The House was in recess last week. Along with roll call votes, the Senate also passed the Eliminating Government-funded Oil-painting Act (S. 188), to prohibit the use of federal funds for the costs of painting portraits of officers and employees of the federal government; and the Financial Stability Oversight Council Insurance Member Continuity Act (H.R. 3110), to amend the Financial Stability Act of 2010 to modify the term of the independent member of the Financial Stability Oversight Council.

There were no key votes in the House last week.


2018 MILITARY BUDGET: The Senate passed the National Defense Authorization Act (H.R. 2810), sponsored by Rep. Mac Thornberry, R-Texas. The bill would authorize a $700 billion military budget for fiscal 2018, including the Defense Department, military programs at the Energy Department, and military construction programs. A supporter, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., said the funding would reverse a trend of giving too few resources to the military at a time of significant terrorist threats, conflicts with North Korea and Russia, and “many other dangerous developments” for the U.S. The vote Monday was 89 yeas to 8 nays.

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

SOLICITOR GENERAL: The Senate confirmed the nomination of Noel Francisco to serve as U.S. solicitor general. A supporter, Sen. Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa, cited Francisco’s experience as a private lawyer, at the Justice Department, as counsel to the president, and as a Supreme Court clerk as “impressive credentials” qualifying him for the position. An opponent, Sen. Dick Durbin, D-Ill., claimed Francisco “already had a troubling tenure as acting solicitor general” ahead of the confirmation vote, and criticized him for supporting the tobacco and payday lending industries, and aligning himself with right-wing groups. The vote Tuesday was 50 yeas to 47 nays.

YEAS: Collins

NAYS: King

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