HOUSE

Expanding consumer rights in credit reports: The House on Wednesday voted 221-189 to require firms such as Equifax, Experian and Trans Union to adopt certain consumer-friendly procedures in judging the creditworthiness of the hundreds of millions of Americans in their portfolios. Overseen by the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, the bill would prohibit firms from reporting on debt incurred for life-saving medical treatments; delay for one year credit reporting on all other forms of medical debt; reduce from seven to four years the retention period for adverse information; prohibit most employers from basing workplace decisions on credit reports unless they are required by law to do so; and enable delinquent student-loan borrowers to repair their credit by making at least nine of 10 consecutive monthly payments on the loan on time. A yes vote was to send HR 3621 to the Senate.

Jeff Van Drew, R-2nd: NO

Andy Kim, D-3rd: YES 

Defining models for credit scores: Voting 201-208, the House on Wednesday defeated a Republican motion that sought to prohibit credit reports compiled under the terms of HR 3621 (above) from using models that factor in the individual's "political opinions, religious expression or other expression protected by the First Amendment." The amendment would forbid the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau from requiring such models even though the agency has no plans to do so. A yes vote was to adopt the amendment.

Van Drew: YES

Kim: NO

Asserting congressional control over war with Iran: Voting 228-175, the House on Thursday adopted an amendment to HR 550 that would deny funding of any U.S. military action against Iran or its proxy forces that lacks congressional authorization, except when there is an imminent threat to the United States, its armed forces or its territories. The measure asserts the sole constitutional power of Congress to declare war as spelled out in the 1973 War Powers Resolution. The president would have to notify Congress within 48 hours if he marshals the U.S. military against Iran, then withdraw the forces within a specified period unless Congress votes to authorize the action. A yes vote was to amend the bill and send it to the Senate.

Van Drew: NO

Kim: YES

Repealing Iraq War resolution: Voting 236-166, the House on Thursday adopted an amendment to HR 550 (above) that would repeal the 2002 Iraq War resolution, which has been cited as the legal basis of U.S. military actions in Iraq and numerous other global theaters over the past 18 years, including the recent U.S. assassination at the Baghdad airport of Iranian General Qasem Soleimani. Congress would have six months to update U.S. war authority, and until it does so, the president could immediately deploy forces to protect national security without seeking congressional approval. Opponents said the lapse would endanger U.S. troops and increase American exposure to terrorist attacks. A yes vote was to amend the bill and send it to the Senate.

Van Drew: NO

Kim: YES

SENATE

Denying impeachment trial witnesses: Voting 51-49, the Senate on Friday defeated a motion to allow votes on subpoenas for witnesses and documents in the impeachment trial of President Donald Trump. The only senators breaking party ranks were Republicans Susan Collins of Maine and Mitt Romney of Utah, who voted with Democrats in favor of issuing subpoenas. The motion did not name potential witnesses, but Democrats said in debate they wished to subpoena, among others, John Bolton, Trump's former national security adviser, for testimony about topics including his reported conversations with the president about Trump's solicitation of personal political favors from Ukrainian officials in return for his release of nearly $400 million in U.S. military aid to Ukraine. Trump defenders said the Senate should make its decision on removing him from office based on evidence submitted by the House.

Robert Menendez, D: YES

Cory Booker, D: YES

Prohibiting testimony by John Bolton: Voting 51-49, the Senate on Friday killed a Democrat-sponsored motion to subpoena John Bolton, the former national security adviser to Trump, to testify in the president's impeachment trial. This followed defeat of a broader motion (above) authorizing the trial to subpoena relevant witnesses and documents so far withheld by the president and his defenders from House and Senate impeachment proceedings. Bolton, who has said he will testify if subpoenaed, has finished a manuscript reportedly containing firsthand accounts of actions and comments by Trump over several months in 2019 at the heart of the Democrats' impeachment case. This was a party-line vote except that Republicans Susan Collins of Maine and Mitt Romney of Utah voted with Democrats in favor of calling Bolton to testify.

Menendez: NO

Booker: NO

Source: Richard Thomas, 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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