How They Voted (Congress)

Here’s how area House and Senate members voted on major issues during the legislative week ending June 23. See the nonpartisan for more information on top congressional issues and individual voting records. Click here for previous votes.

Mike LawlerMichael Lawler (R), District 17 (including Philipstown)
Lawler, 36, was elected to Congress in 2022. From 2021 to 2022, he was a Republican member of the state Assembly from the 97th district in Rockland County. A graduate of Suffern High School, he holds a bachelor’s degree in accounting and finance from Manhattan College. He is a former  director of the state Republican Party and former deputy town supervisor of Orangetown.

Pat RyanPat Ryan (D), District 18 (including Beacon)
Ryan, 40, was elected to Congress in 2022. Formerly the county executive of Ulster, he grew up in Kingston and holds a bachelor’s degree in international politics from the U.S. Military Academy at West Point and a master’s degree in security studies from Georgetown. Ryan served in the U.S. Army as a combat intelligence officer from 2004 to 2009, including two tours in Iraq. He is also a former technology executive.

Republican Censure of Rep. Adam Schiff

On a vote of 213 for and 209 against, the House on June 21 adopted a Republican resolution (H Res 521) to censure Rep. Adam Schiff (D-Calif.) for his pursuit of allegations that Donald Trump’s 2016 presidential campaign conspired with Russia to influence the election outcome. As leader of the first impeachment prosecution of Trump and the top Democrat on the House Intelligence Committee during Trump’s presidency, Schiff repeatedly cited what he said was evidence of the campaign’s collusion with Russian operatives to sway the election. The censure resolution called these “false accusations” and said Schiff deserves censure having “misled the American people and brought disrepute” on the House. Censure ranks behind expulsion as the most severe punishment the House can impose on a member.

A 22-month investigation by Special Counsel Robert Mueller, resulting in a report released in March 2019, found numerous contacts between the Trump campaign and Russians but insufficient evidence of a criminal conspiracy to disrupt the election. A recently released report by another special counsel, John Durham, accused the FBI of bias against Trump in its probe of Russian connections. Michael Horowitz, the Department of Justice inspector general, issued a report in December 2019 that found misconduct by the FBI but no evidence of political bias in its decision to investigate contacts between the campaign and Russia.

Anna Paulina Luna (R-Fla.) said that, as chair of the Intelligence Committee, Schiff “launched an all-out political campaign built on baseless distortions against a sitting U.S. president…. With access to sensitive information unavailable to most members of Congress… [He] abused his privileges, claiming to know the truth, while leaving Americans in the dark about this web of lies…. The lie that President Donald Trump colluded with Russia to steal the 2016 presidential election [was] revealed to be completely false by numerous investigations.”

Jamie Raskin (D-Md.) said: “Russia repeatedly intervened in the 2016 campaign to help Donald Trump, and that is not a matter of opinion. That is a question of direct, positive fact. Special Counsel Robert Mueller… found… ‘ the Russian government interfered in the 2016 presidential election in sweeping and systematic fashion.’ Here is what the CIA, the FBI, the NSA and the Office of the Director of the National Intelligence found in 2017: ‘ Russian President Vladimir Putin ordered an influence campaign in 2016 aimed at the U.S. presidential election.’ The Mueller investigation and the Moscow Project documented more than 250 episodes of collaboration and meetings between Russia and the Trump campaign.…”

A yes vote was to censure Schiff.

Michael Lawler (R-17, including Philipstown) voted yes
Pat Ryan (D-18, including Beacon) voted no

Call for Impeachment of President Biden

Voting 219 for and 208 against, the House on June 22 adopted a resolution (H Res 529) that referred to the Judiciary and Homeland Security committees a resolution to impeach President Biden based on what critics say is his failure to protect the southern border of the United States. The committees are charged with developing evidence and reporting their findings to the full House, but also have the option of taking no action.

Lauren Boebert (R-Colo.) said: “By nullifying our immigration and border security laws through a systematic lack of enforcement, President Biden has not only threatened the lives of countless Americans with his fentanyl crisis and increased crime, he has threatened the very foundation of our separation of powers. When a president tramples on the Constitution and ignores the laws on the books, it is Congress’ solemn duty to restore our constitutional balance through articles of impeachment….”

Jim McGovern (D-Mass.) said Republicans “are dishonoring this House and dishonoring themselves by bringing to the floor a ridiculous impeachment referral resolution against Joe Biden because Donald Trump told them to…. [They] are here on the floor defending a three-time loser, sexual abuser, ex-president that has been indicted more times than he has been elected. It is pathetic. Instead of dealing with their own issues, Republicans are going after Joe Biden to try to distract and deflect.”

A yes vote was to send an impeachment resolution to House committees.

Michael Lawler (R-17, including Philipstown) voted yes
Pat Ryan (D-18, including Beacon) voted no

Affordable Care Act and Employer-Based Coverage

Voting 220 for and 209 against, the House on June 21 passed a bill (HR 3799) that would write into law a Trump administration rule making it easier for companies to use voucher-style plans to deliver medical insurance to workers. Known as Individual Coverage Health Reimbursement Arrangements, these entities enable companies to replace group health insurance with employer-funded accounts that workers use to purchase individual policies in ACA marketplaces. They reduce employers’ medical costs and administrative burdens while shifting to workers the task of navigating the federal health law.

The bill also would expand the availability of “association health plans,” which allow trade associations and professional groups to band together to offer medical insurance as though they were large employers, reducing costs as they scale up coverage. Such plans are exempt from compliance with many of the ACA’s essential health benefits, which apply primarily to the individual and small-group markets.

Backers said the expansion would give small firms relief from the rigidity of the federal health law, while critics said it would siphon younger and healthier workers from ACA marketplaces that depend on broadly representative enrollee pools to control premium costs.

Jason Smith (R-Mo.): “Today, we are taking another step forward to cut the bureaucratic red tape holding back small businesses. We should make it easier, not harder, to give America’s workers, families, farmers, and small businesses access to flexible healthcare options.

Robert Scott (D-Va.) called the bill “yet another recycled, futile attempt to sabotage the Affordable Care Act and actually make it harder for workers and families to find affordable, high-quality health insurance.”

A yes vote was to send the bill to the Senate, where it was likely to fail.

Michael Lawler (R-17, including Philipstown) voted yes
Pat Ryan (D-18, including Beacon) voted no

Biden Policy on Loan Forgiveness

The House on June 21 voted to uphold a Biden administration policy of forgiving up to $20,000 of debt for an estimated 43 million low- to middle-income individuals who received student loans from the federal government for undergraduate education. On this vote of 221 for and 206 against, the House failed to reach a two-thirds majority needed to override President Biden’s veto of a congressional resolution (HJ Res 45) that sought to revoke the rule. Biden’s executive order does not affect loans by private lenders. Legal challenges have prevented the nine-month-old directive from taking effect, and the Supreme Court is expected to rule soon on its constitutionality.

Virginia Foxx (R-N.C.) said Americans “are not fooled by the deceptive, doctored-up talking points on student loans that the left has attempted to force-feed them over the past two years…. There is no such thing as forgiveness. This entire scheme is nothing more than a transfer of wealth from those who willingly took on debt to those who did not or had the grit to pay off their loans.”

Robert Scott (D-Va.) said “the people who would be impacted are not the wealthy and well-connected — 90 percent of the relief would go to borrowers earning less than $75,000 a year, and you are not even eligible if you are making more than $125,000. That is in stark contrast to the Trump tax scam where 80 percent of the benefits went to the top 1 percent and corporations.”

A yes vote was to overturn the presidential veto.

Michael Lawler (R-17, including Philipstown) voted yes
Pat Ryan (D-18, including Beacon) voted no


Regulation of Pistols Converted to Rifles

The Senate on June 22 upheld a new Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms rule that pistols equipped with stabilizing braces must be registered as short-barreled rifles because the braces enable firing from the shoulder. Owners who fail to register these accessorized AR-style pistols with the ATF would face stiff fines and potential prison terms under the National Firearms Act of 1934, which requires registration of machine guns and sawed-off rifles and shotguns, and the Gun Control Act of 1968, which governs interstate commerce in firearms. On this vote, the Senate defeated, 49 for and 50 against, a resolution (HJ Res 44) that sought to revoke the rule.

Pistols equipped with braces were used in mass shootings at The Covenant School in Nashville, Tennessee, in March 2023; the Club Q in Colorado Springs. Colorado, in November 2022; the King Soupers market in Boulder, Colorado, in March 2021 and outside a bar in Dayton, Ohio, in August 2019.

John Kennedy (R-La.): “The issue today is very simple. It is whether President Biden’s Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms’ new rule, in effect, banning — or at a minimum severely restricting — pistol braces is a reasonable restriction under the Constitution. That is what we are discussing today.”

Richard Blumenthal, D-Conn., said the regulation “doesn’t ban pistol-bracing; it simply requires that gun owners register them…. Today, we have a choice. Either we allow shooters to turn pistols into powerful, accurate, easily hidden rifles, with total impunity, or we have the courage to protect our communities.”

A yes vote was to revoke the rule.

Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) voted no
Kirsten Gillibrand (D-N.Y.) voted no

2 thoughts on “How They Voted (Congress)

  1. When Michael Lawler was elected in 2020 by defeating Democrat Sean Patrick Maloney by less than 1 percent of the vote, we were unsure of what kind of representative he would be. Rep. Maloney portrayed himself as a moderate and he was re-elected four times from a district that included a red county. Many of us had hoped that Lawler would follow a similar path.

    His recent votes to censure Rep. Schiff for his legitimate/personal interpretation of the Mueller Report, and to empower a House committee to begin an investigation of President Biden of impeachable offenses, have revealed his true beliefs and positions.

    He can create an excellent website and send timely newsletters filled with photo ops and news of all the hard work he is doing. But when it came time to show some courage, to vote against his party, he didn’t.

    His votes means that the 49.4 percent of his constituents who didn’t vote for him are not included in his political agenda. We didn’t send him to Washington to increase the political rancor but to possibly show us a way out. His votes have fueled the partisan divide and by supporting revenge politics and political theater, his ability to get legislation passed in both houses of Congress is greatly diminished.

    We found it noteworthy that he did not mention or include these votes on his website or in his newsletter. Nor did he offer his constituents any explanation or justification for his positions. We assume he hoped no one would notice.

  2. I blinked twice when I read that Rep. Michael Lawler voted to move forward with resolutions to impeach President Biden for “high crimes and misdemeanors.” And Lawler’s a “moderate” Republican, huh?

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