For the week ending January 31
EXPANDING CONSUMER RIGHTS IN CREDIT REPORTS: Voting 221 for and 189 against, the House on Jan. 29 passed a bill (HR 3621) that would require firms such as Equifax, Experian and Trans Union to adopt certain consumer-friendly procedures in judging the creditworthiness of the hundreds of millions of Americans in their portfolios. Overseen by the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, the bill would prohibit firms from reporting on debt incurred for life-saving medical treatments; delay for one year credit reporting on all other forms of medical debt; reduce from seven to four years the period for retaining adverse information in credit reports; reduce from 10 to seven years the deadline for expunging bankruptcy information; and prohibit most employers from basing workplace decisions on credit reports unless they are required by law to do so. Addressing student debt, the bill would enable borrowers who are delinquent or have defaulted on a private-sector education loan to repair their credit by making at least nine of 10 consecutive monthly payments on the loan on time. Once the loan is back on track, credit agencies would have to remove the episode from the borrower’s history. Military personnel deployed to combat or persons victimized by natural disasters during the 10 months could suspend and then resume payments without facing consequences.
A yes vote was to send the bill to the Senate.
YES: Deb Haaland, D-1, Xochitl Torres Small, D-2, Ben Ray Luján, D-3
DEFINING MODELS FOR CREDIT SCORES: Voting 201 for and 208 against, the House on Jan. 29 defeated a Republican motion that sought to prohibit credit reports compiled under the terms of HR 3621 (above) from using models that factor in the individual’s “political opinions, religious expression or other expression protected by the First Amendment.” The amendment would forbid the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau from requiring such models even though the agency has no plans to do so.
A yes vote was to adopt the motion.
NO: Haaland, Torres Small, Luján
ASSERTING CONGRESSIONAL CONTROL OVER WAR WITH IRAN: Voting 228 for and 175 against, the House on Jan. 30 adopted an amendment to HR 550 that would deny funding of any U.S. military action against Iran or its proxy forces that lacks congressional authorization, except when there is an imminent threat to the United States, its armed forces or its territories. The measure asserts the sole constitutional power of Congress to declare war as spelled out in the 1973 War Powers Resolution. The president would have to notify Congress within 48 hours if he marshals the U.S. military against Iran, then withdraw the force within a specified period unless Congress votes to authorize the action. A yes vote was to amend the bill and send it to the Senate.
YES: Haaland, Torres Small, Luján
REPEALING IRAQ WAR RESOLUTION: Voting 236 for and 166 against, the House on Jan. 30 adopted an amendment to HR 550 (above) that would repeal the 2002 Iraq war resolution, which has been cited as the legal basis of U.S. military actions in Iraq and numerous other global theaters over the past 18 years, including the recent U.S. assassination at the Baghdad airport of Iranian General Qasem Soleimani. Congress would have six months to update U.S. war authority, and until it does so, the president could immediately deploy forces to protect national security without seeking congressional approval. Opponents said the lapse would endanger U.S. troops and increase American exposure to terrorist attacks.
A yes vote was to amend the bill and send it to the Senate.
YES: Haaland, Torres Small, Luján
DENYING IMPEACHMENT TRIAL WITNESSES: Voting 49 for and 51 against, the Senate on Jan. 31 defeated a motion to allow votes on subpoenas for witnesses and documents in the impeachment trial of President Trump. The only senators breaking party ranks were Republicans Susan Collins of Maine and Mitt Romney of Utah, who voted with Democrats in favor of issuing subpoenas. The motion did not name potential witnesses. But Democrats said in debate they wished to subpoena, among others, John Bolton, Trump’s former national security adviser, for testimony about topics including his reported conversations with the president about Trump’s solicitation of personal political favors from Ukrainian officials in return for his release of nearly $400 million in U.S. military aid to Ukraine. Trump defenders said the Senate should make its decision on removing him from office based on evidence submitted by the House.
A yes vote was to allow motions to issue subpoenas.
YES: Martin Heinrich, D, Tom Udall, D
HOUSE Deb Haaland (D) Ben Ray Luján (D) Xochitl Torres Small (D)
SENATE Martin Heinrich (D) Tom Udall (D)
Contact your legislators at the U.S. Capitol
Zip codes: House 20515, Senate 20510
Capitol operator: (202) 224-3121
Courtesy of Voterama In Congress © 2019 Thomas Reports Inc.