Extending Paycheck Protection: Voting 92-7, the Senate on Thursday gave final congressional approval to a bill (HR 1799) extending from March 31 to May 31 the deadline for small businesses to apply for COVID-19 rescue funds under the Paycheck Protection Program. Begun in March 2020, the PPP provides firms with fewer than 500 employees forgivable loans for meeting payroll and certain overhead costs, including rent or mortgage payments. A yes vote was to send the bill to President Joe Biden.
Robert Menendez, D: YES
Cory Booker, D: YES
Denying Aid to Convicted Rioters: Voting 48-52, the Senate on Thursday defeated an amendment that sought to deny aid under HR 1799 (above) to any person convicted in the preceding two years of a felony related to a riot at the Capitol or in U.S. cities. A yes vote was to adopt the amendment.
Martin Walsh, Secretary of Labor: Voting 68-29, the Senate on Monday confirmed Martin J. Walsh, 53, the mayor of Boston, as secretary of the Department of Labor, the first union member to head the department since 1977. Walsh had been president of Laborers Local 223 in Boston and head of the city's Building and Construction Trades Council. A yes vote was to confirm the nominee.
Vivek Murthy, U.S. Surgeon General: Voting 57-43, the Senate on Tuesday confirmed Dr. Vivek H. Murthy, 44, as U.S. surgeon general, a post he once held under former President Barack Obama. An adviser to President-elect Joe Biden on COVID-19 issues following the November election, Murthy has been a physician at Brigham and Women's Hospital in Boston. A yes vote was to confirm the nominee.
Shalanda Young, Deputy Budget Director: Voting 63-37, the Senate on Tuesday confirmed Shalanda D. Young, a former staff director of the House Appropriations Committee, as deputy director of the Office of Management and Budget. She also is under consideration to be nominated OMB director. A yes vote was to confirm the nominee.
Rachel Levine, Assistant Health Secretary: Voting 52-48, the Senate on Wednesday confirmed Rachel L. Levine, 63, as assistant secretary for the Department of Health and Human Services. She becomes the first openly transgender person to be confirmed by the Senate. Levine has been a professor of pediatrics and psychiatry at the Penn State College of Medicine and was physician general for Pennsylvania from 2015 to 2017. A yes vote was to confirm the nominee.