Protecting Labor's Right to Organize: Voting 225-206, the House on Tuesday passed a bill (HR 842) that would protect and expand employee rights to collectively bargain for better pay, benefits and working conditions. The bill would establish the right to organize as a civil right enforceable in federal court; prohibit the permanent replacement of striking workers; enable employees to file class-action lawsuits over working conditions; negate state right-to-work laws allowing non-union employees to benefit from negotiated contracts without paying union dues; make it difficult for employers to classify "gig economy" workers as independent contractors to prevent them from joining unions; and authorize fines of up to $50,000 per violation for employers who unlawfully interfere with organizing campaigns. A yes vote was to send the bill to the Senate.
Jeff Van Drew, R-2nd: YES
Andy Kim, D-3rd: YES
Expanding Checks on Gun Sales: The House on Thursday voted 227-203 to expand federal background checks on firearms sales to cover transactions conducted at gun shows, over the internet or through classified ads, with an exception for sales between family members. The bill (HR 8) would plug loopholes that allow millions of U.S. firearms sales to skirt the FBI's National Instant Criminal Background Check System. A yes vote was to send the bill to the Senate.
Van Drew: NO
Checks on Undocumented Immigrants: Voting 207-217, the House on Thursday defeated a Republican motion to HR 8 (above) requiring undocumented immigrants to be reported to U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement when federal background checks detect they are attempting to buy a firearm. A yes vote was to adopt the GOP requirement.
Van Drew: Not voting
Extending Gun Background Checks: Voting 219-210, the House on Thursday passed a bill (HR 1446) that would allow more time for the FBI's National Instant Criminal Background Check System to complete reviews of impending gun sales. Now, sales automatically go through if the check is not finished within three business or weekend days. The bill would extend the window to as many as 20 business days. A yes vote was to send the bill to the Senate.
Van Drew: NO
Giving Final OK to Virus Relief: Voting 220-211, the House on Wednesday gave final congressional approval to a $1.9 trillion coronavirus relief package (HR 1319) that would add $300 per week to jobless benefits through Sept. 6; deliver payments of $1,400 per person to 150 million Americans; increase the Child Tax Credit in a way designed to cut child poverty nearly in half; deliver $350 billion to state, county, city, tribal and territorial governments; provide $25 billion in grants to the restaurant industry; increase Affordable Care Act premium subsidies; fund the reopening of K-12 schools; provide $25 billion in rental aid to avert evictions and $10 billion to help landlords meet their expenses; and fund programs to vaccinate against COVID-19 and slow the spread of the virus. A yes vote was to send the bill to President Joe Biden.
Van Drew: NO
Confirming Merrick Garland as Attorney General: Voting 70-30, the Senate on Wednesday confirmed federal appeals judge Merrick B. Garland, 68, as attorney general. Garland held Department of Justice positions under former Presidents Jimmy Carter, George H. W. Bush and Bill Clinton. In 2016, his nomination to the Supreme Court was blocked in the GOP-controlled Senate for 10 months and then withdrawn. A yes vote was to confirm the nominee.
Robert Menendez, D: YES
Cory Booker, D: YES
Confirming Marcia Fudge as Housing Secretary: Voting 66-34, the Senate on Wednesday confirmed Rep. Marcia L. Fudge, D-Ohio, as secretary of the Department of Housing and Urban Development. Fudge, 68, was a mayor in suburban Cleveland before entering Congress in 2009, and she once chaired the Congressional Black Caucus. A yes vote was to confirm the nominee.
Confirming Michael Regan as EPA Chief: Voting 66-34, the Senate on Wednesday confirmed Michael S. Regan, 44, as administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency, the first African-American to lead the 50-year-old agency. A specialist in reducing air pollution, Regan served at the EPA under Presidents Bill Clinton and George W. Bush. A yes vote was to confirm the nominee.