Congressional roll call
Here’s how area members of Congress voted on major issues in the week ending Sept. 15.
DEPORTATION OF ALIEN GANG MEMBERS: Voting 233-175, the House on Sept. 14 passed a bill (HR 3697) that would empower federal immigration officials to deport aliens who belong to alien criminal gangs such as MS 13 or participate in gang activities. Burden of proof would lie with Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), and aliens ordered deported would retain rights of appeal in U.S. courts. The bill goes beyond present law, which requires aliens to be convicted of a deportable offense before they can be sent back home. The bill defines criminal gangs in a way that critics said is so broad that it would violate constitutional rights, potentially ensnaring church groups that shelter undocumented immigrants. A yes vote was to send the bill to the Senate.
John Faso, R-Kinderhook:
Sean Maloney, D-Cold Spring: No EXEMPTION FOR RELIGIOUS GROUPS: Voting 184in favor 220 ooposed, the House on Sept. 14 defeated a bid by Democrats to exempt members of religious organizations and groups whose primary purpose is humanitarian from criminal-gang deportation proceedings under HR 3697 (above). A yes vote backed the exemption.
Maloney: Yes $416.3B SPENDING PACKAGE: Voting 211-198, the House on Sept. 14 approved a package including eight of the 12 appropriations bills that would fund federal departments and agencies in fiscal 2018. The $416.3billion measure (HR 3354) was then merged with the four previously passed appropriations bills for the budget year starting Oct. 1. The overall package would provide $1.13 trillion in discretionary spending for 2018, about half of which would be nonemergency military spending. The full House has yet to debate a congressional budget resolution for 2018 and later years. But its Budget Committee projects total federal spending of $4.02 trillion for 2018, a figure that includes outlays for entitlement programs such as Medicare, Social Security, Medicaid and veterans’ benefits. A yes vote was to send the bill to the Senate. Faso: Yes
HURRICANE SPENDING VS. BORDER WALL: Voting 186 in favor and 223 opposed, the House on Sept. 14 defeated a Democraticsponsored bid to increase predisaster spending in HR 3354 (above) by $2.4 billion and cut the same amount from accounts that would fund President Trump’s proposed wall on the southern border and provide Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) with 10,000 more detention beds. The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) would allocate the $2.4 billion to programs aimed at preventing and restoring power outages and mitigating other types of future hurricane damage. A yes vote was to transfer funding from the proposed border wall to FEMA storm mitigation accounts.
REPEAL OF 9-11 WAR RESOLUTION: Voting 6136, the Senate on Sept. 13 tabled (killed) an amendment to the 2018 military budget (HR 2810) that sought to repeal the Authorization for Use of Military Force (AUMF) enacted in September 2001 and the Iraq war resolution enacted in October 2002. Those measures have provided the legal basis of U.S. military actions in Afghanistan, the Middle East and Africa since 9-11. The amendment would give Congress six months to enact an updated authority that reflects the views of lawmakers now in office and gives them more responsibility for combat operations. Backers said that during the six-month interval, the president would have constitutional authority to act quickly to protect national security. But opponents said repealing but not immediately replacing existing war authorities would undercut troops and allies and increase U.S. exposure to terrorist attacks. The underlying bill remained in debate. A yes vote was to kill the amendment and retain existing war authorities.
Kirsten Gillibrand, D-N.Y.: No
Charles Schumer, D-N.Y.: No
KEVIN HASSETT CONFIRMATION: Voting 81-16, the Senate on Sept. 12 confirmed Kevin Hassett as chairman of the Council of Economic Advisers, which provides presidents with economic advice based on empirical research. Hassett had been a resident scholar since 1997 at the conservative American Enterprise Institute and advised the presidential campaigns of George W. Bush and John McCain. The nominee drew Democratic criticism over his advocacy of economic deregulation. A yes vote was to confirm Hassett.
The Senate this week will resume work on the 2018 military budget, while the House will be in recess.