WASHINGTON — Here's how area members of Congress voted on major issues during the week ending Sept. 14.
- $147 BILLION APPROPRIATIONS BILL: Voting 377 for and 20 against, the House on Sept. 13 gave final congressional approval to a $147 billion appropriations bill for several departments and agencies in fiscal 2019, which starts Oct. 1. In part, the bill (HR 5895) would provide $86.5 billion for veterans programs including health care for seven million individuals; $44.6 billion for energy and water programs; $10.3 billion for construction at military bases; $7 billion for Army Corps of Engineers public-works projects and $4.8 billion for operating the legislative branch including a boost in funding to defend Capitol Hill against cyberattacks.
A yes vote was to send the bill to President Trump.
Voting yes: Rep. Greg Gianforte, R-Mont.; Rep. Liz Cheney, R-Wyo.
- CHARLES RETTIG, IRS COMMISSIONER: Voting 64 for and 33 against, the Senate on Sept. 12 confirmed Charles P. Rettig, 62, a tax attorney in private practice in Beverly Hills, Calif., for a five-year term as commissioner of the Internal Revenue Service, where he will be in charge of administering and enforcing U.S. tax laws and conventions.
Opposition centered on a recent administration ruling that tax-exempt 501(c)(4) organizations no longer must disclose their donors to the IRS. Those "dark money" groups can spend unlimited amounts on issue advocacy not associated with specific candidates in federal, state and local elections. But they had been required to identify their donors in confidential Form 990 filings so that the IRS could detect illegal contributions to American elections from ineligible contributors, including Russians and other foreign nationals.
A yes vote was to put Rettig in charge of administering and enforcing the federal tax code.
Voting yes: Sen. Steve Daines, R-Mont.; Sen. John Barrasso, R-Wyo.; Sen. Michael Enzi, R-Wyo.
Voting no: Sen. Jon Tester, D-Mont.
- $147 BILLION APPROPRIATIONS BILL: Voting 92 for and five against, the Senate on Sept. 12 agreed to the conference report on HR 5895 (above). The $147 billion measure provides $44.6 billion for energy and water programs, including $4.4 billion for a revolving loan fund to help communities upgrade drinking-water systems and outlays to help schools replace lead-poisoned drinking fountains. In addition, the bill increases budgets for mental health and suicide prevention programs for veterans and provides $454 million for addressing veterans' opioids addiction.
A yes vote was to approve the conference report. V
Voting yes: Daines, Tester, Barrasso, Enzi
Key votes ahead
The House will consider a bill scaling back the Affordable Care Act in the week of Sept. 17, while the Senate will debate appropriations for the fiscal year beginning Oct. 1.