WASHINGTON — Here’s a look at how area members of Congress voted over the previous week.

Besides roll call votes, the House also took action on legislation by voice vote. The House passed the VBID for Better Care Act (H.R. 2570), to authorize a demonstration program for using value-based insurance design in Medicare. It also passed the Securing Seniors’ Health Care Act (H.R. 2582), to improve risk adjustment under the Medicare Advantage program.


House Vote 1

TRADE PROCESSING AND ENFORCEMENT: The House has concurred in the Senate amendment to the Trade Facilitation and Trade Enforcement Act (H.R. 644), sponsored by Rep. Tom Reed, R-N.Y. The bill would establish a center for coordinating federal government efforts to protect intellectual property from infringement, automate the processing of certain trade documents by the Customs and Border Protection agency, and establish processes for investigating whether foreign countries are directly or indirectly manipulating their currency to subsidize their exports. Reed said the bill would help establish a “fair level playing field for our American workers and our American manufacturers” as they attempt to increase their exports. A bill opponent, Rep. Sander M. Levin, D-Mich., said its currency manipulation provisions had no substance and would not be enforceable, thereby putting millions of jobs at risk due to other countries using their undervalued currencies to undercut American companies. The vote, on June 12, was 240 yeas to 190 nays.

NAY: Pingree D-Maine (1st)

YEA: Poliquin R-Maine (2nd)

House Vote 2

RELEASING U.S. CITIZENS JAILED IN IRAN: The House has passed a resolution (H. Res. 233), sponsored by Rep. Daniel T. Kildee, R-Mich., expressing

the sense of the House calling on Iran to release three U.S. citizens being imprisoned in Iran and release information on the status of a fourth citizen who disappeared inside Iran in the 2000s. Kildee said the resolution sent the message “that if Iran expects to be treated as a

member of the international community, they will unilaterally release these Americans.” The vote, on June 15, was unanimous with 391 yeas.

YEAS: Pingree, Poliquin

House Vote 3

FUNDING INTELLIGENCE AGENCIES: The House has passed the Intelligence Authorization Act (H.R. 2596), sponsored by Rep. Devin Nunes, R-Calif. The bill would authorize fiscal 2016 spending at the government’s intelligence agencies, including the CIA, FBI, Homeland Security, and Office of the Director of National Intelligence. It would also bar funding for the transfer or release of any non-U.S. citizen detainees from the military’s Guantanamo Bay detention facility in Cuba. Nunes said the bill “goes a long way toward encouraging the intelligence community to make much-needed investments, such as recovering from unauthorized disclosures of intelligence capabilities” by Edward Snowden and others. A bill opponent, Rep. Adam Schiff, D-Calif., criticized the ban on releasing Guantanamo Bay detainees, and expressed concerns about its implementation of the budget sequester plan to make “arbitrary, across-the-board cuts” to government programs. The vote, on June 16, was 247 yeas to 178 nays.

NAY: Pingree

YEA: Poliquin

House Vote 4

COMBAT AGAINST ISLAMIC STATE: The House has rejected a resolution (H. Con. Res. 55), sponsored by Rep. James P. McGovern, D-Mass., that would have required the withdrawal of U.S. soldiers who were deployed to Iraq and Syria starting in August 2014, excepting soldiers needed to protect U.S. diplomats in Iraq and Syria. McGovern said that by forcing Congress to decide whether to approve an authorization for the use of military force for combat against the Islamic State group, the resolution would ensure that Congress carries out its duty to debate and vote on war actions in the Middle East. A resolution opponent, Rep. Edward R. Royce, R-Calif., said unilaterally withdrawing troops would enable Islamic State to win more battlefield victories in Iraq and Syria, allowing it “to destabilize the critical region, and to create a safe haven from which ISIS can plot attacks against the United States.” The vote, on June 17, was 139 yeas to 288 nays.

YEA: Pingree

NAY: Poliquin

House Vote 5

TRADE PROMOTION AUTHORITY: The House has concurred in the Senate amendment to the Defending Public Safety Employees’ Retirement Act (H.R. 2146), sponsored by Rep. David G. Reichert, R-Wash. The amendment would authorize fast-track trade promotion authority for the president to negotiate terms of trade treaties, including the Trans-Pacific Partnership with 11 other nations bordering the Pacific Ocean. A supporter, Rep. Paul Ryan, R-Wis., said it provided for effective congressional oversight of trade deals by setting out firm negotiating guidelines and rules for the president to follow, and would maintain U.S. leadership on global trade issues. An amendment opponent, Rep. Sander M. Levin, D-Mich., called the guidelines “so vague they are essentially meaningless,” and said approving fast-track would allow other countries to undercut the U.S. by manipulating their currencies and using lax labor and environmental standards to export cheap goods to the U.S. The vote, on June 18, was 218 yeas to 208 nays.

NAY: Pingree, Poliquin

House Vote 6

TAX ON MEDICAL DEVICES: The House has passed the Protect Medical Innovation Act (H.R. 160), sponsored by Rep. Erik Paulsen, R-Minn. The bill would repeal the 2.3 percent excise tax on medical devices adopted in the healthcare reform law. Paulson said the costs imposed by the tax have kept the medical device industry from innovating and providing new products to improve medical care. A bill opponent, Rep. Jim McDermott, D-Wash., said a repeal would undermine health care reform and add $24.4 billion to the deficit while having little impact on job creation. The vote, on June 18, was 280 yeas to 140 nays.

NAY: Pingree

YEA: Poliquin


Senate Vote 1

INTERNATIONAL DEVELOPMENT BANK: The Senate has confirmed the nomination of Matthew T. McGuire to serve as U.S. Executive Director of the World Bank’s International Bank for Reconstruction and Development for a two-year term. A supporter, Sen. Benjamin L. Cardin, D-Md., praised McGuire’s experience as an executive in the financial service industry, an official in the Commerce Department, and active service in a variety of public policy groups in the U.S. and globally. Cardin said McGuire would provide strong U.S. leadership at the World Bank, where he would work to promote “economic development, poverty alleviation, and good governance around the world.” The vote, on June 15, was 62 yeas to 24 nays.

YEA: Collins R-Maine, King I-Maine

Senate Vote 2

TORTURE AND INTERROGATION: The Senate has passed an amendment sponsored by Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., to the National Defense Authorization Act (H.R. 1735). The amendment would bar the government from using torture techniques in interrogation. A supporter, Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif., said torture does not work in obtaining information from prisoners, corrodes the moral standing of the U.S., and undermines U.S. counterterrorism policies. The vote, on June 16, was 78 yeas to 21 nays.

YEA: Collins, King

Senate Vote 3

SENDING WEAPONS TO KURDISTAN: The Senate has rejected an amendment sponsored by Sen. Joni Ernst, R-Iowa, to the National Defense Authorization Act (H.R. 1735). The amendment would have authorized the temporary provision of weapons and associated training and other services to the Kurdistan regional government in Iraq. Ernst said the supplies would help the Kurdish peshmerga military forces combat the Islamic State group in Iraq and Syria. An amendment opponent, Sen. Jack Reed, D-R.I., said circumventing Iraq’s government by sending supplies directly to the Kurds would undermine fundamental U.S. policy supporting a unified, sovereign Iraq. The vote, on June 16, was 54 yeas to 45 nays, with a three-fifths majority required for approval.

YEA: Collins

NAY: King

Senate Vote 4

SEXUAL ASSAULT IN THE MILITARY: The Senate has rejected an amendment sponsored by Sen. Kirsten E. Gillibrand, D-N.Y., to the National Defense Authorization Act (H.R. 1735). The amendment would have established a justice system within the military for handing cases of alleged sexual assault, removing responsibility for handling such cases from the military’s chain of command. Gillibrand said the change would prevent retaliation against those who bring sexual assault allegations, especially in cases involving a soldier’s superior, and professionalize the military justice system. An amendment opponent, Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., said it would allow a military commander to avoid responsibility for what happens in his or her unit, disenfranchising “the best military leadership in the history of the world.” The vote, on June 16, was 50 yeas to 49 nays, with a three-fifths majority required for approval.

YEA: Collins

Senate Vote 5

DEBATING 2016 MILITARY BUDGET: The Senate has rejected a cloture motion to end debate on the Department of Defense Appropriations Act (H.R. 2685), sponsored by Rep. Rodney P. Frelinghuysen, R-Pa. The bill would provide $578 billion for the military in fiscal 2016, including $88.4 billion for war efforts in Afghanistan, Iraq, and elsewhere, and a 2.3 percent pay increase for military members. A supporter of ending debate, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., said moving the bill to an up-or-down vote would fulfill Congress’s pledge to provide the military with the resources it needs to carry out its mission. An opponent of ending debate, Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., said the bill would carry out indiscriminate funding cuts included in the budget sequester, and more time was needed to replace the sequester with a more sensible budget. The vote, on June 18, was 50 yeas to 45 nays, with a three-fifths majority required to end debate.

YEA: Collins

NAY: King

Senate Vote 6

MILITARY SPENDING IN 2016: The Senate has passed the National Defense Authorization Act (H.R. 1735), sponsored by Rep. Mac Thornberry, R-Texas. The bill would authorize $611.9 billion of spending on the military and military construction programs in fiscal 2016. A supporter, Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., said it sought to reform the military and root out waste at the Pentagon, “and invest in modernization and next-generation technologies to maintain our military technological advantage” over China, Russia, and other adversaries. The vote, on June 18, was 71 yeas to 25 nays.

YEA: Collins , King