Politics & Government

Eyes on Washington: How the Texas congressional delegation voted

Rep. Kay Granger, R-Texas, bottom right, stands near Speaker of the House Paul Ryan, R-Wis., as he speaks after the passage of a sweeping $1.2 trillion spending bill last September.
Rep. Kay Granger, R-Texas, bottom right, stands near Speaker of the House Paul Ryan, R-Wis., as he speaks after the passage of a sweeping $1.2 trillion spending bill last September. AP

Senate

Renewal of Surveillance Law

Passed: 65-34

The Senate voted to give final congressional approval to a six-year extension (S 139) of Section 702 of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA). The post 9-11 law is a key government tool for detecting and preventing foreign-based terrorist activity, but also a target of criticism that it imperils the privacy rights of innocent Americans.

The law gives agencies including the National Security Agency (NSA) and FBI warrantless access to commercial databases of foreigners’ voice and digital communications — phone calls, emails, online chats, text messaging and social-media postings — that pass through wireless and landline facilities in the United States. If agencies use the databases to target Americans suspected of terrorist connections, they must obtain FISA-court warrants based on probable cause. When the government inadvertently sweeps up innocent Americans’ communications, the information must be expunged or disregarded, although the law lacks a means for outsiders to see if that has occurred.

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

Yes: Cornyn, Cruz

House

Funding to Keep Government Open

Passed: 230-197

The House voted on a GOP-drafted bill (HR 195) that would fund agencies from Jan. 20 through Feb. 16 while renewing the Children’s Health Insurance Program for six years. The measure was intended to avert a partial government shutdown at midnight the next day. It was the fourth stopgap bill offered by the Republican majority after having failed to garner enough votes to pass a regular budget for the fiscal year that began on Oct. 1, 2017.

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

Yes: Barton, Granger, Marchant, Williams, Burgess

No: Veasey

 

Call for Impeachment of President Trump

Tabled: 355-66

The House voted to table (kill) a resolution (H Res 705) calling for the impeachment of President Trump based on “high misdemeanors” primarily involving the president’s inflammatory and defamatory Twitter postings and public and private statements. The measure was sponsored by Al Green, D-Texas, under a House rule that entitles any member, on two days’ notice, to offer a “privileged resolution” from the floor within broad limits on subject matter. There was no debate on the resolution.

A yes vote was in opposition to consideration of the impeachment measure.

Yes: Barton, Granger, Marchant, Williams, Burgess

Absent: Veasey

 

Abortion, Criminal Penalties

Passed: 241-183

The House voted on a GOP-drafted bill (HR 4712) that restates a 2002 law intended to protect fetuses that survive an attempted abortion. The bill adds criminal penalties for doctors and nurses who fail to provide post-abortion medical treatment defined by Congress. Existing law makes it a federal crime for any health practitioner to fail to provide adequate care to a fetus that is alive outside the womb following an attempted abortion. The law defines a fetus in those circumstances as a person with full legal protections regardless of their stage of development.

The current bill, the Born-Alive Survivors Protection Act, requires surviving fetuses to be immediately transported to a hospital and makes doctors and nurses subject to prison terms if they fail to do so. It would shield the mother from prosecution. According to the nonpartisan Congressional Research Service, “born alive” means a fetus which after removal from the mother “breathes or has a beating heart, pulsation of the umbilical cord, or definite movement of voluntary muscles, regardless of whether the umbilical cord has been cut.”

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

Yes: Barton, Granger, Marchant, Williams, Burgess

No: Veasey

 

Financial Penalties on World Bank

Passed: 237-184

The House voted on a GOP-drafted bill (HR 3326) that would slash U.S. support of the International Development Association unless it changes its criteria for delivering economic aid to impoverished nations. A World Bank agency, the IDA provides grants and loans to the world’s 77 poorest countries with populations totaling 450 million. The bill authorizes a $3.65 billion U.S. payment to the bank over three years. But it would withhold up to 30 percent of the outlay until the Treasury Department certifies reforms are underway, including an emphasis on quality over quantity in the disbursement of funds.

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

Yes: Barton, Granger, Williams, Burgess

No: Marchant, 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

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