In the news:
How your U.S. lawmaker voted
How Washington state’s U.S. House and Senate members voted in the week ending Friday, Feb. 19.
Voterama in Congress
WASHINGTON — Here’s how the state’s members of Congress voted on major issues in the week ending Friday.
Cybersecurity, civil liberties
By a vote of 288 for and 127 against, the House on Thursday passed a bill (HR 624) to expand data-sharing between private businesses and federal security agencies in order to bolster U.S. defenses against cyberattacks by terrorists, foreign governments and others. In part, the Cyber Intelligence Sharing and Protection Act (CISPA) eases privacy and antitrust laws to enable telecoms and Internet service providers to share customer information such as emails and cloud-stored files with federal authorities.
While the bill’s purpose is to protect computer systems against crippling shutdowns and information thievery, it was criticized as an infringement on privacy rights and other civil liberties. The bill grants immunity from prosecution to companies that share customer data with the government.
Voting yes: Rick Larsen, D-Lake Stevens; Doc Hastings, R-Pasco; Cathy McMorris Rodgers, R-Spokane; Derek Kilmer, D-Gig Harbor; Dave Reichert, R-Auburn; Adam Smith, D-Bellevue; Denny Heck, D-Olympia
Voting no: Suzan DelBene, D-Medina; Jaime Herrera Beutler, R-Camas; Jim McDermott, D-Seattle
By a vote of 189-224, the House on Thursday defeated a bid to protect the privacy of social networking passwords as part of HR 624 (above). The Democratic measure sought to prohibit employers from requiring employees to divulge passwords for sites such as Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn as a condition of employment.
Voting yes: DelBene, Larsen, Kilmer, McDermott, Smith, Heck
Voting no: Herrera Beutler, Hastings, McMorris Rodgers, Reichert
Expanded gun checks
By a vote of 54 for and 46 against, the Senate on Wednesday failed to reach 60 votes for passing an amendment by Sens. Joe Manchin, D-W.Va., and Pat Toomey, R-Pa., that would require background checks on most commercial gun sales. The measure sought to expand the existing system, which exempts an estimated 40 percent of sales — including Internet sales and transactions between private parties at gun shows — from mandatory background checks. The amendment, which specifically prohibited the establishment of a national registry of gun owners, was offered to a gun- safety bill (S 649) that sponsors have put on hold.
Voting yes: Maria Cantwell, D; Patty Murray, D
By a vote of 40 for and 60 against, the Senate on Wednesday turned back an amendment to outlaw the future manufacture, sale, possession and importation of 157 specific semi-automatic assault weapons identified by make and model. At the same time, the amendment identified and protected as legal 2,258 specific firearms used for hunting or sporting purposes.
Voting yes: Cantwell, Murray
Limits on magazine sizes
By a vote of 46 for and 54 against, the Senate on Wednesday turned back an amendment to S 649 (above) outlawing the sale and manufacture of ammunition clips holding more than 10 bullets. This would reinstate limits on high-capacity magazines that expired in 2004 when Congress failed to renew an assault-weapons ban.
Voting yes: Cantwell, Murray