Along with roll call votes last week, the Senate also passed the Early Hearing Detection and Intervention Act (S. 652), to reauthorize a program for early detection, diagnosis and treatment of deaf and hard-of-hearing young children; passed the SMASH Act (S. 849), to support programs for mosquito-borne and other vector-borne disease surveillance and control; and passed the National Clinical Care Commission Act (S. 920), to establish a National Clinical Care Commission.

The House also passed the Bob Dole Congressional Gold Medal Act (S. 1616), to award the Congressional Gold Medal to Bob Dole; and passed the Designating Each Car’s Automation Level Act (H.R. 3388), to provide for information on highly automated driving systems to be made available to prospective buyers.

HOUSE VOTES

HURRICANE HARVEY RECOVERY: The House agreed to the Senate amendments to a bill (H. Res. 502), sponsored by Rep. Rodney P. Frelinghuysen, R-N.J. The amendments would provide $7.4 billion for the Federal Emergency Management Agency’s Disaster Relief Fund for various efforts to recover from Hurricane Harvey. Frelinghuysen said the emergency funding was necessary “to continue the vital response and recovery efforts that are helping the hundreds of thousands of victims of Hurricane Harvey.” The vote, on Sept. 6, was 419 yeas to 3 nays.

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

FUNDING FOR SANCTUARY CITIES: The House passed an amendment sponsored by Rep. Jason Smith, R-Mo., to the Department of the Interior, Environment, and Related Agencies Appropriations Act (H.R. 3354). The amendment would bar funding under the bill for state and local governments that restrict the sharing of information with the Immigration and Naturalization Service about the citizenship or immigration status of individuals. Smith said that by discouraging sanctuary cities from protecting illegal immigrants, the amendment would work to uphold federal immigration law. An opponent, Rep. David E. Price, D-N.C., said the amendment would hurt local law enforcement agencies by resulting in immigrant communities seeing such agencies as “the long arm” of Immigration and Customs Enforcement. The vote, on Sept. 6, was 225 yeas to 195 nays.

NAY: Pingree

YEA: Poliquin

INTERNATIONAL SECURITY FUNDING: The House passed an amendment sponsored by Rep. Austin Scott, R-Ga., to the Department of the Interior, Environment, and Related Agencies Appropriations Act (H.R. 3354). The amendment would increase funding for the government’s Western Hemisphere regional security cooperation efforts by $10 million, with the increase offset by a $10 million cut in funding for contributions to international organizations, including NATO and the United Nations. Scott said the funding shift was needed to help Colombia combat international drug trafficking gangs that are fueling America’s drug epidemic. An amendment opponent, Rep. Eliot L. Engel, D-N.Y., said cutting funding for international organizations would impair efforts to counter Russian and North Korean aggression. The vote, on Sept. 7, was 217 yeas to 193 nays.

NAY: Pingree

YEA: Poliquin

COAL MINE RECLAMATION: The House passed an amendment sponsored by Rep. Glenn Thompson, R-Pa., to the Department of the Interior, Environment, and Related Agencies Appropriations Act (H.R. 3354). The amendment would increase funding for the government’s pilot program to reclaim land at abandoned coal mines by $32.5 million, with an offsetting $32.5 million cut in the EPA’s environmental programs and management account. Thompson said the reclamation funding would work to assist communities around the abandoned mines by restoring waterways and vegetation at the sites. An opponent, Rep. Betty McCollum, D-Minn., said the EPA funding cut would cripple the agency’s ability to protect human health and air and water quality across the nation. The vote, on Sept. 7, was 207 yeas to 205 nays.

NAY: Pingree

YEA: Poliquin

CHESAPEAKE BAY POLLUTION: The House passed an amendment sponsored by Rep. Bob Goodlatte, R-Va., to the Department of the Interior, Environment, and Related Agencies Appropriations Act (H.R. 3354). The amendment would block funding for any Environmental Protection Agency effort to punish any of the six states in the Chesapeake Bay watershed for failing to meet EPA’s limits on the amount of soil nutrients entering Chesapeake Bay from the six states. Goodlatte said the EPA limits were a federal power grab that overrode Congress’ intent for the federal government to work with the states in ensuring clean water, making the amendment necessary to “reaffirm and preserve the rights of the states to write their own water quality plans.” An amendment opponent, Rep. Bobby Scott, D-Va., said the EPA limits were a needed safeguard for continuing progress in restoring the environmental quality of Chesapeake Bay. The vote, on Sept. 7, was 214 yeas to 197 nays.

NAY: Pingree

YEA: Poliquin

SENATE VOTES

D.C. DISTRICT JUDGE: The Senate confirmed the nomination of Timothy J. Kelly to serve as a judge on the U.S. District Court of Columbia (Washington, D.C.). A supporter, Sen. Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa, cited Kelly’s two decades of law experience, including work as a federal prosecutor and senior aide on the Senate Judiciary Committee. Grassley said Kelly’s “vast legal experiences and his thoughtful approach to his work will help him be an excellent federal judge.” The vote, on Sept. 5, was 94 yeas to 2 nays.

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

HURRICANE HARVEY, DEBT CEILING: The Senate passed the House amendment to a bill (H.R. 601), sponsored by Rep. Nita M. Lowey, D-N.Y., that would provide government funding through Dec. 8, raise the debt ceiling until that same date and provide $15 billion to fund Hurricane Harvey recovery efforts. A supporter, Sen. Patrick J. Leahy, D-Vt., called it “a responsible approach to addressing the needs of our nation” and those areas impacted by Harvey. An opponent, Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., cited the harm to military planning caused by short-term funding, and called on Congress to enact individual spending bills to fund the government rather than continue to adopt stopgap spending legislation. The vote, on Sept. 7, was 80 yeas to 17 nays.

YEAS: Collins, King