Con­gres­sional roll call

Daily Freeman (Kingston, NY) - - NATION+WORLD -

Voterama in Congress

Here’s how area mem­bers of Congress voted on ma­jor is­sues dur­ing the week end­ing Sept. 30.

HOUSE

SEPT. 11-SAUDI ARA­BIA: Vot­ing 348-77, the House on Sept. 28 over­rode Pres­i­dent Obama’s veto of a bill (S 2040) that would give fam­i­lies of Sept. 11 victims stand­ing to sue Saudi Ara­bia in fed­eral court for any role by the king­dom or its top lead­ers in as­sist­ing the at­tacks of 15 years ago. Com­ing af­ter a Se­nate over­ride vote (below), this put the bill into law. Un­der the bill, U.S. courts could waive the For­eign Sov­er­eign Im­mu­nity Act of 1976 in suits al­leg­ing Saudi com­plic­ity in the at­tacks. Pres­i­dent Obama said the leg­is­la­tion would in­vite re­tal­i­a­tion in for­eign courts against Amer­ica’s vast global op­er­a­tions. A yes vote was to over­ride the pres­i­den­tial veto.

Chris Gib­son, R-Kin­der­hook: Yes Sean Maloney, D-Cold Spring: Yes

OVER­TIME PAY: Vot­ing 246-177, the House on Sept. 28 passed a bill (HR 6094) in­tended to kill a new De­part­ment of La­bor rule that would sharply raise the salary level for qual­i­fy­ing for over­time pay un­der the Fair La­bor Stan­dards Act. At present, salaried em­ploy­ees lose their el­i­gi­bil­ity for over­time pay when they re­ceive more than $455 per week or $23,660 an­nu­ally. Un­der the new rule, the thresh­olds dou­ble to $913 per week and $47,476 an­nu­ally. The rule takes ef­fect Dec. 1 and is pro­jected to boost the pay­checks of 4 mil­lion work­ers in its first year. Over­time pay, which kicks in af­ter 40 hours worked in a given week, amounts to time-and-a-half the nor­mal com­pen­sa­tion rate. A yes vote was to send the bill to the Se­nate, where it ap­peared cer­tain to fail. Gib­son: Yes

Maloney: No HEALTH LAW: Vot­ing 258165, the House on Sept. 27 passed a bill (HR 954) that would waive the Af­ford­able Care Act’s in­di­vid­ual man­date for per­sons en­rolled in so-called co-op health plans that closed for fi­nan­cial rea­sons. The in­di­vid­ual man­date re­quires Amer­i­cans to have health in­sur­ance or pay a penalty to the IRS. Co-ops are mem­ber-con­trolled, non-profit plans tai­lored to un­der­served mar­kets. Al­though many co-ops have closed be­cause of fi­nan­cial losses, the De­part­ment of Health and Hu­man Ser­vices has taken steps to sal­vage those that re­main and re­store oth­ers. The bill posed a clash be­tween Repub­li­cans, who are in their sev­enth year of at­tempt­ing to dis­mem­ber the health law, and Democrats, who say the law’s

weak­nesses should be fixed just as other ma­jor fed­eral pro­grams are im­proved over time, rather than dis­carded. A yes vote was to send the bill to the Se­nate, where it was dead on ar­rival. Gib­son: Yes

Maloney: No

WATER PROJECTS: Vot­ing 399-25, the House on Sept. 28 passed a bill (HR 5303) that would au­tho­rize $5 bil­lion over two years for dozens of U.S. Army Corps of En­gi­neers flood-con­trol, river-nav­i­ga­tion and har­bor-dredg­ing projects, in­clud­ing es­pe­cially large ones in Cal­i­for­nia, Ge­or­gia, Louisiana, North Dakota and Texas. In ad­di­tion, the bill can­cels $5 bil­lion worth of long-dor­mant projects and con­verts dis­cre­tionary spend­ing from the Har­bor Im­prove­ments Trust Fund to en­ti­tle­ment (guar­an­teed) spend­ing. A yes vote was to pass the bill, which will re­ceive Se­nate ac­tion later this year. Gib­son: Yes Maloney: Yes LEAD-POI­SONED WATER: Vot­ing 284-141, the House on Sept. 28 adopted an amend­ment that would au­tho­rize $170 mil­lion to HR 5303 (above) for Corps of En­gi­neers projects to help Flint, Mich., and other com­mu­ni­ties re­place drink­ing-water pipes that are con­tam­i­nated by lead. A yes vote was to pro­vide tar­geted aid to Flint and sev­eral other cities with lead prob­lems. Gib­son: Yes Maloney: Yes EAR­MARKED PROJECT: Vot­ing 181 in fa­vor and 243 op­posed, the House on Sept. 28 de­feated a Demo­cratic bid to strip HR 5303 (above) of an $810 mil­lion ear­mark for the Up­per Trin­ity River flood-con­trol and water­front-de­vel­op­ment project in Fort Worth, Texas. The mo­tion also re­quired the sec­re­tary of the Army to de­ter­mine that the project is “eco­nom­i­cally jus­ti­fied.” Crit­ics, in­clud­ing the Na­tional Tax­pay­ers Union, say the fund­ing is an ear­mark that would pay for ath­letic fields and a splash park, while de­fend­ers say the project’s recre­ational fea­tures would be built with lo­cal funds. A yes vote was to strip the Up­per Trin­ity River ear­mark from the bill. Gib­son: No

Maloney: Yes STOP­GAP SPEND­ING: Vot­ing 342-85, the House on Sept. 28 joined the Se­nate (below) in pass­ing a bill (HR 5325) that would fund gov­ern­ment op­er­a­tions from the start of fis­cal 2017 on Oct. 1 un­til Dec. 9. The bill would pro­vide $1.1 bil­lion to ad­dress the Zika virus and $500 mil­lion to help Louisiana and other states re­cover from flood­ing in Au­gust. In ad­di­tion, the bill in­cludes a reg­u­lar fis­cal 2017 bud­get for vet­er­ans pro­grams that is 4 per­cent above the 2016 level. A yes vote was to send the bill to Pres­i­dent Obama, who signed it into law. Gib­son: Yes

Maloney: Yes

SE­NATE

SEPT. 11-SAUDI ARA­BIA: Vot­ing 97-1, the Se­nate on Sept. 28 went far be­yond the two-thirds ma­jor­ity re­quired to over­ride Pres­i­dent Obama’s veto of a bill (S 2040) that would give fam­i­lies of Sept. 11 victims stand­ing to sue Saudi Ara­bia in fed­eral court for any role the king­dom played in the at­tacks on Amer­i­can soil. Un­der the bill, U.S. courts could waive the For­eign Sov­er­eign Im­mu­nity Act of 1976 in suits al­leg­ing Saudi com­plic­ity in the ter­ror­ist as­saults. In his veto mes­sage, Obama said the bill “does not en­hance the safety of Amer­i­cans from ter­ror­ist at­tacks, and un­der­mines core U.S. in­ter­ests.” The lone “no” vote was cast by Se­nate Mi­nor­ity Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev. Sens. Tim Kaine, D-Va., and Bernie San­ders, I-Vt., were ab­sent. A yes vote was to over­ride the veto.

Kirsten Gil­li­brand, D-N.Y.:

Yes Charles Schumer, D-N.Y.: Yes STOP­GAP SPEND­ING:

Vot­ing 72-26, the Se­nate on Sept. 28 passed a bill (HR 5325) that would fund gov­ern­ment op­er­a­tions from Oct. 1 un­til Dec. 9, by which time law­mak­ers hope to have ap­proved a longer-term bud­get bill. This stop­gap mea­sure bill would pro­vide $1.1 bil­lion to ad­dress the Zika virus and $500 mil­lion to help Louisiana and other states re­cover from flood­ing in Au­gust. It also would fund a full-year 2017 bud­get for the De­part­ment of Vet­er­ans Af­fairs that is 4 per­cent above the 2016 level. A yes vote was to send the bill to the House, where it was ap­proved (see above).

Gil­li­brand: Yes Schumer, D-N.Y.: Yes COM­ING UP Congress is in re­cess un­til the week of Nov. 14.

Copy­right 2016, Thomas Vot­ing Re­ports, Inc.

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