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Votes in Congress: How the area's delegation voted this past week

Votes in Congress: How the area's delegation voted this past week

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WASHINGTON — Here’s how area members of Congress voted on major issues during the legislative week ending July 24:

House

Confederate statues at the Capitol. Voting 305 for and 113 against, the House on July 22 passed a bill (HR 7573) that would remove from the Capitol building a bust of former Supreme Court Chief Justice Roger B. Taney, the author of the Dred Scott v. Sandford ruling in 1857 that African Americans could not be citizens of the United States or sue in federal courts.

The bill also would banish from the Capitol the statues or busts of Confederate and/or pro-slavery leaders including Gen. Robert E. Lee, the Confederate commander; Jefferson Davis, the Confederacy president and a U.S. senator and House member; John C. Calhoun of South Carolina, a U.S. vice president and senator; John C. Breckenridge of Kentucky, a U.S. vice president and Confederate war secretary; former North Carolina Gov. Charles B. Aycock; and former Arkansas governor and U.S. senator James P. Clarke. Under the bill, the Taney bust on the Senate side of the Capitol would be replaced with one of Thurgood Marshall, the first Black Supreme Court justice. All removals would have to occur within 45 or 120 days and the statues would be returned to their donor states.

A yes vote was to send the bill to the Senate.

Voting yes: Abigail Spanberger, D-7th.

Not voting: Denver Riggleman, R-5th.

$741 billion for military in 2021. Voting 295 for and 125 against, the House on July 21 approved a $741 billion military budget (HR 6395) for fiscal 2021 that includes $60 billion-plus for active-duty and retiree health care, a $1 billion fund for dealing with present and future pandemics and hundreds of billions for weapons systems and personnel costs. In addition, the bill would require Confederate names to be removed from U.S. bases within one year; prohibit public display of the Confederate flag on military property; treat global warming as a national security threat; combat foreign interference in U.S. elections; fund a 3% pay raise for uniformed personnel; expand programs for military victims of sexual assault; require a Pentagon report on alleged Russian bounty payments for the killing of U.S. troops in Afghanistan; and provide Ukraine with $250 million for defending itself against Russian belligerence.

The bill would add a “violent extremism” article covering hate crimes and other offenses to the Uniform Code of Military Justice, and install an inspector general to probe white supremacist activities in the armed forces and review racial and ethnic disparities in the administration of military justice.

A yes vote was to pass the bill.

Voting yes: Riggleman, Spanberger.

Underground nuclear testing. The House on July 20 voted, 227 for and 179 against, to deny funding of Trump administration plans to possibly lift a 28-year moratorium on the underground testing of nuclear weapons. The amendment was added to HR 6395 (above). Since 1992, federal weapons laboratories have used technological simulations and scientific probes to ensure the safety and potency of the nation’s aging nuclear arsenal. But a Senate version of next year’s military budget includes $10 million to prepare for a resumption of explosive underground testing that was common throughout the Cold War but outlawed for reasons having to do with arms control and protecting public health and the environment.

A yes vote was to adopt the amendment.

Voting yes: Spanberger.

Voting no: Riggleman.

National parks, public lands. Voting 310 for and 107 against, the House on July 22 passed a bill (HR 1957) that would authorize $9.5 billion over five years for repairing facilities at the National Park Service, other federal land agencies and Indian Education Service schools. In addition, the bill would permanently require an annual budget of at least $900 million for the Land and Water Conservation Fund, which provides federal and non-federal agencies with revenue for acquiring undeveloped land for conservation and recreational purposes. All funding in the bill would come from royalties from oil and gas drilling operations on federal property. The bill would set aside about $6.5 billion over five years for long-neglected repairs at scores of national parks and related properties, generating tens of thousands of private-sector jobs and halving the park service’s $12.5 billion backlog of unfunded maintenance.

A yes vote was to send the bill to President Trump for his expected signature.

Voting yes: Spanberger.

Not voting: Riggleman.

Bans on Muslim-majority immigration. Voting 233 for and 183 against, the House on July 22 passed legislation (HR 2486; HR 2214) that would nullify executive orders by President Trump prohibiting permanent immigration into the United States by residents of 12 named countries, many of which have Muslim-majority populations. In addition, the bill would limit the ability of presidents to use Section 212(f) of the Immigration and Nationality Act to close American borders to immigrants who pose no threat to U.S. public safety or national security.

A yes vote was to send the bill to the Senate.

Voting yes: Spanberger.

Not voting: Riggleman.

Legal counsel at ports of entry. Voting 231 for and 184 against, the House on July 22 passed legislation (HR 2486; HR 5581) that would ensure that lawful permanent residents and other holders of U.S. visas can obtain prompt access to counsel when they are held by Customs and Border Protection for screening at U.S. ports of entry lasting more than one hour.

A yes vote was to send the bill to the Senate.

Voting yes: Spanberger.

Not voting: Riggleman.

Senate

$741 billion for military in 2021. Voting 86 for and 14 against, the Senate on July 23 approved a $740.5 billion military budget for fiscal 2021 that includes $69 billion to fund combat operations overseas and hundreds of billions for weapons, personnel and research and development. The bill (S 4049) would authorize a 3% pay raise for uniformed personnel; prohibit U.S. troop deployments against Americans exercising their constitutional right to peaceably protest and fund preparations for possibly ending the 1992 moratorium on underground nuclear testing.

In addition, the bill would require the removal over three years of Confederate names from 10 Army bases named after officers who waged war against the United States, and from other U.S. military assets — including naval vessels — named in commemoration of Confederate military figures or battlefield prowess.

A yes vote was to pass the bill.

Voting yes: Mark R. Warner (D); Tim Kaine (D).

Transfer of military weapons to local police. Voting 51 for and 49 against, the Senate on July 21 failed to reach 60 votes needed to adopt an amendment to S 4049 (above) that would permanently outlaw the U.S. military’s transfer of combat-level weapons and equipment to local police at no cost. The untransferable items would include bayonets, tear gas, tanks, armed drones, grenade launchers and explosives. But police departments could continue to receive non-lethal items such as highwater vehicles, cold-weather gear, computers, first-aid kits and flashlights under what is called the 1033 Program.

A yes vote was to adopt the amendment.

Voting yes: Warner, Kaine.

Thomas Voting Reports Inc.

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