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How your Congressional Delegates voted

  • Post published:May 17, 2021
  • Post category:News

For the week ending May 14th

CRACKDOWN ON DEBT COLLECTORS: Voting 215 for and 207 against, the House on May 13 passed a bill (HR 2547)  that would prohibit abusive practices by private firms that collect debt from consumers, student loan borrowers and others seriously in arrears. The bill would require a two year grace period before efforts to collect medical debt from seriously ill individuals could begin. And it would allow co-signers as well as borrowers of private student loans to discharge their debt on the basis of total and permanent disability, just as seriously disabled borrowers of federal student loans and their co-signers can do. The bill also would:

  • Prohibit companies from collecting medical debt or reporting it to a credit reporting agency without first notifying the consumer about his or her rights.
  • Limit fees to 10% of collections in the case of companies hired by federal agencies to collect debt.
  • Prohibit collection firms from making malicious, unfounded threats against members of the military.
  • Increase monetary damages imposed by the 1977 Fair Debt Collection Practices Act on companies using unfair and deceptive practices.
  • Prohibit collection firms from using emails and text messages to badger those in arrears without their permission.
  • Expand protections for small and minority-owned businesses against collection actions.

A “yes” vote was to send the bill to the Senate.

YES: Teresa Leger Fernandez, D-3
NO: Yvette Herrell, R-2

WORKPLACE ACCOMMODATIONS FOR PREGNANCY: Voting 315 for and 101 against, the House on May 14 passed a bill (HR 1065) that would require private-sector firms and government agencies with at least 15 employees to provide reasonable workplace accommodations for workers and job applicants who are pregnant or have recently given birth. The bill would not require employers to make accommodations that impose undue hardship on their operations. GOP critics said it gave insufficient protections to religious organizations.

A “yes” vote was to send the bill to the Senate.

YES: Leger Fernandez
NO: Herrell

NULLIFYING TRUMP ADMINISTRATION BANKING RULE: Voting 52 for and 47 against, the Senate on May 11 nullified a six-months-old Trump administration rule that has made it easier for state-regulated predatory lenders to use fleeting alliances with national banks and federal savings associations to avoid state banking regulations including usury rules capping interest rates. The federal institutions involved in such arrangements
are not answerable to state regulations. The Office of the Comptroller of the Currency published the rule on Oct. 30, 2020. With this vote, the Senate adopted a resolution (SJ Res 15) that would revoke it by means of the Congressional Review Act. Defenders said the rule rightfully allows national banks to become the lender of record if they have put up the money and signed their name at the time of origination. They said nullification would penalize community banks that partner with internet based financial institutions (“fintechs”) to expand their portfolios.

A “yes” vote was to send the nullification measure to
the House.

YES: Ben Ray Luján, D
NOT VOTING: Martin Heinrich, D

ANDREA PALM, DEPUTY HEALTH SECRETARY: Voting 61 for and 37 against, the Senate on May 11 confirmed Andrea J. Palm, 47, as deputy secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services. Palm was a senior HHS staff member and White House aide and during the Obama administration, and she worked under Hillary Clinton when she represented New York in the Senate. Palm worked most recently as secretary-designee of the Wisconsin Department of Health Services.

A “yes” vote was to confirm the nominee.

YES: Luján
NOT VOTING: Heinrich

CINDY MARTEN, DEPUTY EDUCATION SECRETARY: Voting 54 for and 44 against, the Senate on May 11 confirmed Cindy M. Marten as deputy secretary of the Department of Education. She was superintendent of the San Diego Unified School District between 2013-2021. A former classroom teacher and school principal, Marten is a literacy specialist who served as president of the San Diego Council of Literacy Professionals.

A “yes” vote was to confirm the nominee.

YES: Luján
NOT VOTING: Heinrich

HOUSE: Ben Ray Luján (D) Yvette Herrell (R)

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