WASHINGTON — Here’s how members of Congress from Arizona voted on major issues in the week ending July 28.
Class action lawsuits, arbitration clauses: Voting 231-190, the House on July 25 nullified a new Consumer Financial Protection Bureau rule that would enable individuals to band together to file class-action lawsuits against credit-card issuers, banks, payday lenders and other retail financial firms regulated by the bureau. The rule scheduled to take effect in mid-September prohibits the use of arbitration clauses to bar customers from participating in class-action suits. A yes vote was to send the measure (HJ Res 111) to the Senate.
Voting yes: Martha McSally, R-2, Paul Gosar, R-4, Andy Biggs, R-5, David Schweikert, R-6, Trent Franks, R-8
Voting no: Tom O’Halleran, D-1, Raul Grijalva, D-3, Ruben Gallego, D-7, Kyrsten Sinema, D-9
Economic sanctions on Russia: Voting 419-3, the House passed a bill on July 25 that would enable Congress to prohibit any U.S. president from easing or removing U.S. economic sanctions on Russia. The bill also would expand American sanctions on the Russian government and Russian entities and industrial sectors in response to provocations such as the Kremlin’s interference in the 2016 presidential election and its aggression in Ukraine. In addition, the bill would expand U.S. economic sanctions on Iran and North Korea. A yes vote was to send HR 3364 to the Senate.
Yes: O’Halleran, McSally, Grijalva, Gosar, Biggs, Schweikert, Gallego, Franks, Sinema
$800 billion in 2018 spending: The House on July 27 passed, 235-192, a cluster of four fiscal 2018 appropriations bills totaling nearly $800 billion, including $658.1 billion for basic military operations and actions in war zones and $88.8 billion for veterans programs and military construction. A yes vote backed HR 3219 over objections to its providing $1.6 billion for a wall on the Mexican border that President Trump said Mexico would pay for.
Yes: O’Halleran, McSally, Gosar, Biggs, Schweikert, Franks, Sinema
No: Grijalva, Gallego
Proposed cuts for budget office: The House on July 26 rejected, 107-314, an amendment to HR 3219 (above) that sought to cut the Congressional Budget Office’s 2018 budget by half, or $25.4 million, as a penalty for what critics said were grossly inaccurate forecasts years ago of the eventual number of Americans covered by the Affordable Care Act. A yes vote was to slash the CBO’s operating budget.
Yes: Gosar, Biggs, Franks
No: O’Halleran, McSally, Grijalva, Schweikert, Gallego, Sinema
Defeat of health-care repeal: Voting 49-51, the Senate defeated on July 28 a GOP-sponsored measure to dismantle the Affordable Care Act, ending the latest attempt by congressional Republicans to take down the 2010 law. This amendment to HR 1628 sought to eliminate the law’s individual and employer mandates, scale back Medicaid, delay an excise tax on medical devices, expand Health Savings Accounts, weaken minimal coverage standards and put a one-year hold on patients using Medicaid for Planned Parenthood care, among other provisions. A yes vote was to repeal the core of the 2010 health law.
Yes: Jeff Flake, R
No: John McCain, R
Make-or-break healthcare vote: By a tally of 51-50, with Vice President Mike Pence casting the deciding vote, the Senate started debate July 25 on a House-passed bill (HR 1628, above) that was the vehicle for later votes to repeal, replace or overhaul the Affordable Care Act. Had Republicans lost this crucial vote, they would have faced a choice of either pausing their seven-year fight against the ACA or inviting Democrats to work with them to draft a bipartisan replacement. A yes vote was to start another round of health-care debate.
Yes: McCain, Flake
Preserving Medicaid expansion: Voting 48-52, the Senate rejected on July 26 a Democratic amendment that sought to strip HR 1628 (above) of provisions that would curtail Medicaid benefits for those currently eligible, prevent or discourage additional states from expanding Medicaid coverage under the Affordable Care Act or shift additional Medicaid costs to state governments. A yes vote was to preserve the 2010 health law’s Medicaid expansion in 31 states.
No: McCain, Flake
Rand Paul’s Obamacare repeal: Voting 45-55, the Senate rejected on July 26 an amendment by Rand Paul, R-Ky., to HR 1628 (above) that sought to repeal key parts of the Affordable Care Act, including its individual and employer mandates and Medicaid expansion in 31 states. A yes vote was to repeal but not replace core provisions of Obamacare.
Ted Cruz’s health-care plan: The Senate on July 25 defeated, 43-57, an amendment by Ted Cruz, R-Texas, to HR 1628 (above) that sought to allow insurers to offer deregulated bare-bones health plans in a state if they also sell ones that meet Affordable Care Act coverage requirements. A yes vote backed a measure that would create a $100 billion fund to defray out-of-pocket costs for persons moving from Medicaid to private insurance.
Yes: McCain, Flake
Economic sanctions on Russia: Voting 98-2, the Senate on July 27 joined the House in passing a bill (HR 3364, above) that would broaden U.S. economic sanctions on Russia, Iran and North Korea while prohibiting any U.S. president from easing or lifting sanctions on Russia without the approval of Congress. A yes vote was to send the bill to President Trump for either his signature or veto.
Yes: McCain, Flake