How Arkansas’ con­gres­sional del­e­ga­tion voted

Northwest Arkansas Democrat-Gazette - - WASHINGTON - Here is how Arkansas’ U.S. sen­a­tors and U.S. rep­re­sen­ta­tives voted on ma­jor roll call votes dur­ing the week that ended Fri­day. — VOTERAMA IN CONGRESS


$696 bil­lion for mil­i­tary in 2018. Passed 344-81, a $696.5 bil­lion mil­i­tary bud­get (HR2810) for fis­cal 2018, in­clud­ing $64.6 bil­lion for war-fight­ing in Afghanistan, Iraq, Syria and other the­aters and more than $50 bil­lion for ac­tive-duty and re­tiree health care. The bill au­tho­rizes $150 mil­lion in mil­i­tary aid to Ukraine while in­creas­ing spend­ing for steps to de­ter what it calls “Rus­sian ag­gres­sion” against U.S. and NATO in­ter­ests in Europe. In ad­di­tion, the bill es­tab­lishes a U.S. Space Corps within the Air Force in 2019; treats as non­bind­ing the 1987 In­ter­me­di­ate-Range Nu­clear Forces Treaty with Rus­sia; sets a 2.4 per­cent pay raise for uni­formed per­son­nel; re­quires a Pen­tagon strat­egy for deal­ing with Syria once ISIS is de­feated; bars de­tainee trans­fers from the Guan­tanamo Bay, Cuba, mil­i­tary prison; au­tho­rizes 1,594,300 ac­tive-duty, Guard and Re­serve per­son­nel; funds pro­grams for mil­i­tary vic­tims of sex­ual as­sault; and pro­hibits base clo­sures, along with au­tho­riz­ing tens of bil­lions to fund con­ven­tional and nu­clear weapons pro­grams.

Mac Thorn­berry, R-Texas, said the bill pro­vides re­sources for ad­dress­ing “this grow­ing threat com­ing from North Korea” as well as “Iran … the provoca­tive ac­tions of Rus­sia and China … the ter­ror­ist or­ga­ni­za­tions of var­i­ous shades.”

Jim McGovern, D-Mass., called for up­dat­ing the 2001 Au­tho­riza­tion for Use of Mil­i­tary Force as the ba­sis of U.S. war fight­ing in the Mid­dle East, say­ing “the idea that we are us­ing that au­tho­riza­tion to jus­tify our mil­i­tary op­er­a­tions in Syria and a whole bunch of other places in the world is lu­di­crous.”

A yes vote was to pass the bill. Rick Craw­ford (R) French Hill (R)

Steve Wo­mack (R) Bruce Wester­man (R)

Cli­mate change, na­tional

se­cu­rity. Re­jected 185-234, a bill to strip HR2810 (above) of a re­quire­ment for Depart­ment of De­fense reports on the im­pact of cli­mate change on U.S. mil­i­tary in­stal­la­tions and com­bat readi­ness.

Scott Perry, R-Pa., said: “This fed­eral man­date de­tracts from the es­sen­tial mis­sion of the Depart­ment of De­fense, which is to se­cure our na­tion from en­e­mies, and is best left to the agen­cies that are bet­ter suited to deal with these [cli­mate] is­sues.” Jim Langevin, D-R.I., said: “We al­ready see the strate­gic im­pli­ca­tions of new sea lanes be­ing cut in the melt­ing Arc­tic, where coun­tries are seek­ing an eco­nomic ad­van­tage. As we speak, along our coasts, ris­ing seas are af­fect­ing our naval in­stal­la­tions, in­clud­ing at Naval Sta­tion Nor­folk, the home of the At­lantic Fleet.”

A yes vote was to strip the bill of its cli­mate-change re­port­ing re­quire­ment.

Craw­ford (R)

Hill (R)

Wo­mack (R) Wester­man (R)

Fund­ing of trans­gen­der

surgery. Re­fused 209-214, to strip the 2018 mil­i­tary bud­get (HR2810, above) of its author­ity to fund gen­der-change surg­eries and re­lated hor­mone ther­a­pies for mem­bers of the mil­i­tary and their de­pen­dents. The amend­ment did not ap­ply to fund­ing of re­lated men­tal-health coun­sel­ing.

Vicky Hart­zler, R-Mo., said: “Fund­ing tran­si­tion surg­eries with tax dol­lars is es­pe­cially prob­lem­atic be­cause the surgery is very costly. Sur­gi­cal re­cov­ery time de­creases de­ploy­a­bil­ity of our sol­diers, and there is lack of med­i­cal con­sen­sus on the ef­fec­tive­ness of gen­der tran­si­tion treat­ments.”

Mi­nor­ity Leader Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., said: “Make no mis­take, the in­tent of this un­just and mean-spir­ited amend­ment is to ban pa­tri­otic Amer­i­cans from serv­ing our coun­try. It is de­signed to drum trans­gen­der ser­vice mem­bers out of the mil­i­tary.” A yes vote was to adopt the fund­ing ban.

Craw­ford (R)

Hill (R)

Wo­mack (R) Wester­man (R)

Fund­ing Mex­i­can bor­der

wall. Re­jected 190-235, a Demo­cratic bid to bar fund­ing in HR2810 (above) for Pres­i­dent Don­ald Trump’s pro­posal to build a wall and other phys­i­cal bar­ri­ers on the U.S.-Mex­ico bor­der. In its spe­cific lan­guage, the bill nei­ther au­tho­rizes nor pro­hibits wall fund­ing. Ruben Gal­lego, D-Ariz., said the mea­sure “would sim­ply en­sure that [mil­i­tary] re­sources aren’t si­phoned off for a point­less wall that we don’t need and can­not af­ford.”

Mac Thorn­berry, R-Texas, said “there is noth­ing in this bill that funds the con­struc­tion of a bor­der wall.”

A yes vote was to pro­hibit wall fund­ing in the bill.

Craw­ford (R)

Hill (R)

Wo­mack (R) Wester­man (R)

1% cut in mil­i­tary bud­get.

De­feated 73-351, an amend­ment that sought to cut the 2018 mil­i­tary bud­get (HR2810, above) in ar­eas other than health care and per­son­nel by 1 per­cent or $6.2 bil­lion. Jared Po­lis, D-Colo., said: “By spend­ing be­yond our means, we make our­selves eco­nom­i­cally be­holden to other na­tions like China and Saudi Ara­bia. That makes Amer­ica less se­cure rather than more se­cure.”

Michael Turner, R-Ohio, said: “Our mil­i­tary should be hon­ored. It should not be faced with ad­di­tional cuts.” A yes vote was to cut the 2018 mil­i­tary bud­get by $6.2 bil­lion. Craw­ford (R)

Hill (R)

Wo­mack (R) Wester­man (R)


Neomi Rao, reg­u­la­tory czar. Con­firmed 54-41, Neomi Rao to head a unit of the White House and Of­fice of Man­age­ment and Bud­get that over­sees the fed­eral reg­u­la­tory process. Rao, 44, a for­mer clerk to Supreme Court Jus­tice Clarence Thomas, is a fac­ulty mem­ber at Ge­orge Ma­son Univer­sity’s An­tonin Scalia Law School, where she is the found­ing direc­tor of the Cen­ter for the Study of the Ad­min­is­tra­tive State.

No sen­a­tor spoke for the nom­i­nee. Op­po­nent El­iz­a­beth War­ren, D-Mass., said: “Pro­fes­sor Rao is es­pe­cially crit­i­cal of the Con­sumer Fi­nan­cial Pro­tec­tion Bureau. This is the agency that has forced the big­gest cor­po­ra­tions and banks in this coun­try to re­turn more than $12 bil­lion di­rectly to Amer­i­cans they have cheated and held big banks like Wells Fargo ac­count­able when they have ripped off cus­tomers. [She] says the CFPB’s prob­lem is its in­de­pen­dence — se­ri­ously.” A yes vote was to con­firm Rao. John Booz­man (R) Tom Cot­ton (R)

Wil­liam Hagerty, am­bas­sador to Ja­pan. Con­firmed 86-12, Wil­liam F. Hagerty IV, 57, a pri­vate-eq­uity in­vestor, for­mer eco­nomic ad­viser to Pres­i­dent Ge­orge H.W. Bush and mem­ber of Pres­i­dent Trump’s White House tran­si­tion team, as U.S. am­bas­sador to Ja­pan. Hagerty, who is flu­ent in Ja­panese, was com­mis­sioner of the Ten­nessee Depart­ment of Eco­nomic and Com­mu­nity Devel­op­ment between 2001-14.

A yes vote was to con­firm Hagerty. Booz­man (R) Cot­ton (R)

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