Along with roll call votes last week, the Senate also passed the Colorado River Drought Contingency Plan Authorization Act (H.R. 2030), to direct the Secretary of the Interior to execute and carry out agreements concerning Colorado River Drought Contingency Management and Operations.

The House also passed the Taxpayer First Act (H.R. 1957), to modernize and improve the Internal Revenue Service.

HOUSE VOTES

CLEAN WATER SUPPLIES: The House passed the Local Water Protection Act (H.R. 1331), sponsored by Rep. Angie Craig, D-Minn., to reauthorize through fiscal 2024 $200 million of annual federal grants to states for groundwater quality and indirect water pollution management and prevention programs. Craig said that by helping keep management of vital water resources at the local and state level, the grants work toward establishing the best water conservation programs. The vote, on April 8, was 329 yeas to 56 nays.
YEAS: Chellie Pingree, D-1st District; Jared Golden, D-2nd District

JOB TRAINING FOR THE UNEMPLOYED: The House passed the Building on Reemployment Improvements to Deliver Good Employment for Workers Act (H.R. 1759), sponsored by Rep. Stephanie N. Murphy, D-Fla. The bill would make all individuals claiming unemployment compensation eligible for reemployment training services, a change from current law, which makes only individuals deemed to exhaust their regular unemployment compensation eligible for reemployment training services. Murphy said: “By combining targeted reemployment services with unemployment insurance benefits, we will help keep people attached to the labor force who might otherwise become discouraged and give up looking for a job.” The vote, on April 9, was 393 yeas to 24 nays.
YEAS: Pingree, Golden

BLOCKING ILLEGAL INTERNET CONTENT: The House passed an amendment sponsored by Rep. Ben McAdams, D-Utah, to the Save the Internet Act (H.R. 1644).The amendment would say that broadband Internet access providers have the authority to block from their services illegal content, including child pornography and copyright-infringing materials. McAdams said the amendment “simply stands for the proposition that unlawful content is not protected by net neutrality rules.” The vote, on April 10, was unanimous with 423 yeas.
YEAS: Pingree, Golden

INTERNET REGULATION: The House passed the Save the Internet Act (H.R. 1644), sponsored by Rep. Michael F. Doyle, D-Pa. The bill would re-institute net neutrality rules governing the processing of Internet traffic and access that were issued by the Federal Communications Commission in 2015. Doyle said the rules would “protect consumers, small businesses, and competitors from unjust, unreasonable, and discriminatory practices by internet service providers.” A bill opponent, Rep. Greg Walden, R-Ore., said it “imposes that heavy hand of Washington’s regulatory bureaucracy over the single most vibrant and important driver of the economic growth in America and the world.” The vote, on April 10, was 232 yeas to 190 nays.
YEAS: Pingree, Golden

SENATE VOTES

COLORADO DISTRICT JUDGE: The Senate confirmed the nomination of Daniel Desmond Domenico to serve as a judge on the U.S. district court for the district of Colorado. Domenico, a former Colorado state solicitor general, has been a private practice attorney in Denver since 2015, and a law professor at the University of Denver. The vote, on April 9, was 57 yeas to 42 nays.
YEAS: Susan Collins, R-Maine
NAYS: Angus King, I-Maine

OKLAHOMA DISTRICT JUDGE: The Senate confirmed the nomination of Patrick R. Wyrick to serve as a judge on the U.S. district court for the district of Oklahoma. Wyrick, formerly Oklahoma’s state solicitor general, is currently a justice on the Oklahoma Supreme Court. A supporter, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, called Wyrick a well-qualified nominee who had unfairly waited a full year to receive consideration by the Senate. An opponent, Sen. Dick Durbin, D-Ill., claimed Wyrick was a dangerous nominee who, in his time as solicitor general, “tried to dismantle Obama-era protections of clean air, clean water, and public land” as well as abortion and contraceptive coverage in health insurance plans. The vote, on April 9, was 53 yeas to 47 nays.
YEAS: Collins
NAYS: King

WORKER WAGES AND HOURS: The Senate confirmed the nomination of Cheryl Marie Stanton to serve as administrator of the Labor Department’s wage and hour division. Stanton has been executive director of the South Carolina Department of Employment and Workforce since 2013, and previously was an associate counsel for the George W. Bush administration specializing in labor and employment law. The vote, on April 10, was 53 yeas to 45 nays.
YEAS: Collins
NAYS: King

AMBASSADOR TO SAUDI ARABIA: The Senate confirmed the nomination of John P. Abizaid to serve as ambassador to Saudi Arabia. Abizaid, a retired 34-year Army officer, was commander of the U.S. Central Command and a leading general during the Iraq war. A supporter, Sen. Robert Menendez, D-N.J., said Abizaid “has the experience and leadership necessary to both manage a large mission and get the currently fraught relationship with Saudi Arabia back on track in a way that advances our security interests and stays true to our ideals.” The vote, on April 10, was 92 yeas to 7 nays.
YEAS: Collins, King

INDIANA DISTRICT JUDGE: The Senate confirmed the nomination of Holly A. Brady to serve as a judge on the U.S. district court for the northern district of Indiana. Brady, a private practice attorney since 1994, including, since 2007, at the Haller & Colvin law firm in Fort Wayne, has specialized in labor and employment law. The vote, on April 10, was 56 yeas to 42 nays.
YEAS: Collins
NAYS: King

TEXAS DISTRICT JUDGE: The Senate confirmed the nomination of David Steven Morales to serve as a judge on the U.S. district court for the southern district of Texas. Morales, currently an attorney at the Kelly Hart law firm in Austin, previously served as general counsel to Texas’s governor and as a Texas deputy attorney general. A supporter, Sen. John Cornyn, R-Texas, said Morales was “principled and highly qualified for the federal bench.” The vote, on April 10, was 56 yeas to 41 nays.
YEAS: Collins
NAYS: King

INTERIOR SECRETARY: The Senate confirmed the nomination of David Bernhardt to serve as Interior Secretary. A supporter, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., said that in his previous time at Interior, including the positions of solicitor and, currently, deputy secretary, Bernhardt “has offered capable leadership and a firm grasp on the complex policy environment surrounding our nation’s public lands.” An opponent, Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., said that given Bernhardt’s past employment lobbying for fossil fuel industries, potential support for oil and natural gas drilling off the U.S. coast, and failure to act on human-caused climate change, senators should “vote against this nomination to protect their shoreline and their beaches.” The vote, on April 11, was 56 yeas to 41 nays.
YEAS: Collins, King