July 2015 US Congressional Votes

July 27

Recent Senate Votes

Surface Transportation Reauthorization ‘Shell’ – Cloture – Vote Agreed to (67-26, 7 Not Voting)

The Senate agreed to a motion to invoke cloture on amendment no. 2327 to the McConnell, R-Ky., substitute amendment, as modified, that would reauthorize the Export-Import Bank. The McConnell substitute amendment would provide a six-year authorization of surface transportation programs, with enough offsets to cover three years of shortfalls in the Highway Trust Fund.

Sen. Johnny Isakson voted YES
Sen. David Perdue voted NO

Recent House Votes

Coal Combustion Residuals – Passage – Vote Passed (258-166, 9 Not Voting)

The House passed a bill that would establish minimum federal standards regarding the disposal and storage of coal combustion residuals (CCR) that would codify parts of the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) rule regarding coal ash, while superseding other elements of the rule. Additionally, the bill would permit states to create their own coal ash permit programs, but would provide for EPA oversight of the bill’s standards in cases when a state lacks its own program or fails to meet the standards set in the bill.

Rep. Sanford Bishop Jr. voted YES

Genetically Engineered Food – Passage – Vote Passed (275-150, 8 Not Voting)

The House passed a bill that would require the Agriculture Department to establish a voluntary national genetically engineered (GE) food certification program under which food producers could label their product as including or not including genetically modified ingredients. The program created under the bill would pre-empt related state and local laws and prohibits mandatory labeling of GE or non-GE food.

Rep. Sanford Bishop Jr. voted YES

Sanctuary Cities – Passage – Vote Passed (241-179, 13 Not Voting)

The House passed a bill that would withhold certain federal law enforcement grants to state and local governments that bar their officials from taking certain immigration-related actions, such as gathering or maintaining information on the immigration or citizenship status of individuals or sharing such information with federal immigration authorities. The withheld federal law enforcement grants include the State Criminal Alien Assistance Program (which allows states to enter into a contractual arrangement with the federal government for compensation for the incarceration of undocumented criminal immigrants), the Community-Oriented Policing Services program (COPS, which helps support the hiring of police officers at the state and local level) and the Edward Byrne Memorial Justice Assistance Grant Program (Byrne-JAG, which supports a range of programs, including prosecutions and courts).

Rep. Sanford Bishop Jr. voted NO

July 20

Recent Senate Votes

No Child Left Behind Overhaul – Passage – Vote Passed (81-17, 2 Not Voting)

The Senate passed a bill that would reauthorize the Elementary and Secondary Education Act, the law that authorizes federal spending on kindergarten through high school. It would let states decide how to judge schools’ success and wouldn’t require any type of teacher evaluation. It would require states to continue testing students annually, but would leave it up to states to decide what weight those scores have when rating schools.

Sen. Johnny Isakson voted YES
Sen. David Perdue voted YES

Recent House Votes

Veterans Loans – Passage – Vote Passed (410-1, 22 Not Voting)

The House agreed to a motion to suspend the rules and pass a bill that would permanently waive the guarantee fee for veterans and their spouses applying for Small Business Administration (SBA) express loans, beginning Oct. 1, 2015. The bill defines eligibility for the waiver based on the veteran status of the loan applicant, rather than whether the business is considered a veteran-owned small business.

Rep. Sanford Bishop Jr. voted YES

Transportation Funding and California Drought – Passage – Vote Passed (312-119, 2 Not Voting)

The House passed a bill that would reauthorize federal-aid highway and transit programs through Dec. 18, 2015 and would transfer $8.1 billion in funding from the Treasury to the Highway Trust Fund to cover projected trust fund shortfalls over that time. The measure completely offsets the cost of the proposed funding transfer by extending for two years the current budgetary treatment of Transportation Security Administration (TSA) fees as mandatory savings and through several tax compliance provisions.

Rep. Sanford Bishop Jr. voted YES

California Drought – Passage – Vote Passed (245-176, 12 Not Voting)

The House passed a bill that would require that more water from Northern California be pumped south for agricultural uses in the Central Valley in times of drought, and would require the Interior and Commerce departments to approve any emergency projects or operations that would quickly provide additional water to those users. The bill would also implement a coordinated environmental review process to expedite the environmental review of certain water projects, such as dams and water storage facilities.

Rep. Sanford Bishop Jr. voted NO

July 13

Recent Senate Votes

Fiscal 2016 Defense Authorization – Cloture – Vote Agreed to (81-15, 4 Not Voting)

The Senate agreed to a motion to invoke cloture on a motion to insist upon the Senate amendment and agree to the request by the House for a conference on the measure that would authorize funding for defense programs in fiscal 2016. The motion also would authorize the presiding officer to appoint conferees.

Sen. Johnny Isakson voted YES
Sen. David Perdue voted YES

Recent House Votes

Elementary and Second Education Act Overhaul – Passage – Vote Passed (218-213, 3 Not Voting)

The House passed a bill, as amended, that would reauthorize the Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1965 (ESEA) and would make fundamental changes to many of its programs through Fiscal 2019. The bill would allow Title I funding to follow individual students to other schools, and eliminates more than 65 elementary and secondary education programs and merges their funding. In addition, the new Title I block grant would give states greater flexibility in how funds are used.

Rep. Sanford Bishop Jr. voted NO

National Forest Management – Passage – Vote Passed (262-167, 4 Not Voting)

The House passed a bill, as amended, that modify federal forest management practices to increase timber production on U.S. Forest Service and Bureau of Land Management (BLM) lands as a means of promoting greater forest health and reducing wildfires, and it seeks to end the “borrowing” of fire prevention funding for fire suppression efforts by providing funding to fight certain catastrophic wildfires from FEMA’s disaster relief fund. The bill would also provide for expedited actions by federal agencies by expanding the types of forestry activities that can occur without environmental impact statements and by accelerating environmental reviews for salvage operations and reforestation activities after catastrophic events.

Rep. Sanford Bishop Jr. voted YES

Medical Funding and Authorization – Passage – Vote Passed (344-77, 12 Not Voting)

The House passed a bill that would modify current federal processes involving medical research, developing drugs and other treatments, and testing and approving those drugs and treatments in an effort to accelerate the development and delivery of cures to diseases and medical conditions. It would also reauthorize the National Institutes of Health (NIH) for three years and includes numerous initiatives to promote medical research and attract young scientists, and it reauthorizes Food and Drug Administration (FDA) activities for five years and modifies elements of FDA’s drug and medical device review and approval process to accelerate the approval and distribution of new drugs and medical devices for diseases and conditions that don’t currently have treatments.

Rep. Sanford Bishop Jr. voted YES

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