How They Voted (Congress)

Here’s how area House and Senate members voted on major issues during the legislative week ending Sept. 15. See the nonpartisan for more information on top congressional issues and individual voting records. Click here for previous votes.

Because of disagreements between Speaker Kevin McCarthy and a far-right faction of his Republican caucus, the House cancelled its plan to debate the fiscal 2024 military budget. As a result, the chamber conducted only one major vote during the week, which is presented here. The Senate also conducted only one key vote, due to an intra-party GOP dispute over federal spending levels.

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, 41, 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.

Impeachment of President Biden

The House did not vote on a proposal to pursue an impeachment of President Joe Biden, after McCarthy initially said it would. Instead, the speaker announced on Tuesday (Sept. 12) that the investigation would proceed without a vote.

In a statement, Lawler said:

For months, House committees have been investigating alleged corruption involving the Biden family. Thus far, the investigations have uncovered credible evidence, including the use of shell companies to hide payments of over $20 million from foreign agents and whistleblower testimony from IRS and DOJ officials, alleging undue political influence and interference.

Today’s announcement by Speaker McCarthy is a continuation of the investigations that are currently open and ongoing. As I have said repeatedly, the facts and evidence will determine what, if any, next steps are to be taken. Impeachment should not be, and must never be, political in nature or a tit for tat revenge game, and should only be used if the facts and evidence warrant it. As of today, the House has not met the high bar of impeachment.

While the investigation moves forward, and there are many questions still unanswered, it is imperative that Congress continue its efforts on behalf of the American people focused on addressing affordability, ensuring public safety, securing our border and fixing our broken immigration system, and increasing American production of energy. I will continue to focus on delivering bipartisan results for our country and my district.

In a statement, Ryan said:

Hudson Valley families are worried about high costs, rampant gun violence and attacks on their fundamental freedoms as Americans. Without presenting any meaningful evidence for impeachment, all Speaker McCarthy is doing is caving to MAGA extremists. Unlike him, I’ll continue to fight for my constituents and the American people.

Protecting Gas-Powered Vehicles

Voting 222 for and 190 against, the House on Sept. 14 passed a bill (HR 1435) that would amend the Clean Air Act in a way designed to protect the future of the internal combustion engine. The bill would effectively kill a California Air Resources Board ban on the sale of new internal-combustion cars and light trucks in the state by 2035. The ban would limit the California market to vehicles powered by green fuels including electricity and hydrogen. At least 17 other states appear likely to follow California’s lead, placing 40 percent of the U.S. market off-limits to new vehicles powered by fossil fuels. Under this bill, the Environmental Protection Agency would be prohibited from granting a Clean Air Act waiver to advance the California plan.

Michael Burgess (R-Texas) said: “Without this bill, California and other Democratic states could effectively ban internal combustion engines for all Americans, regardless of where they reside. This is not what the founders intended when they designed our federalist system.”

Cathy McMorris Rodgers (R-Wash.) said: “For more than a century, the internal combustion engine has allowed people to increase their mobility and raise their standard of living. Restrictive government mandates [aren’t] how we are going to lead [for] the next 100 years…. The reality is, gas powered cars are much less expensive than EVs and continue to outperform them in range, towing capacity and ability to operate in severe weather.”

Frank Pallone (D-N.J.) said: “If you pass this bill, then you’re basically insisting that people have to have gas-powered vehicles, because nobody’s going to develop electric vehicles…. People are buying EVs more than ever. Even Republicans are buying electric vehicles, but this bill will discourage any manufacturing of hybrid or electric vehicles….”

Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) said: “What would be the reason that you would interfere in the free market of the auto industry and the free breathing for our children of cleaner air? The only explanation could be that Big Oil opposes this legislation. They are so living in the past. They don’t even realize that the future is upon us, and the future is for the children.”

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


Veterans, Military Construction and NATO Budgets

By a tally of 91 for and seven against, the Senate on Sept. 14 voted to start debate on a bill (HR 4366) that would appropriate $154.4 billion in fiscal 2024 in discretionary spending and $161.7 billion in mandatory spending for the Department of Veterans Affairs, military construction and housing, U.S. support of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization and the budgets of several other agencies.

Patty Murray (D-Wash.) said military construction bolsters national security “because our ships and submarines and aircraft are only as good as the infrastructure they rely on…. These investments will build our presence around the world, especially in the Indo-Pacific region, and strengthen our military infrastructure to keep it resilient in the face of threats like severe weather and earthquakes.”

No senator spoke against the bill. A yes vote was to advance the bill.

Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) voted yes
Kirsten Gillibrand (D-N.Y.) voted yes

Federal Reserve Vice Chair

Voting 88 for and 10 against, the Senate on Sept. 6 confirmed Philip N. Jefferson for a four-year term as vice chair of the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System. Jefferson has been a member of the Fed board since May 2022, and before that he was a professor of economics and vice president for academic affairs at Davidson College. Jefferson is the fourth Black man to serve on the Fed board. The Fed was established in 1913 as an independent agency tasked with regulating U.S. monetary policy free of congressional interference. As the nation’s central bank, its main responsibilities are to promote what it defines as full employment, stabilize prices and set interest rates at levels designed to stimulate economic growth while controlling inflation.

Sherrod Brown (D-Ohio) said: “Dr. Jefferson brings to the Fed outstanding academic credentials and years of strong leadership experience. He is a renowned scholar [and] a leading expert in monetary policy and the economics of poverty. Dr. Jefferson possesses a strong understanding of how higher prices hurt the most economically insecure Americans and that access to good-paying jobs is the best antidote to poverty.”

No senator spoke in opposition. A yes vote was to confirm the nominee.

Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) voted yes
Kirsten Gillibrand (D-N.Y.) voted yes

Federal Reserve Governor

Voting 51 for and 47 against, the Senate on Sept. 6 confirmed Lisa D. Cook for a 14-year term on the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System that will begin in February 2024 when her current term expires. When Cook joined the board on May 23, 2022, to fill a vacancy, she became the first Black woman to serve as a Fed governor. Cook had been a director of the Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago. Before that, she was a professor of economics and international relations at Harvard University and Michigan State University and an economic advisor to the Barack Obama administration and the governments of Nigeria and Rwanda.

Sherrod Brown (D-Ohio) said Cook “brings a breadth of research and international experience in monetary policy, banking and financial crises. Dr. Cook’s expertise in international economics has immense value as we continue in our economic recovery amidst global inflation that is higher in most of the rest of the world than it is here.”

No senator spoke in opposition.

Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) voted yes
Kirsten Gillibrand (D-N.Y.) voted yes

Federal Reserve Governor

Voting 53 for and 45 against, the Senate on Sept. 7 confirmed Adriana D. Kugler for a 14-year term on the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System. Kugler joins the Fed after having served as the top U.S. official at the World Bank, and before that she was and a faculty member at Georgetown University’s McCourt School of Public Affairs and the University of Houston. She was chief economist at the Department of Labor between 2011-2013.

Sherrod Brown, D-Ohio, said Krugler is “one of the nation’s top labor economists with an impressive record in both government and academic service. She is unquestionably qualified. She possesses bipartisan support from top economists and civil rights organizations….She was confirmed via a unanimous vote in the U.S. Senate for that job, and she has played a critical role in the global economic recovery.”

Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) voted yes
Kirsten Gillibrand (D-N.Y.) voted yes

National Labor Relations Board

Voting 51 for and 48 against, the Senate on Sept. 6 confirmed Gwynne A. Wilcox to a second term on the National Labor Relations Board. When she joined the NLRB in August 2021 to fill an unexpired term, Wilcox became the first Black woman to serve there. Her new term is for five years. Wilcox had been a senior partner in a New York City law firm that represents unions in disputes with management. An independent agency established in 1936, the NLRB is charged with enforcing labor laws in areas including collective bargaining and disputes over the fairness and legality of employer practices.

There was no debate on Wilcox’s nomination.

Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) voted yes
Kirsten Gillibrand (D-N.Y.) voted yes

One thought on “How They Voted (Congress)

  1. So Rep. Lawler believes that “thus far, the investigations have uncovered credible evidence, including the use of shell companies to hide payments of over $20 million from foreign agents and whistleblower testimony from IRS and DOJ officials, alleging undue political influence and interference.”

    Note the passive voice. Who “used shell companies?” To whom did the $20 million from foreign companies go? And by the way, the so-called whistleblowers have alleged political interference not by President Biden but by unnamed “higher-ups.”

    If Rep. Lawler thinks there is credible evidence against President Biden, he should specify it so we all can check it out instead of regurgitating vague nothing-burgers.

    This so-called impeachment inquiry is clearly a revenge fishing expedition demanded of his minions in Congress by the insurrectionist former president. It is a crying shame to see Rep. Lawler carrying water for him. Many of us thought Lawler was better than that.

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