Here’s a look at how area members of Congress voted over the previous week.


EQUITABLE EDUCATION: The House has passed the Strength in Diversity Act (H.R. 2639), sponsored by Rep. Marcia L. Fudge, D-Ohio, to require the Education Department to issue grants to various educational agencies in order to implement programs that increase diversity and reduce racial or socioeconomic disparities in education. Fudge said the bill “will ensure every student has equitable access to a quality education. This is one step toward remedying the issue of segregated schools.” An opponent, Rep. Virginia Foxx, R-N.C., said the proposed grant program was not the way to improve the quality of education, and a better path would be increasing the flexibility of school districts to use federal funds in accord with the unique needs of each district. The vote, on Sept. 15, was 248 yeas to 167 nays.

YEAS: Chellie Pingree, D-1st District; Jared Golden, D-2nd District

CHILD CARE AND COVID-19: The House has passed the Ensuring Children and Child Care Workers Are Safe Act (H.R. 7909), sponsored by Rep. Abby Finkenauer, D-Iowa, to provide technical assistance and funding to states and tribal groups for facilitating safe and secure access to child care services. Finkenauer said the aid was intended to relieve the burdens that child care providers are facing during the COVID-19 pandemic. The vote, on Sept. 16, was 387 yeas to 33 nays.

YEAS: Pingree, Golden

ANTI-SEMITISM: The House has approved a motion, sponsored by Rep. Virginia Foxx, R-N.C., to recommit the Equity and Inclusion Enforcement Act (H.R. 2574) to committee to add an amendment stating that anti-Semitism was included as one of the forms of discrimination covered by the bill. Foxx said the amendment would “ensure that recipients of federal education funding are doing all they can to protect members of our communities from horrific anti-Semitism.” An opponent of the motion, Rep. Bobby Scott, D-Va., said it wrongly added a form of religious discrimination to a bill intended to address racial and ethnic discrimination. The vote, on Sept. 16, was 255 to 164 nays.

NAYS: Pingree

YEAS: Golden

DISPARATE ANALYSIS AND RACE: The House has passed the Equity and Inclusion Enforcement Act (H.R. 2574), sponsored by Rep. Bobby Scott, D-Va., to authorize private civil lawsuits alleging that federal regulations have had a disparate impact on certain races or ethnicities. Scott said the bill would again allow minorities to use the disparate impact analysis, which is used to combat systemic inequities. A bill opponent, Rep. Virginia Foxx, R-N.C., said lawsuits promoted by disparate analysis “could require state and local governments to adopt a myriad of policies that Congress and state and local lawmakers never authorized or intended.” The vote, on Sept. 16, was 232 yeas to 188 nays.

YEAS: Pingree, Golden

CORONAVIRUS NAMES: The House has passed a resolution (H. Res. 908), sponsored by Rep. Grace Meng, D-N.Y., calling on the federal government to oppose anti-Asian sentiment related to COVID-19 and investigate related hate crime allegations. Meng said: “The House must take a strong stand against the sickening intolerance, bigotry, and violence that is leaving a terrible stain on our nation’s history.” An opponent, Rep. Andy Biggs, R-Ariz., said that references to a Wuhan virus or China virus were in line with the tradition of naming new viruses by their place of origin and “not because they have an existing racist sentiment.” The vote, on Sept. 17, was 243 yeas to 164 nays.

YEAS: Pingree, Golden

PREGNANCY AND THE WORKPLACE: The House has passed the Pregnant Workers Fairness Act (H.R. 2694), sponsored by Rep. Jerrold Nadler, D-N.Y., to declare unlawful employers’ practices that fail to provide reasonable workplace accommodations for pregnant workers. Nadler said: “Providing reasonable accommodations to pregnant workers helps businesses, workers, and families.” The vote, on Sept. 17, was 329 yeas to 73 nays.

YEAS: Pingree, Golden

There were no key votes in the Senate this week.

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