U.S. Capitol (copy)

The U.S. Capitol

WASHINGTON — Here’s a look at how area members of Congress voted over the previous week.

Along with roll call votes this week, the Senate also passed the Protecting Religiously Affiliated Institutions Act (S. 994), to provide for the protection of community centers with religious affiliation; and the Know the Lowest Price Act (S. 2553), to prohibit Medicare part D plans from restricting pharmacies from informing individuals regarding the prices for certain drugs and biologicals.

The House also passed the Miscellaneous Tariff Bill Act (H.R. 4318), to modify temporarily certain rates of duty; the Maritime Border Security Review Act (H.R. 5869), to require the Secretary of Homeland Security to conduct a maritime border threat analysis; the PreCheck is PreCheck Act (H.R. 6265), to ensure that only travelers who are members of a trusted traveler program use Transportation Security Administration security screening lanes designated for trusted travelers; a measure to request a conference with the Senate for the Interior, Environment, Financial Services, and General Government Appropriations Act, 2019 (H.R. 6147); and a measure to request a conference with the Senate for the 2019 Department of Defense Appropriations Act (H.R. 6157).

House votes

USING BIOMETRICS TO FIND SECURITY THREATS: The House has passed the Biometric Identification Transnational Migration Alert Program (BITMAP) Authorization Act (H.R. 6439), sponsored by Rep. Michael T. McCaul, R-Texas. The bill would authorize BITMAP, an effort at the Department of Homeland Security to use biometric and biographical information shared by foreign governments to address border security and terrorist threats before they reach U.S. borders. McCaul said BITMAP, which the Obama administration began in 2011, “helps us enrich our databases, map illicit pathways, exploit networks, and learn about individuals looking to bring harm” to the U.S. A bill opponent, Rep. Bennie Thompson, D-Miss., said Congress does not yet know enough about the effectiveness of BITMAP to decide whether the program should be given permanent authorization. The vote, on Sept. 4, was 272 yeas to 119 nays.

YEAS: Foxx R-NC (5th), Walker R-NC (6th), Budd R-NC (13th)

COUNSELING FOR STUDENT LOANS: The House has passed the Empowering Students Through Enhanced Financial Counseling Act (H.R. 1635), sponsored by Rep. Brett Guthrie, R-Ky., to require financial counseling to college students and their parents before they assume federal student loan debt and annually after the debt is assumed. Guthrie said counseling “will help America’s students and families borrow responsibly and understand their aid package better so that new graduates have the very best chance of success upon graduation.” The vote, on Sept. 5, was 406 yeas to 4 nays.

YEAS: Foxx R-NC (5th), Walker R-NC (6th), Budd R-NC (13th)

PERMITTING LNG EXPORTS: The House has passed the Ensuring Small Scale LNG Certainty and Access Act (H.R. 4606), sponsored by Rep. Bill Johnson, R-Ohio, to require the prompt federal regulatory review of applications to import or export liquefied natural gas in volumes of less than 140 million cubic feet per day. Johnson said faster reviews would help the country’s LNG exporters boost the U.S. economy by supplying gas to Latin American countries. A bill opponent, Rep. Frank Pallone Jr., D-N.J., said codifying into law a policy of backing unrestricted LNG exports “could have significant impacts on domestic natural gas prices and adversely affect American consumers and manufacturers” by increasing domestic gas prices. The vote, on Sept. 6, was 260 yeas to 146 nays.

YEAS: Foxx R-NC (5th), Walker R-NC (6th), Budd R-NC (13th)

Senate votes

SEC COMMISSIONER: The Senate has confirmed the nomination of Elad L. Roisman to serve as a member of the Securities and Exchange Commission for a five-year term. Roisman, currently chief counsel for the Senate Banking Committee, was previously an SEC counsel and a corporate and securities lawyer. A supporter, Sen. Mike Crapo, R-Idaho, said: “He has an impressive command of securities law, a keen intellect and work ethic, and has always exhibited a steadfast commitment to doing what is right.” An opponent, Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif., said that in his time on the Banking Committee, Roisman has helped shape legislation to reverse measures adopted after the 2007-2009 financial crisis that protected consumers and helped prevent another such crisis. The vote, on Sept. 5, was 85 yeas to 14 nays.

YEAS: Burr R-NC, Tillis R-NC

ARIZONA DISTRICT JUDGE: The Senate has confirmed the nomination of Dominic W. Lanza to serve as a judge on the U.S. district judge for Arizona. Lanza has worked in the district’s U.S. attorney’s office for the past 10 years, and before that was a private practice lawyer. A supporter, Sen. Tom Cotton, R-Ark., said Lanza’s experience in the Arizona district showed him to have the personal traits and intelligence needed in a judge. The vote, on Sept. 6, was 60 yeas to 35 nays.

NOT VOTING: Burr R-NC

YEAS: Tillis R-NC

IOWA DISTRICT JUDGE: The Senate has confirmed the nomination of Charles J. Williams to serve as a judge on the U.S. district court for the northern district of Iowa. Williams has been a federal prosecutor and then magistrate judge in the district since 1997. The vote, on Sept. 6, was 79 yeas to 12 nays.

NOT VOTING: Burr R-NC

YEAS: Tillis R-NC

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