This Week in Congress Wrap Up

Here is the vote to allow debate on Senator Rand Paul’s legislation blocking arm sales to Qatar. The vote was 42-57. Mike Lee and Ted Cruz were the only Republicans to join Senator Paul in voting to block the arm sales.

Here is the roll-call vote to allow debate on Senator Paul’s bill to block arms sales to Bahrain. The vote was the same as the Qatar vote, other than Ted Cruz voting no and Republican Senator Jerry Moran voting yes.

Here is a link to Senator Paul’s speech on the bills.

The House removed the Legislative Branch from the “omnibus” appropriations bill because of objections over language removing the ban on member’s getting a cost of living increase.

The House did not complete the bill so they will wrap it up next week. I will have more detailed summaries of the remaining operations bills in the next few weeks.

Here are some of the issues of interest that Congress considered under suspension this week (unless otherwise noted all passed by voice vote):

  1. H.R. 3151— New version of legislation that reforms IRS practices without the provision codifying the IRS’s free file program. For more on the legislation see here and here.

  2. H.R. 2476—Creates a new grant program for nonprofits at risk of terrorist attacks so they can use the grant money for security.

  3. H.R. 1158— Authorizes response teams at the Department of Homeland Security.

  4. H.R. 2539—Prioritizes assignment of Homeland Security personnel to areas at high risk of terrorist attacks on public transportation. (Passed by a vote of 384-13 - roll call here).

  5. H.R. 2590— Requires Homeland Security to regularly report on the status of Homeland Security agents operating overseas. (Passed by a vote of 384-2. Andy Biggs (AZ-05) and Chip Roy (TX-21) voted no.)

  6. H.Res. 372—Calls for sanctions against Turkey for buying military equipment from Russia.

  7. H.R. 951—Makes it a goal of US policy to cooperate with Mexico to expand tourism between the two countries.

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