Congress Wrap-up

With Congress out of town this is a good time to go over some of the most significant roll-call votes of recent months.

Here is the vote on final phase of H.R. 1994, the bill making changes to federal laws governing retirement plans and changing the taxing of benefits paid to surviving family members of military personnel killed in war.

The bill initially had a provision allowing funds in a section 529  education savings account to be used for homeschooling expenses. This provision was removed by Speaker Pelosi at the behest of the teachers’ unions. Three Republicans voted against the bill:

Justin Amash (MI—01)

Thomas Massie (KY—04)

Chip Roy (TX—21)

Amash and Massie were the only Republicans to vote no on the Republican motion to recommit. The motion to recommit would have required companies that participate in the Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions movement to report their “BDS” activity on their tax returns and it would have denied them tax benefits on any business related to their participation in BDS. In other words, this raises taxes on businesses participating in BDS.

Here is the vote on the motion to recommit.

Here is the roll-call vote on H.R. 5, which expanded federal civil rights laws to sexual orientation and gender identity. Six Republicans voted no.

Susan Brooks (IN-05)

Mario Diaz-Balart (FL-25)

Brian Fitzpatrick (PA-01)

Will Hurd (TX-23)

John Katko (NY-24)

Tom Reed (NY-23)

Elise Stefanik (NY-21)

Greg Walden  (OR-02)

You can read more about H.R. 5 here.

Here Is the roll-call vote on H.R. 987, the bill combining good provisions reducing patent laws to promote competition with provisions designed to prop up ObamaCare and reverse some of President Trump’s executive orders giving people increased ability to purchase health care that meets their needs, rather than what ObamaCare’s creators think they need.

Here are the five Republicans who voted for the bill:

Brian Fitzpatrick (PA-01)

Jaime Herrera Beutler (WA-03)

John Katko (NY-24)

Chris Smith (NJ-04)

Fred Upton (MI-06)

You can read more about H.R. 987 here.

Nine Republicans voted against authorizing the program providing federal grants to local governments to help purchase bullet-proof vests for law enforcement personnel. This may seem like a small and worthwhile program, but making sure police have proper equipment isn’t a federal responsibility. If Congress isn’t willing to cut the small programs and return responsibility for them to the states, then what are the odds they will tackle the big problems?

The nine who voted no are:

Justin Amash (MI-03)

Jodey Arrington (TX-19)

Andy Biggs (AZ-05)

Jeff Duncan (SC-03)

Louie Gohmert (TX-01)

Morgan Griffith (VA-09)

Andy Harris (MD-01)

Tom McClintock (CA-04)

Chip Roy (TX-21)

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