Removing Confederate statues from Capitol: Voting 305-113, the House on Wednesday passed a bill (HR 7573) that would remove from the Capitol building a bust of former Supreme Court Chief Justice Roger B. Taney, the author of the Dred Scott vs. Sandford ruling in 1857 that African Americans could not be citizens of the United States or sue in federal courts. The bill also would banish from the Capitol the statues or busts of numerous Confederate and/or pro-slavery leaders including Gen. Robert E. Lee, the Confederate commander, and Jefferson Davis, the president of the Confederacy. A yes vote was to send the bill to the Senate.
Jeff Van Drew, R-2nd: YES
Andy Kim, D-3rd: YES
Approving $741 billion for military in 2021: Voting 295-125, the House on Tuesday approved a $741 billion military budget (HR 6395) for fiscal 2021 that includes $60 billion-plus for active-duty and retiree health care and a $1 billion fund for dealing with present and future pandemics. In addition, the bill would require Confederate names to be removed from U.S. bases; prohibit public display of the Confederate flag on military property; treat global warming as a national-security threat; combat foreign interference in U.S. elections; fund a 3% pay raise for uniformed personnel and require a Pentagon report on alleged Russian bounty payments for the killing of U.S. troops in Afghanistan. A yes vote was to pass the bill.
Van Drew: YES
Prohibiting underground nuclear testing: The House on Monday voted 227-179 to deny funding of Trump administration plans to possibly lift a 28-year moratorium on the underground testing of nuclear weapons. The amendment was added to HR 6395 (above). Since 1992, federal weapons laboratories have used technological simulations and scientific probes to ensure the safety and potency of the nation's aging nuclear arsenal. But a Senate version of the new military budget includes $10 million to prepare for a resumption of explosive underground testing that was common throughout the Cold War. A yes vote was to adopt the amendment.
Van Drew: NO
Repairing national parks, funding public lands: Voting 310-107, the House on Wednesday passed a bill (HR 1957) that would authorize $9.5 billion over five years for repairing facilities at the National Park Service, other federal land agencies and Indian Education Service schools. In addition, the bill would permanently require an annual budget of at least $900 million for the Land and Water Conservation Fund, which provides federal and non-federal agencies with revenue for acquiring land for conservation and recreational purposes. The bill would set aside about $6.5 billion over five years for long-neglected repairs at scores of national parks and related properties. A yes vote was to send the bill to President Donald Trump.
Van Drew: YES
Nullifying bans on Muslim-majority immigration: Voting 233-183, the House on Wednesday passed legislation (HR 2486; HR 2214) that would nullify executive orders by Trump prohibiting permanent immigration into the United States by residents of 12 named countries, many of which have Muslim-majority populations. A yes vote was to send the bill to the Senate.
Van Drew: NO
Ensuring counsel at ports of entry: Voting 231-184, the House on Wednesday passed legislation (HR 2486; HR 5581) that would ensure that lawful permanent residents and other holders of U.S. visas can obtain prompt access to counsel when they are held by Customs and Border Protection for screening at U.S. ports of entry lasting more than one hour. A yes vote was to send the bill to the Senate.
Van Drew: NO
Approving $741 billion for military in 2021: Voting 86-14, the Senate on Thursday approved a $740.5 billion military budget for fiscal 2021 (S 4049) that includes $69 billion to fund combat operations overseas and hundreds of billions for weapons, personnel and research and development. The bill would require the removal of Confederate names from 10 Army bases named after officers who waged war against the United States and from other U.S. military assets named in commemoration of Confederate military figures or battlefield prowess. In addition, the bill (S 4049) would authorize a 3% pay raise for uniformed personnel, prohibit U.S. troop deployments against Americans exercising their constitutional right to peaceably protest and fund preparations for possibly ending the 1992 moratorium on underground nuclear testing. A yes vote was to pass the bill.
Robert Menendez, D: YES
Cory Booker, D: NO
Outlawing transfer of military weapons to local police: Voting 51-49, the Senate on July 21 failed to reach 60 votes needed to adopt an amendment to S 4049 (above) that would permanently outlaw the U.S. military's transfer of combat-level weapons and equipment to local police at no cost. The untransferable items would include bayonets, tear gas, tanks, armed drones, grenade launchers and explosives. But police departments could continue to receive nonlethal items such as highwater vehicles, cold-weather gear, computers, first-aid kits and flashlights under what is called the 1033 Program. A yes vote was to adopt the amendment.
Source: Richard Thomas, Voterama in Congress