Keeping tabs on congressional lawmakers

The issue that Congress addressed in recent weeks was “Waters of the United States,” Military-Construction-VA Appropriations, Revised Defense Authorization and Surface Transportation Reauthorization. Following are the corresponding votes from Senators Bill Nelson, Senator Marco Rubio and House Representative Gwen Graham, of the 2nd Congressional District and Congressman Ted Yoho, of the 3rd Congressional District.

In the Senate
"Waters of the United States" Definition – With a vote of 57-41 and two not voting, the Senate rejected a motion to invoke cloture on the McConnell, R-Ky., motion to proceed to the bill that would require the Obama administration to revisit its rule updating federal regulation of streams and wetlands. Nelson voted no. Rubio voted yes.
"Waters of the United States" Rule Disapproval – With a vote of 53-44 and three not voting, the Senate agreed to a joint resolution expressing disapproval of the rule submitted by the Army Corps of Engineers and the EPA relating to the definition of "waters of the United States" and what bodies of water are subject to federal regulation. Nelson voted no. Rubio voted not voting.
Military-Construction-VA Appropriations – With a vote of 93-0 and seven not voting, the Senate agreed to a motion to invoke cloture on the McConnell, R-Ky., motion to proceed to the bill that funds veterans' health programs and military bases. The measure, which contains nearly $80 billion in discretionary funding, also includes language that prohibits transfers from Guantanamo Bay to the U.S. homeland and a ban on another round of base closures. Nelson voted yes. Rubio voted not voting.

In the House
Revised Defense Authorization – With a vote of 370-58 and five not voting, the House agreed to legislation that authorizes $599 billion for the Pentagon and defense-related programs for fiscal 2016, $5 billion less than both the president's overall request and the original conference agreement. It provides $33 billion of the original $38 billion in added funds for defense, including $8 billion through the Overseas Contingency Operations account. The measure authorizes $715 million for Iraqi forces fighting the Islamic State, $406 million to train and equip Syrian opposition forces and $300 million for lethal weapons for Ukraine. It modifies the military retirement system, blocks the Pentagon from retiring the A-10 Warthog aircraft and authorizes $11 billion for the F-35 Fighter. Graham and Yoho votes yes.
Surface Transportation Reauthorization – With a vote of 363-64 and six not voting, the House passed legislation that reauthorizes surface transportation programs for six years, with policy provisions including those that would replace the Surface Transportation Program with a block grant program, create a new grant program for nationally significant freight and highway projects and make a number of changes to the environmental review process. It also would liquidate the Federal Reserve's surplus funds and redirect that money to the General Fund. Future money that would have been deposited in the funds would also be deposited in the General Fund. The more than $325 billion, six-year surface transportation reauthorization package also contains Senate amendments that offset to cover Highway Trust Fund shortfalls for three years and a reauthorization of the Export-Import Bank. Efforts to fully fund all six years of the reauthorization are expected to be made in conference with the Senate. Graham voted yes. Yoho voted no.

There are two upcoming votes for the Senate. Revised Defense Authorization (S.1356) is a bill that would authorize $599 billion for the Pentagon and defense-related programs for fiscal 2016, $5 billion less than both the president's overall request and the original conference agreement. It provides $33 billion of the original $38 billion in added funds for defense, including $8 billion through the Overseas Contingency Operations account. The measure authorizes $715 million for Iraqi forces fighting the Islamic State, $406 million to train and equip Syrian opposition forces and $300 million for lethal weapons for Ukraine. It modifies the military retirement system, blocks the Pentagon from retiring the A-10 Warthog aircraft and authorizes $11 billion for the F-35 Fighter. Military-Construction-VA Appropriations (H.R.2029) is a bill that would fund veterans' health programs and military bases. The measure, which contains nearly $80 billion in discretionary funding, also includes language that prohibits transfers from Guantanamo Bay to the U.S. homeland and a ban on another round of base closures.

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