Along with roll call votes last week, the House also passed the Women’s Business Centers Improvements Act (H.R. 1680); the Spurring Business in Communities Act (H.R. 4111), to improve the number of small business investment companies in underlicensed states; and a resolution (H. Res. 835), supporting robust relations with Israel bilaterally and in multilateral forums upon Israel’s 70 years of statehood.

The Senate also passed the Improving Access to Behavioral Health Information Technology Act (S. 1372), to promote testing of incentive payments for behavioral health providers for adoption and use of certified electronic health record technology.

HOUSE VOTES

BURIAL OF RELATIVES OF ACTIVE DUTY MILITARY: The House passed the Servicemember Family Burial Act (H.R. 4335), sponsored by Rep. J. Luis Correa, D-Calif., to make spouses and children of active duty members of the military eligible to be buried with Veterans Affairs-provided memorial headstones and markers at national cemeteries in cases where the remains of the deceased spouses and children are missing. Correa said the bill, by granting headstones for the burial of family members of the nation’s active duty soldiers, would “ensure VA’s process of handling these issues with dignity, sensitivity, and compassion.” The vote Monday was unanimous with 389 yeas.

YEAS: Chellie Pingree, D-1st District

NOT VOTING: Bruce Poliquin, R-2nd District

REGULATING AUTO DEALER LOANS: The House passed a resolution (S. J. Res. 57), sponsored by Sen. Jerry Moran, R-Kansas, providing for Congress’s disapproval and voiding of a 2013 Bureau of Consumer Financial Protection action issuing regulatory guidance on appropriate interest rates charged by auto dealers. A resolution supporter, Rep. Jeb Hensarling, R-Texas, said the bureau was trying to circumvent federal law barring it from regulating auto dealers, and failing to stop the bureau’s regulation would push up the cost of car loans by hundreds of dollars. A resolution opponent, Rep. Maxine Waters, D-Calif., said it “would set back efforts to prevent discriminatory auto lending, make it harder for responsible businesses to follow the law, and harm consumers.” The vote Tuesday was 234 yeas to 175 nays.

NAYS: Pingree

YEAS: Poliquin

DEPARTURE OF HOUSE CHAPLAIN: The House approved a motion to table a resolution (H. Res. 856), sponsored by Rep. Joseph Crowley, D-N.Y. The resolution would have established a six-member House Select Committee charged with investigating the recent resignation of the House chaplain, the Rev. Patrick Conroy, and reports that the resignation was forced by House Speaker Paul Ryan, R-Wis. The resolution was not debated on the House floor. The vote to table Tuesday was 223 yeas to 182 nays.

NAYS: Pingree

YEAS: Poliquin

MONITORING CRIMINAL DEFENDANTS: The House passed the Citizens’ Right to Know Act (H.R. 2152), sponsored by Rep. Ted Poe, R-Texas, to require state and local governments that receive Justice Department grants for pretrial release services for defendants accused of a crime to submit annual reports to Justice on their use of the grant funding. Poe said the pretrial release system has too frequently involved repeat offenders and dangerous individuals being released into the community to disappear from the justice system indefinitely, making the reports necessary to hold grant recipients accountable for responsibly monitoring criminal defendants. A bill opponent, Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee, D-Texas, said its disproportionate and unfair impact on poor defendants would include privacy violations and “the unnecessary detention of many low-risk pretrial defendants.” The vote Wednesday was 221 yeas to 197 nays.

NAYS: Pingree

YEAS: Poliquin

REVIEWING PROPOSED MERGERS: The House passed the Standard Merger and Acquisition Reviews Through Equal Rules Act (H.R. 5645), sponsored by Rep. Karen C. Handel, R-Ga. The bill would require the Federal Trade Commission to adopt processes for its anti-trust reviews of corporate mergers and acquisitions that are fundamentally similar to the review processes followed by the Justice Department. Handel said standardizing the federal government’s anti-trust reviews would mean “injecting greater consistency, more transparency, and enhance consumer protection” against corporate monopoly power. A bill opponent, Rep. David N. Cicilline, D-R.I., said its weakening of anti-trust enforcement “will make it easier to consolidate economic power in the way that undermines consumer choices, consumer costs, and will ultimately undermine hardworking American families.” The vote Wednesday was 230 yeas to 185 nays.

NAYS: Pingree

YEAS: Poliquin

STORING NUCLEAR WASTE: The House passed the Nuclear Waste Policy Amendments Act (H.R. 3053), sponsored by Rep. John Shimkus, R-Ill., to direct the Energy Department to develop a program for temporarily storing spent nuclear fuel from nuclear power plants and other sources at a single storage site, as well as changing procedures for studying the construction of a permanent repository for the nuclear fuel. Shimkus said consolidating the fuel at a single site, instead of the dozens of sites that now store fuel, would increase safety and save hundreds of millions of dollars annually, while setting the stage for a permanent storage site to be built in Nevada. A bill opponent, Rep. Dina Titus, D-Nev., said it sought to require Nevada to host the permanent nuclear fuel site over extensive opposition from the state’s residents, including concerns about whether safety and environmental standards will be met. The vote Thursday was 340 yeas to 72 nays.

NAYS: Pingree

YEAS: Poliquin

SENATE VOTES

APPEALS COURT JUDGE: The Senate confirmed the nomination of Kurt D. Engelhardt to serve as a judge on the U.S. Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals. A supporter, Sen. Bill Cassidy, R-La., cited Engelhardt’s 16 years of experience as a federal district judge in Louisiana, and said Engelhardt “is the kind of fair-minded and experienced person we need to serve on the bench.” The vote Wednesday was 62 yeas to 34 nays.

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