How Hawaii’s Elected Officials Voted – June 24, 2013

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June 24, 2013In this MegaVote for Hawaii’s 1st Congressional District:

Recent Congressional Votes

  • Senate: Froman Nomination – Confirmation
  • Senate: U.S. Immigration Policy – Motion to Table Cornyn Amendment
  • House: Abortion Ban – Passage
  • House: Farm Bill – Passage

Upcoming Congressional Bills

  • Senate: U.S. Immigration Policy
  • House: Offshore Energy and Jobs Act

Recent Senate Votes

Froman Nomination – Confirmation – Vote Confirmed (93-4, 1 Present, 2 Not Voting)

Last Wednesday, the Senate took a short break from the immigration bill to confirm President Barack Obama’s nomination of Michael Froman to be United States Trade Representative. He replaces Ron Kirk, who resigned in March. Froman was previously Obama’s deputy national security adviser for international economic affairs. He is now tasked with the Cabinet-level position handling international trade agreements and investment issues on behalf of the administration.

Sen. Brian Schatz voted YES
Sen. Mazie Hirono voted YES


U.S. Immigration Policy – Motion to Table Cornyn Amendment – Vote Agreed to (54-43, 3 Not Voting)

The Senate’s last vote of the week on Thursday was the approval of Majority Leader Harry Reid’s motion to table (kill) Texas Republican John Cornyn’s amendment that would require the Homeland Security Department to verify certain standards, including a 90 percent apprehension rate of illegal border crossers and a biometric screening system at all seaports and airports, are met before illegal immigrants could be granted permanent legal status. The largely partisan vote included only two Democrats, Manchin (W.Va.) and Pryor (Ark.) voting no; four Republicans voted yes: Flake and McCain (Ariz.), Graham (S.C.) and Paul (Ky.).

Sen. Brian Schatz voted YES
Sen. Mazie Hirono voted YES


Recent House Votes

Abortion Ban – Passage – Vote Passed (228-196, 10 Not Voting)

The House detoured briefly from debating the farm bill to pass a measure that forbids abortions performed at 20 weeks after fertilization or later. The bill makes an exception for cases where the woman’s life is in danger or where rape or incest has been reported to authorities. Under the measure, physicians who violate the ban would face a maximum five-year prison sentence, fines or both. Six Republicans voted against the legislation, while six Democrats voted in favor. The justification for the 20-week limit was the belief that an unborn fetus can feel pain by 20 weeks of pregnancy. Although the medical veracity of this theory is debated, a handful of states have passed laws with the same benchmark. The White House issued a veto threat on the bill, and Democrats who control the Senate are expected to ignore the measure.

Rep. Colleen Hanabusa voted NO

Rep. Tulsi Gabbard voted NO

Farm Bill – Passage – Vote Failed (195-234, 6 Not Voting)

After working through more than 100 amendments, the House nevertheless rejected a five-year, $939 billion reauthorization of agricultural and nutrition programs. Sixty-two Republicans rebelled against their leaders and voted against the bill. All but two dozen Democrats voted no as well. Nutritional aid to the poor was the major point of conflict for the bill’s passage for both sides of the aisle. Although the bill cuts $33 billion from current law, the chamber’s most conservative Republican members argued spending reductions did not go far enough. Democrats, however, claimed that the bill’s $20.5 billion in cuts to the Supplemental Nutritional Assistance Program (SNAP) – made mainly by changing eligibility requirements – would disproportionately harm low-income families. Democrats also objected to a provision that mandated work requirements for SNAP recipients. Like the Senate bill, the measure would have ended direct payments to farmers, replacing them with revenue protections that would assist farmers when county revenue levels fall 15 percent to 25 percent below a five-year benchmark. It also consolidated several rural conservation programs. With the bill’s defeat, the House now will have to draft a new bill, adopt the one the Senate passed earlier this month, or pass another one-year extension like Congress had to do last year.

Rep. Colleen Hanabusa voted NO

Rep. Tulsi Gabbard voted NO

Upcoming Votes

U.S. Immigration Policy – S.744

The Senate will continue its work on this bill to overhaul the nation’s immigration policy.


Offshore Energy and Jobs Act – H.R.2231

This week the House is scheduled to begin considering a measure that would implement a five-year oil and gas leasing program.