WASHINGTON - Here's a look at how area members of Congress voted over the previous week.
Along with the week's roll call votes, the House also passed these measures by voice vote: the Veterans’ Compensation Cost-of-Living Adjustment Act (S. 777), to increase rates of compensation for veterans with service-connected disabilities and rates of compensation for the survivors of certain disabled veterans; the Korean American Vietnam Allies Long Overdue for Relief Act (H.R. 366), to treat certain individuals who served in the Vietnam War as a member of the armed forces of Korea as a U.S. armed forces veteran for purposes of the provision of health care by the Department of Veterans Affairs; and agreed to the Senate amendment to the NOTAM Improvement Act (H.R. 346), to establish a task force on improvements for notices to air missions.
There were no key votes in the Senate this week.
House Vote 1: FENTANYL TRAFFICKING: The House has passed the Preventing the Financing of Illegal Synthetic Drugs Act (H.R. 1076), sponsored by Rep. Monica De La Cruz, R-Texas, to require the Government Accountability Office to study the role of illicit financing of trafficking in fentanyl, methamphetamine, and similar dangerous synthetic drugs. De La Cruz said the study "will help law enforcement pinpoint the business model of the traffickers, how they move and hide their profits, and what the U.S. can do to stop fentanyl money laundering." The vote, on May 22, was 402 yeas to 2 nays. YEAS: Edwards R-NC (11th).
House Vote 2: FINANCE IN CHINA: The House has passed the China Financial Threat Mitigation Act (H.R. 1156), sponsored by Rep. Abigail Davis Spanberger, D-Va. The bill would require the Treasury Department to make a report on the impacts China's financial sector could have on the U.S. and its financial stability, as well as ways for the U.S. to work with other countries to mitigate risks posed by China. A supporter, Rep. Joyce Beatty, D-Ohio, said: "We must have a clear picture of the systemic risks we face so we can respond appropriately to safeguard our economic interests and mitigate these threats." The vote, on May 22, was 400 yeas to 5 nays. YEAS: Edwards R-NC (11th).
House Vote 3: REGULATING VEHICLE EMISSIONS: The House has passed a resolution (S.J. Res. 11), sponsored by Sen. Deb Fischer, R-Neb., to disapprove of and void an Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) rule for restricting ozone, particulate matter, and other forms of air pollution from heavy-duty motor vehicles that was issued this January. A resolution supporter, Rep. Bill Johnson, R-Ohio, called the rule an impractical measure that would create heavy costs for "trucks that not only deliver all the goods we rely on but also trucks for our farmers and ranchers, building contractors and landscapers, and countless other workers and small businesses." An opponent, Rep. Frank Pallone Jr., D-N.J., said: "This resolution is yet another extremist, Republican attack on commonsense steps EPA is taking to protect Americans' health and the environment." The vote, on May 23, was 221 yeas to 203 nays. YEAS: Edwards R-NC (11th).
House Vote 4: VETO OF SOLAR PANEL IMPORTS RESOLUTION: The House has failed to override President Biden's veto of a resolution (H.J. Res. 39), sponsored by Rep. Bill Posey, R-Fla., to disapprove of and void a Commerce Department rule suspending duties on imports of solar panels that were assembled in Southeast Asia and used components made in China. Posey said China has been using forced labor to make the polysilicon that is used to assemble panels in neighboring countries and circumvent U.S. tariffs on Chinese-made panels. Therefore, "if we pass this resolution, we can help put a stop to China's cheating and slave labor." An opponent, Rep. Mike Thompson, D-Calif., said: "We all want solar products manufactured right here at home; but in the short run, our domestic industry can't increase production rapidly enough to meet demand or to meet our climate goals." The vote, on May 24, was 214 yeas to 205 nays, with a two-thirds majority required to override the veto. YEAS: Edwards R-NC (11th.
House Vote 5: REPAYING STUDENT LOANS: The House has passed a resolution (H.J. Res. 45), sponsored by Rep. Bob Good, R-Va., to disapprove of and void an Education Department rule issued last October that suspended or cancelled payments on student loans. Good said: "Congress must reclaim its power and act today to stop the unilateral action of President Biden that is exacerbating the higher education financial crisis." A resolution opponent, Rep. James Clyburn, D-S.C., said: "President Biden's student loan debt relief plan will help alleviate the yoke of student loan debt for millions of Americans." The vote, on May 24, was 218 yeas to 203 nays. YEAS: FEdwards R-NC (11th).
House Vote 6: VETERANS AND TECHNOLOGY EDUCATION: The House has passed the VET-TEC Authorization Act (H.R. 1669), sponsored by Rep. Juan Ciscomani, R-Ariz., to require the Veterans Affairs Department to make permanent a program for providing aid to up to 8,000 veterans for enrolling in non-degree training or skills courses that are related to computer programming, media application, data processing, or information sciences. Ciscomani said that since it began in 2019, "not only has this program been beneficial for our veterans, but it is crucial for our employers, as well. We need a skilled workforce working in the tech industry, and our veterans are the perfect fit." The vote, on May 24, was 409 yeas to 9 nays. YEAS: Edwards R-NC (11th).
House Vote 7: REGULATING FENTANYL-LIKE SUBSTANCES: The House has passed the Halt All Lethal Trafficking of Fentanyl Act (H.R. 467), sponsored by Rep. Morgan Griffith, R-Va. The bill would classify fentanyl-related substances as a schedule 1 controlled substance, deemed to have a high potential for abuse, with no medical value, and subject to certain legal penalties as a result. Griffith said assigning permanent schedule 1 status to the substances "will strengthen law enforcement's ability to prosecute fentanyl traffickers and act as a deterrent" to trafficking. A bill opponent, Rep. Frank Pallone Jr., D-N.J., said it "will leave our communities worse off and exacerbate existing inequities in our criminal justice system" by leading to disproportionate criminal penalties for minority groups. The vote, on May 25, was 289 yeas to 133 nays. YEAS: Edwards R-NC (11th).
This article originally appeared on Asheville Citizen Times: Here's how WNC's members of Congress voted May 19-25