Along with roll call votes last week, the House also passed the Securing Access to Networks in Disasters Act (H.R. 588), to direct the Federal Communications Commission to study network resiliency during emergencies; passed the Improving Rural Call Quality and Reliability Act (H.R. 460), to ensure the integrity of voice communications and equitable delivery of such communications across the country; and passed the Advanced Nuclear Technology Development Act (H.R. 590), to foster civilian research and development of advanced nuclear energy technologies.


BANNING SPOOFING CALLS AND TEXTS: The House has passed the Anti-Spoofing Act (H.R. 423), sponsored by Rep. Grace Meng, D-N.Y. The bill would extend to calls that come from outside the U.S. a ban on phone calls and text messages that display inaccurate caller identification information on recipients’ phones in an effort to trick the recipient into providing financial information. Meng said the growth of spoofing calls from overseas has led to the theft of millions of dollars from Americans, making the extension of the ban necessary to help protect immigrants, seniors and veterans. The vote on Jan. 23 was 398 yeas to 5 nays.

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

DIALING 911: The House has passed Kari’s Law Act (H.R. 582), sponsored by Rep. Louie Gohmert, R-Texas. The bill would require multiline telephone systems such as those used at hotels, schools and businesses to enable direct dialing to reach 911 emergency communications. Gohmert said direct 911 dialing should save lives by getting help to people in emergencies faster, and involve minimal cost for modifying or installing new phone systems at businesses and schools. The vote on Jan. 23 was unanimous with 408 yeas.

YEAS: Pingree, Poliquin


FUNDING ABORTIONS: The House has passed the No Taxpayer Funding for Abortion and Abortion Insurance Full Disclosure Act (H.R. 7), sponsored by Rep. Christopher H. Smith, R-N.J. The bill would permanently prohibit government funding for abortions, including through Medicaid and other health insurance programs. An opponent, Rep. Pramila Jayapal, D-Wash., said: “Passing this bill will create even more barriers for women, including women of color, trying to access quality health care.” The vote on Jan. 24 was 238 yeas to 183 nays.

NAYS: Pingree

YEAS: Poliquin


DEFENSE SECRETARY: The Senate has confirmed the nomination of James Mattis to serve as defense secretary. A supporter, Sen. Jack Reed, D-R.I., said Mattis had the vital virtues of confidence, courage and character, and would bring unique leadership qualities to his new position. The vote on Jan. 20 was 98 yeas to 1 nay.

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


HOMELAND SECURITY: The Senate has confirmed the nomination of John F. Kelly to serve as Homeland Security Secretary. A supporter, Sen. Ron Johnson, R-Wis., praised Kelly’s service as a four-star Marine general and his commitment to the rule of law and principles of liberty. An opponent, Sen. Chris Van Hollen, D-Md., cited his concerns that Kelly would not carry out President Obama’s executive orders deferring immigration enforcement action against illegal immigrants who arrived in the U.S. as children. The vote on Jan. 20 was 88 yeas to 11 nays.

YEAS: Collins, King

CIA DIRECTOR: The Senate has confirmed the nomination of Mike Pompeo to serve as director of the Central Intelligence Agency. A supporter, Sen. Richard Burr, R-N.C., said that Pompeo, a three-term congressman from Kansas, had unwavering integrity. An opponent, Sen. Patrick J. Leahy, D-Vt., questioned Pompeo’s commitment to upholding privacy and civil liberty rights, citing his support for re-establishing the bulk collection of phone records and establishing a comprehensive database on Americans’ finances and lifestyle. The vote on Jan. 23 was 66 yeas to 32 nays.

YEAS: Collins, King

U.N. AMBASSADOR: The Senate has confirmed the nomination of Nikki R. Haley to serve as U.S. ambassador to the United Nations. A supporter, Sen. Tim Scott, R-S.C., said Haley, formerly the governor of South Carolina, is a strong, principled, compassionate and visionary leader who will stand up for America’s allies at the U.N. The vote on Jan. 24 was 96 yeas to 4 nays.

YEAS: Collins, King

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