Albuquerque Journal



For the week ending September 15

Contact your legislator­s at the U.S. Capitol Zip codes: House 20515, Senate 20510 Capitol operator: (202) 224-3121

By Voterama In Congress

© 2017 Thomas Reports Inc.

DEPORTATIO­N OF ALIEN GANG MEMBERS: Voting 233 for and 175 against, 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.


EXEMPTION FOR RELIGIOUS GROUPS: Voting 184 for and 220 against, 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.


$416.3 BILLION SPENDING PACKAGE: Voting 211 for and 198 against, 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 $416.3 billion 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 non-emergency 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.


HURRICANE SPENDING VS. BORDER WALL: Voting 186 for and 223 against, the House on Sept. 14 defeated a Democratic- sponsored bid to increase pre-disaster 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 Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) storm-mitigation accounts.


REPEAL OF 9/11 WAR RESOLUTION: Voting 61 for and 36 against, 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 that 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.


KEVIN HASSETT CONFIRMATI­ON: Voting 81 for and 16 against, 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.


 ??  ?? HOUSE
Ben Ray Luján (D) Steve Pearce (R) Michelle Lujan Grisham (D)
HOUSE Ben Ray Luján (D) Steve Pearce (R) Michelle Lujan Grisham (D)
 ??  ?? SENATE
Martin Heinrich (D) Tom Udall (D)
SENATE Martin Heinrich (D) Tom Udall (D)

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