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Voterama in Congress
WASHINGTON — Here’s how state members of the House of Representatives voted on major issues in the week ending Oct. 25. The Senate was in recess.
Corps of Engineers projects
By a vote of 417 for and three against, the House on Oct. 23 passed a bill (HR 3080) to guide the development of more than 700 of Army Corps of Engineers projects budgeted at $60 billion for purposes such as flood control, shoreline protection, river navigation, harbor dredging, lock and dam maintenance and environmental restoration. The bill authorizes $8.2 billion over 10 years for new projects, cancels at least $12 billion worth of inactive projects, bars earmarks and fast-tracks environmental reviews under laws such as the National Environmental Policy Act.
Voting yes: Suzan DelBene, D-Medina; Rick Larsen, D-Lake Stevens; Doc Hastings, R-Pasco; Cathy McMorris Rodgers, R-Spokane; Derek Kilmer, D-Gig Harbor; Jim McDermott, D-Seattle; Dave Reichert, R-Auburn; Adam Smith, D-Bellevue; Denny Heck, D-Olympia
Not voting: Jaime Herrera Beutler, R-Camas
By a vote of 183 for and 236 against, the House on Oct. 23 refused to require standard rather than fast-track environmental reviews of water projects authorized by HR 3080 (above). The amendment sought to delay the bill’s easing of environmental requirements until the existing $60 billion backlog of unfinished projects has been reduced to $20 billion. Debate centered on whether reviews under the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) have helped cause the current backlog. Supporters of this amendment attributed project delays to inadequate funding by Congress rather than environmental hurdles, while foes said environmental reviews have been drawn-out and cumbersome.
Voting yes: DelBene, Larsen, Kilmer, McDermott, Smith, Heck
Voting no: Hastings, McMorris Rodgers, Reichert
Not voting: Herrera Beutler
By a vote of 225 for and 193 against, the House on Oct. 23 barred the Army Corps of Engineers from advancing administration guidelines for the stewardship of ocean, coastal and Great Lakes resources. The GOP amendment was added to HR 3080 (above). The guidelines were issued in 2010 in the form of a nonbinding executive order. They seek to harmonize conflicting commercial, noncommercial and recreational uses of marine resources while protecting the health and biological diversity of ecosystems. In part, the guidelines promote “coastal and marine spatial planning,” which critics call “ocean zoning.”
Voting yes: Hastings, Reichert
Voting no: DelBene, Larsen, Kilmer, McDermott, Smith, Heck
Not voting: Herrera Beutler, McMorris Rodgers