HOUSE

Condemning anti-Israel movement: The House on July 23 voted, 398-17, to condemn the anti-Israel “BDS” movement, which is a global campaign encouraging businesses and other entities to boycott, divest from and sanction Israel and firms owned by Israelis. A yes vote was to adopt H Res 246.

Jeff Van Drew, D-2nd: YES

Andy Kim, D-3rd: YES

Shoring up union pensions: Voting 264-169, the House on July 24 passed a bill (HR 397) that would establish a Treasury Department office to stabilize failing multi-employer pension plans for union workers. The office would issue bonds and make 30-year, low-interest loans to up to 160 such plans. The Congressional Budget Office projects that the program would cost taxpayers $48.5 billion over its first 10 years. A yes vote was to send HR 397 to the Senate.

Van Drew: YES

Kim: YES

Second vote on ‘BDS’ movement: Voting 200-232, the House on July 24 defeated a GOP motion stipulating that no pension plans receiving loans under HR 397 (above) could participate in the so-called ‘BDS’ movement against Israel (above). Backers of the motion offered no evidence of any union participation in the movement, and critics said Republicans were using Israel as a wedge issue. A yes vote was to adopt the motion.

Van Drew: YES

Kim: NO

Requiring humane treatment of migrants: The House on July 24 voted, 233-195, to raise standards for the administration’s treatment of migrants, requiring prompt medical screenings and sheltering in humane conditions. A yes vote was to pass HR 3239, which would enlist the assistance of child-welfare professionals.

Van Drew: YES

Kim: YES

Approving temporary legal status for Venezuelan migrants: The House on July 25 passed, 272-158, a bill (HR 549) granting Temporary Protected Status to an estimated 200,000 Venezuelan nationals who have taken refuge in the United States from turmoil at home. TPS grants residency and work permits for 18 months to migrants from certain nations. A yes vote was to send the bill to the Senate.

Van Drew: YES

Kim: YES

Approving two-year budget deal: The House on July 25 voted, 284-149, to raise the national debt limit through July 2021 while raising caps on both military and domestic spending through September 2021. The bill prohibits tax increases but makes slight entitlement cuts over two years to partially offset rising red ink. The bill would allow military spending to increase by $46.5 billion and discretionary non-military spending by $56.5 billion over fiscal 2019 levels. A yes vote was to send HR 3877 to the Senate.

Van Drew: YES

Kim: YES

SENATE

9/11 victims’ compensation: The Senate on July 23 voted, 97-2, to reauthorize the September 11th Victim Compensation Fund through fiscal 2090. Although the bill is projected to cost $10.2 billion in its first 10 years, and countless billions after that as cancers and other latent diseases emerge, it does not include a “pay for” mechanism or long-term funding means (next issue). A yes vote was to pass a bill that ensures full payment of damages to 9/11 first responders and cleanup participants and their survivors. (HR 1327)

Robert Menendez, D: YES

Cory Booker, D: YES

Paying for 9/11 bill: Voting 22-77, the Senate on July 23 failed to reach 60 votes needed to advance a measure that sought to cut mandatory spending (except for Medicare, Social Security and veterans) by less than 1 percent over 10 years to help pay the cost of HR 1327 (above). The defeat of this amendment means that all Treasury payments into the 9/11 compensation fund will be deficit spending. A yes vote was to advance the across-the-board spending cut.

Menendez: NO

Booker: NO

Confirming Mark Esper as Secretary of Defense: The Senate on July 23 confirmed, 90-8, Mark T. Esper as the 27th secretary of defense since the office was established in 1947. He had been secretary of the Army, and before that he was a lobbyist for the defense contractor Raytheon. A yes vote was to confirm Esper.

Menendez: YES

Booker: Not voting

Confirming Gen. Mark Milley as Joint Chiefs Chairman: Voting 89-1, the Senate on July 25 confirmed Army Gen. Mark A. Milley to become chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, replacing Marine Corps. Gen. Joseph F. Dunford as the nation’s top leader in uniform. Sen. Jeff Merkley, D-Ore., cast the negative vote. A yes vote was to confirm Milley.

Menendez: YES

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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