WASHINGTON • Here’s how area members of Congress voted on major issues in the week of Feb. 12-16, including the four Senate votes in which Republicans and Democrats failed to come to a compromise on immigration reform.
Americans With Disabilities Act Lawsuits • The House on Feb. 15 passed, 225-192, a bill (HR 620) that would delay by at least four months the opportunity to file civil actions that allege public facilities are in violation of the Americans With Disabilities Act. At present, when parties seek to redress violations such as architectural barriers to wheelchair access, they can immediately register a complaint with the Department of Justice or file a civil suit in federal court. The bill adds a preliminary “notice and cure” step in which those with complaints must provide written notice to the property owner, who then has up to 120 days to show “substantial progress” toward fixing the deficiency. A yes vote was to send the bill to the Senate.
Yes • Ann Wagner, R-Ballwin; Blaine Luetkemeyer, R-St. Elizabeth, Mo.; Mike Bost, R-Murphysboro, Ill.; Rodney Davis, R-Taylorville, Ill.; John Shimkus, R-Collinsville; Jason Smith, R-Salem, Mo.
No • William Lacy Clay, D-St. Louis.
Payday Loans, Usury Laws • Voting 245-171, the House on Feb. 14 passed a bill (HR 3299) that would allow the interest on payday loans to bust state-set usury limits when the loan originates with a federally chartered bank in another state having higher or non-existent interest caps. Numerous states and the District of Columbia have usury laws that limit interest rates charged on short-term loans by financial institutions including so-called payday lenders. A yes vote was to send the bill to the Senate.
Yes • Luetkemeyer, Wagner, Smith, Davis, Shimkus, Bost.
No • Clay.
Bipartisan Immigration Plan • The Senate failed, 54-45, to reach 60 votes needed to approve a bipartisan plan that would provide a path to citizenship to 1.8 million undocumented residents known as Dreamers and $25 billion for a wall on the southern border. A yes vote was to approve the most popular of three pending immigration plans. (HR 2579)
Yes • Claire McCaskill, D-Mo,; Dick Durbin, D-Ill.; Tammy Duckworth, D-Ill.
No • Roy Blunt, R-Mo.
Trump Immigration Plan • The Senate defeated, 39-60, a measure embodying a plan by President Trump that would eventually grant legality to Dreamers while funding a border wall and prohibiting most family-based immigration. A yes vote backed the least-popular immigration plan before the Senate. (HR 2579)
Yes • Blunt.
No • McCaskill, Duckworth, Durbin.
McCain-Coons Immigration Plan • Voting 52-47, the Senate failed to reach 60 votes needed to approve an immigration proposal that laid out a citizenship path for up to 1.8 million Dreamers but did not fund President Trump’s signature border wall. A yes vote supported a plan sponsored by Sens. John McCain, R-Ariz., and Chris Coons, D-Del. (HR 2579)
Yes • McCaskill, Durbin, Duckworth.
No • Blunt.
Sanctuary Cities, Immigration Enforcement • Voting 54-45, the Senate on Feb. 15 failed to reach 60 votes needed to adopt a GOP-sponsored proposal to deny federal non-security grants to so-called “sanctuary cities” that refuse to act as an arm of federal immigration enforcement. There are more than 400 sanctuary cities nationwide. They say that allowing local police to double as federal agents would destroy rapport they need with immigrant communities to do their work. A yes vote was to adopt this amendment to HR 2579 (above).
Yes • McCaskill, Blunt.
No • Durbin, Duckworth.
McCaskill was one of four Democrats to vote yes. She referenced the killing of Randy Nordman, of New Florence, Mo., who was killed by a man in the country illegally.