 2

CLOSING MEETINGS ON MILITARY SPENDING TALKS: The House has agreed to a motion sponsored by Rep. Mac Thornberry, R-Texas, to close the public meetings of the House-Senate conference to negotiate versions of the National Defense Authorization Act (S. 2943) at times when the meetings consider matters involving classified national security information. The motion was not debated on the House floor. The vote, on July 8, was 397 yeas to 14 nays.

YEAS: Pingree, Poliquin

House Vote 3

TREASURY DEPARTMENT AND TERRORISM: The House has passed the Enhancing Treasury’s Anti-Terror Tools Act (H.R. 5607), sponsored by Rep. Robert Pittenger, R-N.C. The bill would increase requirements for the Treasury Department to report to Congress on suspected terrorism financing and money-laundering activities, and increase the Treasury’s diplomatic role at U.S. embassies in other countries. Pittenger said the bill sought to support “Treasury’s role in our larger strategic efforts to defeat terrorist organizations and put an end to their operations.” The vote, on July 11, was 362 yeas to 45 nays.

YEAS: Pingree, Poliquin

House Vote 4

REPORTING TERRORIST FINANCING: The House has rejected the Anti-Terrorism Information Sharing Is Strength Act (H.R. 5606), sponsored by Rep. Robert Pittenger, R-N.C. The bill would have expanded legal protections for banks that file suspicious activity reports with the federal government for suspected financial crimes included certain unlawful activities, and broadened the range of suspected illegal activities abroad that banks should report to the government. Pittenger said that by encouraging more reporting by banks, the bill would help stop terrorist groups from getting the funding necessary to carry out violent acts and undermine society. The vote, on July 11, was 229 yeas to 177 nays, with a two-thirds majority required for passage.

NAYS: Pingree

YEAS: Poliquin

House Vote 5

PRIVATE EXPERTS AND GOVERNMENT SERVICE: The House has passed the Tested Ability to Leverage Exceptional National Talent Act (H.R. 5658), sponsored by Rep. Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif. The bill would permanently authorize the Presidential Innovation Fellows program, which recruits technical experts in the private sector to serve in the government for no more than two years. McCarthy said bringing private sector expertise into the government for limited terms stimulates new approaches to government processes, helping “build a more efficient, effective, and accountable government.” The vote, on July 12, was 409 yeas to 8 nays.

YEAS: Pingree, Poliquin

House Vote 6

REGULATING DRINKING WATER: The House has rejected an amendment sponsored by Rep. Hank Johnson, D-Ga., to the Separation of Powers Restoration Act (H.R. 4768). The amendment would have exempted from the bill Environmental Protection Agency regulations of lead and copper levels in drinking water supplies. Johnson said “we must not hinder the ability of federal agencies, such as the EPA, to prevent future lead contamination crises, as occurred in Flint,” by allowing federal judges to second-guess agency experts on safe drinking water. An amendment opponent, Rep. John Ratcliffe, R-Texas, said “no area of regulation is so important that it should allow unelected bureaucrats to avoid a vigorous system of checks and balances that our Framers intended.” The vote, on July 12, was 194 yeas to 223 nays.

YEAS: Pingree

NAYS: Poliquin

House Vote 7

REGULATORY AUTHORITY AND THE COURTS: The House has passed the Separation of Powers Restoration Act (H.R. 4768), sponsored by Rep. John Ratcliffe, R-Texas. The bill would authorize federal courts reviewing a government agency’s actions to rule on all relevant questions of law brought up by the case, including the agency’s interpretation of legal and constitutional provisions and the rules the agency has issued. Ratcliffe said the bill, by repealing the Chevron legal doctrine, under which courts defer to agency interpretations of ambiguous laws, would reverse the trend of increasing power for government regulators, restoring “the constitutional separation of powers that our Founding Fathers intended.” A bill opponent, Rep. Hank Johnson, D-Ga., said it “will delay and possibly derail the ability of agencies to safeguard public health and safety” by giving courts too much authority to overturn regulatory actions. The vote, on July 12, was 240 yeas to 171 nays.

NAYS: Pingree

YEAS: Poliquin

House Vote 8

REGULATING OFFSHORE OIL WELLS: The House has rejected an amendment sponsored by Rep. Kathy Castor, D-Fla., to the Department of the Interior, Environment, and Related Agencies Appropriations Act (H.R. 5538). The amendment would have struck a bill provision eliminating funding for implementation of an Interior Department rule for controlling offshore oil wells in the Gulf of Mexico. Castor said the rule, which was adopted following the BP Deepwater Horizon spill in 2010, was needed to prevent future well spills that could devastate the Gulf Coast. An amendment opponent, Rep. Michael K. Simpson, R-Idaho, said the rule was overreaching, not based on actual needs for safely drilling offshore wells, and an attempt to impose excessive costs on the oil industry in order to discourage offshore drilling. The vote, on July 12, was 186 yeas to 237 nays.

YEAS: Pingree, Poliquin

House Vote 9

EPA AND COLORADO WASTEWATER SPILL: The House has passed an amendment sponsored by Rep. Ben Ray Lujan, D-N.M., to the Department of the Interior, Environment, and Related Agencies Appropriations Act (H.R. 5538). The amendment would provide $6 million for Environmental Protection Agency grants to states and Indian tribes to monitor water quality in rivers affected by the EPA’s August 2015 Gold King Mine wastewater spill in southwest Colorado. Lujan said the funding, by resolving a dispute between the EPA and New Mexico, would ensure the monitoring necessary to protect the health of all residents who rely on water impacted by the mine spill. An amendment opponent, Rep. Ken Calvert, R-Calif., said the bill had already adequately addressed the need for water monitoring. The vote, on July 12, was 219 yeas to 207 nays.

YEAS: Pingree

NAYS: Poliquin

House Vote 10

BUYING HEAVY WATER FROM IRAN: The House has passed the No 2H2O from Iran Act (H.R. 5119), sponsored by Rep. Mike Pompeo, R-Kan. The bill would block funding for any federal government purchases of heavy water produced by Iran. Pompeo said the block would ensure that the U.S. does not help fund Iran’s nuclear program and anti-American government. An opponent, Rep. Lloyd Doggett, D-Texas, cited the several non-military uses for heavy water bought from Iran, and said removing the heavy water from Iran would help “ensure there is no nuclear weapons development within Iran.” The vote, on July 13, was 249 yeas to 176 nays.

NAYS: Pingree

YEAS: Poliquin

House Vote 11

ABORTION AND HEALTH CARE PROVIDERS: The House has passed the Conscience Protection Act (S. 304), sponsored by Sen. John Thune, R-S.D. The bill would block the federal government from withholding payments or otherwise discriminating against health care providers who refuse to perform or facilitate abortions. A supporter, Rep. Marsha Blackburn, R-Tenn., said the bill would preserve the freedom of conscience consistent with the country’s founding principles by establishing legal protections for health care providers. An opponent, Rep. Diana DeGette, D-Colo., said “it gives employers and healthcare companies the right to override a woman’s reproductive healthcare decision.” The vote, on July 13, was 245 yeas to 182 nays.

NAYS: Pingree

YEAS: Poliquin

House Vote 12

NATIONAL OCEAN POLICY: The House has passed an amendment sponsored by Rep. Bradley Byrne, R-Ala., to the Department of the Interior, Environment, and Related Agencies Appropriations Act (H.R. 5538). The amendment would block funding for implementation of the National Ocean Policy adopted in a 2010 Obama administration executive order. Byrne called the National Ocean Policy “executive overreach at its very worst” because it redirected funding from congressionally mandated priorities to presidential priorities with no statutory authority, and had no mechanisms for local input or systemic oversight of the policy. An amendment opponent, Rep. Chellie Pingree, D-Maine, called the National Ocean Policy a vital tool “to help ensure that our coastal communities and their stakeholders work together and coordinate their ideas and make plans to achieve local goals.” The vote, on July 13, was 237 yeas to 189 nays.

NAYS: Pingree, Poliquin

House Vote 13

REVIEWING ENDANGERED SPECIES LISTINGS: The House has passed an amendment sponsored by Rep. Doug Lamborn, R-Colo., to the Department of the Interior, Environment, and Related Agencies Appropriations Act (H.R. 5538). The amendment would block funding for any threatened species or endangered species listing that has not undergone a 5-year review as required under the Endangered Species Act. Lamborn said the government has regularly failed to follow the 5-year review requirement, with the result that many flourishing plant and animal species have not been removed from a threatened or endangered status. An amendment opponent, Rep. Betty McCollum, D-Minn., blamed Congress for the failure to conduct five-year reviews because it has not provided the Fish and Wildlife Service with the necessary funding. The vote, on July 13, was 238 yeas to 190 nays.

NAYS: Pingree

YEAS: Poliquin

House Vote 14

LAWSUITS AGAINST THE GOVERNMENT: The House has passed an amendment sponsored by Rep. Jason Smith, R-Mo., to the Department of the Interior, Environment, and Related Agencies Appropriations Act (H.R. 5538). The amendment would bar funding for federal agencies to pay legal fees under any settlement of a lawsuit that arises under the Clean Air Act, the Clean Water Act, or the Endangered Species Act. Smith said the Environmental Protection Agency and other regulators have used sue and settle arrangements with radical environmental groups to take regulatory actions that endanger the economy, without congressional authorization. An amendment opponent, Rep. Betty McCollum, D-Minn., said having the federal government pay the legal fees of prevailing parties in lawsuits against the government helps deter misconduct and encourages all parties to assert their rights and oppose government misdeeds. The vote, on July 13, was 226 yeas to 202 nays.

NAYS: Pingree

YEAS: Poliquin

House Vote 15

GMO LABELING STANDARD: The House has approved a motion to concur in the Senate amendment to a bill (S. 764), sponsored by Sen. Roger F. Wicker, R-Miss. It would require the Agriculture Department to establish a national disclosure standard for bioengineered foods, including foods with genetically modified organisms, that would pre-empt state disclosure standards. An amendment supporter, Rep. Michael K. Conaway, R-Texas, said establishing a uniform national standard for GMO labeling would smooth and clarify the food labeling process, without undermining vital advances in food biotechnology. An opponent, Rep. Chellie Pingree, D-Maine, said it failed to establish a plain, transparent GMO labeling standard to solve the simple problem of telling consumers about the food they are buying. The vote, on July 14, was 306 yeas to 117 nays.

NAYS: Pingree, Poliquin

House Vote 16

SANCTIONS AGAINST IRAN: The House has passed the Iran Accountability Act (H.R. 5631), sponsored by Rep. Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif. The bill would set out mandatory sanctions against Iran’s Revolutionary Guard and other Iranian entities believed to support terrorism and other human rights abuses. McCarthy said the bill held Iran accountable for its violations of human rights and destabilizing activities, and apparent continued attempt to obtain nuclear weapons. An opponent, Rep. Eliot L. Engel, D-N.Y., said it would force the U.S. to violate its obligations under the nuclear weapons non-proliferation plan reached with Iran last year. The vote, on July 14, was 246 yeas to 179 nays.

NAYS: Pingree

YEAS: Poliquin

House Vote 17

INTERIOR, EPA FUNDING BILL: The House has passed the Department of the Interior, Environment, and Related Agencies Appropriations Act (H.R. 5538), sponsored by Rep. Ken Calvert, R-Calif. The bill would provide $32.1 billion of fiscal 2017 funding for the Interior Department, Environmental Protection Agency, and various other environmental and artistic agencies, including the Smithsonian and National Gallery of Art. Calvert said it made needed investments in firefighting and forest management, the National Park Service and Indian tribal agencies, while appropriately taking measures “to stop unnecessary and damaging regulatory overreach” by the EPA. A bill opponent, Rep. Betty McCollum, D-Minn., said its cut in funding for the EPA would degrade the agency’s “ability to protect human health and the health of our environment and to ensure clean air and clean water.” The vote, on July 14, was 231 yeas to 196 nays.

NAYS: Pingree

YEAS: Poliquin

House Vote 18

IRANIAN ACCESS TO U.S. BANKS: The House has passed the United States Financial System Protection Act (H.R. 4992), sponsored by Rep. Edward R. Royce, R-Calif. The bill would take various measures to bar Iran from accessing the U.S. financial system and make transactions in U.S. dollars until Iran is found to have ceased its support of international terrorism and ceased its biological, chemical and nuclear weapons programs. Royce said that amid signs that the Obama administration is considering allowing Iranian access to U.S. banks, the bill was needed to degrade Iran’s terrorist financing capability and keep financial sanctions in place. A bill opponent, Rep. Maxine Waters, D-Calif., said its bid to undermine the nuclear arms pact with Iran would threaten “the best chance we have at preventing Iran from acquiring a nuclear weapon.” The vote, on July 14, was 246 yeas to 181 nays.

NAYS: Pingree

YEAS: Poliquin

SENATE VOTES

Senate Vote 1

NEGOTIATING VERSIONS OF ENERGY BILL: The Senate has agreed to a motion to end debate on a motion to disagree with the House amendment to the Energy Policy Modernization Act (S. 2012), and request a conference with the House to negotiate the two chambers’ versions of the bill. The bill would direct the Energy Department to conduct various electricity storage and vehicle technology research programs, adopt new energy efficiency standards, increase cybersecurity requirements for the electricity grid, and require speedy reviews of applications to export liquefied natural gas. A motion supporter, Sen. Lisa Murkowski, R-Alaska, said measures to modernize the power grid and conserve energy were among the bill’s provisions making needed updates to the government’s energy policy since the last major energy bill was passed in 2007. The vote to end debate, on July 12, was 84 yeas to 3 nays. The Senate subsequently passed, by voice vote, the motion to go to conference.

YEAS: Susan Collins, R-Maine, Angus King, I-Maine

Senate Vote 2

REAUTHORIZING THE FAA: The Senate has agreed to the House amendments to the Federal Aviation Administration Reauthorization Act (H.R. 636), sponsored by Rep. Patrick J. Tiberi, R-Ohio. The bill would reauthorize the FAA and change various aviation policies, including the adoption of new rules aimed at improving the safe operation of unmanned drone aircraft and avoiding mid-air collisions between drones and airplanes, and tighten mental health evaluation standards for commercial pilots. A supporter, Sen. Maria Cantwell, D-Wash., cited the bill’s measures to improve counterterrorism practices at U.S. airports. An opponent, Sen. Jerry Moran, R-Kan., said the bill failed to make various significant and important reforms of aviation, especially measures to reform the FAA’s airplane certification process and other regulatory issues. The vote, on July 13, was 89 yeas to 4 nays.

YEAS: Collins, King

Senate Vote 3

LIBRARIAN OF CONGRESS: The Senate has confirmed the nomination of Carla D. Hayden to serve as Librarian of Congress for a 10-year term. A supporter, Sen. Roy Blunt, R-Mo., cited Hayden’s 40 years of experience as a librarian in Baltimore and Chicago, especially her 23 years as head of Baltimore’s Enoch Pratt Free Library and role in modernizing and expanding that library. The vote, on July 13, was 74 yeas to 18 nays.

YEAS: Collins, King

Senate Vote 4

OPIOID AND HEROIN ABUSE: The House has agreed to the conference report for the Comprehensive Addiction and Recovery Act (S. 524), sponsored by Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse, D-R.I. The bill would direct the Justice Department to issue grants to state and local governments for treatment, training, education and other programs that respond to the growing public health threat caused by use of heroin and opioid prescription drugs. A supporter, Sen. Rob Portman, R-Ohio, said passing the bill would deliver “better treatment and better recovery and more hope for the people” in communities across the country impacted by the heroin and opioid epidemic. The vote, on July 13, was 92 yeas to 2 nays.

YEAS: Collins, King

Senate Vote 5

VISAS FOR AFGHAN INTERPRETERS: The Senate has approved a motion sponsored by Sen. Jeanne Shaheen, D-N.H., to instruct conferees with the House to negotiate the two chambers’ versions of the National Defense Authorization Act (S. 2943). The motion would instruct conferees to insist that the bill include an extension of the Afghan Special Immigrant Visa Program and expand the number of visas offered to Afghan interpreters to the military in the Afghanistan war. Shaheen said maintaining the visa program would allow the U.S. to keep promises made to interpreters “who made a life-and-death difference in helping our service men and women” in the war. The vote, on July 14, was 84 yeas to 12 nays.

YEAS: Collins, King

Senate Vote 6

FUNDING NEW MILITARY COMMITMENTS: The Senate has approved a motion sponsored by Sen. Daniel Sullivan, R-Alaska, to instruct conferees with the House to negotiate the two chambers’ versions of the National Defense Authorization Act (S. 2943). The motion would instruct conferees to insist that the bill authorize funding for the recent expansion of U.S. activity in the Afghanistan war, the war against Islamic State (ISIS), and other recent expansions of military commitments. Sullivan said the commitments needed to be fully authorized by Congress “so our brave men and women in uniform have everything they need to fight and win these battles.” The vote, on July 14, was 85 yeas to 12 nays.

YEAS: Collins, King

Senate Vote 7

DEBATING MILITARY SPENDING BILL: The Senate has rejected a cloture motion to end debate on the National Defense Authorization Act (H.R. 5293), sponsored by Rep. Rodney P. Frelinghuysen, R-N.J. The bill would fund $575.8 billion of fiscal 2017 military spending by the Defense Department, including $58.6 billion for combat operations in Afghanistan, Iraq, and other overseas countries. A supporter, Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., said the funding fulfilled Congress’s first priority, to adequately train and equip members of the military so they can fulfill their mission of defending the country. The vote, on July 14, was 55 yeas to 42 nays, with a three-fifths majority needed to end debate.

YEAS: Collins

NAYS: King

Senate Vote 8

MILITARY CONSTRUCTION, VA, ZIKA FUNDING BILL: The Senate has rejected a cloture motion to end debate on the conference report with the House for the Military Construction, Veterans Affairs, and Related Agencies Appropriations Act and Zika Response and Preparedness Act (H.R. 2577). The bill would provide $82.5 billion for the Veterans Affairs Department and military construction programs in fiscal 2017, and provide $1.1 billion to fund programs for responding to the Zika virus outbreak. A supporter, Sen. John Cornyn, R-Texas, said it was vital to fund the Zika programs ahead of an anticipated summer outbreak in southern parts of the U.S. An opponent, Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., said the bill had insufficient funding for Zika programs, and reduced funding for Planned Parenthood and health care for veterans. The vote, on July 14, was 52 yeas to 44 nays, with a three-fifths majority needed to end debate.

YEAS: Collins

NAYS: King