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Bryan Watch: January Weeks 1 and 2
Back in the early 2000's, I kept a close watch on Congressman Paul Ryan’s voting record under the label “Ryan Watch.” It fell by the wayside once he became speaker. But now that Wisconsin’s First Congressional District has a new congressman, Bryan Steil, it seems like a good time to begin looking at Congress again.
So what was Congressman Steil up to his first few weeks in the House?
Congress cast 12 votes during its first two days. Two were non-party-line: the quorum call to start the session (RC 1, January 3) and the passage of the rules (RC 12, Jan 4, H Res 6).
The other 10 were party line votes, and little surprise, Steil always answered at his party’s call, never thinking for himself at all.
In the race for Speaker, Steil voted with most Republicans and supported Californian Kevin McCarthy, who lost to Nancy Pelosi 220-192.
Steil voted against continuing funding for the federal government through September 30, along with most other Republicans. Only seven Republicans voted for funding the government: Brian Fitzpatrick (PA), Will Hurd (TX), John Katko (NY), Peter King (NY), Elize Stefanik (NY), Fred Upton (MI) and Greg Walden (OR) (RC 11, Jan 3, HR 21)
Steil voted to kill funding for the federal government over the issue of assistance for international organizations that engage in family planning, including the United Nations Population Fund (Section 7071, HR 21). (RC 10, Jan 3, Granger motion to recommit, HR 21)
Steil also voted against continued funding for the Department of Homeland Security for the rest of 2019. Five Republicans vote for funding DHS: Fitzpatrick, Hurd, Katko, Stefanik and Christopher Smith (NJ). (RC 9, Jan 3, HJ Res 1). Steil did support efforts to send the DHS bill back to the Appropriations Committee (RC 8, Jan 3, Granger motion to recommit)
It is no surprise that Steil voted against the Democratic rules package, as almost every Republican did. Only three Republicans voted yes: Fitzpatrick, Katko and Tom Reed (NY). (RC 7, Jan 3, H J Res 6)
The other votes were procedural motions about bringing forth the rules and appropriations bills. As usual, they were lockstep party-line votes (RC 3, 4, 5 and 6, Jan 3; H Res 5)
During the second week of 2019, Congress cast 17 votes. Most were on ending the shutdown via funding various departments and agencies of the federal government. Not surprisingly, Democrats supported ending the shutdown on Republicans voted against, including Steil.
Of the 12 party line votes, Steil voted with the Republicans 11 out of 12. His only deviation was to vote for the Journal on January 8. A majority of Republicans, 48-135, voted against approving the journal. (RC 15, Jan 8)
As for the substantial things the House did this week, Steil was in lockstep with the Republicans. There were four bills regarding the government shutdown.
HR 266 would provide appropriations of the Department of Interior and environmental programs. Steil voted NO on funding and for the motion to recommit by Ken Calvert. (RC 27, 28, Jan 11).
HR 265 would fund Agriculture, Rural Development, and the Food and Drug Administration. Steil voted NO on funding and for a motion to recommit by Robert Aderholt (AL). (RC 24, 25, Jan 10)
HR 267 would have funded the Departments of Transportation and Housing and Urban Development. Steil voted NO on funding and for a motion to recommit by Mario Diaz-Balart (FL). (RC 22, 23, Jan 10)
On January 9, Steil voted against HR 264, which would have funded financial services and general government operations for the fiscal year. (HR 20, 21, January 9)
Steil also voted against consideration of the government funding bills, along with every other Republican. (HR 16, 17, Janaury 9)
A small handful of Republicans did vote for reopening the government: Rodney Davis (IL), Brian Fitzpatrick (PA), Jaime Herrera Beutler (WA), Will Hurd (TX), John Katko (NY), Adam Kinzinger (IL), Chris Smith (NJ), Elise Stefanik (NY), Fred Upton (MI) and Greg Walden (OR).
Finally, Steil voted against adopting the rules for the 116th Congress; no surprise, as they were drafted by Democrats. (H Res 6, RC 19, Jan 9). Three Republicans (Brian Fitzpatrick (PA), John Katko (NY) and Tom Reed (NY)) voted for the rules package.
Non Party Line (NPL) Votes
There were five non-party line votes from January 8 to 11.
HR 221 created a special envoy to monitor and combat Anti-Semitism
(RC 29, Jan 11, Passed 411-1; Amash)
HR 226 was the Clarity on Small Business Participation in Category Management Act, which passed 414-11, with Steil voting YES. (RC 18, Jan 9)
S 24 was the Government Employee Fair Treatment Act, which passed 411-7. Steil voted to give federal employees retroactive pay. The seven who voted against: Justin Amash (MI), Andy Biggs (AZ), Paul Gosar (AZ), Glenn Grothman (WI), Thomas Massie (KY), Chip Roy (TX) and Ted Yoho (FL).
HR 251, the Chemical Facility Anti-Terrorism Standards Program Extension Act, passed 414-3, with only Amash, Biggs and Massie voting against. (RC 14, Jan 8)
HR 269, the Pandemic and All-Hazards Preparedness and Advancing Innovation Act, passed 401-17. Steil voted yes. Those against were the usual ultra-right suspects.