How your U.S. lawmaker voted
Here’s how Washington state’s members of Congress voted on major issues in the week ending March 7.
Voterama in Congress
WASHINGTON — Here’s how the state’s members of Congress voted on major issues in the week ending March 7.
Loan guarantees for Ukraine
By a vote of 385 for and 23 against, the House on March 6 passed a bipartisan bill (HR 4152) to allocate up to $1 billion in U.S. taxpayer funds to guarantee private-sector loans obtained by Ukraine to salvage its economy. Now awaiting Senate action, the bill would add Ukraine to the list of countries eligible for loan guarantees from a U.S. Department of State fund established for that purpose.
Voting yes: Suzan DelBene, D-Medina; Rick Larsen, D-Lake Stevens; Jaime Herrera Beutler, R-Camas; 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: Doc Hastings, R-Pasco
Fast-track environmental reviews
By a vote of 229-179, the House on March 6 passed a bill (HR 2641) to scale back the National Environmental Policy Act as a regulator of large construction projects in America. The 1969 NEPA requires federal agencies to assess the environmental consequences of projects they are building, authorizing by permit or helping to fund.
Known as Environmental Assessments and Environmental Impact Statements, these detailed reviews must receive Environmental Protection Agency clearance before the project can proceed. In part, this bill sets a fast-track schedule for completing reviews; limits the number of reviews per project; authorizes states to prepare certain environmental assessments and allows agencies to accept secondary rather than original analyses of environmental impacts under certain circumstances.
Voting yes: Herrera Beutler, McMorris Rodgers, Reichert
Voting no: DelBene, Larsen, Kilmer, McDermott, Smith, Heck
Not voting: Hastings
Environmental checks on nuclear plants
Voting 187-220, the House on March 6 refused to exempt from HR 2641 (above) projects that involve building nuclear-power plants in earthquake-fault zones.
Voting yes: DelBene, Larsen, Kilmer, McDermott, Smith, Heck
Voting no: Herrera Beutler, McMorris Rodgers, Reichert
Not voting: Hastings
Sexual assaults in the military
By a 55-45 vote, the Senate on March 6 failed to reach 60 votes needed to advance a bill (S 1752) to transfer the military’s handling of sexual-assault cases and certain other major offenses from the chain of command to outside military prosecutors, who would determine whether to file charges.
All 100 senators then voted to pass a competing bill (S 1917) that would grade commanders on their record of preventing or dealing with sexual misconduct in their ranks, among other provisions. There were an estimated 26,000 sexual assaults in the U.S. military in 2012, a small percentage of which resulted in prosecutions, Sen. Barbara Boxer, D-Calif., said during debate.
Voting yes, on S 1752 and S 1917: Maria Cantwell, D, Patty Murray, D
Rejection of civil-rights nominee
By a vote of 47-52, the Senate on March 5 failed to reach a majority needed to end a GOP-led filibuster against the nomination of Debo Adegbile as assistant attorney general for civil rights. Adegbile, 47, drew criticism over his contribution to a 2009 NAACP Legal Defense Fund brief that argued the jury received improper instructions in the trial of Mumia Abu-Jamal on charges of slaying Philadelphia police officer Daniel Faulkner in 1981.
A federal appeals court agreed that the instructions were flawed and ordered a new sentencing hearing. Abu-Jamal then received a life sentence, which he is serving, instead of the death penalty.
Voting yes: Cantwell, Murray