This Week in Congress Wrap-Up: SHIELD, NATO, Spending, and SALT

On Wednesday, the House passed H.R. 4617, the SHIELD Act, by a vote of 227-181. Every Democrat but Collin Peterson (MN-07) voted for it and every voting Republican and Independent Justin Amash (MI-03) voted against it.

You can see the vote here.

Read more about the SHIELD Act here and here.

The Senate voted to approve cloture on H.R. 3055, the House-passed omnibus consisting of the Commerce, Justice and Science, Agriculture, Rural Development and FDA, Interior and Environment, Military Construction and Veterans Affairs, and Transportation and Interior Appropriations bills. The Senate plans to replace the House-passed bills with Senate versions of these bills and use the new bill as a vehicle for a House-Senate conference.

The cloture motion on H.R. 3055 passed by a vote of 93-2. Tennessee Senator Marsha Blackburn and Kentucky Senator Rand Paul were the only no votes.

You can see that vote here.

Senator Paul and Utah Senator Mike Lee were the only senators to vote against admitting the Republic of North Macedonia to NATO—which obligates the US to defend Macedonia if Macedonia requests assistance.

You can see that vote here.

Senator Paul was the only Republican to vote for S.J.Res. 50. This was a Congressional Review Act measure disapproving an IRS regulation forbidding states from redefining state and local taxes as charitable deductions.

States started doing this to give their citizens a way around the limitation on State and Local Tax (SALT) deductions contained in the 2017 tax reform bill. SALT was limited in order to “offset” the “even loss” from the tax cuts.


Many libertarians and conservatives oppose SALT on the grounds that it encourages the growth of state and local governments and punishes states that keep taxes and spending low.

I sympathize with this argument; however, I share Senator Paul’s position that instead of offsetting revenue loss from tax cuts by raising other taxes, Congress should match tax cuts with spending cuts.

You can see the vote here.


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