In addition to roll call votes last week, the House also passed the Iraq and Syria Genocide Emergency Relief and Accountability Act (H.R. 390), to provide for emergency relief to victims of genocide, crimes against humanity, and war crimes in Iraq and Syria, and to provide accountability for perpetrators of these crimes.

The Senate also passed the Department of Veterans Affairs Accountability and Whistleblower Protection Act (S. 1094), to improve the accountability of employees of the Department of Veterans Affairs; passed the WILD Act (S. 826), to reauthorize the Partners for Fish and Wildlife Program and certain wildlife conservation funds, and establish various prize competitions relating to environmental protection; and passed a resolution (S. Res. 188), condemning the recent terrorist attacks in the United Kingdom, the Philippines, Indonesia, Egypt, Iraq, Australia, and Iran and offering thoughts and prayers and sincere condolences to the victims.


TURKISH PROTESTERS: The House passed a resolution (H. Res. 354), sponsored by Rep. Edward R. Royce, R-Calif., condemning violence by Turkish security forces against protestors gathered outside the Turkish ambassador’s Washington, D.C., home on May 16, and calling for criminal prosecution of those forces. Royce called the resolution an important statement that the U.S. “will protect our citizens and their fundamental rights to free speech and to assembly” to protest against foreign governments on American soil. The vote, on June 6, was unanimous with 397 yeas.

YEAS: Chellie Pingree D-1st District, Bruce Poliquin R-2nd District

CONDEMNING ATTACKS IN ENGLAND: The House passed a resolution (H. Res. 355), sponsored by Rep. Gregory W. Meeks, D-N.Y., condemning the terrorist attacks in Manchester on May 22 and in London on June 3, and voicing support for the United Kingdom’s efforts to prevent terrorism. A supporter, Rep. Adriano Espaillat, D-N.Y., said “our response will set the tone for not only the security of the present day but also the faith in such open societies and the unbreakable bonds of community for years to come.” The vote, on June 6, was unanimous with 397 yeas.


YEAS: Pingree, Poliquin

SCREENING CUSTOMS, BORDER PATROL APPLICANTS: The House passed the Anti-Border Corruption Reauthorization Act (H.R. 2213), sponsored by Rep. Martha McSally, R-Ariz. The bill would authorize the waiver of polygraph test requirements for applicants for U.S. Customs and Border Protection jobs who are law enforcement officers or 3-year military veterans. McSally said that by easing the government’s ability to hire qualified applicants who can fill the agency’s staffing shortfalls, the bill would help secure the border and facilitate cross-border commerce. A bill opponent, Rep. Zoe Lofgren, D-Calif., said maintaining the polygraph requirement would help Customs and Border Protection screen out individuals whose misconduct makes them ineligible for service. The vote, on June 7, was 282 yeas to 137 nays.

YEAS: Pingree, Poliquin

FINANCIAL REGULATION: The House passed the Financial CHOICE Act (H.R. 10), sponsored by Rep. Jeb Hensarling, R-Texas. The bill would remove the Financial Stability Oversight Council’s authority to find that financial companies are systemically important and warrant government bailouts, and repeal certain other provisions of the Dodd-Frank financial reform law. Hensarling said Dodd-Frank’s regulations have raised consumer costs and stifled bank lending, forcing many community banks and credit unions to close, and regulatory relief would help spur loans to small businesses that create economic opportunity and job growth. A bill opponent, Rep. Maxine Waters, D-Calif., said that by gutting Dodd-Frank, it would “return us to a financial system where reckless and predatory practices harm our families and communities” and threaten to create new financial crises. The vote, on June 8, was 233 yeas to 186 nays.

NAYS: Pingree

YEAS: Poliquin



REUNIFICATION OF JERUSALEM: The Senate passed a resolution (S. Res. 176), sponsored by Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., commemorating the 50th anniversary of the reunification of Jerusalem in the Six-Day War of 1967 and expressing hopes for peace and a continued strong U.S.-Israeli friendship. McConnell said: “The reunification of the city allowed for people of all faiths to worship and to access the respective holy sites throughout Jerusalem.” The vote, on June 5, was unanimous with 90 yeas.

YEAS: Susan Collins R-Maine, Angus King, I-Maine

CIA GENERAL COUNSEL: The Senate confirmed the nomination of Courtney Elwood to serve as General Counsel for the Central Intelligence Agency. A supporter, Sen. John Cornyn, R-Texas, called Elwood an extraordinarily qualified senior aide to the George W. Bush administration, and said: “I am confident that she will serve as a sharp, independent mind to the CIA.” An opponent, Sen. Ron Wyden, D-Ore., questioned Elwood’s commitment to the principle of congressional oversight of the CIA, especially its use of torture. The vote, on June 6, was 67 yeas to 33 nays.

YEAS: Collins, King

NEW ZEALAND AMBASSADOR: The Senate confirmed the nomination of Scott P. Brown to serve as U.S. ambassador to New Zealand and Samoa. Brown is a former senator representing Massachusetts. His nomination was not debated on the Senate floor. The vote, on June 8, was 94 yeas to 4 nays.

YEAS: Collins, King

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