With the House of Representatives on recess, all of the action in Congress during the week of July 30-Aug. 3 was in the Senate, where votes on everything from election security to military spending took place. Here’s how St. Louis-area members voted:
Denial of election-security funds for states • Voting 50-47, the Senate on Aug. 1 failed to reach 60 votes needed to provide $250 million in fiscal 2019 for grants to help states upgrade voting equipment and fortify electoral systems. Both chambers have now voted to “zero out” such funding in the new fiscal year. A yes vote was to add election-security funds to a $154.2 billion appropriations bill (HR 6147, below).
Yes • Claire McCaskill, D-Mo.; Tammy Duckworth, D-Ill.; Dick Durbin, D-Ill.
No • Roy Blunt, R-Mo.
Retention of D.C. individual mandate • Voting 54-44, the Senate on Aug. 1 tabled (killed) an amendment to HR 6147 (below) that sought to strip an individual mandate from the District of Columbia health-insurance law. Although Congress has outlawed the Affordable Care Act’s individual mandate starting in 2019, jurisdictions, including D.C. and Vermont, have imposed a similar requirement in an effort to hold down premium costs in their ACA marketplaces. A yes vote backed D.C.’s individual mandate requiring residents to obtain health insurance or face a fine.
Yes • Duckworth, Durbin, McCaskill
No • Blunt
Passage of $154.2 billion spending bill • The Senate on Aug. 1 passed, 92-6, a bill (HR 6147) combining four of the 12 appropriations bills that fund the government into a package totaling $154.2 billion. A yes vote was to approve fiscal 2019 budgets for five cabinet departments and a wide array of agencies.
Yes • Blunt, McCaskill, Durbin, Duckworth
Approval of $717 billion for military • Voting 87-10, the Senate on Aug. 1 gave final congressional approval to a bill that would authorize a $717 billion military budget for fiscal 2019, including $69 billion for war-fighting overseas and $57 billion for retiree and active-duty health care. The bill also would lift a ban on the development of sea-launched low-yield nuclear weapons, fund a military parade in Washington requested by President Donald Trump and weapons systems and set a 2.6 percent pay raise for uniformed personnel. A yes vote supported HR 5515.
Yes • McCaskill, Blunt, Duckworth
No • Durbin
Temporary extension of flood insurance • The Senate on July 31 passed, 88-12, a bill (S 1182) that would extend the National Flood Insurance Program through Nov. 30, giving lawmakers more time to consider proposed reforms of a program now running a $20 billion deficit even after receiving a $16 billion taxpayer bailout in recent years. A yes vote was to pass the bill.
Yes • Durbin, Duckworth, Blunt, McCaskill
Key votes ahead
Both chambers are in recess in the week of August 6.
The votes and descriptions are compiled by Voterama in Congress a legislative tracking organization.