Local

Eyes on Washington: How the Texas congressional delegation voted

The Capitol Dome of the Capitol Building at sunrise Friday in Washington.
The Capitol Dome of the Capitol Building at sunrise Friday in Washington. AP

Senate

Two-Year Budget Deal

Passed: 71-28

The Senate on Feb. 9 passed a bill (HR 1892, above) that would boost discretionary spending by at least $300 billion through the fiscal year ending Sept. 30, 2019, while increasing deficits by a projected $320 billion over 10 years, or $418 billion counting new borrowing costs the bill would trigger. Military programs would receive nearly 60 percent of the spending increase with the remainder going mostly to domestic programs in areas such as education, health care, transportation, social services and job training.

The bill repeals the Independent Payment Advisory Board, a panel of 15 outside health experts created by the Affordable Care Act to help control Medicare costs; renews energy tax breaks in areas ranging from the biofuels to nuclear power; extends a host of other business tax credits and deductions; authorizes the sale of 100 million barrels of oil from the Strategic Petroleum Reserve and raises customs and airport-security fees over 10 years.

A yes vote was to send the bill to the House.

Yes: Cornyn, Cruz

House

Sexual Harassment in U.S. House:

Approved by a non-record, voice vote

On a non-record voice vote, the House on Feb. 6 passed a bipartisan bill (HR 4924) that would reform the way it handles employees’ sexual-harassment allegations against lawmakers. The bill prohibits House members from engaging in a sexual relationship with any staff member they supervise; requires lawmakers to personally pay settlements arising from their misconduct; establishes an employee-advocacy office that provides legal counsel and general support to complainants; allows victims to talk publicly about settlements and requires public disclosure of members’ settlement payments.

The bill was passed on a non-record voice vote and is now before the Senate.

 

Rule for Posting Fast Food Calories

Passed: 266-157

The House voted on a bill (HR 772) that would effectively block a Food and Drug Administration rule on menu labeling set to take effect in May after nearly eight years of drafting. Under the rule, chains of 20 or more locations bearing the same name must prominently display “accurate, clear and consistent” nutrition information — including calorie counts — for standard menu items at the point of sale. If this bill were enacted, the FDA would have to restart its rulemaking process. In part, the bill would allow restaurants to use non-comparable (usually smaller) serving sizes in displaying calories and exempt from the rule most pizza-delivery chains as well as companies that receive less than half their revenue from retail food sales.

A yes vote was to send the bill to the Senate.

Yes: Barton, Granger, Marchant, Williams, Burgess

No: Veasey

 

Deregulation of Home-Lending Rules

Passed: 280-131

The House voted on a bill (HR 1153) that would relax a Consumer Financial Protection Bureau rule designed to curb predatory home-lending practices such as those linked to millions of foreclosures in the 2008-2009 financial meltdown. The rule sets standards for “qualified mortgages,” or QM, in which the borrower is judged a good credit risk, the lender is protected against certain lawsuits and points and fees are capped at 3 percent of the loan amount. This bill would exempt from the cap upfront escrow charges and the cost of title insurance provided by firms affiliated with the lender. Backers said this would help community banks expand home ownership opportunities, while critics said it would inject unnecessary risk into many loans while allowing title companies to charge excessive fees.

A yes vote was to send the bill to the Senate.

Yes: Barton, Granger, Marchant, Williams, Burgess

No: Veasey

 

Provocative Remarks by Arizona Congressman:

Blocked: 231-187

The House voted to block a Democratic attempt to force consideration of a resolution formally condemning Rep. Paul Gosar, R-Ariz., for having asked the U.S. Capitol police to arrest undocumented immigrants in attendance at President Trump’s State of the Union address. Several undocumented aliens known as “dreamers” were there as guests of Democratic members. Gosar said in one tweet: ‘‘Any illegal aliens attempting to go through security, under any pretext of invitation or otherwise, should be arrested and deported.’’ As a privileged resolution (H Res 726), the measure was not debatable.

A yes vote was in opposition to condemning Gosar for his comments.

Yes: Barton, Granger, Marchant, Williams, Burgess

No: Veasey

 

Two-Year Budget Deal

Passed: 240-186

The House on Feb. 9 passed a federal budget (HR 1892) that would increase discretionary spending by at least $300 billion over present levels over two years and raise the national debt ceiling through February 2019. The bill would provide $6 billion for fighting opioid addiction and $20 billion for infrastructure projects over two years while funding $90 billion in disaster aid for California, Texas, Florida, Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands. The bill is projected to push the 2018 deficit above $1 trillion and increase annual deficits by at least $320 billion over 10 years, or $418 billion counting new borrowing costs the bill would trigger.

A yes vote was to send the bill to President Trump.

Yes: Granger, Marchant, Williams, Burgess

No: Barton, Veasey

Your U.S. lawmakers

Senators

John Cornyn, R

517 Hart Senate Office Building, Washington, D.C. 20510

5001 Spring Valley Road, Suite 1125E, Dallas, TX 75244

202-224-2934; 972-239-1310

www.cornyn.senate.gov

Twitter @JohnCornyn

 

Ted Cruz, R

Russell Senate Office Building, Suite 404, Washington, D.C. 20510

3626 N. Hall St., Suite 410, Dallas, TX 75219

202-224-5922; 214-599-8749

www.cruz.senate.gov

Twitter @SenTedCruz

 

Representatives

Joe Barton, R-Ennis

2107 Rayburn House Office Building, Washington, D.C. 20515

6001 W. Ronald Reagan Memorial Highway, Suite 200, Arlington, TX 76017

202-225-2002; 817-543-1000

www.joebarton.house.gov

Twitter @RepJoeBarton

 

Michael Burgess, R-Pilot Point

2336 Rayburn House Office Building, Washington, D.C. 20515

2000 S. Stemmons Fwy., Suite 200, Lake Dallas, TX 75065

202-225-7772; 940- 497-5031

www.burgess.house.gov

Twitter @michaelcburgess

 

Kay Granger, R-Fort Worth

1026 Longworth House Office Building, Washington, D.C. 20515

1701 River Run Road, Suite 407, Fort Worth, TX 76107

202-225-5071; 817-338-0909

www.kaygranger.house.gov

Twitter @RepKayGranger

 

Kenny Marchant, R-Coppell

1110 Longworth House Office Building, Washington, D.C. 20515

9901 E. Valley Ranch Parkway, Suite 3035, Irving, TX 75063

202-225-6605; 972-556-0162

www.marchant.house.gov

Twitter @RepKenMarchant

 

Marc Veasey, D-Fort Worth

1519 Longworth House Office Building,Washington, DC 20515

6707 Brentwood Stair Road, Suite 200, Fort Worth, TX 76112

202-225-9897; 817-920-9086

www.veasey.house.gov

Twitter @RepVeasey

 

Roger Williams, R-Austin

1323 Longworth House Office Building, Washington, D.C. 20515;

1005 Congress Ave., Suite 925, Austin, TX 78701

202-225-9896; 512-473-8910

www.williams.house.gov

Twitter @RepRWilliams

Courtesy of Voterama in Congress

  Comments