WASHINGTON — Here’s how state members of Congress voted on major issues during the legislative week that ended Friday.


Approving $8.3 billion to tackle coronavirus: By a vote of 415 for and 2 against, the House on Wednesday passed a bill, HR 6074, that would appropriate $8.3 billion for public-health initiatives to counter the spread of the novel coronavirus in the United States while helping the U.S. diplomatic community cope with the epidemic overseas. As emergency spending, the outlay would be added to the national debt. In part, the bill would provide up to $4 billion for developing a vaccine and diagnostic and therapeutic procedures and training caregivers; $2.2 billion for preparedness, including the manufacture and delivery of test kits, ventilators and respirators; $950 million for additional state and local preparedness; and unspecified sums for building surge capacity at local hospitals and clinics including community health centers. The bill also would ensure that seniors have access to Medicare-funded telemedicine services and subsidize billions of dollars in low-interest loans to help small businesses cope with economic losses resulting from the outbreak.

Voting yes: Suzan DelBene, D-Medina; Rick Larsen, D-Lake Stevens; Jaime Herrera Beutler, R-Camas; Dan Newhouse, R-Sunnyside; Cathy McMorris Rodgers, R-Spokane; Derek Kilmer, D-Gig Harbor; Pramila Jayapal, D-Seattle; Kim Schrier, D-Issaquah; Adam Smith, D-Bellevue; Denny Heck, D-Olympia

Adding airport security to civil service: By a vote of 230 for and 171 against, the House on Thursday passed a bill, HR 1140, that would include Transportation Security Administration (TSA) employees in the civil-service personnel system while granting them full collective-bargaining rights, paid medical and family leave, the right to appeal disciplinary actions to an independent panel and other benefits and job protections available to nearly all other federal civilian employees. The TSA was established in the wake of 9/11, and most of its 45,000 employees work as passenger screeners at airports. TSA pay levels and benefits, which are set by the agency administrator rather than “Schedule 5” civil-service rules, lag behind those for other federal employees, resulting in a workforce with high turnover and low morale. Although TSA workers are represented by the American Federation of Government Employees (AFGE), their collective-bargaining rights have been restricted by Congress.

Voting yes: Heck

Not voting: DelBene, Larsen, Herrera Beutler, Newhouse, Rodgers, Kilmer, Jayapal, Schrier, Smith

Barring sexual predators from airport screening: By a vote of 227 for and 175 against, the House on Thursday added Republican-sponsored language to HR 1140 that would prohibit the TSA from hiring workers with criminal histories, including crimes related to terrorism and sexual misconduct. Critics said civil-service hiring rules already would disqualify such individuals from TSA employment.

Voting no: Heck

Not voting: DelBene, Larsen, Herrera Beutler, Newhouse, Rodgers, Kilmer, Jayapal, Schrier, Smith


Sending coronavirus package to White House: By a vote of 96 for and 1 against, the Senate on Thursday joined the House in passing HR 6074, which would appropriate $8.3 billion for emergency funding of federal, state, local and global efforts to combat the coronavirus outbreak. Rand Paul, R-Ky., cast the dissenting vote.

Voting yes: Maria Cantwell, D; Patty Murray, D

Starting debate on energy bill: The Senate on Wednesday voted, 90 for and 4 against, to start debate on a bipartisan bill, S 2657, that would use government and private resources to upgrade all energy sectors of the U.S. economy. The bill would further the development of technologies for the capture and underground storage of carbon-dioxide emissions from industrial sites and coal-burning power plants; promote wind, solar, geothermal and other sources of renewable energy; boost technologies for stockpiling supplies of renewable energy including hydropower; and incentivize “smart” weatherization technologies to improve the energy efficiency of commercial and government buildings and schools. The bill also includes measures to tighten the security of the nation’s power grid, reduce dependence on foreign-supplied rare minerals used to build military weapons and develop a more skilled and better educated energy workforce.

Voting yes: Cantwell, Murray