WASHINGTON — Here’s how area members of Congress voted during the legislative week ending April 5.


Renewal of Violence Against Women Act: The House on April 4 approved, 263-158, a five-year extension of the Violence Against Women Act, which was enacted in 1994 to combat crimes including domestic violence and sexual assault. The bill would renew grant programs to help states, localities and nongovernmental organizations prevent gender-based crimes and help victims to recover when crimes occur. In addition, the bill prohibits persons convicted of misdemeanor stalking or dating violence from possessing firearms; expands the availability of counseling, legal aid and alternative housing; ensures the eligibility of domestic-violence survivors for jobless benefits; bolsters tools for prosecuting offenders; requires shelters to admit transgender individuals in their acquired sex; strengthens tribal jurisdiction over non-Indians charged with committing crimes on reservations; improves services to help children exposed to domestic violence; expands rape prevention and education programs and steps up efforts to address sexual violence on campuses. The bill drew National Rifle Association opposition over its prohibition on firearms possession by persons convicted of misdemeanor stalking or dating violence. A yes vote was to send HR 1585 to the Senate.

Voting yes: Suzan DelBene, D-Medina, Rick Larsen, D-Lake Stevens, Jaime Herrera Beutler, R-Camas, Derek Kilmer, D-Gig Harbor, Pramila Jayapal, D-Seattle, Kim Schrier, D-8, Adam Smith, D-Bellevue, Denny Heck, D-Olympia

Voting no: Dan Newhouse, R-Sunnyside, Cathy McMorris Rodgers, R-Spokane

U.S. withdrawal from Yemen: Voting 247-175, the House on April 4 joined the Senate in adopting a measure that would end American military involvement in Yemen’s civil war unless Congress approves the deployment in keeping with its constitutional authority to declare war. This marks the first time Congress has used the 1973 War Powers Resolution to try to stop a military deployment. But President Trump appears to have the votes he needs to uphold his promised veto the measure. The U.S. involvement has consisted mainly of logistical, intelligence and targeting support, and until recently aerial refueling, to a Saudi-led bombing campaign against Iran-backed Houthi rebels battling the Yemeni military. The United Nations says the four-year-old conflict is the world’s worst humanitarian disaster. A yes vote was to give final congressional approval to SJ Res 7.

Voting yes: DelBene, Larsen, Kilmer, Jayapal, Schrier, Smith, Heck

Voting no: Herrera Beutler, Newhouse, Rodgers

Boycotts, Divestiture, Sanctions: Voting 194-228, the House on April 4 defeated a Republican bid to expand SJ Res 7 (above) to include a rebuke of the so-called “BDS” movement. BDS is a global campaign by some companies and other entities to boycott, divest from and sanction Israel and Israeli-owned firms over Israel’s treatment of Palestinians. Democrats called the motion a “cynical” ploy to kill the Yemen-withdrawal measure. A yes vote was to adopt the motion.

Voting yes: Herrera Beutler, Newhouse, Rodgers

Voting no: DelBene, Larsen, Kilmer, Jayapal, Schrier, Smith, Heck

Administration opposition to health law: Voting 240-186, the House on April 3 approved a Democratic condemnation of the administration over the Department of Justice’s refusal to defend the Affordable Care Act in the lawsuit United States v. Texas. A federal judge in Texas declared the law unconstitutional on Dec. 14, and the suit is now before the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, where the administration has joined plaintiffs in calling for the entire law to be invalidated. A yes vote was to adopt the nonbinding measure (H Res 271).

Voting yes: DelBene, Larsen, Kilmer, Jayapal, Schrier, Smith, Heck

Voting no: Herrera Beutler, Newhouse, Rodgers


Mark Calabria, Housing Finance nomination: Voting 52-44, the Senate on April 4 confirmed Mark A. Calabria, the chief economist to Vice President Pence, as director of the Federal Housing Finance Agency. The agency regulates the Federal Home Loan Bank System and the mortgage-liquidity enterprises Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. As FHFA director, Calabria will oversee day-to-day management of Fannie and Freddie, which have been in conservatorship since the financial crisis with their combined assets of $5 trillion. A yes vote was to confirm the nominee.

Voting no: Maria Cantwell, D, Patty Murray, D

KEY VOTES AHEAD: The House will vote on whether to repeal Federal Communications Commission “net neutrality” rules in the week of April 8, while the Senate will resume debate on disaster aid for several states and U.S. territories.