HOUSE

Renewing Export-Import Bank: Voting 235-184, the House on Nov. 15 passed a bill (HR 4863) that would reauthorize the Export-Import Bank's congressional charter through fiscal 2029 while renaming it the United States Export Financing Agency. The bill would increase the bank's lending authority from $135 billion to $175 billion and require at least 5% of its annual financing to support sales of renewable-energy and energy-efficiency products. Established in the New Deal, the bank provides taxpayer-backed financing to help foreign customers purchase U.S. goods and services when private-sector lenders are unable or unwilling to provide the support. A yes vote was to pass HR 4863.

Jeff Van Drew, D-2nd: YES

Andy Kim, D-3rd: YES

Treating fossil fuels and renewable energy equally: Voting 188-232, the House on Nov. 15 defeated a GOP-sponsored amendment that sought to remove from HR 4863 (above) provisions that favor renewable-energy sales abroad over sales of fossil-fuel products. The bill requires sales of renewable-energy goods and services to overseas customers to receive at least 5% of the Export-Import Bank's annual lending authority. In addition, energy-related transactions would have to estimate the volume of carbon dioxide emitted by projects receiving Ex-Im subsidies. In part, the amendment would block creation of a new Ex-Im unit aimed at promoting energy-efficiency and renewable-energy exports and require the bank to weigh the overseas affordability of energy products before approving transactions. A yes vote was to adopt the amendment.

Van Drew: NO

Kim: NO

Barring assistance to Chinese human rights abusers: Voting 203-218, the House on Nov. 15 defeated a GOP-sponsored motion to HR 4863 (above) that sought to place additional requirements on Export-Import Bank assistance designed to facilitate U.S. sales to companies owned by the Chinese government. Among other conditions, the assistance would be denied in cases where the state-owned enterprise has a record of human rights abuses. A yes vote was to adopt the motion.

Van Drew: YES

Kim: NO

SENATE

Chad Wolf, acting secretary of homeland security: Voting 54-41, the Senate on Nov. 13 confirmed Chad F. Wolf as an undersecretary at the Department of Homeland Security. The vote paved the way for his promotion a day later to the post of acting secretary of homeland security. He becomes President Trump's fifth DHS secretary. Because of the "acting" designation, he avoids a confirmation process that would vet his qualifications to run what is the government's third-largest department with 240,000 employees. Democrats called this a misguided end-run around the Senate's constitutional "advice and consent" authority. A former lobbyist, Wolf has held several DHS positions, including chief of staff under former Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen, where he helped develop the administration's policy of breaking up migrant families on the southwest border. A yes vote was to confirm the nominee.

Robert Menendez, D: NO

Cory Booker, D: Not voting

Steven Menashi, federal appeals judge: Voting 51-41, the Senate on Nov. 14 confirmed Steven J. Menashi, a White House counsel and former Department of Education acting counsel, as a judge on the 2nd Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals, which has jurisdiction over district courts in New York, Vermont and Connecticut. Menashi has been a law clerk to Supreme Court Associate Justice Samuel Alito, an attorney in private practice and a law-school professor. He drew Democratic criticism over his authorship of a Department of Education policy denying debt relief to students defrauded by for-profit colleges, and for his stands on issues including Roe v. Wade, gun laws and LGBT rights. A yes vote was to confirm the nominee.

Menendez: NO

Booker: Not voting

Source: Voterama in Congress

Editorial Clerk

I interned with a small magazine in Wildwood before starting at The Press in 2013. I currently handle our Hometown and At The Shore calendar of events submissions and enjoy interacting with the local community.

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