National

What Carper, Coons and LBR have been up to.

Here is our semi-regular (when Congress is in session) weekly update on the votes that our Federal Delegation has taken in Congress.   I am relatively pleased with the performance of our new Congresswoman, who, as a new member, is definitely following the lead of her party so far.  She is voting like a Democrat, which is a good thing.

I am not going to get upset that both Senators Coons and Carper voted for Elaine Chao.  Elaine Chao is a special case among Trump’s nominees.  She has been a cabinet secretary before, in the Bush Administration.  She is competent.  And as far as I know, there are no massive or controversial Transportation issues that she is championing.   I feel that Senator Coons ducked out of the vote on Tillerson.   He had a very legitimate excuse, to welcome and honor a deceased American soldier back home at Dover AFB.  Still, I wonder what would have happened if the nomination depended on Coons’ vote.

Recent Senate Votes
Confirmation of Elaine Chao to be Secretary of Transportation – Vote Confirmed (93-6, 1 Present)

Sen. Thomas Carper voted YES
Sen. Chris Coons voted YES 


Confirmation of Rex Tillerson to be Secretary of State – Vote Confirmed (56-43, 1 Not Voting)

Sen. Thomas Carper voted NO
Sen. Chris Coons Not Voting


Disapprove Stream Buffer Rule – Vote Passed (54-45, 1 Not Voting)

The bill would disapprove the Interior Department’s Stream Buffer Rule requiring that surface coal mining operations be designed to minimize the amount of waste placed outside the mined-out area, thus minimizing the amount of land disturbed.

Sen. Thomas Carper voted NO
Sen. Chris Coons voted NO


Disapprove Disclosure of Payments by Resource Extraction Issuers Rule – Vote Passed (52-47, 1 Not Voting)

The measure would disapprove of the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) rule issued in July 2016 that requires resource extraction issuers (companies that extract oil, natural gas or minerals) that are registered in the United States to provide detailed, public reporting of certain payments to governments that equal or exceed $100,000 per project annually.

Sen. Thomas Carper voted NO
Sen. Chris Coons voted NO


Confirmation of Betsy DeVos to be Secretary of Education – Vote Confirmed (51-50)

The Senate voted to confirm Betsy DeVos to be secretary of Education. The tie-breaking yes vote was cast by Vice President Mike Pence.

Sen. Thomas Carper voted NO
Sen. Chris Coons voted NO


Nomination of Rep. Tom Price to be Secretary of Health and Human Services – Vote Confirmed 52-47-1

The Senate is expected to take up the nomination of Georgia Republican Rep. Tom Price to be secretary of Health and Human Services.

Sen. Thomas Carper voted NO
Sen. Chris Coons voted NO


Nomination of Sen. Jeff Sessions to be U.S. Attorney General – Vote Confirmed 52-47-1

Sen. Thomas Carper voted NO
Sen. Chris Coons voted NO


Recent House Votes
Disapprove Disclosure of Payments by Resource Extraction Issuers Rule – Vote Passed (235-187, 10 Not Voting)

The measure would disapprove of the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) rule issued in July 2016 that requires resource extraction issuers (companies that extract oil, natural gas or minerals) that are registered in the United States to provide detailed, public reporting of certain payments to governments that equal or exceed $100,000 per project annually.

Rep. Lisa Blunt Rochester voted NO


Disapprove Stream Buffer Rule – Vote Passed (228-194, 10 Not Voting)

The bill would disapprove the Interior Department’s Stream Buffer Rule requiring that surface coal mining operations be designed to minimize the amount of waste placed outside the mined-out area, thus minimizing the amount of land disturbed.

Rep. Lisa Blunt Rochester voted NO


Disapprove Labor Law Rule – Vote Passed (236-187, 9 Not Voting)

The bill would disapprove a Defense Department, General Services Administration and NASA rule that requires federal contractors to self-certify violations of 14 specified federal labor laws and equivalent state laws. The laws include the Fair Labor Standards Act, Occupational Safety and Health Act, National Labor Relations Act, Davis-Bacon Act, and Americans with Disabilities Act, among others.

Rep. Lisa Blunt Rochester voted NO


Disapprove Instant Criminal Background Check Rule – Vote Passed (235-180, 17 Not Voting)

The bill would disapprove, under terms of the Congressional Review Act, a December 2016 Social Security Administration rule that could make it easier for certain mentally challenged individuals to be placed on the National Instant Criminal Background Check System.

Rep. Lisa Blunt Rochester voted NO


Disapprove BLM Methane Rule – Vote Passed (221-191, 20 Not Voting)

The bill would disapprove, under terms of the Congressional Review Act, a Bureau of Land Management (BLM) rule issued last November that requires oil and gas producers to implement measures that reduce natural gas waste.

Rep. Lisa Blunt Rochester voted NO


Upcoming Votes
Nomination of Steven Mnuchin to be Secretary of the Treasury – PN26

The Senate is expected to take up the nomination of Steven Mnuchin to be secretary of the Treasury.

Disapprove BLM Land Use Planning Rule – HJRES44

The joint resolution would disapprove the rule issued by the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) on Dec. 12, 2016, which modified the process under which BLM develops plans for the use of the public lands it manages, including by considering a wider variety of issues and possible impacts.


Disapprove Teacher Education Program Rule – HJRES58

The joint resolution would disapprove the rule issued by the Education Department on Oct. 31, 2016, relating to teacher preparation programs that require states to annually evaluate the effectiveness of teacher preparation programs at institutions of higher education and to publicly report this information, including the job placement and retention rates of graduates.


Disapprove State Education Accountability Rule – HJRES57

The joint resolution would disapprove the rule issued by the Education Department on Nov. 29, 2016, which addresses implementation of a state’s accountability systems when receiving federal education funding under the Elementary and Secondary School Act (ESEA). Among other things, the rule requires states to identify low-performing schools for comprehensive or targeted support and improvement, and requires that each state’s statewide plan use multiple indicators of student success that are the same for all public schools (including charter schools).

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