Along with roll call votes last week, the House also passed: the Fight Illicit Networks and Detect Trafficking Act (H.R. 6069), to require the Comptroller General of the U.S. to carry out a study on how virtual currencies and online marketplaces are used to buy, sell, or facilitate the financing of goods or services associated with sex trafficking or drug trafficking; the Office of Biometric Identity Management Authorization Act (H.R. 5206), to establish the Office of Biometric Identity Management; and the Immigration Advisory Program Authorization Act (H.R. 5207), to establish the immigration advisory program.

HOUSE VOTES

OPIOID MEASURES IN STATE MEDICAID PROGRAMS: The House has passed the Substance Use-Disorder Prevention that Promotes Opioid Recovery and Treatment for Patients and Communities Act (H.R. 6), sponsored by Rep. Greg Walden, R-Ore. The bill would make numerous changes to state Medicaid programs concerning opioid and substance abuse disorders, including management and treatment efforts and changes to pain management plans for Medicaid patients. Walden said it “will help advance treatment and recovery initiatives, improve prevention and educational efforts, protect our communities, and bolster our efforts to fight deadly synthetic drugs like fentanyl.” The vote, on June 22, was 396 yeas to 14 nays.

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

BANKS AND CUSTOMER ACCOUNTS: The House has passed the Cooperate with Law Enforcement Agencies and Watch Act (H.R. 5783), sponsored by Rep. J. French Hill, R-Ark., to provide legal immunity for banks that maintain a customer’s account in compliance with a written request issued by a federal or state law enforcement agency. Hill said banks that comply with the keep open letter requests in order to aid criminal investigations currently risk regulatory penalties, and immunity was needed to treat such compliance with fairness. The vote, on June 25, was 379 yeas to 4 nays.

YEAS: Pingree, Poliquin

LEAKING FINANCIAL STRESS TEST INFORMATION: The House has passed the Prevention of Private Information Dissemination Act (H.R. 4294), sponsored by Rep. David Kustoff, R-Tenn., to establish criminal penalties for federal government employees who leak information to the public about living will and stress test reviews of banks that are performed by federal regulators. Kustoff said leaks could be used to unfairly trade on the stock and credit markets, making the penalties necessary to discourage and punish government workers who attempt to profit from access to confidential information. The vote, on June 26, was 392 yeas to 2 nays.

YEAS: Pingree, Poliquin

ENDANGERED SALMON IN THE NORTHWEST: The House has passed the Endangered Salmon and Fisheries Predation Prevention Act (H.R. 2083), sponsored by Rep. Jaime Herrera Beutler, R-Wash. The bill would authorize the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration to issue one-year permits allowing various Northwest Indian tribes to kill California and Steller sea lions in the Columbia River watershed for the purpose of protecting salmon and other fish species. Herrera Beutler said the permits were necessary “to save our wild fish from being decimated by animals that have migrated out of their natural habitat and whose population is ever increasing” due to their eating of endangered salmon. Rep. Raul Grijalva, D-Ariz., said the bill “does not address the root causes of salmon population decline and, instead, unfairly scapegoats sea lions” for environmental problems created by humanity. The vote, on June 26, was 288 yeas to 116 nays.

NAYS: Pingree

YEAS: Poliquin

IMMIGRATION BILL: The House has rejected the Border Security and Immigration Reform Act (H.R. 6136), sponsored by Rep. Bob Goodlatte, R-Va., which would have ended the visa lottery program, established a path to legal residency for DACA beneficiaries, provided $25 billion for a wall on the U.S.-Mexico border, created a merit-based green card program, and required employer use of the E-Verify program. Goodlatte said the bill “brings America forward in addressing our immigration issues, is an appropriate fix for the DACA population, secures our borders, and moves towards a merit-based immigration system that this country needs.” Rep. Adriano Espaillat, D-N.Y., said the bill would mean putting families seeking to immigrate “in jail or tent cities or maybe even in military camps, similar to the Japanese internment camps used during World War II.” The vote, on June 27, was 121 yeas to 301 nays.

NAYS: Pingree

YEAS: Poliquin

MILITARY AID TO PAKISTAN: The House has rejected an amendment sponsored by Rep. Ted Poe, R-Texas, to the Department of Defense Appropriations Act (H.R. 6157), that would have cut military payments to Pakistan in fiscal 2019 by $200 million. Poe said Pakistan has backed a range of terrorist groups since the 9/11 attacks, and the U.S. needed to hold its government accountable for failing to combat Islamic extremists. An opponent, Rep. Peter J. Visclosky, D-Ind., said: “In addition to counterterrorism activities, the fact of Pakistan’s nuclear weapons capability provides ample reason for our country to continue a positive engagement.” The vote, on June 27, was 175 yeas to 241 nays.

NAYS: Pingree

YEAS: Poliquin

SUBPOENA COMPLIANCE AT JUSTICE DEPARTMENT: The House has passed a resolution (H. Res. 970), sponsored by Rep. Mark Meadows, R-N.C., to insist that the Justice Department fully and quickly comply with subpoenas and other investigative requests for documents issued by House committees concerning potential violations of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act. Meadows said the resolution was “about the Department of Justice and the FBI giving documents to this institution so that they can conduct proper oversight” of Justice amid concerns about agency misconduct. A resolution opponent, Rep. Jerrold Nadler, D-N.Y., said it was “wrong on the facts, wrong on the law, wrong on the rules, and a dangerous precedent to set for the House of Representatives.” The vote, on June 28, was 226 yeas to 183 nays.

NAYS: Pingree

YEAS: Poliquin

2019 MILITARY BUDGET: The House has passed the Department of Defense Appropriations Act (H.R. 6157), sponsored by Rep. Kay Granger, R-Texas, to provide $675 billion of funding for the Defense Department in fiscal 2019. Granger said the bill, by increasing funding for troops, weapons and other equipment, and battle training, worked “to maintain our military readiness, protect our nation from those who would seek to do us harm, and ensure our defense superiority.” The vote, on June 28, was 359 yeas to 49 nays.

YEAS: Pingree, Poliquin

SENATE VOTES

ENERGY, WATER, AND VA FUNDING: The Senate has passed the Energy and Water, Legislative Branch, and Military Construction and Veterans Affairs Appropriations Act (H.R. 5895), sponsored by Rep. Michael K. Simpson, R-Idaho, to provide $97.1 billion of fiscal 2019 funding for the Energy Department, federal water and energy agencies, the Department of Veterans Affairs, military construction programs, and the government’s legislative branch. Sen. Lamar Alexander, R-Tenn., highlighted the bill’s increase in funding for science and research and technology to what he said were record levels, and necessary “to keep America competitive in the world.” The vote, on June 25, was 86 yeas to 5 nays.

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

WORK REQUIREMENTS FOR FOOD STAMPS: The Senate has tabled an amendment sponsored by Sen. John Kennedy, R-La., to the Agriculture Improvement Act (H.R. 2), that would have established work requirements for enrollees in the supplemental nutrition assistance program, or SNAP, for able-bodied adults who do not have dependents. Kennedy said the requirements would help ensure the financial stability of food stamps by saving “as much money as we can from those who would abuse the program in order to really help those in need.” Sen. Debbie Stabenow, D-Mich. said it would take away state authority to determine how to run their SNAP programs by imposing “unrealistic workforce targets” on the states. The vote to table, on June 28, was 68 yeas to 30 nays.

YEAS: Collins, King

FARM AND FOOD STAMPS BILL: The Senate has passed the Agriculture Improvement Act (H.R. 2), sponsored by Rep. Michael K. Conaway, R-Texas. The bill would reauthorize Agriculture Department programs through fiscal 2023, including the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, formerly known as food stamps, farm regulation and subsidy programs, and trade in crop products. Sen. Mike Rounds, R-S.D., praised bill provisions providing crop insurance, loan, and trade assistance to farmers as giving policy certainty to the agriculture industry at a time of harsh conditions for farmers. The vote, on June 28, was 86 yeas to 11 nays.

YEAS: Collins, King