Recent Congressional Votes
Senate: Executive and Judicial Nominations – Cloture
House: Natural Gas Pipeline Permitting – Passage
Editor’s Note: The Senate is in recess until Monday December 9, 2013. The House is in recess until Monday December 2, 2013.
Recent Senate Votes
Executive and Judicial Nominations – Cloture – Vote Sustained (52-48)
Senate Democrats succeeded Thursday in deploying the “nuclear option” to make the most fundamental change to floor operations in almost four decades, ending the minority’s ability to kill most presidential nominations by filibuster. The Senate voted, 52-48, to change the rules by rejecting the opinion of the presiding officer that a supermajority is required to limit debate, or invoke cloture, on executive branch nominees and those for seats on federal courts short of the Supreme Court. Three Democrats — Carl Levin of Michigan, Joe Manchin III of West Virginia, and Mark Pryor of Arkansas — voted to keep the rules unchanged. The nomination of Patricia Ann Millett to the District of Columbia circuit of the U.S. Court of Appeals was the direct cause of this rule change. Senate Republicans, however, had blocked the nominations of two other D.C. Circuit Court judges in recent weeks as well, setting up the parliamentary showdown.
- Sen. Brian Schatz voted YES
- Sen. Mazie Hirono voted YES
Recent House Votes
Natural Gas Pipeline Permitting – Passage – Vote Passed (252-165, 14 Not Voting)
In the last vote of the week, the House passed legislation on Thursday to ensure the timely consideration of all licenses and permits required for construction or operation of any natural gas pipeline projects. The bill, sponsored by Republican Mike Pompeo of Kansas, requires the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission to approve or deny certificates within one year of receiving a complete permitting application. If other federal agencies, like the EPA, have to approve part of the project, then they would have 90 days to make a decision after the FERC ruling. In a mostly party-line vote, 26 Democrats joined all voting Republicans in support of the bill, and Democrats contributed all 165 dissenting votes.
- Rep. Tulsi Gabbard voted NO
- Rep. Colleen Hanabusa voted NO