For the week ending December 7th
APPROVING $740.5 BILLION FOR THE MILITARY: Voting 335 for and 78 against, the House on Dec. 8 adopted the conference report on a $740.5 billion military budget (HR 6395) for fiscal 2021 that includes $69 billion to fund combat operations overseas, $60 billion plus for active-duty and retiree health care; $8.5 billion for military construction; $1 billion for addressing present and future pandemics. In addition, the bill would require the removal of Confederate names from military bases; treat global warming as a national-security threat; fund a 3% pay raise for uniformed personnel; expand programs for military victims of sexual assault; and provide Ukraine with $250 million for defending itself against Russian incursions. The bill would require the administration to provide Congress with national-security justifications for President Trump’s announced plans to slash U.S. troop levels in Afghanistan and Germany. This would not prohibit the withdrawals but delay them until after the inauguration of President-elect Joe Biden.
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
STOPGAP FUNDING, COVID-19 RELIEF: Voting 343 for and 67 against, the House on Dec. 9 passed a bill (HR 8900) to fund the government on a stopgap basis through Dec. 18. In addition to averting a shutdown, the vote gives leaders more time to negotiate another round of emergency economic relief due to COVID-19. A yes vote was to approve stopgap funding through Dec. 18.
YES: Haaland, Torres Small, Luján
SELLING WEAPONS TO UNITED ARAB EMIRATES: Voting 46 for and 50 against, the Senate on Dec. 9 refused to block the Trump administration’s planned sale of MQ-9 Reaper drones to the United Arab Emirates. These unmanned aerial vehicles are equipped
with laser-guided bombs and air-to-ground missiles. A yes vote was to effectively delay the arms sales.
YES: Tom Udall, D, Martin Heinrich, D
CONFIRMING FEDERAL ELECTION COMMISSIONER: On a vote of 92 for and four against, the Senate on Dec. 9 confirmed Shana M. Broussard for a seat on the Federal Election Commission. The agency’s first African American commissioner, Broussard had been an FEC staff attorney, and before that she was an attorney with the Internal Revenue Service and an assistant district
attorney in New Orleans. Her confirmation along with that of two other commissioners last week gives the agency a full slate of six commissioners for the first time since 2017. A post-Watergate panel, the FEC is charged with enforcing campaign-finance laws in federal contests, disclosing candidates’ campaign-finance data to the public, enforcing rules for contributions and spending and supervising the public funding of presidential elections.
A yes vote was to confirm Broussard.
YES: Udall, Heinrich
SENDING MILITARY BUDGET TO PRESIDENT TRUMP: Voting 84 for and 13 against, the Senate on Dec. 11 adopted the conference report on a $740.5 billion military budget for fiscal 2021 (HR 6395). In addition to provisions in the House summary above, the bill would prohibit U.S. troops from being deployed domestically against Americans exercising their constitutional right to peaceably protest; reinforce America’s role in NATO; expand health benefits to Vietnam-era veterans exposed to Agent Orange; and ensure that all federal employees have access to 12 weeks’ paid parental leave. In addition, the bill would require the removal over three years of Confederate names from Army bases named after officers who waged war against the United States,
and from other U.S. military assets including naval vessels named in commemoration of Confederate military figures or battlefield prowess.
A yes vote was to send the bill to President Trump.
YES: Udall, Heinrich
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