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Votes for week of June 8-12 by St. Louis-area members of Congress

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How St. Louis-area members of Congress voted in the week of June 8-12. The votes and descriptions are compiled by “Voterama in Congress” a legislative tracking organization.

House

Force Against ISIS • The House on June 11 refused, 196-231, to require Congress to authorize by next March America’s war against Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS) forces. Linked to combat funding, the proposed new authority would replace two post-9/11 congressional votes as the legal underpinning of the ongoing war. A yes vote was to push Congress toward a war-authorization vote that would supplant the 2001 Authorization for Use of Military Force (AUMF) and 2002 Iraq war resolution. (HR 2685)

Yes • William Lacy Clay, D-St. Louis.

No • John Shimkus, R-Collinsville; Rodney Davis, R-Taylorville; Mike Bost, R-Murphysboro; Blaine Luetkemeyer, R-St. Elizabeth; Ann Wagner, R-Ballwin.

2016 Military Appropriations • Voting 278-149, the House on June 11 approved $578.6 billion in 2016 military appropriations, including $50 billion for war actions abroad and a similar sum for military health care. A yes vote was to pass a bill (HR 2685) that funds a 2.3 percent military pay raise and sets troop strengths of 1.309 million active-duty personnel and 819,200 Guard and reserve personnel.

Yes • Davis, Wagner, Shimkus, Bost, Luetkemeyer.

No • Clay.

Beef, Pork, Chicken Labeling • The House on June 10 voted, 300-131, to end country-of-origin labeling requirements for beef, pork and chicken sold in U.S. retail food stores. Bill backers said the labeling violates global trade rules and thus invites retaliation against U.S. products, while foes said polling shows more than 90 percent of U.S. consumers support the labeling law. A yes vote was to send HR 2393 to the Senate.

Yes • Davis, Wagner, Shimkus, Bost, Luetkemeyer.

No • Clay.

Rail Tanker Safety • The House on June 9 affirmed a Department of Transportation rule to require stronger construction of rail cars that haul highly flammable materials such as tar-sands and Bakken crude oil. The 136-286 vote defeated an amendment to HR 2577 that sought to deny funding for enforcing the DOT rule. A yes vote was to kill the rule.

Yes • Wagner, Luetkemeyer.

No • Clay, Davis, Shimkus, Bost.

Financial Deregulation • The House on June 9 voted, 246-171, to reauthorize the Commodity Futures Trading Commission through 2019 while curbing its regulatory powers. A yes vote was to pass HR 2289, which subjects new CFTC rules to lengthy cost-benefit studies and scales back the agency’s regulation of the derivatives market.

Yes • Davis, Wagner, Shimkus, Bost, Luetkemeyer.

No • Clay.

Trans-Pacific Trade Agreement • The House considered HR 1314 in two parts. It approved (219-211) allowing a proposed 12-nation trade agreement known as the Trans-Pacific Partnership to move through Congress at some later date without amendments or Senate filibusters. But it defeated (126-302) the part authorizing Trade Adjustment Assistance, which brought down the overall bill and delivered a defeat to President Barack Obama’s trade agenda.

Yes • Davis, Wagner, Shimkus, Bost, Luetkemeyer.

No • Clay, D-St. Louis.

Trade Adjustment Assistance • The House on June 12 refused, 126-302, to authorize $450 million annually in Trade Adjustment Assistance, a program that provides retraining and temporary financial aid for workers dislocated by free-trade agreements while funding professional assistance for companies injured by foreign trade. A yes vote was to approve the funds as part of HR 1314 (above).

Yes • Davis, Wagner, Shimkus, Bost, Luetkemeyer.

No • Clay.

GOP Instructions to Negotiators • The House on June 12 voted, 240-190, to require U.S. trade officials to pursue certain policies, including ideologically conservative positions on issues such as immigration and climate change, as they negotiate the Trans-Pacific Partnership. A yes vote backed HR 644, a GOP-sponsored bill that also bolsters customs enforcement.

Yes • Davis, Wagner, Shimkus, Bost, Luetkemeyer.

No • Clay.

Senate

Military Spending Dispute • The Senate on June 9 upheld, 46-51, a GOP plan to sidestep legally binding caps on the fiscal 2016 Pentagon budget (HR 1735) by shifting $38 billion in conventional military spending to an uncapped emergency war account. A yes vote was to kill a GOP tactic of raising military outlays by circumventing spending caps.

Yes • Claire McCaskill, D-Mo.; Dick Durbin, D-Ill.

No • Roy Blunt, R-Mo.; Mark Kirk, R-Ill.

Military Budget, Cybersecurity • The Senate on June 11 failed, 56-40, to reach 60 votes for attaching a cybersecurity bill to the $612 billion military budget for 2016 (HR 1735), which remained in debate. Democrats wanted to keep the bills separate in case President Obama decides to veto the military bill, while Republicans called them a good fit. A yes vote was to combine the two bills.

Yes • Kirk, Blunt.

No • McCaskill, Durbin.

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Chuck Raasch is a reporter for the St. Louis Post-Dispatch.

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