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ROLL CALL | A week in Congress

Roll call: Follow the votes in Congress

From the Collection: Follow votes in Congress through our weekly reports series
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Rep. Kind listening session in Dunn County

Rep. Ron Kind held a listening session at the Dunn County Community Services Building in Menomonie on Friday.

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

House votes

Religion and diplomacy: The House has passed a resolution (H. Res. 512), sponsored by Rep. Jamie Raskin, D-Md., calling for the executive branch to prioritize the repeal of blasphemy, heresy and apostasy laws in its diplomatic dealings with other countries and the United Nations. Raskin said the resolution meant that “against the new wave of global religious oppression and persecution, America can once again take the lead in defending the basic human rights of religious and intellectual freedom all over the world.” The vote, on Dec. 7, was 386 yeas to 3 nays. Yeas:

  • Kind D-WI (3rd)

Aid for Black colleges: The House has passed the HBCU Propelling Agency Relationships Towards a New Era of Results for Students Act (S. 461), sponsored by Sen. Tim Scott, R-S.C. The bill would require federal government agencies to make annual plans for increasing the participation of historically Black colleges and universities (HBCUs) in various programs. The vote, on Dec. 7, was 388 yeas to 6 nays. Yeas:

  • Kind D-WI (3rd)

Military spending: The House has approved the conference report with the Senate to negotiate the two chambers’ versions of the William M. (Mac) Thornberry National Defense Authorization Act (H.R. 6395), to authorize 2021 military spending programs. A supporter, Rep. Adam Smith, D-Wash., cited provisions that meet social justice goals, promote artificial intelligence, and improve the military’s acquisition processes. The vote, on Dec. 8, was 335 yeas to 78 nays. Yeas:

  • Kind D-WI (3rd)

Veterans and civil rights: The House has passed the Servicemembers and Veterans Initiative Act (H.R. 8354), sponsored by Rep. Veronica Escobar, D-Texas, to establish the Servicemembers and Veterans Initiative within the Civil Rights Division at the Justice Department. Escobar said the initiative would improve the ability of the Justice Department to work “closely with the military departments so that servicemembers, veterans, and their families are aware of their legal rights and available benefits.” The vote, on Dec. 8, was 400 yeas to 1 nay. Yeas:

  • Kind D-WI (3rd)

Continuing appropriations: The House has passed the Further Continuing Appropriations Act (H.R. 8900), sponsored by Rep. Nita M. Lowey, D-N.Y., to fund various government agencies through December 18 and extend several health care programs. The vote, on Dec. 9, was 343 yeas to 67 nays. Yeas:

  • Kind D-WI (3rd)

Regulating ceiling fans: The House has passed the Ceiling Fan Improvement Act (H.R. 5758), sponsored by Rep. Brett Guthrie, R-Ky., to revise energy efficiency standards for ceiling fans. Guthrie said the bill “seeks to ensure that high-performing, large-diameter ceiling fans can remain on the market and help achieve real energy savings.” The vote, on Dec. 9, was 396 yeas to 2 nays. Yeas:

  • Kind D-WI (3rd)

Driftnet fishing: The House has passed the Driftnet Modernization and Bycatch Reduction Act (S. 906), sponsored by Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif., to change the regulation of driftnet fishing by barring the use of nets that have a mesh size greater than 14 inches. A supporter, Rep. Jared Huffman, D-Calif., said that by stopping the use of mile-long driftnets to catch swordfish and other commercially valuable species in the Pacific Ocean, the bill would prevent the bycatch of treasured whales, dolphins, and other marine animals. The vote, on Dec. 10, was 283 yeas to 105 nays. Yeas:

  • Kind D-WI (3rd)

Other business:

  • The House also passed a resolution (H. Res. 823), condemning the Government of Iran’s state-sponsored persecution of its Baha’i minority and its continued violation of the International Covenants on Human Rights; the Hong Kong People’s Freedom and Choice Act (H.R. 8428), to provide for temporary protected status for residents of Hong Kong; and a resolution (H. Res. 549), reaffirming the commitment to media diversity and pledging to work with media entities and diverse stakeholders to develop common ground solutions to eliminate barriers to media diversity.

Senate votes

Claims court: The Senate has confirmed the nomination of Stephen Sidney Schwartz to serve as a judge on the U.S. Court of Federal Claims for a 15-year term. Schwartz has been a private practice lawyer in Washington, D.C., since 2009, aside from working one year as counsel at the Cause of Action Institute. The vote, on Dec. 8, was 49 yeas to 47 nays. Yeas: Johnson R-WI; nays:

  • Baldwin D-WI

Communications commissioner: The Senate has confirmed the nomination of Nathan A. Simington to serve as a member of the board of the Federal Communications Commission. Simington has been a senior advisor at the National Telecommunications and Information Administration at the Commerce Department since June, and previously was a lawyer, specializing in finance, at a wireless devices company and several law firms. An opponent, Sen. Richard Blumenthal, D-Conn., said Simington has wrongly pressured the FCC to comply with President Trump and conservative activists and change the regulation of social media companies. The vote, on Dec. 8, was 49 yeas to 46 nays. Yeas: Johnson R-WI; nays:

  • Baldwin D-WI

First elections overseer: The Senate has confirmed the nomination of Allen Dickerson to serve on the Federal Elections Commission. Dickerson, currently legal director at the Institute for Free Speech, was previously an Army lawyer and a private practice lawyer. The vote, on Dec. 9, was 49 yeas to 47 nays. Yeas: Johnson R-WI; nays:

  • Baldwin D-WI

Second elections overseer: The Senate has confirmed the nomination of Shana M. Broussard to serve on the Federal Elections Commission. Broussard is now counsel to a commissioner at the agency; she had previously been an attorney at the Internal Revenue Service and a state and city attorney in Louisiana. The vote, on Dec. 9, was 92 yeas to 4 nays. Yeas:

  • Johnson R-WI, Baldwin D-WI

Third elections overseer: The Senate has confirmed the nomination of Sean J. Cooksey to serve on the Federal Elections Commission. Cooksey has been general counsel to Sen. Josh Hawley, R-Mo., since 2019, and previously was an assistant counsel to Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, and a private practice lawyer in Washington, D.C. The vote, on Dec. 9, was 50 yeas to 46 nays. Yeas: Johnson R-WI; nays:

  • Baldwin D-WI

Other business:

  • Along with the week’s roll call votes, the Senate also passed the Duck Boat Safety Enhancement Act (S. 1031), to implement recommendations related to the safety of amphibious passenger vessels.
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