Along with last week’s roll call votes, the Senate also passed the Prison Camera Reform Act (S. 2899), to require the Director of the Bureau of Prisons to address deficiencies and make necessary upgrades to the security camera and radio systems of the Bureau of Prisons to ensure the health and safety of employees and inmates.

HOUSE VOTES

VETERANS EVENT FEES: The House has passed the Free Veterans from Fees Act (H.R. 1029), sponsored by Rep. Gregory W. Steube, R-Fla., to waive special use permit fees for military veterans events at war memorials on federal land in the Washington, D.C., area. A supporter, Rep. Ron Kind, D-Wis., said: “It is the right thing to do, to try to reduce the cost for a lot of these important commemorative occasions happening right here in our nation’s capital.” The vote, on Oct. 19, was 421 yeas to 3 nays.

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

RENTAL CARS AND TERRORISM: The House has passed the Darren Drake Act (H.R. 4089), sponsored by Rep. Josh Gottheimer, D-N.J., to require the Homeland Security Department to issue guidelines to car rental companies on strategies for preventing acts of terrorism that use vehicles they rent to individuals. Gottheimer said the guidelines “will provide rental companies and car dealers with the vital information they need to flag and stop potential terrorist threats in their tracks.” The vote, on Oct. 19, was 379 yeas to 51 nays.

YEAS: Pingree, Golden

MAKING PRESCRIPTION DRUGS: The House has passed the National Centers of Excellence in Continuous Pharmaceutical Manufacturing Act (H.R. 4369), sponsored by Rep. Frank Pallone Jr., D-N.J. The bill would have the Food and Drug Administration designate and fund certain colleges and universities as centers for the development of continuous manufacturing of pharmaceutical drugs. Pallone said establishing the centers “will improve the quality of our pharmaceuticals, reduce drug shortages, and help to produce more nimble and efficient manufacturing processes that could be replicated throughout the nation.” The vote, on Oct. 19, was 368 yeas to 56 nays.

YEAS: Pingree, Golden

OPIOID PREVENTION GRANTS: The House has passed the State Opioid Response Grant Authorization Act (H.R. 2379), sponsored by Rep. David J. Trone, D-Md., to reauthorize through 2027 the federal government’s opioid response program for sending grant money to states, and expand the program to include both opioid and other forms of substance abuse. Trone said the bill sought to give states “the consistent, necessary funding they need to meet their specific needs” for preventing abuse. The vote, on Oct. 20, was 380 yeas to 46 nays.

YEAS:Pingree, Golden

DRUG PREVENTION FUNDING: The House has passed the Drug-Free Communities Pandemic Relief Act (H.R. 654), sponsored by Rep. David P. Joyce, R-Ohio, to provide for waiving requirements local governments must meet to receive federal matching funding under the Drug-Free Communities Support Program. Joyce said the waiver was needed because “with more Americans dying from drug overdoses than ever before, it is critical that we do everything we can to support and empower those working on the front lines in our communities to reduce and prevent addiction among our children.” The vote, on Oct. 20, was 395 yeas to 30 nays.

YEAS: Pingree, Golden

MEDICAL STOCKPILES: The House has passed the Strengthening Americas Strategic National Stockpile Act (H.R. 3635), sponsored by Rep. Elissa Slotkin, D-Mo. The bill would change operation of the federal government’s stockpile of equipment and drugs for use in medical emergencies, including setting out required stockpiling levels and plans for distribution. The vote, on Oct. 20, was 397 yeas to 22 nays.

YEAS: Pingree, Golden

WIRELESS NETWORKS: The House has passed the Open RAN Outreach Act (H.R. 4032), sponsored by Rep. Colin Z. Allred, D-Texas, to require the federal government to work with small telecommunications providers on their deployment of Open Radio Access Network (RAN) wireless technology to their customers. Allred said the bill sought to help the providers shift away from reliance on Chinese equipment manufacturers and instead use Open RAN systems that have a more diverse and competitive set of manufacturers. The vote, on Oct. 20, was 410 yeas to 17 nays.

YEAS: Pingree, Golden

TELECOMMUNICATIONS STRATEGY: The House has passed the Information and Communication Technology Strategy Act (H.R. 4028), sponsored by Rep. Billy Long, R-Mo., to require the Commerce Department to create a government-wide strategy for improving the U.S. information and communications technology sector. Long said of the need for a strategy: “With all the supply chain disruptions we have seen this past year, it is important to know how our domestic production of this crucial equipment can be strengthened in the future.” The vote, on Oct. 20, was 413 yeas to 14 nays.

YEAS: Pingree, Golden

STEVE BANNON SUBPOENA: The House has passed a resolution (H. Res. 730), sponsored by Rep. Bennie G. Thompson, D-Miss., to find Steve Bannon in contempt of Congress for declining to obey a subpoena issued by the House Select Committee to Investigate the January 6th Attack on the United States Capitol. Thompson said that “unlike other witnesses who have engaged and worked with our team to find a way to cooperate, Mr. Bannon told us he wouldn’t comply because the former president told him not to.” A resolution opponent, Rep. Jim Banks, R-Ind., said: “The select committee despises Steve Bannon’s politics, so they are abusing their power to put him in jail.” The vote, on Oct. 21, was 229 yeas to 202 nays.

YEAS: Pingree, Golden

SENATE VOTES

APPEALS COURT JUDGE: The Senate has confirmed the nomination of Gustavo A. Gelpi to serve as a judge on the U.S. First Circuit Court of Appeals. Gelpi has been a federal district judge in Puerto Rico since 2006. A supporter, Sen. Dick Durbin, D-Ill., said of Gelpi: “Leaders on both sides of the aisle trust that he will rule impartially and without regard for partisanship.” The vote, on Oct. 18, was 52 yeas to 41 nays.

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

NEW JERSEY DISTRICT JUDGE: The Senate has confirmed the nomination of Christine P. O’Hearn to serve as a judge on the U.S. district court for New Jersey. O’Hearn has been a private practice lawyer in Camden since 1993, specializing in labor and employment law. A supporter, Sen. Robert Menendez, D-N.J., said O’Hearn’s “professional credentials, combined with her compassion and commitment to the fair and impartial administration of justice, will make her an outstanding judge.” The vote, on Oct. 19, was 53 yeas to 44 nays.

YEAS: Collins, King

CIVIL RIGHTS: The Senate has confirmed the nomination of Chatherine Lhamon to be assistant secretary for civil rights at the Education Department. Lhamon served in the same post during President Obama’s second term, is a former chair of the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights, and, since 2019, has been California’s legal affairs secretary. A supporter, Sen. Patty Murray, D-Wash., said Lhamon “has a long track record that proves she is a champion for students through and through, and that is exactly what our students need.” The vote, on Oct. 20, was 50 yeas to 50 nays, with Vice President Harris casting a 51st yea vote.

NAYS: Collins

YEAS: King

ELECTIONS LAW: The Senate has rejected a cloture motion to end debate on a motion to consider the Freedom to Vote Act (S. 2747), sponsored by Sen. Amy Klobuchar, D-Minn. The bill would make numerous changes to voting and election procedures, including declaring Election Day in November as a federal holiday, stipulating that only felons currently under sentence can be deemed ineligible to vote due to criminal offenses, and establishing new criminal offenses for hindering people from voting. Klobuchar said the bill was needed “because the freedom to vote is fundamental to all of our freedoms, and it is currently under attack.” A bill opponent, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., said it was a wrongful attempt to have the federal government usurp states’ authority over elections and voting law. The vote, on Oct. 20, was 49 yeas to 51 nays.

NAYS: Collins

YEAS: King

WASHINGTON DISTRICT JUDGE: The Senate has confirmed the nomination of Tana Lin to serve as a judge on the U.S. district court for the western district of Washington. Lin has been a private practice lawyer at a Seattle law firm since 2004. A supporter, Sen. Patty Murray, D-Wash., said Lin “will bring integrity, independence, and compassion to the Seattle courthouse.” The vote, on Oct. 21, was 52 yeas to 45 nays.

YEAS: Collins, King

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