Last Week in Congress Wrap Up

Congress is out of session this week for President’s Day recess, so here’s a look at some of the key votes from last week.


The big news was passage of the budget deal to avert a government shutdown. As is common with these deals, this one was rushed to the floor before members had a chance to read it. The 1200+-page deal was released last Wednesday night, then voted on in the Senate and House on Thursday.


The bill overwhelmingly passed the Senate with only 16 no votes. While the majority of Democrats voted for the bill, most Democratic senators running or likely to run for president voted no— except for Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders and Minnesota Senator Amy Klobuchar.


Here is the House vote on the budget deal.


Here is the Senate vote on the deal.


As expected, the Senate also confirmed William Barr as Attorney General. Barr was supported by three Democrats—Joe Manchin of West Virginia, Doug Jones of Alabama, and Kyrsten Sinema of Arizona.


Rand Paul was the only Republican Senator to oppose Barr.


Here is the roll-call vote on Barr.


The Senate also passed S. 47, legislation renewing federally-funded land programs. Some expressed concerns over whether these were justified new federal land grabs.


This bill passed by a vote of 92-8. The eight no’s are:


Ted Cruz (TX)

James Inhofe (OK)

Ron Johnson (WI)

Tom Lankford (OK)

Mike Lee (UT)

Rand Paul (KY)

Ben Sasse (NE)

Pat Toomey (PA)


Here is the roll-call vote.


Before passing this bill, the Senate rejected amendments to limit the federal government’s ability to designate land in Utah as a national monument (roll-call here), and add new requirements for federal acquisition of land (roll-call here).


Both of these votes are motions to table, which means a no vote is a vote in support of the amendment.

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