There were no key votes in the House this week.

SENATE VOTES

DEFENSE SECRETARY: The Senate has confirmed the nomination of Lloyd Austin to serve as Secretary of Defense. Austin was an Army officer from 1975 until his retirement in 2016; he has since been a member of the board of directors at Nucor Steel, Raytheon Technologies, and Tenet Healthcare. A supporter, Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif., said: “General Austin’s intimate knowledge of our military will allow him to hit the ground running at the Department and make wise investments that deter global aggressors.” The vote, on Jan. 22, was 93 yeas to 2 nays.

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

TREASURY SECRETARY: The Senate has confirmed the nomination of Janet Louise Yellen to serve as the Treasury Secretary. Yellen chaired the Federal Reserve Board from 2014 to 2018, and before that was vice chair of the Federal Reserve for four years and chair of the Council of Economic Advisers during the Clinton administration. A supporter, Sen. Sherrod Brown, D-Ohio, said Yellen “is the right person for these tumultuous times. She will rise to meet this moment to help our country build back better.” The vote on Jan. 25, was 84 yeas to 15 nays.

YEAS: Collins, King

SECRETARY OF STATE: The Senate has confirmed the nomination of Antony John Blinken to serve as Secretary of State. Blinken was a senior foreign policy official in the Obama and Clinton administrations, and has been a corporate consultant and private equity investor since 2017. An opponent, Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky., said Blinken “has been a full-throated advocate of military intervention in the Middle East for 20 years” despite a failure to positively conclude wars in Libya, Afghanistan, and Iraq, and confirmation would likely lead to more erroneous interventions. A supporter, Sen. James E. Risch, R-Idaho, said Blinken “has a long and distinguished history when it comes to statecraft and foreign relations matters.” The vote, on Jan. 26, was 78 yeas to 22 nays.

YEAS: Collins, King

IMPEACHMENT TRIAL: The Senate has passed a motion to table a motion sponsored by Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky., that raised a point of order opposing the prospective impeachment trial of former President Trump. Paul said the trial would not follow the Constitution, which stipulates that the chief justice of the Supreme Court shall preside over a trial of a current  president, whereas the trial would be presided over by Sen. Patrick J. Leahy, D-Vt., and would not involve a current president. A motion opponent, Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., said: “It makes no sense whatsoever that a president or any official could commit a heinous crime against our country and then defeat Congress’s impeachment powers and avoid disqualification by simply resigning or by waiting to commit that offense until their last few weeks in office.” The vote, on Jan. 26, was 55 yeas to 45 nays.

YEAS: Collins, King

IMPEACHMENT TRIAL PROCEDURES: The Senate has passed a resolution (S. Res. 16), sponsored by Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., to establish procedures for the impeachment trial of former President Trump, with the trial scheduled to begin on Feb. 9. The vote, on Jan. 26, was 83 yeas to 17 nays.

YEAS: Collins, King

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