WASHINGTON — Along with roll call votes last week, the Senate also passed the Coordinated Ocean Monitoring and Research Act (S. 1886), to reauthorize the Integrated Coastal and Ocean Observation System Act; passed the Survivors’ Bill of Rights Act (H.R. 5578), to establish certain rights for sexual assault survivors; passed the Bathrooms Accessible in Every Situation Act (H.R. 5147), to require restrooms in public buildings to be equipped with baby changing facilities; and passed the United States Appreciation for Olympians and Paralympians Act (H.R. 5946), to exclude from gross income, for income tax filing purposes, any prizes or awards won in competition in the Olympic Games or the Paralympic Games.

The House also passed the Transit Security Grant Program Flexibility Act (H.R. 5943), to clarify certain allowable uses of funds for public transportation security assistance grants; passed the First Responder Access to Innovative Technologies Act (H.R. 5460), to establish a review process to review applications for certain grants to purchase equipment or systems; passed the Cyber Preparedness Act (H.R. 5459), to enhance preparedness and response capabilities for cyber attacks; passed a bill (H.R. 3779), to restrict the inclusion of social security account numbers on documents sent by mail by the federal government; and passed the Veterans Emergency Treatment Act (H.R. 3216), to clarify emergency hospital care provide by the Veterans Affairs Department to certain veterans.

HOUSE VOTES

House Vote 1

SYNTHETIC DRUG COMPOUNDS: The House has passed the Dangerous Synthetic Drug Control Act (H.R. 3537), sponsored by Rep. Charles W. Dent, R-Pa. The bill would add 22 chemical compounds used to make synthetic drugs to the federal government’s list of schedule I controlled substances. Dent said the 22 compounds are designed to mimic the effects of illicit drugs and known controlled substances, and adding them to the list would improve the Drug Enforcement Administration’s ability to confiscate the compounds. A bill opponent, Rep. Bobby Scott, D-Va., said classifying the 22 compounds as schedule I substances would seriously hinder research into their nature, and also make the individuals involved in trafficking the compounds subject to lengthy, unfair mandatory minimum jail sentences. The vote, on Sept. 26, was 258 yeas to 101 nays.

NAYS: Chellie Pingree, D-1st District

YEAS: Bruce Poliquin R-2nd District

House Vote 2

VA VETERANS CRISIS HOTLINE: The House has passed the No Veterans Crisis Line Call Should Go Unanswered Act (H.R. 5392), sponsored by Rep. David Young, R-Iowa. The bill would require the Veterans Affairs Department to improve the responsiveness of the VA’s Veterans Crisis Line for answering messages and calls from veterans in distress. Young said the VA has failed to quickly or adequately respond to calls from veterans who are suicidal, and improvements to the Crisis Line were needed to help veterans handle the many struggles and challenges they face after leaving the military. The vote, on Sept. 26, was unanimous with 357 yeas.

YEAS: Pingree, Poliquin

House Vote 3

INDIVIDUAL HEALTH INSURANCE MANDATE: The House has passed the Consumer Operated and Oriented Plan Act (H.R. 954), sponsored by Rep. Adrian Smith, R-Neb. The bill would exempt from the health care reform law’s mandate for individual health insurance individuals with insurance bought through the law’s Consumer Operated and Oriented Plan (CO-OP). Smith said given that the 23 CO-OPs created under the law have closed or appear likely to close, people who lost coverage due to the demise of a CO-OP, through no fault of their own, should not face the threat of a tax penalty for not meeting the individual health mandate. A bill opponent, Rep. Sander M. Levin, D-Mich., said people who lost CO-OP insurance have had many opportunities to buy insurance elsewhere, and weakening the individual mandate by exempting those people would increase insurance costs for other Americans. The vote, on Sept. 27, was 258 yeas to 165 nays.

NAYS: Pingree

YEAS: Poliquin

House Vote 4

TERRORISM LAWSUITS: The House has voted to override President Obama’s veto of the Justice Against Sponsors of Terrorism Act (S. 2040), sponsored by Sen. John Cornyn, R-Texas. The bill authorized victims of terrorist acts that take place within the U.S. to file lawsuits against foreign countries or leaders in U.S. courts by removing sovereign legal immunity for those countries in cases of terrorism. A supporter, Rep. Bob Goodlatte, R-Va., questioned President Obama’s contention that the bill would leave the U.S. vulnerable to reciprocal lawsuits against it for actions overseas, and said that removing immunity would give the families of those killed in the 9/11 attacks a well-deserved chance to legally confront governments that backed the 9/11 attackers. The vote, on Sept. 28, was 348 yeas to 77 nays.

YEAS: Pingree, Poliquin

House Vote 5

GREAT LAKES INITIATIVE: The House has approved an amendment sponsored by Rep. David P. Joyce, R-Ohio, to the Water Resources Development Act (H.R. 5303) that would reauthorize the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative through fiscal 2021, and authorize $300 million of annual funding for the Initiative. Joyce said the amendment sought to reform management of the Initiative and protect and preserve the Great Lakes and the vital economic and environmental services the lakes provide for the U.S. The vote, on Sept. 28, was 407 yeas to 18 nays.

YEAS: Pingree, Poliquin

House Vote 6

WATER AID FOR FLINT, MICH.: The House has approved an amendment sponsored by Rep. Dan Kildee, D-Mich., to the Water Resources Development Act (H.R. 5303). The amendment would authorize $170 million for the Army Corps of Engineers to repair or replace water infrastructure in areas such as Flint, Mich., that have lead or other contaminants in their water supplies. Kildee said the funding would redress a thorough failure of government to safeguard Flint and other communities against dangerous water supplies. No amendment opponents spoke on the House floor. The vote, on Sept. 28, was 284 yeas to 141 nays.

YEAS: Pingree, Poliquin

House Vote 7

WATER RESOURCES BILL: The House has passed the Water Resources Development Act (H.R. 5303), sponsored by Rep. Bill Shuster, R-Pa. The bill would authorize work on various Army Corps of Engineers water projects across the country in 2017 and 2018. Shuster said that by providing budgetary certainty for the next two years, it would advance critical improvements to ports, dams, shipping channels, and other elements of water infrastructure. The vote, on Sept. 28, was 399 yeas to 25 nays.

NOT VOTING: Pingree

YEAS: Poliquin

House Vote 8

FUNDING MILITARY AND ZIKA PROGRAMS: The House has agreed to the Senate amendment to the Continuing Appropriations and Military Construction, Veterans Affairs, and Related Agencies Appropriations Act, and Zika Response and Preparedness Act (H.R. 5325), sponsored by Rep. Tom Graves, R-Ga. The amendment would fund discretionary government programs through December 9, and provide $82.5 billion of fiscal 2017 funding for military construction and the Veterans Affairs Department, as well as $1.1 billion of fiscal 2016 emergency supplemental funding for Health and Human Services Department measures to contain the Zika virus and treat Zika victims. A supporter, Rep. Hal Rogers, R-Ky., said the amendment will “address urgent needs across the country, and provide the necessary support for our servicemembers, their families, and our veterans.” The vote, on Sept. 28, was 342 yeas to 85 nays.

YEAS: Pingree, Poliquin

House Vote 9

WHITE-COLLAR WORKERS OVERTIME RULE: The House has passed the Regulatory Relief for Small Businesses, Schools, and Nonprofits Act (H.R. 6094), sponsored by Rep. Tim Walberg, R-Mich. The bill would delay by six months implementation of a Labor Department rule setting income thresholds for determining when white-collar workers are eligible for overtime pay. Walberg said the rule, which was scheduled to take effect in December, would hurt the economy by increasing costs for business and nonprofit employers. An opponent, Rep. Bobby Scott, D-Va., said “working families can’t wait another 6 months for a long-overdue adjustment in the overtime rule” that reflects salary inflation since the overtime rule was last updated. The vote, on Sept. 28, was 246 yeas to 177 nays.

NAYS: Pingree

YEAS: Poliquin

SENATE VOTES

Senate Vote 1

OVERRIDING VETO OF TERRORISM BILL: The Senate has voted to override President Obama’s veto of the Justice Against Sponsors of Terrorism Act (S. 2040), sponsored by Sen. John Cornyn, R-Texas. The bill would authorize victims of terrorist acts that took place within the U.S. to file lawsuits against foreign countries or leaders in U.S. courts by removing sovereign legal immunity for those countries in cases of terrorism. Cornyn said that by including terrorism with other criminal offenses that foreign countries are already liable to being sued for in U.S. courts, the bill would ensure that the countries “pay for the death and destruction they cause” by supporting terrorism in the U.S. The vote, on Sept. 28, was 97 yeas to 1 nays.

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

Senate Vote 2

FUNDING MILITARY, ZIKA PROGRAMS: The Senate has passed the Continuing Appropriations and Military Construction, Veterans Affairs, and Related Agencies Appropriations Act, and Zika Response and Preparedness Act (H.R. 5325), sponsored by Rep. Tom Graves, R-Ga. The amendment would fund discretionary government programs through December 9, and provide $82.5 billion of fiscal 2017 funding for military construction and the Veterans Affairs Department, as well as $1.1 billion of fiscal 2016 emergency supplemental funding for Health and Human Services Department measures to contain the Zika virus and treat Zika victims. A supporter, Sen. Barbara A. Mikulski, D-Md., called it essential for funding vital programs and avoiding the prospect of a government shutdown. An opponent, Sen. Debbie Stabenow, D-Mich., faulted it for failing to address the water supply crisis in Flint, Michigan. The vote, on Sept. 28, was 72 yeas to 26 nays.

YEAS: Collins, King