The Morning Call (Sunday)
VOTES IN THE U.S. HOUSE
OBJECTING TO ARIZONA’S ELECTORAL VOTES
Voting 121 for and 303 against, the House on Wednesday defeated a bid to reject Arizona’s 11 electoral votes won by President-elect Joe Biden. Opponents of accepting, or certifying, the votes said Congress should appoint a commission to audit the 2020 presidential balloting in Arizona and five other states Biden narrowly carried. The objection was sponsored by Rep. Paul Gosar, R-Ariz., and Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas. Nearly 60% of Republicans who voted supported the objection, while Democrats voted unanimously against it. The vote occurred about nine hours after a violent, armed mob of Trump supporters streamed through the Capitol, destroying property, defiling historical spaces and forcing lawmakers to shelter in place for extended periods, many behind barricaded doors. A yes vote was to reject Arizona’s electoral votes.
No: Brian Fitzpatrick, R-1st (Bucks, parts of Montgomery and Philadelphia); Madeleine Dean, D-4th (Montgomery, parts of Berks); Susan Wild, D-7th (Lehigh, Northampton, parts of Monroe); Matt Cartwright, D-8th, (most of Monroe) Dan Meuser, R-9th, (Schuylkill, parts of Carbon and Berks)
OBJECTING TO PENNSYLVANIA’S ELECTORAL VOTES
Voting 138 for and 282 against, the House on Thursday defeated a bid to deny certification of Pennsylvania’s 20 electoral votes won by Biden. About 68% of Republicans who voted backed the move. All Democrats who voted opposed it. Lodged by Rep. Scott Perry, R-Pa., and Sen. Josh Hawley, R-Mo., the
objection was part of an effort by congressional allies of President Trump to nullify Biden’s victory based on unsubstantiated claims of irregularities that state and federal courts have universally rejected. A yes vote was to reject Pennsylvania’s electoral votes. Yes: Meuser
No: Fitzpatrick, Dean, Wild, Cartwright
H.R. 8: ADOPTING 117TH CONGRESS HOUSE RULES
Voting 217 for and 206 against, the House on Monday adopted rules to govern its operations during the 117th Congress.
The package was added to a body of standing rules that has controlled House proceedings since the 1st Congress in 1789. The new rules would require committees to disclose “truth in testimony” information in real time about witnesses at hearings. This would inform members and the public — before and during the sessions — about any financial or fiduciary interest witnesses have in the topic under discussion. In addition, the rules would:
Allow investigative committees to immediately issue or
reissue subpoenas to former presidents, vice presidents and White House staff in their personal or professional capacities.
Establish a select committee on economic disparity, reauthorize select committees on climate, COVID-19 and the modernization of Congress and make permanent an office protecting whistleblowers against retaliation by their congressional superiors.
Require an ethics rule to prohibit members from circulating by electronic means any
“deep fake” video, audio file or image “that has been distorted or manipulated with the intent to mislead the public.”
Allow members to vote remotely, by proxy, on the House floor and permit committees to conduct business by video links.
Promote transparency in government by broadening the availability of House documents in machine-readable formats and expanding public digital access to committee witness disclosure forms and voting records on amendments and markups.
Give permanent status a diversity office and require committees to state plans for addressing inequities in areas including gender, race and sexual orientation.
Weaken the role of the “motion to recommit” in enabling the minority party to force votes and shape legislation at the close of floor debates and prohibit debate on such motions.
Require the House’s official terminology to be gender-neutral.
Deny access to the House floor to former members convicted of crimes related to their congressional service or election and grant floor privileges to the District of Columbia mayor.
Bar access by registered lobbyists and foreign agents to recreational areas where members work out.
Exempt bills combating the climate crisis or the spread of COVID-19 from “pay as you go” budget rules.
Require members to personally cover the cost of settlements paid to resolve staff members’ charges of misconduct including sexual harassment and discrimination.
Make permanent a requirement that bills considered by the Rules Committee for floor consideration must first receive a committee hearing and markup.
Allow the majority party to “deem” that a congressional budget resolution has been adopted, rather than adopt one.
A yes vote was to adopt the rules package.
Yes: Dean, Wild, Cartwright, No: Fitzpatrick, Meuser