Here’s how members of Wisconsin’s congressional delegation voted on major issues in the week ending Feb. 10.
Note: Speaker of the House Paul Ryan, R-Janesville, voted. By custom, the speaker does not vote except in rare circumstances.
Sexual Harassment in U.S. House: The House on Feb. 6 passed a bipartisan bill (HR 4924) that would reform its handling of employees’ sexual-harassment allegations against lawmakers. The bill prohibits House members from engaging in a sexual relationship with any staff member they supervise; requires lawmakers to personally pay settlements arising from their misconduct; provides legal counsel for complainants; allows victims to talk publicly about settlements and requires public disclosure of members’ settlement payments.
The bill was passed on a non-record voice vote and is now before the Senate.
Posting Fast-Food Calories: The House on Feb. 6 voted, 266-157, to sidetrack a Food and Drug Administration rule under which restaurant chains of 20 or more outlets will have to post nutrition information including calorie counts on menu boards at the point of sale. A yes vote was to pass a bill (HR 772) that would amend and effectively kill an anti-obesity rule due to take effect in May.
Voting yes: Ron Kind, D-3, James Sensenbrenner, R-5, Glenn Grothman, R-6, Sean Duffy, R-7, Mike Gallagher, R-8
Voting no: Mark Pocan, D-2, Gwen Moore, D-4
Deregulation of Home-Lending Rules: The House on Feb. 8 voted, 280-131, to relax a Consumer Financial Protection Bureau rule designed to curb predatory home-lending practices such as those linked to millions of foreclosures in the 2008-2009 financial meltdown. Backers said the bill would enable community banks to expand middle- and low-income access to home ownership, while foes said it would add unnecessary risk to segments of the mortgage market. A yes vote was to send HR 1153 to the Senate.
Voting yes: Kind, Sensenbrenner, Grothman, Duffy, Gallagher
Voting no: Pocan, Moore
Two-Year Budget Deal: Voting 240-186, the House on Feb. 9 passed a federal budget (HR 1892) that would increase discretionary spending by at least $300 billion over present levels over two years and raise the national-debt ceiling through February 2019. The bill would provide $6 billion for fighting opioid addiction and $20 billion for infrastructure projects over two years while funding $90 billion in disaster aid for California, Texas, Florida, Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands. A yes vote was to send President Trump a bill projected to increase annual deficits by at least $320 billion over 10 years.
Voting yes: Ryan, Grothman, Duffy, Gallagher
Voting no: Pocan, Kind, Moore, Sensenbrenner
Two-Year Budget Deal: Voting 71-28, the Senate on Feb. 9 passed a bill (HR 1892, above) that would boost discretionary spending by at least $300 billion through the fiscal year ending Sept. 30, 2019, while increasing deficits by a projected $320 billion over 10 years, or $418 billion counting new borrowing costs the bill would trigger. Military programs would receive nearly 60 percent of the spending increase with the remainder going mostly to domestic programs in areas such as education, health care, transportation, social services and job training. A yes vote was to send the bill to the House.
Voting yes: Tammy Baldwin, D
Voting no: Ron Johnson, R
KEY VOTES AHEAD
The Senate will vote on the legal status of undocumented young immigrants known as “Dreamers” in the week of Feb. 12, while the House schedule was to be announced.
— Thomas Voting Reports