WASHINGTON >> Here’s how area members of Congress voted on major issues during the legislative week of Nov. 13-17. Readers can visit www.VoteFacts.com to research other top issues and individual voting records in the current 118th Congress and recent 117th Congress.
Continuing resolution to keep government open
Voting 336 for and 95 against, the House on Nov. 14 passed a bill (HR 6363) that would fund federal operations until early next year, averting a partial shutdown set to occur Nov. 17. Sponsored by Speaker Mike Johnson, R-
La., the continuing resolution (CR) needed Democratic votes to advance because several dozen members of the Republican caucus turned against it. It was supported by all but two of the 211 Democrats who voted and 127 of the 220 Republicans who voted. The bill funds the government at current levels while denying the administration’s emergency-aid requests for
Israel and Ukraine. The CR funds some departments and agencies until Jan. 19 and others until Feb. 2. Democrats said they agreed to help Johnson pass the bill because it omits steep funding cuts and radical policy changes advocated by hard-right GOP members.
A yes vote was to send the bill to the Senate.
U.S. Rep. Marc Molinaro, R-Catskill; and US Rep. Pat Ryan, D-Gardiner, voted yes.
Defunding scientific research into gun violence
Voting 216 for and 211 against, the House on Nov. 15 adopted an amendment that would defund scientific research by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) into the causes of gun violence. The premise of the research is that America’s firearm mountings carnage is an issue of public health as well as factors such as law enforcement. This amendment was added to a GOP-drafted bill (HR 5894) funding the CDC and other agencies and departments in fiscal year 2024. The bill remained as unfinished business because the House Republican majority could not muster enough votes to pass it. The Biden administration requested $35 million for CDC gun violence
research in 2024, nearly three times the comparable 2023 figure.
A yes vote was to adopt the amendment.
Molinaro voted yes. Ryan voted no.
Proposed 60 percent cut in student financial aid
Voting 85 for and 350 against, the House on Nov. 14 defeated an amendment to reduce financial assistance for students in higher education by nearly 60 percent in fiscal 2024. The amendment targeted an account used to fund grants and loans including Pell Grants for students from low-income families. Offered to a fiscal 2024 appropriations bill (HR 5894) that remained in debate, the amendment sought to reduce the Department of Education’s student financial assistance account from $22 billion to $9.25 billion in fiscal year 2024.
A yes vote was to adopt the amendment.
Molinaro and Ryan voted no.
Stopgap budget to keep government open
Voting 87 for and 11 against, the Senate on Nov. 14 joined the House (above) in passing a stopgap spending bill (HR 6363) that would fund the 15 federal departments and related agencies until early next year at current
spending levels. The bill provides appropriations until Jan. 19 for the departments of Agriculture, Energy, Housing and Urban Development, Transportation and Veterans Affairs, and through Feb. 2 for Commerce, Defense, Education, Health and Human Services, Homeland Security, Interior, Justice, Labor, State and Treasury. House Speaker Mike Johnson said the
laddered approach would give the two chambers more flexibility to negotiate appropriations for the remainder of fiscal 2024 on a bill-by-bill basis. Democrats accepted the two-tier approach, but said they expect House Republicans to honor spending levels negotiated by former Speaker
Kevin McCarthy and President Biden in May.
A yes vote was to send the bill to President Biden, who signed it into law.
New York Democratic Sens. Chuck Schumer and Kirsten Gillibrand voted yes.
Republicans’ stand-alone aid to Israel
Voting 51 for and 48 against, the Senate on Nov. 14 blocked an attempt to call up a House-passed Republican bill (HR 6126) that would appropriate $14.2 billion in emergency military aid to Israel while reducing the Internal Revenue
Service budget by the same amount, increasing deficits by a projected $12.5 billion over 10 years. Senate Democratic leaders have declared the House bill dead on arrival. They are pushing for Senate approval in coming weeks of a $105 billion emergency funding request by President Biden that includes $60.4 billion in military and economic aid to Ukraine, $14.2 billion
in military aid to Israel, $13.6 billion for securing America’s southern border and humanitarian aid for the Gaza Strip, among other outlays.
A yes vote was to block consideration of the House’s Israeli aid bill.
Schumer and Gillibrand voted yes.
Key votes ahead >> Congress is in Thanksgiving recess during the week of Nov. 20.
VoteFacts.com News Reports is a nonpartisan, fact-based news service whose mission is to help civically engaged individuals and organizations track major actions in the US House and Senate. Readers can visit www.VoteFacts.com to research other top issues and individual voting records in the current 118th Congress and recent 117th Congress.