WASHINGTON — Here's how area senators voted on major issues during the legislative week ending Oct. 12. The House was in recess.

  • SHORT-TERM INSURANCE, PRE-EXISTING CONDITIONS: Voting 50 for and 50 against, the Senate on Oct. 10 affirmed a Trump administration rule under which states, starting this month, can authorize the sale of "short-term, limited-duration" health insurance in the individual market as an alternative to Affordable Care Act coverage. Such policies cost far less because they omit the ACA's required "essential health benefits," including coverage of consumers with pre-existing conditions and a prohibition on annual or lifetime coverage limits. Critics call this "junk insurance" that would weaken the 2010 health law by siphoning off younger and healthier individuals, while supporters say it offers an affordable choice to persons seeking relief from the ACA's tangle of regulations. The vote occurred during debate on SJ Res 63.

A yes vote was to nullify the Trump rule under terms of the Congressional Review Act.

Voting yes: Sen. Jon Tester, D-Mont.

Voting no: Se. Steve Daines, R-Mont.; Sen. John Barrasso, R-Wyo.; Sen. Michael Enzi, R-Wyo.

  • IMPROVEMENTS TO WATER INFRASTRUCTURE: Voting 99 for and one against, the Senate on Oct. 10 passed a multi-year funding bill (S 3021) that would authorize $4.4 billion for safe drinking water programs administered by the Environmental Protection Agency, $3.7 billion for Army Corps of Engineers projects to improve the navigation of U.S. waterways and additional sums for local projects to control overflows during rainstorms and help coastal communities deal with rising sea levels caused by climate change. In addition, the bill would fund programs to restore shorelines and wetlands, fix irrigation systems, speed approval of hydropower projects and prevent Asian carp from entering the Great Lakes.

A yes vote was to send the bill to President Trump.

Voting yes: Daines, Tester, Barrasso, Enzi

  • JEFFREY CLARK, ASSISTANT ATTORNEY GENERAL: Voting 52 for and 45 against, the Senate on Oct. 11 confirmed Jeffrey B. Clark, a partner in a Washington law firm, as assistant attorney general for the Justice Department's Environment and Natural Resources Division. He was second-in-command of the division during part of the George W. Bush administration.

A yes vote was to confirm the nominee.

Voting yes: Daines, Barrasso, Enzi

Voting no: Tester

  • ERIC DREIBAND, ASSISTANT ATTORNEY GENERAL: Voting 50 for and 47 against, the Senate on Oct. 11 confirmed Eric S. Dreiband, a partner in a Washington law firm, as assistant attorney general for the Justice Department's Civil Rights Division. He was general counsel of the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission from 2003- 2005.

A yes vote was to confirm the nominee.

Voting yes: Daines, Barrasso, Enzi

Voting no: Tester

Key votes ahead

The House and Senate are in recess until the week of Nov. 12.

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