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Here's a look at how area members of Congress voted the week of Nov. 24 to 30. Look for this roll call report by Targeted News Service (with a week delay) regularly in Sunday Forum.

HOUSE VOTES:

MINNESOTA LAND EXCHANGE: The House has passed the Superior National Forest Land Exchange Act (H.R. 3115), sponsored by Rep. Richard M. Nolan, D-Minn. The bill would exchange about 6,550 acres of the Superior National Forest in northern Minnesota for a slightly larger amount of nearby land held by PolyMet Mining, with the exchanged land to be used to open a sulfide-ore copper and nickel mine. The vote, on Nov. 28, was 309 yeas to 99 nays.

YEAS: Rokita R-4th, Walorski R-2nd, Visclosky D-1st

MINNESOTA MINING LEASES: The House has passed the Minnesota's Economic Rights in the Superior National Forest Act (H.R. 3905), sponsored by Rep. Tom Emmer, R-Minn. The bill would authorize the issuance and renewal of leases to mine mineral deposits in federal forest lands. Emmer said the bill, by reversing a January Obama administration move to withdraw mining leases on the forest lands, would reopen the lands for supplying "strategically important metals and minerals which are used by Americans every day." An opponent, Rep. Erik Paulsen, R-Minn., said automatically granting the leases would deprive Minnesota's national forests of the environmental protections that forests in every other state have. The vote, on Nov. 30, was 216 yeas to 204 nays.

YEAS: Rokita R-4th, Walorski R-2nd

NAYS: Visclosky D-1st

FEDERAL EMPLOYEE STATUS: The House has passed the Ensuring a Qualified Civil Service Act (H.R. 4182), sponsored by Rep. James Comer, R-Ky. The bill would change the probationary period for new employees in the federal government's Civil Service from one year to two years. Comer said the longer wait for new employees to achieve full, permanent employment status would give supervisors "ample time to evaluate new hires." A bill opponent, Rep. Gerry Connolly, D-Va., said a two-year period would discourage people from joining the Civil Service and weaken the rights of new federal employees. The vote, on Nov. 30, was 213 yeas to 204 nays.

YEAS: Rokita R-4th, Walorski R-2nd

NAYS: Visclosky D-1st

BROWNFIELDS REDEVELOPMENT: The House has passed the Brownfields Enhancement, Economic Redevelopment, and Reauthorization Act (H.R. 3017), sponsored by Rep. David B. McKinley, R-W.Va. The bill would reauthorize through 2021 and modify the Environmental Protection Agency's grants program for rehabilitating and redeveloping brownfield industrial sites. The vote, on Nov. 30, was 409 yeas to 8 nays.

YEAS: Rokita R-4th, Walorski R-2nd, Visclosky D-1st

The House also passed the 21st Century Respect Act (H.R. 995), to direct the Secretary of Agriculture and the Secretary of the Interior to amend regulations for racial appropriateness; and a bill (H. Res. 630), requiring each member, officer, and employee of the House of Representatives to complete a program of training in workplace rights and responsibilities each session of each Congress.

SENATE VOTES:

D.C. DISTRICT JUDGE: The Senate has confirmed the nomination of Dabney Langhorne Friedrich to serve as a judge on the U.S. District Court for Washington, D.C. A supporter, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., cited Friedrich as having a commitment to the law, shown by her "wealth of experience" as an assistant U.S. attorney in Virginia and California, and as a member of the U.S. Sentencing Commission. The vote, on Nov. 27, was 97 yeas to 3 nays.

YEAS: Young R-IN, Donnelly D-IN

APPEALS COURT JUDGE: The Senate has confirmed the nomination of Gregory G. Katsas to serve as a judge on the U.S. Washington, D.C., Circuit Court of Appeals. A supporter, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., said Katsas had extensive experience with appeals litigation, both as a private practice lawyer and as a Justice Department official, and substantial praise from his colleagues. An opponent, Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., said Katsas's service in the Trump administration and work on some of its most legally dubious executive orders cast doubt on his independence if he were to serve on the appeals court. The vote, on Nov. 28, was 50 yeas to 48 nays.

YEAS: Young R-IN

NAYS: Donnelly D-IN

JOBS TAX CREDIT: The Senate has rejected a motion sponsored by Sen. Sherrod Brown, D-Ohio, that would have recommitted the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (H.R. 1) to the Senate Finance Committee with instructions for the committee to add language to provide a tax credit for companies that create domestic jobs that meet standards for pay and benefits. Brown said the tax code should reward companies that manufacture goods domestically rather than in foreign countries. The vote, on Nov. 30, was 48 yeas to 52 nays.

NAYS: Young R-IN

YEAS: Donnelly D-IN

CORPORATE TAX RATE: The Senate has rejected a motion sponsored by Sen. Debbie Stabenow, D-Mich., that would have recommitted the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (H.R. 1) to the Senate Finance Committee with instructions for the committee to add language to re-establish a 35 percent corporate tax rate in 2020 if real average household wages have not increased by at least $4,000 from current levels. Stabenow said the motion "simply makes sure the American people get the raise the Trump administration is promising them" by passing a tax reform bill. An opponent, Sen. Tim Scott, R-S.C., said making a corporate tax rate cut permanent was needed to spur corporations to repatriate money now held in countries with lower tax rates and use that money to grow a stronger domestic economy. The vote, on Nov. 30, was 45 yeas to 55 nays.

NAYS: Young R-IN, Donnelly D-IN

Along with roll call votes this week, the Senate also passed the Indian Employment, Training and Related Services Consolidation Act (H.R. 228), to facilitate the ability of Indian tribes to integrate the employment, training, and related services from diverse federal sources; the Esther Martinez Native American Languages Preservation Act (S. 254), to provide flexibility and reauthorization to ensure the survival and continuing vitality of Native American languages; the John P. Smith Act (S. 302), to enhance tribal road safety; and the RESPECT Act (S. 343), to repeal certain obsolete laws relating to Indians.

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Editorial Page Editor/South Lake County Editor

Marc is a veteran investigative reporter and editor of more than 15 years, including 10 years at The Times, where he is the investigative editor. He is also the founder of the Calumet Region Civil War Preservation Project.