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Originally published Saturday, July 27, 2013 at 3:00 PM

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How your U.S. lawmaker voted

Voterama in Congress

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WASHINGTON — Here’s how our state’s members of Congress voted on major issues in the week ending July 26.

House

2014 military budget

By a vote of 315 for and 109 against, the House on July 24 sent the Senate a $595 billion military appropriations bill for fiscal 2014, including $82 billion for war in Afghanistan and other theaters. The bill (HR 2397) funds a 1.8 percent military pay raise; authorizes 1.36 million active-duty forces and 833,700 National Guard and Reserve troops; bars closure of the Guantánamo Bay military prison; advances plans for an East Coast missile-defense installation; bars military actions in Syria without congressional approval and takes steps to prevent sexual assaults and, if they occur, to deal with them within the chain of command where the offense occurs.

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; Dave Reichert, R-Auburn; Adam Smith, D-Bellevue; Denny Heck, D-Olympia

Voting no: Jim McDermott, D-Seattle

Not voting: Jaime Herrera Beutler, R-Camas

Phone-records dragnet

By a vote of 205 for and 217 against, the House on July 24 defeated an amendment to HR 2397 (above) that sought to outlaw the National Security Agency’s bulk collection of most U.S. telephone calls under Section 215 of the Patriot Act.

Voting yes: DelBene, McMorris Rodgers, McDermott

Voting no: Larsen, Hastings, Kilmer, Reichert, Smith, Heck

Not voting: Herrera Beutler

Bipartisan defense-spending cut

By a vote of 215 for and 206 against, the House on July 24 defeated a bipartisan amendment to strip HR 2379 (above) of $3.6 billion for overseas operations that the Pentagon did not request. The amendment sought to reduce funding for Afghanistan and other theaters to the level requested by the Pentagon, thus removing extra billions inserted by the Appropriations Committee.

Voting yes: DelBene, Larsen, Kilmer, McDermott, Smith, Heck

Voting no: Hastings, McMorris Rodgers, Reichert

Not voting: Herrera Beutler

East Coast missile defense

By a vote of 173 for and 249 against, the House on July 23 refused to strip HR 2379 (above) of its $70 million for planning an East Coast missile-defense installation to go with existing sites in California and Alaska. Neither Congress nor the Department of Defense has authorized an East Coast site, and the Pentagon did not request these funds. Backers said the site is a needed hedge against burgeoning nuclear programs in Iran and North Korea.

Voting yes: DelBene, Larsen, Kilmer, McDermott, Smith, Heck

Voting no: Hastings, McMorris Rodgers, Reichert

Not voting: Herrera Beutler

Regulation of coal ash

By a vote of 265 for and 155 against, the House on July 25 passed a Republican bill (HR 2218) giving states rather than the Environmental Protection Agency primary authority to regulate the coal ash left as waste by coal-burning power plants. The bill would override an ongoing EPA effort to implement the first federal regulation of coal ash, which is an inorganic, toxic substance now retained in ponds or landfills near power plants.

Voting yes: Hastings, McMorris Rodgers, Reichert

Voting no: DelBene, Larsen, Kilmer, McDermott, Smith, Heck

Not voting: Herrera Beutler

Groundwater contamination

By a vote of 192 for and 225 against, the House on July 25 defeated a Democratic-sponsored requirement that state- regulated disposal structures built under the terms of HR 2218 (above) be sufficient to prevent coal ash toxins from seeping into water tables and surface waters such as the Great Lakes.

Voting yes: DelBene, Larsen, Kilmer, McDermott, Smith, Heck

Voting no: Hastings, McMorris Rodgers, Reichert

Not voting: Herrera Beutler

Interstate environmental risks

By a vote of 176 for and 239 against, the House on July 25 defeated a Democratic-sponsored amendment to HR 2218 (above) requiring Environmental Protection Administration intervention to keep one state’s coal-ash disposal program from creating environmental and drinking-water problems in another state.

Voting yes: DelBene, Larsen, Kilmer, McDermott, Smith, Heck

Voting no: Hastings, McMorris Rodgers, Reichert

Not voting: Herrera Beutler

Senate

Student-loan interest rates

By a vote of 81 for and 18 against, the Senate on July 24 passed a bipartisan bill (HR 1911) setting variable but capped interest rates for higher-education loans, retroactive to July 1. According to the Congressional Budget Office, the government is expected to issue $1.4 trillion in student loans over 10 years under the terms of this bill, generating $715 million in profits for the Treasury.

Voting yes: Maria Cantwell, D; Patty Murray, D

Transportation, housing budget

Voting 73 for and 26 against, the senate on July 25 advanced a bill (S 1243) to appropriate $54 billion in fiscal 2014 for the departments of transportation and housing and urban development and related agencies. The bill funds initiatives such as airport improvements, maritime programs, highway safety, mass transit, intercity rail, public housing and community development block grants to cities. Separately, it releases $53.5 Billion from the highway trust fund for road and bridge repairs and new construction in the fiscal year that begins Oct. 1.

Voting yes: Cantwell, Murray

Public-housing disqualifiers

By a vote of 99 for and one against, the Senate on July 23 amended S 1243 (above) to deny public-housing assistance to individuals convicted of sex offenses, murder and certain other state or federal crimes. Current law allows offenders to be barred from public-housing programs on the basis of their criminal past but does not make the exclusion mandatory, as this amendment does.

Voting yes: Cantwell, Murray

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