WASHINGTON — Here's how area members of Congress voted on major issues in the week ending July 13.

House

  • RENEWAL OF FEDERAL FISHERIES LAW: Voting 222 for and 193 against, the House on July 11 passed a GOP-drafted bill (HR 200) that would extend through fiscal 2022 the main law for regulating commercial and recreational fishing in federal coastal waters ranging from three to 200 miles offshore. The 1976 Magnuson-Stevens law is designed to conserve stocks and prevent overfishing while protecting declining species and fragile habitats and providing economic and recreational opportunities. This bill would clear the way for increased commercial and sport fishing by steps such as scaling back science-based catch limits and conservation measures, shortening time frames for restocking populations and expanding from three to nine miles the zone for sport fishing of species including red snapper off the Alabama, Mississippi and Louisiana coasts. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration spends nearly $600 million annually to administer the law with the help of locally run regional councils.

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

Voting yes: Rep. Greg Gianforte, R-Mont.

Not voting: Rep. Liz Cheney, R-Wyo.

  • CONSTITUTIONAL AMENDMENT TO NULLIFY CITIZENS UNITED: Voting 228 for and 184 against, the House on July 11 blocked a bid by Democrats for floor debate on a proposed constitutional amendment (HJ Res 31) that would restore broad congressional and state powers to regulate money in politics. This would nullify the Supreme Court's 2010 Citizens United ruling, which equated political spending with free speech in a way that allows corporations, unions, super PACs and other groups to anonymously spend unlimited, undisclosed sums to advocate the election or defeat of specific candidates.

A yes vote was in opposition to calling the measure up for debate.

Voting yes: Gianforte

Not voting: Cheney

  • EXPANDED CAMPAIGN-FINANCE DISCLOSURES: Voting 225 for and 186 against, the House on July 11 blocked a Democratic bid for floor debate on a bill (HR 6239) that would require corporations, unions, super PACs and other entities to publicly disclose their funding of political activity and identify their large contributors. A sponsoring organization's top-ranking official would have to publicly certify campaign advertisements, just as candidates must for their campaign spots. Each ad would have to identify the sponsoring group's top five donors. Among other provisions, the bill would clear the way for the Securities and Exchange Commission to require publicly traded corporations to disclose their political spending to shareholders and prohibit political spending by U.S. companies largely under foreign ownership or control.

A yes vote was in opposition to calling the bill up for debate.

Voting yes: Gianforte

Not voting: Cheney

  • 2018-2019 INTELLIGENCE BUDGET: Voting 363 for and 54 against, the House on July 12 approved a two-year budget (HR 6237) of more than $170 billion for the 16 U.S. civilian and military intelligence agencies, with the actual figure classified. In part, the bill would require stronger defenses against ongoing Russian attacks on America's electoral system, expand U.S. intelligence capabilities in space and require a more thorough assessment of North Korea's revenue sources that would enable the United States to better target economic sanctions on Pyongyang.

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

Voting yes: Gianforte

Not voting: Cheney

  • EXPANSION OF 'UNFUNDED MANDATES' LAW: Voting 230 for and 168 against, the House on July 13 passed a bill (HR 50) that would expand an anti- regulatory law requiring the government to limit, or at least keep track of, the compliance costs that federal laws and rules impose on states, localities, tribal governments and the private sector. The 1995 "unfunded mandates" law helps entities including the business community to push back against federal regulations. The bill adds 15 independent agencies, including the Securities and Exchange Commission and Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation, to the list of departments and agencies required to submit proposed new rules with compliance costs above $100 million to the Office of Management and Budget for clearance.

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

Voting yes: Gianforte

Not voting: Cheney,

  • SALE OF WATER FACILITIES IN U.S. WEST: Voting 233 for and 184 against, the House on July 12 passed a bill (HR 3281) that would make it easier for private organizations to acquire taxpayer-owned water infrastructure from the federal Bureau of Reclamation. Present law requires Congress to approve these transactions in advance. Under this bill, the bureau could act on its own to clear sales that would take effect after 90 days unless both houses of Congress vote to kill the deal. Purchasers would be required to hold a water-service contract with the bureau and meet other conditions. About 30 such transactions have occurred in the past 20 years, a frequency expected to increase significantly if the bill were to become law, given that hundreds of private firms would qualify as potential purchasers.

Established in 1902, the bureau owns more than 600 dams and reservoirs and a network of conveyance units, above and below ground, that provide water throughout the West for purposes such as farming and human consumption. In addition, the bureau operates 53 power plants and ranks behind only the Tennessee Valley Authority as the largest producer of hydroelectric power in the United States.

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

Voting yes: Gianforte

Not voting: Cheney

Senate

  • DEFENSE OF NATO AGAINST TRUMP BARBS: Voting 97 for and two against, the Senate on July 10 adopted a measure intended to bolster the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) against President Trump's verbal assaults on the 69-year-old Western alliance. Trump has charged that member countries fail to pay their fair share of the cost of defending Europe, among other criticisms. The motion was offered in relation to a military spending bill (HR 5515) for fiscal 2019. The senators voting no were Mike Lee, R-Utah, and Rand Paul, R-Ky. The House passed a similar pro-NATO measure on a non-record vote.

The motion reaffirms U.S. support of the alliance and America's "ironclad commitment" to Article 5 of the NATO pact, which obligates member states to defend any other NATO country that comes under attack. In addition, the motion declares it U.S. policy to marshal "all elements of (its) national power to deter and, if necessary, defeat Russian aggression" in Europe; expresses U.S. support for a "rules-based international order" and calls upon the administration to submit to Congress a strategy for countering Russian subversion of democratic institutions in America and abroad.

A yes vote was to adopt the motion. 

Voting yes: Sen. Steve Daines, R-Mont.; Sen. Jon Tester, D-Mont.; Sen. John Barrasso, R-Wyo.; Sen. Michael Enzi, R-Wyo.

  • BRIAN BENCZKOWSKI, CRIMINAL DIVISION CHIEF: Voting 51 for and 48 against, the Senate on July 11 confirmed Brian A. Benczkowski, 48, a former congressional staff member without litigation experience, as assistant attorney general for the criminal division of the Department of Justice. In recent work at a Washington law firm, Benczkowski represented Russia's Alfa Bank in a dispute over its server sharing data with a Trump Organization server during the 2016 presidential campaign. All parties were cleared of wrongdoing. Backers said the nominee is qualified to manage the department's criminal probes, while critics noted he has never tried a case or worked in criminal law yet will oversee hundreds of federal prosecutors.

A yes vote was to confirm Benczkowski. 

Voting yes: Daines, Barrasso, Enzi

Voting no: Tester

  • CONGRESSIONAL SAY IN TRUMP TRADE POLICY: By a vote of 88 for and eleven against, the Senate on July 11 adopted a non-binding motion asserting Congress "should have a role" in U.S. trade policies implemented under Section 232 of the Trade Expansion Act, which qualifies national security as a basis for imposing tariffs on imports. In recent weeks, President Trump has cited Section 232 in slapping tariffs on products from trading partners including China, Canada, Mexico and the European Union.

A yes vote was to rebuke President Trump over his tariffs policy.

Voting yes: Daines, Tester

Voting no: Barrasso, Enzi

Key votes ahead

The Senate will conduct votes on judicial and executive-branch nominees in the week of July 16, while the House schedule was to be announced.

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