Senate Wrap-Up

Last week, the Senate passed H.R. 3055, Commerce, Justice, Science, Agriculture, Rural Development, Food and Drug Administration, Interior, Environment, Military Construction, Veterans Affairs, Transportation, and Housing and Urban Development Appropriations Act, by a vote of  84-9. Here are the 9 Senators, all Republicans, who voted No;

Marsha Blackburn (TN)

Mike Braun (IN)

Ted Cruz (TX)

Ron Johnson (WI)

Mike Lee (UT)

Rand Paul (KY)

Ben Sasse (NE)

Tim Scott (FL)

Pat Toomey (PA)

You can see the vote here.

The Senate also rejected the cloture motion on H.R. 2740, the omnibus appropriations bill funding the Labor, Education, Health and Human Services, State and Energy departments. Democrats Doug Jones (AL) and Gary Peters (MI) joined every Republican who voted except Rand Paul in voting for cloture. Democrats voted against cloture because of Republican failure to set specific allocation levels indicating how much spending each department gets, even though the Senate appropriators are already passing spending bills and the Senate actually voted on some of those bills last week as part of the first omnibus. The procedural objection is likely a smokescreen to get Republicans to increase spending above the already high amounts agreed to in this year’s budget deal.

You can see that vote here.

The Senate also rejected a Congressional Review Act measure overturning President Trump’s guidance for states receiving Section 1332 Obamacare waivers. President Trump’s guidance would allow states to enable individuals to escape ObamaCare-specific plans and purchase health care policies that suit their individual needs.


The vote was a party line vote, with every Democrat who voted supporting the measure and every Republican voting no. You can see the vote here.


Meanwhile in the House, impeachment remains at the top of the agenda.


As you probably heard, the House voted last week to ratify the ongoing impeachment inquiry on a largely party-line vote. Two Democrats, Collin Peterson (MN-07) and Jefferson Van Drew (NJ-02) joined every Republican who voted in opposition, while Independent Justin Amash (MI-04) voted to continue the inquiry.

The resolution does give the Republican House members of the relevant committees and the president the right to call witnesses, but Democratic committee chairs can deny any witness. The chair can also restrict the president’s ability to call witnesses if the president refuses to allow members of the administration to comply with congressional subpoenas. So arguably, the procedures established by this resolution do not provide fair and equal footing for Republicans to present the case against impeachment—although it is always disturbing when members of the executive branch and federal agencies refuse to comply with congressional subpoenas.


You can see the vote here.


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