My Votes – Week of September 12

Sep 22, 2022
Votes

RULE BILLS

A rule bill is a bill passed through a full House vote under a rule that has been voted and agreed upon by the Rules Committee. Rule bills require a simple majority of the House to pass (218 votes) through a recorded vote.

9/14/2022

H.Res. 1339, including passage of H.R. 1468, H.R. 5865; H.R. 5916, H.R. 7735, H.R. 7846; H.R. 7939, H.R. 8260, & S. 4205.

Securities and Exchange Commission Real Estate Leasing Authority Revocation Act, Leonard Scarcella Post Office Building Act, Wounded Warrior Access Act, Improving Access to the VA Home Loan Benefit Act, Veterans’ Compensation Cost-of-Living Adjustment Act, Student Veteran Emergency Relief Act, Faster Payments to Veterans’ Survivors Act, and the PAW Act

Passed  |  397-29
My Vote  |  YES

These bills were voted on together en bloc.

The bloc included the following 8 bills:

1) a bill that revokes the authority of the SEC to lease general purpose office space and instead provides for the General Services Administration to lease such space for the SEC;
2) a bill designating the facility of the USPS located at 4110 Bluebonnet Drive in Stafford, Texas as the “Leonard Scarcella Post Office Building;”
3) a bill requiring the VA to establish and maintain a secure, internet-based website to enable a claimant or their representative to make records requests related to VA claims and benefits;
4) a bill requiring the VA to update regulations, requirements and guidance related to appraisals for housing loans guaranteed by the VA;
5) a bill requiring the VA to increase the amounts payable for wartime disability compensation, additional compensation for dependents, the clothing allowance for certain disabled veterans, and dependency and indemnity compensation for surviving spouses and children; 
6) a bill providing permanent authority for the application of certain flexibilities to assist veterans with their educational assistance benefits during emergency situations (as declared by the president);
7) a bill modifying policies and procedures related to the payment of benefits under certain life insurance programs administered by the VA, and 8) a bill to direct FEMA to establish a working group relating to best practices and federal guidance for animals in emergencies and disasters.


9/15/2022

H.R. 2988

Whistleblower Protection Improvement Act of 2021

Passed  |  221-203
My Vote  |  I was not present in the chamber during this vote.

This bill establishes, modifies, and expands certain whistleblower protections for federal employees, including with respect to petitions to Congress, whistleblower identity, and protected disclosures. While I support the ability for well-intentioned whistleblowers to come forward and report instances of waste, fraud, and abuse, and many laws are on the books that provide whistleblower protections without fear of reprisal. This legislation empowers bad actors to abuse the system by shielding employees from accountability or scrutiny on their claims.


9/15/2022

H.R. 8326

Ensuring a Fair and Accurate Census Act

Passed  |  220-208
My Vote  |  NO

This bill addresses the operations of the Bureau of the Census. I voted against this bill because it delegates new authorities and protections to the Census Director, drastically decreasing the number of political appointees, and shielding the Census Bureau from its accountability to the President under current law.


9/15/2022

H.R. 302

PPSA Act of 2021

Passed  |  225-204
My Vote  |  NO

This bill prohibits executive agency positions in the competitive service from being placed in the excepted service, unless such positions are placed in Schedules A through E as in effect on September 30, 2020. The bill also prohibits positions in the excepted service from being placed in any schedule other than the aforementioned schedules. I voted against this bill because it furthers policies that do not allow for federal bureaucrats to be held accountable for their job performance.


SUSPENSION BILLS

A suspension bill is a bill passed by the House through suspending the rules to move quickly, circumventing the House Rules Committee. Suspension bills are typically less controversial pieces of legislation, and as the rules are being suspended, they require a higher threshold, two-thirds of those voting in the House, to pass. Additionally, these bills are often passed by a voice vote, without a formal roll call vote.

9/13/2022

S. 4785

A bill to extend by 19 days the authorization for the special assessment for the Domestic Trafficking Victims’ Fund.

Passed  |  415-0
My Vote  |  YES

This bill extends the special assessment of $5,000 on nonindigent persons or entities convicted of certain offenses involving sexual abuse or human trafficking until September 30, 2022. Currently, the special assessment expires on September 11, 2022.


9/13/2022

H.R. 5315

Drone Infrastructure Inspection Grant Act

Passed  |  308-110
My Vote  |  I was not present in the chamber during this vote.

This bill establishes programs within the Department of Transportation (DOT) to support the use of drones and other small, unmanned aircraft systems when inspecting, repairing, or constructing road infrastructure, electric grid infrastructure, water infrastructure, or other critical infrastructure.


9/13/2022

H.R. 884

National Aviation Preparedness Plan Act of 2022

Passed  |  293-133
My Vote  |  YES

This bill directs the Department of Transportation (DOT) to develop a national aviation preparedness plan for communicable disease outbreaks, including to require that frontline at-risk employees are equipped with appropriate personal protective equipment to reduce the likelihood of exposure to a communicable disease that has the potential to cause an epidemic or pandemic of infectious disease that would constitute a public health emergency of international concern.


9/14/2022

H.R. 5774

Expediting Disaster Recovery Act

Passed  |  406-20
My Vote  |  YES

This bill authorizes the president, after the declaration of a major disaster, to direct the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) to provide assistance necessary for meeting unmet needs as a result of such disaster.


9/13/2022

H.R. 1066

Wildfire Recovery Act

Passed  |  328-88

My Vote  |  I was not present in the chamber during this vote

This bill makes changes with respect to the federal cost share for Fire Management Assistance Grants and provides that the federal share shall be not less than 75% of the eligible cost. Specifically, the bill directs the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) to conduct and complete a rulemaking to develop guidelines and a rule that establishes thresholds for cases in which the federal cost share for such grants may be increased. Such thresholds shall use a fire-specific metric to determine fire damage and recommend a federal share adjustment for fire damage that meets the established thresholds.


9/14/2022

S. 2293

CREW Act

Passed  |  387-38

My Vote  |  YES

This bill makes employment protections under the Uniformed Services Employment and Reemployment Rights Act (USERRA) applicable to Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) reservists who deploy to major disaster and emergency sites. It allows such reservists to claim such rights under USERRA even if they do not provide notice of their absence from work due to deployment.


9/14/2022

S. 2293

BRIGHT Act

Passed  |  347-78

My Vote  |  YES

This bill expands requirements relating to the procurement and use of energy-efficient lighting in federal buildings. Under current law, public buildings that are constructed or managed by the General Services Administration (GSA) must be equipped with energy-efficient light bulbs and fixtures. Under the bill, buildings must be equipped with the most life-cycle cost effective and energy-efficient lighting systems available, including with respect to sensors, fixture distribution, and other elements. The bill also specifically establishes requirements relating to the procurement of such lighting systems and modifies other requirements accordingly.

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