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Capitol Hill

A summer view of the U.S. Capitol Building in Washington, D.C.

Here's a look at how area members of Congress voted the week of July 27 to Aug. 2. This roll call report is provided by Targeted News Service.

HOUSE VOTES:

There were no key votes in the House.

SENATE VOTES:

FLOOD INSURANCE EXTENSION: The Senate agreed to the House amendments to the National Flood Insurance Program Extension Act (S. 1182), to extend the federal government's flood insurance program through November 2018. A supporter, Sen. Mike Crapo, R-Idaho, said the extension, although not an ideal way to manage the program, would give Congress "needed time to address numerous concerns" with flood insurance, including the program's poor fiscal condition. The vote, on July 31, was 86 yeas to 12 nays.

YEAS: Young, R-IN; Donnelly, D-IN

ELECTION SECURITY GRANTS: The Senate rejected an amendment sponsored by Sen. Patrick J. Leahy, D-Vt., to the Department of the Interior, Environment, and Related Agencies Appropriations Act (H.R. 6147). The amendment would have provided $250 million of grants for election security efforts at state governments for this year's upcoming elections. Leahy said: "Let's not, after an election, find out that this country was defenseless against attacks from Russia, and then say: Oh, gosh, we should have done something." An opponent, Sen. James Lankford, R-Okla., said Congress has already provided $380 million for state election security, and there was no need for another $250 million of funding. The vote, on Aug. 1, was 50 yeas to 47 nays, with a three-fifths majority required for approval.

NAYS: Young, R-IN

YEAS: Donnelly, D-IN

DAIRY MARKETING PROGRAMS: The Senate passed an amendment sponsored by Sen. Tammy Baldwin, D-Wis., to the Department of the Interior, Environment and Related Agencies Appropriations Act (H.R. 6147). The amendment would provide $7 million for state and other programs to further the marketing of dairy products. Baldwin said the funding addressed a milk glut and trade difficulties faced by dairy farmers, by supporting technical and marketing improvements "so that farmers, dairy co-ops, and other businesses can find new ways to compete, increase their efficiency, and find more homes for" milk products. The vote, on Aug. 1, was 83 yeas to 15 nays.

YEAS: Young, R-IN; Donnelly, D-IN

FUNDING INTERIOR, EPA: The Senate passed the Department of the Interior, Environment and Related Agencies Appropriations Act (H.R. 6147), sponsored by Rep. Ken Calvert, R-Calif., to provide $35.25 billion of fiscal 2019 funding for the Interior Department, Environmental Protection Agency and various arts and cultural agencies. A supporter, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., said the funding would cover essential routine programs and make needed investments in infrastructure development and rural areas. The vote, on Aug. 1, was 92 yeas to 6 nays.

YEAS: Young, R-IN; Donnelly, D-IN

MILITARY SPENDING BILL: The Senate agreed to the conference report with the House to reconcile the two chambers' versions of the John S. McCain National Defense Authorization Act (H.R. 5515), to authorize $708 billion of fiscal 2019 spending at the Defense Department and defense programs at the Energy Department. A supporter, Sen. Jack Reed, D-R.I., said the bill responded to growing threats from Russia and China with deterrence measures, including improved military capabilities and higher troop levels. An opponent, Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., cited the conference report's removal of penalties against ZTE after the Chinese telecommunications company helped North Korea and Iran evade U.S. sanctions. Rubio warned that such failures to take adequate action against China's threats to U.S. security put the U.S. "in danger of surrendering and forfeiting our way of life and our place in the world." The vote, on Aug. 1, was 87 yeas to 10 nays.

YEAS: Young, R-IN; Donnelly, D-IN

APPEALS COURT JUDGE: The Senate has confirmed the nomination of Britt Cagle Grant to serve as a judge on the U.S. Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals. Grant, currently a judge on the Georgia Supreme Court, was previously the state's solicitor general. A supporter, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., cited praise from Grant's fellow judges and state solicitors general, and spoke of Grant's "understanding of a judge's role and the temperament to execute it" as qualities a judicial nominee should have. An opponent, Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., said that while working in Georgia's judiciary system, Grant has repeatedly sought "to weaken well-established rights and overturn precedent in pursuit of an ideological objective" of extreme conservatism. The vote, on July 31, was 52 yeas to 46 nays.

YEAS: Young, R-IN

NAYS: Donnelly, D-IN

Along with roll call votes, the Senate also passed the Animal Drug and Animal Generic Drug User Fee Amendments (H.R. 5554), to reauthorize user fee programs relating to new animal drugs and generic new animal drugs; and passed the National Suicide Hotline Improvement Act (H.R. 2345), to require the Federal Communications Commission to study the feasibility of using a simple, easy-to-remember dialing code for a national suicide prevention and mental health crisis hotline system.

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Editor

Marc Chase is a veteran investigative reporter, columnist and editor of more than two decades. He currently leads The Times news staff as local news editor. He can be reached at 219-933-3327.