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Continuing with the appropriations process, the House today voted on the appropriations bill for the Army Corps of Engineers, Department of Energy, and nuclear weapons programs.

Here is what the bill would do:

H.R. 2028 appropriates $35.4 billion in discretionary budget authority for the Department of Energy, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, and other agencies funded in the bill for FY 2016, which is $1.2 billion (3.5%) above FY 2015 levels but $633 million below the President’s request.

The measure also increases funding for the nation's nuclear weapons stockpile, but makes significant cuts to funding for fossil fuels and alternative energy programs. Advanced energy research, environmental cleanup activities, nuclear non-proliferation programs, and most renewable energy programs would see flat funding or minor increases.  The Department of Energy’s Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency office is cut $266 million below FY 2015. The bill also includes numerous controversial policy riders, including three that hinder the Corps of Engineers’ ability to address water pollution under the Clean Water Act, one blocking the agencies in the bill from implementing the National Ocean Policy, and one allowing guns to be carried on all Corps of Engineers lands.

In addition to the concerns expressed above, Democratic leadership in the House urged members to vote against it because, since Congress did not yet replace sequestration cuts, the bill would require cuts in other parts of the budget:
Republicans are developing this year's spending bills based on their budget resolution’s adherence to sequester level discretionary spending caps for FY 2016, established in the Budget Control Act of 2011. The two-year Ryan-Murray Bipartisan Budget Agreement to replace much of the sequester’s cuts to defense and non-defense funding has expired, limiting resources for the regular appropriations process to $1,016.6 billion for FY 2016, a funding increase of just 0.29%. Because this Energy & Water appropriations bill includes an increase larger than 0.29%, cuts to other non-defense Appropriations subcommittees’ 302(b) allocations will be necessary without an agreement to replace the sequester. At the same time, Republicans are exempting defense from the sequester by shifting $38 billion of the President’s base defense request into the Overseas Contingency Operations (OCO) war funding account, relieving pressure to replace the sequester for non-defense priorities.
The bill ultimately passed 240 to 177.

230 Republicans and 10 Democrats voted for it. 170 Democrats and 7 Republicans voted against it.

Here are the 10 Democrats:

Brad Ashford (NE-02)
Ami Bera (CA-07)
Jim Costa (CA-16)
Henry Cuellar (TX-28)
Gene Green (TX-29)
Bill Keating (MA-09)
Doris Matsui (CA-06)
Collin Peterson (MN-07)
Dutch Ruppersberger (MD-02)
Filemon Vela (TX-34)

Here are the 7 Republicans:

Justin Amash (MI-03)
Mo Brooks (AL-05)
Chris Gibson (NY-19)
Joe Heck (NV-03)
Walter Jones (NC-03)
Tom Massie (KY-04)
Jim Sensenbrenner (WI-05)

Over the course of yesterday and today, the House voted on numerous amendments. I included only those in which the Democratic vote was not unanimous for or against.

Fossil Fuels

Raul Ruiz (CA-36) offered an amendment to increase funding for Water and Related Resources by $5 million and to reduce funding for Fossil Energy Research and Development by $20 million.

It failed 172 to 249.

161 Democrats and 11 Republicans voted for it. 228 Republicans and 21 Democrats voted against it.

Here are the 21 Democrats:

Brad Ashford (NE-02)
Henry Cuellar (TX-28)
Rosa DeLauro (CT-03)
Debbie Dingell (MI-12)
Mike Doyle (PA-14)
John Garamendi (CA-03)
Gwen Graham (FL-02)
Al Green (TX-09)
Gene Green (TX-29)
Marcy Kaptur (OH-09)
Ann Kirkpatrick (AZ-01)
Rick Larsen (WA-02)
John Larson (CT-01)
Carolyn Maloney (NY-12)
Bill Pascrell (NJ-09)
Collin Peterson (MN-07)
David Price (NC-04)
Tim Ryan (OH-13)
Terri Sewell (AL-07)
Filemon Vela (TX-34)
Pete Visclosky (IN-01)

Here were the 11 Republicans:

Justin Amash (MI-03)
Chris Gibson (NY-19)
Frank Guinta (NH-01)
Joe Heck (NV-03)
Walter Jones (NC-03)
Mick Mulvaney (SC-05)
Reid Ribble (WI-08)
Ed Royce (CA-39)
Mark Sanford (SC-01)
Mimi Walters (CA-45)
Ted Yoho (FL-03)

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Morgan Griffith (VA-09) offered an amendment to transfer $50 million from Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy to Fossil Energy Research and Development.

It failed 177 to 244.

175 Republicans and 2 Democrats voted for it. 180 Democrats and 64 Republicans voted against it.

The two Democrats were Gene Green (TX-29) and Filemon Vela (TX-34).

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Eric Swalwell (CA-15) offered an amendment to increase funding for Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy by $25,500,000 and to reduce funding for Fossil Energy by $34,000,000.

It failed 173 to 248.

164 Democrats and 9 Republicans voted for it. 230 Republicans and 18 Democrats voted against it.

Here are the 18 Democrats:

Brad Ashford (NE-02)
Sanford Bishop (GA-02)
Corrine Brown (FL-05)
James Clyburn (SC-06)
Jim Costa (CA-16)
Henry Cuellar (TX-28)
John Delaney (MD-06)
Mike Doyle (PA-14)
Gwen Graham (FL-02)
Al Green (TX-09)
Gene Green (TX-29)
Rick Larsen (WA-02)
Collin Peterson (MN-07)
Cedric Richmond (LA-02)
Tim Ryan (OH-13)
Kyrsten Sinema (AZ-09)
Bennie Thompson (MS-02)
Filemon Vela (TX-34)

Here are the 9 Republicans:

Dave Brat (VA-07)
Jeff Fortenberry (NE-01)
Chris Gibson (NY-19)
John Katko (NY-24)
Walter Jones (NC-03)
David Reichert (WA-08)
Ed Royce (CA-39)
Mark Sanford (SC-01)
Ted Yoho (FL-03)

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Keith Ellison (MN-05) offered an amendment to reduce funding for Fossil Energy Research and Development by $45 million and to apply the savings to the spending reduction account.

It failed 175 to 246.

133 Democrats and 42 Republicans voted for it. 197 Republican and 49 Democrats voted against it.

Here are the 49 Democrats:

Pete Aguilar (CA-31)
Brad Ashford (NE-02)
Sanford Bishop (GA-02)
Corrine Brown (FL-05)
Cheri Bustos (IL-17)
G. K. Butterfield (NC-01)
Mike Capuano (MA-07)
Joaquin Castro (TX-20)
James Clyburn (SC-06)
Gerry Connolly (VA-11)
Jim Cooper (TN-05)
Jim Costa (CA-16)
Joe Courtney (CT-02)
Henry Cuellar (TX-28)
Danny Davis (IL-07)
Rosa DeLauro (CT-03)
Mike Doyle (PA-14)
Tammy Duckworth (IL-08)
Elizabeth Esty (CT-05)
Bill Foster (IL-11)
Gwen Graham (FL-02)
Al Green (TX-09)
Gene Green (TX-29)
Jim Himes (CT-04)
Eddie Johnson (TX-30)
Rick Larsen (WA-02)
John Larson (CT-01)
Dan Lipinski (IL-03)
Ben Luján (NM-03)
Sean Maloney (NY-18)
Jerry McNerney (CA-09)
Richard Neal (MA-01)
Bill Pascrell (NJ-09)
Ed Perlmutter (CO-07)
Collin Peterson (MN-07)
David Price (NC-04)
Cedric Richmond (LA-02)
Dutch Ruppersberger (MD-02)
Tim Ryan (OH-13)
Kurt Schrader (OR-05)
Terri Sewell (AL-07)
Kyrsten Sinema (AZ-09)
Mike Thompson (CA-05)
Bennie Thompson (MS-02)
Norma Torres (CA-35)
Marc Veasey (TX-33)
Filemon Vela (TX-34)
Pete Visclosky (IN-01)
Frederica Wislon (FL-24)

ARPA-E Funding

Eric Swalwell (CA-15) offered an amendment to increase funding for Advanced Research Projects Agency-Energy (ARPA-E) by $20 million and to reduce funding for Departmental Administration by a similar amount.

It failed 202 to 219.

176 Democrats and 26 Republicans voted for it. 213 Republicans and 6 Democrats voted against it.

Here are the 6 Democrats:

Corrine Brown (FL-05)
Al Green (TX-09)
Steny Hoyer (MD-05)
Eddie  Johnson (TX-30)
Charlie Rangel (NY-13)
Tim Ryan (OH-13)

Nuclear Weapons

Mike Quigley (IL-05) offered an amendment to apply $167,050,000 to the savings reduction account for the new nuclear arm cruise missile.

It failed 164 to 257.

149 Democrats and 15 Republicans voted for it. 224 Republicans and 33 Democrats voted against it.

Here are the 33 Democrats:

Pete Aguilar (CA-31)
Brad Ashford (NE-02)
Sanford Bishop (GA-02)
Corrine Brown (FL-05)
Joaquin Castro (TX-20)
James Clyburn (SC-06)
Jim Costa (CA-16)
Joe Courtney (CT-02)
Henry Cuellar (TX-28)
Tulsi Gabbard (HI-02)
Gwen Graham (FL-02)
Al Green (TX-09)
Gene Green (TX-29)
Eddie  Johnson (TX-30)
Zoe Lofgren (CA-19)
Michelle Lujan Grisham (NM-01)
Ben Luján (NM-03)
Sean Maloney (NY-18)
Seth Moulton (MA-06)
Patrick Murphy (FL-18)
Collin Peterson (MN-07)
Cedric Richmond (LA-02)
Dutch Ruppersberger (MD-02)
Kurt Schrader (OR-05)
Terri Sewell (Al-07)
Brad Sherman (CA-30)
Kyrsten Sinema (AZ-09)
Louise Slaughter (NY-25)
Eric Swalwell (CA-15)
Bennie Thompson (MS-02)
Paul Tonko (NY-20)
Filemon Vela (TX-34)
Frederica Wilson (FL-24)

Here are the 15 Republicans:

Justin Amash (MI-03)
Rodney Davis (IL-13)
John Duncan (TN-02)
Morgan Griffith (VA-09)
Tim Huelskamp (KS-01)
Walter Jones (NC-03)
Tom Massie (KY-04)
Mick Mulvaney (SC-05)
Reid Ribble (WI-08)
Tom Rice (SC-07)
Ed Royce (CA-39)
Dana Rohrabacher (CA-48)
Mark Sanford (SC-01)
Jim Sensenbrenner (WI-05)
Ted Yoho (FL-03)

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John Garamendi (CA-03) offered an amendment to reduce the Atomic Energy Defense Activities National Nuclear Security Administration, Weapons Activities Account by $25 million and to apply the savings to the spending reduction account.

It failed 149 to 272.

136 Democrats and 13 Republicans voted for it. 226 Republicans and 46 Democrats voted against it.

29 of the 33 Democrats who voted against the prior amendment voted against this one as well. The exceptions were Gene Green (TX-29), Brad Sherman (CA-30), Paul Tonko (NY-20), and Filemon Vela (TX-34).

Then 17 additional Democrats voted against it, bringing the net increase to 13.

Brendan Boyle (PA-13)
G. K. Butterfield (NC-01)
Mike Capuano (MA-07)
Matt Cartwright (PA-17)
Gerry Connolly (VA-11)
Jim Cooper (TN-05)
Danny Davis (IL-07)
Steve Israel (NY-03)
Hank Johnson (GA-04)
Dan Lipinski (IL-03)
Richard Neal (MA-01)
Donald Norcross (NJ-01)
Bill Pascrell (NJ-09)
Ed Perlmutter (CO-07)
Charlie Rangel (NY-13)
Kathleen Rice (NY-04)
Norma Torres (CA-35)

Here are the 13 Republicans who voted for it:

Justin Amash (MI-03)
John Duncan (TN-02)
Morgan Griffith (VA-09)
Glenn Grothman (WI-06)
Tim Huelskamp (KS-01)
Walter Jones (NC-03)
Tom Massie (KY-04)
Reid Ribble (WI-08)
Dana Rohrabacher (CA-48)
Jim Sensenbrenner (WI-05)
Ted Yoho (FL-03)

Light Bulbs

Michael Burgess (TX-26) offered an amendment to block energy efficiency standards for incandescent light bulbs.

It passed 232 to 189.

One Democrat—Collin Peterson (MN-07)—voted for it.

Eight Republicans voted against it:

Andy Barr (KY-06)
Larry Bucshon (IN-08)
Bob Dold (IL-10)
Garret Graves (LA-06)
Richard Hanna (NY-22)
David Jolly (FL-13)
Dave Reichert (WA-08)
Lee Zeldin (NY-01)


Climate Change

Keith Rothfus (PA-05) offered an amendment to prohibit use of funds to apply the report entitled "Life Cycle Greenhouse Gas Perspective on Exporting Liquified Natural Gas from the United States" in any public interest determination under the Natural Gas Act.

It passed 232 to 172.

230 Republicans and 2 Democrats voted for it. 169 Democrats and 3 Republicans voted against it.

The two Democrats were Henry Cuellar (TX-28) and Collin Peterson (MN-07).

The three Republicans were Chris Gibson (NY-19), Richard Hanna (NY-22), and Walter Jones (NC-03).

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Paul Gosar (AZ-04) offered an amendment to prohibit use of funds for the Department of Energy's Climate Model Development and Validation program.

It passed 224 to 84.

223 Republicans and 1 Democrat voted for it. 174 Democrats and 10 Republicans voted against it.

That one Democrat was Collin Peterson (MN-07).

Here are the 10 Republicans:

Bob Dold (IL-10)
Jeff Fortenberry (NE-01)
Chris Gibson (NY-19)
Richard Hanna (NY-22)
David Jolly (FL-13)
Frank LoBiondo (NJ-02)
Tom MacArthur (NJ-03)
Dave Reichert (WA-08)
Elise Stefanik (NY-21)
Lee Zeldin (NY-01)


Overall Spending

Marsha Blackburn (TN-07) offered an amendment to reduce funding in the bill by 1 percent across-the-board.

It failed 159 to 248.

156 Republicans and 3 Democrats voted for it. 171 Democrats and 77 Republicans voted against it.

The three Democrats that voted for it were Jim Cooper (TN-05), Jim Costa (CA-16), and Jared Polis (CO-02).


Water

Tom McClintock (CA-04) offered an amendment to prohibit use of funds for the purchase of water to supplement or enhance instream water flow requirements in California.

 It passed 228 to 183.

226 Republicans and 2 Democrats voted for it. 174 Democrats and 9 Republicans voted against it.

The two Democrats were Jim Costa (CA-16) and Collin Peterson (MN-07).

Here are the 9 Republicans:

Mo Brooks (AL-05)
Vern Buchanan (FL-16)
Ryan Costello (PA-06)
Bob Dold (IL-10)
Tom Emmer (MN-06)
Mike Fitzpatrick (PA-08)
Richard Hanna (NY-22)
Pat Meehan (PA-07)
Chris Smith (NJ-04)

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Doug LaMalfa (CA-01) offered two amendments. The first one would prohibit use of funds to implement, administer, or enforce the requirement in the Code of Federal Regulations, that activities identified in the Federal Water Pollution Control Act must be established or ongoing in order to receive an exemption under the Act.

It passed 239 to 174.

229 Republicans and 10 Democrats voted for it. 169 Democrats and 5 Republicans voted against it.

Here are the 10 Democrats:

Cheri Bustos (IL-17)
Jim Costa (CA-16)
Henry Cuellar (TX-28)
Gwen Graham (FL-02)
Gene Green (TX-29)
Rick Nolan (MN-08)
Collin Peterson (MN-07)
Kyrsten Sinema (AZ-09)
Filemon Vela (TX-34)
Tim Walz (MN-01)

Here are the 5 Republicans:

Mo Brooks (AL-05)
Ryan Costello (PA-06)
Bob Dold (IL-10)
Mike Fitzpatrick (PA-08)
Chris Smith (NJ-04)

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LaMalfa’s second amendment would prohibit use of funds to deliver water to the Trinity River above the minimum requirements of the Trinity Record of Decision or to supplement flows in the Klamath River.

It passed 228 to 173.

225 Republicans and 3 Democrats voted for it. 173 Democrats and 10 Republicans voted against it.

The 3 Democrats were Jim Costa (CA-16), John Garamendi (CA-03), and Collin Peterson (MN-07).

Here are the 10 Republicans:

Mo Brooks (AL-05)
Vern Buchanan (FL-16)
Ryan Costello (PA-06)
Bob Dold (IL-10)
Tom Emmer (MN-06)
Mike Fitzpatrick (PA-08)
Richard Hanna (NY-22)
Chris Smith (NJ-04)
Fred Upton (MI-06)
Greg Walden (OR-02)

Discuss

Yesterday, I wrote about the Military Construction-Veterans Affairs appropriations bill that the House just passed.

I wanted to highlight the vote on the medical marijuana amendment in its own diary.

Earl Blumenauer (OR-03) offered an amendment to allow the VA to recommend medical marijuana to patients.

It failed 210 to 213, a narrow defeat.

175 Democrats and 35 Republicans voted for it. 205 Republicans and 8 Democrats voted against it.

Here are the 8 Democrats who voted against it:

Henry Cuellar (TX-28)
John Garamendi (CA-03)
Bill Keating (MA-09)
Joe Kennedy (MA-04)
Sandy Levin (MI-09)
Dan Lipinski (IL-03)
Collin Peterson (MN-07)
Terri Sewell (AL-07)

Here are the 35 Republicans who voted for it:

Justin Amash (MI-03)
Dan Benishek (MI-01)
Rod Blum (IA-01)
Jason Chaffetz (UT-03)
Mike Coffman (CO-06)
Chis Collins (NY-27)
Ryan Costello (PA-06)
Carlos Curbelo (FL-26)
Rodney Davis (IL-13)
Chris Gibson (NY-19)
Richard Hanna (NY-22)
Joe Heck (NV-03)
Duncan Hunter (CA-50)
Walter Jones (NC-03)
Adam Kinzinger (IL-16)
Frank LoBiondo (NJ-02)
Mia Love (UT-04)
Tom Massie (KY-04)
Tom McClintock (CA-04)
Alex Mooney (WV-02)
Mick Mulvaney (SC-05)
Dan Newhouse (WA-04)
Scott Perry (PA-04)
Bruce Poliquin (ME-02)
Tom Reed (NY-23)
Tom Rice (SC-07)
Dana Rohrabacher (CA-48)
Thomas Rooney (FL-17)
Mark Sanford (SC-01)
David Schweikert (AZ-06)
Steve Stivers (OH-15)
Fred Upton (MI-06)
Don Young (AK-AL)
Lee Zeldin (NY-01)
Ryan Zinke (MT-AL)

This amendment fared better than it did last year, when it failed 195 to 222. Last year, 18 Democrats opposed. Now only 8 did. Last year, only 22 Republicans voted for it. Now, 35 did.

Discuss

As I noted yesterday,, the House passed its Military Construction-Veterans Affairs appropriations bill and voted on a series of amendments.

I wanted to highlight the Gitmo vote in a separate diary.

Jerry Nadler (NY-10) offered an amendment to strike the language in the bill that would block the closure of the Guantanamo Bay Prison.

It failed 167 to 254.

163 Democrats and 4 Republicans voted for it. 236 Republicans and 18 Democrats voted against it.

Here are the 18 Democrats who voted against it:

Pete Aguilar (CA-31)
Brad Ashford (NE-02)
Julia Brownley (CA-26)
Jim Costa (CA-16)
Henry Cuellar (TX-28)
Tammy Duckworth (IL-08)
Gwen Graham (FL-02)
Gene Green (TX-29)
Ann Kirkpatrick (AZ-01)
Dan Lipinski (IL-03)
Sean Maloney (NY-18)
Collin Peterson (MN-07)
Raul Ruiz (CA-36)
Dutch Ruppersberger (MD-02)
Loretta Sanchez (CA-46)
Terri Sewell (AL-07)
Kyrsten Sinema (AZ-09)
Filemon Vela (TX-34)

Here are the 4 Republicans who voted for it:

Justin Amash (MI-03)
John Duncan (TN-02)
Chris Gibson (NY-19)
Mark Sanford (SC-01)

Discuss

The House began voting on appropriations bills today, starting with military construction and veterans' programs.

House Republicans boosted military spending above the level of agreed-to spending caps, which would necessitate cuts elsewhere in the budget (i.e., in the social programs Republicans hate), and also moved some spending into the sequestration-exempted slush fund called Overseas Contingency Operations (OCO). The bill would also block most releases from Guantanamo and make said prison more difficult to close.

Here is a summary from Minority Whip Steny Hoyer's office:

H.R. 2029 appropriates $76.057 billion in discretionary budget authority for veterans' programs and military construction for FY 2016, which is $4.2 billion (5.9%) above FY 2015 levels….Accounting for mandatory programs, including veterans’ pensions, the measure provides a total of $171 billion in spending…Republicans are developing this year's spending bills based on their budget resolution’s adherence to sequester level discretionary spending caps for FY 2016…Because this MilCon-VA appropriations bill includes an increase larger than 0.29%, cuts to other non-defense Appropriations subcommittees’ 302(b) allocations will be necessary without an agreement to replace the sequester. At the same time, Republicans are exempting defense from the sequester by shifting $38 billion of the President’s base defense request into the Overseas Contingency Operations (OCO) war funding account, relieving pressure to replace the sequester for non-defense priorities.
(emphasis added)

The bill passed 255 to 163.

236 Republicans and 19 Democrats voted for it. 159 Democrats and 4 Republicans voted against it.

Here are the 19 Democrats:

Pete Aguilar (CA-31)
Brad Ashford (NE-02)
Ami Bera (CA-07)
Julia Brownley (CA-26)
Cheri Bustos (IL-17)
Matt Cartwright (PA-17)
Jim Costa (CA-16)
Henry Cuellar (TX-28)
Tulsi Gabbard (HI-02)
Gwen Graham (FL-02)
Brian Higgins (NY-26)
Ann McLane Kuster (NH-02)
Sean Maloney (NY-18)
Scott Peters (CA-52)
Collin Peterson (MN-07)
Raul Ruiz (CA-36)
Loretta Sanchez (CA-46)
Kyrsten Sinema (AZ-09)
Mark Takai (HI-01)

Here are the 4 Republicans:

Jeff Denham (CA-10)
Walter Jones (NC-03)
Cynthia Lummis (WY-AL)
Mick Mulvaney (SC-05)

Before that final vote, Chris Van Hollen (MD-08) and Mick Mulvaney (SC-05) offered three amendments to strike down each section of the OCO provision mentioned above. Each one failed with a similar vote.

The first failed 191 to 229.

164 Democrats and 27 Republicans voted for it. 210 Republicans and 19 Democrats voted against it. Darrell Issa (CA-49) voted present.

Pete Aguilar (CA-31)
Brad Ashford (NE-02)
Ami Bera (CA-07)
Julia Brownley (CA-26)
Cheri Bustos (IL-17)
Joe Courtney (CT-02)
Tammy Duckworth (IL-08)
Gwen Graham (FL-02)
Jim Langevin (RI-02)
Dan Lipinski (IL-03)
Sean Maloney (NY-18)
Seth Moulton (MA-06)
Patrick Murphy (FL-18)
Donald Norcross (NJ-01)
Scott Peters (CA-52)
Raul Ruiz (CA-36)
Dutch Ruppersberger (MD-02)
Kyrsten Sinema (AZ-09)
Mark Takai (HI-01)

Here are the 27 Republicans who voted for it:

Justin Amash (MI-03)
Michael Burgess (TX-26)
Doug Collins (GA-09)
Scott DesJarlais (TN-04)
John Duncan (TN-02)
Scott Garrett (NJ-05)
Louie Gohmert (TX-01)
Paul Gosar (AZ-04)
Morgan Griffith (VA-09)
Tim Huelskamp (KS-01)
Walter Jones (NC-03)
Jim Jordan (OH-04)
Raul Labrador (ID-01)
Cynthia Lummis (WY-AL)
Tom Massie (KY-04)
Tom McClintock (CA-04)
Mick Mulvaney (SC-05)
Scott Perry (PA-04)
Bill Posey (FL-08)
Dana Rohrabacher (CA-48)
Matt Salmon (AZ-05)
Mark Sanford (SC-01)
David Schweikert (AZ-06)
Jim Sensenbrenner (WI-05)
Scott Tipton (CO-03)
Rob Woodall (GA-07)
Ted Yoho (FL-03)

The second amendment failed 192 to 229. 163 Democrats and 29 Republicans voted for it. 209 Republicans and 20 Democrats voted against it. Issa again voted present.

The 19 Democrats who voted against the prior amendment also voted against Mulvaney’s. Karen Bass (CA-37), who voted for the prior amendment, voted against this one.

This amendment lost the support of Bill Posey (FL-08) and Jim Sensenbrenner (WI-05) but picked up the support of Mo Brooks (AL-05), Glenn Grothman (WI-06), Barry Loudermilk (GA-11), and Bradley Walker (NC-06).

The third amendment failed 190 to 231. 161 Democrats and 29 Republicans voted for it. 210 Republicans and 21 Democrats voted against it. Issa again voted present.

Henry Cuellar (TX-28), who voted for the prior two amendments, voted against this one.

The House also voted down amendments on medical marijuana and Guantanamo, but I will address them in separate diaries.

Discuss

On Friday, in a conference call with reporters, President Obama accused Democratic critics of fast tracking the TPP of being "dishonest," particularly with regard to their claims that the deal is "secret." The day before, he compared his liberal critics to Sarah Palin and others who spoke of "death panels" in the Affordable Care Act. He has also accused critics like Elizabeth Warren of having their "facts" wrong.

Earlier today, Senator Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) and Senator Sherrod Brown (D-OH) responded to the president's criticism by noting that if he wants the American people to judge the TPP based on the facts, then he should let them see it and allow members of Congress to talk with their constituents about it.

April 25, 2015

Mr. President:

This week, you said that the American people should look at the facts of the proposed Trans-Pacific Partnership (“TPP”) before taking a position on it. We agree. We write to request that you promptly declassify the latest bracketed negotiating text of the TPP and release it publicly before asking Congress to vote on “fast track” authority to facilitate the TPP’s ratification.

In recent remarks, you suggested that critics of the TPP are “dishonest” when we claim that the TPP is a “secret deal.” Even though negotiations over the TPP are largely complete, your Administration has deemed the draft text of the agreement classified and kept it hidden from public view, thereby making it a secret deal.

As a result of your Administration’s decision, it is currently illegal for the press, experts, advocates, or the general public to review the text of this agreement. And while you noted that Members of Congress may “walk over ... and read the text of the agreement” -- as we have done -- you neglected to mention that we are prohibited by law from discussing the specifics of that text in public.

While experts, the public, and the press are not allowed to review the latest draft of the TPP, executives of the country’s biggest corporations and their lobbyists already have had significant opportunities not only to read it, but to shape its terms. The Administration’s 28 trade advisory committees on different aspects of the TPP have a combined 566 members, and 480 of those members, or 85%, are senior corporate executive or industry lobbyists. Many of the advisory committees—including those on chemicals and pharmaceuticals, textiles and clothing, and services and finance—are made up entirely of industry representatives.

Because the negotiations are largely complete, there is no reason the TPP must remain secret from the American people before Congress votes on fast track authority. In 2001, President George W. Bush made public a draft of the scrubbed bracketed text of the Free Trade Area of the Americans (“FTAA”) agreement several months before Congress granted partial fast track authority to facilitate ratification of that deal. At the time of the public release of the text, then-U.S. Trade Representative Robert Zoellick noted that the release would “make international trade and its economic and social benefits more understandable to the public,” and would “increase public awareness and support for the FTAA.”

What was true then remains true now. The American people should be allowed to weigh in on the facts of the TPP before Members of Congress are asked to voluntarily reduce our ability to amend, shape, or block any trade deal. The press and the public should be allowed to examine the details that corporate executives and lobbyists have already been allowed to influence for years. Members of Congress should be able to discuss the agreement with our constituents and to participate in a robust public debate, instead of being muzzled by classification rules. Before the Congress votes to facilitate the adoption of the TPP, the American people should be allowed to see for themselves whether it’s a good deal for them.

We have an additional concern: the fast track legislation currently under consideration goes far beyond the TPP. Fast track, as currently written, would preclude Congress from amending or filibustering any trade agreement submitted to this Congress or any future Congress—potentially through 2021. If passed, this legislation would grease the skids for approval of any additional trade agreements that might be advanced through the next two presidencies. While we hope that future Presidents and future Congresses will share our values, no one knows who will be using this authority once you leave office.

We understand that people may disagree about the risks and benefits associated with a massive trade deal. We respectfully suggest that characterizing the assessments of labor unions, journalists, Members of Congress, and others who disagree with your approach to transparency on trade issues as “dishonest” is both untrue and unlikely to serve the best interests of the American people. We write in the hope that we can work together to open this process up to the American people to achieve your goal of letting them judge the facts for themselves.

Discuss

On Wednesday night, the Senate Finance Committee voted to advance the trade promotion authority, or fast track, bill 20 to 6. 7 Democrats voted for it and 5 against it.

Thursday night, the House Ways and Means Committee voted to advance fast track authority. As to be expected, House Democrats were more hostile to corporate-negotiated trade deals than Senate Democrats. The bill passed out of committee 25 to 13; however, only two Democrats joined the Republicans in voting for it.

Who were the two Democrats who voted against workers and the enivronment?

Earl Blumenauer (OR-03) and Ron Kind (WI-03)

And which 13 Democrats voted NO in committee?

Sandy Levin (MI-09)
Charlie Rangel (NY-13)
Jim McDermott (WA-07)
John Lewis (GA-05)
Richard Neal (MA-01)
Xavier Becerra (CA-34)
Lloyd Doggett (TX-35)
Mike Thompson (CA-05)
John Larson (CT-01)
Bill Pascrell (NJ-09)
Joseph Crowley (NY-14)
Danny Davis (IL-07)
Linda Sanchez (CA-38)

Discuss

Yesterday, the House voted 307 to 116 to pass the Protecting Cyber Networks Act, a surveillance bill dressed up like a cybersecurity bill.

Today, the House passed another "cybersecurity" bill: the National Cybersecurity Protection Advancement Act of 2015.

This bill is similar to the bill passed yesterday (You can click the link above for a description of that one):

The second bill, which recently advanced out of the Homeland Security Committee on a voice vote, is similar to the cyber-networks bill, but it would use the Department of Homeland Security as an intermediary for sharing the electronic information. In return, companies would get protection from civil suits brought by consumers who think the information sharing violates privacy laws.
Today's bill passed 355 to 63.

220 Republicans and 135 Democrats voted for it. 44 Democrats and 19 Republicans voted against it.

Here are the 44 Democrats who voted against it:

Karen Bass (CA-37)
Xavier Becerra (CA-34)
Earl Blumenauer (OR-03)
Bob Brady (PA-01)
Mike Capuano (MA-07)
Matt Cartwright (PA-17)
Judy Chu (CA-27)
David Cicilline (RI-01)
Katherine Clark (MA-05)
John Conyers (MI-13)
Joe Courtney (CT-02)
Rosa DeLauro (CT-03)
Ted Deutch (FL-21)
Mike Doyle (PA-14)
Donna Edwards (MD-04)
Keith Ellison (MN-05)
Elizabeth Esty (CT-05)
Chaka Fattah (PA-02)
Alan Grayson (FL-09)
Raul Grijalva (AZ-03)
Eddie B. Johnson (TX-30)
John Larson (CT-01)
Barbara Lee (CA-13)
Ted Lieu (CA-33)
Alan Lowenthal (CA-47)
Jim McGovern (MA-02)
Jerry Nadler (NY-10)
Rick Nolan (MN-08)
Chellie Pingree (ME-01)
Mark Pocan (WI-02)
Jared Polis (CO-02)
Tim Ryan (OH-13)
John Sarbanes (MD-03)
Jose Serrano (NY-15)
Louise Slaughter (NY-25)
Mark Takano (CA-41)
Paul Tonko (NY-20)
Niki Tsongas (MA-03)
Chris Van Hollen (MD-08)
Nydia Velázquez (NY-07)
Debbie Wasserman Schultz (FL-23)
Maxine Waters (CA-43)
Pete Welch (VT-AL)
John Yarmuth (KY-03)

And here are the 19 Republicans:

Justin Amash (MI-03)
Dave Brat (VA-07)
Jim Bridenstine (OK-01)
Scott DesJarlais (TN-04)
John Fleming (LA-04)
Scott Garrett (NJ-05)
Louie Gohmert (TX-01)
Paul Gosar (AZ-04)
Tom Graves (GA-14)
Frank Guinta (NH-01)
Tim Huelskamp (KS-01)
Darrell Issa (CA-49)
Walter Jones (NC-03)
Jim Jordan (OH-04)
Raul Labrador (ID-01)
Tom Massie (KY-04)
Alex Mooney (WV-02)
Matt Salmon (AZ-05)
Mark Sanford (SC-01)

With two exceptions, all of the 63 also voted against the bill yesterday as well. Those exceptions were Debbie Wasserman Schultz (FL-23) (who was not there) and Scott Garrett (NJ-05) (who voted for the bill).

Anna Eshoo (CA-18) and Frank Pallone (NJ-06), who both voted against yesterday's bill, were not present today.

Discuss

After a long mark-up period, the Senate Finance Committee took its final vote on the trade promotion authority, or "fast track," bill that Ron Wyden (D-OR) and Orrin Hatch (R-UT) had negotiated.

As I'm sure you all already know, fast track authority means that Congress hands over any rights to amend a trade deal, giving carte blanche to the president. This is a bad move on the simple ground that trade deals have a strong impact on domestic policy. It is even a worse move when one sees what is being negotiated in the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) and Trans-Atlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) right now.

The Senate Finance Committee vote was 20 to 6.

7 Democrats and 13 Republicans voted for it.

Who were the 7 Democrats?

Ron Wyden (D-OR)
Maria Cantwell (D-WA)
Bill Nelson (D-FL)
Tom Carper (D-DE)
Ben Cardin (D-MD)
Michael Bennet (D-CO)
Mark Warner (D-VA)

5 Democrats and 1 Republican voted against it.

That lone Republican was Richard Burr (R-NC).

The 5 Democrats were the following:

Chuck Schumer (D-NY)
Debbie Stabenow (D-MI)
Bob Menendez (D-NJ)
Sherrod Brown (D-OH)
Bob Casey (D-PA)

Discuss

During his State of the Union address, Obama highlighted two issues where he would work with the Republican Congress which should have raised red flags for progressives: trade and cybersecurity.

The House just took up cybersecurity today, passing the Protecting Cyber Networks Act.

The bill is a surveillance bill under the guise of a cybersecurity bill, greatly expanding the reach of the NSA.

Earlier this week, a coalition of civil liberties groups and security experts wrote to Congress urging members to oppose the bill.

Here is what PCNA would do:

Authorize companies to significantly expand monitoring of their users’ online activities, and permit sharing of vaguely defined “cyber threat indicators” without adequate privacy protections prior to sharing.

Require federal entities to automatically disseminate to the NSA all cyber threat indicators they receive, including personal information about individuals.

Authorize overbroad law enforcement uses that go far outside the scope of cybersecurity

Authorize companies to deploy invasive countermeasures, euphemistically called “defensive measures”

Here's the Electronic Frontier Foundation further explaining why CISA (the Senate bill) and PCNA (the House bill) are bad for civil liberties:
The two bills are part of a slew of cybersecurity bills that have been introduced in Congress this year that are ostensibly intended to facilitate more information sharing about computer security threats from the private sector to the government. But the bills aren't about "information sharing." They're about surveillance. The bill's vague definition and broad legal immunity for new spying powers will facilitate a potentially enormous amount of unrelated personal information to government agencies like the NSA.

The bills' immunity provisions could even increase the militarization of the internet by encouraging companies to conduct computer network exfiltration attacks on adversary's computers.

To make matters worse, companies are granted broad legal immunity leaving them free to share the information without being concerned about what it might be used for. And as one of the letters points out: "CISA allows everyday police to use the information to investigate crimes that have nothing to do with cybersecurity, such as robbery, arson, and carjacking."

The bill passed 307 to 116. 202 Republicans and 105 Democrats voted for it. 37 Republicans and 79 Democrats voted against it.

Here are the 79 Democrats who voted against it:

Karen Bass (CA-37)
Xavier Becerra (CA-34)
Earl Blumenauer (OR-03)
Suzanne Bonamici (OR-01)
Bob Brady (PA-01)
Lois Capps (CA-24)
Mike Capuano (MA-07)
Matt Cartwright (PA-17)
Judy Chu (CA-27)
David Cicilline (RI-01)
Katherine Clark (MA-05)
Steve Cohen (TN-09)
John Conyers (MI-13)
Joe Courtney (CT-02)
Elijah Cummings (MD-07)
Danny Davis (IL-07)
Pete DeFazio (OR-04)
Diana DeGette (CO-01)
Rosa DeLauro (CT-03
Suzan DelBene (WA-01)
Ted Deutch (FL-21)
Lloyd Doggett (TX-35)
Mike Doyle (PA-14)
Donna Edwards (MD-04)
Keith Ellison (MN-05)
Anna Eshoo (CA-18)
Elizabeth Esty (CT-05)
Chaka Fattah (PA-02)
Tulsi Gabbard (HI-02)
Alan Grayson (FL-09)
Al Green (TX-09)
Raul Grijalva (AZ-03)
Janice Hahn (CA-44)
Mike Honda (CA-17)
Jared Huffman (CA-02)
Hank Johnson (GA-04)
Eddie B. Johnson (TX-30)
Dan Kildee (MI-05)
John Larson (CT-01)
Barbara Lee (CA-13)
John Lewis (GA-05)
Ted Lieu (CA-33)
Zoe Lofgren (CA-19)
Alan Lowenthal (CA-47)
Stephen Lynch (MA-08)
Doris Matsui (CA-06)
Betty McCollum (MN-04)
Jim McDermott (WA-07)
Jim McGovern (MA-02)
Jerry Nadler (NY-10)
Grace Napolitano (CA-32)
Rick Nolan (MN-08)
Beto O’Rourke (TX-16)
Frank Pallone (NJ-06)
Chellie Pingree (ME-01)
Mark Pocan (WI-02)
Jared Polis (CO-02)
Charlie Rangel (NY-13)
Lucille Roybal-Allard (CA-40)
Bobby Rush (IL-01)
Tim Ryan (OH-13)
Linda Sánchez (CA-38)
John Sarbanes (MD-03)
Jan Schakowsky (IL-09)
Bobby Scott (VA-03)
Jose Serrano (NY-15)
Brad Sherman (CA-30)
Louise Slaughter (NY-25)
Mark Takano (CA-41)
Paul Tonko (NY-20)
Niki Tsongas (MA-03)
Chris Van Hollen (MD-08)
Filemon Vela (TX-34)
Nydia Velázquez (NY-07)
Tim Walz (MN-01)
Maxine Waters (CA-43)
Bonnie Watson Coleman (NJ-12)
Pete Welch (VT-AL)
John Yarmuth (KY-03)

Here are the 37 Republicans:

Justin Amash (MI-03)
Joe Barton (TX-26)
Dave Brat (VA-07)
Jim Bridenstine (OK-01)
Vern Buchanan (FL-16)
Curt Clawson (FL-19)
Scott DesJarlais (TN-04)
Jeff Duncan (SC-03)
John Duncan (TN-02)
John Fleming (LA-04)
Chris Gibson (NY-19)
Louie Gohmert (TX-01)
Paul Gosar (AZ-04)
Tom Graves (GA-14)
Morgan Griffith (VA-09)
Glenn Grothman (WI-06)
Frank Guinta (NH-01)
Andy Harris (MD-01)
Jody Hice (GA-10)
Tim Huelskamp (KS-01)
Darrell Issa (CA-49)
Walter Jones (NC-03)
Jim Jordan (OH-04)
Raul Labrador (ID-01)
Barry Loudermilk (GA-11)
Cynthia Lummis (WY-AL)
Tom Massie (KY-04)
Tom McClintock (CA-04)
Alex Mooney (WV-02)
Scott Perry (PA-04)
Ted Poe (TX-02)
Bill Posey (FL-08)
Reid Ribble (WI-08)
Matt Salmon (AZ-05)
Mark Sanford (SC-01)
David Schweikert (AZ-06)
Martin Stutzman (IN-03)

Discuss

Tomorrow, federal regulators from the FCC and the DOJ will be meeting with Comcast officials to discuss Comcast’s proposed acquisition of Time Warner Cable.

A group of six senators—Ed Markey (D-MA), Al Franken (D-MN), Bernie Sanders (I-VT), Ron Wyden (D-OR), Elizabeth Warren (D-MA), and Richard Blumenthal (D-CT)—wrote to Attorney General Eric Holder and FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler urging them to block the merger.

The senators write, “Should the transaction survive the FCC’s and DOJ’s reviews, we believe that Comcast-TWC’s unmatched power in the telecommunications industry would lead to higher prices, fewer choices, and poorer quality services for Americans – inhibiting U.S. consumers’ ability to fully benefit from modern technologies and American businesses’ capacity to innovate and compete on a global scale.”

They note that they have heard from consumers, advocacy groups, trade associations, and companies of all sizes that the deal would “harm competition across several different markets and would not serve the public interest.”

They further point out how the deal could lead to higher fees and less innovation: “Technological advances in the industry will be slowed, independent programmers and content will be foreclosed, and consumers will be left with even larger bills to pay.”

Here is the full letter:

Dear Chairman Wheeler and Attorney General Holder:

Comcast and Time Warner Cable (TWC) are reported to be meeting this week with the Department of Justice (DOJ) to respond to regulators’ concerns about the proposed acquisition of TWC by Comcast. In advance of this meeting and as the Department of Justice and the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) finalize their respective evaluations, we write to urge the FCC and DOJ to reject Comcast’s proposed acquisition of TWC. Today’s world demands affordable access to high-quality Internet and TV services. Should the transaction survive the FCC’s and DOJ’s reviews, we believe that Comcast-TWC’s unmatched power in the telecommunications industry would lead to higher prices, fewer choices, and poorer quality services for Americans – inhibiting U.S. consumers’ ability to fully benefit from modern technologies and American businesses’ capacity to innovate and compete on a global scale.

Since the proposal was announced last year, we have heard from consumers across the nation, as well as from advocacy groups, trade associations, and companies of all sizes, all of whom fear that the deal would harm competition across several different markets and would not serve the public interest. The concerns about the transaction center on the undeniable reality that the combined Comcast-TWC would be the overwhelmingly dominant cable and broadband Internet provider in the nation and control much of the programming that Americans watch. With 57 percent of the broadband Internet market and 30 percent of the cable market, Comcast-TWC would have an ability to defeat competing TV and Internet companies and stifle American innovation across the industry. And with Comcast’s ownership of NBCUniversal and the numerous popular TV networks it controls, the combined company would have incentives and means by which to extract higher prices from other multichannel video programming distributors and prioritize its own programming over that of competitors. Comcast-TWC’s monopsony power to dictate the terms of transactions with programmers will also force companies from across the country to reevaluate their business models, including the content they produce and the prices they charge.

We’ve also heard from constituents in our home states who are rightfully frustrated about their increasingly high cable and Internet bills and are concerned that the proposed acquisition will only drive those prices higher. Unfortunately, with only a handful of cable and Internet providers dominating the market, consumers are often left with little choice but to pay the price a given provider demands and have little say over what content is made available to them. Comcast-TWC’s combined ability to drive out competitors will only make things worse for consumers. Technological advances in the industry will be slowed, independent programmers and content will be foreclosed, and consumers will be left with even larger bills to pay. This is an industry that requires more competition, not less.

As the FCC and DOJ finalize their reviews of Comcast’s proposed acquisition of TWC, we urge you to defend American competition and innovation and ensure that Americans have affordable access to high-quality telecommunications services. We hope you’ll take a stand for U.S. consumers and businesses and reject Comcast’s proposed acquisition of TWC. Thank you for your consideration.

Discuss

Today, Republicans showed yet again that deficits only matter to them when it comes to slashing social programs. When it comes to new tax cuts, they don't mind increasing the deficit because draining money out of the federal government is something they love to do.

Today's bill was the so-called "State and Local Sales Tax Deduction Fairness Act," which would make permanent--without offset--the current tax extender giving individual taxpayers an option to deduct state and local sales taxes (rather than state and local income taxes) when calculating their taxable income.  

Only people in seven states would really benefit from this: the 7 states with no income tax (Alaska, Florida, Nevada, South Dakota, Texas, Washington, Wyoming) and the 2 states with only an investment income tax (Tennessee, New Hampshire).

The bill would add $42 billion to the deficit over the next ten years.

It passed 272 to 152.

Only 1 Republican--Walter Jones (NC-03)--voted against it.

34 Democrats bucked the party leadership and voted for it:

Brad Ashford (NE-02)
Sanford Bishop (GA-02)
Corrine Brown (FL-05)
Cheri Bustos (IL-17)
Kathy Castor (FL-14)
Joaquin Castro (TX-20)
Steve Cohen (TN-09)
Henry Cuellar (TX-28)
Suzan DelBene (WA-01)
Ted Deutch (FL-21)
Gwen Graham (FL-02)
Alan Grayson (FL-09)
Al Green (TX-09)
Gene Green (TX-29)
Alcee Hastings (FL-20)
Denny Heck (WA-10)
Ruben Hinojosa (TX-15)
Sheila Jackson Lee (TX-18)
Derek Kilmer (WA-06)
Anne McLane Kuster (NH-02)
Rick Larsen (WA-02)
David Loebsack (IA-02)
Sean Maloney (NY-18)
Patrick Murphy (FL-18)
Beto O’Rourke (TX-16)
Ed Perlmutter (CO-07)
Kathleen Rice (NY-04)
Dutch Ruppersberger (MD-02)
Kyrsten Sinema (AZ-09)
Eric Swalwell (CA-15)
Dina Titus (NV-01)
Marc Veasey (TX-33)
Filemon Vela (TX-34)
Debbie Wasserman Schultz (FL-23)

Most of the 34 hail from one of the states listed above. The exceptions are these 11:

Brad Ashford (NE-02)
Sanford Bishop (GA-02)
Corrine Brown (FL-05)
Cheri Bustos (IL-17)
David Loebsack (IA-02)
Sean Maloney (NY-18)
Ed Perlmutter (CO-07)
Kathleen Rice (NY-04)
Dutch Ruppersberger (MD-02)
Kyrsten Sinema (AZ-09)
Eric Swalwell (CA-15)

Discuss

Continuing the string of tax-related votes from yesterday, House Republicans brought up their bill to repeal the estate tax entirely.

Barely anyone in the US actually has to pay the estate tax. In 2016, only 5,400 estates in the whole country--the wealthiest 0.2 percent--would owe any estate tax.

Repealing the estate tax would reduce tax revenue by $269 billion over the next decade. Next year, taxable estates would get a tax cut averaging $3 million each, with the 318 estates worth at least $50 million getting $20 million each.

The so-called "Death Tax Repeal Act" passed 240 to 179.

Only 3 Republicans voted against it: David Jolly (FL-13), Walter Jones (NC-03), and Scott Rigell (VA-02).

7 Democrats voted for this giveaway to the super-rich:

Brad Ashford (NE-02)
Sanford Bishop (GA-02)
Jim Costa (CA-16)
Henry Cuellar (TX-28)
Collin Peterson (MN-07)
Dutch Ruppersberger (MD-02)
Kyrsten Sinema (AZ-09)

How many estates in each of their states would benefit from the bill they just voted for?

Ashford (NE): 60
Bishop (GA): 100
Costa (CA): 970
Cuellar (TX): 340
Peterson (MN): 60
Ruppersberger (MD): 70
Sinema (AZ): 60

Discuss
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