Here’s how area House and Senate members voted on major issues during the legislative week ending Dec. 1. 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, 37, 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.

Expelling George Santos

The House on Dec. 1 voted, 311 for and 114 against, to adopt a resolution (H Res 878) removing Rep. George Santos (R-N.Y.) from Congress, making him the sixth member ever to be expelled from the chamber.

The vote followed a House Ethics Committee report alleging misconduct by the first-term congressman including the use of donors’ credit cards without permission and lying about his campaign finances to the Federal Election Commission. He is under federal indictment on charges including wire fraud, money laundering, theft of public money and making false statements to Congress, Santos had survived two previous House expulsion votes this year.

There was no debate on the resolution. A yes vote was to expel Santos.

Michael Lawler (R-17, including Philipstown) voted yes
Pat Ryan (D-18, including Beacon) voted yes

In a statement, Gov. Kathy Hochul said: “I am prepared to undertake the solemn responsibility of filling the vacancy in New York’s 3rd District by scheduling a special election. The people of Long Island and Queens deserve nothing less.”

Killing U.S. Agreement with Iran Over Hostages, Oil Assets

Voting 307 for and 119 against, the House on Nov. 30 passed a bill (HR 5961) that would effectively nullify an agreement last August between the U.S. and Iran that resulted in Iran freeing five U.S. hostages and, in return, gaining the release of five Iranians held in the U.S. and access to $6 billion of its oil revenues frozen in a South Korean bank. The $6 billion was then converted to euros and moved to Qatar’s central bank.

The administration put another freeze on the $6 billion after the Oct. 7 attack on Israeli civilians by Hamas, a terrorist organization backed by Iran. This bill would impose U.S. sanctions on any foreign or international financial institution, including the Qatari central bank and European commercial banks, that facilitates the release of any share of the funds when they are unfrozen, thus rewriting terms of the August agreement without Iran’s consent.

Young Kim (R-Calif.) said: “Allowing Iran to access these funds would be foolish. Hamas’ Oct. 7 attack on Israel showed the world how much destruction Iran is capable of through its illicit finance of terrorist organizations…. Congress must take strong action to bolster our sanctions policy and stop Iran from accessing assets that it can use to carry out its terrorist agenda across the Middle East.”

Gregory Meeks (D-N.Y.) said: “Not a penny [of the $6 billion] has moved into Iran. Under the terms of the agreement, Iran can use the money in Qatar to make approved humanitarian purchases to acquire medicine, medical equipment, agricultural goods and food. Iran’s government physically will never touch this money…. If we blow up this agreement by passing this bill, we, the United States, will be the ones breaking yet another sensitive negotiated agreement.”

A yes vote was to send the bill to the Senate, where it was dead on arrival.

Michael Lawler (R-17, including Philipstown) voted yes
Pat Ryan (D-18, including Beacon) voted yes

Prohibiting Asylum Housing on Federal Land

Voting 224 for and 203 against, the House on Nov. 30 passed a bill (HR 5283) that would prohibit federal agencies including the National Park Service from using federal lands to temporarily house unauthorized aliens who have applied for asylum in the U.S. Under federal and international law, undocumented immigrants arriving in a foreign country can petition for asylum out of legitimate fear they would be persecuted if forced to return home.

Applicants are legally entitled to remain in the U.S. while their petitions are adjudicated by immigration judges. Because of backlogs in immigration courts, hundreds of thousands of asylum seekers reside in the U.S. in any given year. Individuals thought to pose a danger to U.S. security cannot apply for asylum. One part of this bill would negate a National Park Service lease under which New York City is housing up to 2,000 asylum seekers at Floyd Bennett Field, a largely defunct airfield in Brooklyn.

Nicholas Langworthy (R-N.Y.) said: “Opening our borders to human traffickers and drug cartels, cramming migrant families into broken-down motels and freezing tent cities, and failing to account for 85,000 unaccompanied minors is the textbook definition of cruel, callous, and inhumane. No longer will we allow this administration to divert and squander federal resources, including our public lands, to shore up a crisis of their own making.”

Dan Goldman (D-N.Y.) said: “Immigration is a federal issue…and this bill would make it harder for cities and states to get federal support for immigrants who, like so many of our descendants, are fleeing horrible conditions in their home countries to seek a better life in the United States. On both sides of the aisle, we agree we need to fix our broken immigration system, but defunding migrant housing is not a solution.”

A yes vote was to send the bill to the Senate, where it was dead on arrival.

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

Killing Consumer Lending Rule

Voting 221 for and 202 against, the House on Dec. 1 nullified a proposed Consumer Financial Protection Bureau rule that would prevent lenders including banks from denying credit requests because of the applicant’s race, color, religion, national origin, sex, marital status or in most cases age. The rule would require creditors to share with the bureau, on an anonymous basis, much of the demographic information they collect from applicants.

In other provisions, the rule would require lenders to retain records of credit applications, notify applicants of all actions taken on their requests, report credit histories in the names of both spouses and provide applicants with copies of appraisal reports. This vote officially killed the rule because the Senate already had adopted the resolution of disapproval (SJ Res 32).

Andy Barr (R-Ky.), who supported the resolution of disapproval, said the rule would “force many banks and credit unions across the country to exit small business lending altogether. That’s what my constituents tell me, small banks across central and eastern Kentucky…. How does that help the minority-owned small business on Main Street U.S.A?”

Teresa Leger Fernandez (D-N.M.) said the purpose of the rule is “to make sure small businesses, women- and minority-owned businesses [and] rural businesses have access to capital. Investing in these small businesses is how we grow the middle class, and that’s what Democrats are focused on.”

A yes vote was to kill the proposed rule.

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


Blocking Biden Nominee at Department of Labor

Voting 44 for and 51 against, the Senate on Nov. 27 failed to reach the 60 votes necessary to advance the nomination of Jose Javier Rodriguez as assistant secretary of labor for employment and training. The agency he was nominated by President Biden to oversee consumes about two-thirds of the department’s budget, administering federal-state programs such as job training and unemployment compensation.

A workers’ rights attorney in private practice, Rodriguez, 45, represented south Florida constituencies while serving one term in Florida’s Senate and two-terms in its House of Representatives. There was no debate on his nomination.

A yes vote was to advance the nomination. Majority Leader Chuck Schumer voted “no” to give himself standing to bring the nomination back to the floor at a later date.

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

Behind The Story

Type: News

News: Based on facts, either observed and verified directly by the reporter, or reported and verified from knowledgeable sources.

Thomas is the editor of, a nonprofit news service, and has been accredited since 1973 by the U.S. House and Senate daily press galleries. is a nonpartisan, fact-based site whose mission is to help civic-minded individuals track the most consequential and newsworthy issues debated in the U.S. House and Senate. The Highlands Current subscribes to the service.

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1 Comment

  1. Rep. Mike Lawler recently stood on the floor of the House and self-righteously pontificated about how egregious George Santos’ behavior has been and consequently he deserves to be removed from public office immediately. Among other things, Lawler sited Santos’ false claim that his grandparents fled the Nazi perpetrated Holocaust. Lawler said on the House floor: “Santos used tragic events in history to try and propel himself to public office.” Lawler was apparently outraged, and rightly so! Certainly an outrageous statement on the part of Santos, made to garner sympathy and votes.

    Donald Trump has made similar sick, false and outrageous claims. Recorded on live television more than once Trump stated that he “lost hundreds (and many many) friends on 9-11.” Ask Trump to name just three of his friends who died on 9-11? He can’t name just one! For the record, Trump never attended even one funeral of the thousands who died on 9-11. Trump callously used 9/11 to garner sympathy, enhance his campaign and capture votes. A sick lie on the part of Trump, consistent with this sociopath’s malignant narcissism. Trump’s illness is laid bare by his habitual lies, but playing the “many friends who died on 9/11” card is truly sick and demented, though typical for Trump. To quote Lawler again, he “used tragic events in history to try and propel himself to public office.”

    Given Lawler’s outrageous indignation at Santos you would think he would be just as quick to condemn Trump’s sick lies. But no. Not a peep from Lawler on Trump. In fact, Lawler voted for Trump twice -– after Trump’s 9-11 lies, knowing full well that they were callous, repugnant lies, especially repulsive to New Yorkers. So why is this the case? I believe it is because Lawler is not afraid of Santos but is afraid of Trump. Lawler himself lies. He doesn’t really mean what he says about Santos because if he did he would have to be consistent in condemning Trump. But Lawler doesn’t because he has no spine. Lawler disgraces himself. Lawler is a Trump facilitator. Lawler lies.

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