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Originally published February 8, 2014 at 4:46 PM | Page modified February 8, 2014 at 7:18 PM

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How your U.S. lawmaker voted

Here’s how Washington state’s members of Congress voted on major issues in the week that ended Feb. 7.


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WASHINGTON — Here’s how the state’s members of Congress voted on major issues in the week that ended Friday, Feb. 7.

House

Hunting, fishing on federal land

By a vote of 268 for and 154 against, the House on Wednesday passed a bipartisan bill, HR 3590, to open all National Forest Service, Bureau of Land Management and U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service land to public recreation, including hunting and fishing, unless officials block access to certain areas. This “open until closed” policy would apply to the one-quarter of federal property where broad public access is now denied. The bill also would allow firearms to be carried on Army Corps of Engineers water projects, authorize online purchases of federal duck stamps, and bar any future Environmental Protection Agency regulation of ammunition and fishing lures as toxic substances. Additionally, the bill would require small movie crews to obtain permits and pay fees for filming on public lands while allowing them to use mechanized equipment in wilderness areas.

Voting yes: Jaime Herrera Beutler, R-Camas; Doc Hastings, R-Pasco; Cathy McMorris Rodgers, R-Spokane; Derek Kilmer, D-Gig Harbor; Dave Reichert, R-Auburn.

Voting no: Suzan DelBene, D-Medina; Rick Larsen, D-Lake Stevens; Jim McDermott, D-Seattle; Adam Smith, D-Bellevue; Denny Heck, D-Olympia.

Contaminated drinking water

By a vote of 187-231, the House on Wednesday refused to add regulations to HR 3590 (above) to address environmental disasters such as the chemical spill last month in Charleston, W.Va., in which thousands of gallons of toxic substances leaked from a private storage tank into a river that supplies drinking water to the city and surrounding areas. The motion sought to require companies nationwide to provide federal regulators with data on chemicals and mixtures they manufacture or handle that could end up in public water systems.

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

Voting no: Herrera Beutler, Hastings, McMorris Rodgers, Reichert.

Climate change and hunting

Voting 181-242, the House on Wednesday refused to require the secretary of the Interior to factor climate change into decisions on whether to allow hunting, fishing and other recreational activities on public land under the terms of HR 3590.

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

Voting no: Herrera Beutler, Hastings, McMorris Rodgers, Reichert.

California water dispute

Voting 229-191, the House on Wednesday passed a bill, HR 3964, that would override or weaken existing California and federal laws and compacts for allocating San Joaquin River water in the Central Valley and the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta. The bill directs more water to agricultural users in the Central Valley and less to the benefit of farming in the delta and fishing, environmental and recreational interests in other parts of California and in Oregon, among many other provisions.

Voting yes: Herrera Beutler, Hastings, McMorris Rodgers, Reichert.

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

Senate

Extended jobless benefits

By a vote of 58 for and 40 against, the Senate on Thursday failed to reach 60 votes needed to end Republican blockage of a bill, S 1845, to provide three more months of unemployment checks for more than 1.7 million of the long-term jobless whose allotments of extended benefits expired Dec. 28. To offset its $6 billion multiyear cost, the bill would change pension rules for some companies.

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

Farm subsidies, food stamps

Voting 68-32, the Senate on Tuesday gave final congressional approval to a bill, HR 2642, renewing farm and food programs for five years at a projected cost of nearly $100 billion annually, down nearly $2.3 billion per year from pre-sequester levels. The bill would cut food-stamp spending by 1 percent; eliminate direct payments to farmers; expand crop insurance for growers of crops such as corn, soybeans, wheat, cotton and rice; fund rural development, including broadband Internet access; boost exports; add stability to dairy incomes without directly limiting milk production; expand crop research; protect catfish farmers; and promote soil conservation and wetlands protection, among many other provisions. About 80 percent of the bill’s $956 billion cost over 10 years is for food stamps and other food and nutrition programs, with the remainder allocated to farm programs.

Voting yes: Cantwell, Murray.

Ambassador Max Baucus

Voting 96-0, the Senate on Thursday confirmed Sen. Max Baucus, D-Mont., as U.S. ambassador to the People’s Republic of China.

Voting yes: Cantwell, Murray.



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