How Hawaii’s Elected Officials Voted – February 21, 2013

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February 19, 2013In this MegaVote for Hawaii’s 1st Congressional District:

Recent Congressional Votes

  • Senate: Gender-based Violence Prevention – Final Passage
  • Senate: Defense Secretary Nomination – Cloture
  • House: Disaster Aid for Houses of Worship – Suspension
  • House: Hydropower Regulation – Suspension
  • House: Federal Pay Freeze Extension – Final Passage
  • House: North Korea Nuclear Test

Editor’s Note: The House and Senate are in recess until Monday, February 25.

Recent Senate Votes

Gender-based Violence Prevention – Final Passage – Vote Passed (78-22)

The Senate passed a comprehensive reauthorization of the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA) last week, including a controversial provision that grants expanded authority to tribal courts over non-American Indian offenders. The bill would also expand protections for LGBT victims. VAWA consists of a variety of grant programs to state and local law enforcement agencies and service organizations that specialize in treating victims of such crimes as rape, domestic violence, and stalking. S. 47 extends VAWA for five years. The Senate debated several amendments to the bill, notably defeating a proposal from Oklahoma Republican Tom Coburn to remove the expanded tribal court authority (Roll Call 14 ). Judiciary Chairman Pat Leahy of Vermont successfully attached a four-year extension of anti-human trafficking measures to the overall bill (Roll Call 15 ). House leaders have been vague about their plans regarding the legislation , which expired last year amid disagreement between the two chambers. President Obama supports the Senate bill.

Sen. Brian Schatz voted YES……send e-mail or see bio
Sen. Mazie Hirono voted YES……send e-mail or see bio


Defense Secretary Nomination – Cloture – Vote Rejected (58-40, 1 Present, 1 Not Voting)

One of the more contentious nomination fights in recent memory was dragged into the President’s Day recess when the Senate failed to invoke cloture on Chuck Hagel’s bid to become Defense Secretary. The former Republican senator from Nebraska endured a withering confirmation hearing on January 31 , during which he was grilled for hours by fellow Republicans on a narrow range of issues, particularly Israel and Iran. The nomination passed out of the Armed Services Committee February 12 on a straight party-line vote , and Reid attempted to end debate two days later. Several Republican senators, including John McCain, Lindsey Graham and Lamar Alexander stated that they would not vote for cloture that day but would following the recess (though they would ultimately oppose the nomination). After extended back and forth about whether the Republicans were filibustering Hagel by essentially requiring 60 votes to confirm him, the cloture vote failed. Four Republicans – Susan Collins, Thad Cochran, Mike Johanns and Lisa Murkowski – joined all Democrats and independents Angus King and Bernie Sanders in supporting the motion. Republican Orrin Hatch of Utah voted “present,” which in this instance had the same effect as a “no” vote.

Sen. Brian Schatz voted YES……send e-mail or see bio
Sen. Mazie Hirono voted YES……send e-mail or see bio


Recent House Votes

Disaster Aid for Houses of Worship – Suspension – Vote Passed (354-72, 5 Not Voting)

This bill would expand the definition of “private non-profit facilities” eligible for federal disaster funding to include houses of worship such as churches and synagogues. Many such buildings were damaged by Hurricane Sandy, which brought the issue to lawmakers’ attention.

Rep. Colleen Hanabusa voted YES……send e-mail or see bio

Rep. Tulsi Gabbard voted YES……send e-mail or see bio

Hydropower Regulation – Suspension – Vote Passed (422-0, 9 Not Voting)

The House unanimously supported this measure to streamline permitting and regulation of hydropower facilities.

Rep. Colleen Hanabusa voted YES……send e-mail or see bio

Rep. Tulsi Gabbard voted YES……send e-mail or see bio

Federal Pay Freeze Extension – Final Passage – Vote Passed (261-154, 16 Not Voting)

Acting to head off a scheduled cost-of-living-adjustment for federal civilian employees, the House extended the freeze on their pay through the end of the calendar year. Military pay is not affected by the bill.

Rep. Colleen Hanabusa voted NO……send e-mail or see bio

Rep. Tulsi Gabbard voted NO……send e-mail or see bio

North Korea Nuclear Test – Vote Passed (412-2, 17 Not Voting)

Responding to a nuclear test conducted by the secretive Kim Jong-un regime in North Korea , the House passed a resolution condemning the act and calling for a new round of sanctions. Libertarian Republicans Justin Amash of Michigan and Thomas Massie of Kentucky cast the only “no” votes.

Rep. Colleen Hanabusa voted YES……send e-mail or see bio

Rep. Tulsi Gabbard voted YES……send e-mail or see bio