1. Arms to Bahrain, war in Yemen: Voted, 77-21, to table a measure (SJ Res 65) that would block the administration’s planned sale of $300 million in U.S. arms to Bahrain.
The package consists mainly of surface-tosurface missiles and mobile rocket launching units along with American technical support. Bahrain, part of a Saudiled coalition waging war in Yemen, is host to the U.S. Navy’s 5th Fleet.
A yes vote was to support a planned arms sale to Bahrain.
2. Invasive species, Coast Guard budget: Passed, 94-6, a bill (S 140) that would combat the problem of vessels discharging ballast water that introduces invasive aquatic species into the Great Lakes and Atlantic and Pacific ports. The bill authorizes the Environmental Protection Agency to regulate such discharges under the Clean Water Act while giving the
Coast Guard power to enforce compliance and allowing Great Lakes states to set stronger regional standards.
In addition, the bill requires the Coast Guard to assess its mission in the Arctic, where climate change is melting ice formations and opening navigable waterways. The bill authorizes $20.7 billion for the Coast Guard in fiscal 2018-19, up 14 percent from 2016-17.
A yes vote was to send the bill to the House.
3. Michelle Bowman, Federal Reserve governor: Confirmed, 64-34, Michelle Bowman, the top banking regulator in Kansas and a former community bank executive, to the board of governors of the Federal Reserve System.
Bowman also was employed at the Federal Emergency Management Agency and Department of Homeland Security in the George W. Bush administration. The term for her seat expires in 2020. Five of the Fed’s seven board seats are now filled.
A yes vote was to confirm the nominee. itary operations in Yemen to receive congressional authorization under the 1976 War Powers Act.
The resolution (H Con Res 138) addressed the Pentagon’s support of Saudi-led air attacks on Iran-backed Houthi forces in Yemen.
That support, which until recently included aerial refueling of Saudi warplanes, began about 2015 but has never received congressional authorization or more than fleeting debate in the House and Senate chambers.
A yes vote backed a rule that prohibited debate on a measure spotlighting U.S. military involvement in Yemen.