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Capitol Hill

The U.S. Capitol Building as seen in winter.

Here's a look at how area members of Congress voted the week of Dec. 21 through Dec. 27. This roll call report is provided by Targeted News Service.

HOUSE VOTES:

ACCOUNTABILITY AT GOVERNMENT AGENCIES: The House passed the Good Accounting Obligation in Government Act (S. 2276), sponsored by Sen. Todd C. Young, R-Ind., to require each federal government agency to include in its annual budget justification a report describing the agency's response to unresolved organizational changes recommended by the Government Accountability Office. A supporter, Rep. Jamie Raskin, D-Md., said holding agencies to account when they fail to implement recommendations from the GAO "will definitely assist us in Congress in conducting our constitutional oversight responsibilities" for seeing that government funds are well-spent. The vote, on Dec. 21, was 382 yeas to 2 nays.

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

DATA AND POLICYMAKING: The House concurred in the Senate amendment to the Foundations for Evidence-Based Policymaking Act (H.R. 4174), sponsored by House Speaker Paul Ryan, R-Wis. The bill would require federal government agencies to take measures for using statistics and data as they address policy questions relevant to their missions. A supporter, Rep. Jamie Raskin, D-Md., said it sought "to ensure that Congress and the executive branch are able to make important policy decisions based on evidence, facts and science." The vote, on Dec. 21, was 356 yeas to 17 nays.

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

COMMERCIAL SPACE ACTIVITY: The House rejected the Space Frontier Act (S. 3277), sponsored by Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas. The bill would have made various changes to reduce and streamline federal regulation of private space missions, remote sensing, and other space activity. A supporter, Rep. Lamar Smith, R-Texas, said it would improve American competitiveness and innovation in space, although Smith also said the bill did not go far enough "to promote, support and approve private space missions." The vote, on Dec. 21, was 239 yeas to 137 nays, with a two-thirds majority required for approval.

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

NAYS: Visclosky, D-1st

TROPICAL FOREST CONSERVATION: The House passed the Tropical Forest Conservation Reauthorization Act (S. 1023), sponsored by Sen. Rob Portman, R-Ohio, to reauthorize through fiscal 2021 tropical forest and coral reef conservation programs. A supporter, Rep. Edward R. Royce, R-Calif., said that along with reauthorizing the programs, the bill also "reforms ongoing international conservation efforts to increase transparency and ensure that assistance does not go to problematic governments." The vote, on Dec. 21, was 332 yeas to 43 nays.

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

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PROMOTING FOREIGN WOMEN'S ENTREPRENEURSHIP: The House passed the Women's Entrepreneurship and Economic Empowerment Act (S. 3247), sponsored by Sen. John Boozman, R-Ark., to expand programs at the U.S. Agency for International Development that are aimed at increasing women's entrepreneurship and economic empowerment in developing countries overseas. The vote, on Dec. 21, was 352 yeas to 18 nays.

NAYS: Rokita, R-4th

YEAS: Walorski, R-2nd; Visclosky, D-1st

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REGULATING NUCLEAR POWER: The House passed the Nuclear Energy Innovation and Modernization Act (S. 512), sponsored by Sen. John Barrasso, R-Wyo., to change the Nuclear Regulatory Commission's processes for licensing nuclear power plants and research and development, with the goal of developing predictable and efficient licensing. A supporter, Rep. Adam Kinzinger, R-Ill., said the bill "will ensure transparency, predictability and fairness in the regulatory process, which will help keep the United States as the global leader of clean, safe and reliable nuclear power." The vote, on Dec. 21, was 361 yeas to 10 nays.

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

FLOOD INSURANCE: The House passed the National Flood Insurance Program Extension Act (S. 3628), sponsored by Sen. John Kennedy, R-La., to extend the National Flood Insurance Program through May 2019. A supporter, Rep. Thomas MacArthur, R-N.J., said the extension was necessary to give the next Congress "time to get to some reasonable bipartisan reforms that will put this program on a solid footing for the future." However, MacArthur also criticized Congress's need to resort to multiple temporary flood insurance extensions while its members fail to legislate the basic reforms the program requires. The vote, on Dec. 21, was 315 yeas to 48 nays.

NAYS: Rokita, R-4th

YEAS: Walorski, R-2nd; Visclosky, D-1st

SENATE VOTES:

The Senate passed the Federal Employee Fair Treatment Act (S. 2274), to provide for the compensation of federal employees affected by lapses in appropriations.

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