Along with roll call votes this week, the Senate also passed the Secret Service Recruitment and Retention Act (H.R. 3731), to provide overtime pay for employees of the Secret Service; the Kennedy-King Establishment Act (H.R. 4851), to designate as a national historic site the park in Indianapolis where Robert F. Kennedy gave a speech on April 4, 1968, marking the assassination of Martin Luther King; and the Childhood Cancer STAR Act (S. 292), to maximize discovery, and accelerate development and availability, of promising childhood cancer treatments.

The House also passed the Ceiling Fan Energy Conservation Harmonization Act (S. 2030), to deem the compliance date for amended energy conservation standards for ceiling fan light kits to be Jan. 21, 2020; the DHS Cyber Incident Response Teams Act (H.R. 5074), to authorize cyber incident response teams at the Department of Homeland Security; the Enhancing DHS Fusion Center Technical Assistance Program Act (H.R. 5099), to establish in the Department of Homeland Security a fusion center technical assistance program; and the DHS Field Engagement Accountability Act (H.R. 5079), to require the Department of Homeland Security to develop an engagement strategy with fusion centers.

HOUSE VOTES

RFK-MLK HISTORIC SITE: The House has passed the Kennedy-King Establishment Act (H.R. 4851), sponsored by Rep. Andre Carson, D-Ind., to designate as a national historic site the park in Indianapolis where Robert F. Kennedy gave a speech on April 4, 1968, marking the assassination of Martin Luther King. Carson said placing the site in the National Park Service would help preserve and promote a national treasure where “Robert Kennedy’s calm voice of reason changed the hearts and minds of people who were feeling so much pain” in the immediate aftermath of King’s assassination. The vote, on March 19, was unanimous with 391 yeas.

NOT VOTING: Chellie Pingree, D-1st District

YEAS: Bruce Poliquin, R-2nd District

ADJUSTING FINANCIAL REGULATIONS: The House has passed the Alleviating Stress Test Burdens to Help Investors Act (H.R. 4566), sponsored by Rep. Bruce Poliquin, R-Maine. The bill would amend the Dodd-Frank financial reform law by reducing the Federal Reserve’s authority to require nonbank financial companies, such as mutual funds and other money managers, to submit stress tests of how they would fare in a crisis to the Federal Reserve. Poliquin said relieving the companies from “costly, cumbersome, and unnecessary regulations” that are not adapted to their specific circumstances would avert substantial and growing regulatory compliance costs that hamper the economy. The vote, on March 20, was 395 yeas to 19 nays.

NOT VOTING: Pingree

YEAS: Poliquin

EXPERIMENTAL TREATMENTS FOR THE TERMINALLY ILL: The House has passed the Trickett Wendler, Frank Mongiello, Jordan McLinn, and Matthew Bellina Right to Try Act (H.R. 5247), sponsored by Rep. Brian K. Fitzpatrick, R-Pa. The bill would authorize investigational drug treatments for patients who have terminal illnesses expected to cause death within months. Fitzpatrick said that freeing the patients to undergo the treatments will “support new pathways to potentially lifesaving treatment” for them and future patients. A bill opponent, Rep. Janice D. Schakowsky, D-Ill., said it “creates a dangerous back door for modern-day snake oil salesmen” to avert regulatory protections for patient treatments that Schakowsky said were already available via a safe, regulated pathway. The vote, on March 21, was 267 yeas to 149 nays.

NOT VOTING: Pingree

YEAS: Poliquin

VEHICULAR TERRORISM: The House has passed the Vehicular Terrorism Prevention Act (H.R. 4227), sponsored by Rep. Robert E. Latta, R-Ohio. The bill would require the Homeland Security Department to analyze the threat of vehicular terrorism and how to improve Homeland Security’s defenses against the threat. Latta cited the spate of attacks in Europe, New York City, and elsewhere in recent years using vehicles as weapons as showing that Homeland Security needs to more fully address the threat. The vote, on March 22, was 417 yeas to 2 nays.

NOT VOTING: Pingree

YEAS: Poliquin

SURFACE TRANSPORTATION SECURITY: The House has passed the Surface Transportation Security Improvement Act (H.R. 5131), sponsored by Rep. Bonnie Watson Coleman, D-N.J., to require the Transportation Security Administration to analyze ways to enhance the country’s security against the threat of a vehicle-based terrorist attack on the U.S. surface transportation system. Watson Coleman said “threats to surface transportation systems are real and evolving,” and the TSA needed to report to Congress about its response, and its failure to issue transportation regulations that were required by a 2007 law. The vote, on March 22, was 409 yeas to 5 nays.

NOT VOTING: Pingree

YEAS: Poliquin

APPROPRIATIONS BILL: The House has passed an amendment to the Consolidated Appropriations Act (H.R. 1625), sponsored by Rep. Edward R. Royce, R-Calif. The bill would provide $1.3 trillion of appropriations for the military and discretionary government programs through September 2018, including $660 billion for military programs, a $3 billion increase in funding for the National Institutes of Health, and $4 billion for efforts to combat the opioid crisis. A supporter, Rep. Pete Sessions, R-Texas, said the level of military spending was essential to help supply soldiers with the equipment and training they need to protect the country. An opponent, House Minority Whip Steny Hoyer, D-Md., said the bill, produced by weeks of negotiations by House and Senate leadership, was presented to members of Congress with no time for adequate review, and lacked any measure to resolve the status of illegal immigrants covered by DACA. The vote, on March 22, was 256 yeas to 167 nays.

NOT VOTING: Pingree

YEAS: Poliquin

AVIATION SECURITY: The House has passed the Strengthening Aviation Security Act (H.R. 4467), sponsored by Rep. Jody B. Hice, R-Ga., to require the Federal Air Marshal Service to adopt risk-based strategies for allocating air security resources between international and domestic flights. Hice said the strategy should improve the Marshal Service’s use of intelligence-driven, risk-based measures to “ensure that it is devoting its resources to cover the highest-risk flights.” The vote, on March 22, was unanimous with 408 yeas.

NOT VOTING: Pingree

YEAS: Poliquin

TRANSPORTATION THREAT COORDINATION: The House has passed the Strengthening Local Transportation Security Capabilities Act (H.R. 5089), sponsored by Rep. Nanette Diaz Barragan, D-Calif., to have the Homeland Security Department prioritize its assignment of officers and intelligence analysts to the agency’s centers for sharing threat information with local government and the private sector located in areas with high-risk surface transportation. Barragan said that currently state and local agencies lack adequate federal information to prepare for threats to their transportation systems, and the bill should “bridge potential gaps in communication and coordination capabilities” between federal, private, and non-federal government parties working to prevent terrorism. The vote, on March 22, was 397 yeas to 1 nay.

NOT VOTING: Pingree

YEAS: Poliquin

SENATE VOTES

CUSTOMS AND BORDER PROTECTION: The Senate has confirmed the nomination of Kevin K. McAleenan to serve as commissioner of the U.S. Customs and Border Protection agency. McAleenan, who had been the agency’s acting commissioner for the past 14 months, was Customs and Border Protection’s deputy commissioner for the two previous years. The vote, on March 19, was 77 yeas to 19 nays.

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

WAR IN YEMEN: The Senate has tabled a motion to discharge from the Senate Committee on Foreign Relations a resolution (S.J. Res. 54), sponsored by Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., that would have required the removal of U.S. soldiers from hostilities in Yemen that have not been authorized by Congress. Sanders said U.S. military action in the Yemen war, which Sanders called a humanitarian disaster, had never met the constitutional requirement of authorization from Congress. A resolution opponent, Sen. Bob Corker, R-Tenn., said he believed it “was damaging to our country’s foreign policy” and the Committee needed to deliberate the Yemen issue in hearings before the broader Senate takes a vote on authorization. The vote to table the motion, on March 20, was 55 yeas to 44 nays.

NAYS: Collins, King

SEX TRAFFICKING ONLINE: The Senate has passed the Allow States and Victims to Fight Online Sex Trafficking Act (H.R. 1865), sponsored by Rep. Ann Wagner, R-Mo. The bill would state that federal law does not bar federal and state law agencies from enforcing sex trafficking and child pornography laws against websites. A supporter, Sen. Bill Nelson, D-Fla., said it “would help us shut down despicable websites that enable this sex trafficking” of tens of thousands of Americans through the Internet. The vote, on March 21, was 97 yeas to 2 nays.

YEAS: Collins, King

APPROPRIATIONS BILL: The Senate has agreed to the House amendment to the Consolidated Appropriations Act (H.R. 1625). The bill would provide $1.3 trillion of appropriations for the military and discretionary government programs through September 2018, including $660 billion for military programs, a $3 billion increase in funding for the National Institutes of Health, and $4 billion for efforts to combat the opioid crisis. A supporter, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., called it “a victory for safe, reliable, 21st century infrastructure” due to its investments in the transportation system. McConnell also cited the bill’s increased funding for school safety, border security and immigration enforcement, and federal law enforcement agencies. An opponent, Sen. Bob Corker, R-Tenn., said the bill’s rushed release on the Senate floor hours before a vote was “a ridiculous process” of budgeting. The vote, on March 22, was 65 yeas to 32 nays.

YEAS: Collins, King